Politics and Public Opinion, Elections

26 days: U.S. 2012 elections live

Image Credit: Marc Nozell (Flickr) (CC BY 2.0)

Image Credit: Marc Nozell (Flickr) (CC BY 2.0)



Latest news

16:52 Could Jewish voters be moving towards Romney? The latest TIPP/IBD Daily Tracking poll shows that 44% of Jewish voters surveyed support Romney compared to 40% for Obama. The poll does note, however, that there is a small sample size so results should be viewed with caution.

We’ll have to wait for more polling to see if there’s a movement among Jewish voters. Right now I’d say that’s unlikely but who knows?

16:42 Politico reports that President Obama will head to Williamsburg, Virginia, for three full days of debate prep. He’ll depart Washington on Sunday and return on Tuesday.

Frankly, after the disaster last week, I’d think that the president needed more than 3 days of prep. Maybe they thought it would look desperate if he took longer than that to prepare.

16:34 This Romney ad cites the American Enterprise Institute! Fun!

16:24 Public Policy Polling has a new poll out of Nevada that shows Barack Obama ahead 51-47. That’s a decline compared to last month’s poll, when the president led 52-43.

Romney’s favorability rating has increased by 7 points on net. He now stands at 50-46. Obama’s favorability is at 49-48.

Romney’s gain has come mostly with white voters. He leads among them 55-42 now as opposed to 52-45 last month. He now captures 16% of Democrats instead of 10% last poll. He’s also narrowed the gap among Independents to 7 points from 15.

Obama’s lead comes from his 67-32 advantage with Hispanics and 67-33 advantage with young voters.

PPP is a partisan polling organization that favors Democrats, so take their numbers with a grain of salt.

16:00 This pro-coal ad being run by Obama’s campaign is coming under fire from environmentalist groups. The group Forecast the Facts has launched a petition against the ad, urging the president to “overturn a decision by his campaign to run [the] TV ad.”

Fat chance of that happening.

15:45 President Obama sat down with CBS News recently and promised a more “determined” performance at the second debate. Key quote: Sawyer: “You’re going to win?” Obama: “Yes.” Sawyer: “You want it more than the first time?” Obama: “Absolutely.”



15:29 Team Obama has put out a web video called “Paul Ryan and His Many Methods of Misrepresentation. Their strategy is basically to call Ryan and Romney lying liars who lie. That way they don’t have to debate them on the facts. Pretty smooth strategy.

15:22 Data isn’t available for every state, but what we do have shows that Republicans are narrowing Democrats’ organizational advantage in key swing states.

In Colorado, Florida, and North Carolina, Republicans have requested more absentee ballots than Democrats. In Nevada, the two sides are about even.

This is a big deal because Team Obama has sunk years and millions of dollars into developing an extremely robust ground operation. They have intricate networks of volunteers and call centers throughout key states.

In Florida, 841,941 Republicans have requested absentee ballots compared to 768,072 Democrats. In Colorado, the numbers are 656,813 for the GOP to 627,064 for the Democrats. And in North Carolina, the GOP is way ahead, 65,683 to 33,927. In Nevada, both parties had about 20,000 requests.

15:03 Obama campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said today on CNN that Libya is a political issue right now because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. She’s sure to catch a lot of flak for this. I could see arguing that Romney/Ryan have been playing politics with it, but to say that it’s only in the news because of them is pretty out of touch. Believe it or not, the American people care when one of their ambassadors is killed in a brazen terrorist attack.

14:22 I posted a hard-hitting anti-Richard Carmona ad below. Here’s another one that takes a different tack. Instead of attacking him for personal characteristics, it links him extensively to President Obama and Obamacare—a tried and true method in non-blue states/districts.

14:11 Here’s an interesting Super PAC ad that hits Angus King, the Independent candidate for Senate from Maine. It’s commonly thought that King will caucus with the Democrats if he gets to Washington, so the ad focuses on the fact that he’s secretly a Democrat and has received millions of dollars from Democratic groups to help get him elected.

14:05 Ira Boudway reminds us on Businessweek.com that President Obama’s promise of 5 million green jobs was completely overstated:

Digging into the public records of the $21 billion spent so far through 19 U.S. Department of Energy programs reveals 3,960 projects that employ 28,854 people.

That’s not 5 million. In November 2010, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers said federal recovery spending had “saved or created” 225,000 clean-energy jobs, including “both the direct jobs of people involved in the construction of a particular project and also the jobs generated by the additional economic activity sparked by these projects.”

There’s no way to know whether this multiplier effect really resulted in the number the administration claims. But if you take it as true and generously assume similar growth for 2011 and 2012, that’s 675,000 jobs created at best—and 4,325,000 to go.

I for one have been surprised that Romney hasn’t taken Obama to task for this massive discrepancy between the promise and reality of green technology. Sure, he talks about Solyndra, but when even the administration’s best estimate is that they failed to create 20% of the jobs they said they would, all you need to do is repeat the numbers.

13:48 A new memo by Karl Rove puts into graphic format what I reported yesterday: That Romney is doing very well among Independent voters. If that holds up, he’ll have a much better shot of winning the election.

13:10 Gallup’s daily tracking:

Obama approval: 52% approve, 43% disapprove

Registered voters: Obama 48%, Romney 46%

Likely voters: Obama 47%, Romney 48%

12:44 Nate Silver of the New York Times’ fivethirtyeight blog says Romney has a 32.1% chance of winning the Electoral College according to his super secret model. That’s the highest Romney has been in many months.

Key quote: “Mr. Romney may have increased his chances of becoming president by 15 or 20 percent based on one night in Denver.”

The whole article is definitely worth a read.

11:58 Rasmussen reports that 18% of likely voters consider the vice presidential debate “very important” to their vote. That’s less than four years ago. Fifty-eight percent consider the debate to be at least somewhat important to their vote, while 40% do not.

Rasmussen’s daily tracking poll has Obama up 1, 48% to 47%. Its swing state tracking poll has Romney up 1, 49% to 48%. He has Obama up 5 in Pennsylvania, 2 in Wisconsin, and a tie in New Hampshire.

11:48 Obama’s lead on foreign policy may be crumbling. According to yesterday’s Fox News poll, the president now has just a 6-point lead over Romney on handling foreign policy among likely voters. Before the Libya attack, Obama was ahead by 15.

Last month, Obama was up 10 on the question of which candidate would best protect the U.S. from a terrorist attack. That fell to just 4 points in the new poll.

Only 37% of likely voters approve of the way Obama has handled the Libya situation, while 46% disapprove. Moreover, two-thirds of voters find it “troubling” that the administration gave “false information in public statements” in the aftermath of the attacks.

11:36 Take a look at this new ad by Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) campaign.

11:30 The latest Inquirer Pennsylvania poll shows President Obama with a reduced but still-sizeable lead in Pennsylvania. Obama captures 50% of likely voters to 42% for Romney. That’s 3 points closer than it was in September.

Obama leads among women 55% to 37%, while Romney leads among men 48% to 43%.

11:14 Ouch. I don’t know any of the details here, but this has got to be an effective ad. (UPDATE 11:24 Here’s background on the Carmona vs. Beato rivalry).

11:08 A Republican state representative from Wisconsin is drawing fire for his statement that, “some girls rape easy.” The lawmaker, Rep. Roger Rivard (R-Rice Lake), says that the words are taken out of context and was advice that his father gave him to warn him that what might start out as consensual sex could easily be claimed as rape later.

“He also told me one thing, ‘If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry. Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she’s not going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.’ All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she’s underage. And he just said, ‘Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,’ he said, ‘they rape so easy.’

Democrats claim that this fits into the larger “War on Women” narrative and note that Paul Ryan endorsed Rivard.

11:01 President Obama has a 3:30 rally in Coral gables, Florida. Later he attends a 7 PM fundraiser in Miami, which will feature Eva Longoria and Sheila E. He returns to the White House at 10:30.

Mitt Romney has a 6 PM rally in Asheville, North Carolina, with country music singer Ronnie Milsap.

Joe Biden and Paul Ryan are in Kentucky getting ready for tonight’s debate.
Michelle Obama has a noon MT rally in Castle Rock, Colorado.

Ann Romney goes on a 12:35 tour of Chris Evert Children’s Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Tagg Romney attends events in Bristow, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, and Charlottesville, Virginia, followed by a debate watch party in Arlington at 8.

10:43 The new Quinnipiac/CBS/NYT poll shows Romney with a 1-point lead in Colorado.

Wisconsin is down to a 3-point Obama lead from a 6-point lead last month. The race now stands at Obama 50% to Romney 47%.

In Virginia, Obama holds a 51% to 46% lead.

Voters in all three states said Romney won last week’s debate by about four-to-one. But majorities said the debate didn’t affect their vote.

About half of Independent voters in these states said the debate gave them a better impression of Romney, and about 25% of them say it made them more likely to vote for Romney.

Romney does better among voters who are paying a lot of attention to the campaign. He leads among these voters in Colorado by 53% to 44% and in Wisconsin by 51% to 47%. When measuring voters who have been paying close attention, the race becomes even in Virginia 49% to 49%.

Republicans have a large enthusiasm edge over Democrats in Colorado and Wisconsin, and a smaller lead in Virginia.

Only 37% of those in Colorado, 34% in Virginia, and 33% in Wisconsin think Romney has explained his plans clearly. Obama does slightly better on this question, with 47%, 49%, and 45% respectively.

10:25 A new Team Obama video that criticizes Paul Ryan for his “eloquent rhetoric.”

The ad’s text says, “Paul Ryan’s eloquent rhetoric can’t hide the harsh reality.”

Seems to me that when your argument is “The other guy can give a great speech but can you really trust him? Is he really ready to lead?” you’re losing. After all, the GOP tried that against Obama in 2008, and look how well that turned out for them.

10:12 David Axelrod reveals that Joe Biden’s strategy tonight should be to press Ryan on policy specifics.

“I think the big challenge for him is to pin Congressman Ryan down. You know, he was on television a couple of weeks ago and he was asked to explain Governor Romney’s tax plan and he said, ‘I don’t have enough time to explain it. It’s too complicated to explain.’ He’s got 90 minutes tonight. So hopefully he’ll have enough time to explain it and explain how they won’t explode the budget and put a new burden on the middle class.”

10:08 A University of North Florida poll shows President Obama with a 4-point lead over Mitt Romney in that state, 49% to 45%.

Obama captures 96% of black voters and 59% of Hispanics. Also, 37% of likely voters say they haven’t heard enough about Paul Ryan to have an opinion of him.

9:57 Going into more detail on some swing state polls released today and last night. First, the NBC/WSJ/Marist poll.

Romney’s largest gain came in Virginia, where he leads the president 48% to 47%. That’s a 3-point reversal from last week’s poll but is within the margin of error.

In Florida, it remains a 1-point race, with Obama up 48% to 47%. Last week Obama led 47% to 46%.

In Ohio, Obama leads 51% to 45%. That’s still a 2-point increase for Romney. Also, the Ohio poll has an 11-point advantage for Democrats (40% to 29% for Republicans). That’s just simply not going to happen on Election Day, even in the Obama campaign’s wildest dreams.

In a bad sign for Romney in Ohio, though, 18% of respondents said they had voted early and 63% of them voted for Obama.

Ninety-two percent of voters in Florid and Ohio, and 91% in Virginia, said they had made up their minds on who to vote for prior to the debates. That left only 7% in Virginia, 6% in Florida, and 5% in Ohio to make up their minds after the debate. But Romney led among them in all three states.

9:36 Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) and challenger Elizabeth Warren (D) squared off in the third of their four debates last night. The debate was noticeable more for what it lacked than what it contained, and had a very different feel than the first two.

Whereas the first two debates featured prominent discussions of Warren’s supposed Native American heritage, it didn’t come up once in this debate. The moderator didn’t bring it up, and neither did Brown.

Perhaps because of this, the debate was more subdued. There was more discussion of specific policy issues and fewer personal attacks.

Warren was on offense more than in prior debates, focusing on specific legislation that Brown had voted for while in the Senate. Brown defended his record well, but was definitely left playing defense most of the night.

Here is video of the full debate for those who are interested.

9:22 Here’s a quick summary of recent polling. It paints a picture of a tightening race, particularly in the battleground states, but Obama continues to have a slight lead, particularly in critical battleground Ohio.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC/Marist College poll finds Obama and Romney within 1 point in both Florida and Virginia. Obama is ahead 6 in Ohio.

The New York Times, CBS News, and Quinnipiac University find Romney gaining 3 points in Wisconsin and cutting Obama’s lead there to 3. Romney is up 1 in Colorado. This poll also found Obama ahead 5 in Virginia.

Here’s the current Electoral College map according to Real Clear Politics.

Obama/Biden has seen its lead in EVs collapse in the past few days. Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Michigan have all moved into the Tossup column since the 10th of October.

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