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Poll finds Romney better able to fix political gridlock

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:40 pm - October 31, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Obama Hopenchange

I am always struck when Yahoo!, on its home page, links a story beneficial to Mitt Romney, this time offering a data point similar to observations made by prominent pundits:

Romney’s message,” report Connie Cass and Jennifer Agiesta

a vote for Obama is a vote for more gridlock — seems to be getting through. An Associated Press-GfK poll shows that almost half of likely voters — some 47 percent — think the Republican challenger would be better at ending the logjam Thirty-seven percent say Obama would.

37%? That’s far fewer than the percentage supporting the president.  It seems even a good chunk of Obama’s supporters know that lacks the skills he, in his last campaign, claimed to possess. (more…)

Obama bestowed Presidential Medal of Freedom on man who says whites are going to hell

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:50 pm - October 31, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

What if say, President Bush had given the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a prominent evangelical who said that Jews are going to hell? You think it might get some coverage in the legacy media?

In my previous post, I noted that among the many stories our legacy media seem to be downplaying if not out right ignoring is one about Rev. Joseph Lowery, the man “who gave Obama’s inaugural benediction“.  At “a weekend rally in central Georgia“, the pastor said

 . . . that the “level and hatred and bitterness” borne of this election had made him a believer that whites were going to hell.

Lowery said, according to the Monroe County Reporter, it was the same belief he held at the height of the civil rights movement. Eventually he mellowed, believing that not all whites, rather only “most,” would get their brimstone comeuppance.

“Now,” the local newsweekly reported, “he is back to where he was.”

President Obama awarded Lowery the Medal of Freedom in 2009.  He “was elected earlier this year to lead the state’s delegation to the Democratic national convention.”
Wonder if Barney Frank is doing to call on the president to “differentiate” himself from Lowery’s remarks.

Instapundit covering Dem failures since the legacy media won’t

Earlier this afternoon, when perusing Instapundit, I noticed how many stories Glenn Reynolds and his co-bloggers were covering that were both damaging to President Obama and have been all but ignored by the legacy media.

In the interest of making people aware of these stories, I share the links below.  Can you imagine the coverage these stories would get if they were about Republicans or a Republican president?

THE YALE DAILY NEWS REPORTS on Pat Moran’s criminal investigation for voter fraud. “Moran was forced to resign as field director from his father’s — U.S. Representative Jim Moran (D) — reelection campaign on Oct. 24 after he was caught on tape telling an undercover reporter to look into a plan that would vote in place of up to 100 registered voters who rarely voted. The volunteer had pitched the plan, and though Moran was initially hesitant, he eventually offers tips on forging utility bills and bank statements to pass voter registration laws.”

Posted at 8:05 pm by Glenn Reynolds

DO I FILE THIS UNDER HOPE, OR CHANGE? The reverend who gave Obama’s inaugural benediction thinks all white people are going to Hell. . . .

Posted ted at 6:59 pm by Ed Driscoll

Posted at 6:36 pm by Ed Driscoll

NOTE: WEAR HAZMAT SUIT TO ALL OBAMA-BIDEN EVENTS: Biden Vows “I’m Going To Give You The Whole Load Today.” (more…)

Are newspaper endorsements a barometer of public opinion?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:12 pm - October 31, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Commenting on one of my posts about newspaper endorsements, Rattlesnake, a Canadian, acknowledged that he’s

. . . kind of confused over the newspaper endorsements. Does anyone really care what some newspaper has to say? I recognize that these endorsements are a good sign for Romney, but would it be more accurate to say that this is an effect of the candidates’ performance rather than something that will have any influence, or not?

Yesterday, Ed Morrissey asked a similar question, wondering if newspaper endorsements matter.

They do, I have argue, “do sometimes serve as a barometer of trends in public opinion” as Ace explained in excerpting and analyzing the The Nashua (NH) Telegraph’s endorsement this year of Mitt Romney after backing Barack Obama in 2008:

I’ve written earlier that these flips in newspaper endorsements are somewhat helpful for Romney, as a direct matter, as they will tend to sway some undecided voters.

But they’re also important indirectly as proxies for, as the Telegraph says, the “conversations taking place in kitchens and living rooms across America.” Editorial staffs aren’t kitchens and living rooms, of course– but they’re actually more liberal, and more likely to buy into Obama’s brand of progressivism than most families talking about the question.

The Telegraph editors had compared their “spirited debate” about the endorsement to those very conversations.  If this group of editors decided to switch from supporting Obama in 2008 to endorsing Romney in 2012, then perhaps families across the country may be reaching similar decisions when they wrestle between doubling down on the man they backed four years and the man who represents real change.

ADDENDUM:  Ed links an Investor’s Business Daily editorial finding that “if those major metro dailies that have announced their picks, more than one in five that had previously backed Obama are now pushing Romney, according to a tally by the American Presidency Project.”  One in five have flipped from Obama to Romney. . . . that’s 20%!

This guy has guts

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:38 pm - October 31, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,LA Stories

Parking a car with these stickers in West Hollywood:

Why the Independent vote matters (particularly in swing states)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:18 pm - October 31, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Readers of this blog know that I have regularly posted about polls showing Mitt Romney enjoying a sizable advantage among independent voters — even when he was running behind President Obama in national surveys.

I believe that this is significant because the candidate who wins the independent vote tends also to win the election.  Ace summarizes  why the independent vote is particularly significant swing states:

It’s very simple: Swing states are swing states because neither party has much of a lead in the states. The outcome of any election, then, depends heavily on which way Independents vote.

. . . .

Any state in which Obama loses Independents by six, eight, or ten points but somehow — as these polls claims — wins the state anyway are not “swing states,” almost by definition.

No wonder Ace cried foul on the slew of surveys from Quinnippiac this morning.  They all found Obama losing independents, sometimes by lopsided margins (21 points in the Old Dominion).  In California, a loss of that magnitude would likely only reduce Obama’s margin of victory to the single digits, but in a state with the parties at – or near – parity that advantage could make all the difference.

Th “swing” states, however, have a far greater percentage of Republicans (percentage-wise) than does the once-Golden State.  That is why, as Jennifer Rubin, reports, the independent vote cheers team Romney:

[One] “indisputable and near universal polling fact in the presidential race: Mitt Romney is winning big among independent. The conservative polling and research firm Resurgent Republic released its final batch of polling, finding Romney leads President Obama among Independents by a 51 to 39 percent margin nationally. By comparison George W. Bush won independents by 2 points in 2000 and lost independents by one point in 2004.

Emphasis added.

New Mexico Now?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:05 pm - October 31, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

We’ve already reported on Minnesota being in play, but it now appears that the Land of Enchantment may also be up for grabs. The Hill reports:

Restore Our Future, a super-PAC backing Mitt Romney, is launching ads in Minnesota and New Mexico for the final week of the presidential campaign.

The buys are significant: $1.1 million in Minnesota and $700,000 in inexpensive New Mexico.

UPDATE: Michael Barone concludes his report of a conference call with team Romney with an upbeat assessment of where the campaign is moving:

the fact that their side and the other side are both spending money in states almost everyone assumed were safe for the other side speaks even more eloquently about where we are in this election.

Quinnipiac turns a 35.7-30.9 D-R Sample into a 37-29 D-R Split

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:50 pm - October 31, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Earlier today, at Instapundit, Sarah Hoyt linked a post which showed how Quinnipiac weighted their latest Ohio poll to create a bigger Democratic advantage than the sample provided.  “Its partisan split“, blogs Bryan Preston, “skews much too far to the left:

So, I tallied the raw totals (unweighted frequency above) and came up with a sample size of 1,110. This means, the Republican total of 343 represents 30.9% of the sample, the Democrat 35.7%. Thanks to Quinnipiac’s ratings, suddenly presto-chango a D+4.7% sample becomes D+8 sample, pushing the race 3.2 points toward the president’s party.

It seems that the raw numbers only had Obama up by a point.  Guess Quinnipiac just didn’t like that result.

Methinks the folks at Quinnipiac were trying to get the Democrat to 50–which is what their weighted survey showed.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHT:  Why does Quinnipiac forecast a large Democratic advantage this fall than in 2008?

UPDATE:  Ace can’t really take this set of polls seriously, given that it “has Romney up 21 points with Independents in Virginia but still has Obama winning!

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Kurt writes that, “Of course we all know why they did it–so as not to depress turnout!”

Can you imagine what will happen if Ohio or Pennsylvania are decided early for Romney? If that were to happen, then some of the states further west might change, too.

With Election Day approaching, Republicans far more enthusiastic

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:45 pm - October 31, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Democrats must be happy with the latest CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac surveys which show Obama up in three swing states.  Conservative bloggers have been quick to cite the partisan skew of those surveys, with each anticipating a greater Democratic edge than in 2008.

But, despite this skew, each survey shows greater Republican enthusiasm in each state, up 16 points over the Democrats in Florida, 14 in Ohio and 7 in Virginia.  In each state, Republican enthusiasm has increased since the previous survey, causing Stacy McCain to ask,

How is it that Republicans report greater voting enthusiasm by such large margins, and yet are underrepresented in the poll’s sample? It makes no sense.

(H/t:  Reader Kurt.)  “In all three states,” Ed Morrissey concludes, Obama has

. . . lost ground by double digits in the gap with independents.  In all three states, Republican enthusiasm is significantly higher than Democratic enthusiasm.  I’d say that the only possible way Obama could be leading under those circumstances is to seriously undercount Republicans.

GOP enthusiasm up.  Independents swinging toward Mitt Romney.   The internals of these polls certainly suggest an electorate favoring the Republicans.

David Brooks gives urbanites disenchanted with Barack Obama “permission” to vote for Mitt Romney

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:48 am - October 31, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

The Naked Cowboy is not the only New York cultural presence to back Mitt Romney.  David Brooks signaled yesterday that hed  the former Massachusetts governor to the incumbent, though with considerably less enthusiasm — and for process reasons rather than philosophical ones:

If Obama wins, we’ll probably get small-bore stasis; if Romney wins, we’re more likely to get bipartisan reform. Romney is more of a flexible flip-flopper than Obama. He has more influence over the most intransigent element in the Washington equation House Republicans. He’s more likely to get big stuff done

Brooks spends as much time imagining the future under the leadership of the man whose “perfectly creased pant” once so enchanted him as he does imagining a Romney administration.  This column is significant for a variety of reasons, notably that Brooks once gushed over Obama, but now has a better picture of the man:

By running such a negative presidential campaign, Obama has won no mandate for a Grand Bargain. Obama himself is not going to suddenly turn into a master legislative craftsman on the order of Lyndon Johnson.

Once again, a pundit acknowledges that Obama is not really up to the business of governing.  That said, Brooks is overly generous in imagining how Obama would go about avoiding the fiscal cliff — and too harsh on the GOP.

But, the columnist is well-liked by a good number of urban intellectuals*; this column may serve to give the urban bourgeoisie (particularly the bohemians among them) who have becoming increasingly aware of Obama’s failures”permission” to vote for Mitt Romney.

* (more…)

Watcher of Weasels — Hallowe’en 2012 Nominations

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:39 am - October 31, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Submissions

Naked Cowboy: Reagan Republican? And he’s backing Mitt

Reader Kurt passes on a link which showing this Manhattan sensation to be of a mind with the Gipper’s (political ideals):

“I believe in a small, decentralized, fiscally responsible federal government,” [}Robert Burck, aka the guy who sings and prances around in his underwear in New York City’s Times Square”] told New York’s CBS affiliate. ”I believe in an economy with free market principals, and I believe in the strongest national defense on Earth. And those are the antithesis of all the things Obama is doing.”

He’s already “filed his vote for Romney in the all-important state of Ohio.”

Saying that he is “by nature an entrepreneur and a small businessman” who’s been successful and he sees “this country as going kind of in the opposite direction of that.”

He’s not the only one.

Is Bill Clinton really helping Obama?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:18 pm - October 30, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

President Obama, writes Sean Higgins in the Washington Examiner, “may have been forced from the campaign trail back to Washington, but he still has former President Bill Clinton out there stumping for him. Exactly how much help the former president is giving the current one is another matter.

Higgins scores the former president for attempting to politicize the hurricane and offering an incoherent critique of Mr. Romney.  This is not the first time Clinton has attempted to make the case for Obama in a manner little likely to sway undecided voters or to prevent wavering supporters from changing their minds.

Yesterday, Clinton told a gathering of Obama supporters in Youngstown, Ohio about a conversation he had had with the incumbent which makes that latter look like, well, to borrow an expression of one of their partisan predecessors he just can’t stand the heat.

I saw the reports of Governor Romney’s latest ad saying that the president had allowed Jeep to move to China… And so this morning, before he left Florida and went back to Washington, he said, “You know, of all the things Governor Romney has said that probably hurts my feelings the most.”
Mr. Obama has been active in politics for sixteen years.  Shouldn’t he be beyond the point where his feelings get hurt by a political ad?
Does Mr. Clinton really believe it helps to show just how thin-skinned a man is the incumbent President of the United States?

Democrats getting nervous about Michigan?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:06 pm - October 30, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Earlier today, the National Review’s Robert Costa referred to Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennyslvania as “maybe states,” three “blue” states which could turn “red”.

Perhaps had he written later in the day, he might have added another state to that pile.  His colleague Jim Geraghty reports “that the Obama campaign is buying a week’s worth of television ads in the Detroit market.“:

This is an ad purchase aimed at securing Michigan; it is not aimed at crossing into Ohio or any other state. Detroit’s radio market runs into Monroe County which borders the Buckeye State, but it does not cross over, as some metropolitan media markets do.

This is the eleventh-largest media market in the United States and one of the more expensive ones, particularly compared to the smaller cities that make up most key swing state markets.

With such a pricey ad market, as Ace puts it, “You don’t play there for fun.”  Reporting on this news, Allahpundit speculates that “Team Mitt may be eyeing not only Oregon but even Washington state(!) as having turned more purplish than anticipated.”

Former Pacific Commander In Chief Blasts Benghazi Coverup

Admiral James Lyons hammers the Benghazi scandal in a column today.

There is an urgent need for full disclosure of what has become the “Benghazi Betrayal and Cover-up.” The Obama national security team, including CIA, DNI and the Pentagon, apparently watched and listened to the assault on the U.S. consulate and cries for help but did nothing. If someone had described a fictional situation with a similar scenario and described our leadership ignoring the pleas for help, I would have said it was not realistic—not in my America – but I would have been proven wrong.

Lyons lays out a much debated rumor about WHY Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi to begin with.

We now know why Ambassador Christopher Stevens had to be in Benghazi the night of 9/11 to meet a Turkish representative, even though he feared for his safety. According to various reports, one of Stevens’ main missions in Libya was to facilitate the transfer of much of Gadhafi’s military equipment, including the deadly SA-7 – portable SAMs – to Islamists and other al Qaeda-affiliated groups fighting the Assad Regime in Syria. In an excellent article, Aaron Klein states that Stevens routinely used our Benghazi consulate (mission) to coordinate the Turkish, Saudi Arabian and Qatari governments’ support for insurgencies throughout the Middle East. Further, according to Egyptian security sources, Stevens played a “central role in recruiting Islamic jihadists to fight the Assad Regime in Syria.”

I had seen these reports for weeks, but Adm. Lyons discussing it gives it credence and suggests that other current senior US military officials are pissed off. (more…)

Could Illinois be in play?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:09 pm - October 30, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

In the nail-biter election of 1976, then-President Gerald R. Ford narrowly won the Land of Lincoln while losing the election.  His 50.1%-48.13% effectively flipped the two candidates’ national percentage with Carter winning 50.08% to Ford’s 48.02.

The state, once reliably Republican, has moved in recent years into the Democratic camp.

Even with Democrats playing defense in such “blue” states as Pennsylvania, Minnesota and possibly Oregon, almost no one is talking about the president’s home state as a possible Republican pick-up.  But, this morning, when reader Kurt alerted me to this post reporting that black Chicagoans are upset with the incumbent administration, I wondered if this anger would depress turnout among one of the incumbent’s core constituencies.

Just before the conventions, we linked a poll showing romney leading the president by only 12 points in Cook County.  Obama led in the City of Chicago, but Mitt Romney had the advantage in surrounding suburbs.  The poll showed Romney running ahead of Mark Kirk’s tally in the 2010 Senate race where that Republican won only 1 in 3 Cook County votes, yet beat his Democratic challenger by 2 points statewide.

Yesterday, I reported that a Chicago paper which backed Obama in 2008 has endorsed Mitt Romney.  That journal bills itself as “the voice of the suburbs“.  If indeed it does speak for the Chicago suburbs, that’s not a good sign for the incumbent in his home state.

Tuesday White Whale Alert!

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 5:58 pm - October 30, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in Pennsylvania’s Philly suburbs. And I’ve posted here before some suggestions that perhaps since 1988, the Keystone State may be in play and moving to Romney.

Our commenters in Pennsylvania have provided on-the-ground anecdotal evidence supporting this possibility.

There are some big new developments this week in my hunt for the Electoral White Whale.

– ABC News moved Pennsylvania and Minnesota to the “Toss-Up” category this past weekend.

– The Romney campaign today announced a significant ad buy in the expensive Philadelphia TV market. Karl Rove’s American Crossroads has already had significant ads running over the past two weeks in the Philly area.

And now this…..

Wow, what a flip from 2008. Republicans are currently crushing Democrats in Pennsylvania absentee ballot returns by 19 points! Republican ballot returns are at 55% while Democrats are just at 36%! Still don’t think PA is winnable? Also you should factor in that many Democrats in Pennsylvania are socially conservative and/or work for coal plants. So Obama is not only trailing in Democrat ballot returns, but I’d suspect a fairly significant portion of Democrats will vote for Mitt Romney over Obama in that state.

Well, well, well.

LATE UPDATE: FOX News’ Ed Henry just reported that the Obama campaign is spending $650,000 in TV ads in Pennsylvania. Remember, this was never supposed to be anything but a sure thing for the President’s re-elect.

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

Liberal pundit: Obama indifferent to cause greater than himself

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:37 pm - October 30, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Obama Arrogance

From almost the first year of Obama’s tenure in office, conservative pundits have been wondering speculating that Barack Obama doesn’t really like being president.  Sure, he likes the perks, but he doesn’t seem to care about the responsibilities of the office he worked so hard in 2007 & 2008 to attain.

With the release last month of Bob Woodward’s book, The Price of Politics, a non-conservative added his voice to this conservative consensus, with the one-time Washington Post reporter noting the incumbent’s virtual indifference to his executive obligations.  Today, yet another liberal who cut his teeth at the Post scores Obama for his absence of passion and empathy.  Richard Cohen does see in Obama’s face the “shock and indignation,” the “sorrow and sympathy” he saw in Robert F. Kennedy when that idealist Democrat toured Appalachia and Mississippi:

Instead, I see a failure to embrace all sorts of people, even members of Congress and the business community. I see diffidence, a reluctance to close. I see a president for whom Afghanistan is not just a war but a metaphor for his approach to politics: He approved a surge but also an exit date. Heads I win, tails you lose.
. . . .

The crowd adored Obama, although not as much as I think he adored himself.

. . . .

Obama never espoused a cause bigger than his own political survival. This is the gravamen of the indictment from the left, particularly certain African Americans. They are right. Young black men fill the jails and the morgues, yet Obama says nothing. Bobby Kennedy showed his anger, his impatience, his stunned incredulity at the state of black America. Obama shows nothing.

Read the whole thing.  And yet all too often, Mr. Cohen’s colleagues in the media have been billing Mr. Obama as more empathetic than Mitt Romney.  Cohen still plans on voting for Mr. Obama, but “with regret.”  If a liberal pundit is less than lukewarm in his support for Mr. Obama, how must centrist voters feel about the man they decided to back in 2008 because of his “post-partisan” appeal?

NPR poll* shows Romney with big lead among independents

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:18 pm - October 30, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Perhaps the most important number in the NPR poll released this morning is one familiar to those who have been following this campaign, 47%, President Obama’s share of the survey sample.

And 47% is where the Democrat has been stalled in Rasmussen’s surveys — and represents his recent high-water mark in Gallup.

Now, Democrats may point with glee to the number from the battleground states, showing Obama up by 4, but Ed Morrissey cautions that while the “national sample has a D+4 tilt, with a D/R/I of 35/31/34“, the sample in those battleground states “has a D+9 tilt at 40/31/27.”  He asks, “In what reality does the Democratic advantage increase in battleground states to a margin wider than the 2008 turnout advantage?”  And the sample size in those battleground states was paltry.

Once again, Romney holds a big lead among independents, breaking “hard nationally” as Morrrissey puts it

. . . for Romney, 51/39.  In fact, only 29% of independents are certain to vote for Obama, a disastrously low number for the incumbent in any election cycle, especially with just seven days to go.  Independents are harshly critical of Obama’s job performance, with a 42/54 approval rating that consists of only 17% strongly approving and 44% strongly disapproving.  They’re even tougher on his economic performance at 39/60.

If we presume that the independent vote nationally will break as has that of the 90% in this survey who have already decided, we could see Romney capturing about 56% of the independent vote, with Obama at 43.**

* (more…)

Can Obama close the gap with negative closing argument?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:19 pm - October 30, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

I have long had a theory about Barack Obama’s reelection strategy, a theory that I may only be able to confirm when his campaign staff spills the story to the news media after the election.

The theory is this, that, with a barrage of negative ads all summer, Obama and his team had hoped to build Romney’s negatives such that the Republican presidential nominee became an unacceptable alternative, then after the conventions, with Obama comfortably ahead in the polls, he would pivot back to a kind of updated hope and change theme, forward to a new and better America!

Even before the debates, however, while maintaining a lead in the national polls, Mr. Obama never succeeded in “disqualifying” Romney, then the debates, particularly the first, totally upended their campaign calculus.  As a result, instead of pivoting to an upbeat message, the Democrats have remained on the attack, burning to bayonet his binders with Big Birds.

And the attacks continue.  His closing ads play to our fears, not our hopes.  His agenda is little more than a rehashed version of his past policies, most of which have failed, few of which enjoy much popular support.

Yesterday, Politico reported that in the campaign’s home stretch, “several of the Democrats’ top independent spenders are leaning hard into the Bain message, eschewing a pure policy message for a gut-punch reminder that the former Massachusetts governor made his fortune through controversial deals in the private-equity industry.

Excerpting the Politico piece, Ed Morrissey finds it significant

. . . that these groups can’t make an argument for the incumbent.  In the final week, voters usually want a positive argument about why they should vote for a candidate, or at least contrast ads based on policies and records.  Democrats simply don’t have those arguments to make.

Bold added (italics in original).  Most national polls show Obama either significantly or slightly behind Mitt Romney, particularly among independent voters.  Will a negative pitch, at this stage, sway any of those remaining undecideds?