POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 5/16

Man Featured in Romney Video Did Jail Time

Jason Clausen, an Iowa man featured in Mitt Romney’s new video featuring unemployed people, “has a lengthy rap sheet and served ten days in jail for ‘assault on a peace officer,’”Politico reports.

Public records show Clausen “had nearly 20 busts, tickets or fines, a number of them traffic infractions related to things like driving while intoxicated, or with a suspended license. Some were related to accidents, others to driving without seat belts.”

No Boost from Obama Gay Marriage Decision

Reuters/Ipsos poll shows 31% of Americans have a higher opinion of President Obama because of his gay marriage decision and 30% see him less favorably. Forty percent say the announcement had no impact on their view of the president.

Patrick Says He Has No Interest in National Politics

Despite his travel to presidential primary states, national TV appearances, and book-writing, an “amused-but-exasperated” Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) dismissed speculation he might take an Obama Cabinet appointment or run for president in 2016, theBoston Globe reports.

Said Patrick: “I’m not going anywhere.”

What if People No Longer Talk to Pollsters?

Pew Research: “It has become increasingly difficult to contact potential respondents and to persuade them to participate. The percentage of households in a sample that are successfully interviewed — the response rate — has fallen dramatically. At Pew Research, the response rate of a typical telephone survey was 36% in 1997 and is just 9% today.”

Mark Blumenthal: “A reassuring finding for those who follow pre-election polling is that registered Republicans and Democrats ‘have equal propensities to respond to surveys.’ Similarly, the mix of Democrats and Republicans was roughly the same in both the standard and high-effort surveys. So a lower response rate, in and of itself, should not automatically skew a survey to either party.”

Will Style Trump the Economy?

David Brooks: “Obama has displayed a kind of ESPN masculinity: postfeminist in his values, but also thoroughly traditional in style — hypercompetitive, restrained, not given to self-doubt, rarely self-indulgent. Administrations are undone by scandal and moments when they look pathetic, but this administration, guarded in all things, has rarely had those moments…”

“I’d say that Obama is a slight underdog this year: the scuffling economy will grind away at voters. But his leadership style is keeping him afloat. He has defined a version of manliness that is postboomer in policy but preboomer in manners and reticence.”

Paul’s Sneaky Convention Strategy

Ben Jacobs: “Ron Paul’s campaign may have undertaken the most passive-aggressive political maneuver in modern political history. While he isn’t dropping out of the GOP primary — or ‘suspending his campaign’ in the current parlance — he announced Monday he ‘will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted.’ He will still try to win delegates through the state convention process.”

“This may seem like an oxymoronic concept; after all, how can one win delegates without winning votes? But the strategy will allow Paul to continue justifying his often raucous efforts to pack state conventions to win delegates for the Republican convention in Tampa.”

Politico reports the Paul campaign estimates the Texas congressman will go to the GOP convention with “several hundred” of his own bound delegates, plus “several hundred more” delegates that are bound to Romney but support Paul.

Poll Shows Appetite for Third Party

A new Washington Times/JZ Analytics Poll finds 28% of voters said their political views are represented well by Democrats, 23% said the GOP represents their stances, and 3% found themselves covered by an existing third party.

But 37% said they don’t find their views well-represented by any party in the political system.

10 Questions Every Candidate Should be Ready to Answer

Based on a review of memorable political gaffes, Brad Phillips gives a list of ten questions every political candidate should be prepared to answer from the press.

Close Race in Nebraska

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Nebraska confirms a rapidly changing Republican Senate primary and finds Deb Fischer (R) leading at 37%, followed by Jon Bruning at 33% and Don Stenberg at 17%.

The winner faces former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) in the general election.

Pelosi Says Democrats Will Take Back House

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told Jon Karl she has one overriding goal for the rest of the year: “Just win, baby.”

Having already raised $43 million for House Democrats, she predicts that if the election were held today, she’d win back the Speaker’s gavel.

Said Pelosi: “They have endless money, secret, undisclosed, special interest money that they pour into elections. But I think we can offset it. We have out-raised them, out-redistricted them, out-recruited them.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told Jon Karl she has one overriding goal for the rest of the year: “Just win, baby.”

Having already raised $43 million for House Democrats, she predicts that if the election were held today, she’d win back the Speaker’s gavel.

Said Pelosi: “They have endless money, secret, undisclosed, special interest money that they pour into elections. But I think we can offset it. We have out-raised them, out-redistricted them, out-recruited them.”

Obama Holds Small Lead Nationally

A new Public Policy Polling survey shows President Obama edging Mitt Romney nationally, 48% to 46%.

Super PAC Assists with Bain Attack

First Read: “Yesterday’s Obama campaign’s two-minute Bain ad launched plenty of discussion and analysis… but it’s worth noting that it’s a limited buy. According to Smart Media, it’s just for one day (May 16), and buy so far is less than $100,000. But guess what: The pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA Action is now going up in the same five states (CO, IA, OH, PA, and VA) with its own Bain ad on the same story about Romney and Bain (a Kansas City plant closing). The buy information for this ad is $780,000 from May 15 to May 21. We’re guessing that Team Romney might feel compelled to respond to with more than a web video like they did yesterday.”

How is Obama Behind with 50% Approval?

First Read points out a major contradiction in last night’s New York Times/CBS News poll: How is President Obama’s job approval at 50%, but his head-to-head number against Mitt Romney is just 43%?

“And given that this poll was a ‘call-back survey’ — with the respondents first interviewed back in April — it feels like we need more poll data to make sense of all the events of the past two weeks. The gay marriage announcement. Obama’s campaign kickoff. The Osama bin Laden anniversary. The April jobs report. We respect the work the folks at the NYT/CBS do, but there are a lot of contradictions in the results, which simply means we should wait for more data.”

It’s Not a Business

Mitt Romney often cites his business success on the campaign trail, but Bloomberg reports the presidency brings challenges and constraints unfamiliar to most CEO’s.

“The presidency’s unique requirements mean that everyone who holds the office needs some on-the-job training, something Romney has done before. Still, the White House would bring unfamiliar constraints. There’s no equivalent in the corporate world to the separation of powers that often thwarts a president’s will. And the job demands political savvy more than managerial excellence.”

For more on this, see my book You Won – Now What?

Pawlenty Doesn’t Want to be Veep

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) told the Minneapolis Star Tribune “that he absolutely is not vying to be vice president.”

Said Pawlenty: “I’m going to take my name off the list, so if … you’re a journalist, an observer, remove my name from the list.I went through it before with McCain.”

Asked whether he might run for U.S. Senate or for governor in 2014, he replied: “I haven’t ruled anything in or out.”

Americans Evenly Divided on Gay Marriage

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds Americans divide essentially evenly in their responses to President Obama’s new position on gay marriage, with 46% in support and 47% opposed.

Key findings: “Mirroring a wide gender gap in Obama’s support more generally, 54% of women respond favorably to his backing of gay marriage, compared with 37% of men. There’s an even broader gap by age – 63% of young adults favor the president’s position, vs. 34% of seniors.”

Independent Group Admits Failure

Americans Elect, “the deep-pocketed nonprofit group that set out to nominate a centrist third-party presidential ticket,” admitted that its online nominating process had failed,Politico reports.

“The group had qualified for the general election ballot in 27 states, and had generated concern among Democrats and Republicans alike that it could wreak havoc on a close election between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. But just after a midnight deadline Monday, the group acknowledged that its complicated online nominating process had failed to generate sufficient interest to push any of the candidates who had declared an interest in its nomination over the threshold in its rules.”

John Avlon: “Americans Elect may be an idea ahead of its time, but the money and effort spent to date clearing the hurdles placed in the way of independent candidacies — for president or any other office — should not be wasted… So here’s hoping that a credible balanced ticket is put forward if only as a placeholder for the ballot lines they worked hard to secure so that future reform efforts are able to grow out of this flawed but well-intentioned and innovative endeavor.”

Americans See Economy on the Upswing

A new USA Today/Gallup Poll finds Americans “are increasingly optimistic that things are about to get better for the nation and themselves.”

“Though an overwhelming 71% rate economic conditions as poor, a 58% majority predict they will be good a year from now. While those surveyed are inclined to say they are worse off financially than a year ago, nearly two-thirds say they think they’ll be better off this time next year.”

Chicagoans Like Rahm

A new Tribune/WGN-TV poll finds 52% of Chicago voters saying they approved of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s job performance, compared with 29% who disapproved and an additional 20% who had no opinion.

Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics

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