POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 9/25


Cox Leads Michigan Governor’s Race

In the race for Michigan governor, a new Detroit News/Mitchell Research poll finds Attorney General Mike Cox (R) leading Lt. Gov. John Cherry (D) by 13 points, 45% to 32%, among likely voters.

In the GOP primary, Cox leads with 30% support, followed by Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R) at 23% and Mike Bouchard at 11%.

Pollster Cooking the Books?

Nate Silver finds that certain statistical properties of the results reported by Strategic Vision “suggest, perhaps strongly, the possibility of fraud, although they certainly do not prove it and further investigation will be required.”

Noting that “human beings are really bad at randomization,” Silver examines past polling results from the firm and find “this data is not random. It’s not close to random. It’s not close to close. Which brings up the other possibility: Strategic Vision is cooking the books. And whoever is doing so is doing a pretty sloppy job. They’d seem to have a strong, unconscious preference for numbers ending in ‘7’, for instance, as opposed to those ending in ‘6’. They tend to go with round numbers that end in ‘5’ or ‘0’ slightly too often. And they much prefer numbers with high trailing digits like 49 and 38 to those with low ones like 51 and 42.”

“I haven’t really seen anyone approach polling data like this before, and I certainly haven’t done so myself. So, we cannot rule out the possibility that there is some mathematical rationale for this that I haven’t thought of. But it looks really, really bad. There is a substantial possibility — far from a certainty — that much of Strategic Vision’s polling over the past several years has been forged.”


The Clinton Tapes, Revisited

After wading through the nearly 700 pages of The Clinton Tapes this week, I find it’s much easier to tackle than originally thought. With forty chapters on key events of the Clinton presidency, it’s very easy to skip around and focus on what interests you. It’s not the type of book you need to read from beginning to end. Highly recommended.

The book will be available next week.


Public Still Wants Obama to Work with Republicans

Looking at the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, Greg Sargent notices “a truly weird disconnect” underlying public opinion: “Americans are overwhelmingly convinced that Republicans are not pursuing a bipartisan health care compromise in good faith, but the public wants Obama to keep trying to find common ground with them anyway.”

“The poll finds that an overwhelming majority of 64% think Republicans are opposing Obama’s health care plans mostly for political reasons. But it also finds that an equally large number, 65%, say Democrats shouldn’t pass a bill without Republicans — even if they think it’s right for the country — and should instead compromise to win over some GOPers.”

Quote of the Day

“What the… totally Democratic-controlled Massachusetts state government should have done is just be honest about it. They should have written a law this way: If there’s a Republican governor, there’s no appointment. And if there’s a Democratic governor, there is an appointment.”

— Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), quoted by the Los Angeles Times, on how Massachusetts deals with replacing a U.S. Senator.


Rove Blasts Obama for Taking His Own Advice

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, former Bush adviser Karl Rove advises President Obama to stay off television because “the president’s constant chattering runs the risk of making him boring and stale. His magic dissipates as he becomes less interesting.”

Speech-less: Tales of a White House SurvivorHowever, as former Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer writes in his new memoir, Speech-less, when Rove was in the White House he “was of the belief that the president needed to be out speaking every day no matter what the subject.”

Think Progress pulls the key quote: “Sometimes Bush would be at the podium four separate times in twenty-four hours, talking about the war in Iraq, the Olympics, the economy, or the birth of Thomas Jefferson. And the next day there might be another speech on Iraq, one more on the economy and maybe a salute to Irish Americans. This obviously made it hard to broadcast a coherent message.”


Democrats Hold Big Lead in Congressional Ballot Test

A new Franklin & Marshall national poll finds Democrats way ahead in the generic congressional ballot, 43% to 30%. Other recent polls have shown Democrats with a much smaller edge.

The survey also finds that 51% of registered voters believe that President Obama is doing an excellent or good job as president.


Craig No Longer Leading Guantanamo Closing

“With four months left to meet its self-imposed deadline for closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Obama administration is working to recover from missteps that have put officials behind schedule and left them struggling to win the cooperation of Congress,” the Washington Post reports.

“To address these setbacks, the administration has shifted its leadership team on the issue. White House Counsel Gregory B. Craig, who initially guided the effort to close the prison and who was an advocate of setting the deadline, is no longer in charge of the project.”


Insiders See Health Care Reform Passing

The National Journal‘s Congressional Insiders poll finds that majorities in both parties believe a health care reform bill will be signed into law during this Congress but Democrats and Republicans diverge when it comes to how sweeping that reform will be.


Iran Has Secret Nuclear Plant

President Obama and the leaders of Britain and France “will accuse Iran of building a secret underground plant to manufacture nuclear fuel, saying it has hidden the covert operation from international weapons inspectors for years,” the New York Times reports.

“American officials say that they have been tracking the covert project for years, but that Mr. Obama decided to make public the American findings after Iran discovered, in recent weeks, that Western intelligence agencies had breached the secrecy surrounding the project. ”

Obama in Strong Position on Health Care

A just-released New York Times poll finds President Obama “is going into the fall having retained considerable political strength. At 56%, his job approval rating is down from earlier in the year but still reasonably strong at this point compared with recent presidents.”

However, “an intense campaign” by the president to rally support behind his health care plan “appears to have done little to allay concerns about the proposal.”

Nonetheless the poll suggests that Obama “is in a decidedly more commanding position than Republicans on this issue as Congressional negotiations move into their final stages. Most Americans trust Mr. Obama more than Republicans to make the right decisions on the issue; 76 percent said Republicans had not even laid out a clear health care plan.”

“And by a lopsided margin, respondents said that Mr. Obama and not Republicans had made an effort to cross party lines and strike a deal that has the support of both parties. Two-thirds of respondents said they wanted Congress to come up with a bill supported by both sides.”


Whitman Rarely Voted

Sacramento Bee review found that California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman (R) “regularly skipped elections in California and several other states where she lived and worked.”

“The review covered six states and a dozen counties, including towns and counties in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, New Jersey, Rhode Island and California where public records indicated that Whitman lived, worked or attended college.”


Deeds Closes On McDonnell

A new InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion poll in Virginia finds Creigh Deeds (D) has pulled to within four points of Bob McDonnell (R).

McDonnell leads Deeds, 48% to 44%, with 7% having no opinion.

Said pollster Matt Towery: “The race has definitely tightened. Virginia is still very much a state that is up for grabs.”


Patrick Would Win Three-Way Race

A new Suffolk University poll in Massachusetts shows that even though 56% of Massachusetts voters would like someone else, Gov. Deval Patrick (D) comes out on top in trial heats. 

In a three-way matchup, Patrick leads with 36%, followed by Tim Cahill (I) 23% and Charlie Baker (R) at 14%. Another 26% were undecided. 

When Christy Mihos is the GOP candidate, Patrick’s share of voters stays at 36%, followed by Cahill at 24% and Mihos at 17%. 

In the Republican primary, Baker leads Mihos, 43% to 19% with 38% still unsure.


McCain Looks Safe for Re-Election

Despite a mediocre approval rate, a new Public Policy Polling survey finds Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in decent shape for re-election next year.

McCain would beat Janet Napolitano (D), 53% to 40%, top Gabrielle Giffords (D), 57% to 30% and beat Rodney Glassman (D), 55% to 25%.

The reason: “While McCain has an unusually low level of support from within his own party, he also has an unusually high level of support from Democrats. 32% of them like how he’s doing his job in a climate where most Senators have approvals in the teens among voters of the other party.”

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

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