POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 5/13

A Date for Palin’s Announcement?

Conservatives4Palin predicts Sarah Palin will officially announce her presidential bid on February 6th, 2011 — Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday.

What’s Going on in Kentucky?

The latest poll shows Rand Paul (R) extending in his lead over establishment favorite Trey Grayson (R) in next week’s Republican Senate primary in Kentucky.

David Frum: “Ultimately, Rand Paul is a walking target for Democratic negative ads in a closely divided state with a culture of commitment to national security. But right now running the country – or even winning elections – is not a top-of-mind concern for many Republicans. They are voting to send a message, and it’s no time to be fussy about the background, competence, associations, and inner convictions of the messengers.”

Meanwhile, Dave Weigel highlights a great picture of Paul that says “not a politician” better than anything else.

The Promise

The Wall Street Journal offers up a good review of Jonathan Alter’s The Promise.

“There are plenty of ‘scooplets’ that didn’t appear in Alter’s Newsweek reporting; he explains that sources told him he couldn’t use them immediately. Insiders will relish tidbits on the handling of the stimulus package, the bank and auto bailouts, Afghanistan policy.”

Quote of the Day

“I promise I won’t tell anybody when they come into the club.”

— Mons Venus strip club owner Joe Redner, quoted by the St. Petersburg Times, on the 2012 Republican convention coming to his city.

Using the 2008 Playbook to Pass Health Care Reform

Sam Stein looks at how President Obama guided a health care reform bill through Congress using “a lawmaking philosophy that was, at once, hands off and reactive, comprehensive and flexible. It was a tack unique to recent presidents.”

“For the President and his key staff — many of whom had been with Obama as he plotted his political trajectory years earlier — the legislative process was derived primarily from the approach they took to electoral politics. The headquarters were different (the West Wing instead of Chicago). And the campaign dealt with a massive piece of domestic policy rather than an actual candidate. But the game-plan came from the same textbook.”

Democrats Suffer from Brand Confusion

First Read points out a striking finding from the latest NBC/WSJ poll: “Obama and congressional Democrats have two completely different brands right now. For instance, by a 51%-36% margin, the public thinks that Obama is more concerned about the interests of average Americans than of large corporations when it comes to dealing with financial markets. But congressional Dems’ score here is essentially reversed — 53% think they’re more concerned about protecting the interests of large corporations, while just 35% believe they’re looking out for average Americans.”

Also interesting: “Obama is more helpful in rallying the GOP base (64% of Republican voters say they’re voting GOP to OPPOSE Obama and Dem candidates) than he is his own base (49% of Dem voters say they’re voting to SUPPORT Obama and Dem candidates). Translation: Obama’s presence on the campaign trail might solidify the GOP base without guaranteeing the same lift to Democrats.”

Republican Attacks Change Dynamics of Massachusetts Race

A move by social conservatives on the RNC to try to block national funding for Massachusetts gubernatorial hopeful Charles Baker (R) “fizzled quickly” after new polling data suggested that a party-funded media attack had succeeded in damaging rival Timothy Cahill (I), the Boston Globe reports.

“Many in the GOP see Cahill as Baker’s biggest hurdle in successfully challenging Gov. Deval Patrick (D).”

Is Reid Bouncing Back?

Jon Ralston obtained a new poll in Nevada U.S. Senate race — “albeit conducted by a Democratic pollster” — that runs “counter to previous public polls (but not some private ones).”

It shows Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) now leads Sue Lowden (R) by five points, 42% to 37%. Reid is tied with Danny Tarkanian (R) at 37%.

Nevada Senate Primary Tightens

A new Mason-Dixon poll in Nevada finds a much closer Republican U.S. Senate primary due to a surge in support from Tea Party activists to Sharron Angle (R).

Sue Lowden (R) still leads with 30% but Angle (R) is now in a close second at 25% with Danny Tarkanian (R) third at 22%.

The winner of the primary will challenge Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in November.

Dead Heat in Pennsylvania Primary

The latest Muhlenberg/Morning Call tracking poll in Pennsylvania shows Rep. Joe Sestak (D) tied with Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) in their Democratic Senate primary at 44% support each.

Sestak Runs Stronger Against Toomey

The latest Quinnipiac poll in Pennsylvania shows Rep. Joe Sestak (D) is a stronger candidate against Pat Toomey (R) in the U.S. Senate election than Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA).

Toomey leads Sestak by just two points, 42% to 40%, while he beats Specter by seven points, 47% to 40%.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “The money that Sestak has been spending introducing himself to Democratic primary voters with TV ads seems to be having an effect on general election voters as well. The difference is largely among independent voters, who favor Toomey 52% to 31% over Specter, but only 46% to 30% over Sestak.”

Republicans Win Back Supporters

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds Republicans “have solidified support among voters who had drifted from the party in recent elections, putting the GOP in position for a strong comeback in November’s mid-term campaign.”

“The findings suggest that public opinion has hardened in advance of the 2010 elections, making it tougher for Democrats to translate their legislative successes, or a tentatively improving U.S. economy, into gains among voters.”

“Republicans have reassembled their coalition by reconnecting with independents, seniors, blue-collar voters, suburban women and small town and rural voters — all of whom had moved away from the party in the 2006 elections, in which Republicans lost control of the House. Those voter groups now favor GOP control of Congress.”

How Obama Makes Decisions

The New York Times reviews Jonathan Alter’s book The Promise and says that despite the saturated media coverage of President Obama’s first year in office the book “actually does give us a new perspective on the 44th president by providing a detailed look at his decision-making process on issues like health care and the Afghanistan war, and a keen sense of what it’s like to work in his White House, day by day.”

Obama has a “methodical approach to policy making, which favors ‘logic chains’ and ‘decision trees,’ and which stands in nearly direct opposition to George W. Bush’s gut calls and distaste for process.”

One Third of Americans Want a Third Party

According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, more than 80% of Americans see problems with the two-party system — with 31% believing it’s seriously broken and that America needs a third party, and with another 52% saying that it has real problems but that it can still work with some improvements.

Only 15% of Americans believe the two-party system works fairly well.

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

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