POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/15

Democratic Base Solidly Behind Obama

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll finds President Obama’s base is behind him with 70% of Democrats saying they’d like to see Obama as their party’s presidential nominee next year.

Notes pollster Keating Holland: “In 1994, only 57% of Democrats wanted the party to renominate Bill Clinton, and he went on to win the nomination and a second term two years later.

GOP Has No Place for Pawlenty

Tim Pawlenty’s exit from the GOP presidential race won’t really change its dynamics — which is why he dropped out — but it does say a lot about today’s Republican party.

Ben Smith: “That notion of a populist conservatism with a blue-collar edge fit Pawlenty’s story, and his denunciations of the trifecta of Big Government, Big Labor and Big Business fit its populist model. But the idea was ultimately a solution for a party tacking to the center, and this is a moment dominated by the right. Pawlenty, sensing that, never fully adopted that populism — his denunciations of Big Business, for instance, didn’t have a real policy aspect to go with them. He used his blue-collar biography as an appealing detail but couldn’t connect it to a larger, different pitch.”

The Fix: “Pawlenty’s demeanor — he was the definition of ‘Minnesota Nice’ — didn’t fit with an electorate who wanted confrontation with President Obama at all costs. Pawlenty watched as Rep. Michele Bachmann soared past him in the race — channeling the anger of voters who saw compromise in any form as capitulation.”

Quote of the Day

“Romney better strap it on and get on the field.”

— GOP consultant Henry Barbour, in an interview with the Huffington Post, about what’s next for GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney.

Pawlenty Quits

Tim Pawlenty announced on ABC News he will abandon his presidential campaign after a disappointing finish in yesterday’s straw poll in Iowa.

Said Pawlenty: “I wish it would have been different. But, obviously, the pathway forward for me doesn’t really exist.”

 

Bachmann Wins Iowa Straw Poll

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) became the first woman to win the Iowa straw poll, theDes Moines Register reports, and “is now the official front-runner in Iowa.”

“With 16,892 Iowans casting ballots, Bachmann won with 4,823 votes. Texas’ Ron Paul, who was locked in a nail-biting duel for the trophy, claimed second with 4,671.”

“Fellow Minnesotan Tim Pawlenty’s distant third-place finish, with 2,293 votes, signaled serious trouble, several Iowa Republicans and politics watchers said. Pawlenty, a former governor, took off only five days from the Iowa campaign trail, excluding Sundays, in the month leading up to the straw poll. His staffers had tried to energize his campaign by blanketing the state with TV, radio and mail advertisements and investing everything it could in bus rentals to haul backers to Ames.”

The New York Times notes the outcome, combined with the entrance of Rick Perry into the presidential race, “could help reorder the top tier of contenders, with Mrs. Bachmann and Mr. Perry positioned to challenge the perceived front runner, Mitt Romney, and each other.”

Christine O’Donnell’s Book in 10 Bullet Points

David Sessions compiles the 10 juiciest bits from Christine O’Donnell’s new book.

Troublemaker is a shorter book than its large print has manipulated it to appear. But even with its modest running time, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to sit through the sometimes excruciatingly dull childhood anecdotes and endless political shoptalk. We’ve picked out the tastiest quotes, revelations, and themes so you don’t won’t have to.”

Perry Makes Presidential Bid Official

Texas Gov. Rick Perry “joined the 2012 GOP race for president Saturday with an announcement sure to reverberate halfway across the country as his rivals competed in Iowa for the support of party activists,” the Houston Chronicle reports.

Said Perry on a conference call with supporters: “I full well believe I’m going to win.”

“Perry is a prodigious fundraiser who has begun laying the groundwork for a national finance network that supporters say would rival President Barack Obama’s…. But some Republicans worry that Perry’s hard-core conservatism and Texas style may not play well in a 50-state contest, particularly so soon after another Texas governor, George W. Bush, served in the White House.”

 

Most Voters Think Country is Way Off Track

A new Democracy Corps survey finds 75% of voters now believe the country is on the wrong track, up 14 points since June, and the lowest since the 2008 financial crisis.

Key findings: “Both parties in Congress lose ground, but Republicans have born the brunt of the backlash. Two thirds disapprove of House Republicans and 44% strongly disapprove – a 7 point surge since June. By a margin of 54% to 36%, voters say that the more they hear from House Republicans, the less they like.”

 

Americans Still Don’t Blame Obama for Poor Economy

A new McClatchy-Marist Poll finds 68% of American adults believe the worst of the country’s economic conditions are yet to come but 59% still don’t blame President Obama for the nation’s current economic conditions and 61% think he inherited them.

 

Democrats Take Lead in Generic Ballot

A new Gallup poll shows Democrats leading Republicans in the 2012 congressional elections among registered voters, 51% to 44%, when asked which party’s candidate they would support in their district “if the elections for Congress were being held today.”

“The seven-percentage-point edge for Democratic congressional candidates, nationally, contrasts with ties or Republican leads in most Gallup polls leading up to the 2010 midterm elections. However, the Democratic advantage is not as large as those they enjoyed in the 2006 and 2008 congressional election cycles — each of which produced a Democratic majority in Congress. The Democrats averaged a 10-point lead over Republicans among registered voters in the year prior to the 2008 elections and an 11-point advantage leading up to the 2006 elections”


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