POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/20

South Carolina Voter ID Law Hits Blacks Hardest

An Associated Press analysis finds South Carolina’s new voter photo identification law appears to be hitting black precincts in the state the hardest.

“For instance, nearly half the voters who cast ballots at a historically black college in Columbia lack state-issued photo identification and could face problems voting in next year’s presidential election.”

 

Grassley Won’t Make Endorsement

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said he won’t endorse a presidential candidate before the Iowa caucuses, the Des Moines Register reports.

Said Grassley: “I made a decision that I’m not going to endorse anybody. We’ve got several good candidates and I think I’m wiling to let the system go and I also feel that at this point, my involvement would not make a significant difference because our Republicans are divided among so many different candidates.”

 

Pressure Building to Push Back Nevada Caucus Date

RNC chairman Reince Priebus “is reportedly pushing hard to broker an early-state compromise that would push Nevada’s caucus date back to Feb. 4,” the Las Vegas Sunreports.

“Were the the state to move from its current date of Jan. 14, Nevada would hold the fifth presidential nominating contest — after Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida.”

“In return for forfeiting its coveted third-in-the-nation contest this year, Nevada would receive promises of stricter future sanctions to protect its early state status in the long term. National party leaders also are promising to send high-level surrogates to Nevada to help the state and county parties raise money.”

 

Hawaii Senate Race Now Competitive

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Hawaii finds that former Gov. Linda Lingle’s (R) favorabilty has improved dramatically since leaving office that she may make the U.S. Senate race competitive.

Lingle trails Mazie Hirono (D) by just 6 points, 48% to 42%, and she actually leads Ed Case (D) by 2 points, 45% to 43%.

Key findings: “There are 2 things a Republican has to do to win in a state as heavily Democratic as Hawaii: win independents by a wide margin and get a significant amount of crossover support from Democrats. Lingle leads both Case and Hirono by 26 points with independents, so she’s getting that done. And she gets 24% of the Democratic vote against Case. But against Hirono she can only get 17% crossover support and she’d need more than that to pull off an upset next November.”

 

Best Moments from Tues. Night’s Debate

If you missed last night’s entertaining and combative Republican debate, the Daily Beastcompiles video clips of the best moments.

 

Cain Denies Tax Plan Came from Video Game

Herman Cain told Huffington Post he did not get the idea for his 9-9-9 tax plan from a video game.

Said Cain: “First of all, I don’t even know what SimCity is. Okay? I don’t even know what it is. Secondly, it’s a lie. That’s all I can say. I don’t even know what SimCity is.”

 

Half Don’t Think Obama Deserves Re-Election

A new AP-GfK poll finds that 50% of Americans surveyed don’t think President Obama deserves re-election next year.

In the Republican primary, Mitt Romney leads Herman Cain, 30% to 26%, while Rick Perry runs third at 13%.

Obama runs about even or slightly ahead of all three men in hypothetical matchups.

 

Ohio Poised to Reject Anti-Collective Bargaining Proposal

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Ohio finds voters overwhelmingly intend to reject an anti-collective bargaining bill pushed by Gov. John Kasich (R), 56% to 36%.

The vote on “Issue 2” will be held on November 8.

Kasich is now so unpopular that voters continue to feel significant buyer’s remorse about their choice for governor last year. If they could do it over again 54% of voters say they would pick Ted Strickland (D) to only 40% who would stick with Kasich.

 

Bonus Quote of the Day

“It’s very clear that private sector jobs have been doing just fine, it’s the public sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation is all about.”

— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), quoted by The Hill, pushing a bill aimed at shoring up teachers and first responders.

 

Cain Gets a Super PAC

Herman Cain joined the club of Republican presidential candidates with super PACs dedicated to boosting their candidacies, Politico reports.

Super PACs “allow deep-pocketed individuals, corporations and unions to write checks far exceeding the maximum amount they can give directly to their preferred candidate ($2,500 per person per election) to groups often run by operatives closely allied with the candidate. The super PACs are legally barred from giving directly to — or coordinating their spending with — their favored candidate. That can curb their effectiveness, but also frees the operatives running them to air attack ads and deploy other, far more aggressive tactics than those with which candidates like to be publicly associated.”

 

Majority Backs Wall Street Protests

A new National Journal poll finds 59% of Americans either “completely agree or mostly agree” with the Occupy Wall Street protesters, while 31% mostly disagree or completely disagree; 10% of those surveyed didn’t know or refused to answer.

 

Romney Says Don’t Stop Foreclosures

If Mitt Romney wins the Republican presidential nomination, expect this video clip from an interview yesterday with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to be used against him in swing states hit hardest by the mortgage crisis.

Said Romney: “As to what to do for the housing industry, specifically, and are there things that you could do to encourage housing: One is, don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom. Allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up. And let it turn around and come back up.”

 

Why Perry Made His Attack Personal

Politico says that Rick Perry going after Mitt Romney personally in last night’s debate — by resurrecting a report that he once employed illegal immigrants —  had the potential “to make Romney react the hardest.”

Said one Perry adviser: “This is the start of Romney vs. Romney. We’ll have him debating himself before this is over.”

Rich Lowry: “It was Romney’s worst debate so far, if only because his opponents finally delved a little deeper on Romneycare and for the first time ever he showed anger in public.”

 

Word Association with the Candidates

A new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll looks at the first word that comes to mind for people when they hear the names Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.

Predictable: Herman Cain has been quite effective at driving home his 9-9-9 tax reform plan (42 mentions) and businessman credentials (30 mentions), while downplaying his race (11 mentions).

Surprising: By far the most mentioned word in association with Mitt Romney was “Mormon” (60 mentions), followed by healthcare/Romneycare (17 mentions) and flip-flop (13 mentions). Another 11 people mentioned religion.

Bad sign for Rick Perry: While there were plenty of negative words associated with Romney, such as “boring” and “fake,” the most extreme negativity was reserved for Rick Perry. After “Texas” (55 mentions), the most common response to Perry was “No” (16 mentions) and “Idiot” (15 mentions).

 

Fact Checking the Debate

The Associated Press checked the facts on seven claims made in the last night’s Republican debate, including the economics of Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan and Mitt Romney and Rick Perry’s back-and-forth over who has employed more illegal immigrants.

Key takeaway: The candidates used the debate format to land some hard and fast punches that stretch the truth, but are difficult to respond to quickly.

 

Quote of the Day

“You can’t have any illegals working on our property. I’m running for office, for pete’s sake, we can’t have illegals.”

— Mitt Romney, at last night’s Republican debate.

 

More Debate Reaction

My reaction was that Mitt Romney won again and the Herman Cain bubble was popped.

Here are some other thoughts:

Andrew Sullivan: “Perry gave petulance a whole new universe of meaning, and was so personal with Romney he lost the crowd. I wonder if Romney will appeal to Western Republicans more than Southern ones. But this felt to me like a settling. On Romney. And learning to like it.”

Howard Kurtz: “Perhaps such things shouldn’t matter, but by keeping his cool and forcing his rivals to stop interrupting him, Romney projected an image of strength–and cemented his status as the man to beat. He undoubtedly bested the Las Vegas spread in what had to be his most animated debate performance this year.”

Jonathan Chait: “Mitt Romney remains vastly better than his antagonists, but the gap has shrunk. Rick Perry has reduced his brain freezes in both number and duration. Romney took the first real damage of the debate season tonight, as Rick Santorum truthfully explained that Romney’s health care plan adopted essentially the same approach as President Obama’s. Romney kept evading the question, and explaining that the people of Massachusetts approve of his plan. I’m not sure that will help.”

Paul Begala: “Mitt is already the best debater in the field, and tonight he finally trusted his instincts… But Romney also displayed a whiny side. He repeatedly squabbled with Rick Perry, but instead of standing his ground or talking over Perry, he often turned to debate moderator Anderson Cooper. I’ve coached more debates than I can count, and you never whine to the moderator that someone broke the rules.”

Molly Ball: “Perry succeeded in baiting Romney, but did he dynamite himself in the process? The audience, which seemed to be a pro-Romney crowd, booed Perry’s attacks more than once. Perry had finally stirred … but he looked mean. His answers were plagued by perplexing pauses, where he seemed to struggle to come up with concepts as central as the 10th Amendment. He put himself back in the fight but continued to give garbled answers to many questions.”

 

D.C. Now Richer than Silicon Valley

Bloomberg: “Federal employees whose compensation averages more than $126,000 and the nation’s greatest concentration of lawyers helped Washington edge out San Jose as the wealthiest U.S. metropolitan area, government data show.”

 

Cain Holds Edge in Florida

A new NBC News-Marist Poll in Florida shows Herman Cain edging Mitt Romney among likely primary voters, 32% to 31%, followed by Rick Perry at 8% and Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich are at 6%.

Among all Florida Republicans, Romney edges Cain, 30% to 29%.

 

Cain Holds Lead in South Carolina

A new NBC News-Marist poll in South Carolina finds Herman Cain leading Mitt Romney among likely primary voters, 30% to 26%, followed by Rick Perry at 9%, Newt Gingrich at 6% and Reps. Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at 5% each.

Among all registered Republicans in South Carolina, Cain leads Romney, 28% to 27%.

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