Allegations Take Toll on Cain’s Favorability

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds Herman Cain’s unfavorable ratings have soared by 17 points in the face of allegations of past sexual harassment, including a sharp increase in negative views of Cain within his own party.


Health Reform Gets Another Bump?

On the same day that the Supreme Court granted review of President Obama’s health care reform law over the constitutionality of the mandate that all Americans have health insurance, a new CNN/Opinion Research poll finds Americans approving of the provision, a marked improvement since June.

Key findings: “According to the poll, 52% of Americans favor mandatory health insurance, up from 44% in June. The survey indicates that 47% oppose the health insurance mandate, down from 54% in early summer.”

Paul Krugman: “Since that’s the core of health reform, this basically means that proponents are slowly winning the argument. If we make it to actual full implementation, this reform will be irreversible.”


Bonus Quote of the Day

“President Obama called for the removal of Gaddafi. Just want to make sure we’re talking about the same thing before I say, yes I agree, I know I didn’t agree. I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason — no, that’s a different one. I gotta go back to… Got all this stuff twirling around in my head. Specifically, what are you asking me, did I agree or not disagree with on what?”

— Herman Cain, struggling to collect his thoughts in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which was recorded on video.

See more…


Political Ad of the Day

Montana auditor hopeful Derek Skees (R) put out a rather bizarre campaign ad that he describes as “high energy,” the Missoula Independent reports.

Said Skees: “It has been historically difficult to make the State Auditor race something to get excited about, so we thought we could add a little energy to the fight against Obamacare.”

See more…


Walker Recall Effort Kicks Off

The effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) started last night, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Organizers have to gather more than 540,000 signatures to force a recall election against Walker but they hope “to gather 600,000 to 700,000 signatures to allow a cushion if some signatures are found not to properly count.”

Joshua Spivak notes the signature requirement “is not low: The 540,000 represents 25% of the vote for the governor’s office in the last election.”


Handouts for Millionaires

A new congressional analysis, put together by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and obtained byNewsweek, finds Americans earning more than $1 million a year “collect more than $30 billion in government largesse each year.”

“In all, millionaires receive hefty help from Uncle Sam. The $30 billion in handouts, to put it in perspective, amounts to twice as much as the government spends on NASA, and three times the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency. On the other hand, it would only cover the cost of fighting about three months in Iraq and Afghanistan. Still, eliminating them would help make a small dent in the $1.5 trillion congressional leaders are trying to find by Thanksgiving.”


Chance of Recession Next Year Tops 50%

New research from the Federal Reserve concludes that the European debt crisis is raising the odds of a U.S. recession, with economic contraction more likely than not by early 2012, according to Reuters.


You Are Not So Smart

Just out: You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney.

One finding with particular relevance to politics: “Our brains resist new ideas, instead paying attention only to findings that reinforce our preconceived notions.”


Gingrich Soars as Cain Drops

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll finds Mitt Romney leading the GOP presidential field, but just barely.

Romney leads with 24%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 22%, Herman Cain at 14%, Rick Perry at 12%, Ron Paul at 8% and Michele Bachmann at 6%.

Key finding: While Romney’s support has pretty much stayed the same, Gingrich has seen his support jump 14 points since last month.


2012 Ad War: Crossroads GPS Previews the Fall Campaign

As the 2012 ad war heats up, political action committees are starting to get in on the action. Case in point, Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS just announced a major ad buy targeting President Obama in several key battleground states.

Looking past the GOP primaries to a tough general election, the ad, entitled The Two Presidents, knocks Obama on tax policy. Unlike many of the campaign ads we’ve highlighted to date — which are produced primarily to garner free media coverage — this is a major buy. Crossroads is spending $2.6 million to run the ad in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Colorado — all states the president carried in 2008.

See more…


Gingrich Takes the Lead Nationally

A new Public Policy Polling survey shows Newt Gingrich taking the lead in the GOP presidential race.

Gingrich leads with 28%, followed by Herman Cain at 25% and Mitt Romney at 18%.

The rest of the field: Rick Perry at 6%, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at 5%, Jon Huntsman at 3%, and Gary Johnson and Rick Santorum each at 1%.

Key findings: “Gingrich’s lead caps an amazing comeback he’s made over the last 5 months.  In June his favorability nationally with Republican voters plummeted all the way to 36/49. Now he’s at 68/23, representing a 58 point improvement in his spread since then. As recently as August Gingrich was mired in single digits at 7%, and even in September he was at just 10%.  He’s climbed 18 points in less than 2 months.”


Cain Leads in Iowa, Gingrich Pulls Into Second

A new survey from The Polling Company (R) in Iowa finds Herman Cain leading the GOP presidential field with 20%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 19%, Mitt Romney at 14% and Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at 10%.

All other candidates were under 5% with another 13% of likely voters still undecided.


Bachus Traded While Attending Secret Meetings

The 60 Minutes report last night on insider trading by lawmakers and their staffs was inspired by a new book out this week, Throw Them All Out, written by conservative activist Peter Schweizer.

Dave Weigel notes one of the “ugliest revelations” in the book is the degree to which Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), then ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, bet against the stock market as it collapsed in 2008.

Schweizer details “no less than forty options trades” in Bachus’s records from July 2008 to November 2008 as he sat in secretive meetings with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke — Blackberries and phones were confiscated to avoid leaks — to discuss the state of the financial markets. The trades “made him wealthier” as “almost nobody else had the information he had.”

And it’s all perfectly legal since Congress is exempt from insider trading laws.


Trump Endorsement Coming Soon

Donald Trump told Fox News he would make an endorsement in the presidential race very soon.

Said Trump: “Within a month probably sounds good — maybe a little bit more than that, but I’ve got a good, good sight on everybody. I have a lot of respect for a lot of them. We have some good people.”


Supreme Court to Hear Health Care Challenge

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge to President Obama’s sweeping health care reform law, CNN reports.

Oral arguments will likely be held in late February or March, with a ruling by June.

SCOTUS Blog has the details.


Can Perry Still Win?

Despite Rick Perry’s string of poor debate performances and sinking poll numbers, Jay Newton-Small thinks it would be foolish to count him out just yet.

“In fact, there is still a path for him to win… Money. Perry’s campaign on Friday announced a $1 million ad buy on Fox News… Despite the defection of some bundlers, Perry remains a fundraising powerhouse who will be able to afford investments other candidates can’t… If he backs out now, it’s so much worse. You can’t run for president and then not give it your all. If Perry walks away now, before every last option is exhausted, he’ll bear the quitter label for the rest of his life… Perry is improving: he’s more comfortable on stage, more confident. Maybe he knows he’s now got nothing to lose. His brain-freeze comedy tour was successful and if he can start really engaging and delivering, he might just catch a wave… Perry still has more endorsements than anyone else but Romney, including some in key states like South Carolina. Plus, he has the strong backing of his wife and family… If Gingrich gets knocked off, there’s time for one, maybe two more waves before the first voting begins. Perry still has a window to the nomination if he can win Iowa and ride that momentum through South Carolina and into Florida.”

That said, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has Perry fading to just 4% support nationally among Republican voters.


Obama Campaign Seeks Clinton’s Help

President Obama’s top political operatives met with Bill Clinton to ask for his help on how to win re-election, Joe Conason reports.

“As the meeting began, the Obama aides laid out their sense of the political landscape, their polling data on attitudes among voters in the Democratic base and independents who might be truly undecided, the shaping of their message and their campaign’s organizational structure across the country… Much of the presentation dealt with battleground states such as North Carolina, Virginia, Nevada, and Arizona, where Obama prevailed four years ago but faces more difficult odds next year.”

“Having absorbed all this information, Clinton peppered the Obama operatives with dozens of probing questions and specific suggestions, not only concerning their strategy and message but how to handle the leading Republican candidates, too. Economic conditions and how to address them dominated the discussion. What most interested the Obama team were Clinton’s insights on heartland voting blocs that remain in the political middle: Not the Republican-leaning independents who always end up voting for the GOP nominee, but the truly uncommitted who largely ended up supporting Obama in 2008.”


Quote of the Day

“The more toppings a man has on his pizza, I believe the more manly he is.”

— Herman Cain, in a GQ interview.


More Similar Than Different?

Al Hunt notes the similarities between President Obama and Mitt Romney:

“They are super smart men, who quickly absorb data, policy wonks able to analyze complicated choices. Also, in a business that places a premium on personal and political relations, neither relishes that sort of camaraderie or cajoling; they both appear aloof and spend little quality time with fellow politicians.”

“There are profound differences between these two likely 2012 nominees… Yet in style and brain power there are surprising similarities. They both are graduates of Harvard Law School… Rhetoric aside, both are more comfortable with compromise and consensus than confrontation.”

Alexander Burns: “It’s a weird quirk of the political marketplace that in a political environment as unstable and change-hungry as this one, the opposition party appears set to put forward a nominee who looks in many respects like a center-right version of the incumbent.”


Obama Still Leads His GOP Rivals

A new Politico/George Washington University Battleground Poll shows that against a generic, unnamed Republican challenger, President Obama tied 43 to 43.

“But when voters were pushed to pick between Obama and the GOP front-runner, Mitt Romney, the president took a 6-percentage-point lead. Obama beat Herman Cain by 9 percentage points in the survey, conducted last week as new revelations about sexual harassment allegations against the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO continued to trickle out.”

Notes Democratic pollster Celinda Lake: “Generic Republicans never flip-flopped on a position and never had any problems in their personal life. When it’s a choice, we’re in a much, much stronger position.”


Obama’s Campaign Inner Circle Grows Stronger

Edward Luce notes that President Obama is an exception in recent administrations as his campaign inner circle “is actually strengthening its grip on the White House. The group, which most prominently includes Valerie Jarrett, the longstanding Chicago friend and mentor to the Obamas; David Plouffe, the 2008 campaign manager; and David Axelrod, who is now shepherding Mr Obama’s re-election campaign from Chicago, last week clipped the wings of Bill Daley, the president’s hapless chief of staff.”

Also interesting: “On his way out, Rahm Emanuel warned Mr Daley that he would be just one among four de facto chiefs of staff, each with independent access to Mr Obama. That has proved accurate.”


Chelsea Clinton Hired by NBC News

NBC will announce that it has hired Chelsea Clinton to become a full-time special correspondent for NBC News, the New York Times reports.


Romney, Gingrich Move Up Nationally

The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows the “week of turmoil” in the race for the Republican presidential race has benefited Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich while hurting Rick Perry and Herman Cain.

Romney leads the race with 32%, followed by Cain at 27%, Gingrich at 22%, Paul at 9%, Perry at 4%, Bachmann at 2%, Santorum at 2% and Hunstman at 1%.


Supercommittee Hopes Dwindling

With just nine days remaining for the supercommittee to find $1.2 trillion in debt reduction over the next ten years, The Hill notes that the tone of some of the members is cause for concern.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), a member of the committee, said in an interview, “It’s at a difficult point. I think we’ve got a ways to go, but I hope we can close that gap.” Meanwhile, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), another member, said that his confidence was diminishing.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that the supercommittee may kick the can down the road and “decide on the amount of new revenue to be raised but would leave it to the tax-writing committees of Congress,” the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, “to fill in details next year, well beyond the Nov. 23 deadline… That would put off painful political decisions but ensure that the debate over deficit reduction stretched into the election year.”

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

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