POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES- 2/16
While Democrats historically are better known for botching their presidential nomination process than Republicans, Joshua Spivak notes that even if Republicans go to Tampa without any candidate having a majority of delegates, Republicans “would have an unusual advantage over the Democrats — they need to convince fewer supporters to switch sides.”
“The Republicans have less than half the delegates at their convention than the Democrats — 2,286 versus 5,555 for the Democrats. In case it is brokered, it should make a deal easier to obtain, as fewer votes have to be switched.”
Nate Silver applies his statistical model for the presidential race — which includes presidential approval, economic growth, and opponent’s ideological orientation — and finds that President Obama has improved his chances of reelection, from a “slight underdog” in November to now favored to win the popular vote against Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.
“In recent weeks, Obama has taken a more populist approach (just read the transcript of his State of the Union address). The strategy has induced more howls than usual from Republicans about ‘class warfare,’ but the White House has clearly studied the numbers. In the Republican primaries, Romney has had trouble winning the loyalty of working-class voters, especially in the Midwest.”
A new CNN/Opinion Research survey shows President Obama beating all of his possible Republican rivals in GOP match ups.
Obama leads Romney, 51% to 46%, tops Santorum, 52% to 45%, beats Paul, 52% to 45%, and crushes Gingrich, 55% to 42%.
A new Fox News poll of key battleground states — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin — shows the same.
Obama leads Romney, 47% to 39%, tops Santorum, 48% to 38%, beats Paul 48% to 37% and crushes Gingrich, 52% to 32%.
John Avlon: “Look, I love the romantic notion that comes with the caucuses — neighbors meeting town-hall style in gyms, firehouses, and living rooms, making the case for the candidate they like best, engaging in not just civic participation, but civic persuasion. It is grassroots democracy at its best, Norman Rockwell-style.”
“But that romantic vision is colliding with reality, and the results are both ugly and impactful. At the very least, we need a digital means of transmitting the votes from each caucus precinct to the state GOP headquarters on election night, minimizing human error. It is nothing short of insane that the vote total in eight Iowa caucus precincts will never be known because they have been lost.”
The Politicker: “Mitt Romney may not have told the whole truth about the scandalous tale of his Irish Setter, Seamus, being strapped to the roof of his car during a 12-hour family road trip to Canada. According to a trusted Politicker tipster, two of Mr. Romney’s sons had an off-record conversation with reporters where they revealed the dog ran away when they reached their destination on that infamous journey in 1983.”
A new Rasmussen survey shows Rick Santorum has jumped to a 12-point lead over Mitt Romney nationally in the race for the GOP presidential nomination.
Santorum leads with with 39%, followed by Mitt Romney at 27%, Newt Gingrich at 15% and Ron Paul at 10%.
Key finding: “Perhaps more tellingly, Santorum now trounces Romney 55% to 34% in a one-on-one matchup among likely GOP primary voters. This is the first time any challenger has led Romney nationally in a head-to-head match-up.”
Here’s a must-read: The Fraudulent Fraud Squad: Understanding the Battle Over Voter IDby Rick Hasen.
It’s a sneak preview from Hasen’s forthcoming book, The Voting Wars.
A new American Research Group poll in Arizona shows Mitt Romney leading in the Republican presidential primary with 38%, followed by Rick Santorum at 31%, Newt Gingrich at 15% and Ron Paul at 11%.
Arizona’s primary is on February 28.
The Obama administration decided not to appoint World Bank President Robert Zoellick to a second five-year term as the bank chief announced his June departure, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Let the speculation begin on his replacement.
“If this race does come down to who can run the most negative ads… and beat them into submission with those negative ads, we can stop the campaign now. It’s Mitt Romney.”
— John Brabender, media strategist for Rick Santorum, quoted by The Hill.
A new Mitchell Research/Rosetta Stone poll in Michigan shows Rick Santorum leading Mitt Romney among GOP primary voters, 34% to 25%, followed by Ron Paul at 11% and Newt Gingrich at 5%.
Nate Silver gives Santorum a 77% chance of winning the Michigan primary.
In light of the controversies surrounding a number of the Republican caucuses this presidential nomination cycle, The Fix reports that a number of top Republicans are pushing for a review of the system.
“Caucuses are inherently less organized than primaries, in large part because they are run by state parties and don’t have experienced state elections officials in charge. Because of this, methods may not be the same at every caucus site, and the paper trail isn’t as reliable. At the same time, party rules have effectively increased the importance of caucuses by pushing them to the front of the process. The Republican National Committee allows only four states to hold their contests before March, but that rule doesn’t apply to caucuses, which don’t technically have a direct impact on the allocation of delegates… Given the increasing importance of caucus states, top RNC officials say its time for a review of the caucus process.”
BuzzFeed notes Mitt Romney’s fundraising machine “has depended almost exclusively on big checks from the wealthy individuals… But Romney has proved unable to tap into the emotion-drived small-dollar contributions that helped power Barack Obama in 2008, and which fueled even his more Establishment rival, Hillary Clinton, this time four years ago when she too began to run out of big donors.”
“The result: Republican fundraisers say that despite his success so far, they think Romney is fast approaching a wall, and that he will likely be forced to pay for the campaign out of his own deep pockets.”
First Read notes that Michigan is the place where Mitt Romney “rights his campaign’s ship and continues his methodical march to the nomination. Or it’s the place — because of all the advantages he enjoys in the state — where we all realize he might not recover to become the GOP nominee. (And trust us, if Romney loses Michigan, the GOP noise about finding a new candidate will become deafening.) That’s what’s at stake in Michigan two weeks from now. There’s no overstating the importance of this race.”
“Do note that Romney won the state in 2008 by just nine percentage points (39%-30% over McCain) and never cracked 40%… a reminder that Romney might not be as formidable in the state as everyone thinks.”
In a bit of political chess, billionaire Sheldon Adelson is ready to not only directly support Newt Gingrich in the Republican primary, “but to use his cash to push Rick Santorum from his position atop the latest national polls,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“If Mr. Gingrich could afford to continue campaigning, one of those people said, he might be able to draw off conservative and evangelical voters from Mr. Santorum, improving the chances of Mitt Romney, who Mr. Adelson believes has a better chance to win November’s general election.”
“Adelson could give an additional $10 million or more to an independent group supporting Mr. Gingrich before Super Tuesday, March 6, a likely pivotal day when 10 states go to the polls. The Adelson family has already given $11 million to support Mr. Gingrich since December.”
“The chances of Texas voters having much influence in the Republican presidential race faded Tuesday after a panel of federal judges acknowledged that the state’s deep divisions over political maps had made it nearly impossible to preserve an April primary,” the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
“Texas was originally scheduled to be a part of next month’s slate of Super Tuesday primaries, but the redistricting clash forced the state to reschedule its contest to April 3. With that date now all but dead, too, elections workers who squeezed into a packed San Antonio courtroom Tuesday advocated a new date of May 22, which could be long after Republicans settle on a nominee to face President Barack Obama.”
Utah state senators “apparently are ready to act a bit as if they have moved the clock back 99 years to the era before the 17th Amendment was ratified — and legislatures, not the voters, chose U.S. senators,” the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
A key committee voted out a bill which “would order a secret-ballot poll among state senators each election year to show the public which U.S. Senate candidate they prefer.”
“Don’t you see how they see you? How they look down their nose at the average Americans. These elite snobs!”
— Rick Santorum, quoted by the Idaho Statesman, arguing that the Obama administration thinks it can force the Catholic Church to hire women priests.
Mike Allen: “Rick Santorum goes up statewide in Michigan today with Rombo, a 30-second ‘rebuttal ad’ by strategist John Brabender. The spot shows a Mitt Romney double (coif, cufflinks, wingtips) skulking into a musty, rusty parking garage and using a machine gun to spray mud at an elusive cardboard cutout of Santorum.”
Jonathan Chait: “In fact, there are, very roughly speaking, two kinds of swing voters. One kind is economically conservative, socially liberal swing voters. This is the kind of voter you usually read about, because it’s the kind most familiar to political reporters — affluent and college educated. But there’s a second kind of voter at least as numerous — economically populist and socially conservative. Think of disaffected blue-collar workers, downscale white men who love guns, hate welfare, oppose free trade, and want higher taxes on the rich and corporations. Romney appeals to the former, but Santorum more to the latter.”
“As hard a time as Santorum would have closing the sale among certain moderate quarters, I don’t think it’s sunk in quite how poisoned Romney’s image has become among downscale voters.”
Nate Silver: “I am not quite ready to suggest that Santorum would be a better nominee than Romney. But the electability gap between the two is closer than it might appear because of the way Santorum’s strengths could play in the Electoral College.”
A new Quinnipiac poll in Ohio shows Rick Santorum leading Mitt Romney among likely GOP primary voters, 36% to 29%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 20% and Ron Paul at 9%.
Said pollster Peter Brown: “Rick Santorum has zoomed to the front of the line among likely voters in Ohio’s March 6 Republican presidential primary. He appears to be riding the momentum from his victories last week in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri. Unclear is whether that momentum fizzles as happened to Santorum in New Hampshire after winning Iowa, and as happened to Gov. Mitt Romney in South Carolina after winning New Hampshire and Speaker Newt Gingrich in Florida after taking South Carolina.”
The Ohio primary is on March 6.
Democrats have tapped Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) to chair the Democratic National Convention, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“Villaraigosa is one of the nation’s most prominent elected Latino officials and envisions an active role in Obama’s reelection effort. The White House, in turn, is counting heavily on strong Latino turnout, especially in battleground states such as Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Florida.”Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics