POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 5/7
French Socialist candidate François Hollande won Sunday’s presidential runoff, defeating Nicolas Sarkozy, according to estimates of preliminary results seen by the Wall Street Journal.
The New York Times has an excellent interactive electoral map that allows you to test various presidential election scenarios.
It quickly shows why Mitt Romney has a very narrow path to victory.
“Being a Republican used to mean finding solutions for the American people that worked for everyone. It used to mean having big ideas that moved the country forward. It can mean that again, but big ideas don’t often come from small tents.”
— Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), writing in the Los Angeles Times, saying the “extreme right wing of the party is targeting anyone who doesn’t meet its strict criteria.”
The New York Times picks nine battleground states — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin — where the presidential election is likely to be decided.
“All nine voted for Mr. Obama in 2008, only to see Republicans make big gains since then.”
“Now, with many of those states transformed economically and politically by the recession, they are perhaps even less predictable than they were in past close elections. The disparity in their circumstances highlights the challenges that both the Obama and the Romney campaigns face in framing arguments that will resonate across the country.”
Supporters of Ron Paul “commandeered the Maine Republican Party convention Saturday as part of a multi-state strategy designed to give him a voice at the national GOP convention in Tampa,” the Portland Press Herald reports.
“Paul’s backers took control of key parliamentary positions and the convention agenda. The effort was part of the Paul campaign’s national effort to overtake Republican state conventions and win enough state delegates to send Paul to the national convention.”
The AP reports the same thing happened in Nevada.
After receiving little attention in the GOP presidential race, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson easily won the Libertarian party’s presidential nomination, the AP reports.
“He hopes to appeal to voters fed up with the traditional two-party system this November.”
The New York Times reports a tight circle of advisers gather on Sunday nights at the White House for a confidential briefing on President Obama’s re-election.
“The gathering often takes place after Mr. Obama’s regular Sunday round of golf, and while the atmosphere is casual, the agenda is anything but: keeping the president immersed in what it will take to win a second term. He receives an update on how his operation is expanding in battleground states, he watches previews of television ads and he studies a presentation on his various paths to victory.”
“The cast of top advisers — a group limited to 10 in hopes of streamlining the meetings — offers a revealing look at the pecking order of the hierarchy in the Obama campaign.”
Liz Cheney “has been making the rounds at Wyoming political events this spring and her desire to move back to the state has Republicans from Cheyenne to Washington buzzing about a potential future campaign,” Politico reports.
“With little fanfare, Cheney, a former State Department official and the eldest daughter of the former vice president, has spoken at six events in different corners of the sprawling state this year. She has been especially busy on the GOP dinner circuit. Cheney has already hit four county Lincoln Day Dinners and keynoted the dinner following the Wyoming GOP convention last month. She also accompanied and appeared on stage with her father when he made his first public appearance following his heart transplant at the state convention.”
“The number of black and Hispanic registered voters has fallen sharply since 2008, posing a serious challenge to the Obama campaign in an election that could turn on the participation of minority voters,” the Washington Post reports.
“Voter rolls typically shrink in non-presidential election years, but this is the first time in nearly four decades that the number of registered Hispanics has dropped significantly.”
Los Angeles Times: “If Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign was part cultural phenomenon, part national movement, his second may look a bit more modest — like a series of well-run Senate campaigns. Facing the reality of running as a bruised incumbent in a politically divided country, Obama’s advisors say they are plotting a strategy that doesn’t depend on a wave of support to lift the president’s chances across the country. And it won’t hinge on a single theme based on ideas such as ‘hope’ and ‘change’ that defined the campaign and captured the zeitgeist in 2008. Instead, the Obama campaign is prepping for a block-by-block, hard-slog approach. The campaign, which the president kicks off this weekend, will be tailored to swing states and key voters in those states.”
Ron Brownstein: “In the Washington of the early 1960s that Robert Caro so vividly recreates in his latest volume on Lyndon Johnson, political scientists’ greatest concern was not too much difference between the two parties but too little. It’s worth recalling the flaws — and advantages — of that era as we confront a political order whose greatest challenge is very much the opposite: too much distance between the parties.”
“The most common complaint about this period’s politics was that it promoted too much consensus. Political analysts argued that the fractures in each party denied Americans a clear choice in elections and made it impossible for either side to implement ‘coherent programs,’ as a celebrated 1950 commission lamented.”