POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/27

Obama More “Likable” Than Romney

A new Gallup poll finds 81% of respondents think President Obama “is likable” while just 64% said the same of Mitt Romney.

Meanwhile, both candidates get their lowest scores for having a clear plan for solving the country’s problems — 40% say Obama does and 38% say Romney does.

Obama Retains Edge Over Romney

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds President Obama has managed to retain a narrow lead over Mitt Romney in his race for re-election despite a spate of bad economic news and surging GOP optimism, 47% to 44%.

“The poll highlights challenges facing both candidates. While Mr. Obama retains a durable base of support, his standing among white, working-class voters, which was low to start with, continues to erode. Interest in the campaign isn’t nearly as intense as it was four years ago among young people and Latinos, who were important to Mr. Obama’s victory in 2008.”

“At the same time, more people viewed Mr. Romney unfavorably than favorably by a 6-point margin, with nearly one-quarter of those polled viewing him ‘very negatively,’ twice the level found in December. Mr. Romney’s business background, which he has made a central element of his candidacy, is a draw for many, the poll found. But it is viewed negatively by even more people.”

Conservatives Now Fight for Donor Secrecy

“During their long campaign to loosen rules on campaign money, conservatives argued that there was a simpler way to prevent corruption: transparency. Get rid of limits on contributions and spending, they said, but make sure voters know where the money is coming from,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“Today, with those fundraising restrictions largely removed, many conservatives have changed their tune. They now say disclosure could be an enemy of free speech.”

White House Says President Wasn’t Booed

White House press secretary Jay Carney denied that President Obama was booed last night at a Boston fundraiser when he tweaked the crowd about the Red Sox trading Kevin Youkilis.

Said Carney: “And anyone who knows Boston, knows the Red Sox and anyone who was in that room last night knows that the preponderance of people shouting in response to what the President said about Kevin Youkilis were saying ‘Yoooook and not Booo’ for God’s sake.”

But a video of the moment seems pretty unambiguous.

See more…

11 Wacky Supreme Court Facts

The Daily Beast uncovers some hard-to-believe facts about the nation’s highest court.

Tied in Massachusetts

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Massachusetts finds the U.S. Senate race a dead heat with Elizabeth Warren (D) and Sen. Scott Brown (R) both at 46%.

Key findings: “Brown’s numbers have experienced a bit of a resurgence in the last few months. His approval rating is back over 50%, with 51% of voters approving of him to 38% who disapprove… Brown is conveying the sort of centrist, independent image he’ll need in order to win this fall. Only 34% of voters think he’s too conservative to 48% who say he’s ideologically ‘about right.'”

Romney Holds Edge in North Carolina

A new Rasmussen survey in North Carolina finds Mitt Romney continues to hold a small lead over President Obama in the key swing state, 47% to 44%.

Scott Won’t Release Secret List of Ineligible Voters

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) insists the state’s voter rolls “must be scrubbed carefully to remove any non-U.S. citizens, but his administration is keeping secret a list of more than 180,000 voters whose citizenship may be in question,” the Tampa Bay Times reports.

“Scott’s elections agency is refusing numerous requests from voter advocacy groups and news outlets to release the list, months after the state released an initial list targeting 2,625 potential noncitizens. Many people on the first list turned out to be citizens.”

Economic Confidence Continues to Decline

Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index slid again last week and is now at the lowest point since late January.

Obama Holds Small Lead in Ohio

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Ohio shows President Obama continues to lead Mitt Romney, 47% to 44%, but it’s his weakest showing since last fall.

Key finding: “The big decline for Obama over the last couple months has been with white voters. He and Romney were basically tied with them earlier this year, but now Romney has opened up a 49-42 advantage with them. It’s actually white Democrats with whom Obama’s seen the biggest decline recently. In early May he had an 89-6 lead with them, but that’s now declined to 78-16.”

Obama Slightly Ahead in Colorado

A new We Ask America poll in Colorado shows President Obama with a small lead over Mitt Romney in the presidential race, 47% to 43%.

New Poll Shows Romney Ahead in Virginia

A new We Ask America poll in Virginia finds Mitt Romney leading President Obama in the key battleground state, 48% to 43%.

Palin Revives “Death Panels” Debate

Sarah Palin “is resurrecting the idea that President Obama’s health care law includes what she calls death panels,” USA Today reports.

Wrote Palin on Facebook: “Though I was called a liar for calling it like it is, many of these accusers finally saw that Obamacare did in fact create a panel of faceless bureaucrats who have the power to make life and death decisions about health care funding.”

Not So Nimble, Not So Quick

First Read: “If there is a constant criticism about Mitt Romney and his campaign from both the left and right, it’s that they’re not nimble — especially when it comes to dealing with issues they’d prefer to ignore. And yesterday was a perfect example of this. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s immigration law shouldn’t have been a surprise and even though Romney was holding a fundraiser in Arizona (of all places!!!), it took the candidate and campaign hours to finally tell the public what they thought of the decision. First came a press release that didn’t signal if Romney agreed with the decision (and which parts). Then came a seven-minute press scrum in which a Romney press secretary refused to comment on the merits of the SCOTUS decision. And finally came Romney’s remarks at the Arizona fundraiser in which he appeared to disagree with the thrust of the ruling.”

Said Romney: “I would have preferred to see the Supreme Court give more latitude to the states not less.”

“We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Much of a president’s job is crisis management, and the only way to succeed is being nimble. That Team Romney seems to struggle with this aspect of the job is a potential warning sign for a challenger against an incumbent president.”

Mormons Very Excited About Romney Candidacy

Key Research/Brigham Young University poll in Utah finds that 77% of Mormons believe Mitt Romney’s nomination as the Republican presidential candidate is a good thing for the LDS church while just 2% told pollsters it was a negative.

Despite their excitement, 68% said that Romney’s nomination will bring bad and good publicity for the LDS church and 68% do not trust the media to cover the church fairly.

Rangel Faces Primary Challenge

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), “a once-towering figure in New York politics whose reputation was diminished when he was censured in Washington, is again fighting to keep his seat as a group of Democrats prepare to challenge him in a primary on Tuesday,” Reuters reports.

Nonetheless, “most political watchers still see him being re-elected.”

National Journal: “Rangel has strengths of his own, though. Interestingly, despite the redistricted seat’s new majority-Hispanic status, it also has over 24,500 more African-American residents than the old version of the district. And Rangel’s four-decade career in Congress has engendered abiding loyalty among many blacks and a large swath of Democratic voters in the area. Even though Rangel only won 51 percent in the 2010 primary, he actually won more primary votes (over 26,000) than all but one House candidate in the entire state. That suggests a robust turnout operation at the heart of Rangel’s experienced campaign, and indeed, Rangel significantly overperformed in the 15 precincts with the heaviest turnout in 2010, according to a Hotline analysis.”

Large Majority Want New Health Care Effort

A new AP/GfK poll finds that just a third of Americans back President Obama’s health care law on which the Supreme Court is about to pass judgment, but more than three quarters want Congress and the president to begin work on a new bill if the court strikes down the 2-year-old law.

Romney’s Game Changers

The Wall Street Journal says four states — Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania — could transform the presidential race if Mitt Romney can win them.

“These are four reliably blue states where Mitt Romney’s campaign thinks it has a chance to pull off an upset. A Republican win in any one of these four would significantly change the calculus of what it takes to win in the electoral college, which is where a presidential race actually is decided.”

“President Barack Obama carried each comfortably four years ago, and they have been colored Democratic blue in every presidential race in the last generation. Minnesota last went Republican in 1972, Wisconsin in 1984 and Michigan and Pennsylvania in 1988, so they represent varying degrees of a long shot for the GOP.”

Democrats May Cancel Convention Kick-off

Democrats are “considering canceling their political convention’s kick-off event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, as party planners grapple with a roughly $27 million fundraising deficit,” Bloomberg reports.

Earlier this year, Democrats announced they were shortening their convention from four days to three, “to make room for a day to organize and celebrate the Carolinas, Virginia and the South and kick off the convention at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Labor Day,” Sept. 3.

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