POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/7

“The Real Numbers”

Dick Morris says the polls reported by the media are not accurate.

“On Friday, I saw the real numbers. These state-by-state polls, taken by an organization I trust (after forty years of polling) show the real story. The tally is based on more than 600 likely voter interviews in each swing state within the past eight days.”

“The trend line is distinctly pro-Romney. Of the thirteen states studied, he improved or Obama slipped in nine states while the reverse happened in only four. To read the media, one would think that Romney had a terrible month. In fact, the exact reverse is true.”

Romney Keeping More 2008 Voters Than Obama

Gallup: “The vast majority of U.S. voters are remaining consistent in their voting preferences between 2008 and 2012, be it for Barack Obama or the Republican presidential candidate. But loyalty to Obama is slightly less than loyalty to the Republican candidates, resulting in a more competitive race at this point than in the final 2008 results.”

“The 11% of 2008 Obama or McCain voters who have switched to supporting the other party’s candidate or are undecided at this point is not a relatively large group. But it is a group that could potentially be persuaded between now and Election Day, and thus could be crucial in deciding the outcome.”

Why 2012 Is Not Like 1980

Though Mitt Romney’s campaign likes to compare the current presidential race to the 1980 race — in which Jimmy Carter held a lead until voters swung sharply to Ronald Reagan in the final stretch — Greg Sargent spoke to former Reagan adviser Ed Rollins who pointed out three key differences.

1. “Obama is a better and more likable politician than Jimmy Carter was, and Romney has not proven himself to be Ronald Reagan.”

2. “The electorate is far more polarized now. Rollins notes that a last-minute shift was enabled by the larger role Dem swing voters played at the time.”

3. “Both campaigns — unlike in 1980 — will have all the resources they need, which limits the likelihood of a last minute swing and could reinforce the role of the base in the outcome.”

Cuomo’s Strategy for a 2016 Bid

Steve Kornacki has a good look at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) plan “to beessentially invisible at next month’s Democratic convention.”

“For your average nationally ambitious Democrat, this would be unthinkable. A convention is a prime opportunity to build visibility — think how many cable news cameras will be there! — and to connect with the party’s financial and political movers and shakers… But Andrew’s game plan is basically the same one his father used for his first post-San Francisco convention, in Atlanta in 1988.”

Clay Way Ahead of Carnahan in Primary Fight

A new Survey USA poll in Missouri’s 1st congressional district finds Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO) is heavily favored in a Democratic primary match-up with Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO), 54% to 35%.

The primary, which was triggered by redistricting, is tomorrow.

Nine States Get Bulk of Ad Dollars

“If television ad spending is any guide, the White House race will come down to nine states that have absorbed an eye-popping $350 million in commercials so far,” the AP reports.

“Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida, the largest and most diverse of these highly contested states, are where the ad dollars have been concentrated, and that’s been consistent this election season.”

Is Another Wave Election Possible?

A new Democracy Corps (D) poll finds Democrats with an advantage in the most vulnerable tier of Republican congressional districts.

“These members, on average, are barely ahead of their challengers and are as vulnerable as the incumbents in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Those elections we now know crystallized earlier — in 2010, incumbent vulnerability translated into anti-Democratic voting by March as health care came to a close in 2010. These incumbents are equally vulnerable but have not yet paid the price for the Ryan budget and their priorities, but it is clear that their support is now falling.”

Quote of the Day

“I know they want me to. I’ll see what happens.”

— Donald Trump, quoted by Politico, reacting to news that he wasn’t on a preliminary list of GOP convention speakers.

13 Days

Bloomberg: “Congress is going to be in session for only 13 days before the Nov. 6 election, and nothing is expected in terms of significant legislation even though several actions — such as passing a stopgap federal spending bill, renewing farm programs and helping the U.S. Postal Service pay for retiree health care — need to be completed by Oct. 1. Instead, lawmakers will wait to improve their negotiating positions depending on which party will hold the House and the Senate and occupy the White House in January 2013.”

Why Voter ID Laws Make Little Sense

Rick Hasen, author of the must-read new book Voting Wars, calls out the Republican push for voter ID laws while noting, “I have not found a single election over the last few decades in which impersonation fraud had the slightest chance of changing an election outcome — unlike absentee-ballot fraud, which changes election outcomes regularly. (Let’s face it: impersonation fraud is an exceedingly dumb way to try to steal an election.)”

“Consider Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law, now before the courts. The state conceded that it knew of no instances of impersonation fraud. A top election official did not know how the law worked and played down official estimates that more than 750,000 Pennsylvania voters lacked photo ID, and that an additional 500,000 appeared to have expired ID’s. The law gives dangerous discretion to local officials to decide which ID’s should be acceptable.”

“Pennsylvania is a symptom of a partisan system gone wild. Republicans say they want to get rid of fraud, but they want to get rid of only some kinds — using remedies that are likely to at least modestly depress Democratic turnout.”

Obama Raises Significantly Less Than Romney

President Obama and the DNC raised $75 million in July for the president’s re-election campaign, the Washington Post reports.

“The total was well below the $101 million that GOP rival Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee raised last month. July is the third straight month that Romney and the Republican Party have raised more money than Obama and the Democratic Party.”

Romney Family Continued to Buy Stocks Despite Pledge

Mitt Romney “promised in 2007 he would shed any investments that conflicted with Republican positions on hot-button domestic and foreign policy issues. But Romney’s family trusts kept some of those holdings and repeatedly bought new ones until 2010, when they were finally sold off for more than $3 million,” according to the Associated Press;

“Recently disclosed tax returns for three family trust funds for Romney, his wife, Ann, and their adult children show scores of trades in companies whose business operations are inconsistent with Republican Party stances that Romney favors on Iran, China, stem cell research, abortion and other issues.”

“The continual trading between 2006 and 2010 raises questions about why the investments continued for three years, even after Romney said in 2007 that the trust would sell off any conflicted holdings. Those trades came during a period when Romney has sought to convince voters of his conservative Republican values. The trades also raise questions about whether any of the transactions were vetted for possible conflicts or political perception before they were made.”

Could Romney Pick Ryan?

Byron York: “In the last few days, there’s been new talk about Paul Ryan in the who’s-in-who’s-out game of speculation over Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick.  The speculation is striking, because of the four candidates mentioned most often — Ryan, Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, and Tim Pawlenty — Ryan is the choice that would fundamentally change the direction of the Romney campaign.  How?  By instantly elevating the Ryan budget plan to the top of the Romney agenda.  Whether that change would be to Romney’s liking is very much an open question.”

“Of course, Democrats are going to bash Romney on spending cuts and Medicare reform regardless of what he does.  Since that is inevitable, say Ryan supporters, why not put the plan’s most articulate defender, Paul Ryan himself, on the ticket?  One reason would be that Mitt Romney has shown no inclination to make the Ryan plan the centerpiece of his campaign.  Perhaps that’s what he’s planning — perhaps he planned all along to run on jobs until mid-August, only to pivot to entitlement reform for the rest of the campaign.  But that’s not likely.”

GOP Announces Convention Speakers

The Tampa Bay Times reported that seven Republicans — Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Sen. John McCain, Condoleezza Rice, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Mike Huckabee, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez — will speak at the Republican convention.

The Saturation Point

First Read: “Last week, the campaigns, political parties, and outside interest groups spent almost $40 million in TV ads in the presidential contest, according to ad-spending data from SMG Delta. And this week, with the Americans for Prosperity $25 million buy for the next month (which breaks out to some $5 million per week), that number could very well jump up to $45 million or $50 million — in August. And in just 8-12 battleground states.”

“We often struggle to find the words to describe UNBELIEVABLE amounts of money being spent on this presidential race. But close to $50 million in a week is absolutely stunning. It’s also unchartered territory. Are there diminishing returns on this advertising? Do ads become less effective? How do you break through the clutter? We just don’t know. But here’s one thing we do know: At some point, no matter how much more water you put on a towel, it becomes harder to make it wetter. That’s why they call it saturation.”

Romney Strategist Once Said He Would Vote for Obama

The New Republic runs a must-read profile of Mitt Romney campaign strategist Stuart Stevens who once told an editor he planned to vote for Barack Obama in 2008, something he now denies.

Said Stevens: “I have never voted for a Democrat and didn’t vote for Obama.”

Brown Not Impressed with Villaraigosa’s Goal

The Sacramento Bee reports California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) had a simple reaction to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s (D) declaration that he’d like to be governor: “Join the club.”

Added Brown: “That’s a sentiment that is not alien to me, so I wouldn’t begrudge anyone wanting to be governor. But I think they should reflect on it, because it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.”

Romney Announces Another $100 Million Month

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign announced that they had raised $101.3 million dollars in July, The Hill reports.

“The fundraising haul, from joint efforts between Team Romney and the Republican National Committee (RNC), marks the second straight month that they have passed the $100 million mark and is likely to intensify concerns among President Obama’s reelection team that they will be outpaced by the GOP’s fundraising push.”

Obama Aide Took Fee from Firm Doing Business in Iran

White House adviser David Plouffe accepted a $100,000 speaking fee in 2010 from an affiliate of a company doing business with Iran’s government, the Washington Post reports.

“There were no legal or ethical restrictions on Plouffe being paid to speak to the MTN subsidiary as a private citizen. But for a close Obama aide to have accepted payment from a company involved in Iran could prove troublesome for the president as the White House toughens its stance toward the Islamic republic.”

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

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