POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/22
A new Pew Research survey finds 72% have heard a lot or a little about Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposal to change Medicare into a program that would give future participants a credit toward purchasing private health insurance coverage. And among those who are aware, the idea remains unpopular; by a 49% to 34% margin more oppose than favor the idea.
Meanwhile, 46% say Ryan is an only fair or poor choice as Mitt Romney’s running mate, while 28% say he is an excellent or good choice. By comparison, reactions to John Kerry’s selection of John Edwards in 2004, and Bill Clinton’s selection of Al Gore in 1992, were more positive than negative.
Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) “dismissed pleas from top Republicans to abandon his besieged Senate campaign, saying party leaders including presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney were overreacting to his comments that women’s bodies can prevent pregnancies in cases of ‘legitimate rape,'” the AP reports.
The Cook Political Report moves the race from Toss Up to Likely Democrat.
A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney nationally by four points, 48% to 44%.
“These numbers are only slightly changed from July, when Obama led Romney by six points in the survey, 49 percent to 43 percent, suggesting a minimal bounce for Romney (if at all) after this month’s Ryan pick.”
Key findings: “Looking inside the numbers, Obama continues to lead Romney among key parts of his political base, including African Americans (94 percent to 0 percent), Latinos (by a 2-to-1 margin), voters under 35-years-old (52 percent to 41 percent) and women (51 percent to 41 percent). Romney is ahead with whites (53 percent to 40 percent), rural voters (47 percent to 38 percent) and seniors (49 percent to 41 percent). And the two presidential candidates are essentially even when it comes to the swing groups of suburban voters, Midwest residents and political independents.”
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Virginia finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney by five points, 50% to 45%.
Interesting: “In eight Virginia surveys this cycle, Obama has never led Mitt Romney by less than 4 points. It continues to look like it could be his firewall state this fall.”
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Massachusetts finds Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) leading Elizabeth Warren (D) in the U.S. Senate race by five points, 49% to 44%.
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Wisconsin finds Mitt Romney just ahead of President Obama, 48% to 47%.
This poll, the first done since Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate, represents a seven point shift towards the GOP nominee from PPP’s last look at the state in early July.
A new Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation study finds that independents make up about a third of all voters but “are not a monolithic bloc. Nor are many of them truly independent in their voting patterns. Nearly two-thirds of Americans who describe themselves as independents act very much like partisan Republicans or partisan Democrats.”
“Still, one clear factor that separates them from Democrats and Republicans is a near-uniform call for greater cross-party cooperation. Seven in 10 independents say they favor compromise between the parties rather than confrontation, according to the survey. Just as many say they are dissatisfied with the country’s political system.”
A new SurveyUSA poll in Missouri finds that 54%, including a majority of men and women, say Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) should quit the U.S. Senate race and allow another Republican to run in his place while 35% say Akin should continue his bid to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).
Key findings: “A large majority, 76%, do not share Akin’s views on rape and pregnancy. But it is important to note that 13% do share his views, including 16% of pro-life voters, 19% of conservatives and 24% of African Americans. Akin says that he mis-spoke. But 55% in Missouri don’t buy it.”
A poll last night found Akin still running neck-and-neck with McCaskill.
National Journal reports that Rep. Paul Ryan and Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) — who is desperately trying to save his U.S. Senate campaign after making controversial remarksabout rape and abortion — “share a voting history on abortion rights, including mutual support for a controversial measure that would define embryos as a person. They cosponsored another measure, subsequently withdrawn, that would distinguish ‘forcible rape’ in banning abortion funding. Akin, Ryan, and Mitt Romney also back less-controversial measures, such as defunding Planned Parenthood.”
“That broader link gives Democrats a chance to push a debate about abortion and women’s health back into the presidential race’s limelight, putting the GOP ticket on the defensive over an issue it would rather avoid and with a group of voters, females, it has already struggled to attract.”
The Republican Party is once again set to enshrine into its official platform support for “a human life amendment” to the U.S. Constitution that would outlaw abortion without making explicit exemptions for rape or incest, according to drafts obtained by CNN.
Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) is out with a new ad this morning, signaling that he may not drop out of the race to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) despite pleas from his party to leave the race.
New York Times: “Republican campaign officials said the coordinated effort to push Mr. Akin out of the race was in part a result of a tight deadline that the party faces. If Mr. Akin drops out by 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Missouri Republican central committee will be free to choose a replacement for the November ballot. He still could quit anytime before Sept. 25, but if he waits, his withdrawal could be challenged by the Missouri secretary of state, Robin Carnahan, a Democrat.”
New York Times: “Mitt Romney’s cash advantage over President Obama and the Democrats more than doubled in July, as intense Republican fund-raising and heavy spending by Mr. Obama and his allies left Mr. Romney and the Republican National Committee with $62 million more in the bank than the Democrats at the end of last month.”
Washington Post: “The electrical grid could fail tomorrow, he frequently warns. Food would disappear from the shelves. Water would no longer flow from the pipes. Money might become worthless. People could turn on each other, and millions would die. Such concerns are typical among ‘survivalists,’ a loose national movement of individuals who advocate self-sufficiency in the face of natural or man-made disasters, gathering online or in person to discuss the best ways to prepare for the worst.”
“What is atypical is that the owner of this cabin is Roscoe G. Bartlett, the longtime Republican congressman from Maryland. Over the past two decades, he has developed a following as one of the country’s premier proponents of preparedness against impending doom, even urging the more than 80 percent of Americans who live in urban areas to relocate.”
National Journal: “Lost amid the exploding controversy over Missouri Republican Rep. Todd Akin’s claims about ‘legitimate rape‘ is one of the reasons that Akin is the Republican Senate standard-bearer in the first place (at least for the moment).”
“Sen. Claire McCaskill and the Democrats wanted him as her opponent.”
“In the weeks before the August 7 primary, McCaskill and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee aired ads that ostensibly attacked Akin, but actually boosted his candidacy. The ads called said him a ‘true conservative’ and questioned if he was ‘too conservative,’ hardly a negative in a GOP primary. One radio ad ended by noting that Akin “has been endorsed by the most conservative leaders in our country: Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee.”Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics