POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 9/10

Last Chance for Wisconsin

Mark Halperin notes that in the wake of New York Times and Politico stories suggesting that the electoral college math still favors President Obama, the Romney campaign put out a new TV ad in Wisconsin.

“Once upon a time, the Romney campaign dreamed of putting New Jersey, New Mexico, and Oregon in play. Now, just a few months later, they are on the precipice of giving up on Michigan and Pennsylvania, and they are still behind in Ohio. So using money to try to make Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin competitve is sensible, maybe essential. Right now, Romney-Ryan has fewer electoral college paths than Kerry-Edwards did at this point in 2004.”

Romney Campaign Concedes Obama is Ahead

President Obama “heads out of the national political conventions with a much clearer path to winning, top advisers to Mitt Romney privately concede,” Politico reports.

“The Romney campaign, while pleasantly surprised by Obama’s lackluster prime-time performance, said the post-convention bounce they hoped for fell well short of expectations and privately lament that state-by-state polling numbers — most glaringly in Ohio — are working in the president’s favor.”

A Close Election But Romney Has Never Led

Nate Silver notes that Mitt Romney has never held a lead over President Obama by any substantive margin in the polls.

“That makes this an extremely odd election. You would figure that at some point over the past year, Mr. Romney would have pulled into the lead in the polls, given how close it has usually been. John McCain held occasional leads in 2008; John Kerry led for much of the summer in 2004; and Michael Dukakis had moments where he was well ahead of George H.W. Bush in the spring and summer of 1988. But Mr. Romney, if there have been moments when his polls were ever-so-slightly stronger or weaker, has never really had his moment in the sun.”

“Instead, the cases where one candidate led essentially from wire to wire have been associated with landslides: Bill Clinton in 1996, Ronald Reagan in 1984, Richard Nixon in 1972 and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956.”

“There is almost no chance that Mr. Obama will win by those sort of margins. But this nevertheless seems like an inauspicious sign for Mr. Romney. If even at his high-water mark, he can only pull the race into a rough tie, what pitch can he come up with in October or November to suddenly put him over the top?”

Obama Cracks Birther Joke

President Obama poked fun at conspiracy theories which question whether he was born in the United States during a campaign stop in Florida, The Hill reports.

The president made a stop at a local sports bar and was told by an adult that a young boy at the table was “born in Hawaii.”

Said Obama: “You were born in Hawaii? You have a birth certificate?”

Quote of the Day

“I don’t think the structure of the race allows for a big breakthrough.”

— David Axelrod, quoted by the Washington Post, saying conditions in the country militate against any major movement in the polls.

Preparing for the Debates

New York Times: “The president, whose advisers have known him to procrastinate before preparing for big moments, has been studying his rival’s positions and statements from the primary campaign. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts will play the role of Mr. Romney in debate practice.”

“Mr. Romney may be a little further ahead in his preparations. His aides began putting blocks of time in his schedule shortly after he emerged from the primaries in the spring. He started formal practice sessions last week at a remote estate in Vermont, where Senator Rob Portman of Ohio played the role of Mr. Obama.”

“Tens of millions of people will watch the debates — four years ago, viewership ranged from 52 million to 63 million — almost certainly a much bigger television audience than the totals for the conventions.”

Flynt Offers $1 Million for Information on Romney’s Taxes

The publisher of Hustler magazine, Larry Flynt, is offering $1 million for “documented evidence concerning Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s unreleased tax returns and/or details of his offshore assets, bank accounts and business partnerships,”CNN reports.

Romney Embraces Bill Clinton Again

In a Meet the Press interview to air tomorrow, Mitt Romney praised Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention — despite being full of criticism of Romney — saying it helped “elevate” the Democrats.

Said Romney: “He did stand out in contrast with the other speakers; I think he really did elevate the Democrat convention in a lot of ways. And, frankly, the contrast may not have been as attractive as Barack Obama might have preferred if he were choosing who’d go before him and who’d go after.”

See more…

Obama Expands Lead in Three Tracking Polls

Despite a mixed reaction to President Obama’s convention speech and a mediocre jobs report this week, all three daily tracking polls show Obama expanding his lead in the presidential race over Mitt Romney.

Gallup: Obama 49%, Romney 45%.

Reuters/Ipsos: Obama 47%, Romney 43%.

Rasmussen: Obama 46%, Romney 44%.

It’s important to note that much of the data in these trackers was compiled before the key speeches at the Democratic convention. To have gained ground so quickly, Nate Silverestimates Obama has been running ahead 7 to 9 points since Bill Clinton spoke.

Andrew Sullivan: “Yes, the ad blitz is coming; yes, the debates will be crucial, yes, turnout matters a huge amount too, anything can happen, blah blah blah. But right in front of our noses is some compelling data that in the first real skirmish of the campaign proper, the Romney-Republicans blew it.”

Consultant to Lawmaker on the Lam

A key witness in a federal investigation involving Rep. David Rivera (R-FL) “failed to show up for an interview with prosecutors and the FBI one day after agents raided her Miami apartment and removed her computer, cellphone and other items,” the Miami Heraldreports.

Prosecutors believe Ana Alliegro “played a key role as a go-between for Rivera and a former Democratic congressional candidate who might have broken campaign finance laws in his failed bid against a rival of the Republican congressman in the Aug. 14 primary.”

Romney Got a Negative Bounce

The Princeton Election Consortium finds Mitt Romney actually got a negative bounce coming out of his convention.

“Indeed, it appears that the race shifted towards President Obama by 6-15 EV, or about 1.0% of Popular Vote Meta-Margin. From an analytical perspective, a negative bounce is quite remarkable because all the talk in recent weeks has been of bounces being smaller or zero, but always in the hosting party’s favor. It is all the more remarkable because of the relatively small number of state polls over the last week, so that the Meta-analysis’s inputs have not fully turned over… So the negative bounce may be larger than what is shown in the graph. Such an event would have been missed in past years (and even this year) because national polls don’t have the best resolution.”

Romney Got a Negative Bounce

The Princeton Election Consortium finds Mitt Romney actually got a negative bounce coming out of his convention.

“Indeed, it appears that the race shifted towards President Obama by 6-15 EV, or about 1.0% of Popular Vote Meta-Margin. From an analytical perspective, a negative bounce is quite remarkable because all the talk in recent weeks has been of bounces being smaller or zero, but always in the hosting party’s favor. It is all the more remarkable because of the relatively small number of state polls over the last week, so that the Meta-analysis’s inputs have not fully turned over… So the negative bounce may be larger than what is shown in the graph. Such an event would have been missed in past years (and even this year) because national polls don’t have the best resolution.”

Big Bounce Coming for Obama?

Nate Silver says tracking polls are pointing toward “a decent-size convention bounce” for President Obama and says it’s “unlikely, in fact, that the movement in the polls reflects statistical noise alone.”

“What’s a bit more worrisome for Mr. Romney is that Gallup’s reporting of the head-to-head results in its poll occurs over a lengthy seven-day window, meaning that only a minority of the interviews in the poll were conducted after the major speeches at the Democratic convention. In fact, most of the interviews in the poll were conducted just after the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., a period in which Mr. Romney should have been enjoying a convention bounce of his own.”

Partners in Extremism

When Mitt Romney endorsed Rep. Steve King (R-IA) at an Iowa rally yesterday, it was only a matter of time before the DNC celebrated the moment in a video.

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Romney’s Challenge: Getting People to Switch

Byron York: “The situation facing Romney is hard for some Republicans to comprehend. They didn’t buy Obama’s bill of goods in the first place and find it hard to sympathize with anyone who did. But there are millions of people who voted for Obama who are not only disappointed in him but have come to the conclusion that he does not deserve to be re-elected. The problem for Romney is they might still be persuaded to vote for the president. Making them comfortable with the idea of leaving Obama is Romney’s job.”

“The important thing for Romney, aides believe, is not to rub the voters’ noses in their decision from four years ago. Don’t bash Obama, don’t even harp on how he’s not up to the job — that carries the implication that they should have known that when they voted for him. Just focus on the point that his policies have not made things better.”

Minds Made Up

The RAND American Life Panel finds very few voters shifting their votes between President Obama and Mitt Romney.

Did the Conventions Even Matter?

New York Times: “There is growing evidence that this year more than ever, the political significance of these extravagant and costly events was on the decline, just another in an ever-growing vortex of forces that help shape the election.”

“Since 2004, conventions have taken place later in the season, and the practice of separating them by a few weeks has long fallen by the wayside. That created a 10-day blur of convention coverage, challenging campaign officials who are looking for some way to break through. And by Labor Day, the holiday that separated the two conventions this year, voters are much further along the decision-making track and, particularly in swing states, are awash in information about the candidates.”

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

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