POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 9/19
A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds President Obama leads Mitt Romney nationally among likely voters, 50% to 45%.
Key finding: Obama and Romney are tied, 43% to 43%, on which candidate would do better on the economy.
Said pollster Peter Hart: “Simply put, if Romney doesn’t win on dealing with the economy, he doesn’t win.”
The survey also gives Obama his highest job approval since March at 50%.
“If somebody is dumb enough to ask me to go to political convention and say something, they’re gonna have to take what they get.”
— Clint Eastwood, quoted by TMZ, responding to criticisms of his speech at the Republican convention.
Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) came out in opposition to Mitt Romney’s controversial comments that were made public in a hidden camera video, “an attempt to distance himself from a candidate that remains deeply unpopular in Massachusetts,” The Hill reports.
Meanwhile. the Hartford Courant reports U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon (R) was also quick to denounce Romney’s comments in the secret video.
“Running for president in the YouTube era, you realize you have to be very judicious in what you say. You have to be careful with your humor. You have to recognize that anytime you’re running for the presidency of the United States, you’re on.”
— Mitt Romney, quoted by the New York Times, in June 16, 2007.
The complete, unedited hidden camera video from a Mitt Romney fundraiser in Florida earlier this year has now been released.
Mother Jones: “Romney is not the only one who has called for the release of the full 49-minute video. And we’re more than happy to oblige. The complete video demonstrates that Romney was not snippetized and that he was captured raw and uncut.”
Here are the latest national polls, updated as needed throughout the day:
United Press International: Obama 49%, Romney 45%.
Reuters/Ipsos: Obama 48%, Romney 43%.
Gallup: Obama 47%, Romney 46%
SurveyUSA/Braun: Obama 48%, Romney 45%
DailyKos/SEIU/PPP: Obama 50%, Romney 46%
Rasmussen: Romney 47%, Obama 45%
Nate Silver‘s latest forecast has the odds of Democrats retining control of the U.S. Senate after November’s election — either by having at least 50 seats and the presidency, or 51 without it — have increased in recent weeks to a 70% chance.
“The trend toward Democrats is a relatively recent one. Part of the shift may reflect the bounce President Obama received from the Democratic convention… But our analysis also suggests that the Democratic advantage has probably been building over the past few weeks, and may not have any one root cause. Instead, Republicans risk death by a thousand cuts, with a gradual deterioration in their standing in several important races, and their inability to field optimal candidates in others.”
A federal appeals court “overturned a lower court decision that could have forced the disclosure of the donors behind some of the secret money groups flooding the airwaves with attack ads,” Politico reports.
Mark Halperin notes Mitt Romney’s decision not to apologize for his remarks on a hidden camera video “will be applauded on talk radio all day. It also keeps the story alive.”
“Speaking of which, the White House and the re-elect have many, many creative and obvious ways to keep this story going for a good long while, some of which they have already discussed internally. Watch the President’s Letterman hit for clues.”
Nate Silver evaluates the swing states to determine which are the most strategically important and finds ten which “could play an important role in the electoral calculus.”
The most important, along with the chance it will be the one that determines the next president:
Ohio (32%), Florida (20%), Virginia (9%), Colorado (9%), Wisconsin (9%), Iowa (6%), Pennsylvania (5%), Nevada (5%), New Hampshire (3%) and Michigan (1%).
Here are the latest polls, updated as needed through the day:
Colorado: Romney 47%, Obama 45% (Rasmussen)
Florida: Romney 48%, Obama 47% (Gravis Marketing)
Michigan: Obama 48%, Romney 42% (Marketing Resource Group)
New Hampshire: Obama 48%, Romney 46% (American Research Group)
Virginia: Obama 52%, Romney 44% (Washington Post)
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told Reuters that it “really enrages me” to hear people refer to court as a “politicized court.”
Within seconds, he then seamlessly blasted Democrats who do not “stick to the text” of the U.S. Constitution.
Said Scalia: “So why should it be surprising that when you have a Democratic Party which has been trying for years to appoint people who approve of Roe v. Wade — which means people who are not originalists, who do not stick to the text, who believe in substantive due process or whatever — why should it be surprising when the Democrats have been doing that for 30 years, at least, and the Republicans have been doing the opposite for 30 years — swearing that they are going to appoint people who are not judicial activists, gonna, you know, hew to the text — why should it be surprising that you end up with a Court where the Democratic appointees are quite different from the Republican appointees?”
First Read notes an important, unintended consequence of the hidden camera Romney video:
“It’s only going to make politicians more scripted and stale. Even the folks who shell out $50,000 in contributions aren’t going to see an unguarded moment from political candidates. Everything — and we mean everything — is going to be considered for public consumption.”
Andrew Golis has advice for politicians: “Turn on a camera at all times.”
“Recalling that a good chunk of the 47 percent who don’t pay income taxes are Romney supporters — especially of course seniors (who might well ‘believe they are entitled to heath care,’ a position Romney agrees with), as well as many lower-income Americans (including men and women serving in the military) who think conservative policies are better for the country even if they’re not getting a tax cut under the Romney plan. So Romney seems to have contempt not just for the Democrats who oppose him, but for tens of millions who intend to vote for him.”
James Carter IV, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, told NBC News that he tracked down the source who took the secret Mitt Romney video and encouraged him to release the full tape to Mother Jones magazine.
Carter “also confirmed there is a personal side to the backstory of the campaign video: he was especially motivated, he said, because of Romney’s frequent attacks on the presidency of his grandfather.”
Carter to New York magazine: “I’ve been searching for clips on Republicans for a long time, almost every day. I just do it for fun.”
No one really expects Mitt Romney to win Massachusetts, but two new polls show him getting crushed in the state he once served as governor.
A Western New England University poll finds that President Obama is now ahead of Romney, 60% to 38%, among likely voters.
A Suffolk University poll shows Obama leading by a 64% to 31% margin.
First Read: “All campaigns have their ups and downs, but the last three weeks for Mitt Romney have been about as brutal as we can remember for any presidential candidate, especially this close to the election. First, the biggest speech of Romney’s life got overshadowed by the Clint Eastwood stunt. Then came President Obama’s significant bounce in the polls after the two political conventions. After that, Romney found himself on the defensive for his reaction to embassy attacks in Egypt and Libya. Next, Politico reported about infighting and disorganization inside the Romney campaign. Finally, all of these events were capped off yesterday by the surreptitiously recorded video of Romney…”
“What is so potentially deadly about this video is the timing, because it comes as the Romney campaign was already viewed to be behind and in crisis. Back in late July, we wrote that the presidential contest had entered halftime with Obama leading, 14-13. Now after the 3rd Quarter (the Ryan pick, the conventions, and post-convention period), Obama has scored two uncontested touchdowns, bringing it to 28-13. And now we head to the 4th Quarter (the debates).”
The Note: “No matter what Mitt Romney wanted this week to be about, it’s clear that it’s going to be about one thing: A campaign that is off message and in disarray.”
Jonathan Chait says the hidden camera video that went viral yesterday exposes Mitt Romney “as a far more sinister character than I had imagined. Here is the sneering plutocrat, fully in thrall to a series of pernicious myths that are at the heart of the mania that has seized his party. He believes that market incomes in the United States are a perfect reflection of merit. Far from seeing his own privileged upbringing as the private-school educated son of an auto executive-turned-governor as an obvious refutation of that belief, Romney cites his own life, preposterously, as a confirmation of it…”
“The revelations in this video come to me as a genuine shock. I have never hated Romney. I presumed his ideological makeover since he set out to run for president was largely phony, even if he was now committed to carry through with it, and to whatever extent he’d come to believe his own lines, he was oblivious or naïve about the damage he would inflict upon the poor, sick, and vulnerable. It seems unavoidable now to conclude that Romney’s embrace of Paul Ryanism is born of actual contempt for the looters and moochers, a class war on behalf of his own class.”
Alex Roarty: “Stories about campaign meltdowns are common for political operations with eroding poll numbers. But they are more a symptom of a struggling campaign than a cause of the struggles. The real danger for Romney is that the squabbles and missteps are now center stage and conveying the impression of a campaign that is flailing as it tries to oust an incumbent president.”
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