POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 9/24
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Florida finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney by four points, 50% to 46%.
Rep. Michael Grimm’s (R-NY) campaign office on Staten Island was allegedly vandalized and burglarized overnight, Politicker reports.
Staffers arrived at the office this morning to discover multiple windows that had apparently been broken with cement blocks but “upon further investigation, the NYPD discovered computers inside the office had their hard drives erased.
A Grimm spokesman said the campaign “does believe this is politically motivated.”
Philadelphia Inquirer: “In the Columbus media market, home to the broadcast stations she watches, 18,482 presidential campaign ads aired during a typical late August week… That was three times more than in the close 2004 election and double the volume of four years ago.”
“Most of the spots are negative: President Obama, hapless failure; Republican Mitt Romney, heartless plutocrat.”
“The ads will not let up in Columbus, or Cleveland or Cincinnati or Toledo because Ohio is perhaps the most closely contested political real estate in the nation, a pivotal swing state with 18 electoral votes. Democratic and Republican strategists alike consider it a must-win.”
A new Mason-Dixon poll in Montana finds challenger Denny Rehberg (R) with a slight edge over Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) in U.S. Senate race, 48% to 45%.
Said pollster Brad Coker: “Usually, if an incumbent is trailing, that’s a problem. But this is just too close to call.”
The New York Times looks at the unlikely revival of Ralph Reed who soon “plans to unleash a sophisticated, microtargeted get-out-the-evangelical-vote operation that he believes could nudge open a margin of victory if Mr. Romney can keep the race close.”
“White evangelicals are a crucial voting constituency, 26 percent of the 2008 electorate and overwhelmingly Republican in recent presidential cycles, exit polls show. With so few truly undecided voters left, bumping up evangelical turnout in swing states like Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio would almost certainly help Mr. Romney.”
A new Enquirer/Ohio Newspaper Organization poll in Ohio shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney in the crucial battleground state by five points, 51% to 46%.
Key finding: “When survey participants were asked which candidate would do the best job of improving economic conditions in Ohio, Obama prevailed by 5 points.”
Said pollster Eric Rademacher: “Clearly, how Ohioans view the two candidates in terms of their ability to improve Ohio’s economy over the next four years will go a long way in determining who wins Ohio’s 18 electoral votes.”
Politico: “Republican super PACs are about to face a potentially existential test of their reach and impact as the 2012 election cycle comes to a close, with their spending being closely watched as a way of answering a central question at the core of modern American politics: can an avalanche of money from outside groups move the needle in the presidential race and Senate contests across the country.”
The New York Times reports New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who is mulling a presidential bid in 2016, and his inner circle have their eyes fixed on Hillary Clinton, “whose already sky-high stature among Democratic activists was enhanced by her husband’s crowd-pleasing speech this month at the party’s convention in Charlotte, N.C., and who can count on broad support if she decides to run.”
“Mrs. Clinton complicates Mr. Cuomo’s ambitions in several ways. Despite the fact that she hails from Illinois, she is now viewed as a New Yorker and commands deep loyalty from the state’s Democratic establishment. And Mr. Cuomo, 54, reveres her husband, former President Bill Clinton; he views Mr. Clinton as a mentor who helped him begin a career in politics, according to Cuomo friends and associates.”
One Democrat close to Cuomo said “the situation was making the Cuomo camp cranky, in part because the governor, a skilled strategic thinker, did not like to be captive to others’ ambitions.”
Mitt Romney’s campaign packed the audience for the Univision forum at the University of Miami this week by busing in supporters “after exhausting the few conservative groups on campus,” BuzzFeed reports.
Staffers even threatened to reschedule the event if organizers did not allow the exception to their student-only rule.
Mitt Romney himself also refused to come out on stage after anchors noted he “had agreed to give the network 35 minutes, and that Obama had agreed to a full hour the next night.” Romney insisted they re-tape the introduction.
Said one of the Univision anchors: “It was a little bit of disrespect for us.”
A voter-ID mutiny launched by two Democratic-controlled Pennsylvania counties “showed signs of spreading across the state Friday, as Philadelphia and a handful of other local governments said they, too, would consider issuing poll-ready identification cards through county-run nursing homes and colleges,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
“The move exploits a loophole in the new law that allows both colleges and senior-care centers to provide such cards to anyone who lives in the county — not just to the people who attend those colleges or reside in those centers.”
“A key witness in a federal grand jury case involving Rep.David Rivera (R-FL) is still missing, but she left important evidence behind for investigators: at least four envelopes that had been stuffed with unreported campaign cash,” the Miami Herald reports.
GOP operative Ana Alliegro delivered the cash-stuffed envelopes to a mail house “that sent out fliers in a congressional race against a Rivera political rival… The FBI has the envelopes to check for fingerprints and handwriting comparisons.”
“Also in the hands of FBI agents: at least six invoices initially made out to the attention of David Rivera — all marked paid ‘cash’ — to cover the mailings for Democratic primary challenger Justin Lamar Sternad, a suspected Rivera straw-man candidate. The congressman demanded that his name be removed from the invoices with Wite-Out, documents and interviews show.”
The Week: “The GOP effort to seize control of the Senate is losing steam, and some Democrats are boasting that even the GOP’s House majority is imperiled.”
Paul Ryan “was booed at the annual AARP convention Friday after saying that, if elected, their Republican administration would repeal the nation’s healthcare law as the best way to save Medicare,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
“Just five minutes into his talk at the gathering of the powerful 50-and-older lobby, Mitt Romney’s running mate — the architect of the Republican proposal to change Medicare for the next generation of seniors — was repeatedly interrupted as he criticized President Obama’s healthcare law.”
A source close to the Romney campaign told Politico that the decision was made to release Mitt Romney’s 2011 tax return “so that there would be some distance between that headline and the debate, and to do the best the campaign can with an issue on which voters have likely already absorbed a lot of information.”
“There was also no ideal time for the release of the information, but Friday was after five days spent discussing remarks Romney made in a secretly taped fundraising video about 47 percent of Americans considering themselves ‘victims,’ and not paying taxes. Providing information about his own tax rate seems geared toward eliminating the question about whether he himself has at any point not paid taxes, but without providing the returns themselves.”
Think Progress: 10 questions Romney should answer about his taxes.
Mitt Romney’s campaign, in a report filed to the Federal Election Commission this week, showed $50.4 million cash on hand — nearly $40 million less than President Obama’s reported $88 million.
National Journal: “Campaign finance experts say Romney, and Obama for that matter, have masked their true financial figures by reporting money raised by allied groups like the RNC in addition to the principal campaign account. They have presented all of the money as being part of one big pot, but that conflation belies the fact that how a campaign raises cash determines how it can spend it.”
“To a large degree, Romney’s fundraising was never as impressive as his bottom-line hauls suggested because much of the money was earmarked for accounts he doesn’t directly control. Money raised with and for GOP committees still matters, but its value is diminished because the candidate doesn’t directly control it.”
Bloomberg: Who’s really winning the fundraising race?
A new Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll in Florida shows Sen. Bill Nelson (D) leads Rep. Connie Mack IV (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 48% to 40%, a three-point shift in the Democrat’s favor since July.Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics