POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 9/27
The Washington Post reports that Jim Drinkard, an Associated Press editor who oversees the wire service’s fact-checking work, told the National Press Club, “We had to have a self-imposed Michele Bachmann quota in some of those debates.”
Drinkard later clarified that there wasn’t an actual numerical quota on Bachmann, it’s just that if they had gone back and vetted all her claims that looked dicey, the result would “overload” the story. (It’s called a “Ditz-limit” fvm)
Said Drinkard: “Often she was just more prone to statements that just didn’t add up.”
A source tells Greg Sargent that, beginning on Friday, the Romney campaign will run only his new ad in nine swing states in an attempt to show concern for the 47% of citizens he said in a hidden camera video would never vote for him.
President Obama’s campaign is considering competing in Arizona, the AP reports.
“Obama looked at competing in Arizona in 2008, but decided against it because of the support there for home state Sen. John McCain, the GOP nominee. Obama still won 45 percent of the vote.”
“This year, Obama’s team talked early on about running in Arizona, which offers 11 electoral votes, but it never did. Now, with an internal Democratic poll showing Obama narrowly leading Romney, Obama’s team might make a play for the state that has seen a 160,000 increase in voter registrations by Democratic-leaning Hispanics over the past four years.”
Mother Jones: “If you’re overseas and voting by mail in Connecticut this November, grab an aspirin and a pen with lots of ink. The state’s Supreme Court hadn’t resolved a partisan scuffle over who gets to be listed first on the ballot this year before overseas absentee ballots were dropped in the mail, so those voters will have to write in all the candidates’ names themselves.”
Bill Clinton told Piers Morgan that he could be president again, just not in the United States.
Said Clinton: “There are only two countries I’m eligible to run for the leadership position is if I move to Ireland and buy a house, I can — I can run for president of Ireland, because of my Irish heritage.”
“And because I was born in Arkansas, which is part of the Louisiana Purchase, any person anywhere in the world that was born in a place that ever was part of the French empire, if you move to — if you live in France for six months and speak French, you can run for president.”
“However, I once polled very well in a French presidential race. And I said, you know, this is great, but that’s the best I’d ever do because once they heard my broken French with a Southern accent, I would drop into single digits within a week and I’d be toast.”
The NRSC issued a statement clarifying its support for Rep. Todd Akin (R) in the Missouri U.S. Senate race “and suggesting it might spend money to help elect him, after saying a month ago that it would not do so,” the Washington Post reports.
“The NRSC said after Akin’s controversial comments about ‘legitimate rape‘ last month that it would not spend money on his behalf this fall. The hope at the time was that the threat would force Akin out of the race and Republicans could replace him with a more electable nominee. It didn’t work, though, and the deadline for Akin to exit the race passed Tuesday.”
Here are the latest U.S. Senate race polls, updated as needed throughout the day:
Connecticut: Murphy (D) 48%, McMahon (R) 42% (PPP)
Florida: Nelson (D) 53%, Mack (R) 39% (Quinnipiac)
Maryland: Cardin (D) 50%, Bongino (R) 22%, Sobhani (I) 21% (Gonzales)
Massachusetts: Warren (D) 46%, Brown (R) 46% (Rasmussen)
Nevada: Berkely (D) 48%, Heller (R) 44% (PPP)
Ohio: Brown (D) 50%, Mandel (R) 40% (Quinnipiac)
Pennsylvania: Casey (D) 49%, Smith (R) 43% (Quinnipiac)
Meanwhile, the Votemaster has created a fascinating chart showing which state is the current “tipping point” for Senate control.
“If we have to issue horse blinders to everyone on our campaign staff, we will.”
— Obama spokesperson Jen Psaki, quoted by Politicker, on the President Obama’s unexpectedly good poll numbers.
Here are the latest polls from the battleground states, updated as needed through the day:
Florida: Obama 53%, Romney 44% (NYT/CBS/Quinnipiac)
Florida: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (InsiderAdvantage)
Iowa: Obama 51%, Romney 44% (Public Policy Polling)
Ohio: Obama 53%, Romney 43% (NYT/CBS/Quinnipiac)
Pennsylvania: Obama 54%, Romney 42% (NYT/CBS/Quinnipiac)
Pennsylvania: Obama 52%, Romney 43% (Franklin & Marshall)
“A kick in the balls.”
— A longtime Ohio Republican strategist, quoted by the CNN, characterizing President Obama’s advantage on the auto bailout for the Romney campaign.
The Gallup tracking poll now shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney by six points, 50% to 44%.
John Sides looks at new research which finds “the errors of the robo-polls were much lower when a live-interviewer poll had already been conducted in a particular state. In other words, the robo-polls were more accurate when there was a previous live-interviewer poll that may have served as a benchmark.”
From the paper: “Pollsters know their results are being compared to the results of prior polls, and polls created for public consumption have incentives to ensure that their results are roughly consistent with the narrative being told in the press if they want to garner public attention. Pollsters also have further financial incentives to get it right which may make them leery of ignoring the information contained in other polls…”
“Beyond the implications for interpreting IVR polls, the larger point here is that if polls take cues from one another, then the hundreds of polls being reported are not really as informative as the number of polls would imply.”
Claude Fischer: “A pair of surveys asked Americans a more concrete question: in 1960, whether they would be ‘displeased’ if their child married someone outside their political party, and, in 2010, would be ‘upset’ if their child married someone of the other party. In 1960, about 5 percent of Americans expressed a negative reaction to party intermarriage; in 2010, about 40 percent did (Republicans about 50 percent, Democrats about 30 percent).”
President Obama is dramatically outspending Mitt Romney on television ads in both Ohio and Florida, the Huffington Post reports.
“A review of political ad contracts with broadcast television stations in the top five media markets in Florida — Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach — and the top three markets in Ohio — Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus — show Obama’s campaign running 10,000 more ads than Romney’s campaign from the beginning of August through the middle of September.”
With Mitt Romney running significantly behind President Obama in recent Ohio polls, Nate Silver looks at the most-likely scenarios for Romney to win the election without the Buckeye state.
“So one sign that Mr. Romney’s team is preparing a ‘Plan B’ to win the election without Ohio would be if they begin to place more emphasis on Iowa and Nevada. They would then have to hope that a shift in the national environment would carry states like Virginia and Florida back into their column.”
“It isn’t a great plan. But when you’re the Republican candidate and are down outside the margin of error in Ohio with six weeks to go, you don’t have any great plans.”
The Week: “Some Republicans are having doubts as Romney’s campaign hits a rough patch, with a few wondering whether another candidate might have had a better shot.”
First Read: “It’s an interesting tactic by the McCaskill campaign to NOT use Akin’s voice in its first big hit. Perhaps they don’t want to OVER-play it early (and save that if for some reason they are struggling to put him away in October). We only ask because the first hit, using an announcer to read Akin’s quotes rather than HEARING Akin, struck us as less effective.”
President Obama told the Des Moines Register that if he’s fortunate enough to win a second term, his re-election will send a message to Republicans that Americans want them to follow his agenda.
Said Obama: “What I think most Iowans certainly believe is that if the majority of the American people have said, ‘This is the direction we need to go,’ and the Republicans in Congress say, ‘No, we’re going to go in the exact opposite direction,’ that’s probably not going to leave them to keep that majority too long.”
President Obama “has blocked out three days to prepare for the October debates, but with the constant pressures that come with one of the world’s most important jobs, aides worry he may not get enough practice at the podium,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
His “debate retreat” is scheduled to start Sunday and “includes time for the daily battery of presidential meetings, leaving room for three afternoon debate sessions — if no crises flare up. Obama has already canceled some debate preparation because of events in the Middle East.”
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney “has worked on his strategy for weeks, prepping at his home in New Hampshire and at his Boston headquarters, but also squeezing in time as he travels.”
First Read: “Folks, this is an admission that the “47%” remarks – and the Obama camp’s new TV ads on them — have done real damage. Realize: Candidate-to-camera ads are typically when all else is failing and the bonds of trust with the voters are fraying.”