More Obama Supporters Could Change Their Minds

“Almost eight in 10 Americans in the USA Today poll say there’s nothing either candidate could say or do in the debates that would change their minds about their vote. Still, one of five say the debates could sway them — including 24% of Obama supporters and 18% of Romney supporters.”


IsThis the “Bombshell” Obama Video?

Matt Drudge reports an explosive video — which he calls “Obama’s other race speech” — will air on Fox News and the Daily Caller website at 9 pm ET.

Several sources suggest it’s actually a clip from a 2007 speech that was widely reported during the presidential campaign four years ago.

Update: Yes, that’s the video posted by the Daily Caller.

Update II: The Romney campaign told BuzzFeed it had no involvement in the video release.

See more…


Ryan Said 30% Want a Welfare State

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan “share a similarly dim view of a very large portion of Americans, according to previously unreported remarks by Ryan. Both believe that many of their fellow citizens are dependent on government and have no motivation to improve their lives — but they disagree over the precise number,” the Huffington Post reports.

“Romney’s estimate, famously, is 47 percent. For Ryan, it’s 30 percent.”

Said Ryan, in remarks given in November 2011: “Seventy percent of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want their welfare state. Before too long, we could become a society where the net majority of Americans are takers, not makers.”

See more…


Presidential Race Tightens Slightly

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds President Obama heads into the first presidential debate with a narrow lead over Mitt Romney, 49% to 46%.

Obama’s lead is down slightly from the five-point lead he enjoyed in mid-September, just after the two parties’ conventions.

Key findings: “Mr Obama maintains commanding leads among Hispanics, young voters and women, with his share of the crucial Hispanic bloc appearing only to widen. A whopping 71% of likely Hispanic voters said they plan to vote for Mr. Obama. Mr. Romney holds a strong margin of support among white voters and men, and he appears to be gaining a little strength among the college educated. His strengths there, though, aren’t sufficient at this point to offset weaknesses elsewhere.”


Latest Swing State Polls

Here are the latest polls from the battleground states, updated as needed through the day:

Florida: Obama 46%, Romney 43% (Suffolk)

Nevada: Obama 53%, Romney 42% (We Ask America)

New Hampshire: Obama 51%, Romney 44% (Public Policy Polling)

North Carolina: Obama 49%, Romney 47% (SurveyUSA)

Virginia: Obama 47%, Romney 39% (Roanoke College)

Meanwhile, it’s not officially a battleground state where the campaigns are competing but…

Missouri: Romney 48%, Obama 45% (We Ask America)


Romney Off the Record

McKay Coppins reports on Mitt Romney’s “off the record” sessions with the traveling press corps, in which nothing the candidate does or says can be reported.

“Eager for access to the famously reserved candidate, reporters have generally agreed to the campaign’s terms for these ‘OTRs,’ which have long been common practice on presidential campaigns. But the resulting interactions — rare, unfettered conversations with an unusually candid Romney — have left many of the traveling campaign reporters frustrated that they’re unable capture a side of the candidate that he keeps hidden from public view.”


Ryan Still Not Explaining His Tax Math

Jonathan Chait: “This last weekend, Paul Ryan repeatedly dodged questions about the mathematical impossibility of the tax plan he and Mitt Romney are running on, and then, having burned through seven repeated questions and two minutes of dodging, insisted he couldn’t answer because the math would take too long. Today Bloomberg News spoke to Ryan and promised he could have all the time he wanted to get into the math. Guess what? He still didn’t.”

“Rather than try to reconcile his irreconcilable promises, Ryan dissembled his way through another interview.”


Ryan Still Not Explaining His Tax Math

Jonathan Chait: “This last weekend, Paul Ryan repeatedly dodged questions about the mathematical impossibility of the tax plan he and Mitt Romney are running on, and then, having burned through seven repeated questions and two minutes of dodging, insisted he couldn’t answer because the math would take too long. Today Bloomberg News spoke to Ryan and promised he could have all the time he wanted to get into the math. Guess what? He still didn’t.”

“Rather than try to reconcile his irreconcilable promises, Ryan dissembled his way through another interview.”


The Loser Narrative

John Cook: “The press is doing to Romney the same thing it did to John Kerry, and to Al Gore before him: Covering him as a loser. A weird loser. A distant loser, who is ‘uncomfortable in his own skin’ and ‘failing to connect’ with ‘regular voters.’ The contempt and pity for him as a candidate is almost palpable, and each moment in the campaign is distorted imperceptibly, as if by magnetism, to reinforce the Romney caricature. This is how we got a flurry of stories, for instance, about how Romney doesn’t know why airplane windows don’t roll down.”


Pentagon Seeking Potential Targets Behind Libya Attack

“The American military’s top-secret Joint Special Operations Command is preparing detailed information that could be used to kill or capture some of the militants suspected in the attack last month in Libya that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans,” the New York Times reports.

President Obama “has a range of options available — including drone strikes, Special Operations raids like the one that killed Osama bin Laden; and joint missions with the Libyan authorities — but all carry substantial political, diplomatic and physical risks. Administration officials say no decisions have been made on any potential targets.”


What Would You Ask Mitt Romney?

Andrew Sullivan: “What are the main differences between your domestic and foreign policies and those of the last Republican president, George W. Bush?”


Why Obama is Defying Gravity

National Journal: “Obama’s fortunes are rooted in voters’ dimming expectations for the economy and the federal government, and their apparent conclusion that the country’s current misery is not entirely the president’s fault. Polls show Americans appear resigned to an economic future only mildly better than the status quo.”

“Further muddling the economic dynamic is the emerging evidence that Americans have lowered their expectations for growth — yet they remain eager to grasp at any indication that they are wrong. Voters see the economy, ever so slowly, improving. It’s a critical distinction. If things were getting worse, economists say (and even Obama campaign officials concede), the president would likely be losing.”


Love Pulls Ahead of Matheson

A new Deseret News poll in Utah’s 4th congressional district shows challenger Mia Love (R) leading Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) by six points, 49% to 43%.


A Pollster Under Oath

Josh Gerstein digs up testimony of pollster Harrison Hickman who worked for the John Edwards presidential campaign in 2008 and was forced to testify under oath in the federal criminal case against Edwards over alleged campaign finance violations earlier this year.

“Under oath, Hickman admitted that in the final weeks of Edwards’s 2008 bid, Hickman cherry-picked public polls to make the candidate seem viable, promoted surveys that Hickman considered unreliable, and sent e-mails to campaign aides, Edwards supporters and reporters which argued that the former senator was still in the hunt — even though Hickman had already told Edwards privately that he had no real chance of winning the Democratic nomination.”

Hickman also testified “that when circulating the polls, he didn’t much care if they were accurate.”


Judge Blocks Pennsylvania Voter ID Law

A Pennsylvania judge blocked the state’s voter-identification law from taking effect in time for the November election, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Rick Hasen: “In a nutshell, the judge has found that there will still be at least some voter disenfranchisement caused by the new law, because it does not appear that PA officials could get id’s into the hands of everyone who wants one before the election.  There earlier PA Supreme Court decision required the judge to enjoin enforcement of the law if he found disenfranchisement on remand, and he has.”

“But the judge enjoined only part of the law. The state may still ask for id. But it must accept a ballot even if the voter fails to have id.  It will not be necessary to cast a provisional ballot. This may cause confusion at the polls, as the state will still have poll workers ask for id, even though a voter can vote without it.”


Vulnerabilities Heading Into the First Debate

First Read: “Heading into tomorrow night’s first presidential debate, both President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney have two big vulnerabilities that his opponent can exploit. And it’s safe to say that whichever candidate better addresses his vulnerabilities will have more success in Wednesday’s debate.”

“For Obama, one of his vulnerabilities is that he hasn’t fully described what a second term would look like… For Mitt Romney, a big vulnerability is that he hasn’t differentiated his economic policies from George W. Bush’s.”


Obama Favored in First Debate

A new Pew Research survey finds that a majority of voters think President Obama will do better than Mitt Romney in Wednesday’s presidential debate, 51% to 29%.

Also interesting: A substantial majority of voters plan to watch the debate: 62% say they are very likely to watch, another 21% say they are somewhat likely.

Forbes: The #1 reason to watch the presidential debates.


An Electoral College Tie?

Nate Silver reports that the possibility of an electoral college tie is a real possibility if President Obama holds the states Sen. John Kerry won in 2004 along with winning New Mexico and Ohio in addition.

“The election would then be thrown to the House of Representatives, which would cast votes based on the provisions of the 12th Amendment. Mitt Romney would probably win such an election, because Republicans will probably control a majority of state delegations in the incoming House of Representatives.”


8 Memorable Debate Moments

Brad Phillips collected eight clips of some of the most memorable presidential debate moments from the television era.


Super PAC Hits Obama on Economic Stimulus

American Crossroads is up with a new ad focusing on the impact that President Obama said the stimulus would have on the unemployment rate.

Maggie Haberman: “The spot features a man using charts and graphics to show where the president said unemployment would be around now, under 5.5 percent, compared to where it is, at 8.1 percent. The gist of the spot is a refrain that Republicans have hit Obama for over the last year – that money was spent, but what he said the nation would have to show for it didn’t come to pass.”

The $11 million ad buy is running in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.

See more…


King Maintains Big Lead in Maine

A new Critical Insights poll in Maine finds Angus King (I) still with a commanding lead in the U.S. Senate race, beating Charlie Summers (R), 50% to 28%, with Cynthia Dell (D) way back at 12%.

Other recent polls suggested the race had tightened.

In the presidential race, President Obama leads Mitt Romney 52% to 36%.


Romney Hits Obama on Tax Increases

Mitt Romney released a new ad accusing President Obama of raising taxes on the middle class.

Greg Sargent: “The ad shows that the Romney camp recognizes the urgent needs to change perceptions that his policies are skewed towards the wealthy. The problem is that the ad is an almost comically misleading presentation of his own actual proposals, and it is unlikely voters will believe it in the numbers Romney needs.”

Mark Halperin: “It uses the same picture of President Obama and Nancy Pelosi THREE times in 30 seconds.”

See more…


Early Voting Starts in Ohio

“Early in-person voting begins in each of Ohio’s 88 counties at 8 a.m. while the first of more than 922,000 absentee ballots will begin to be mailed today by county boards of elections,” the Columbus Dispatch reports.


Obama Ahead With Strong Support from Women

A new Quinnipiac poll finds President Obama leads Mitt Romney nationally among likely voters, 49% to 45%.

Key findings: The president leads 56% to 38% among women and 94% to 2% among black voters. Men back Romney 52% to 42% while white voters back him 53% to 42%.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “President Obama won only about 43% of the white vote in 2008, so his current standing among whites tracks his earlier winning performance. If the president can match or exceed his 2008 showing among whites it will be difficult to impossible for Romney to win. It is also very difficult to win an election when you are getting shellacked among women, the group that makes up about half the electorate.”



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

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