POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/8
Here are the latest polls from the battleground states, updated as needed:
Colorado: Obama 47%, Romney 43% (Selzer)
Virginia: Obama 50%, Romney 47% (Public Policy Polling)
Nate Silver: “On average, the four tracking polls showed Mr. Obama with a 3.7 percentage point lead between the convention and the debate… Based on the numbers that the tracking polls published on Sunday, however, Mr. Obama’s lead was down to just 1.7 percentage points on average — a net shift of 2 points toward Mr. Romney since the debate.”
“But that calculation potentially underestimates Mr. Romney’s gains since only about two-thirds of the interviews in these polls were conducted after the debate. If Mr. Romney gained 2 points based on two-thirds of the interviews being conducted after the debate, that would imply a 3-point gain for him based on the post-debate interviews alone.”
Amy Walter: “Despite earlier predictions by the Romney campaign that they would be competitive in traditionally blue states like Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, they are putting no serious effort into any of them. Moreover, the Paul Ryan pick gave Romney only a short-lived bounce in Wisconsin. The latest polls in the Badger State show Obama with a healthy advantage in the state. This has left Romney has a very narrow path to 270, and no room for error. If Romney loses Ohio and Wisconsin, he would have no choice but to win almost every single other battleground state to win.”
Ben Smith: “More of the 2012 cycle’s descents into fantasyland — the unskewing of polls and BLS paranoia most obvious among them — have featured Republicans than Democrats, prompting some on the left to argue that American conservatives have a particular hostility to reality. And certainly, the conservative movement has long nourished more skepticism of the mainstream media and of some forms of government authority than has the left.”
“But there’s probably a simpler explanation for at least some of this: Mitt Romney has spent most of the year losing, and so the Republicans are the ones feeling compelled to re-imagine the polls. That Democrats share, at least, the impulse became clear Wednesday night when a CNN snap poll showed Romney winning overwhelmingly. The liberal twittersphere erupted with skepticism over a sample that, an easy misread suggested, was tilted toward Southern Whites.”
A new Western New England University poll finds Elizabeth Warren (D) is leading Sen. Scott Brown (R) in their U.S. Senate race by five points, 50% to 45%.
A Washington Post investigation finds that, contrary to many popular perceptions, lawmakers don’t get rich by merely being in Congress. Rich people who go to Congress, though, keep getting richer while they’re there.
The report also found that “the wealthiest one-third of lawmakers were largely immune from the Great Recession, taking the fewest financial hits and watching their investments quickly recover and rise to new heights. But more than 20 percent of the members of the current Congress — 121 lawmakers — appeared to be worse off in 2010 than they had been six years earlier, and 24 saw their reported wealth slide into negative territory.”
“Mitt Romney, his friends often say, is a private man in a public world. But with just one month left until the election, he has calculated that to win the presidency he must do what for years he has been loath to: share intimate stories about his life,” the Washington Postreports.
“So, as the sun set on his rally here Friday night, the Republican nominee, buoyed by his successful turn on the debate stage, for the first time publicly related emotionally powerful anecdotes. Romney told of ministering to the needy in his Mormon church, including a 14-year-old who was dying of leukemia and summoned ‘Brother Romney’ to his bedside. He also spoke of an old friend who ended up a quadriplegic after an accident and came to see Romney recently, the day before he died.”
New York Times: “An adviser said that Mr. Romney decided on his own that he wanted to tell those stories onstage. But the move was also couched in a broader campaign strategy to encourage Mr. Romney to reveal a more caring, personal side of himself, a counter to his reputation as a data-driven technocrat.”
In the wake of President Obama’s widely panned performance in his first debate against Mitt Romney, the Washington Post says the stakes for Vice President Biden “are suddenly higher than ever. In the Oct. 11 vice-presidential debate he must not only avoid making any gaffes but also try to puncture his Republican opponent’s arguments on taxes, entitlement reform and deficit reduction, something Obama was criticized for failing to do last week.”
“The pressure on Ryan has risen as well. Romney greatly exceeded expectations, appearing both presidential and in command of the debate stage. Ryan, who has never before debated at the national level, must prove that he is potential presidential material — while also defending the numbers that Romney put forth last week, especially on tax cuts.”
Mark Halperin: “Is Paul Ryan’s goal to win the debate or just not lose it?”
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) put out a new ad hammering challenger Todd Akin (R) on the subject of rape victims.
National Journal reports the is airing statewide. It indirectly cites Akin’s comment that women rarely become pregnant in cases of “legitimate rape.” The ad’s narrator states that “it’s not what Todd Akin said. It’s what he believes.”
A Clarus Research Group poll shows Mitt Romney jumped to a small lead over President Obama nationally after Wednesday’s debate, 47% to 46%.
Just before the debate, a similar poll found Obama leading Romney, 49% to 45%.
Nate Silver: “Mitt Romney continues to show improved numbers in polls published since the presidential debate in Denver on Wednesday and has now made clear gains in the FiveThirtyEight forecast. The forecast gives him roughly a 20 percent chance of winning the Electoral College, up from about 15 percent before the debate.”
The Financial Times runs a must-read profile of Mitt Romney and his presidential campaign.
“If Romney does lose the election, the turning point might be his [mid-June] departure on his six-state bus tour from the New Hampshire farmhouse. While Romney was holding small rallies, generating positive local news coverage, the Obama machine cranked up a campaign of negative attacks costing tens of millions of dollars. Obama’s air war was devastating. The portrait of Romney as a latter-day robber baron raiding companies and laying off workers at Bain Capital angered many business leaders. But it hit home with its target audience, the middle classes of middle America, in states such as Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin. For many political professionals, Romney’s fatal mistake was not to have advertisements up at the same time, telling his own life story on his own terms.”
The Week rounds up advice for how President Obama can adjust to a newly invigorated Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney’s strong debate performance “has generated $12 million in online contributions, his campaign said, as well as a surge in volunteers and bigger crowds at his events,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Republicans and Democrats say Mr. Romney’s performance before a television audience of some 67 million people bought the GOP nominee a second look from swing voters and may help him improve an image battered by negative ads and his own missteps. The debate also gave Mr. Romney a chance to do something he couldn’t in the primary: trumpet his record of working with Democrats and present himself as a practical deal maker who favors results over ideology.”
Daily Beast: Will Mitt get a major bounce?
Mitt Romney regularly claims a track record of bipartisanship as Massachusetts governor by running a state dominated by the political opposition.
New York Times: “But on closer examination, the record as governor he alluded to looks considerably less burnished than Mr. Romney suggested. Bipartisanship was in short supply; Statehouse Democrats complained he variously ignored, insulted or opposed them, with intermittent charm offensives. He vetoed scores of legislative initiatives and excised budget line items a remarkable 844 times, according to the nonpartisan research group Factcheck.org. Lawmakers reciprocated by quickly overriding the vast bulk of them.”
“Nobody had to tell President Barack Obama he had whiffed when he walked off the stage in Denver Wednesday night — nor was he in the mood for a lot of advice,” Politico reports.
Said an adviser: “You could tell he was pissed.”
“At first, Obama didn’t think his performance was a complete disaster. But he began Thursday morning by watching excerpts of his own performance and was especially struck by his own tentative, grim demeanor — especially when he and a more relaxed Mitt Romney were broadcast in split-screen. It was worse than he thought, according to one person close to the situation. He was subdued but positive on a conference call with staff.”
Nate Silver: “Historically, there has been no relationship at all between the unemployment rate on Election Day and the incumbent’s performance. However, there has been a relationship between the change in the unemployment rate in the months leading up to the election and how well the incumbent does. The decline in unemployment under Mr. Obama this year since December is the largest in an election year since Ronald Reagan’s re-election bid, when it declined to 7.3 percent in Sept. 1984 from 8.3 percent in Dec. 1983.”
The current data “would project a narrow re-election for Mr. Obama by about 3 percentage points — similar to Mr. Bush’s margin over John Kerry in 2004. Especially with the Friday jobs report, the economic numbers now seem just strong enough to make the incumbent a favorite for re-election, based on the way the public has evaluated their presidents historically.”Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics