POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/26
Cincinnati Enquirer: “A new Ohio program intended to make voting easier could keep the presidential election in doubt until late November if the national outcome hinges on the state’s 18 electoral votes.”
“Under Secretary of State Jon Husted’s initiative to send absentee ballot applications to nearly 7 million registered voters across Ohio, more than 800,000 people so far have asked for but not yet completed an absentee ballot for the Nov. 6 election. Anyone who does not return an absentee ballot, deciding instead to vote at the polls, will be required to cast a provisional ballot. That’s so officials may verify that they did not vote absentee and also show up at the polls.”
“By state law, provisional ballots may not be counted until at least Nov. 17. That means if Ohio’s electoral votes would be decisive in the race between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the state could keep the nation in suspense for several weeks after the election.”
“Facing a massive early voting deficit less than two weeks out from election day, the Romney campaign is projecting a mixed message as the candidate works to keep alive his claim to momentum,” McKay Coppins reports.
“In memos and press gaggles, Republicans insist they’re so far behind by strategic choice — focusing their efforts on helping unlikely voters get to the polls now, and leaving their enthusiastic base to fend for themselves on November 6.”
“But as Mitt Romney and Senator Rob Portman zig-zagged across Ohio Thursday, they repeatedly made a point of pleading for early votes from the cheering partisans who gathered at their rallies — the very group the campaign says they’re not trying to get to the polls.”
President Obama voted today — becoming the first president to vote before Election Day — “in his hometown of Chicago, punching his choices into a touch-screen machine after signing forms and showing his driver’s license,” the Washington Post reports.
Said Obama: “Now ignore the fact that there’s no gray hair on that picture. I’m just glad I renewed my driver’s license.”
“I thought what he said was kinda crazy. But having said that, this election for president is not about that.”
— Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R), quoted by Politico, on Indiana U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s comments on rape and abortion.
Mark Halperin: “The Romney high command did a Thursday afternoon conference call with some of their biggest donors and bundlers from around the country, urging them to push hard for the next week to bring in more dough.”
“According to a source familiar with the call, Romney national finance chair Spencer Zwick and pollster Neil Newhouse gave the group a briefing on the state of the race and pressed them to raise more more more in the next week. Newhouse told the group that the battleground states are within 2-3 points in their data and they need more money for additional last-minute television ads, direct mail, and other forms of voter contact.”
Here are the latest polls from the battleground:
Colorado: Obama 51%, Romney 47% (Public Policy Polling)
Colorado: Obama 46%, Romney 43% (Project New America)
Colorado: Obama 48%, Romney 48% (Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist)
Florida: Romney 50%, Obama 49% (Gravis)
Florida: Obama 47%, Romney 45% (Project New America)
Iowa:: Obama 49%, Romney 47% (Public Policy Polling)
Michigan: Obama 47%, Romney 47% (Foster McCollum)
Nevada: Obama 50%, Romney 47% (Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist)
North Carolina: Obama 48%, Romney 48% (Public Policy Polling)
Pennsylvania: Obama 51%, Romney 46% (Rasmussen)
Virginia: Obama 51%, Romney 46% (Public Policy Polling)
Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 47% (Newsmax/Zogby)
Virginia: Romney 47%, Obama 45% (Fox News)
Wisconsin: Obama 51%, Romney 45% (Public Policy Polling)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is ready to test his political strength in Nevada, the New York Times reports.
“Mr. Reid has spent the last 10 years building a political machine that helped Mr. Obama win Nevada in 2008 and carried Mr. Reid to a re-election victory two years ago that stunned many pollsters. It is widely praised — even by Republicans — as one of the most effective voter-organizing and money-raising political organizations…”
“Mr. Reid’s organization is a large reason that Mr. Obama is favored by many analysts to win narrowly in Nevada, despite what may be the worst economic climate in the nation and a sizable population of voters who, like Mitt Romney, are Mormons. Mr. Reid, who has long been strongly supportive of Mr. Obama in Washington… has made it clear that he views a victory for Mr. Obama in his state as a personal mission. This reflects not only his admiration for the president but also his visceral dislike for Mr. Romney, expressed in constant needling and attacks for almost six months.”
A state district judge temporarily ordered Montana gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill (R) to stop spending a disputed $500,000 donation and cancel all pending ads bought with this money, the Montana Standard reports.
Steve Bullock (D) says the $500,000 donation received by Hill’s campaign illegally exceeds the $22,600 maximum aggregate limit that a political party can give to a candidate for governor. But Hill says he legally received the donation during a six-day window when state contribution limits were struck down by a federal judge and before they were reinstated by an appeals court.
Nate Silver: “Mr. Romney clearly gained ground in the polls in the week or two after the Denver debate, putting himself in a much stronger overall position in the race. However, it seems that he is no longer doing so…”
“Since the Denver debate, Mr. Obama has held the lead in 16 Ohio polls against 6 for Mr. Romney. In Nevada, Mr. Obama has had the lead in 11 polls, to Mr. Romney’s 1. Mr. Obama has led in all polls of Wisconsin since the Denver debate, and he has had five poll leads in Iowa to one for Mr. Romney.”
“Part of the confusion (and part of the reason behind the perception that Mr. Romney is still gaining ground in the race) may be because of the headlines that accompany polls.”
Mark Blumenthal: “”While the debate certainly boosted Romney’s standing in the polls, trends over the past two weeks have been negligible, with the leader seesawing nationally within a range of roughly one percentage point. Over the same period, the standings within the key battleground states have also remained constant. Other poll tracking models have shown the same patterns.”
Kyle Kondik: “While there will be major shifts in the House delegations of many states on Election Day, and while more than a handful of incumbents appear likely to lose, the total change in each party’s net total of House seats will probably not be large. That means it’s good to be the Republicans, who already hold a big edge in the House — an edge that we project them to keep. The Crystal Ball can now project that the Republicans will retain their House majority, although we suspect it will be at least a bit smaller than their current 25-seat edge.”
“We’re still inching ahead, but we’re inching. I think the economy will get better under either one of them.”
— Warren Buffet, in an interview with CNBC, on the economic prospects after the election.
Said Obama: “Let me make a very simple proposition, rape is rape. It is a crime. So these various distinctions about rape don’t make very much sense to me… The second thing this underscores though this is why you don’t want a bunch of politicians, mostly male making decisions about women’s health care decisions.”
“The Obama camp also is up with a web video linking Mourdock to Romney and Paul Ryan. But the real potential blow to Mourdock (and thus the GOP’s chances of winning back the Senate)? John McCain’s endorsement is now up in the air.”
The Votemaster: “Enough presidential polling data is now available to analyze Rasmussen’s data… Averaging all 82 polls, Rasmussen’s mean bias is -1.91 points, that is, Rasmussen appears to be making Obama look almost 2 points worse than the other pollsters.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Wall Street Journal again that she’s not going to run for president in 2016: “I have ruled it out. It’s important for me to step off this incredibly high wire I’ve been on, to take stock of the rest of my life.”
But she added: “I will always want to be in service to my country.”
President Obama explained to Rolling Stone Bill Clinton’s prominent role in his re-election campaign.
Said Obama: “Our relationship is terrific. He did a masterful job, obviously, at the convention. … I’m talking to him regularly, and he has given me good advice. … The biggest challenge we’ve always had is that unlike FDR – who came into office when the economy had already bottomed out, so people understood that everything done subsequently to his election was making things better — I came in just as we were sliding. Because of the actions we took, we averted a Great Depression — but in the process, we also muddied up the political narrative, because it allowed somebody like Romney to somehow blame my policies for the mess that the previous administration created. Bill Clinton can point that out in ways that are really helpful and really powerful.”
Meanwhile, the Obama campaign announced Clinton will appear at rallies with the president on Monday in Florida, Virginia and Ohio.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed President Obama for re-election in an interview with CBS News.
Explained Powell: “When he took over, the country was in very very difficult straits. We were in the one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression. The fiscal system was collapsing. Wall Street was in chaos, we had 800,000 jobs lost in that first month of the Obama administration and unemployment peaked a few months later at 10 percent. So we were in real trouble. The auto industry was collapsing, the housing was start[ing] to collapse and we were in very difficult straits. And I saw over the next several years, stabilization come back in the financial community, housing is now starting to pick up after four years, it’s starting to pick up. Consumer confidence is rising.”
“This all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya. We had constant run-ins on the soccer field. He wasn’t very good and resented it. When we finally moved to America I thought it would be over.”
Jon Ralston: “Any reasonable analysis of the early voting numbers so far shows that the Democratic machine is crushing the Republicans’ Rube Goldberg contraption.”
“I have been reliably told that Romney’s internals in Nevada show him up a point – but some of those folks are smart enough to give the margin of error to the Democratic machine. But that makes it a race, so they aren’t going anywhere.”
“Obama’s polls here consistently have shown him up by 5-8 points. Mark Mellman, who consistently showed Harry Reid winning in 2010, is doing those surveys.”
A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds Mitt Romney has erased President Obama’s 16-point advantage among women, while the president, in turn, has largely eliminated Romney’s edge among men.
Those churning gender dynamics leave the presidential race still a virtual dead heat, with Romney favored by 47% of likely voters and Obama by 45%, a result within the poll’s margin of sampling error.Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics