POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 11/2
The Columbus Dispatch notes that if after votes are counted in Ohio next Tuesday the gap between President Obama and Mitt Romney is relatively small, we could see a “bitter legal drama reminiscent of the 2000 presidential election in Florida.”
“The number of provisional ballots, plus totals from overseas, military and last-minute absentee ballots that have not yet been received, is relatively high. The 2008 election saw almost 208,000 provisional ballots, 80 percent of which were counted.”
“Under that scenario, neither candidate likely would concede, and the country would be on hold for 10 days. That’s how long those casting provisional ballots have to provide documentation that their vote should count. It’s also the deadline for the overseas/military/late-absentee ballots.”
The Detroit Free Press reports Donald Trump tweeted today that President Obama “is a terrible negotiator. He bails out Chrysler and now Chrysler wants to send all Jeep manufacturing to China–and will!”
The comment drew a heated tweet from Chrysler Group Vice President for Product Design Ralph Gilles: “You are full of shit!”
A Democratic operative sent the Tampa Bay Times some data on the early vote in Florida so far “to make the point that President Obama is crushing Mitt Romney when it comes to banking the votes of sporadic and infrequent voters before election day.”
“So far more than 3 million Floridians have cast a ballot by absentee, mail-in ballot or in-person early vote ballot. Democrats lead by more than 60,000 votes, but it’s the unlikely voter numbers that jump out: Of the nearly 414,000 Floridians who did not vote in the last three general elections, Democrats have an advantage of more than 53,000 votes. Of the more than 482,000 Floridians who have only voted in one of the last three general elections, Democrats lead by more than 77,000 — a total of more than 132,000.”
Mitt Romney’s campaign confirms the Republican presidential hopeful is heading to Pennsylavnia on Sunday, “a late-addition stop in a state where his campaign has insisted in the last week that it sees a path,” Politico reports.
The move either indicates Romney thinks he can expand the map of contested states or that he’s making a last ditch effort because he doesn’t think he’ll win Ohio. Or perhaps he just wants to make David Axelrod shave off his mustache.
It’s worth noting that Sen. John McCain made a similar late play for Pennsylvania in 2008 but ended up losing the state by 11 points.
Election workers have already started the long process of opening the thousands of absentee ballots that have flowed in for this month’s election, the Columbus Dispatchreports.
“The envelopes containing the ballots are opened facedown so that workers don’t know the name of the voter. The ballots then must be fed into optical scanners that read the darkened ovals next to candidates’ names and other ballot items.”
Mark Blumenthal: “Consider these past polling errors in the context of the 2 to 3 percentage points or less that separate Obama and Romney in many battleground states. It would take a consistent overstatement of Obama’s margins — just 2 to 3 points — in the battlegrounds to create a scenario in which Romney wins despite the current polling numbers. History says an overstatement of that magnitude is rare but within the realm of possibility.”
In a surprise announcement, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that Hurricane Sandy had reshaped his thinking about the presidential campaign, and he announced that he was endorsing President Obama, the New York Times reports.
Bloomberg has been sharply critical of both Obama and Mitt Romney but he said he “had decided over the past several days that Mr. Obama was the best candidate to tackle the global climate change that the mayor believes contributed to the violent storm, which took the lives of at least 37 New Yorkers and caused billions of dollars in damage.”
Bloomberg added he might have endorsed Romney, “except for the fact that the Republican had abandoned positions he once publicly held.”
270 to Win used a contest in an attempt to use the “wisdom of the crowd” to forecast the election. If the prediction proves accurate, President Obama will be reelected, earning 281 electoral votes to 257 for Mitt Romney.
Here are the latest polls from the battleground states:
Colorado: Romney 50%, Obama 47% (Rasmussen)
Colorado: Obama 49%, Romney 48% (CallFire)
Colorado: Obama 50%, Romney 48% (CNN/ORC)
Florida: Obama 47%, Romney 47% (Newsmax/Zogby)
Iowa: Obama 50%, Romney 44% (NBC/WSJ/Marist)
Iowa: Obama 50%, Romney 47% (CallFire)
Iowa: Romney 49%, Obama 48% (Rasmussen)
Michigan: Obama 53%, Romney 45% (Public Policy Polling)
Nevada: Obama 50%, Romney 46% (SurveyUSA)
New Hampshire: Obama 49%, Romney 47% (NBC/WSJ/Marist)
North Carolina: Romney 46%, Obama 45% (High Point University)
Ohio: Obama 50%, Romney 44% (Newsmax/Zogby)
Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (Public Policy Polling)
Virginia: Romney 48%, Obama 47% (Newsmax/Zogby)
Wisconsin: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (NBC/WSJ/Marist)
Wisconsin: Obama 49%, Romney 49% (Rasmussen)
Wisconsin: Obama 51%, Romney 42% (St. Norbert College)
Though most pollsters ask respondents who they would vote for, a new academic studyfinds asking who they think will win yields more accurate forecasts.
New York Times: “The question allows people to consider not only their views but also those of their relatives, friends and colleagues, he said. Some voters may also give more-honest answers about their own plans, rather than naming a candidate who briefly intrigues them, as happened in the Republican primaries this year. And an expectations question allows people to take into account speeches, debates and news media reports.”
The Obama campaign is up with a new ad hitting Mitt Romney for what Greg Sargent calls is his “Kamikaze strategy” — “a pretty massive and audacious gamble” by “cranking out a startling number of falsehoods and sleazy attacks” in an attempt to win the election.
The Economist: “As a result, this election offers American voters an unedifying choice. Many of The Economist‘s readers, especially those who run businesses in America, may well conclude that nothing could be worse than another four years of Mr Obama. We beg to differ. For all his businesslike intentions, Mr Romney has an economic plan that works only if you don’t believe most of what he says. That is not a convincing pitch for a chief executive. And for all his shortcomings, Mr Obama has dragged America’s economy back from the brink of disaster, and has made a decent fist of foreign policy. So this newspaper would stick with the devil it knows, and re-elect him.”
Nate Silver says Mitt Romney now “has few chances to win unless the state polls are systematically wrong.”
“I don’t mean for this to sound dismissive; the polling error could quite easily be correlated across the different states, and the national polls are one reason to be suspicious of the state polls.”
“But we’re at the point now where Mr. Obama may be a modest favorite even if the national polls are right. Two weeks ago, when Mr. Obama appeared to trail Mr. Romney by a point or so in the national polls, that would not have been the case.”
Fox News reports a classified cable shows the U.S. Mission in Benghazi convened an “emergency meeting” less than a month before the assault that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, because Al Qaeda had training camps in Benghazi and the consulate could not defend against a “coordinated attack.”
A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds more voters trust Mitt Romney over President Obama to break the political stalemate in Congress, 47% to 37%.
Mike Allen: “Both sides are nervous, but Republicans are MORE nervous. They don’t find it particularly encouraging that Mitt Romney was in Florida yesterday and will be in Virginia today – two states the campaign would love to have put away by now. Is Romney’s ‘expand-the-map’ drive… a sign of confidence, or a Hail Mary frenzy because of trepidation about Ohio? The correct answer: It’s mainly an effort to project confidence at a time when Republicans fear a slow-motion reversal of fortune.”
“Top Republicans are already hinting that if Romney loses, his people will blame the storm for stalling his momentum. But D.C. GOPers acknowledge that having some of the nation’s top auto executives call you out, when you’re the business guy born in Michigan, ain’t helpful.”
President Obama “dives back into campaigning after three days immersed in managing the federal response to the storm that battered the East Coast,” the AP reports.
“The president’s advisers insist his break from campaigning had minimal impact on his standing… Still, the Democratic campaign is seeking to make up for the lost time with a heavy travel itinerary in the coming days, including rallies Thursday in Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado. Obama’s remarks Thursday will focus on boosting middle-class security, the key message the campaign is expected to push in the final days of the race.”
Reuters reports Obama’s closing “argument will touch on points he has made for months about the choice between competing Republican and Democratic visions, Obama advisers said, but it will put more weight on Obama’s ideas for the future and could resurrect some of the hopeful themes that helped him win election in 2008.”
The Obama campaign is out with a new ad featuring former Secretary of State Colin Powell:
“When he took over… we were in one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression… And I saw, over the next several years, stabilization come back in the financial community. Housing is starting to pick up… The president saved the auto industry… And the actions he’s taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid. And so I think we ought to keep on the track that we’re on.”
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