A new private poll of 1,000 Democratic voters gives former Gov. Charlie Crist an overwhelming advantage over all other Democrats in a hypothetical primary for governor, including a 21-point lead in a test matchup against Alex Sink, the party’s 2010 nominee.
Neither Crist nor Sink has announced plans to run for governor. The poll concludes that Crist is far better known than Sink and that 75 percent of Democrats believe he has the best chance of beating Republican Gov. Rick Scott in 2014.
In a coincidence of timing, about half of the poll was done before Crist’s Dec. 7 announcement that he was becoming a Democrat, and half was conducted afterward. The poll showed Crist increasing his lead over Sink from 17 points to 25 after his switch became public at a White House holiday reception, for a final advantage of 21 points (55 percent to 34 percent, 11 percent undecided). Respondents were likely primary voting Democrats who also identified themselves on the phone as Democrats.
Mitchell: Beyond that congresswoman, you’ve got to go beyond that if you’re going to get anything from the other side.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to her credit, said there was no need to talk about benefits cuts when there was more savings to be wrung out of the health care system. But clearly, Mitchell is channeling the zeitgeist when she says that the Republicans are going to “need” some benefits cuts.
Mitchell, like so many other wealthy, celebrity pundits sees these “popular” programs as something frivolous that Democratic voters are hanging on to out of immature petulance and they just need a stern Daddy to come along and take away their toys for their own good. The fact that these “toys” are equivalent to Andrea Mitchell’s yearly dry cleaning bill doesn’t change the fact that they represent the entire hand to mouth existence of millions and millions of elderly people who are too sick and too old to go out and become wealthy TV stars.
Senator Scott Brown criticized the state’s welfare department Wednesday for sending voter registration forms to 478,000 people on public assistance, contending that the mass mailing was a ploy to boost the ranks of Democratic voters and help rival Elizabeth Warren’s election bid.
The Democrat’s campaign denounced the Republican senator’s criticism as “bizarre,” pointing out that the legal challenge that triggered the mailing is part of an ongoing national effort that began years ago and that the law that is being enforced has long received bipartisan support.
The state’s Department of Transitional Assistance sent registration forms last month, along with prepaid return envelopes, as part of an interim settlement over a lawsuit alleging that the department has consistently failed to comply with federal voter registration law.
The suit was filed in May by a pair of voting rights groups that were represented by Demos, an advocacy and public policy organization from New York that has brought similar actions in more than a half-dozen states.
Warren’s daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, chairs the group’s board of trustees, prompting accusations that the lawsuit was motivated by partisan and personal interest.
“I want every legal vote to count, but it’s outrageous to use taxpayer dollars to register welfare recipients as part of a special effort to boost one political party,” Brown said. “This effort to sign up welfare recipients is being aided by Elizabeth Warren’s daughter and it’s clearly designed to benefit her mother’s political campaign.”
Demos and state officials denied that the mailings were politically motivated, and Warren’s campaign dismissed the senator’s assertion.
“For Brown to claim this is some kind of plot against him is just bizarre,” campaign manager Mindy Myers said.
Racism Still a Factor Among White Voters in Western Pennsylvania, but Jobs More Important for Most in Swing State
This city is largely white, heavily Democratic, and lies in a rugged area of Western Pennsylvania that John Murtha, its late congressman, called “racist” and “redneck” in the run-up to the 2008 election of Barack Obama.
If Obama’s historic victory ushered America into a postracial era, as some observers suggest, the evidence here is murky.
The sputtering economy weighs most heavily on the minds of voters, and the idea of a black president appears to have gained a grudging acceptance. But the question of race continues to influence the political conversation in ways that often are nebulous and coded, residents and observers said. The result is that the president faces a tough challenge in Pennsylvania despite a big advantage in Democratic voters who have a long history of union activism.
Obama campaign workers recalled being chased off lawns in 2008 as they canvassed door to door; nearly all black residents interviewed in Johnstown said that race continues to affect their lives; and 34 percent of Democrats who voted in the April primary election in Cambria County left Obama’s name blank.
The numbers problem that Obama faces nationally among white men, particularly those without a college degree, appears to be writ large in Cambria County and other parts of the 12th Congressional District, which stretches from north of Johnstown to the West Virginia border.
Among white men across the nation, Mitt Romney leads Obama, 54 percent to 33 percent, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll. Among all men surveyed in the poll, the presumptive Republican nominee leads 47 to 40 percent.
“There are people who are prejudiced, but that’s the way it is,” said Joseph Antal, 72, a white supporter of Obama who is president of the state chapter of the National Association of Letter Carriers.
“It’s just a new thing, and people don’t want to get over it,” said Frank Fantauzzo, 65, campaign director for the Cambria County Democratic Committee. “People would say, ‘He’s going to make us Muslims.’
How many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome? Good government.
They want everybody to vote!
I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now.
As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as voting populace goes down.
I like to call this statement by Paul Weyrich the Rosetta Stone of the modern conservative movement’s attitude towards democracy. In a few words it encapsulates its world view: democracy is fine, as long as the right people vote, and the wrong people are either discouraged from voting or prohibited from doing so.
This strategy was borne out in 2010: it was a normal, mid-term election, in which 50 million fewer people voted than in 2008. The Obama voters, for a myriad of reasons, stayed home, and the people who vote every time, at every election—overwhelmingly white, middle-aged to elderly, and conservative or conservative-leaning—came out and handed the House back to the GOP. The elections of 2008 were a horror for conservatives, as new voters flocked to the polls. The wrong kind of voters. The 2010 contest was more to their liking, where those new voters fraudulently registered by ACORN and protected by Black Panthers thugs were discouraged to come out, and they had the arena mostly to themselves.
And, of course, after the 2010 elections ceded control of governors’ mansions and statehouses to the most right-wing crop of Republicans ever to take power, laws started getting passed that made it more difficult for natural Democratic constituencies to register to vote. I’m not of the opinion that these new laws make it impossible to vote; it will require much more work to get Democratic voters registered and to the polls. But there is no denying that these laws are aimed at core Democratic groups, and will affect them disproportionately when compared to GOP voters. They’re not the poll taxes or literacy tests of old—thanks to the work done in the 60’s—but the message is clear: if you’re not the “right” sort of voter, we’ll make it more difficult for you to engage, so just stay home and let your betters handle things.