But the failure of immigration reform bodes poorly for the GOP’s “rebrand,” even beyond the direct consequences with Hispanic voters. It suggests that Republicans are more interested in preventing the passage of legislation than improving the party’s chances in national elections. That’s understandable in many circumstances: Obviously Republicans cannot and should not stop fighting for their beliefs. But they should cut their losses and retreat to more defensible ground if resistance is futile and their core beliefs aren’t in jeopardy. A pathway to citizenship, for instance, is all but inevitable. Background checks for gun purchases are also likely to come to fruition, at least if Democrats stay committed to a winning fight. For good measure, both issues are incidental to the GOP’s core governing philosophy. So why are these fights worth having?
In other words, obstruction is hurting the GOP rebrand. Over the last few months, the GOP’s stubborn resistance to a compromise on background checks has added a new, losing wedge issue to the 2016 election. Now, pressure to apply the Hastert Rule to immigration reform threatens an opportunity to get rid of another losing issue. As a result, the burden on the next Republican presidential candidate is getting greater.
Powell’s in the same boat I am — I voted for the GOP presidential candidate in the 7 elections prior to 2012. I’m now a registered Democrat, and it’s unlikely that I will vote for a Republican anytime soon.
More: Powell on Racism
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Political analysts (including The Fix) spend a good bit of time these days talking about important voter groups — Latino voters and female voters, in particular.
But all of the focus on these groups has obfuscated one fact: Mitt Romney is performing very, very well among white voters. And in fact, most recent polls show him winning the white vote by more than any GOP presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan.
Some recent national polls have shown Romney losing the Latino vote by upwards of 40 or 50 points - a result that, if it came to pass, would significantly hurt the GOP’s chances of winning the White House, given the rapid growth in the Latino population.
But even if Romney sustains a huge loss on the Latino vote, he could very well offset that (and much more) by out-performing his Republican predecessors when it comes to white voters, which are still about seven times as much of the electorate as Latinos. Indeed, it’s not unreasonable to think that Romney could win 60 percent or more of white voters this year.
The most recent national polls from four pollsters — Gallup, Monmouth University, Fox News and the Pew Research Center — all show Romney winning the white vote by more than 20 points. That’s something no GOP presidential candidate has done since Reagan’s landslide 1984 reelection win.
(The most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, we should note, shows him winning whites by just 11 percent.)
In 2008, white voters made up nearly three-fourths of the vote, while Latinos comprised 9 percent. Let’s say that, in the election on Nov. 6, there is a surge in the Latino vote (up to 11 percent of the electorate) and a coinciding drop in the white vote (down to 72 percent).
Mitt Romney’s campaign woes have taken a toll on Republican candidates in Democratic-leaning or swing states.
Polls show that some Republicans who had been running ahead of Democratic opponents have now slipped into tight contests, while others who had been surging around Labor Day have now dropped behind.
The impact of Romney’s struggles is not as evident in heavily Republican states, where President Obama appears to have little or no coattails.
Here are ten elections where Obama’s strength — or Romney’s weakness — could sink Republican nominees:
Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown
The freshman Republican shocked the Democratic establishment by winning a 2010 special election for the Senate seat long held by Ted Kennedy, but now he’s suffering from anti-Romney backlash in Mitt’s home state. The GOP presidential candidate, a former Massachusetts governor, is trailing in Bay State polls by as many as 33 percentage points. Even though the state has a large bloc of independents — and Brown is one of the most independent Republicans in the Senate — a massive Obama blow-out could make a flawed Democratic nominee, Elizabeth Warren, a senator.
Connecticut Senate candidate Linda McMahon
Just when Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon was surging, Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” controversy came along. The former wrestling CEO, who has run a disciplined and well-organized campaign, saw a short-lived lead over Democrat Chris Murphy turn into a small but significant deficit over the past three weeks. McMahon still has a chance if her attacks on Murphy’s attendance record and personal finances become significant issues in the eyes of the voters. But a double-digit win by Obama could doom her best efforts.
Rhode Island House challenger Brendan Doherty
Freshman Democrat David Cicilline is in trouble not because of anything he’s done in Washington, but because of the mess he left behind in Providence. Cicilline, the city’s former mayor, said two years ago that he was leaving the city in excellent condition. The current mayor, Democrat Angel Taveras, has described Providence’s finances as a ”Category 5 hurricane.” His Republican opponent, former Rhode Island State Police Chief Brendan Doherty, has remained competitive in a state with a three-to-one Democratic registration edge and an independent governor who is backing President Obama. Cicilline is trying to tie Doherty to the Romney-Ryan agenda, prompting Doherty to tell the Associated Press: ”I am not a part of any radical position. I’m running as Brendan Doherty. I’m my own man.” Doherty could be the right candidate in the wrong year.
And why shouldn’t they since the average deep south house GOP candidate is more like Todd Akin than not, they just have slightly more polish on them.
Meet the newest campaign issue for House Democrats: Todd Akin.
From Colorado to New Hampshire to Illinois, Democrats already are using the incendiary comments about rape made by the Missouri congressman and Republican Senate candidate as a political bludgeon. In interviews, news releases and tweets, they’ve blasted Akin for saying victims of “legitimate rape” are able to naturally prevent pregnancy and tried to tie their opponents to legislation he’s supported.
Those moves might only be the beginning, as Akin has so far refused to drop out of the race despite pleas from top Republicans, including GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and the widespread condemnation of his remarks.
Last month, Mitt Romney’s campaign got into a dustup with the Washington Post after the newspaper reported that Bain Capital, the private equity firm the GOP presidential candidate founded, invested in several US companies that outsourced jobs to China and India. The campaign indignantly demanded a retraction, claiming that these businesses did not send jobs overseas while Romney was running Bain, and the Post stood by its investigation. Yet there is another aspect to the Romney-as-outsourcer controversy. According to government documents reviewed by Mother Jones, Romney, when he was in charge of Bain, invested heavily in a Chinese manufacturing company that depended on US outsourcing for its profits—and that explicitly stated that such outsourcing was crucial to its success.
But the deal’s not done yet, and the challenge for Romney is to make sure these voters don’t stay home on Nov. 6.
“He has to be consistent with his message,” said Bob Vander Plaats, the president of the FAMiLY Leader, a conservative Christian group in Iowa. And he has to pick a running mate who meets the conservatives’ test.
Romney is well aware of the task. Senior adviser Mark DeMoss, a Liberty University trustee, thinks the Liberty speech will deliver an important boost.
“It will be an opportunity to address a whole lot of concerns for all 50 states in one place,” said DeMoss, whose Atlanta public relations firm represents Christian organizations, leaders and causes. The event also should allow Romney to look like a hero: Tens of thousands are expected to attend, and since it’s graduation day, they’re likely to be in a festive mood.
Romney needs them. Polls show that he and Obama in a virtual tie among all voters, meaning it’s important for each side to turn out its supporters in big numbers.
“If 3 or 4 percent of your voters stay home, that could make a big difference in states like Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania,” said Gary Bauer, the president of American Values, a conservative group, and a 2000 GOP presidential candidate.
In 2008, 23 percent of voters identified themselves as white Protestant evangelicals. Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, got 73 percent of their support, and Obama got 26 percent, according to exit polls. In April, a Pew Research Center survey found that 73 percent of them supported Romney and 20 percent Obama.
Herman Cain’s two top campaign aides ran a private Wisconsin-based corporation that helped the GOP presidential candidate get his fledgling campaign off the ground by originally footing the bill for tens of thousands of dollars in expenses for such items as iPads, chartered flights and travel to Iowa and Las Vegas – something that might breach federal tax and campaign law, according to sources and documents.
Internal financial records obtained by No Quarter show that Prosperity USA said it was owed about $40,000 by the Cain campaign for a variety of items in February and March. Cain began taking donations for his presidential bid on Jan. 1. […]
It is not known if Cain’s election fund eventually paid back Prosperity USA, which now appears defunct. The candidate’s federal election filings make no mention of the debt, and the figures in the documents don’t match payments made by the candidate’s campaign.