Rep. Steve Israel of New York, the leader of House Democrats’ campaign arm, sketched out his approach to the 2014 cycle on Wednesday, boiling it down to a simple guiding philosophy.
“2014 will be a referendum about one thing: tea party extremism. That’s the deal. That’s the campaign. That’s the cycle,” Israel declared.
Will it work? Answering that question requires first looking more closely at the tea party movement, which has faded in some ways but persisted in others.
On the one hand, the tea party is a shell of its former self, which would suggest Democrats are chasing after a flailing movement that isn’t broadly popular and doesn’t present a huge threat.
In a February NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 20 percent of registered voters called themselves supporters of the tea party movement — a tick down from 23 percent in January, and a two-year low. And in a January Associated Press-GfK poll, 22 percent of Americans identified themselves as supporters of tea party movement, tying a record low in that survey.
On 11 December 2012, the same people who took that poll, the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, headlined “Slim Majority Thinks Debt Deal Will Be Reached,” and reported that whereas 57% of registered voters favor expiration of the Bush tax cuts on incomes above $250,000 like Obama proposes, only 24% favor expiration of the Bush tax cuts for everyone, and 74% are opposed to that.
So, now, registered voters do want the Bush tax cuts to expire only for incomes above $250,000. Unlike back in July, the electorate now strongly favor Obama’s position, whereas they formerly favored the Republican position, by a moderate margin.
Registered voters constitute a far more conservative group than all adult Americans, and so there has always been strong support by non-voters for extending the Bush tax cuts on only incomes below $250,000.
Are Republicans already ignoring the lessons of the presidential election? Last Monday, Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito announced plans to run in 2014 for the West Virginia Senate seat held by Jay Rockefeller. In response, former Rep. Chris Chocola, the president of the Club for Growth, declared the Club’s opposition to Moore’s candidacy. “Congresswoman Capito has a long record of support of bailouts, pork, and bigger government,” he said.
Chocola’s statement was overshadowed by the debate over what to do about the “fiscal cliff.” But it probably says more about the future direction of the Republican Party than House Speaker John Boehner’s daily animadversions on taxes and spending; and what it says is not very good—at least for those Republicans to want to revive their party’s fortunes after this November’s election. It also has some bearing on the fiscal-cliff negotiations.
There is no clear center of power in Republican Party (or, for that matter, the Democratic Party). Primaries are determined by a fairly narrow field of voters - only 15 percent of registered voters, for example, participated this year in Indiana’s hotly contested Republican Senate primary. Candidates depend not only on their personal and political appeal, but also on grassroots support and, of course, money.
That’s where organizations like the Club for Growth come in. Unlike the Republican National Committee or the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Club’s objective is not simply to elect Republicans, but to elect what Chocola calls “true champions of economic freedom.” To do that, the Club is willing to intervene in Republican primaries, even against incumbents. And in the wake of Citizens United, it is able to raise and spend unlimited funds to do so.
There’s a standard post-election GOP canard that goes “they bused in (blacks, Mexicans, convicts, union members, junkies, the homeless) to steal the election. This grumbling canard has lived for decades and now it’s being dusted off once again to explain the electoral landslide defeat Mitt Romney. (Because how else could his most splendiferous majesty, Mitt Romney, who they know is always right have been defeated?) Having grown up in a Rock Ribbed Republican family I’ve pretty much heard it all my life after every major GOP loss.
Normally this is spoken in hushed whispers to just the party faithful, or only among fellow party members, but in this year of the new “masks off” Republicans the Maine GOP party Chief blabbed it to the press. This just demonstrates once more how far off base from reality the Republican leadership is.
This would be funny except for the fact that there really are black people in Maine who vote and this guy so believes the canard that he’s seeking ways to suppress the black vote in Maine.
The head of Maine’s Republican Party is claiming unknown groups of black people showed up in the state’s towns and cast ballots on election day.
‘In some parts of rural Maine, there were dozens, dozens of black people who came in and voted on Election Day,’ Charlie Webster told Portland, Me.’s NBC affiliate on Wednesday. ‘Everybody has a right to vote, but nobody in town knows anyone who’s black. How did that happen? I don’t know. We’re going to find out.’
Webster was unable to provide specifics, but said there were five areas of the state where he said he had concerns. He said he was going to mail thank-you cards for voting to newly registered voters. If some weren’t able to be delivered, he would know there was fraud.
Read more: politico.com
UPDATE: I’m retracting this and calling it garbage. This PPP poll was a fun seasonal poll with questions centering on halloween, what type of monster you would be, and the zombie apocalypse. The results should therefor not be taken seriously. This is a case of partisans stretching things a bit further than they should be. Kudos to my wife for making me go out to the actual poll instead of the selected extract from Salon & Alternet.
Almost seven out of ten registered Republicans, 68% specifically, believe demonic possession is real. Overall, the number drops to 57% of all registered voters, thanks to 49% of Democrats.
Women outweigh men slightly, with 59% of women and 56% of men believing in possession.
All this incredible news comes thanks to Public Policy Polling (PPP), one of the most-respected polling organizations in America.
‘In a classic example of cognitive dissonance, only 37 percent of registered voters–both Democrat and Republican–believe in ghosts, although 57 percent believe in demonic possession,’ Salon.com reports today:
For registered Republicans who do believe in demonic possession (which is, again, the majority), there is at least one standout elected official who is taking this issue seriously and has educated himself about spiritual exorcism.
President Obama is regarded as significantly more honest and trustworthy than Mitt Romney in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll — a finding that could inform the incumbent’s strategy heading into the second debate of the general election Tuesday night.
Fifty-five percent of likely voters said that Obama is “honest and trustworthy,” while 41 percent said he was not. For Romney, on the other hand, 47 percent said he could be described as honest and trustworthy, while an equal 47 percent said that he could not.
Not surprisingly, the question of trustworthiness drew heavily partisan reactions. Among registered voters, nearly nine in 10 (88 percent) of self-identified Democrats said the incumbent was honest and trustworthy while just 22 percent of Republicans said the same. More than eight in 10 (82 percent) of Republicans said Romney was honest and trustworthy; 19 percent of Democrats agreed.
More swing-state voters trust President Barack Obama to handle Medicare than Mitt Romney, according to a poll Monday.
Fifty percent of registered voters in 12 swing states trust Obama to handle Medicare, compared to 44 percent who trust Romney more, according to a Gallup Poll. Nationally, Obama has a 51 percent to 43 percent edge over the Republican nominee.
Only 44 percent said Romney and running mate Paul Ryan have put forth a specific plan to overhaul Medicare. Ryan, as chairman of the House Budget Committee, has proposed giving seniors money to purchase either a government plan or a private plan, which Democrats have criticized as “ending Medicare as we know it” because the voucher might not be enough to cover medical costs comparable to traditional Medicare.
Fifty percent believe Romney and Ryan don’t have a plan. Thirty-six percent of swing-state voters believe the GOP ticket would weaken Medicare.
A slew of new polls suggests that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is lagging behind President Obama in several crucial swing states.
The polls may be the best indicator yet that a post-convention bounce has given the president’s campaign a surge of momentum 53 days before the election — at least for now.
Though the Romney campaign has shrugged off the uptick in polls for Obama as a “sugar high,” Republicans are pushing Romney to refocus his message on the economy and get more specific about his agenda in response. Romney has been diverted from his core message by foreign policy debates this week, facing pushback from prominent conservatives over his criticism of Obama after the violence in Egypt and Libya.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll shows Romney trailing Obama by at least five points in Florida, Virginia and Ohio, all states that Obama won in 2008.
In Florida, which has 29 electoral votes — up from 27 in 2008 — Obama has a five-point lead among likely voters and an eight-point lead among registered voters.
Romney is expected to visit the Sunshine State for high-dollar fundraisers and campaign events next week.
My view is that the consensus of evidence so far points toward Mitt Romney having received a small bounce in the polls of perhaps two or three percentage points from the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla.
Oddly enough, however, you can’t really find a poll that seems to reflect a 2- or 3-point bounce exactly. Instead, there have been some polls where Mr. Romney’s bounce has been a bit larger than that, and others where there is little sign of a bounce at all.
On the favorable side for Mr. Romney is the Rasmussen Reports tracking poll, which now shows him four percentage points ahead of President Obama. That represents a 6-point swing toward Mr. Romney compared with the poll Rasmussen Reports released immediately before the convention, although the bounce is smaller (about three percentage points) measured relative to the long-term average of their surveys.
An online national tracking poll from Ipsos also shows a bounce for Mr. Romney, although its magnitude has been shifting a bit from day to day. Based on the latest iteration of the poll, the race is now tied among likely voters at 45 percent each, reflecting a 4-point swing toward Mr. Romney from Ipsos’s poll before the convention. And the shift has been larger — a net of seven percentage points toward Mr. Romney — in the version of the poll that tracks the preferences of registered voters instead.
But there are also two clearly unfavorable data points for Mr. Romney. One is the Gallup national tracking poll, which still shows Mr. Obama with a 1-point lead — actually a bit worse for Mr. Romney than Gallup’s last survey before the convention, when he had led by one point.
Gallup’s survey still contains a fair number of interviews that were conducted before the convention began, and there is a bit of a silver lining for Mr. Romney in that Mr. Obama’s approval rating ticked down in the poll on Sunday. Since Gallup’s approval ratings are based on a 3-day polling average while their horse race numbers are based on a 7-day average, that could indicate Mr. Romney may still gain a bit of ground in the poll once it fully rolls over to post-convention interviews.
A review of the last year’s worth of national polling conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News makes clear that not only is the electorate almost equally divided between President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney but people are also equally split on which of the two men is better equipped to handle the economy, which, of course, is the only issue that matters to a majority of voters.
In the last 12 national polls conducted by the Post-ABC, Obama averages 47.6 percent among registered voters while Romney averages 47 percent. Only twice in the those 12 polls has either candidate secured a majority of the vote or held a lead outside the margin of error; Obama had a seven-point edge in April 2012 and a six-point lead in February.