The Election and the News

I generally start my day by reading the New York Times Online. Today was no different. But I looked at it from a different perspective -- what in the news today would have an effect on the election and what would that effect be?

Here''s what I found today - Egyptians vote for President in First for Arab World. What of this? Election itself a slight positive for Obama but not really important. Just part of the sheen of a perceived successful foreign policy. Facebook IPO Raises Regulatory Concerns. A story about how insiders get better information than average investors. But Facebook is sort of tied to Obama in an image way (and probably in a monied way as well.) A wash. Global Powers Resume Talks With Iran. Good for Obama, especially if Romney feels compelled to appease the neocons who want war with Iran.

But here is the news that matters politically - Stocks Fall as EU Leaders Gather In Brussels. It is in Europe where the big story is today. The adoption of the most senseless economic policy in some time - austerity in the face of economic recession, threatens the world economy. And in fact, threatens Obama's reelection. I'll explain why on the flip.

From the story:

“The hard truth is that there are no magic solutions to solving this crisis,” the Netherlands’ caretaker prime minister, Mark Rutte, said Wednesday before the meeting. “We will all have to keep our spending in check, pay off our debts and swiftly introduce healthy reforms. This is what will kick-start growth in a highly competitive world, and offer the young a new hope and a future.” [Emphasis supplied.]

Think about that. After 2 years demonstrating just how stupid that approach is in an economic recession, Europe appears set to double down.

A similar debate is occurring in the United States. And it is the Republicans who want to emulate Europe.

The are two political plays on this for the Obama team. The first is to denounce the drive for austerity in Europe,either privately or publically, and let the European leaders know that you will distance yourself from their policies. This might forestall some of the European austerity.

This might help the economy which of course helps Obama's reelection chances.

The other play is to tie Romney and the GOP to Europe's failed austerity policies and how they would lead to disaster in the United States. "See what's happening in Europe? That's what the GOP wants for the US" would be the line.

This approach also allows Dems to highlight that the GOP wants to gut Medicare and Social Security. Yes, a little "Mediscare." Which happens to be true BTW.

That's how I'm reading the news these days.

Speaking for me only

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    I think the one issue with tying Romney (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by CST on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:21:17 AM EST
    to Europe, is that by default, people think "left-wing" when they think Europe.  I don't know how you eliminate that knee-jerk reaction.  It's like the facebook thing.  Has no bearing on reality but that's how it's viewed.

    That's certainly how the (none / 0) (#104)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed May 23, 2012 at 11:32:43 PM EST
    GOPers, idiotically and nonsensically, have been playing it.  They're positively gleeful that Europe is crashing, despite the fact that they're crashing after following GOP-style economic policies.

    How they reconcile this stuff in their tiny little brains, I can't imagine.

    But I continue to be mystified that a real-time experiment in GOP economic prescriptions is being played out to disastrous effect in Europe, and yet no Dems., never mind Obama himself, are pointing it out as the object lesson it should be.

    Ok, Paul Krugman is making the book promotion rounds and saying it out loud, and Jared Bernstein occasionally pops up on cable to make the point more politely.

    But still, I don't get why this screamingly obvious object lesson/real-time experiment isn't being shouted from the rooftops.


    Um, because abandoning austerity (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by dk on Wed May 23, 2012 at 11:57:24 PM EST
    would be bad news for the Democrats biggest campaign doners (as, coincidentally, it would be for the Republicans biggest campaign donors who are, coincidentally, essentially the same group).

    Simple answers to simple questions.


    The problem I see (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by dk on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:35:56 AM EST
    is that the national Democrats have played along with austerity, and there's plenty of information in the public sphere about Obama being up to making cuts to medicare.  Would enough people believe he's changed his mind?

    At Talk Left? (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:48:41 AM EST
    No they won't believe anything good about Obama. The rest of the world is not quite so set in its hatred of Obama.

    Hyperbole much? (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:51:12 AM EST
    You are a perfect example (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:58:54 AM EST
    Perhaps for others. Not for you though.

    Not really (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 10:00:20 AM EST
    I don't hate Obama. I'm mad at the blown chances and the fact that nothing is going to change if he is re-elected.  In fact, since he will not have to run for re-election, I'm not convinced they won't get worse, so yes, I don't like his policies and his actions, but I don't hate him.

    But go on with your rich fantasies.


    Sure sure (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 23, 2012 at 10:01:34 AM EST
    Don't you (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 23, 2012 at 10:04:31 AM EST
    think that the GOP can use Obama offering up cuts in Medicare and Social Security against him? I know back in 2010 before the midterms they did do that here in GA.

    I don't think most voters are even (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed May 23, 2012 at 11:40:07 PM EST
    aware that he did.  It demoralizes aware Dems, but that's about it.

    The main thing is that it keeps Obama and lower-level Dems from running effectively against the Ryan budget.

    The mind continues to reel that anybody thought this was a Good Idea on political grounds, never mind policy.


    I think you may be right (none / 0) (#121)
    by sj on Thu May 24, 2012 at 10:58:00 AM EST
    on all counts.

    What about the Repubs (none / 0) (#27)
    by christinep on Wed May 23, 2012 at 12:14:33 PM EST
    Lockstep vote for the Paul Ryan budget (twice)?  "Offering up" some negotiating points sold to most people as improvements might stand in stark contrast to the full-throated, public effort to privatize or substantially change the Social Security & Medicare programs.  At least, that is what my good friends out here-Democrats all--have been saying.

    In the (none / 0) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:02:49 PM EST
    end I think it will be a wash with Obama not being able to use Social Security or Medicare because he wanted cuts to them to them too. He certainly can't campaign on "saving" medicare or social security. This election is going to be about the economy which right now plays to Romney's strengths. Romney's definite weak point is foreign policy but I don't know how much that is going to matter in November.

    I disagree (none / 0) (#39)
    by christinep on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:12:22 PM EST
    The Paul Ryan budget will be a front & center issue put forth by Dems.  In fact, it is already being played that way.

    As for the claimed "economic" strength of a Romney:  Check the Washington Post poll internals wherein you might see the ersatz strong Romney actually losing ground in this regard over the past few months, while the President is perceived as gaining in comparison (especially in jobs.)


    They can (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:32:53 PM EST
    put forward the Paul budget all they want but how do you fight against it when you offered up cuts yourself? Obama is preaching austerity much like the GOP is. Everything is saying a close election and that's what I'm seeing right now too.

    There is an obvious difference (none / 0) (#58)
    by christinep on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:07:04 PM EST
    Between refining & destroying.  (And, in the context of "offering up" something in negotiations that never involve any formal action, the non-action & what-IRS mean nothing.  We politically absorbed types might have a different take, but a substantial number of people who will vote do not even pay real attention until the months before an election.  And, the fine points of what-might-have-been inside Washington a year before are less clear than fog.)

    The Democratic leadership in the Senate & the House have already served notice of their autumn pursuit plans.  Lots of straightforward film clips on the Paul Ryan Republican loveliest and openly against-the-grain Medicare plan, to say the least.

    Ah well, we shall see soon enough.


    Fair enough (none / 0) (#15)
    by dk on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:57:05 AM EST
    IMO, there are a lot of people who are pretty pissed off at the national Democrats for the state of the economy (some of that is deserved, some not) and campaign promises alone are a little tougher when you're an incumbant running on a record.  I guess you disagree.

    In any event, my current opinion is that bad economic news will be essentially a wash during this campaign.  Democrats are saddled with the poor economy since it's occurring on their wash, but people don't believe Republicans would make it any better.

    I think personal attacks on Romney will be the most effective ploy and, given what an awful Pol he is, will do the trick.


    True Statement: (none / 0) (#33)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed May 23, 2012 at 12:52:24 PM EST
    BTD is on freaking fire recently.

    Agree with original post and comment.


    I absolutely agree that Democrats need to (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Anne on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:49:57 AM EST
    get off the austerity bandwagon, but the problem is that Dems are now boasting that federal spending under Obama is at its lowest level in 60 years; they actually think this is good news, which makes me think these guys are not only on the bandwagon, but are wearing seatbelts to make sure they don't accidentally fall off.

    Why are Dems crowing about this?  To counter the GOP's claims that Obama and the Democrats are spenders, of course.  Which, if they are at all successful in doing, will be a hollow victory that may spell electoral success, but will also mean continued economic lassitude if not recession.

    And Obama is still out there saying he wants more deficit reduction - he's still got kind of a hard-on for some kind of Grand Bargain.  What worries me is that this is a message that's going to have to be maintained right up to the election, and guess what's also looming?  The expiration of the Bush tax cuts and raising the debt ceiling.  

    I get that the Dems are trying to box the GOP into a losing electoral strategy, but is no one considering the price most of us are going to pay for that?  Given how Dems have handled this in the recent past, what is your best and most honest guess about what these Democrats are going to do?

    What I would like to hear is a loud, unequivocal and constant message from Dems and Obama that social safety net programs are categorically off the table; there was no hesitation about Dems taking Bush impeachment off the table, or taking accountability for the Bush/Cheney actions off the table, or taking single-payer off the table; shouldn't the least they be able to do is take these programs off the table?

    My fear is that they will reject the extremes of what the GOP wants to do, and sell their own approach as the sane, sensible one that will nevertheless be the beginning of the end of these programs as we've known them - and not in a good way.

    Please tell me I'm wrong.  I want to be wrong.

    They are worried (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:53:03 AM EST
    Poll after poll is showing that voters either a) trust the Republicans (Romney) more on how to handle the economy or b) they are coming around to that idea.

    Talking up spending right now does not help them electorally, especially with not only the WH at stake, but 1/3 of the Senate.


    I may be wrong about this, but (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by NYShooter on Wed May 23, 2012 at 10:12:55 AM EST
    didn't Obama get a nice bounce in the polls when he went on the stump preaching a Populist message a while ago? I think some of us here even were heard saying, "why didn't he start this earlier?"

    The only news (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by brodie on Wed May 23, 2012 at 10:50:04 AM EST
    that can change what appears to be a bad outcome for Obama and Dems this fall would be if the Euro leaders suddenly get smart and reject austerity, which doesn't seem likely.

    Otherwise the news that matters is already long in the can  -- three and a half years of sluggish and far too meager economic recovery under Obama with a Repub opposition determined not to help O improve the situation, combined with aggressive GOP voter suppression laws in enough key states.  The latter item has gone somewhat underreported and underemphasized by the O campaign team and will likely mean the difference between a very narrow victory despite the economy and a close loss, which I predicted weeks ago would occur.

    Barring some amazing turnaround in the thinking of Euro leaders along with a far more muscular and wise O campaign strategy -- having O propose a major jobs bill and forcing the GOP to publicly reject it, and arguing on the stump for an overall govt stimulus approach as against austerity -- the O campaign is most likely going to fall short this time, unfortunately.

    As my comments elsewhere showed, (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by dk on Wed May 23, 2012 at 12:01:52 PM EST
    I agree with you 100% regarding the impact on the economy and economic news on the election.

    I fall on the side of narrow win, not a loss, for Obama, though, becuase of how bad Romney is as a pol.  Romney as the John Kerry of 2012, so to speak, purely as it relates to campaigning acumen, that is.


    Re Romney, I think our side (none / 0) (#28)
    by brodie on Wed May 23, 2012 at 12:27:02 PM EST
    tends to overestimate the negative impact of his personal and political flaws, some of them laughable.  Recall the "paper tiger" wimp Poppy Bush in 1988 and how he was often derided as Reagan's eager puppy dog with no will or convictions of his own.  In the end it didn't matter -- and with such a low bar set by his critics he ended up looking impressive and forceful, greatly exceeding their expectations on the stump and in debate.

    Also consider that since 1968 of the four close elections since then, the GOP has won three, and their one loss involved a non-elected semi-doofus incumbent who still nearly managed a late comeback win.  Romney is not that stupid or quite as bumbling and his campaign org is far superior.  

    As for the three close GOP wins, all are suspect.  And that suggests a Repub scorched democracy strategy of doing whatever it takes -- including brazen election theft -- in order
    to ensure the outcome they seek.  As I noted above, the pieces are already in place for that.

    This one will be close, but the GOP doesn't lose close elections in the modern Rove era.


    Not sure I really agree with a lot of this (none / 0) (#30)
    by dk on Wed May 23, 2012 at 12:39:32 PM EST
    Romney has issues even within his own party.  And his built in advantages of being able to capitalize on frustrations over the bad economy and the relatively-ineffective-and-mostly-too-conservative-for-the-99% Obama presidency thus far, I'd think he would be further ahead by now.  The reason, I think, is largely his personal lack of personality (and the mormonism probably doesn't help either).

    Sure, Bush I had no personality, but he was up against Dukakis (and don't get me wrong, I was a big fan personally, but can understand why it didn't work out).  And ask John McCain about guaranteed success in the modern Rove era.


    Okay I might agree that Romney's (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by brodie on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:04:46 PM EST
    personality and related are relevant to this extent:  that the tepid enthusiasm he gets from the fire breathers in his party will probably keep down his margin of victory.  

    But again don't overlook the extent to which their tepid support or lack thereof can and will be overcome by the prospect he offers of getting rid of the Kenyan Socialist in the WH.

    Finally, no, Obama won't Dukakis himself to a landslide come from ahead defeat.  Nor will Obama this time be the rather fresh and untarnished young superstar pol on the stump he was in 2008, and neither will the Romney campaign hand their opponents a breathtakingly laughable object for ridicule as the McCain team did with Palin.  I see a smart, very well vetted, and ultimately bland and safe pick for his Veep.  Portman or Thune or someone like that.


    It's not a matter of gaffes per se (none / 0) (#109)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:04:19 AM EST
    Romney is an excruciatingly phony and unlikable person.  It's very clear that the voting public already sees him that way.  His personal approval ratings are in the toilet, as they should be.

    The question is whether enough people are mad enough at Obama that they'd be willing to have this unspeakably awful personality posturing on their TV screens every night for four years.

    Hate to go the "have a beer with this guy" route here, but it is a factor when the personality differences are so stark.


    Eurpean "austerity" (none / 0) (#31)
    by christinep on Wed May 23, 2012 at 12:47:26 PM EST
    A few things, Brodie.....  Think about the about-to-be effect of France's new President Hollande, a leader with markedly different views than Sarkozy. (See, e.g., his comments supporting additional stimulus for Europe, comments made following his initial Summit in the U.S last week.). Think also about the wee bit of change that Germany's Merkel is showing with a clear softening of her hardline last week.

    I'm all for Hollande and (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by brodie on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:15:31 PM EST
    against Merklism, but I doubt if a wee bit of change over there, a wee bit less austerity, is going to make a wee bit of difference in the election outcome over here.  Though for sure it will be close -- but O will need more than a wee bit of good news drifting over the Pond to put him back in the WH.

    O and Co are going to have to really roll up their sleeves and win this one themselves -- help from abroad is likely to be ineffectual, too little too late at best.


    You're totally ignoring the (none / 0) (#108)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed May 23, 2012 at 11:59:01 PM EST
    electoral college, which still strongly favors Obama.

    I don't relish the prospect of another Electoral College president, but at this point, I'll take what I can get.

    But I don't think it's going to come down to that unless something really weird happens between now and November.


    270 and Romney (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by ks on Wed May 23, 2012 at 11:41:49 AM EST
    Obama has been meh but putting all of the "horse race" polls and narrative aside, at the moment, I simply don't see a realistic path to 270 for Romney.  He would really need to run the table in a very improbable fashion to get there.  Also, Romney's support from his Party seems tepid at best to outright hostile at worst.  

    Romney (none / 0) (#29)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 12:36:08 PM EST
    will get the party faithful out because they hate Obama more. They don't have to like him.

    As of right now, Obama doesn't get to 270 either, so it's going to be tight.


    An iffy proposition (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by ks on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:03:54 PM EST
    The "Party faithful" may hate Obama but that doesn't mean they will turn out for Romney or, more likely, turn out at all.  They don't have to love him but there has to be something there.  Can you show me an enthusiastic Romney supporter?  They seem to be scarcer than 4 leaf clovers.  Also, I suspect most of that "party faithful-hate Obama" vote is already in deep red states.  

    Sure Obama doesn't have 270 yet but he's estimated to be in the 230ish range and has several options to get to 270.  OTOH, Romney's estimated at 170 and would really need a remarkable string of victories to get to 270.  


    Oh (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:10:09 PM EST
    the party faithful are going to turn out for Romney. There's no question in my mind about that. But the problem is that there's not enough "party faithful" to make Romney win as only something like about 20% of the population would fall into that category. This election like so many others is going to be decided by "swing voters" who may decide to "fire" Obama or may decide to give him another chance or consider Obama to be "less toxic" than Romney.

    Probably (none / 0) (#40)
    by ks on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:14:00 PM EST
    But, iirc, they didn't really come out for McCain and while they didn't necessarily like him, they favored him more than Romney.  Also, I think a lot of that vote is in states that Romney is already likley to win.

    It might (none / 0) (#44)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:29:41 PM EST
    very well be in red states but remember that some votes in OH would have made Kerry president in 2004. They seem to be more motivated now after having been  shut out of the presidency for four years. This is also not 2008 with a demoralized GOP base. They are ready to vote this year.  

    Ah, but (none / 0) (#43)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:24:28 PM EST
    Romney is getting the independents (I think I may have posted this before, but I'm not sure):

    According to Talking Points Memo's poll tracker, there have been 14 major surveys measuring independents' support over the past two months (excluding the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling and conservative-leaning Rasmussen Reports).

    In 12 of those 14, Romney has led Obama with the pivotal demographic, and he's done it by an average of 6.5 percent. That's not an overwhelming gap, but the consistency of his lead is remarkable, considering that Obama led, overall, in eight of those 14 polls.

    In other words, if it were up to independents alone, Romney would be winning this election fairly handily, but when all voters are thrown into the mix, Obama still has the edge.

    So far, Romney's lead with independents can be explained, largely, by Obama's dismal approval numbers with the unaligned.

    In the most recent Quinnipiac University poll, only 39 percent of independents approved of the job the president was doing, while 56 percent disapproved. On the economy he fared even more poorly, with 28 percent approving of his job and 67 percent disapproving.

    Further, only 37 percent of independents thought he deserved to be reelected, while 58 percent said he didn't deserve reelection.

    With those kinds of approval numbers, it's not surprising, then, that Romney beat Obama with independents on nearly every issue polled. He led by 22 points on the economy, 16 points on creating jobs, 5 points on foreign policy, 10 points on healthcare, 26 points on gas prices, 13 points on taxes, 10 points on healthcare and 15 points on immigration.

    That's not an election -- it's an ideological route.


    Once again, the key factor in Obama's dismal performance seemed to be his approval rating. Fifty-seven percent disapproved of the job he'd done as president, and independents were especially dour about his work on economic issues. Sixty-seven percent didn't think he'd done a good job on the economy, 64 percent disapproved of his work on job creation and 71 percent disapproved of his handling of the deficit.

    It's not immediately clear, then, how Obama managed to stay within double digits of Romney, but other polling suggests that Obama often makes it competitive by scoring well on more intangible qualities like leadership and personal likability.

    Still, overall, the evidence is clear -- Romney holds a solid, consistent lead with independents and seems to fit, ideologically, with them better than does Obama.

    Ok but.... (none / 0) (#52)
    by ks on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:45:26 PM EST
    and it's a big but, currently leading among independents and still losing overall is a big problem for Romney.  The overall problem for Romney is that he needs everything to break his way and has no margin for error and I just don't see that happening.  Obama's fortunate that he appears to have gotten the right opponent.  If the GOP were still sane and simply picked any number of generic candidates, Obama would be toast but those candidates could never get throught their primaries these days.    

    You have to remember (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:52:28 PM EST
    Romney is not even officially the nominee yet.

    And the fact that in the Arkansas and Kentucky primaries this week, Obama lost around 40% of the votes of his own party. Yes, those states will not go for Obama anyway, but they could be an indication of how many people in his own party would rather vote for a felon than vote for him.

    This is going to be very tight and it's all going to come down to jobs and the economy - and those topics do not favor Obama at this point.


    Nah... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by ks on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:13:59 PM EST
    As you said, Obama's not going to win those states anyway and the "felon" thing is just a political stunt.  IMO, it's going to be close in the popular vote but Obama looks to be comfortably ahead in the electoral college.

    That 40% wasn't (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by sj on Wed May 23, 2012 at 03:40:41 PM EST
    from the state as whole.  It was from Democrats.  I think it is the height of arrogance to discount the datum simply because the state itself is expected to go to the opponent.  I'm not saying they should go into "sky is falling" mode.  But ignoring it seems foolish imo.

    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 03:42:14 PM EST
    People who actually cared enough to go out in vote in a primary that doesn't really matter.  Seems like they are sending a message.

    I know that (none / 0) (#93)
    by ks on Wed May 23, 2012 at 04:01:47 PM EST
    And while they shouldn't ignore it they shouldn't over react either and infer some "larger meaning" into it and the bottom line is still that they are not going to win those states anyway.

    You're dismissing it (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by sj on Wed May 23, 2012 at 04:50:13 PM EST
    by discussing some "larger meaning".  That's part of the foolishness, imo.  It's a datum.  And needs to be analyzed in the context of other data.  

    It is not, however an insignificant datum.  Although I see why you might think so.  You're thinking in terms of the horse race.  And, despite my years in Party support, I've never been interested in the horse race.  I've always been more interested in the context and the implications.

    Someone has to pay attention to that aspect, as well.  Because the condition of the track can have a devastating effect on the race for the unprepared.


    So what's the problem? (3.50 / 2) (#99)
    by ks on Wed May 23, 2012 at 06:16:41 PM EST
    I said they should take note of it but not overreact.  You're going on about datum.  Why do you think it's not an insignificant datum?  It's May and Obama is not going to win those states.  What other data are you analyzing it with?  You're not.  You're just talking in circles.

    Also, I'm not thinking in terms of the horse race.  If you read my posts, I've put the national poll driven horse race narrative aside and focused on the electoral college where it appears Obama is in a solid position.


    The electoral college (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by sj on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:11:51 PM EST
    is the horse race.  The ultimate horse race.  

    And now that I (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by sj on Thu May 24, 2012 at 10:26:14 AM EST
    reread your message it strikes me that you are presuming. Alot.  And you didn't read well at all.  I said myself that no one needs to go into "sky is falling" mode so your rude statement "You're going on about..." was senseless from the outset.  And your rude
    What other data are you analyzing it with?  You're not.  You're just talking in circles
    is senseless from beginning to end.  You have no idea what I'm analyzing.  I could say that you're just looking at poll data and making assumptions fueled by hopium, not analyzing.  Does that have anything to do with your thought processes?  No.  But I hope you have someone in your life who looks out for patterns for you.

    I may come across as rude on virtual paper, but I don't assume that my fellow commenters are incapable of thought.  I wait until they prove it before I go there.  I'm actually surprised to see this kind of cr@p coming from you.  I've never noticed it before.


    Full stop (2.00 / 1) (#129)
    by ks on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:05:12 PM EST
    "You have no idea what I'm analyzing."

    That's exactly the point.  You claim that you are analyzing something and that it's not an insignificant datum but you haven't actually said what you are analyzing other or why it's not a insignificant datum.  Now you're just going off on an irrelevant personal tangent.

    My points about the issue at hand remains.  It's May and Obama is not going to win those states in Nov.  The Dems should take note of it but not overreact and you seem to agree with that part though you word it differently so again, what's the problem?  If you think it's "not insignificant" or are analyzing it in the context of something then it might make more sense to spell it out rather than simply make assertions.


    Clearly you have a reading problem (none / 0) (#131)
    by sj on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:06:59 PM EST
    and don't have a background in analysis data gathering.

    Weird response (none / 0) (#138)
    by ks on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:39:21 PM EST
    I'm ignoring your attempt to bait me and sticking to the issue.

    "It is not, however an insignificant datum."

    Why?  Around 40% of Dem voters in two deep red states that Obama is not going to win in the Nov. general election voted for somebody other than Obama in a May primary and this is not an insignficant datum because....what?  Is this a trend?  Is it going on in blue states?  It seems like a "one-off" to me.  It's not like you have to put out a white paper on it, but you're not making a resonable argument.  You're simply asserting that it's not insignficant and are now just huffing and puffing.

    "I've always been more interested in the context and the implications."

    Ok nice but, what is the context and implication of that data point?  You haven't said so but please feel free to do so.  


    That's (none / 0) (#142)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:57:10 PM EST
    not completely true about it being only "red" states because NC had about 20% that voted "other" didn't they and that was a marginally blue state in 2008.

    Jeebus (none / 0) (#149)
    by sj on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:22:35 PM EST
    Let me ask you this:  would you base your electoral college projections based solely on how Florida is trending?  I'm pretty sure the answer is no.  Florida has the potential to be a significant factor but it is also possibly a risk that can be mitigated or remediated.  It is one factor among many.  Or, more specifically 29 out of 538.  

    But just because the risk can be assessed does that mean it is safe to ignore it?  No, of course not.  It's impact and severity of that impact has been discussed in this very thread.  It has to be measured against trends in other states, all of which is in a state of flux.  

    But one doesn't just throw out the information on Florida or its possible significance just because, maybe, it's manageable.  The information is noted and its relevance assessed the next time new data is being integrated and synthesized.  

    I'm not going to let you goad me into producing bad analysis with insufficient data just because you don't understand the process.  I am telling you this and this only:  don't throw away this information or it could come to bite "you" in the a$$ later on when you least expect it.  Because 40% of registered Democrats cared enough to hie themselves to the polls and vote in a primary against their party's candidate.

    Or go ahead, throw it away.  I don't really care.  I don't have a dog in this fight and I'm not talking to you about this anymore.  


    Not really - see below (none / 0) (#64)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:16:08 PM EST
    I have (none / 0) (#75)
    by ks on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:37:17 PM EST
    And I don't find some of the arguments convincing.  I like RCP because they play it down the middle and simply aggregate the data.  They have Obama at 227 with leads in 7 of 11 of their toss up states that would put him well over and that seems about right for now.

    based on what? (none / 0) (#125)
    by sj on Thu May 24, 2012 at 11:47:08 AM EST
    Also, I suspect most of that "party faithful-hate Obama" vote is already in deep red states.  

    Just a suspicion (none / 0) (#133)
    by ks on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:10:41 PM EST
    But a reasonable one since the poster was talking about "party faithful-hate Obama" GOP voters who would put aside their lukewarm support of Romney to vote against Obama.  Don't you think most of those party faithful voters are in red states? Seems so.  

    I think (none / 0) (#135)
    by jbindc on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:13:44 PM EST
    you underestimate how many people, while maybe not in love with Romney, do not like Obama and want him to be gone.

    "How many people"... (none / 0) (#143)
    by ks on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    I see you've changed from "GOP party-faithful-hate Obama" to "how many people" generally. Clever. I think you might be speaking more for yourself than anything else.

    In terms of Romney, I doubt he even reaches the like level among the GOP party faifthful.  It seems like those folks wanted anybody but him during the GOP primaries.  Now they're stuck with him and even if you assume that their hate for Obama will overcome their disdain for Romney and they actually turn out, I think they are still mostly in states that are already red. So, they might push the margins in those states but they won't be game changers.  

    The funny thing is that I don't actually care for Obama (I agree with the folks at BlackAgendaReport) but in looking at this election, it's pretty clear imo that absent something crazy he's going to beat Romney.  


    I have no idea (none / 0) (#144)
    by jbindc on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:16:10 PM EST
    I see you've changed from "GOP party-faithful-hate Obama" to "how many people" generally. Clever. I think you might be speaking more for yourself than anything else.

    what this means, so I will chalk it up to rambling.

    1. Many in the "GOP party-faithful" do hate Obama and will not vote for him.  In fact, they will turn out in droves to unseat him.

    2. "Other people" - many people who are not Republicans also do not like Obama and will not vote for him.  More of these may stay home, but many will come out to vote against Obama as much as vote for Romney.  

    Equating the feeling of voters in the Republican primary with their feelings of their candidate during a general election is like comparing apples and oranges - it means absolutely nothing.

    This election will come down to the swing / independent voters in a few states.  And right now, Romney is winning over independents, which is not good for the incumbent.  Can that change between now and November?  Absolutely, but this is a trend that has been going for a few months now, so IMO, it would take something drastic to change the trajectory.


    Does this also apply (none / 0) (#152)
    by CST on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:26:03 PM EST
    to the D primary stuff you are mentioning upthread?

    "Equating the feeling of voters in the Republican primary with their feelings of their candidate during a general election is like comparing apples and oranges - it means absolutely nothing."

    Romney is also still currently losing those states.  Which is not good for Romney.

    It will have to change between now and November in order for him to pull out a win.


    Possibly (none / 0) (#155)
    by jbindc on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:31:06 PM EST
    Except in the case of the Republican primary voters - they actually had vialbe candidates to support.  In the Democratic primaries, there were no viable candidates to support, and Obama STILL lost votes (in some states - a whole lotta votes).

    Those people are angry.


    turnout was also pretty low (none / 0) (#156)
    by CST on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:35:41 PM EST
    so yea, some p*ssed off voters went to register their dislike.  There is also the question of why any of Obama's supporters would bother to show up for a meaningless primary.

    I agree that it shows there are a few, very angry D voters in some southern states.

    Hell you could make the same case for all the votes Newt Gingrich has been getting, or Ron Paul for that matter, I mean it's not like either of them stood a real chance.


    addendum (none / 0) (#157)
    by CST on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:36:29 PM EST
    Ron Paul voters are most certainly pro-Paul not anti Romney, but you get my point.

    And Ron Paul (none / 0) (#160)
    by jbindc on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:41:26 PM EST
    and Mitt Romney got to be pretty friendly on the campaign trail.  Their wives are friends.  Watch Paul throw his support behind Romney and watch where (at least most) of his supporters go.

    Ron Paul's voters (none / 0) (#167)
    by CST on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:47:51 PM EST
    are not tradeable, IMO.  They are true believers.  That's why they keep voting for him even though he has zero chance of winning.  If they were willing to flip for Romney, they would've flipped/stayed home by now.  It's not about the man, it's about the message.  Different breed.

    Well (none / 0) (#159)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:40:08 PM EST
    the so-so Obama supporters probably would not show up for a primary unless there was something local going on.

    Actually it's not about southern states. I linked to an article below from RCP that states it's more of a demographic problem that could spill into states like VA, PA, OH, and NC.


    Oh sure you do (none / 0) (#162)
    by ks on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:57:00 PM EST
    BTD was right about you.

    Anyway, you tried to shift from "GOP Party faithful" to "how many people" in general because you were losing the argument and now you're simply restating your argument.

    1. GOP Party faithful won't vote for Obama.  Shocking.  Your in fact is not a fact.  They didn't turn out in droves for McCain and again, even if they do turn out in droves for Romney (good luck!) in Nov, it's likely that most of that vote is where I suspect it is.  

    2.  That's what you hope will happen but it's questionable.

    "Equating the feeling of voters in the Republican primary with their feelings of their candidate during a general election is like comparing apples and oranges - it means absolutely nothing."

    You hope so but that's just wishful thinking especially since those voters are the hardcore GOP Party faithful that Romney needs to "turn out in droves" to have a chance to win.  Btw, you may want to talk to Hillary voters about carryover effects from a primary.

    "This election will come down to the swing / independent voters in a few states.  And right now, Romney is winning over independents, which is not good for the incumbent."

    That's what you think since you've repeated it several times.  Though it's not good for the POTUS to be trailing in that group, I would suggest that Romney supposedly leading among independents and still losing closely in the popular vote and  significantly in the electoral college projections is a bigger problem not a problem for him.  


    I'm not "losing" anything (none / 0) (#163)
    by jbindc on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:01:00 PM EST
    You're a cheerleader - I get it.  I'm pointing out the pitfalls and you seem to think the country will once again be blinded by Obama's wonderfulness.  I don't believe so, and believe he is going to have to fight for every single vote.

    And Hillary voters - that's hilarious. Have you been paying attention to Republican voters?  They hate the Kenyan-born Muslim and want him out.  They see a chance and will jump on it.

    You're comments, while extremely silly, are starting to amuse me.  Tell me - how much is Obama for America paying you to shill?


    Here's an (none / 0) (#146)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:19:52 PM EST
    interesting article about Obama's problem with some of those red states


    The article looks at it not from a state perspective but from a demographic perspective that could spill into other states like PA, NC and OH causing Obama to lose in those states.


    Sorry about (none / 0) (#148)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:20:49 PM EST
    the double post.

    Here's an (none / 0) (#147)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:20:20 PM EST
    interesting article about Obama's problem with some of those red states


    The article looks at it not from a state perspective but from a demographic perspective that could spill into other states like PA, NC and OH causing Obama to lose in those states.


    A suspicion. (none / 0) (#141)
    by sj on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:55:04 PM EST
    uh-huh.  Explains a lot.  In any case, I'm not in a red state.  

    As to putting aside lukewarm support for a Party's choice in order to reject the opponent?  Although I think that's a convoluted way of looking at things, if you want to use that lens I think both campaigns will benefit from that sort of ... habit, if you will.  I can tell you for a fact it is not an minor thing to turn away from a lifetime of party support.  

    I think it less likely that dissatisfaction with one's own party candidate will tranlate into a vote for the opposition.  Again that impacts both sides.  I will be interested in the voter participation numbers after the election.


    Huh? (none / 0) (#145)
    by ks on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:18:42 PM EST
    Do you really think that it's an unreasonable suspicion that most of the voters described as "GOP party faithful-hate Obama" voters are in red states?  Are you a "Party faithful-hate Obama" GOP voter?  Because that's who we are talking about here not you. Are there GOP party faithful in blus states?  Sure.  Are they in the majority or could they move the needle?  Doubtful.  

    Also, it wasn't my "lens" that they will put aside lukewarm support for Romeny to reject Obama.  I think that was jbindc's contention.  My point was that even if they do, which imo is questionable, most of those voters are likely in states that Obama won't win anyway.

    "I think it less likely that dissatisfaction with one's own party candidate will tranlate into a vote for the opposition."  Agree with you here.


    Are you sure (none / 0) (#151)
    by jbindc on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:24:59 PM EST
    There won't be enough of those people in "purple" states  or "leans Obama" states?

    Very shortsighted and arrogant.


    You're right (none / 0) (#153)
    by sj on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:27:46 PM EST
    I read that differently.  "Differently" as in "incorrectly".  When I read this:
    The "Party faithful" may hate Obama but that doesn't mean they will turn out for Romney or, more likely, turn out at all.  
    My mind translated it to the Democratic party faithful.  Not the GOP.  Thank you for the clarification.

    You're welcome (none / 0) (#164)
    by ks on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:01:18 PM EST
    I actually think we agree on quite a bit but we've been talking past each other.

    I'm pretty sure we do, too (none / 0) (#166)
    by sj on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:28:15 PM EST
    Tell you what, I'll try not to comment on and judge the electoral math if you'll try not to comment on and judge the intangibles.

    Not by the maps I've seen (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by magster on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:42:03 PM EST
    Huffpo, Kos, Political Wire all have Obama in the 290 range and Mitt in the 170 range with a whole host of swing states like FL, WI, CO that Obama won before ready for the taking.

    The lopsided margins in states like OK, UT and across the south and up the middle of the country make the national horserace a tossup, while the electoral college clearly favors Obama.


    You may want to check out (none / 0) (#54)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:55:14 PM EST
    Florida again.

    Romney leads Obama 47-41. (Obama led Romney 49-42 in March - a huge swing).


    oof (none / 0) (#55)
    by magster on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:59:18 PM EST
    Well, he's at 290 without FL. Not that it's OK but the Kerry map inside straight strategy is not necessary once VA, CO, NV and NM flipped.

    That is bad news though.


    Crunching (none / 0) (#57)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:05:35 PM EST
    the numbers on 270 to win I have Obama at 243 and Romney at 248.

    I wouldn't count (none / 0) (#60)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:10:21 PM EST
    VA again either.  And NC will be extremely hard for him to win again (he skated by in 2008 by .4%).

    Well, I'm gonna act like you are right (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by magster on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:19:35 PM EST
    and work for Obama.

    I had vowed to sit out under my Obamasux! phase, but now I just see 4 years under Romney, Boehner, McConnell and Roberts as my version of hell on earth. Obama at least offers Purgatory until something better comes along.


    I'd venture that NC is bluer... (none / 0) (#69)
    by magster on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:30:26 PM EST
    now than in 2008. Of course, that is countered by the timing of the 2008 election being so stacked against Republicans.

    I dunno (none / 0) (#76)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:38:37 PM EST
    Between the gay marriage amendment vote, NC's unemployment rate being higher than the national average at 9.4%, 2 years ago Republicans took control of the state legislature for the first time since the 1800s, and the first term governor (D) is retiring since polls show she cannot win. Not to mention any impact the Edwards case may have, plus another sex scandal of a Democratic state party chair.

    Does not look like a friendly environment for Obama and Democrats.


    270towin.com (none / 0) (#56)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:59:58 PM EST
    has Obama starting with 217 and Romney starting with 191.


    It has NV, CO, NC, VA, FL, IA, WI, OH, PA, and NH as swing states.

    I don't know why PA is considered a swing state. I would put that one in Obama's column but I also would put NC and VA in Romney's column. BTD says Obama is polling poorly in FL. Looking at this particular map it would seem again to be predicting a close election in November.


    I also wonder how much of it is going to come (5.00 / 0) (#67)
    by CST on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:25:23 PM EST
    down to local politics.  WI and OH have both had some issues with their Republican governors, which could effect turnout and the other ticket items.

    PA Obama has actually widened his lead in recent weeks which is the opposite of a lot of those other states.  I also think PA tends to poll close but seems to be more reliable in November.  He's also got an 8-pt lead in NV, and after Reid managed to pull off another win there I think that's probably more of a D lean.

    Actually looking at the state by state polls, Obama is ahead in most of those states, even running surprisingly strong in VA.  I certainly wouldn't put it in Romney's camp yet considering the last few polls have Obama ahead, in some cases by 7 or 8 pts.


    Except in WI (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:30:17 PM EST
    The DNC pulled their money out and Walker is leading the Dem nominee.  He could actually win his recall election and that will energize his party even further. Add to that the Senate primary (to replace Herb Kohl) in Wisconsin is in August, and it's hard to read the tea leaves.

    Now THAT is an unconscionable Democratic party (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by magster on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:33:36 PM EST
    fail. The WI recall looks pretty hopeless.

    So disappointed with Wasserman Schultz. I used to totally dig her when she was a badass in the Gonzales hearings. Now, she's just like everyone else.


    She's got the DNC position (none / 0) (#110)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:16:03 AM EST
    that's essentially as PR flack.  She has pretty close to zero power.

    The O forces for some still unknown reason hated Howard Dean, and they aren't going to give a Hillary loyalist like Wasserman Schultz any power to do anything anyway.


    I concluded (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by sj on Thu May 24, 2012 at 10:44:46 AM EST
    The O forces for some still unknown reason hated Howard Dean
    that a large part of the reason had to do with the 50 state strategy that strengthened local level politics.  One of the first things that happened when O became party leader is that all the nationally funded staff support to the state parties were canned.

    The decentralization and bottom-up party building that was core to the strategy is not in alignment with O's preferred approach.  In fact, when Kaine took over, pretty much all funds collected by the DNC were retained for use at the national level and local candidates were unsupported to a shocking degree.

    So it is no surprise to me at all that the WI recall effort has been left hanging in the wind by the DNC.  


    "Be careful what you wish for?" (none / 0) (#168)
    by NYShooter on Thu May 24, 2012 at 03:03:44 PM EST
    The 50 State strategy did have some success, if you want to call electing Blue Dog democrat's a success. What ended up happening was that we had some "D's" undermining Obama's key programs from within which seemed to surprise the Party faithful. (13 D's voted against the Administration's "clawback" provision in the mortgage debacle) So, the question is, do we prefer DINO's sabotaging our programs from within, or R's attacking visibly and frontally?

    I guess, at the margin Dino's are preferable to rabid republicans. So, the only criticism I would have against Rambo's 50 state strategy is that in order to elect a dino, serious "vetting" on key issues was ignored. Quid pro quo is SOP in politics. If supporting a "republican," with a "d" after his/her name was the only possibility, at least we could have required an affirmative vote on a couple of key issues as the price for that support.


    Dean's 50-state strategy was (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu May 24, 2012 at 06:25:44 PM EST
    about building party organizations in states the party had been basically ignoring for many years.  That might result in a few DINOs initially, but either you write the states off completely, which is what the party decided to do when it booted Dean, or you try to build a viable movement there.

    In any case, Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer et al I think are responsible for more of the Blue Dogs than Dean's party-building effort was.  They insisted on pouring money only into campaigns that could win, which meant a lotta Blue Dogs, rather than on building local parties that didn't have immediately viable candidates.


    Thanks for filling out the thought (none / 0) (#177)
    by NYShooter on Thu May 24, 2012 at 07:15:19 PM EST
    I have no thoughts, either way, on the effectiveness, or viability, for that view.

    My only point was, "a little thing means a lot." translation: maybe slightly more focus on the quality of the candidates they chose to back could have produced slightly higher quality representatives.

    And, maybe not.


    That's short sighted (none / 0) (#178)
    by sj on Fri May 25, 2012 at 08:54:42 AM EST
    The 50 state strategy was more about party building in areas that had been ignored and supporting candidates who had the gumption to run in districts even if their chances were a serious long shot. It was also about empowering the state party.  The trained staff support was invaluable.

    If blue dogs were recruited instead of a populist, don't blame the strategy for that.  I can tell you from experience that the state party had more influence on that than Dean's DNC, by intention.

    I agree with gyrfalcon that Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer had everything to do with going back to the old strategy of funding a few "key" candidates.  And I forget the statistics, but as I recall they had less success with their Golden Child candidates than Dean had with his "spread the wealth" approach.  Not they believed their own lying eyes.  All you have to is look up Carville's venomous tirade for confirmation of that.

    As for the "some success" part of your comment, I interpret that to mean that you are assessing the results purely by national races.  That would be a mistake, imo.


    Remember about Wis. (none / 0) (#111)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:20:27 AM EST
    that nobody has the remotest clue how to poll a recall election.  Walker's for sure ahead in the polls there, but I wouldn't write the whole thing off yet.

    As for DNC pulling the funding-- I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I've heard they never did commit funding to Wisc, for some reason, so the "pulling out" thing is just GOP spin, ostensibly.

    I've seen Walker interviewed a couple of times recently, and he looks semi-panicked, FWIW.  This job numbers stunt he pulled recently reeks of panic, and it's apparently not going down convincingly there.

    No idea what's going to happen there, but I wouldn't throw up my hands on it until it happens.


    From what I've seen (none / 0) (#115)
    by jbindc on Thu May 24, 2012 at 06:54:49 AM EST
    Walker is leading in Wisconsin anywhere from 4-9 points and there is fewer than 5% that are undecided.  He has had tons of money poured into the state to support him.

    And you may be right about the DNC pulling out - it appears they were missing from the beginning and never supported the local party's recall efforts. They finally sent out a fundraising letter on Wednesday night, but the election is June 2, and the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal is reporting that 90,000 absentee votes have already been cast.


    Why do you think (none / 0) (#169)
    by NYShooter on Thu May 24, 2012 at 03:12:21 PM EST
    "...they never supported the local party's recall efforts?"

    Was it just beacause of Obama's aversion to getting down and dirty with an "icky" recall while, simultaneously, pushing his Post Partisan Fantasy?


    Because it was risky (none / 0) (#170)
    by jbindc on Thu May 24, 2012 at 04:05:53 PM EST
    If Obama publicly supported the recall effort, and it failed (as it looks like could probably happen), it energizes Republicans and makes Obama look weak.  Already Republican governors are going on the record talking about Walker and if he can beat this back, that he may be another name on a Romney VP-short list - "he took on the unions and won" kinda thing.

    Obama wins nothing by supporting this.  But as to your question:

    Was it just beacause of Obama's aversion to getting down and dirty with an "icky" recall while, simultaneously, pushing his Post Partisan Fantasy?

    Yes, I think that's also part of it.


    Yeah, I can understand (5.00 / 2) (#171)
    by NYShooter on Thu May 24, 2012 at 04:26:53 PM EST
    that a sitting President openly leading an attack on a governor would be unseemly, and probably counterproductive. But, wouldn't you think there were ways he could've communicated with the "recall Walker" forces like, "look, you know I can't publicly be associated with your movement, but let me know how, under the radar, we can help."

    My point is that the issues in Wisconsin are so fundamental, and are led by the grass roots, that a Democratic victory there would exponentially reverberate in the (heretofore ignored) progressive faction.

    It seems to me the risk/reward ratio would've favored a little more Obama support.

    I saw axlerod on tv answering a question about this, and, I have to tell you, he kicked it back like it contained the bubonic plague.


    MY opinion (none / 0) (#172)
    by jbindc on Thu May 24, 2012 at 04:30:53 PM EST
    Is that yes, he should have been involved with support months ago.  But that's just not who he is.

    I don't think so (none / 0) (#180)
    by sj on Fri May 25, 2012 at 09:08:03 AM EST
    Yeah, I can understand (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by NYShooter on Thu May 24, 2012 at 04:26:53 PM EST

    that a sitting President openly leading an attack on a governor would be unseemly, and probably counterproductive.

    It would have been in support of Labor and should not be viewed as a personal attack on a Governor.  Moreover there is a precedent.  And quite an historic one.

    I agree with this (none / 0) (#179)
    by sj on Fri May 25, 2012 at 09:04:48 AM EST
    (all of this, actually) but I would add that this Administration doesn't really place a high value on unions in general (witness their choice for the convention).  They're not particularly interested in strengthening Labor.  When Obama made his "comfortable shoes" comment I doubt that he ever thought he would actually have the high profile opportunity to put his "money" where his mouth was.

    As to the fear of supporting a losing effort -- that's naught but a self-fulfilling prophecy.  They could have ridden that wave, and they chose to ignore it.  imo.


    Yeah, but... (none / 0) (#175)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu May 24, 2012 at 06:20:04 PM EST
    as I said above, nobody knows how to poll on a recall election.  There are no models for who's likely to vote and who isn't.

    Will the anti-recall voters who were contacted for the poll be as rabid to beat it back as the pro-recall voters likely are to smack Walker a good one?  Not clear at all.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#70)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:32:34 PM EST
    but the reason I would take VA away from Obama is due to the fact that in a better climate back in '08 he didn't win by very much.

    I do think that Kasich's problem will help Obama in Ohio. I guess what happens in WI will depend on whether Walker is recalled or not.


    Obviously not updated for today's FL poll (none / 0) (#59)
    by magster on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:08:18 PM EST
    I don't see (none / 0) (#61)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:11:47 PM EST
    Michigan or PA as "solidly Obama".  Maybe "leans Obama".

    PPP had Obama up 9 in PA I think yesterday. (?) (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by magster on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:20:50 PM EST
    Ouch (none / 0) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:12:00 PM EST
    to that 73 barely Obama.

    yea but that's outside the 253 (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by CST on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:34:09 PM EST
    he only needs 17 more, and has 32 "weak".  So even losing all the barely ones - that's over 270.

    Looking at all this I am feeling a little better about the fact that it seems like Florida is a long shot at best.


    Think "Ohio"& "Colorado" (none / 0) (#79)
    by christinep on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:46:22 PM EST
    added to Kerry's 2004 total.

    And (none / 0) (#161)
    by jbindc on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:46:45 PM EST
    None of the McCain 2008 states are in real jeopardy.  Add to that several blue states lost congressional seats (and electoral votes) to red states.

    Romney can go up the east coast (FL, NC, VA) add in his neighbor NH, and pick off Ohio, Michigan, or Wisconsin and he's over 270.


    Romney clearly avoiding talking about Bain... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by magster on Wed May 23, 2012 at 12:47:52 PM EST
    ... Keep hammering him team Obama! Ampad Ampad Ampad. Release your taxes Mr. Rmoney. What are you hiding? Corporations are people my friend.

    Things (none / 0) (#116)
    by jbindc on Thu May 24, 2012 at 07:54:39 AM EST
    like this won't help his message.

    Last week, a few dozen hedge fund and investment executives arrived at the Park Avenue home of Hamilton E. James, president of the private equity firm Blackstone. Each had paid $35,800 to spend two hours at a fund-raiser with President Obama, but the timing proved awkward: A few hours earlier, Mr. Obama's campaign had begun a blistering attack on Mitt Romney's career in private equity, the same business in which Mr. James has earned his many millions.

    "Campaigns do what campaigns have to do," Mr. James later told friends. But not everyone was as forgiving. "People were incredulous," said one person who attended the dinner. "They could have waited a week."


    The gulf between Wall Street and the White House may well be more about noise than substance. Many bankers complain about tough language from the administration, with Mr. Obama's attacks on Bain merely the latest incarnation. And the administration's cold shoulder to the blue-ribbon deficit-reduction plan issued in 2010 by a bipartisan panel remains a sore point for many Wall Street executives who call themselves political moderates.

    But some privately concede that Dodd-Frank and other regulations pushed by Mr. Obama have done little damage to their industry, and that the steps taken by the Bush and Obama administrations during the financial crisis starting four years ago averted what could have been a much worse outcome for them. (Even with a recent multibillion-dollar trading blunder, JPMorgan Chase is expected to earn $4 billion in the second quarter.)

    The Obama campaign (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:42:32 PM EST
    needs to (a) deploy Gingrich and Santorum as surrogates to speak to Romney's abilities, and (b) re-inforce the consequences of "austerity now" for the US economy and alleviate unfounded fears of increasing the deficit at this point.  Talk of grand bargains only undermines the needed message.

    There are several indicators, in my view, that give some optimism, such as improvement in sales of existing homes (up by about 3.4% in April) as well as home prices up about 10 percent from a year ago. Last month, car sales, often a good indicator,  also showed modest growth. A dampening of the Iran hysteria appears to be stabilizing or easing the upward march in gas prices.

    Jobs remain a big concern, but a better explanation needs to be offered of the impact of state and local austerity upon public employees and public services along with arguments for federal funding in their temporary support.

    Given the inflexibility, the European situation does not look promising but for the US electorate it will be just something on the evening news squeezed in between John Travolta's sex life.    Unless, of course, it impacts the US not just directly, but also, visually.  And, the stubbornly austere economic policies of Europe can help with political inoculation, until November.  

    I think the way it stands right now (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by CST on Wed May 23, 2012 at 03:47:45 PM EST
    for Romney to get to 270, everything has to go right for him, and everything has to go wrong for Obama.

    I am actually surprised when I looked at the polls how well Obama is doing when you break it down to the swing states.  Yes, Florida looks bad for Obama right now, but it's no worse than VA for Romney.

    To put everything in the "lean R" camp you have to figure just about all unknown factors will break for him.  I'm sure some of them will, but looking at the numbers right now I don't think it will be enough.

    Its way too early (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Buckeye on Thu May 24, 2012 at 08:24:49 AM EST
    Too many people have not decided yet.  How will they break?  Usually, the undecided break for the challenger (2004 was the only exception).  If let's say the 10% undecideds break for Romney 7% - 3%, giving him 4 points on Obama distributed mostly in swing states (dark red and dark blue states have higher % of people that have made up their minds), then Romney's path looks easier.  If they break 50-50 or better for Obama, then Romney has no shot.

    Furthermore, there is a lot left to happen.  Romney has to pick a VP.  There will be conventions, debates.  There is 6 months additional economic news that could go either way.  Employment looks to be slowing down but housing is starting to pick up for example.  There are a lot of risks out there.  What is Greece leaves Euro?  What is gas prices spike to $4.50 per gallon.  What if the supreme court dumps the ACA (or part of it, or none of it).


    Some good points. (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by brodie on Thu May 24, 2012 at 09:31:57 AM EST
    And it looks like a lot of confident Obama posters here need to step back and check out the calendar.  It's just May, not usually the time elections are decided let alone held.  And some of the key EC states that look good right now for O are almost certainly going to tighten up as the campaign season hits August and September.  That tends to happen for incumbents whose job approval numbers consistently max out at 50 or the high forties.

    As for my early call, I'm betting heavily (combo of analysis + hunch) that this will be another Change election with the dark, negative forces being a lot more organized and energized, not to mention funded, to move the incumbent out than the softer less enthused forces on my side.  The late summer conventions should display this contrast in enthusiasm, organization and unity for all to see.  Look for a lot of the polling in swing states to shift to tossup or lean GOP at that time.

    Hope I'm wrong but I see dark political days ahead, and possible tremendous social upheaval if Romney tries to govern along lines dictated by the Tea Party and by his Bush admin neocon FP advisors, which seems likely to occur.


    Good Post. (none / 0) (#122)
    by Buckeye on Thu May 24, 2012 at 11:08:45 AM EST
    Romney can never be counted out due to the Citizens United ruling and Obama trying to run against private equity, inequality and wanting to tax the rich.  This is going to be a long and ugly election year.  Hopefully we pull it off but in a bad economy, incumbents typically don't do well.

    Romney can't be counted out (none / 0) (#123)
    by jbindc on Thu May 24, 2012 at 11:39:40 AM EST
    Because he isn't an idiot and Obama is not a genius.  This is not  "David vs. Goliath" contest - both men are established and articulate and unlike Bush, can put two sentences together.

    Kerry wasn't an idiot either (none / 0) (#126)
    by CST on Thu May 24, 2012 at 11:47:37 AM EST
    Bush still beat him.  Unfortunately "not being an idiot" is not quite the positive it should be in American Politics.

    No, Kerry isn't (wasn't) (none / 0) (#127)
    by jbindc on Thu May 24, 2012 at 11:53:26 AM EST
    Kerry's problem is that, after being in the Senate so long, he couldn't communicate to most people.  He's incredibly smart, but if you can't articulate your ideas, people will not vote for you.

    Romney, through his business and gubernatorial experience (whether you like it or not) has developed different skills than one who spends a lifetime in the Senate, with all its arcane rules and procedures.

    Also - that whole "changing horses in the middle of a war" thing helped Bush.


    Romney (none / 0) (#128)
    by CST on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:01:32 PM EST
    is articulate?  We must have been watching very different GOP primaries.

    Romney's problem is that he's too rich, and he can't fake it like Bush, etc... could.  I don't mean that in the sense that he has too much money.  I mean that in the sense that he has no concept of what too much money is, and is so utterly out of touch that he does things like make $10,000 "joking" bets in the middle of a recession on live TV.  That's the type of "skills" one develops when they spend their life with his type of business experience.  And I don't think it will be any better for him than Kerry's senate-speech.


    I agree (none / 0) (#130)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:06:52 PM EST
    that it's definitely one of Romney's weaknesses. But George HW Bush had the same problem and seemed to be able to overcome it against Dukakis but not Clinton.  I guess it remains to be seen how the electorate sees it.

    I don't think (none / 0) (#132)
    by jbindc on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:09:05 PM EST
    Anything from the GOP primaries is going to bear any relation to the general election.  Romney had to play to a base against rabidly crazy people - now he will be playing to the entire country.

    Just as Obama's performance during the 2008 debates, where he offered very little in the way of substance, but instead agreed with his opponents, had any bearing on the general.

    Voters attention spans are short and they are going to judge based on the debates they actually see - how many people actually watched or paid attention to the GOP debates (all 157 of them)?


    With the current GOP, Romney will still have to... (none / 0) (#165)
    by magster on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:19:29 PM EST
    ... play to the base. Rmoney's can't win without massive teaparty enthusiasm. While Obama hate goes a long way to that, I think McCain lost base enthusiasm that he had right after nominating Palin by disavowing Wright attacks and Obama is not American attacks.

    that's why my subject heading was (none / 0) (#124)
    by CST on Thu May 24, 2012 at 11:40:48 AM EST
    "the way it stands right now"

    I am well aware of how things can change.  I will say that I have a lot less faith in the campaign abilities of Mitt Romney than many of the posters here, based on his performance in the GOP primary and the fact that he is utterly unlikable.

    2004 is a good exception to point out, because frankly, I think Romney has a lot of the same weaknesses as Kerry, and for better or worse, Obama has some of the same strengths as Bush.  Unlikable vs. likable.

    Romney has no core constituancy.  I knew a few people who would have been in that group at one point that are currently utterly disgusted with him.  Sure Obama has people that hate him.  So did Bush.  But in order to win, usually you need a few people who actually like you.


    The voting (none / 0) (#134)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:12:29 PM EST
    public may decide that Romney is utterly unlikable but I really wouldn't put too much emphasis on what happened in the GOP primary. I mean these are people who were willing to vote for two crazy people named Santorum and Newt.

    I'm not seeing Romney as "likable" but the standards are so low now I'm not even sure what that entails anymore. Obama can come off as likable when he drops the professorial speak which I actually see as being like Kerry in that respect. Of course, Kerry could never seem to drop it but Obama can. I thought Bush was smarmy and condescending. And I hated the evagelispeak he practiced. It just creeped me out.

    You almost had to feel sorry for Romney during some of those GOP debates. He had his eye on the general election but yet had to get the crazies to vote for him.


    Heh (none / 0) (#137)
    by CST on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:29:35 PM EST
    "You almost had to feel sorry for Romney"

    Nope!  Speaking for me only of course :)

    One of the problems I see for Romney in the future is that Obama is already a moderate.  So that doesn't leave a whole lot of space to tack back to the middle and differentiate himself.  Sure, he'll drop the social issue nonsense.  But even on the economy, where does that leave him?

    Also, I don't think the "unlikable" thing has anything to do with the specifics of the GOP primary.  You really think the $10,000 bet played well with that base?  Or that it was intended to?  I think he just can't help himself.


    I bet (none / 0) (#139)
    by jbindc on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:52:03 PM EST
    If you asked most people in the country (without baiting them) if they had even HEARD of the "$10,000 bet" quote, most of them hadn't. Myabe they will hear of it by election day, but I don't think that will sway people's vote.

    After all - Obama is on record in 2008 talking about those poor slobs who don't know any better who cling to religion and guns (poor things - they must be shown the error of their ways).  

    I bet we could get hours of video of stupid comments by both candidates.


    missing the point (none / 0) (#150)
    by CST on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:23:15 PM EST
    it's not about the fact that this one "gotcha" moment will be the story at the end of the day.  You're right, it won't be.

    My point about all that is that it's not a GOP primary issue, it's a Romney likability issue.

    And the guns and religion thing did hurt Obama. Because it painted him as an out of touch elitist, and stuff like that matters.  Romney's a lot worse on that, because it's not even about gotcha moments, he looks, sounds, and acts like that always.  John Kerry did too.  I'm just waiting for the moment when they catch him windsurfing, or even worse, hunting in a way that will make Dukakis in a tank look legit.  Frankly, and I hate to say it because I love my state, but it's pretty much the Massachusetts problem.


    Maybe (none / 0) (#154)
    by jbindc on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:28:50 PM EST
    But that's looking at it in a vacuum.  You're assuming Romney will have those moments, and Obama will not. The fact that there are people who still are undecided (as in any election) should always worry the incumbent.  If a voter doesn't know after 4 years if he/she wants to vote for Obama, I'd say he has a hard climb trying to convince that voter this close to the election. Barring the start of a war, or a miracle economic recovery with full employment, this will not be a cake walk.

    You're (none / 0) (#158)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:37:43 PM EST
    right about people and four years of Obama but he can do what Bush did in 2004 and that's make it about the other guy. He can try to make Romney so toxic that either people just sit home or they vote for Obama. I'm about 100% sure that this election is going to a pure race to the bottom.

    Dan Rather agrees with you (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by sj on Thu May 24, 2012 at 05:02:14 PM EST
    I'm about 100% sure that this election is going to a pure race to the bottom.

    It almost made me choke:
    I hope I'm wrong about this," he continued, "but I think by the time we finish with this campaign, not only will it be a three billion dollar presidential campaign -- three billion dollars -- but it will be ugly enough to choke a buzzard before we get through with it."

    Dan Rather agrees with you (none / 0) (#174)
    by sj on Thu May 24, 2012 at 05:02:36 PM EST
    I'm about 100% sure that this election is going to a pure race to the bottom.

    It almost made me choke:
    I hope I'm wrong about this," he continued, "but I think by the time we finish with this campaign, not only will it be a three billion dollar presidential campaign -- three billion dollars -- but it will be ugly enough to choke a buzzard before we get through with it."

    The problem (none / 0) (#140)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:54:23 PM EST
    is what is the "middle" and what does the public perceive as the "middle".

    I think the problem is that what Romney and Obama see as the "middle" is not where the voting public is on issues.

    Actually I don't think the 10K thing bothered the GOP base one bit as they're all convinced that they are going to be rich one day too. They like rich people running things because they believe that rich people like Romney are "job creators" or in other words have a complete plantation view on the economy. Just from personal experience the "etch a sketch" comment riled them a ton because they don't think Romney is a real "conservative".


    Even Karl Rove (none / 0) (#112)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:22:52 AM EST
    doesn't have the b***s to do that.

    This is just so crazy. (5.00 / 3) (#106)
    by NYShooter on Wed May 23, 2012 at 11:56:02 PM EST
    It's like we're at the scene of a terrible car crash where the driver is found to have a 2.5% alcohol level. But, we're asking, "did a tire blow out?" "Were his brakes faulty?" NO! He was Drunk, fool!

    For most of the second half of the last century America enjoyed steady growth, full employment, and low inflation. Our schools were the envy of the world, and most everyone looked at the future with optimism. The rich got richer, but the middle class did too, and the poor were on our radar with paths to elevate their situation. So, what happened?

    At some point, coinciding with Reagan's election in the early 80's, the Rich saw an opportunity to increase the rate of their wealth accumulation. They rapidly consolidated their capture of all the organs of Government and the need to produce "things" gave way to producing "financial instruments," and fulfilling their biblical heritage as "Money Changers."
    The Rich went through a period of parabolic wealth accumulation, while the Middle class's progress stopped.

    Now, having squeezed countless trillions of dollars from the middle and lower classes, we have a "deficit problem." Untold wealth to the plutocrats, and broken lives, emptied bank accounts, and smashed futures for the rest

    The Oligarchs of Europe and America know that none of their idiotic plans can possibly work. But, that's not their goal. Their goal is to confiscate the last hidden crumbs the 99% may have so that their dream of a true 21st century Serfdom becomes a reality.

    I've said forever that those 1 percenters aren't real Americans. They have palaces in half a dozen countries. They couldn't care less about the welfare of America's people. Do you need a better example than our latest Billionaire, the co-founder of face book, relinquishing his citizenship so as not to pay his fair share to the country that nurtured him all along? Just read the news and see how the "job creators" make their money. 1% were given inside information regarding the "pump'n dump" Facebook IPO Scam, and made a fortune, while the rest of the suckers will waste a decade trying to break even.

    That's the issue; not gay marriage, the ACA mandate, or the deficit. How hard would it be for Obama to tell this story? It practically tells itself.

    Blain Capital, is, at least a start.

    Great summation (5.00 / 2) (#136)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:21:57 PM EST
    of the 2012 Presidential race from Gallup


    Here's the link to EU NYT story Big posted (none / 0) (#3)
    by DFLer on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:21:46 AM EST

    and another good article from McClatchy on the same subject

    Kinda scary.

    thanks (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:26:01 AM EST
    Well, I sincerely hope (none / 0) (#4)
    by Dr Molly on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:23:57 AM EST
    BOTH those political plays are on the table.

    Romney could use this as a negative re Obama's (none / 0) (#7)
    by ding7777 on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:43:01 AM EST
    foreign policy

    A Pakistani doctor who helped the U.S. track down Osama bin Laden was sentenced to 33 years in prison on Wednesday for conspiring against the state, officials said, a verdict that is likely to further strain the country's relationship with Washington


    I seriously doubt (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by CST on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:46:33 AM EST
    anything that brings up Osama Bin Laden will hurt Obama.

    Sucks for the Pakistani doctor, but it's not going to make Obama look bad in the states.


    It might if the administration (none / 0) (#9)
    by sj on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:48:07 AM EST
    leaves him hanging in the wind.  Otherwise I agree with you.

    Actually (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:50:51 AM EST
    There is an article today in WaPo talking about how the Obama team is pivoting away from Bain and into things like his accomplishments -  killing Osama bin Laden, preserving Medicare, etc.

    And, in fact (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 10:44:09 AM EST
    There's even going to be a movie, conveniently to be released in October 2012! (Bolding is Glenn's)

    But there's one type of leak of classified information that the White House not only approves of but itself routinely exploits: the type that glorifies the President for propagandistic ends. The transparency group Judicial Watch brought FOIA lawsuits against the administration seeking information regarding the Osama bin Laden raid, but the administration insisted in federal court that the operation is secret and thus not subject to disclosure (even as they were leaking details about the raid to the press).

    At the same time, Judicial Watch has also sued the White House seeking documents showing the administration's collaboration with Hollywood filmmakers -- The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal - who have been planning a big-budget, studio film from Sony recounting the raid that killed bin Laden, oh-so-coincidentally scheduled for release in October, 2012, just before the election (that's clearly a coincidence because Democrats, unlike those Bush/Cheney monsters, do not exploit national security for political gain). And, oh, just by the way: as The New York Times reported in January, "Michael Lynton, the Sony Pictures chief executive, has been a major backer of President Obama and last April attended and paid the donation fee for a high-priced political fund-raising dinner for the president on the Sony studio lot in Culver City, Calif., which was rented by the Democratic National Committee."

    That one will have the (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by brodie on Wed May 23, 2012 at 11:07:21 AM EST
    same effect on the election as Michael Moore's mocking doc of George W. just before the 2004 election, though for different reasons.   Today the sorry economy trumps everything; theater goers will politely applaud the raid on Osama then return home to worry about bills and declining home value and all the related rest.  Back in 2004, in my controversial opinion, the trump card for BushCo was the rigged election setup by Blackwell-Rove et al in Ohio which the naive Kerry campaign thought could be checked by hiring a lot of legal types to stand outside and remind voters of their rights while the real action was happening deep inside.

    I suspect that the press can now pursue (none / 0) (#37)
    by christinep on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:05:34 PM EST
    The Bain story given that it is now a broader story (as a perhaps-unintended-consequence of how it was raised apart from the usual competing ads process.)  the press can write about how Bain, as a private equity operation, did not exist nor act to create jobs.  For example, the auto buyout guy, Steve Rattner, explained in one such publicized story today that Romney was misstating his role at Bain by conflating the private equity profit market with job creation...and, further added that he appreciated the President explaining that very point at the much publicized post-NATO press conference on Monday.  Hmmm.  Another day of press dissection of the earlier Mitt Bain tale as separate from job creation.

    I suspect, too, that the Administration can well afford to let the Bain matter settle in again before turning to performance statistics from Mitt's days as Governor of Massachusetts...in particular, the table displaying a precipitous drop in job creation there to 47th among the States under his stewardship.


    Ugh (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by dk on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:17:02 PM EST
    Another example of where the overzealousness of party functionaries leads to misleading and, ultimately, counterproductive argements.

    MA has a low job creation stat becuase our taxes are relatively high for businesses.  In other words, we do not participate in the race to the bottom that leads to drastic cuts in services, poor quality healthcare, poor quality public education that impact so many other states.

    The correct attack on Romney would be that he now supports cutting taxes so much that basic services and quality of care throughout the entire country would suffer.  But, instead, go with the job creation attack, which is not only misleading but which Republicans will be able to pivot back on most easily.  I know party functionaries don't like it, but sticking with truthful, nuanced arguments might actually work now and then.


    it's a little more specific than that (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by CST on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:35:05 PM EST
    we were hit really hard when the tech bubble burst, as that was directly related to the things we do well.

    In this recession we haven't been hit nearly as hard for a lot of reasons, one of which is that without space you can't really have a building boom so there wasn't nearly the kind of housing bust here as you see elsewhere.

    That being said, Romney's whole schtick is about making a place more "business friendly" while as governor he went around the country trashing the state to anyone who wanted to listen, not exactly something that leads to investment.  Patrick is doing the opposite of that, and maybe it's that, or maybe it's the underlying conditions I referred to earlier, but we're doing pretty well in terms of growth, comparitavely speaking.

    As governor, Mitt also cut services, cut taxes, etc... and it didn't lead to the "growth" that he claims those policies will get you.  So I think that's a fair thing to point out, especially as it gets directly to the heart of the Dem message - which is that those types of policies weren't effective at creating a thriving business environment, and that investing in education and not participating in the race to the bottom will benefit everyone, including business, in the long-term.

    Is it a selective reading of what happened?  Yes, mostly because the overwhelmingly Dem legislature makes it impossible to really implement a Republican slash and burn agenda.  But it's also true in that his actions as governor weren't helpfull.


    Actually, I think it's still (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by dk on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:32:59 PM EST
    a business-unfriendly state in some ways, but I'm ok with that.  First of all, it's still a top choice for the best of industries (i.e. ones how are more likely to compensate their workers fairly, adhere to more civlized environmental standards, etd.), and, as I said, we aren't in the race to the bottom when it comes to services.  Of course, Romney would have liked to have started us on that course here in MA, but as you also point out, the Democratic legislature wouldn't let him.

    The accurate critique on Romney in MA is that he really didn't do anything, or gain any actual public service experience here.  But to tie his presence with the job statistic is spin, IMO.


    Politics is not about footnotes (none / 0) (#74)
    by christinep on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:36:16 PM EST
    The bottom-line & clear graphics and/or pictures about that bottom line is the standard operating procedure of campaigns on both sides.

    Here:  The question will be taken directly from Romney's claim that he knows how to & did create jobs.  In Massachusetts, did he create jobs or were jobs created under his stewardship as governor?  That may seem like "ugh" or kind of crass or what have you...but, many areas of life & service come down to the result line.  Narratives and explanations are important, but both sides know--and it has been that way for many, many years--that ads, bumper stickers, debates, press releases are delivered for their bottom line statement.

    While I am not a party functionary (just a strong Dem activist), it doesn't take being a functionary to see how Romney long ago opened the door & invited this line of political attack.  The l"live by the political sword, die by the political sword" reality of politics ain't beanbag, nor is it for the faint-of-heart.


    And yet (none / 0) (#77)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:39:57 PM EST
    Romney keeps getting perceived as stronger and better on the economy in poll after poll.

    So. If you had to bet, who wins? (none / 0) (#80)
    by magster on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:46:38 PM EST
    I'd put the likelihood of Obama winning at 65/35.

    I don't know (none / 0) (#81)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:49:03 PM EST
    I wouldn't put the odds that high.

    I'd say it's 55-45 that Obama wins right now.


    I think Romney is an inept campaigner... (none / 0) (#83)
    by magster on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:57:21 PM EST
    who almost lost a primary against a field of comedically bad Republicans by making gaffe after gaffe.  He's actually been remarkably gaffe free since Santorum backed out, but we're kind of in a quiet time before things really ramp up.

    Just watching Obama with the Robin Roberts interview and then that Booker/Bain statement in Chicago, Obama is pretty smooth. He's not immune to gaffes, and Biden is his VP (tangent: Obama I think should promote Hillary to VP if the polls really tank), but Romney is going to really step in it a couple times between now and November.

    If the job numbers stay in the black, even if anemic, I think Obama wins.


    I think (none / 0) (#86)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 03:04:42 PM EST
    Romney's gaffes will be highlighted and over-analyzed to death and much more weight will be given to them on liberal leaning blogs and media, and Obama's gaffes will be downplayed and excused with "WORM".

    The opposite will be true on conservative blogs, of course.

    Romney managed to win a gubernatorial election in liberal Massachusetts and (whatever you think about his experience) did manage to successfully run businesses and convicne people to his side. He also grew up around politics - this isn't just some guy off the street. I think most of his gaffes so far have come trying to play to the extreme right of his party - takng positions that his not necessarily his by nature, and that will be different once he has the nomination sewn up.


    The nomination? (none / 0) (#96)
    by ks on Wed May 23, 2012 at 04:27:35 PM EST
    Romney has the nomination sewn up.  In April, the RNC declared him the presumptive nominee.  The convention will simply be window dressing or a coronation.  The idea that he's playing to the right of his party  because he doesn't have the nomination "officially" sewn is a bit much.  

    Uh, no (none / 0) (#97)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 04:28:40 PM EST
    He doesn't have enough delegates yet to be the officialy nominee.

    That should come next Tuesday.


    C'mon... (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by ks on Wed May 23, 2012 at 06:25:26 PM EST
    We're into "plane crash" territory here...

    Check out the internals (none / 0) (#82)
    by christinep on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:51:11 PM EST
    Of yesterday 's Washington Post poll.  The comparisons over thebpast several months actually sows Romney weakening compared th earlier perception about this professed businessman (as Obama gains.)

    Nothing shocking there (none / 0) (#84)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 03:00:47 PM EST
    Those internals still show that more people disapprove of Obama than approve of him, the ecnomy is the number one issue, and that this is going to be an extremely tight race.

    Jeez. You're like me on my ... (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by magster on Wed May 23, 2012 at 03:13:10 PM EST
    Denver Bronco and Denver Nugget blogs.

    "we're gonna lose!!!!!!!!!!!"

    Don't know why I turned into mr. optimist when switching over to politics. Must be will.i.am.

    Can you feel it jbindc?! 4 more years!! Yes we can!!


    Look closer (at trust & jobs, etc.) (none / 0) (#87)
    by christinep on Wed May 23, 2012 at 03:04:53 PM EST
    Again, not surprising (none / 0) (#90)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 03:41:08 PM EST
    Considering the oversampling of Democrats to Republicans. Soemthing like 32-22.

    I don't (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 23, 2012 at 04:12:18 PM EST
    know if I'd call it "oversampling" because while brand D has lost a lot of voters Brand R has practically nothing left in the party but tea infused nut bags.

    Still think (none / 0) (#95)
    by jbindc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 04:14:57 PM EST
    In a "random" sample, you wouldn't see that big of a disparity.

    Sorry for my sloppy writing/typos (none / 0) (#85)
    by christinep on Wed May 23, 2012 at 03:02:13 PM EST
    That is what happens when the thoughts run ahead of the typing hands.

    But, you know, the odds gambit right now is worth less than the poor penny.  Intuitively, tho, it is looking quite good for President Obama in terms of the Electoral College.  The queasy part for me:  Memories of 2004 Ohio & the Republic administration there & then.  But, we now know about that.  On a more positive Democratic note, the number of additional battleground states favoring Obama may give leeway that wasn't there before.


    I guess Europe (none / 0) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 23, 2012 at 10:08:23 AM EST
    missed the message about austerity for thee and not for me in the recent elections.

    We even had a column here in GA about it and a cautionary tale to the GOP about embracing "austerity".

    Since no one is really campaigning against austerity  I'm wondering how much of an issue this will end up being.

    I thought Obama (none / 0) (#45)
    by lilburro on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:31:42 PM EST
    was already pushing fairly openly against austerity.    More openly than I expected.  I can't find a more recent poll, but as an isolated issue, Americans don't care about the financial situation in Europe as much as they do other, more politically ginned up topics (Gallup).  I just don't really see Obama winning any points in making Europe a campaign issue, unless Romney says something really stupid.

    I'm hoping they work on the campaign slogan.  "Forward" might work for fundraising from progressives but I think it is too vague, esp. when the public is ambivalent about his major issue (healthcare).

    Axelrod (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:34:10 PM EST
    is not good. "Forward" is just lame much like "Win the Future" was. Puleeze, can they come up with something that's not so lame???

    Actually I think (none / 0) (#49)
    by sj on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:38:08 PM EST
    it's even more lame.  Really?  They can't come up with more than one word?  But at least it doesn't have the frat boy too-clever-for-words acronym that "Win The Future" has.

    Okay, maybe it isn't as lame as WTF.


    The SNL joke on the slogan was... (none / 0) (#51)
    by magster on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:44:09 PM EST
    ... funny that Obama chose a slogan that is the first word of every insane anti-Obama e-mail my relatives send me.

    If austerity is so dumb... (none / 0) (#101)
    by diogenes on Wed May 23, 2012 at 07:53:47 PM EST
    If austerity is so dumb, then why doesn't the US bankroll Europe by buying lots and lots of Greek, Spanish, Italian, and Irish bonds and make a big profit the way it did on General Motors?

    Wrong wrong wrong (none / 0) (#103)
    by Slado on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:48:11 PM EST
    Europe is broke.

    They've run out of other peope's money and what they've done is raise taxes and not really cut spending but not spend more.

    In reality it's a problem of they've spent and borrowed so much while tying their currencies together and have no flexibility to make the fiscal changes needed.

    The lesson for America is not that reigning in federal spending is bad but instead continued deficits with no plans to pay off the debt lead to fiscal reckonings with no good solutions.

    Obama policies mean a future like Eutopes or California or Illinois

    Please (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 24, 2012 at 05:16:42 AM EST
    even conservatives don't believe this. If they did then why did Bush run up 5 trillion dollars in debt?  Conservatives do not care about this kind of stuff. We've had two presidents in the last 60 years that had balanced budgets and both were roundly trashed by the GOP.

    And Romney while screaming we are bankrupt wants to increase military spending by 4%.


    The lesson for America is that the (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Anne on Thu May 24, 2012 at 06:24:38 AM EST
    people who want to run the country have decided that deficit hysteria - "oh, no! we can't saddle future generations with government debt" - is a very effective mechanism for marginalizing the poor and making sure the pockets of the rich continue to bulge with wealth.

    And nothing embodies that like this asshat's letter to the California Alliance of Retired Americans:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Erskine Bowles and I thoroughly enjoyed our time on the West Coast and received an excellent reception from folks -- at least those who are using their heads and have given up using emotion, fear, guilt or racism to juice up their troops. Your little flyer entitled "Bowles! Simpson! Stop using the deficit as a phony excuse to gut our Social Security!" is one of the phoniest excuses for a "flyer" I have ever seen. You use the faces of young people, who are the ones who are going to get gutted while you continue to push out your blather and drivel. My suggestion to you -- an honest one -- read the damn report. The Moment of Truth -- 67 pages, and then tell me if we're not doing the right thing with Social Security. What a wretched group of seniors you must be to use the faces of the very people that we are trying to save, while the "greedy geezers" like you use them as a tool and a front for your nefarious bunch of crap. You must feel some sense of shame for shoveling out this bulls**t. Read the latest news from the Social Security Trustees. The Social Security System will not "hit the skids" in 2033 instead of 2036. If you can't understand all of this you need a pane of glass in your naval so you can see out during the day! Read the report. Get back to me. My address is below.

    If you don't read the report, -- as Ebenezer Scrooge said in the Christmas Carol, "Haunt me no longer!"

    Best regards,
    Alan Simpson

    Do Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles and Barack Obama and Paul Ryan and pretty much every other twit currently roaming the halls of power know that this country is sovereign in its own currency, and what that means?  Of course they do.  Do they want the American people to know and understand the concept and what it means?  Apparently not: when's the last time you heard any politician explain it, or any news broadcast report on it?  

    So Americans need to ask themselves why they don't want us to know that we can and should spend, that we don't have to fix programs on the backs of the people who need those programs, that we have the ability to decide what is the minimum quality of life that all Americans should enjoy.  

    The lesson embodied in the answer to that question is that the powers that be have chosen, and it is the mindset and worldview and agenda of people like Alan Simpson that is driving this bus.