Opposition to Obama not always about race

Two years into the presidency of Barack Obama, I still hear the old “racist” label as a knee jerk reaction to any opposition to the President’s proposals, efforts, or agenda.  Let’s be honest folks, it’s time to put that crap away.  All it’s doing is making it impossible to have an adult conversation about issues because one side keeps putting its fingers in its ears and screams “lalalalalalala” at every possible moment.

Is there racism?  Yes.  Are there some who oppose President Obama purely on his race?  Most likely.  But that’s not the majority of people.  President Obama’s approval ratings, according to Gallup, was only at 46%.  That’s it.  Remember that Obama won with almost 53% of the popular vote.  Translation?  Some people who did support the President no longer find his policies so palatable.

Unfortunately, there are some out there that seem to act like this really means that an additional 7% of the American public spontaneously became racist or something, when that’s not at all what happened.  Truth be told, they’re actually hurting future black candidates when they accuse opponents of racism.

No one likes being called a racist, except for some racists.  People will go out of their way to avoid it many times.  For some, that will including even anaction that’s somewhat racist: not voting for a black candidate because he’s a black candidate.

The reason this may happen is pretty simple.  People like being free to criticize the government, and by extension they want to criticize the people we elect to run the government.  It’s just how things are.  However, with this trotting out calls of “racism” every time there’s opposition to one of the President’s plans, some are just going to decide to not vote for the black candidate next time.

60% of Americans favor off-shore drilling, 49% in ANWR

While President Barack Obama sits on its hands as gas prices continue to rise, a new poll from Gallup shows that 60% of Americans favor off-shore drilling and 49% support drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR):

Six in 10 Americans favor increasing offshore drilling for oil and gas in U.S. coastal areas, up from 50% in May 2010.

 Americans' Support for U.S. Offshore Drilling

Last year’s finding was recorded about a month after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the U.S. Gulf Coast that resulted in a massive oil spill. News of that incident has faded, possibly lessening Americans’ resistance to coastal area drilling. At the same time, recent turbulence in the Middle East has caused oil prices to rise and has sparked discussion about the stability of the United States’ foreign oil supply.

Independents are represented fairly strongly in the polls with their numbers being identical to the rest of the nation on both off-shore drilling and ANWR. However, Republicans haven’t driven this issue as hard as they have in the past; though the rhetoric has become more noticable in recent days.

No leader in GOP race

Blogs all over the conservative blogosphere are all chattering about the unprecedented fact that there is no GOP leader for the party’s presidential nomination.  Apparently, there is usually a front runner at this point and that front runner ultimately wins out, at least according to Gallup.

Of course, Ed Morrissey offers this tidbit:

Interestingly, the sequence has two anomalies.  John McCain trailed Rudy Giuliani by 17 points in Gallup polling at this point in 2007, but ended up outlasting everyone to get the nomination.  In 1979, Reagan only had a five-point lead over Gerald Ford, which recalls the discomfort of the GOP establishment with Reagan even after Ford’s futile attempts to hold office in 1976.

Otherwise, the history of the GOP in open cycles is to give the nomination to the candidate perceived to be next it line.  But in this year, that could describe all three of the candidates leading the polling so far.  Huckabee and Romney finished second and third in 2008′s primaries in delegates, and Palin ran on the ticket.  However, more and more people wonder whether Huckabee or Palin will actually run — and whether Romney will suffer as a result[.]

The truth of the matter is that the GOP of today has been shaped (some would say warped) by the Tea Party, possibly to such an extent that historical trends may well be meaningless.

Morrissey is dead on about the indecision of Palin and Huckabee impacting the polling numbers.  Some will back them if they announce but won’t commit without that announcement.  That will throw things in almost any direction though.

Liberty Links: Morning Reads for Wednesday, February 2nd

Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.

Democratic party indentification at 22 year low

It goes without saying that Democrats are having problems right now. The fact that 19 House Democrats opted to vote for someone other than their party’s nominee for Speaker speaks volumes. But to emphasize just how bad things are right now, let’s look at new polling numbers from Gallup showing the percentage of Americans that identify as Democrats at a 22 year low:

In 2010, 31% of Americans identified as Democrats, down five percentage points from just two years ago and tied for the lowest annual average Gallup has measured in the last 22 years. While Democrats still outnumber Republicans by two points, the percentage identifying as independents increased to 38%, on the high end of what Gallup has measured in the last two decades.

Gallup concludes that the drop in support is “notable,” but cautions Republicans against taking any real comfort in these numbers since support for the GOP only increased by a point over two years. Independents are still running strong. The best thing Republicans can do is continue to appeal to indpendent voters by keeping on the economy and spending.

Gallup reviews census figures

An analysis by Gallup shows that most of the states losing congressional seats tilt Democratic (though Louisiana and Missouri typically lean GOP in presidential election). Here are the numbers according to Gallup:

While it may not translate into major shifts in the Electoral College, all but three of the states that will pick up congressional seats are traditionally Republican states (Florida and Nevada are considered to be toss-up states for 2012).

With a pick up of 680 seats in state legislatures (not including party-switchers since the election), this looks good in terms of pickups in terms of new congressional seats. Democrats’ hope to come back in 2012 were unlikely to begin with, but local implications of the mid-term keeps them from accomplishing that task for at least the next four to six years.

Conservatives continue to voice concerns over tax deal

While some potentially vulnerable Democrats are backing the deal the deal President Barack Obama has made with Republicans to extend all of the soon-to-expire tax cuts, the rage on the Left against the proposal hasn’t let up. And the criticism doesn’t end there. Yesterday, I noted that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) had expressed his opposition. In the last day or so there have been more voices coming to his aid.

The Club for Growth, a leading free market organization, has come out against the deal (though they won’t go after Republicans that support it):

“This is bad policy, bad politics, and a bad deal for the American people,” said Club President Chris Chocola.  “The plan would resurrect the Death Tax, grow government, blow a hole in the deficit with unpaid-for spending, and do so without providing the permanent relief and security our economy needs to finally start hiring and growing again.”

“Instead, Congress should pass a permanent extension of current rates, including a permanent repeal of the death tax, and drop all new spending,” Chocola said.  “A month ago, the American people repudiated Washington big government.  It’s time for both parties to finally hear that message and act on it.”

GOP primary for president an open field

According to a Gallup survey, the Republican nomination for president in 2012 is basically open, with four potential candidates (Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Tax Hike Mike and Newt Gingrich) essentially tied for the lead.

Out of the “second-tier” names below, Tim Pawlenty and Haley Barbour have a good shot at making a run at the nomination.

Personally, I’m going with Gary Johnson for now.

GOP picks up strength in House races

The latest picture of what to expect on November 2nd in the House of Representatives appears to be a worst-case scenario for Democrats as Gallup’s latest polling shows a huge lead for Republicans among likely voters, though there was a slight gain for the majority party. And to make matters worse for Democrats, it’s supposed to rain on election day in 20 states.

Before we dive into what the analysts are saying, Politico offers us 35 House races to keep our eyes on as returns come in.

The latest forecast from Nate Silver over at FiveThirtyEight estimates a net gain of 52 seats for Republicans. This would put the make-up of the House at 231 Republicans and 204 Democrats.

Here is what Charlie Cook says about the mid-term:

50+ seat pick up for GOP in the forecast

With just eight days left to go until election day, it is looking more likely that Republicans will ride into the House of Representatives in a wave. Here is an assessment from Stu Rothenberg, who sees 97 seats in play (emphasis mine):

The number of Democratic incumbents who are sitting in the middle or low 40s in ballot tests is mind-boggling, creating a stunning number of opportunities for the GOP. Democrats dispute that assessment, arguing that their incumbents are much better off. But Republican polling finds eight or nine dozen Democratic seats are at some risk, and national polls suggest that the Republican numbers are on the mark. We now believe that Republicans gains of 45-55 seats are most likely, though GOP gains in excess of 60 seats are quite possible.

Over at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver is seeing gains in excess of 50 seats, rivaling the Republican Revolution in 1994 that saw a 54 seat pick up in the House for the GOP:

In an average simulation, the model projected that the Republicans will control 230 seats when the new Congress convenes in January; that would reflect a 51-seat gain from their current standing and would be close to the 54-seat gain that they achieved in 1994. This is the first time we have published a forecast putting the Republican over-under line at a number higher than 50 seats.

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