With it being an election year, the noise from both the Romney-Ryan and Obama-Biden campaign has been hard for most voters to avoid. But with election day just 63 days away, more undecided voters are beginning to pay attention to what could be the most important election in a lifetime.
Team Romney is hoping that voters will ask themselves, thanks to gaffes from prominent Obama supporters, if they are better off than they were four years ago. But what they envision in their ticket coming off the Republican National Convention hasn’t been beared out in polls. Philp Klein notes that Gallup shows that there has been almost no boost for Republicans in the last week:
It’s still too early to say for sure whether the Republican National Convention rejuvenated Mitt Romney’s campaign, but at least according to Gallup numbers so far, it hasn’t moved the polls much.
Romney currently trails President Obama by an insignificant one-point margin, 47 percent to 46 percent. That’s a 7-day tracking poll running from last Monday through yesterday and therefore includes a full three days of polling after Romney’s Thursday night acceptance speech. If he were to have received a substantial bump, the tracking poll would have likely picked it up by now. In the last poll before the start of the RNC, running through last Monday, it was Romney who was edging out Obama by one point.
Earlier this week, Public Policy Polling gave Rep. Todd Akin, the Missouri Republican nominee for United States Senate, some ammunition to show that he was still in the race against Sen. Claire McCaskill. But, as Jim Geraghty pointed out at the National Review, the poll significantly oversampled Republicans, barely giving Akin an edge.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the Show Me State finds McCaskill earning 48% support to Akin’s 38%. Nine percent (9%) like some other candidate in the race, and five percent (5%) are undecided.
While the focus of just about everyone has been on Todd Akin, the Missouri Republican running for United States Senate who made some ignorant comments about rape and abortion, there is some good news for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. At the Washington Post, Aaron Blake notes that the Republican ticket has made some small gains in all important battleground states against President Barack Obama:
[Yesterday’s] trio of swing state polls from Quinnipiac University, CBS News and the New York Times are the latest to show a little movement toward Romney.
Here’s a recap:
- Wisconsin: Romney trailed by three points in a Marquette University poll released Wednesday and led in two automated polls conducted last week — his first lead in the state since mid-June. And the new Quinnipiac poll shows him reducing a six-point deficit from earlier this month down to two points in his new running mate’s home state.
There is a lot of uncertainty headed into the fall. Will voters re-elect President Barack Obama, keeping him in the White House for another four years. Or will they choose a different course for the country with Mitt Romney. It’s hard to say where the minds of voters are at the moment in that regard, but a new Washington Post poll shows that Americans do want limited government:
A survey of 3,130 American adults conducted by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation between July 25 and August 5 discovered that large majorities of Americans favor a smaller federal government and believe the government controls too much of our daily lives.
The poll asked: “Would you say you favor a smaller federal government with fewer services, or larger federal government with many services?”
Among all those polled, 55 percent said they wanted a smaller federal government and 40 percent said they wanted a larger federal government.
Among just the registered voters in the poll, 58 percent said they wanted a smaller federal government and 37 percent said they wanted a larger federal government.
The poll also asked: “Do you personally agree or disagree with the following statement. Government controls too much of our daily lives.”
There is no denying that Joe Biden, our gaffetastic vice president, had a rough week. The Washington Post gave him the “Worst Week in Washington” award thanks to his off-remark during a campaign stop in Virginia that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would allow Wall Street to put the predominantly African-American crowd “back in chains.”
Despite all the talk of a “new tone” that we’ve endured, it certainly does seem that the Obama campaign is lobbing most of the cheap shots during this campaign. Since Obama doesn’t really have much of an economic record on which to run, the tactics being employed are to be expected. But if Vice President Biden is supposed to score points for Obama, polls show that the campaign may want to think again before sending him back out on the stump:
Almost every recent poll has shown Biden’s numbers at a low point, with more voters viewing him unfavorably than viewing him in a positive light — though in most cases, it’s only by a few points.
Biden’s favorable rating, which was well into the 50s when he and Obama won the 2008 election and took office in 2009, has fallen to around 40 percent in most polls. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll recently pegged his favorable rating at 35 percent (37 percent negative), while a Fox News poll showed the split at 41 percent favorable and 44 percent unfavorable.
Voters in Wisconsin headed to the polls yesterday to cast their ballots in party primaries. Among the races on the Republican ballot was the nomination for United States Senate. This race hasn’t receive a lot of attention, despite its interesting dynamics.
Former Gov. Tommy Thompson was considered the strong favorite early on, but thanks to his support of ObamaCare and other less-than-conservative economic views, two other candidates, Eric Hovde and former Rep. Mark Neumann, were able to gain support from grassroots conservative and Tea Party groups.
Despite most recent polls showing Hovde with a slight advantage, Thompson managed to pull off a win last night:
Wisconsin Republicans bucked Tea Party forces to pick 70-year-old former Gov. Tommy Thompson, a pillar of the GOP establishment, as their Senate standard-bearer Tuesday in a contest that could determine control of the upper chamber.
Thompson, who served four terms as governor, beat back a pair of well-funded, stubborn challengers in a closely contested race, setting up a marquee match-up with liberal Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin this fall.The ex-governor and former Health and Human Services Department Secretary finished ahead of hedge fund manager Eric Hovde, 34 percent to 31 percent. Former Rep. Mark Neumann was far behind at 23 percent. State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald won 12 percent of the vote.
The attacks on issues like Thompson’s past support for a health care mandate damaged him but the anti-Thompson vote was splintered between his three credible challengers.
Wisconsin Republicans will head to the polls tomorrow to determine their nominee for United States Senate. Whoever wins this brutal primary will go on to face Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in the fall.
Depending on what polls you’re looking at, former Gov. Tommy Thompson either has a slight advantage or the race is a toss-up between him, Eric Hovde, and former Rep. Mark Neumann. For example, a poll released last week by Marquette showed Thompson with a 9-point lead. But the final survey in the race from Public Policy Polling still shows a race that is too close to call:
PPP’s final poll on the Republican primary for Senate in Wisconsin continues to find a three way toss up: Eric Hovde’s at 27%, Tommy Thompson’s at 25%, Mark Neumann’s at 24%, and even Jeff Fitzgerald isn’t that far behind the rest of the pack at 15%.
The race has seen little movement in the last week. Fitzgerald’s gained two points, Hovde and Neumann have each dropped by a point, and Thompson hasn’t moved at all.
Some of the underlying numbers bode well for Hovde’s prospects. Among voters who say they’re ‘very excited’ about casting their ballots he leads with 37% to 20% for Fitzgerald, 19% for Neumann, and 17% for Thompson. In the Missouri and Texas GOP contests over the last two weeks Todd Akin and Ted Cruz had the most enthusiastic supporters and both ended up outperforming their final poll numbers. Hovde appears to be the candidate best positioned to do that here.
Last week, my colleague Brian Lehman wrote a great post on gay marriage, offering up a deal for social conservatives in order to ease some of the tension over it. I would like to sweeten the pot, a bit, if that’s possible.
For a long time, we’ve had the right and left wings in this country ignore the pressing issues of our time—crushing debt, a horribly mangled tax code, an economy infested with out of control cronyism and regulation, a monetary system that isn’t working, dismantled civil liberties, and looming entitlements that threaten to wash away all of our prosperity in a megatsunami of unfunded liabilities—to focus instead on issues such as gay marriage, abortion, Islamic mosques, and whether or not Barack Obama is a neo-marxist anti-colonialist Kenyan who wasn’t born in the United States (and ate a dog in Indonesia when he was five.) Oh, and Chick-Fil-A.
Because of this more important things we should be focusing on, and because we need to do something about them today, I would like to put forward a “grand bargain” of sorts between conservatives and liberals, so we can put the social issues conflict to rest. It basically involves a trade, and while I know nobody is going to be 100% happy with it, I think it will lead to overall better happiness. (Paging Jeremy Bentham.)
The bargain is such: in exchange for conservatives dropping opposition to same-sex marriage, liberals will tone down their crusade for abortion.
On the heels of Ted Cruz’s big win in Texas, we could be on the path to watching another Republican establishment candidate lose up in Wisconsin. For months, former Gov. Tommy Thompson had been consider the favorite to win, but thanks to his past support of ObamaCare, he now finds himself in a very tough race.
Recent polls had showed Eric Hovde, who is backed by FreedomWorks, surging against Thompson. Mark Neumann, who is endorsed by the Club for Growth and Sen. Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund, failing to gain any steam in the race. That has apparently changed. According to the last survey from Public Policy Polling, we now have what is essentially a three-way tie for the GOP Senate nomination in Wisconsin:
PPP’s newest Wisconsin poll finds Eric Hovde leading with 28% to 25% for Thompson and Mark Neumann, and 13% for Jeff Fitzgerald.
Republicans in Texas will head to the polls today to cast their ballots in the runoff in the United States Senate race between Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst. While Dewhurst’s team is touting an internal poll showing him with the lead in the race, a Polling Policy Polling survey released just yesterday shows Cruz up by 10 points:
PPP’s final poll of the Republican Senate runoff in Texas finds Ted Cruz opening up a 52-42 lead, an increase from our survey two weeks ago that found him ahead 49-44.
Cruz’s victory is driven by 4 things: the Tea Party, the enthusiasm of his supporters, a generational divide within the Texas Republican ranks, and the lack of regard the party base currently holds for Rick Perry.
Cruz is ahead by a whooping 75-22 margin with Tea Party voters, more than making up for a 56-39 deficit to Dewhurst with voters who don’t consider themselves members of that movement. There has been too much of a tendency to ascribe any Republican primary upset over the last few years to Tea Party voters, but this is one case where it’s well justified.
Cruz has a 63-33 advantage with voters who describe themselves as ‘very excited’ about voting in Tuesday’s runoff election. He also has a 49-45 advantage with those describing themselves as ‘somewhat excited.’ The only reason this race is even remotely competitive is Dewhurst’s 59-31 lead with voter who say they’re ‘not that excited’ about voting. It’s an open question whether those folks will really show up and if they don’t it’s possible Cruz could end up winning by closer t0 20 points.