Voters

Trumpbama

The polls opened in New Hampshire at midnight, and early results are favoring Bernie Sanders and John Kasich. That’s not really unexpected.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie relentlessly went after a stunned Marco Rubio at the last GOP debate — and in the days following — to prove the younger Senator is inexperienced and not ready to be president. That’s not really unexpected either.

Jeb Bush seems to be upping his profile a bit and gaining some word-of-mouth ground (thanks in part to Christie’s attack on Rubio), while Ted Cruz is being forced to answer for some questionable campaign decisions that have people wondering if they can trust him. Politicians making use of another politician’s crisis and behaving in a possibly sketchy way? Definitely not unexpected.

This, however, is:

Ohio still showing support for Obama

Mitt Romney campaigns in Ohio

There hasn’t been any movement in the Electoral College since our last update on Tuesday. However, there is new polling out of Ohio showing that Mitt Romney has his work cut out for him in this must-win state.

While Romney’s campaign has touted his momentum in the race, largely spurred by the debates, new polls that have come out of the Buckeye State in the last couple are ominous for Republicans with only 12 days left before the election.

Here is a brief look at the three polls that have come out of Ohio since the beginning of the week. This obviously excludes anything that may hit later today. Since people often wonder about poll demographics, I’ve included the D/R/I split from each poll. For reference purposes, 2008 exit polls showed 39/31/30 split in Ohio (it was 36/40/24 in 2004, when Bush won the state). Take whatever you see below and draw your own opinion:

The Real Media Bias is Against Choice

On the right it is considered an axiom that the “mainstream media” is incredibly biased towards the left.  Now, this is not a charge without merit - I think it’s hard to deny that most media comes from major cities that tend to lean liberal.  But whether or not the media favors the left or the right, both sides know one thing for certain — their candidates will be covered extensively.  Every word from Romney or Obama will make the news in some format.

But for anyone outside the two major parties, it is rare to even be mentioned, except in passing as a potential “spoiler” for one candidate or the other in a swing state.  To the average voter, then, there are only two people running.  One cannot be surprised then that the vast majority of Americans have never heard of third party candidates.  They are presented a world where there are only two choices, as if the vast spectrum of political thought can only come in two colors, red and blue.

Take this quiz on USA Today for a perfect example.  Immediately upon opening the quiz, you are shown a graphic that is half Obama and half Romney.  Every option moves the bar one way or the other.  For me, the first couple questions were about the economy and moved it to Romney.  But then came questions about gay marriage, the War in Afghanistan, and cutting military spending, which knocked it to the blue side.  In the end, my score came out 55%.  Were the world truly consigned to two poles, then, I would have to vote Democrat.

The War on Memes: Let’s focus on the economy, people

A few months ago, conservatives sought to gain politically by going after the contraceptive mandate implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services. This immediately became an issue of religious liberty for conservatives because it would have required religious institutions to cover contraceptives even if it was against their teachings.

Thanks to some rather nutty comments by Rick Santorum, who openly questioned the use of contraceptives, Democrats were able to spin the issue into a so-called “war on women.” The situation was exacerbated thanks to comments by Rush Limbaugh aimed at Sandra Fluke, who had argued that taxpayers should fund contraceptives. Even though Fluke’s reasoning was flawed, taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to subsidize her contraceptives, Limbaugh’s comments were completely unnecessary and wrong.

The strategy was successful in the short-term, as wedge issues usually are. However, it eventually backfired on them when Hilary Rosen, a Democratic operative, said that Ann Romney, wife of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, had never worked a day in her life.

Romney took to Twitter to defend herself, setting off a firestorm that caused Rosen to later apologize. The argument from conservatives is that Democrats are waging a “war on stay-at-moms,” largely silencing Democrats on the issue and swinging momentum back to Republicans — at least temporarily.

Primary challengers face long odds, but accountability and choice matter

Political insiders from both parties blame the rise in primary challenges for the gridlock we’re seeing in Congress. You’ve heard it before. Talking heads will that Republicans, for example, have to appeal to their base to avoid an insurgent conservative primary challenger.

Though it’s true that some incumbents have been knocked off by primary challengers in recent election cycles, Robert Boatright, a political science professor at Clark University and author of Getting Primaried: The Changing Politics of Congressional Primary Challenges, challenges the conventional wisdom that primary challenges are responsible for gridlock in Washington:

There’s just one problem with the idea that primaries have become more common and more important: It’s dead wrong. By my count, there’s nothing unique about the number of competitive primary challenges occurring today. In fact, there were more competitive primary races run in the House during the 1970s (an average of 49 per election) than there have been in the last decade (the average has been 45 each election). Today’s primaries only look competitive because the late 1990s had so few of them. The pattern in the Senate is similar.

Poll: Republican voters have embraced libertarian values

Don't Tread on Me

The libertarian philosophy is taking the Republican Party by storm, according to a poll conducted by FreedomWorks, a DC-based grassroots service center with over 6 million members.

With Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and many other liberty-minded politicians gaining influence, libertarianism has generated new interest inside the Republican Party, much to the chagrin of the GOP’s political establishment.

Though still not a dominate view inside the party, there is no denying that the narrative inside the Republican Party has significantly changed. Moreover, libertarians have an opportunity upon which they can seize, if they’re willing to work within the system.

“FreedomWorks’ poll shows that 41 percent of Republican voters hold libertarian views. Conventional wisdom is that many voters who are libertarian don’t know the word. But this may well be changing,” noted David Kirby, Kellyanne Conway, and Stephen Spiker in the report on the data.

“FreedomWorks’ poll shows that 42 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of the word ‘libertarian,’ and only 10 percent don’t know the word, compared to 27 percent who don’t know nationally,” they added.

And the term “libertarian” may still turn off some Republican voters, the basic message of the philosophy earns significant favor. The poll found that 68% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents agree with the statement that “individuals should be free to do as they like as long as they don’t hurt others, and that the government should keep out of people’s day-to-day lives.”

Anti-gun Colorado Democrats defeated in recall election

Anti-gun politics are bad for electoral health. That’s a lesson two Colorado Democrats learned on Tuesday night.

Colorado Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and State Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) were recalled by voters in their respective districts in what was considered to be a referendum on onerous new gun control regulations passed by the legislature earlier this year.

Both pro-Second Amendment and anti-gun groups invested heavily in the race. The Denver Post noted earlier this week that anti-gun groups raised some $3.5 million to help the two Democrats, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s $350,000 contribution. Pro-gun groups raised $540,000.

Despite the heavy spending from anti-gun groups, voters in Colorado’s 3rd State Senate district recalled Giron, 56/44, and elected George Rivera, a Republican, to take her place in the legislature’s upper chamber.

Morse, the highest ranking official in the Colorado Senate, faced the same fate in the 11th District, though by a smaller margin, at 51/49. Bernie Herpin, also a Republican, was elected to fill the reminder of the term.

Congress is Congress regardless of party

Franz Von Stuck - Sisyphus

Sisyphus - A king in classical mythology who offended Zeus and was punished in Hades by being forced to roll an enormous boulder to the top of a steep hill. Every time the boulder neared the top, it would roll back down, and Sisyphus would have to start over.

That seems to be a recurring theme for this administration. The myth of Sisyphus was brought up last year by actor Bill Cosby, primarily as a characterization of Obama’s first term. Well, that plea for understanding the concept that it is an uphill battle to get anything done in Washington apparently was heard loud and clear, but probably not in the way that Cosby, or anyone in the Obama administration would like.

Now, it seems the public thinks it is Sisyphean task to get anything done in Congress, because they simply don’t believe the people there can do their jobs. And this isn’t a party-line thing either - the people have spoken, and they say neither party can accomplish anything. Monmouth University ran a poll, and found that there is one thing people from both parties can agree on, and sadly, they agree that Congress is broken - is beyond repair.

Lindsey Graham’s support from South Carolina Republicans is eroding

Once thought to be a sure bet for re-election, a new poll shows that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has seen his support fall among South Carolina Republicans, as his three primary challengers begin their campaigns against him.

The poll, conducted by Landmark Communications and Rosetta Stone Communications, shows Graham at 42%, Lee Bright with 13%, Nancy Mace taking 10%, and Richard Cash at 7%. And though he fares better in head-to-head matchups against his primary challengers, Graham is still under 50%.

“These numbers should be of concern to the Graham campaign. The senator fails to reach 50% of the vote against any of his opponents,” said John Garst, president of Rosetta Stone Communications, in a release. “Graham does not break 40% among voters who think of themselves as evangelistic conservatives, and that group makes up 58% of the primary electorate.”

“Senator Graham has developed a serious problem with male voters and conservative voters in particular. His support among those demographic groups is weak,” added Mark Rountree, president of Landmark Communications. “But worse for Senator Graham is that he currently does not even win an outright majority in a potential runoff primary election, despite the fact that his opponents are not even well known to the general public.”

The survey of 500 likely South Carolina Republican voters was conducted on Sunday, August 25th and has a margin of error of 4.5%. Crosstabs can be found here or in the embed below.

Gallup: Majority Says Government Too Powerful

Throughout the course of his presidency, Barack Obama has been making the case for more government involvement in the lives of Americans. But the recent scandals that have become frontpage news have gone right to the heart of President Obama’s message. And they seem to have caught the eye of Americans.

According to Gallup, 54% of Americans believe the government has too much power. That’s up from 51% just last year, but down from the high of 59% in late 2010, just before the mid-term elections:

 Majority Says Government Too Powerful

The case against a big government was perhaps best made by David Axelrod as he was trying to defend President Obama, to whom he served as an advisor. “[W]e have a large government,” he claimed as he made a case for President Obama’s lack of knowledge about the IRS scandal.

It’s been said that the conservative and libertarian case against big government often falls on deaf ears because Americans don’t know what it means and we, as limited government advocates, cannot properly relay it. But the IRS scandal is the one, as Chris Matthews recently explained, is the one that can resonate with voters because it hits so close to home.


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.