It pretty much has to be said at this point?Gallup and Rasmussen (the only two pollsters offering up a daily tracking poll of the presidential race) are on an island. Today brings another set of polls that stand rather far from the assessment of those two firms on the state of the race.
Not only is there contrary national polling, but there are also a set of three state polls that don't look far enough from the 2008 presidential numbers to justify the 10-12 point swing to the GOP that Gallup and the House of Ras are claiming.
To the numbers!
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (Angus Reid): Romney d. Obama (49-46)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Associated Press/GfK): Obama d. Romney (50-42)
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Romney d. Obama (47-44)
NATIONAL (PPP for Daily Kos/SEIU): Obama d. Romney (48-45)
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (49-44)
NATIONAL (YouGov/The Economist): Obama d. Romney (44-43)
FLORIDA (Suffolk University): Obama d. Romney (46-45)
MASSACHUSETTS (Rasmussen): Obama d. Romney (56-35)
NEW JERSEY (Fairleigh Dickinson): Obama d. Romney (50-36)
TX-SEN?R (Dresner Wickers Barber Sanders for a PAC supporting David Dewhurst): David Dewhurst 51, Ted Cruz 16, Tom Leppert 7, Craig James 2A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump...
WI-SEN?R (North Star Opinion Research for Eric Hovde): Tommy Thompson 30, Eric Hovde 27, Mark Neumann 23, Jeff Fitzgerald 10
Conservatives still being oppressed by
minorities, uppity women, gay people.
Republicans are unanimous; they don't like Barack Obama's endorsement of gay marriage. They aren't quite on the same page as to why, but they'll work that out later.
The Log Cabin Republicans call the announcement "offensive and callous" and want you to know that the true hero of gay marriage rights was Dick Cheney, who during his tenure as important person did approximately jack-squat on the topic, as I recall, but no matter. When you're a gay Republican, every day presents these kind of challenges.
?That the president has chosen today, when LGBT Americans are mourning the passage of Amendment One, to finally speak up for marriage equality is offensive and callous,? said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. ?Log Cabin Republicans appreciate that President Obama has finally come in line with leaders like Vice President Dick Cheney on this issue, but LGBT Americans are right to be angry that this calculated announcement comes too late to be of any use to the people of North Carolina, or any of the other states that have addressed this issue on his watch. [...]?Interestingly, GOProud went with a nearly identical statement:
?It is good to see that after intense political pressure that President Obama has finally come around to the Dick Cheney position on marriage equality. I am sure, however, the President?s newly discovered support for marriage is cold comfort to the gay couples in North Carolina. The President waited until after North Carolina passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.?Is Dick Cheney some sort of gay mega-icon that I never heard about? I knew about the secrecy stuff, the torture stuff, and the general "should be in prison for war crimes" stuff, but if Dick Effing Cheney counts as the touchstone of GOP tolerance of gay people, I'd say gay Republicans are even more hard up than I thought.
(More reactions below the fold)
Room 148 of the State Capitol might as well double as a Capitol broom closet. That's where the House Consumer Affairs Committee this morning rushed out amendments to House Bill 2191, which legalizes predatory payday lending in Pennsylvania.[...]
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Rush Limbaugh attacked President Obama today over his support for marriage equality, accusing Obama of leading a "war on traditional marriage" and the Catholic Church while accusing same-sex marriage supporters of wanting "to corrupt the institution." However, polls show that public support for same-sex marriage has been trending upwards over the past several years, including in the Catholic community.
On ABC, Obama Voiced Support For Marriage Equality. In an interview with ABC News correspondent Robin Roberts, Obama stated: "[A]t a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that same sex couples should be able to get married":
"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married," Obama told Roberts, in an interview to appear on ABC's "Good Morning America" Thursday. [ABC News, 5/9/12]
Limbaugh: Obama "Is Going To Lead A War On Traditional Marriage." Limbaugh repeatedly accused Obama of "waging" or "leading" a "war" on "traditional marriage" on his radio show today:
LIMBAUGH: We've arrived at a point where the president of the United States is going to lead a war on traditional marriage. You want to call that winning? Your side is winning when the president has to lead a war on traditional marriage?
LIMBAUGH: Obama and people like [caller] are trying to turn traditional institutions on their head. And people like me who are minding their own business all of a sudden have to stand up and defend these traditions and institutions from people like you, and now the president who's waging a war on traditional America.
LIMBAUGH: Marriage is a word. It has a specific meaning. And all of a sudden, some people came along and said 'well, we want to change the definition.' No, you don't want to change the definition. You want to corrupt the institution is what you want to do. 'How dare you say that? We don't want to - we want in on the institution.' Well then, marry a woman. Or marry a man. That's what marriage is.
LIMBAUGH: There's no other way to characterize it, Barack Obama is leading a war on gay marriage, just like he's leading a war on the Catholic Church, the war on stay-at-home moms.
LIMBAUGH: It's official. Obama supports gay marriage after talks with his wife and daughters, gay service members, and others. Pink smoke coming from the White House chimney. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 5/9/12 via Media Matters]
Gallup: More Americans Support Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage. From a May 2012 Gallup poll:
Pew Research Center President: "Acceptance Of Gay Marriage Has Grown Steadily Over The Past Eight Years." Pew Research Center president Andrew Kohut recently wrote:
Acceptance of gay marriage has grown steadily over the past eight years. By 2008, support for gay marriage had risen to 39 percent, while opposition had slipped to 52 percent. And in recent years, support has markedly increased as opposition has ebbed. Today, the latest Pew Research Center survey finds a 47 to 43 percent plurality favoring gay marriage, with as many Americans saying they strongly favor (22 percent) as saying they strongly oppose (22 percent).
Much of the growing support for gay marriage is generational. Majorities of the millennial generation, who were a very small share of the electorate in 2004 when the gay marriage issue rallied the conservative base, have grown in number and have consistently favored. But also, many older Americans have changed their minds. Since 2004, support for gay marriage has increased from 30 percent to 40 percent among baby boomers, and even among seniors (from 18 percent to 32 percent). (On balance, though, most members of this generation remain opposed, at 56 percent.)
A good deal of increased support for gay marriage reflects growing public acceptance of homosexuality. In 1994, when the Pew Research Center first began asking the public about societal acceptance, Americans were evenly divided as to whether homosexuality should be accepted or discouraged. However, views changed markedly over the next 17 years. By 2011, 58 percent of the public said it favored acceptance while just a third (33 percent) continued to favor discouragement.
While there remains a huge partisan gap on acceptance of homosexuality in general and gay marriage specifically, the political prospects for the issue are far different than they were two election cycles ago. It has become a lower priority issue for voters, and the partisan intensity gap is not as overwhelmingly one sided as it once was. Today there are almost as many strong supporters of gay marriage among Democrats (34 percent) as there are strong opponents among Republicans (40 percent). [The New York Times, 4/16/12]
Public Support For Gay Marriage "Has Accelerated Dramatically In The Last 2 Years." A July 2011 poll from the Benenson Strategy Group and Voter Consumer Research found that support for marriage equality "has increased over the years and that the rate of increase has accelerated dramatically in the last 2 years."
[Freedom to Marry, 7/27/11]
Pew: "Broad Declines In Opposition To Gay Marriage." From a 2012 Pew Research Center study showing large declines in opposition to same-sex marriage, including among Catholics:
[Pew Research Center, 4/25/12]
Limbaugh Has A History Of Engaging In Bigoted Attacks Against LGBT Community
Limbaugh: Marriage Equality Is "Ripp[ing]" Marriage "To Shreds." During the February 24, 2012, edition of his show, Limbaugh commented on a judge ruling the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional:
LIMBAUGH: Just took it upon himself to say that a piece of legislation is unconstitutional. Defending traditional values is not modern? It's off topic? Attacking them is modern and good politics? That's what we're to believe here? All we're doing is defending traditional values. All we're doing is defending the institutions and the traditions that have made this country great, and apparently that's what you're not supposed to do? "No, no, don't do that! Mr. Limbaugh, you're just gonna make people nervous. Women aren't going to understand." You wouldn't believe the emails. "Rush, women's brains can't compute this way. You're making a big mistake here by just bringing this up." Oh, so we can't defend all these great traditions, but the left can attack them? The left can attack them and rip them apart and tear them down, and that's good politics? Is that what we're to believe? We're supposed to sit by while great traditions and institutions like marriage are ripped to shreds. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 2/24/12]
Limbaugh Denigrated Slain LGBTQ Teen For Exploring His Sexuality. On the November 22, 2011, edition of his show, Limbaugh claimed that Larry King, a 15-year-old openly gay student who was killed by a reportedly homophobic classmate, was exploring whether he needed a "chop-a-dick-offa'-me operation," stating:
LIMBAUGH: He was showing up in school dressed as a woman -- was wearing dresses. He was bothering the other boys. His mother called the school. She was worried about her son's behavior. She asked the school to keep a sharp eye out for him, that she was worried that his behavior was going to cause something unfortunate to happen to him. We're talking 14-, and 15-, 16-year-olds here. Her son dresses up as a woman, goes to school, and starts lavishing attention on other boys.
When she told school officials about this, she says, again, that school officials told her that there was nothing they could do. That her son had a civil right to explore his sexual identity, meaning he had a right to come to school dressed as a girl. He had a right to come to school dressed in female attire -- he was wearing dresses. He had a right to explore whether or not he was a woman in a boy's body. He had the right to explore whether at some point he was going to need a chop-a-dick-offa'-me operation. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/22/11]
Limbaugh Ridiculed Gender Reassignment Surgery. On the January 19, 2011, edition of his show, Limbaugh called gender reassignment surgery an "add-a-dick-to-me" procedure, saying:
LIMBAUGH: Let me put this in perspective for you, folks. The Democrats and the media put forth this challenge -- oh, what are you gonna cut? You're saying you're going to cut spending -- what are you gonna cut? What are you gonna cut? And then we hear that the city of Berkeley is going to start paying for chop -- add-a-dick-to-me's. Sex change operations. And they -- what do we want to cut? Well, I ask you. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 1/19/11]
TPM's David Taintor on how President Obama's big interview with ABC came down. [...]
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The tea party Republican candidate who defeated Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar (R) after six terms in Tuesday's GOP primary says that his definition of "compromise" means that Democrats will have to come around the the right's way of thinking.
"What I've said about compromise and bipartisanship is I hope to build a conservative majority in the United States Senate so that bipartisanship becomes Democrats joining Republicans to roll back the size of government, reduce the bureaucracy, lower taxes and get American moving again," Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock told CNN on Tuesday.
"What I hear you say is you are not going to compromise," CNN host Soledad O'Brien observed. "In fact, the only compromise you'll do is really getting other people on the other side of the aisle to your side of the aisle, which I guess is the definition against compromise."
"It is the definition of political effectiveness," Mourdock replied.
"Political effectiveness, you're saying, is not possible with compromise," O'Brien noted. "Some people would say political effectiveness in the Senate requires compromise. There are many issues that cannot be done if you do not get bipartisan support. You're not going to work towards bipartisan support?"
"The fact is you never compromise on principles," Mourdock explained. "If people on the far left have a principle they want to stand by, they should never compromise. Those of us on the right should not either. Compromise may come in the finer details of a plan or a budget."
"We are at the point where one side of the other will win this argument," he added. "One side or the other will dominate."
(h/t: National Journal)
Oops. You weren't supposed to
find out about that.
(Matthew ReichbachThink Progress reports from the land of Mitt, where up is down, down is up, the trees are the right height and the cookies all taste like crap:
The Miami Herald?s Marc Caputo reports that next week the Romney campaign will be doing a major fundraising blitz across Florida, including an event ?at the Star Island manse of pharmaceutical magnate Phil and Pat Frost where dinner costs $50,000.?Oh no! According to Mitt Romney, Plan B is evil, and he has previously expressed his no doubt very, very sincere outrage that religious folks will have to give their employees access to such evil, non-their-specific-religious-group-approved products. (Since, in Future America, employers will need to sign off on each individual medical request made by an employee. You thought it was bad to have your insurance company fighting with you, wait until all your medical decisions get decided by Larry, the floor manager, who may or may not believe that the Sun God disapproves of treating your ruptured appendix, especially at those prices.)
Who is Dr. Phil Frost? He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Teva Pharmaceuticals, a major manufacturer of contraceptives. Its North American website prominently advertises several forms of contraception, including Plan B One Step, which Romney previously denounced as an ?abortive pill?:
So if a certain small subset of religious prudes are up in arms over their employees getting birth control coverage even though they don't have to pay a dime towards it, doesn't Mitt Romney get similarly tainted by taking Teva Pharmaceuticals' filthy, filthy birth control money? (Oh, and since Mitt is under the impression that Plan B is an "abortion" pill, it's even worse than that.)
I can't wait to hear how Mitt Romney rationalizes this one. I have some guesses, though.
1. "I like money, and that guy over there has money, so shut up."
2." Money is people too, my friends."
3. "I'm only taking this money so that he can't spend it to make more birth control pills. I'm on your side here, people!"
4. "This is Florida, so, um, money is fungible and ... hey, look over there! Rick Scott's clubbing a baby deer!"
5. "No, seriously, I want this guy's money. Shut the hell up already. I will cut you."
On day 6 of Heartland-gate, we visit their distinguished list of “Experts.”
As you know, the Heartland Institute is still unapologetic for its ad comparing the Unabomber to those who accept climate science or report on it. And they still insist on their website that “the most prominent advocates of global warming aren?t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.”
Their website also lists as “Heartland Experts” many of the most prominent advocates of climate science denial: John Christy, Joseph D’Aleo, Myron Ebell, Richard Lindzen, Bjorn Lomborg, Phelim McAleer, Ann McElhinney, Patrick Michaels, Steve Milloy, Lord Christopher Monckton, Marc Morano, Benny Peiser, Ian Plimer, Harrison Schmitt, Fred Singer, Fred Smith, Roy Spencer, Anthony Watts, and, last but not least, Roger Pielke.
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, well, of course, Foreign Policy?s ?Guide to Climate Skeptics? included Roger Pielke, Jr., but surely he isn’t an official “Heartland Expert.” And I say to you, stop calling me Shirley!
Seriously, though, I have every confidence that the redoubtable Roger can explain how this happened. He is, after all, a great explainer of some things — like how he told the journal Nature in 2006, ?Clearly, since 1970 climate change ? has shaped the disaster loss record? but now attacks any climate scientist who says anything remotely similar, or how it is that he can endorse a 450 to 500 ppm target but refuse to spell out how we would hit that target while at the same time attacking anyone who actually does spell that out, or how these debunkings by Deltoid, James Annan, Stefan Rahmstorf, RealClimate, Brad DeLong, to name a few, are all wrong.
I’m guessing Pielke will be separating himself from Heartland about as fast as the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, XL Group, Renaissance Re, Allied World Assurance, State Farm Insurance, and some of their own staff!
This just in — Forecast the Facts reports the United Services Automobile Association?s (USAA), a Fortune-500 financial services company serving 8.8 million military members and their families, has decided to pull its support for the Heartland Institute:
A USAA spokesperson announced their decision on Facebook, saying, ?In light of recent personnel departures at Heartland, we decided to end our support for the organization.?
Want to start a pool on how fast Roger gets them to take this page down?
That President Obama has announced he is personally in favor of marriage equality means far less to me than the actual, concrete actions he has taken to alleviate discrimination against LGBT Americans: ending DADT, extending domestic partner rights to federal employees, refusing to defend DOMA.
But far too many of this administration's actions are sickeningly cowardly - and cowardly in a way that harms the nation far more than the president's personal support of gay marriage helps it.
WHO'S AFRAID OF REGULATION? In April, Senator James Inhofe released an old tape of EPA administrator Al Armendariz describing how the Romans once invaded villages and crucified people at random to make an example of them. "That town was really easy to manage for the next few years," he quipped. Right-wing pundits and industry allies had a field day, suggesting that Armendariz was calling to "crucify" oil companies and selectively quoting him without further context. "Find people who are not compliant with the law," Armendariz had continued, "and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there." This is the definition of how regulatory action works.
Yet almost immediately, the Obama administration threw Armendariz under the bus. Press secretary Jay Carney called his comments "inaccurate as a representation of...the way that the EPA has operated under President Obama." On April 29, Armendariz submitted his resignation letter, which was immediately accepted.
The administration may have wanted to avoid a distraction as it heads into the election, but in failing to defend Armendariz it failed to defend the basic principles of regulation. All he was saying was that without vigorous enforcement, regulation becomes an empty gesture. But it's the sort of mistake Democrats love to make: prematurely bowing in the face of a manufactured mini-firestorm simply to take the talking point off the table. And it is symptomatic of an administration that has been consistently afraid of its own shadow when it comes to regulation.
A New York Times article discusses the disappearance of retail investors and the steady decline in trading volumes since the Great Crash. They blame the usual uncertainty. But investors know the game is rigged by those sucking most of the rewards out[...]
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