I believe today went well.
For all intents and purposes, the post-convention period is now in the books. Even the slow-moving (by design, courtesy of that seven-day window) Gallup poll now has more than two-thirds of its data emanating from days after the end of the convention. Every other pollster's data is wholly after the convention. Ergo, we now have a conclusive picture of the impact of the convention.
But what remains in front of us is arguably the biggest question: for how long can Obama sustain the unmistakeable bump in support he received from the DNC? If he can stretch out that advantage until the debates, and perform respectably in those, he will be in an excellent position for November. If this bump proves ephemeral, however, that could point to underlying structural problems that could make November very uncomfortable for the Democrats.
On to the numbers:
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (Fox News): Obama d. Romney (48-43 LV; 46-42 RV)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (50-43)
NATIONAL (Ipsos-Reuters): Obama d. Romney (48-45 LV; 47-43 RV)
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Obama d. Romney (46-45)
NATIONAL (YouGov): Obama d. Romney (49-45)
CALIFORNIA (SurveyUSA): Obama d. Romney (57-35)
MICHIGAN (EPIC-MRA): Obama d. Romney (47-37)
MONTANA (PPP): Romney d. Obama (46-43-7 w/Gary Johnson; 50-45 w/o Johnson)
NEW MEXICO (PPP): Obama d. Romney (53-42)
TEXAS (WPA Opinion Research--R): Romney d. Obama (55-40)
WASHINGTON (PPP for the League of Conservation Voters): Obama d. Romney (53-42)
CA-SEN (SurveyUSA): Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) 55, Elizabeth Emken (R) 37A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump...
CA-31 (Internal poll for the Dutton campaign): Bob Dutton (R) 22, Rep. Gary Miller (R) 17
(2014) FL-GOV--D (SEA Polling): Alex Sink 31, Charlie Crist 29
MA-06 (MassINC): Rep. John Tierney (D) 46, Richard Tisei (R) 34, Daniel Fishman (L) 7
MI-SEN (EPIC-MRA): Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) 49, Pete Hoekstra (R) 38
(2014) MN-SEN (PPP): Sen. Al Franken (D) 50, Tim Pawlenty (R) 43; Franken 50, Norm Coleman (R) 43; Franken 52, Michele Bachmann (R) 40
MN-SEN (SurveyUSA): Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) 55, Kurt Bills (R) 34
MN-SEN (Wenzel Strategies for the Bills campaign): Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) 52, Kurt Bills (R) 38
MT-AL (PPP): Steve Daines (R) 40, Kim Gillan (D) 37, Dave Kaiser (L) 9
MT-SEN (PPP): Sen. Jon Tester (D) 45, Denny Rehberg (R) 43, Dan Cox (L) 8
NM-SEN (PPP): Martin Heinrich (D) 50, Heather Wilson (R) 41
RI-01 (DCCC IVR--D): Rep. David Cicilline (D) 49, Brendan Doherty (R) 43
WA-GOV (PPP for the League of Conservation Voters): Jay Inslee (D) 48, Rob McKenna (R) 42
WA-GOV (SurveyUSA): Jay Inslee (D) 49, Rob McKenna (R) 44
WA-SEN (SurveyUSA): Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) 54, Michael Baumgartner (R) 38
WI-01 (FM3 for the Zerban Campaign--Informed trial heat): Rep. Paul Ryan (R) 47, Rob Zerban (D) 39, Keith Deschler (L) 4
WI-01 (Public Opinion Strategies for the Ryan campaign): Rep. Paul Ryan (R) 58, Rob Zerban (D) 33
Willard's probably wondering why everyone's making such a big deal when he's just spewing his usual thuggish imbecility.
"The foolishness of Romney?s reaction is glaring. Pretending that the statement from the U.S. embassy in Cairo was anything other than a completely understandable and reasonable attempt by its occupants to save their own lives borders on disgraceful. Romney?s implication that the statement was issued at the height of the attacks is also false; it was actually released earlier in the day, a preventive measure aimed at keeping the protests from turning violent."
-- Steve Kornacki, in "Mitt's shameful Libya statement" on salon.com
"'They were just trying to score a cheap news cycle hit based on the embassy statement and now it's just completely blown up,' said a very senior Republican foreign policy hand, who called the statement an 'utter disaster' and a 'Lehman moment' ? a parallel to the moment when John McCain, amid the 2008 financial crisis, failed to come across as a steady leader.'"
-- Ben Smith, in "Foreign Policy Hands Voice Disbelief At Romney Cairo Statement," on BuzzFeed
Poor Willard Inc. probably has no idea why people are saying such terrible things about him. After all, ever since he began his current campaign for the presidency, every time he opens his mouth out comes utter lying gibberish that could only be uttered by a submoronic predatory thug. So why should his monstrous blithering about the dreadful events in Egypt and Libya be any different? First let's have Steve Kornacki walk us through the episode:
"It's disgraceful," Romney's statement, which was released late Tuesday night, read, "that the Obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks."
That's not at all what happened, of course. The actual chronology goes something like this: As anti-American protests inspired by a crude Terry Jones video began gathering steam, the U.S. embassy in Cairo -- and not the Obama White House -- put out a statement condemning "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims -- as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."
The obvious intent was to cool the passions of the protesters. As Marc Ambinder explained, it was "exactly what Americans inside the embassy who are scared for their lives now and worry about revenge later need to have released in their name."
Protests were also building in Libya, and sometime later the U.S. consulate in Benghazi came under siege, with news breaking late Tuesday night that a State Department official had been killed. It was around this time that two major American political figures released statements. One came from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and read: "I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss. There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind." The other was Romney's.
Romney has not backed off the response ? "It's never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values," he said Wednesday ? but his campaign faces a near consensus in Republican foreign policy circles that, whatever the sentiment, Romney faltered badly.
"It?s deeply unfortunate when the circumstance of the statement becomes the story," said Rick Perry's former foreign policy adviser, Victoria Coates, who is now an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and who suggested that Romney should simply have "gone earlier rather than save it for midnight" to avoid appearing to play politics on September 11. "It?s unfortunate that it?s playing out this way, and hopefully they can get back on message, because their point is sound," she said.
Other conservatives were less sympathetic.
"It's bad," said a former aide to Senator John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. "Just on a factual level that the statement was not a response but preceding, or one could make the case precipitating. And just calling it a 'disgrace' doesn't really cut it. Not ready for prime time."
A third Republican, a former Bush State Department official, told BuzzFeed, "It wasn't presidential of Romney to go political immediately -- a tragedy of this magnitude should be something the nation collectively grieves before politics enters the conversation."
Romney's attack is spot-on ? disgusting that the first Obama administration impulse was to apologize instead of condemning violent religious intolerance. Obama's gotten a real pass on his intervention in Libya, his failed strategy in Afghanistan, and his lack of leadership in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. By trying to cut it down the middle in his foreign policy, no one knows where or for what Obama or America stands in the world these days.
It's a rookie mistake to confuse embassies and consulates, and it's the kind of thing that anyone with any training in diplomacy and international relations would immediately look out for, and notice. Romney should have seen this speech and immediately said "Libya's capital isn't Tripoli, and our embassy isn't in Benghazi." But he didn't. Because Mitt Romney simply has no background in foreign policy. But that didn't stop him from weighing in immediately on a major national security crisis, with the presidential backdrop and all.
Why The Vileness Matters#
I haven?t weighed in on Romney?s awesomely awful intervention on events in Egypt and Libya; with even Republicans joining in the chorus of shocked disapproval, not much I can add.
But maybe I can say something about why this matters for the campaign.
There will probably be some voters moved directly against Romney by this spectacle, and none moved toward him. Yes, there are quite a few Americans who are willing to believe that the man who has been president for three and a half years ? and who killed Bin Laden ? actually sympathizes with terrorists. But everyone in those fever swamps is already an Obama-hater, and Romney has just made himself look small and hysterical to everyone else.
But the real impact probably comes via the press.
I?ve seen some comparisons between Mitt Romney?s position right now and that of George W. Bush after the Democratic convention in 2000, and by the numbers there is some resemblance. But what really happened in the final months of that election? The answer -- not a popular one with journalists, but very obviously true to anyone who lived through it -- was that the press took sides. Reporters liked Bush and didn?t like Gore, and as a result they treated Bush with kid gloves while gleefully passing on every smear against his opponent (?Gore says he invented the internet!? No, he never did).
That probably wasn?t going to happen this time in any case. But now Romney has really ensured that everyone in the news media, the GOP propaganda organs aside, is going to view him with distaste and alarm ? as well they should.
Romney could still win, but he has just made it even harder for anyone to consider him suitable for the job.
As he says himself, it speaks to his character. Paul Ryan has looked bad since being chosen as Romney's running mate. He has not been able to provide policy details, he's talking a different story than Romney on many issues and he consistently has problems with telling the truth about his personal life and in his speeches.LetsRun.com:LRC: Are you surprised with how much attention the...
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I was complaining to a friend who is part of the D.C. consultancy class (although not the rich part). "What is it with all this crap about the middle class?" I said. "No one in that entire convention talked about the poor or the working class." My friend said that poor people preferred to think of themselves as middle class, even when they're not, and that it probably polled better.
"Really?" I said. "Because I don't know many people who still describe themselves as middle class. I know a lot of people who describe themselves as poor." This Pew survey bears out my impression:
The percentage of Americans who say they are in the lower-middle or lower class has risen from a quarter of the adult population to about a third in the past four years, according to a national survey of 2,508 adults by the Pew Research Center.
Not only has the lower class grown, but its demographic profile also has shifted. People younger than 30 are disproportionately swelling the ranks of the self-defined lower classes.1 The shares of Hispanics and whites who place themselves in the lower class also are growing.
Among blacks, the story is different. The share of blacks in the lower class has not changed in four years, one of the few demographic groups in which the proportion in the lower classes did not grow. As a consequence, a virtually identical share of blacks (33%) and whites (31%) now say they are in the lower class.
When it comes to political affiliation, more Democrats than Republicans place themselves in the lower classes, but Republicans saw a sharper rise over the past four years. Some 23% now call themselves lower class, up from 13% in 2008. Among Democrats, 33% now call themselves lower class, compared with 29% in 2008.
The survey finds that hard times have been particularly hard on the lower class. Eight-in-ten adults (84%) in the lower classes say they had to cut back spending in the past year because money was tight, compared with 62% who say they are middle class and 41% who say they are in the upper classes. Those in the lower classes also say they are less happy and less healthy, and the stress they report experiencing is more than other adults.
As they look to their own future and that of their children, many in the lower class see their prospects dimming. About three-quarters (77%) say it?s harder now to get ahead than it was 10 years ago. Only half (51%) say that hard work brings success, a view expressed by overwhelming majorities of those in the middle (67%) and upper classes (71%). While the expectation that each new generation will surpass their parents is a central tenet of the American Dream, those lower classes are significantly more likely than middle or upper-class adults to believe their children will have a worse standard of living than they do.
One obvious explanation: Even the people who have jobs don't have good jobs.
Doesn't seem like a group of voters who will listen all that sympathetically to millionaires and billionaires talking about "shared sacrifice." Dear oh dear, what will David Walker's Comeback America Initiative (Pete Peterson's latest surrogate front) do?
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The ugliness never stops coming from Republicans.
Jay Townsend, the official campaign spokesman for the freshman representative, went on a vicious online rant on Saturday, which he began by taunting a constituent who voiced criticism about an earlier post on gas prices. "Listen to Tom. What a little bee he has in his bonnet. Buzz Buzz," Townsend wrote."My question today... when is Tommy boy going to weigh in on all the Lilly Ledbetter hypocrites who claim to be fighting the War on Women? Let?s hurl some acid at those female democratic Senators who won?t abide the mandates they want to impose on the private sector."
He attached a link to a Free Beacon article that claims female senators pay their male staffers more than their female staffers.A moderator of the NY19 U.S. House of Representatives Civil Discussion Center page responded to Townsend, asking him to "please refrain from calling our members names." The unnamed moderator also asked if Hayworth knew about his comments or whether he had "gone rogue."
This man should be fired immediately and made to apologize by House leader, John Boehner.
You'll never hear this on FOX, but can you imagine if a Democratic spokesman said this about Republican women? Bill O'Reilly would have an orgasm over it. Hannity would be so sick about it that he'd call in sick and Drudge, well. I'll leave that up to you.
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