Visual source: Newseum
Nate Silver on the 13 point Obama lead in the latest Bloomberg poll:
Either of these approaches [ignore it, or accept it, use it carefully, and move on] is preferable to overreacting to the poll. Some news outlets reacted with surprise to the Bloomberg poll because, they claimed, it defied the conventional wisdom that Mr. Obama had been having a bad month. However, the conventional wisdom is not always worth very much. Legitimately important events like the release of a jobs report are combined with trivialities involving Mr. Obama’s semantics. A misleadingly edited clip about remarks that Mr. Romney made at a hoagie restaurant received about as much coverage in political news outlets as the crucial parliamentary elections that Greece held over the weekend.The conventional wisdom has been unsurprisingly stupid, with reporters falling all over themselves about Obama saying the private sector was doing fine relative to the public sector (yes, those five contextual words at the end are important) while ignoring that a) the non-GOP voters don't like Romney and b) what Obama said is true. In fact, that's the main message from the Bloomberg poll (Romney sucks), even if you ignore the horse race numbers:
The problem with overreacting is that it usually begets an equal and opposite overreaction later on. If the conventional wisdom has been that Mr. Obama has been having a bad few weeks, there will be other points between now and November when the same is said of Mr. Romney, and perhaps with equally thin evidence.
The survey shows Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, has yet to repair the damage done to his image during the Republican primary. Thirty-nine percent of Americans view him favorably, about the same as when he announced his presidential candidacy last June, while 48 percent see him unfavorably -- a 17-percentage point jump during a nomination fight dominated by attacks ads. A majority of likely voters, 55 percent, view him as more out of touch with average Americans compared with 36 percent who say the president is more out of touch.Still, the best advice is: wait for other polls to refute or confirm. But remember this is the same pollster that took heat for predicting an Obama win in Iowa in 2008:
Between the release of her final Iowa caucus poll on Monday and the announcement of results last night, J. Ann Selzer could only wait — and absorb the criticism from aggrieved campaigns. “We took a lot of heat for this poll,” Ms. Selzer told me Friday morning. “We were kind of sitting out there alone, saying this was going to be a significant Obama victory, and we got beat up pretty badly.”Hey, here's a new Q-poll from Florida:
A shift by independent voters gives President Barack Obama a 46 - 42 percent lead over Republican Gov. Mitt Romney in the Sunshine State, according to the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll.Methinks the bloom is off the Romney rose.
A running debate rages in Washington between liberal and centrist Democrats about just how many swing voters there are, and precisely how disaffected they are. Republicans don’t appear to take a side in this argument, perhaps because today’s brand of Republicanism is less interested in trying to persuade swing voters than in revving up the right-wing base. Centrist outfits like Third Way and the DLC, suspicious of the old-time liberalism, are constantly warning that Democrats have to deliver a more centrist message—emphasizing “opportunity” over “fairness,” for example.Michael Arceneaux, referring to Montana Republicans and their idiotic racist and misogynist "outhouse":
That’s not especially controversial. A point of far greater contention is that centrists want the Democrats to be flexible on entitlement reform—to be willing, say, to raise the retirement age, or to index Social Security benefits to a different inflation measurement that would, over time, save the program money—and reduce benefits, especially as beneficiaries get into their eighties. For liberals, there is only one valid position with respect to Social Security and Medicare: defend them.
Make no mistake: I don’t think a stupid story like this will ruin Romney. However, this public display of prejudice is just one of several instances that have hit the news cycle in mere weeks. There is also that big-mouth birther, Donald Trump, who recycled yesteryear’s conspiracy theory — which I’m sure alienated voters long tired of such an asinine critique of the president. Likewise, the reported proposal calling on Chicago billionaire Joe Ricketts to spend $10 million on a negative ad campaign aimed at Obama centered on Rev. Jeremiah Wright.If you don't know who Maryn McKenna is (hint: terrific science reporter), here's a great way to find out:
Additionally, there are quite a few members of the GOP yammering about “amnesty” for “illegal immigrants” in light of President Obama’s executive order that eases the pressure on young undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation and helps them apply for work permits. This comes at a time when there may be as many as two million more Latino voters in 2012 than 2008.
People Want to Eat Meat Raised Without Excessive Antibiotics. Wouldn’t You?Katrina vanden Heuvel:
And yet, there are limits — clearly — to what the president has been and will be able to achieve in the most ideologically polarized climate in recent history. In the face of the existential threat to our democracy posed by a rabid, corporate-sponsored right wing, progressive activists are told to swallow their disappointment and just get out the vote. In return, some throw up their hands at electoral politics, arguing that both establishment parties are so compromised that only independent movements can effect real change.
As professor and activist Frances Fox Piven has argued, this is a false dichotomy. “Electoral politics creates the environment in which movements arise,” while movements can force politicians to do the hard work they were elected to do. Electoral politics and movement politics operate on parallel, often converging tracks. It was the energy of the Occupy movement that compelled Obama to make the alarming growth in income inequality a central issue. And activists fighting for fairer immigration laws undoubtedly helped generate the conditions that led to last week’s executive order.
In most groups of the population—-especially the more conservative and Republican groups—-richer people are more conservative. For example, military officers are much more conservative than military enlisted personnel. This is one reason why I think that people such as Haidt who study psychology of voting should look at upper-class as well as lower-class voters. As I noted earlier, lower-class whites (especially in the south) may well be trending Republican, but upper-class whites are even more strongly in the Republican camp, and it’s worth understanding their motivations as well.