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Some of the time, polls are released with the sole intent of giving the public a snapshot of where a race stands at a particular time. Most (but not all) media polls would fall in that category. But news outlets will also poll races where they want to gauge the impact of a recent news event, seeking to divine whether said news story is a legitimate "game changer."

Campaign polls, or other sponsored polling, often tries to do far more than that. They are released to establish a narrative.

Today, on a relatively slow polling day, we will explore some of those motives, because there are some pretty intriguing ones today.

On to the numbers:

PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:

NATIONAL (CBS News): Romney d. Obama (47-46)

NATIONAL (Fox News): Obama d. Romney (45-41)

NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (47-45)

NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (47-46)

NATIONAL (YouGov): Obama d. Romney (47-44)

NEW JERSEY (Quinnipiac): Obama d. Romney (49-38)

NEW MEXICO (PPP): Obama d. Romney (49-44)

VIRGINIA (Rasmussen): Obama d. Romney (47-46)

DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
FL-16 (Public Opinion Strategies for Buchanan): Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) 54, Keith Fitzgerald (D) 32

NJ-SEN (Quinnipiac): Sen. Robert Menendez (D) 47, Joe Kyrillos (R) 34

WA-01 (DMA Market Research for Hobbs): John Koster (R) 30, Darcy Burner (D) 13, Steve Hobbs (D) 12, Suzan DelBene (D) 11, Laura Ruderman (D) 5

A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump ...

Of course, the easiest place to detect a motive for a poll's release is when a campaign or an interested organization is the one dropping the poll for public view.

As it happens, we get three of those "internal polls" today.

One of the three, a series of Senate polls conducted for the Chamber of Commerce, was not included in the Wrap because some basic ingredients (the name of the pollster, the towlines in one of the three states polled) are missing. But the motive for the release is far more transparent than the data itself. The Chamber wants it known that (a) a Republican takeover of the Senate is quite possible, if not probable, and (b) their candidates are in better position than other pollsters might suggest. The series of polls give three Democratic-held seats (Hawaii, Montana, and Virginia) to the GOP candidates by margins ranging from 5-7 points.

The second offering of the internal variety came from Washington state Democratic candidate Steve Hobbs, whose own polling puts him right in the middle of a trio of Democrats vying for the second slot in a "top two" primary in the newly drawn (and more conservative) Washington 1st district. One slot is preordained—the lone Republican in the mix (2010 WA-02 nominee John Koster) is guaranteed one of the two slots. So, Hobbs seemingly wanted it to be clear that none of the other Democrats in the field has even a marginal claim to being the frontrunner for the second golden ticket for November. An interesting secondary lesson from that poll was offered earlier today by our own David Jarman. He points out that looking at the combined totals for Suzan DelBene and Laura Ruderman (who seemingly are trying to attract the same voters), it becomes quite clear why Ruderman is targeting DelBene ahead of all others in the field.

The final offering comes from Florida veteran Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan, who dropped an internal poll showing him way up on Democratic state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald. This release, ultimately, is a not-so-subtle attempt to quell the growing sense that this could be a sleeper House race, given Buchanan's relatively lackluster fundraising as of late, coupled with his ethical issues. It is no accident, I would submit, that team Buchanan felt compelled to share an internal poll showing the margin in this race exactly where it was early in the Spring. It is a clear effort to reassure supporters that there has been no measurable erosion despite some bad media cycles for the incumbent.

In other polling news ...

  • That CBS News poll is somewhat of a rarity, in that it shows Mitt Romney staked to a lead. Sure, it is a statistically insignificant lead, but aren't most of them, at least recently? Inside the numbers, there are some data points that have to be of deep concern for Democrats and Team Obama. Nearly two-thirds of voters polled by CBS News think that the policies of the president contributed to the economic downturn. What's more: Voters are slightly more likely to say that Mitt Romney's presidency would improve their economic situation (32 percent) than to say that Barack Obama's presidency would do the same (26 percent).
  • As for one of the other major national polls out today, Fox News has Obama +4. But you'd never know it, if you relied on ... ahem ... Fox News for your news. Check this out.
  • PPP's new numbers out of New Mexico would probably be considered both surprising, and pessimistic, in the eyes of Democrats who have grown accustomed to seeing Barack Obama hold a lead of double digits in the Land of Enchantment. Nate Cohn of the The New Republic is a skeptic, pointing out that the PPP sample that created the Obama +5 result had a much closer spread in their reported 2008 vote preferences than actually existed in 2008. The sample was Obama +8 in 2008, when he actually won by 15. However, other numbers in the poll seem pretty decent—the liberal/conservative gap, if anything, seems friendly for Obama, and the partisan ID gap seems reasonable. I suspect, as Cohn does, that Obama might've caught a bad sample of Latino voters (I find it hard to believe his standing with this segment of the electorate has eroded since earlier in the year). Now, we can wait and see if future polling contradicts or confirms.
  • Speaking of things in that New Mexico poll where we will eagerly await additional data, PPP finds an interesting and counterintuitive data point. They tested Libertarian (and former New Mexico governor) Gary Johnson. Conventional wisdom would dictate that Johnson, a one-time Republican and a brief entrant in the 2012 GOP presidential primary, would draw from Mitt Romney. But PPP found, conversely, that Johnson's 13 percent came incrementally more from Obama supporters (particularly Independent voters) than from Romney supporters. If true, this is really worth keeping an eye on.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Beginning to wonder (13+ / 0-)

    If the Bain, Tax, Off shore etc. attacks are really working.

    We have some seem fluctuation in Romney's numbers, but all very slight and its been up and down, Obama has stayed pretty much the same.  Starting to get worried.

    Yes, yes I know debbie downer, disregard me etc.

    31/D/M/NY-01/SSP: Tekzilla

    by Socks The Cat on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 05:03:56 PM PDT

  •  Some of those CBS poll results (13+ / 0-)

    remind me that you have to take everything the electorate says with a huge grain of salt.

    How can you explain this?

    While a majority of voters say Mr. Obama has at least some ownership of the recession, far more blame his predecessor, President George W. Bush. The downturn began before Mr. Obama took office.

    Nearly half say Mr. Bush's policies played a significant role in creating the nation's current economic problems. Another 33 percent say they played some role. Only 18 percent say Mr. Bush's policies had little to no impact.

    this
    Nearly half of registered voters say Romney's policies will somewhat closely follow those of Mr. Bush, and 19 percent say his policies will follow Mr. Bush's very closely. Just one in four say Romney will not follow the policies of the last Republican president.
    and this
    When it comes to their personal financial situation, more voters believe the president's policies will make their economic situation worse (39 percent) than improve it (26 percent). Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney fares better: While 25 percent say his policies will make their economic situation worse, a higher percentage - 32 percent - say his policies will improve their economic standing.
    So, according to these poll respondents, Bush's policies was largely responsible for our economic problems, Romney's policies closely resemble Bush's and they believe Romney's policies will be better for the economy.

    WHAT?!?!

    I think it's fair to conclude that most poll respondents are uninformed idiots who just pull answers out of their a**es.

    I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

    by rennert on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 05:11:41 PM PDT

    •  Basically. It's a beauty contest. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DoctorWho, Supavash, MHB

      In modern times when has the more likable candidate lost?  Americans self-identify with a party - more than likely their parents party - and vote that way for their whole lives.  

      The GOP made an effort from day one to drag Pres Obama down into the swamp because they know he won in large part because of the excitement around his campaign and his likability over McCain.  They beat him up and made him into just another politician.  And there is no palpable excitement around his campaign anymore.  In 2008 he was about big ideas and hope - now he's launching attack ads and unwilling to talk about what he'd do in the next four years because he is already under enough attack for the things he did already do that went some where less than perfect in results.  

    •  Agreed but it's now Obama's economy. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dufffbeer, auapplemac, nimh

      He can't blame W forever.

      And low info voters don't read Today in Congress to know about the R obstruction.

      "Why can't Obama DO something?" Is their reaction. I have the impression that most Americans don't really understand that the US Prez is not a corporate Prez/CEO. So they blame him.

      I know you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. -- S.I. Hayakawa

      by tapu dali on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 05:41:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He rarely ever blames Bush anyway. (9+ / 0-)

        He does remind people about the situation he inherited because Republicans like to blame him for where we are today.  And it's important that he continue to do that.  People have very short memories and if you don't pound it into their heads the reality of what happened, people will create their own memories.

        Also, if the other candidate is proposing the same stuff the last administration did, you have to call him out on it obviously.  That isn't "blaming" Bush.

      •  This is not about Obama (11+ / 0-)

        blaming or not blaming Bush.

        It's not even about what the truth is about who's blame or who's not to blame.

        it's about the poll respondents themselves holding these 3 views simultaneously:

        1) Bush's policies were responsible for the economic downturn

        2) Romney will largely follow Bush's policies

        3) Romney's policies will be better for the economy

        A majority of poll respondents in that CBS/NYT poll hold all three of those views simultaneously. How is that logical?

        I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

        by rennert on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 06:07:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Logical? Half the voters are half-wits. (7+ / 0-)

          What makes you think they connect Romney and Bush?  Did they connect the 73 GOP House members they elected in 2010 to him, a scant two years after he crashed the economy?  The seven -- that could have been ten - Senators?

          Our country is at the mercy of these people.

        •  because everyone wants their house (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Delilah, helfenburg

          to be back in a bubble. we have bought the idea that "houses ALWAYS go up and that we can just wait till next year and take out another loan on it. We can sell it next year and make a profit. We won't be 30% under next year." No one wants to think about the actual economic reality of our country - that the middle class is shrinking, that our kids can't go to college without selling a kidney.  Its too depressing to honestly look at our economic policies. So let's go back to Bush time when we were living off credit cards and houses. At least then I could "afford" a vacation.

          compassion for things i'll never know ~ david byrne

          by little lion on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 10:15:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are so right. Ams don't want to see the (0+ / 0-)

            handwriting on the wall.  All the free-trade policies and other misguided Repub political ideology of the past 40 years, some of it pursued iwth Democratic collaboration, coming home to roost and create the great middle and working class squeeze.

      •  And just to make it clearer (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Supavash, atdnext, Delilah

        this is about poll respondents answering questions A, B and C as discrete questions (and answering them contradictorily) instead of CONNECTING A, B and C.

        Part of Obama's job will be connecting these concepts for people, since they already believe Bush's policies were largely responsible for the bad economy and that Romney will largely follow Bush's policies. They already believe those two things. Obama's job will be to lead them to the obvious conclusion.

        The problem is most people don't make these kinds of decisions rationally (as the answers to those poll questions will attest) so Obama would be greatly helped if there was at least a slight improvement in the economy or unemployment rate between now and the election.

        I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

        by rennert on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 06:11:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why shouldn't Obama own the economy? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        auapplemac, arabian, Supavash

        Look at all the metrics like job gains/loss, unemployment, gdp and you see a "V" with the nadir on February 2009. Obama took an economy that was in a tailspin, where economists literally didn't know if the entire system would collapse, and pulled us out of it. Are there still people unemployed and hurting? Yes, but there are people unemployed and hurting at 4% unemployment. It isn't the best battlecry, but growing slowly is far better than shrinking quickly. And he is doing it with zero cooperation from the GOP, the Fed deciding that inflation can only be less than 2%, continued financial shenanigans, and Europe inadvertently weighing down all the markets.  

        Anyone mad that we aren't back to where we were at in 2007 is delusional. That lifestyle was funded on lies and we shouldn't really expect to see it again and if we do we should be bracing for a bubble burst.

      •  If this were a GOP pres... (0+ / 0-)

        ...you can bet the Fed would be doing all it could to boost th economy right now. Not constantly saying "It's bad, Congress do something."

        •  I don't think the Fed can do much more. (0+ / 0-)

          It is about the Congress and for Barnanke to say it straight out to their faces IS A BIG DEAL THAT IS GETTING NO PLAY IN THE MEDIA AT ALL.

        •  The Fed is out of tactics. They've lowered the (0+ / 0-)

          rates all they can, and nothing else they can do is budging the banks to help the country. Read Krugman's latest book for details; they are out of the game.

          "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

          by bryduck on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 08:59:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  No but he can blame the House Repubs (0+ / 0-)

        for ditching every sensible proposal that would give a fiscal stimulus to the economy.  It is their fault.  It is.  And the states where Repubs have slashed spending which is an additional fiscal depressant.  And the European economy.  It is not Obama's fault.

    •  same way that... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      little lion, PorridgeGun

      Americans favorability of the ACA is slightly underwater, while they love the individual things about it when asked about them...you'd think that any American with 2 neurons to rub together could put 2 and 2 together and figure out that why they're being asked about those individual things are because they are in fact in the ACA but then, these are Americans we're talking about, far and away the dumbest electorate, taken as a whole, in the Western world.

      "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

      by JackND on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 05:59:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not sure those numbers mean that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Supavash

      much.  I think the blame part is pretty meaningful, but regarding whether Obama's policies will hurt or help, those answers are almost entirely based on party line.  The percentages overall are too small to be meaningful.  Those are just the most partisan voters of the two parties.  Maybe if they break down true swing/undecided voters we'd be able to get more meaning from it.

      Ask about a policy without Obama's name attached and you can straight up answers.  Attach Obama's name to it, and answers are made almost entirely on party line.

    •  There was a great line on West Wing (4+ / 0-)

      Josh kept repeating a poll result, something like "93% of Americans think we spend too much on foreign aid, and 79% think we should spend less".  Throughout the episode, it seems that he is pointing to this polling to show that increasing foreign aid is a political loser, until at the end he explains what he really means is, who the hell are the 14% who think we spend too much on foreign aid, but don't think we should spend less?

      I also recall a poll around the time of Clinton's impeachment- there were two questions, first asked whether people believed Clinton had sex with Monica Lewinski, vast majority said they believed that to be true.  Second question, how many believe that he lied when he denied having sex with her- results were close to 50-50, meaning, a big chunk of the electorate believed Bill Clinton had sex with Monica Lewinski but that no one had told him.

      The best pizza comes from New York.

      by JakeC on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 08:09:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A lot of times I think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        little lion, MHB

        people give the answer they think they're supposed to give to any particular question, which is why there is sometimes a glaring contradiction between their answers on related questions. They catch the tone of the question, don't think too much about the specifics, and give the answer that "sounds right".

        I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

        by rennert on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 08:23:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think there is any question (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          little lion, nimh

          Using the 2nd example, when asked whether they believed Pres Clinton had had sex, they think to themselves, well, I'm not an idiot, I know he had sex, and answer yes.  Then they get asked the question with the judgemental word "lied" and those who want to defend him immediately switch sides.

          The best pizza comes from New York.

          by JakeC on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 08:29:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Or they run to their political corner... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LordMike, little lion, nimh

          When they sniff out a political question.  Ie Did Clinton have sex with Lewinsky - sure.  That's not a political question.  But did he lie about it - now that becomes political.  

          When you ask folks about individual parts of the ACA there is widespread support, but when you poll the same demo but in the otherwise same question indicate "As part of Obamacare..." the numbers will reflect partisanship.  

    •  About 90% (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Supavash

      have already decided how they are going to vote.

      It is very hard for people who follow this closely to tell what works and what doesn't.

      Because the idea that you might be undecided at this point is pretty increadible - and it is hard for people like us to understand what will change their vote.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:07:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This made me laugh (0+ / 0-)

      .. but in fairness the numbers don't show that there's many people who believe that Bush's policies was largely responsible for our economic problems, Romney's policies closely resemble Bush's AND YET Romney's policies will be better for the economy.

      After all, Only 32% believes that last thing, and most of those people are probably not among the "close to half" of respondents who say that Bush "played a significant role" in creating the crisis. Different people.

      Still, the dissonance you point out is real, even if to a somewhat lesser extent. I mean, there is still only 25% who think Romney's policies will make them worse off. So there must be a fair number of respondents who agree with according Bush significant blame for the crisis and think Romney's policies will be similar to Bush's, and yet can't bring themselves to answer the question of whether that might work out badly.

  •  We focus on Anti-Romney ads here... (5+ / 0-)

    And forget Romney and the many GOP SuperPAC's have spent $87M in the same swing states as the Obama Campaign has spent $95M in since May 1st.

    I suspect the Obama favorables have tanked a bit thanks to the negative attacks against the President by the Rove and Co groups and that's the reason why Pres Obama and OFA felt they could have Pres Obama put his name on attack ads against Romney because Pres Obama was already losing personal favorability down to his base support so he couldn't go any lower.  

    If attack ads work on Romney they also work on Pres Obama.  And Pres Obama can be attacked for what he has done that didn't work out enough whereas Romney can only be attacked on what he would do - and he stays very vague for this very reason.  

    And now Pres Obama is going to be the first incumbent outspent in (modern?) history because Dems either are too over confident or don't think there is any difference between Pres Obama and a President Romney to give a damn and open up their wallets for.  

  •  As for the CBS-NYT poll (15+ / 0-)

    it would be good to note that it actually represents an improvement for Obama by 2 points from their last poll taken (see RCP).  It has a gender gap in favor of Romney (unusual) and generally seems to have more pessimistic voters in its sample than the norm. I don't know, but wonder if they are re-polling a portion or all of the sample from their April poll.  There are obviously a lot more polling data that are better for the President, so one shouldn't get tied up in knots over this one.  I don't think this list mentions the NPR battleground state poll which has Obama +4.  If we're going to give purple strategies coverage on this site, the NPR poll should be added as well.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 05:25:00 PM PDT

  •  LOLZ at Faux News story (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash, atdnext, bythesea, KingofSpades

    Deputy Political Director, DGA. Opinions here are my own and in no way represent the DGA's thinking.

    by Bharat on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 05:33:20 PM PDT

  •  tax issue not making an impact (0+ / 0-)

    Not sure if people are paying attention but so far the numbers are basically not moving. This race seems to be cemented with Obama with a small lead.

  •  Few months back CBS poll had Mittens over 50% (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash, Delilah

    with the President in the low 40s. Every other national poll, with the exception of Rasmussen, showed an Obama lead. These national polls are usually screwy, but this year they've been especially useless.

  •  CBS/NYT had Romney +3 in May (10+ / 0-)

    This is actually an incremental improvement.

    The pleasure of hating...eats into the heart of religion...[and] makes patriotism an excuse for carrying fire, pestilence, and famine into other lands. - W. Hazlitt

    by rfahey22 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 05:52:21 PM PDT

  •  New NPR poll (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash, atdnext, Delilah, belzaboo, badlands

    taken last week (7/9-12), before the Bain kerfuffle:

    47/45 O lead nationally
    46/46 in the "battleground" states

    Obama approval 49/46 (48/49 in the battleground).

    http://www.npr.org/...

  •  why we should just let it play out: way too early (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea

    right now

    "Four seconds is the longest wait " -Sleater-Kinney

    by delphil on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 06:07:10 PM PDT

  •  On that NM poll... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash, Delilah
    However, other numbers in the poll seem pretty decent—the liberal/conservative gap, if anything, seems friendly for Obama
    True enough, but then 28% of the self-identifying "very liberal" group say they're going to vote for Romney. Admittedly that's about 33 people total, but still it's 33 with one weird understanding of "very liberal".  

    In one of their tweets PPP state "Romney's taking 21% of Democratic vote - traction with ConservaDems" - but the figures suggest it's as much or more "traction with LiberaDems".

    Of course I presume they didn't tweet that because it would make their poll look stupid....

  •  I think we do need to wait to judge (7+ / 0-)

    the effect of Bain and the tax returns. Tax returns only recently became an issue. Neither FOX not CBS asked about. CBS poll was actually in the field starting last Wednesday.

  •  yeah yeah yeah yeah (7+ / 0-)

    and yeah yeah yeah yeah... Obama today is doing better then he did 4 years ago(not by much though) and better then Bush was doing 8 years ago versus Kerry.

  •  If Obama wins Virginia (7+ / 0-)

    Obama wins the election; at least, so sayeth the man himself.

    And Ras has Obama up by 1 there.

  •  If it makes anyone feel any better.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, Supavash, KingofSpades

    Intrade's number for Obama shot up tonight...

    GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

    by LordMike on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 06:53:51 PM PDT

  •  " interesting and counterintuitive data point." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    They tested Libertarian Gary Johnson.  Gary is a Libertarian.  As I also keep telling the far right wing people on the one far right list I am trying to enlighten a bit, Libertarians normally draw about evenly from Democrats and from Republicans.

    We can have change for the better.

    by phillies on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 07:44:51 PM PDT

  •  New AFP-Magellan Nevada Poll (13+ / 0-)

    Details HERE

    US-Pres
    Obama (D) 50%
    Romney (R) 46%

    NV-Sen
    Heller (R) 45%
    Berkley (R) 42%

    Remember that this is an internal poll for one of the core groups of Nevada's "Shadow Republican Party".

  •  how do you see the committee thing working out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin

    after this year?

    most of the ranking members (or chairman) will stay put but there will be a few shakeups (BTW, how come double chairing is prohibited?)

    House

    Appropriations - Kaptur

    Banking and Currency - Waters is next in line but she seems too abrasive to win it. There's two possibilities: they give Maloney banking on the promise that Waters becomes judiciary ranking member if Conyers and Berman loses or they give Waters the ranking position on banking and convince Maloney to challenge Cummings on Government Operations

    Foreign Affairs - depends if Berman wins a 16th term. Much of his base (working class areas of the SFV) is in the 29th and the 30th is areas he's mostly never represented. I wouldn't bank on it. Even if he does win, its possible he gives this seat up for judiciary if conyers loses renomination. Ackerman's already retiring. So that would leave it to Sherman. But Engel has been in office longer than Sherman but for some reason is lower down on the committee and may challenge him.

    Judiciary - Conyers may or may not win renomination depending how the cards play out. Berman may not either. If so, I think it could be Nadler with the possibility of Waters challenging him for it.

    Veterans Affairs - Filner is retiring and Brown's future is up in the air depending on how the remap went. If both are gone (and Reyes lost renomination too), it could be a battle between three class of 06 members (McNerney, Braley and Walz)

    also known as "AquarianLeft" on RedRacingHorses

    by demographicarmageddon on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 08:14:49 PM PDT

    •  as for the senate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      abgin

      - Murray becomes top democrat on budget
      - Wyden becomes top democrat on energy

      - on homeland security, leiberman and akaka retire and levin wants to stay on armed services, so i think Carper becomes top democrat

      - On Indian Affairs, Akaka retires, Inuoye stays on appropriations, Conrad retires, Johnson wants to stay on Banking so Cantwell becomes top democrat
      Cantwell Indian Affairs

      - on Veterans Affairs, Murray gives the seat up for Budget; Rockefeller wants to stay on Commerce, and Akaka is retiring so I see Sanders being the top Indy (who caucuses with dems) on the committee

      also known as "AquarianLeft" on RedRacingHorses

      by demographicarmageddon on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 08:21:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For those who really follow this stuff day to day (5+ / 0-)

    This is hard to hear, but it boils down to- nothing is really happening right now.

    The President has held, more or less, a two point lead in national polls for months and months now, which is good.  However, with the exception of the June Bloomberg poll that showed him +13, he never goes over 50%, and is typically around 46%.

    Roughly 90% of the country is not going to change their mind, barring something huge happening.  The other 10%- they aren't paying attention yet, and won't until after Labor Day.  

    And they are probably smarter than the rest of us...

    The best pizza comes from New York.

    by JakeC on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 08:17:35 PM PDT

    •  It's more about damaging Romney justification (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, PorridgeGun, Supavash

      for election right now.  People may not be disqualifying Romney in their minds at this stage, but in September and October he will have to make his case to the voters about why they should switch to him. If OFA has sufficiently poisoned Bain and Romney's credibility, he will have very little to rely on in making that case.

      •  I understand the strategy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MHB

        I just don't know that it's going to work.

        Romney doesn't have to make that case at all.  By and large, the undecideds ultimately break to the challenger.  He's not trying to "switch" anyone; the undecideds, and turnout, are the game now.

        The plan (seemingly) is to make Romney unelectable so those undecideds hold their noses and vote for a President who they do not think really deserves re-election.  (Unless you think the undecided voters just think that both Obama and Romney are just equally super).  But, if they aren't paying attention now, how much is any of this going to affect them.

        I also think there is another factor not being mentioned, the Republican primary, which so many believed was hurting the Republicans, may ultimately help Romney.  If the President's plan was to hit Romney hard right away so as to define him, well, the problem is, Romney has been running for President for seven years now, people already know a lot about him, and in the Republican primary, which got a lot of attention, he was the sanest man on the stage, who had to defend himself for being "too liberal" and "too centrist".  

        The best pizza comes from New York.

        by JakeC on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 08:53:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  they do not break for the challenger (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CPDem81, Supavash, EcosseNJ

          they did not in 2004.

          •  One exception (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MHB

            Doesn't contradict my statement that, "by and large", the undecideds break for the challenger.

            The best pizza comes from New York.

            by JakeC on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 11:10:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  well, my point, whic I didn't make well, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LordMike

              was that we kept hearing how the undecideds would break for Kerry. Salon was so sure Bush was toast they ran an editorial the weekend before the election dissecting the failed Bush presidency. In retrospect, he simply ran on terrorism, and still doesn't get held to task for his incompetence in preventing the attacks, much as Obama gets no credit for "keeping us safe". You can bet if a terrorist attack happened under Obama the media would be blaming his incompetence.

          •  By the way (0+ / 0-)

            I just went back to look at those results, saw something interesting.

            Yes, the undecideds did go for the President- he led the aggregate polling numbers by +1.5 on the eve of the elections, with 3.7% undecided, and ultimately prevailed at +2.4.  So, if the undecideds had broken for Kerry by a 2-1 margin, President Bush still would have won the popular vote (for a tie, the vote would have to have split 1.1 to 2.6).

            And, as we know, Kerry led for much of the summer, only in the fall did President Bush take a small lead.

            But I did a quick spread sheet of the numbers, and the last time Kerry polled over 50% was in mid February (was he even the nominee then?)  For the entire year, he appeared to break the 50% barrier four times, out of 233 polls.

            President Bush was over 50% 26 times, first time in late July, and then throughout the fall.

            What does it all mean?  Maybe not a lot, there haven't really been enough Presidential elections in modern history to have a large sample size.  Each election cycle is different, and of course, there is always the event that happens between now and election day that changes everything.

            All I said in my original post, and I stand by it- most of the voters are locked in at this point.  It is unclear that those who are undecided are even paying the least bit of attention right now, they may well not even know what Bain capital is (but they will all know who Bane is by the end of this weekend).  Pundits and bloggers who are obsessed with day to day events and polls are seeing movement where there really isn't any.

            It is fair to say that the President has more voters locked in for him at this moment than Romney does, but it is a narrow margin that can easily be overcome in the undecideds end up going with Romney.  

            The best pizza comes from New York.

            by JakeC on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 11:41:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  and.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              EcosseNJ

              Obama is still better off per polls then he was 4 years ago whilst being better off then Bush 8 years ago.

              •  well jakec just wrote that (0+ / 0-)

                W polled over 50% 26 times. has obama polled over 50% at all? Romeny could win this election; I mean Nixon did.Then again, Nixon had actually been a VP for a popular president. And we was promising an end to the war. Nixon is the guy Romney reminds me of most, only Nixon was not handsome. to say the least.

                •  Obama has polled over 50% several times (0+ / 0-)

                  Reuters, AP, CNN, Pew, YouGov at least have had him over 50% once or more this year. When exactly did Bush poll over 50% 26 times, by mid-July?

                  •  don't remember (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    LordMike

                    i had the sense then that kerry was gaining and passing him in some polls, but Bin Laden showing up on TV the weekend before the election didn't help.I was really surprised when Bush won, Couldn't beleive all those people waited on line in Ohio to vote for Bush. I will NEVER forgive him for 9/11, the politicization of it, letting Bin Laden slip away ( which I think was deliberate, in much the same way the Romans kept hannibal alive for a time because the Roman people were terrified of him )and invading Iraq for no good fucking reason. And a lot of other things.

                  •  Sorry for the late response (0+ / 0-)

                    I had gone to bed that night, but a quick question, which polls are you referring to?  I just went back and looked, and I still don't see the President polling over 50% in the past few months, other than the one Bloomberg poll.

                    The best pizza comes from New York.

                    by JakeC on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 03:28:56 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Before around mid-August (0+ / 0-)

                  which I'm guessing was when the Republican convention was, Bushed polled over 50 6 times out of about 130 polls, and they were polls that contained very few undecided voters.

        •  Those primaries (0+ / 0-)

          where he basically eked out wins in OH, MI etc. and lost horribly in places like Missouri? He was pretty much foisted on them by the party establishment.

          •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bryduck

            those primaries, where he was opposed by the more conservative voters of the Republican party.  Who will all vote for him in the general.

            Those primaries, where every vote, and every debate, was framed around whether Romney could pull it out despite not being conservative enough.

            Those primaries.

            The best pizza comes from New York.

            by JakeC on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 11:20:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Check the last few Pew polls (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, PorridgeGun, Supavash

      I think you'll find Obama at 50 in at least a couple. He hit 50 with PPP a couple of times too.

      •  I know (0+ / 0-)

        That's why I wrote, over 50%.

        That plus, well, you need to get more than half the votes (the electoral votes, anyway).

        My point remains the same- the President has a problem if, in poll after poll, he can't get over 50%, and only in his best polls does he even get to 50%.

        And, you can say the exact same thing about his favorability number, outside of that same Bloomberg poll, he hasn't been over 50% since early May, and he averages out to that same 46%.

        The best pizza comes from New York.

        by JakeC on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 08:43:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Questions on the supposed Romney "strategy" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    of going after Obama on crap that would backfire:
    Rezko (Obama sat down with the conservative Chicago Tribune for a Q&A on Rezko and he fully and truthfully answered every question.)
    Cocaine use (it didn't hurt Bush in his gubernatorial and presidential run that he used coke, drove drunk, and tried to bribe college kids in Amarillo to vote for him by buying them beer in his failed Congressional run)
    etc. etc.

    Anyway, someone said that the Romney campaign is looking into using this stuff, but are they really?  The people who reported this say it was hinted at by Sununu's rant.  How do we know Sununu didn't pop off and go off-message?  This strategy would be very bad and would wreck Romney's chances.

    Hail to the king, baby.

    by KingofSpades on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 08:43:33 PM PDT

    •  Sununu's rant was more like (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades, Supavash

      trying to fill up a hot air balloon in a closet and then trying to put it out with a shotgun, rather than a trial balloon of sorts, because if you are testing the waters, you don't jump right in; you dip your toes in and go in slowly--and wasn't Sununu's rant more like someone announcing they are at someone else's house by honking the horn loudly several times, as opposed to quietly ringing the doorbell and waiting for a response? (I'm done mixing my metaphors.)

      So yeah, I don't think this was planned.

       

      "The election of Mitt Romney and a supporting congress this November would be a...disaster for America. Think of the trainwreck that has been the Conservative government in Britain since 2010. And square it."--Brad DeLong

      by bjssp on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:55:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I wonder why (0+ / 0-)

        people assumed just because Sununu was acting his usual self that there was some new poor strategy at work?

        Hail to the king, baby.

        by KingofSpades on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 11:18:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wait, there's this from Buzzfeed: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Supavash
        they plan to step up their game, possibly including attacks on Obama’s biography that have up to this point been solely the domain of right-wing media.
        “I mean, this is a guy who admitted to cocaine use, had a sweetheart deal with his house in Chicago, and was associated and worked with Rod Blagojevich to get Valerie Jarrett appointed to the Senate,” one Romney adviser told Buzzfeed. “The bottom line is there’ll be counterattacks.”

        Hail to the king, baby.

        by KingofSpades on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 12:26:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  These polls are part of a long game strategy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, Delilah

    Strategy for Repugs. I go back to when Nixon had resigned. A poll came out at the height of the public's revulsion, and yet he still had support of more than 25% of the poll. This hard base has been worked on over the past decades by all the usual sources in the right wing echo chamber. And it has worked. It looks like that  base  number has  grown to the  low 40's. In other words, short of murder (or maybe not), anything goes for a Republican. They can bank on 45% base and just need a few indies to win. The Dems are always amazed at a Bachmann moment or a Perry or Palin outrage. I tell my kids-they have their base locked and loaded. It is scary, and it is only getting worse. But i am an eternal optimist, and that hope carries me through. most days.

    This hardened base is what Romney is banking on. It looks like even the Republican media, save Fox News, didn't believe possible-that there is no discernible political cost for not releasing the tax returns. i predict, after a few more polls like this one, the Repubs will fall silent in their demands that Romney release them. And of course, they will change to 'what an outrage it is to force him to share private info to the government' of some such shit.  

    Here's hoping that time will  slowly peel off support from this corporate raider. Chin up (that's to me lol).

    "The problem with quotes on the internet is you can never be certain they're authentic." - Abraham Lincoln

    by realwischeese on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 08:43:40 PM PDT

  •  Bain/Tax Return attacks r not about bringing (5+ / 0-)

    Obama's numbers up. It's about bringing Romneys  numbers down. And raising doubt among voters. The CBS poll is crap.  Im sure the Obama will protest the poll, because the internals are skewed heavily towards Romney - compared to the new Fox Poll. This is a long game strategy by the Obama team.

  •  Quinnipiac has VA Pres and Sen #'s tomorrow (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin, badlands, Supavash, askew

    Hmm....I wonder if someone here will post them within 30 seconds of release? :)

  •  I like Burner and am not hyped about Hobbs... (0+ / 0-)

    She's right on all the issues and her speech this year was amazing and just about the bravest thing I have seen in a long time but I'm also worried about her being able to a conservative district after losing in two wave elections.

  •  I'm in Hawaii and I think Lingle (R) could.... (0+ / 0-)

    ....win here. She was governor, mayor of the island of Maui and the money pouring into her race, as evidenced by her ads, is tremendous.  She has pledged to repeal Obamacare  (she did this very quietly on a Sunday). But the Democratic candidate hasn't been settled on yet and she is off and running.

    Hawaii Island has had a scandal in its elections office which has resulted in a wholesale firing of elections officials, which in turn has led to polling locations being closed in certain areas. Hawaii Island is very liberal.

    I think the polls are right.

    •  A governor who left fairly unpopular (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens, Delilah, askew

      With Obama winning Hawaii 70-30, it will be nigh impossible.  If this were a real poll, they'd reveal its name and the toplines.  Furthermore, the real polls we have seen have shown things like Hirano ahead 50-41 (PPP) 2 months ago and polling on Hawaii is notoriously skewed due to the phenomenon of Japanese-American women hanging up on impersonal phone calls.  For instance in 2010, the last Governor poll showed Abercrombie ahead 49-47.  He won 58-41.

      I also expect the polling places to reopen by November by act of the state or something or else they're morons.

      Hail to the king, baby.

      by KingofSpades on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 11:08:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's irrelevant (0+ / 0-)

    to call Romney supporters morons or idiots.  The President knows he "owns" the economy. He has to paint Romney as an uncaring "casino capitalist" who intends to "improve" the economy for rich people like himself, even if means outsourcing, layoffs, & bankruptcies. If the economy stumbles (as Krugman says it may well do), President Obama will own that too. Mitt is a weak candidate, which makes bad Obama poll numbers all the more alarming,

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 02:19:58 AM PDT

    •  It's frustrating because he "owns" an economy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Supavash

      thathe can do little about, and the American people did that by voting R in 2010. Also, the economy, while bad, is far better than it is in most countires right now; this is a global depression ( let's call it what is, as Dr. krugman says ) where there are truly astronomical unemployment numbers in a lot of Europe. ANd if Romney gets in he WILL open the floodgates on gov't spending and this will decrease uneployment. and the R's will get the credit. most of the spendingwill be military and defense but it will stil stimulate the ecnomy; and the jobs will pay less and provide fewer benefits with no retirement. Medicare will be slashed. If the people vote for this then they have only themselves to blame. My mother's home health aide is as stupid as they come; she gets paid in cash and pays no taxes but thinks taxes are too high; she doesn't go on medicaid because she'd rather pay the docotr because she can ( welll maybe she should declare her income from watching old people ) and puts off needed tests because she can't pay. But she hates Obamacare, and Bib Laden attacked the US because of Clinton, and so on.

  •  The long game (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash, ipsos, LordMike

    It's disheartening to face the reality of just what kind of electorate we're dealing with here in the US. They don't pay attention. They don't understand how government works. They don't like to read or research or try to understand complex things. They're easily manipulated by crass pandering, and dumb white people especially are easily influenced by the deluge of right wing hate media that is constantly coming at them.

    I agree that Obama's team is just softening Romney up for the fall. Soon he'll be prancing around Europe looking effete and elitist. That won't help him, but no one much will be watching in the August swoon.

    Then we get the conventions - which are a wild card. I'm afraid of the media comparing the enthusiasm of the 2008 Dem convention to the one this year, which is sure to be not only less excited but also has a few potential controversies brewing. Bad choice of locale, though I'm sure it looked good at the time.

    The big event is the debates. If Obama's plan works out, Romney will be easy pickings by debate time - and that's pretty much the only chance most voters will get to see him without the right wing media filters controlling the show. Obama must be on his game, no gaffes, and hit Romney effectively and directly. After the debates,  polls will begin to have meaning.

  •  Quinnipiac VA: tie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash, askew

    44-44.  Allen up 46-44.

     http://www.quinnipiac.edu/...

    Since poll has Obama up by 2 among Indys, probably has more Republicans than Democrats.

    “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

    by Paleo on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 04:01:16 AM PDT

  •  Way too many indys in the CBS/NYT poll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew

    The largest group, about 38%.  There has never been more indys than Republicans or Democrats in a presidential election, and they were 29% last time.

    “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

    by Paleo on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 04:27:43 AM PDT

  •  media latching on to NYT poll (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash, askew

    Morning Joe led with it showing how Obama is unelectable if true. The poll makes no sense.  My guess most of the indies are really republicans.

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