Visual source: Newseum
Washington periodically defers, as do Rome and Qom, to the judgments of the impressively robed — the ex cathedra portion of the political season. The constitutional implications of the Supreme Court’s health-care ruling will be debated until Election Day and dissected beyond it. But it is the court’s immigration decision — and Mitt Romney’s positioning on the issue — that throws the brightest light on the presidential race. And the glare is not kind to the challenger.
At National Journal's request, Quinnipiac calculated Obama's approval rating among voters in all three states who said they were undecided or intended to vote for someone other than Obama and Romney. In each state, those uncommitted voters (around 15 percent of the electorate in each case) expressed strongly negative views of Obama's performance. In Florida, just 33 percent of them approved of his performance. In Ohio, just 27 percent approved. Pennsylvania was toughest of all: just 23 percent approved.
The saving grace for Obama? Those voters today think even less of Romney. Among these undecided voters in Florida, just eight percent view Romney favorably-compared to 41 percent who are unfavorable toward him. In Ohio, the ratio is 10 percent to 47 percent; in Pennsylvania, it's 12 percent to 45 percent. Obama's favorable ratings aren't much better with those voters, but they are higher in all three states. Both men today appear to be standing in a hole with the voters who could ultimately decide which one of them gets over the top in November.
The credulous Jennifer Rubin
, one of the media's most prominent Romneybots, sides with Romney against her employers, the Washington Post
, over this story
. I enjoy reading Rubin whenever I want to know what Romney thinks. I don't read her because I trust her judgment. She thinks Romney's rebuttal was devastating. Good luck with that. NPR
So the Post story doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon. And as some have waggishly noted, Team Romney seems to be doing a good job of keeping it alive.
“The administration lost the communications war with disastrous consequences that played out on Election Day 2010.” That is former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, but it could have been any number of pundits or political figures who argue that the Obama administration didn’t effectively sell health care reform in 2009 and 2010. John Sides has already used this space to show that some of the major scholarly works on Presidential messaging or framing are skeptical about the power of bully pulpit, a point Ezra Klein has made in The New Yorker as well. Looking specifically at health care, I’ve argued that the stability in the words that Americans use to describe their views on health care reform means that it is unlikely different messages would have demonstrably changed public opinion. On Monday, I also tracked public opinion on health care reform across a variety of demographic sub-groups and found a level of sub-group stability that makes it harder still to contend that politicians’ changing messages were a central driver of public opinion. Here, I want to use Americans’ words about health care reform to reinforce that point. If anything, health care reform might be a good example of the limits of elected officials’ capacity to reshape public opinion through framing.
Consider these two headlines. First, from the Atlantic Wire: "Bain Attacks Are Working In Swing States." Then, from Business Insider: "POLL: Most People Have Never Heard of Bain Capital." And here's the punch line: Both articles are about the same poll from NBC and The Wall Street Journal. So which is it?
Yeah, which is it? The answer is people don't have to identify Bain by name to know Romney's business practices were designed to help his company, not anyone he "assisted". And they don't need to identify Bain by name to know that it's a core part of his claim to be qualified for President. His more legitimate qualification—Governor of Massachusetts—is something Romney refuses to talk about, lest he piss off his base (who already don't like him.)
I don’t write much about electoral poll results, but I found some of the results in this AM’s WSJ to be pretty interesting and potentially revealing about voter sentiments. First, note the split among potential Obama and Romney voters as to favorability for their candidate. O’s voters are for him by a wide margin; R’s supporters are not for R as much as they’re against O.
Also, while the election is essentially tied by this poll, there’s a bigger difference favoring the President in battleground states (50/42). As some have suggested, this may relate to the fact that in some of these states, unemployment has fallen faster over the last couple of years than the national average. For example, over the last two years the jobless rate is down 4.5 and 2.8 percentage points in MI and OH, compared to 1.4 points on average across the nation.
Announcements of a housing recovery have become a wrongheaded rite of summer, but after several years of false hopes, evidence is accumulating that the optimists may finally be right.
Given that, we we were intrigued this morning when Chuck Todd (on his “Daily Rundown” show) showed the positive — and negative — words that respondents to the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll used to describe both President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
That he showed them in word clouds — the Fix is a sucker for a good word cloud — made it all the more intriguing. We asked the good folks at NBC if we could get the four word clouds and they sent them over.
We’ve posted them after the jump. The findings are fascinating.
Click the link for the positives, but here are the negatives.