The Center Does Not Hold

Can you feel the polit­i­cal ground mov­ing? That is the migra­tion of sev­eral mil­lion work­ing men and women in Mid­dle Amer­ica chang­ing their polit­i­cal allegiances.

Out With Par­ti­san­ship and In With Ideology

The Weekly Stan­dard’s Jay Cost recently noted that the Amer­i­can elec­torate is mov­ing from self-​​identifying as plu­ral­ity Demo­c­rat to plu­ral­ity Inde­pen­dent. While the per­cent­age of the elec­torate self-​​identifying as Repub­li­can remains near its 50-​​year aver­age of roughly 30%, the vot­ers self-​​dentifying Demo­c­rat has col­lapsed to from about half the elec­torate in 1964 to a hair above the GOP lev­els. Those for­mer Democ­rats have become Inde­pen­dents. Con­tinue read­ing

Obama’s Road to Re-​​Election

US Electoral college map

Image via Wikipedia

Most early analy­ses of the 2012 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion are look­ing at Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s job approval num­bers (over­all and eco­nomic) and his re-​​elect num­bers (whether the voter has decided to vote for him or against him). How­ever, pres­i­den­tial elec­tions are not sim­ple major­ity votes and are instead decided by a largely winner-​​take-​​all sys­tem of win­ning enough states to gain 270 or more elec­toral votes. Thus, I would like to take an early look at the 2012 elec­toral col­lege map.

Actu­ally, I would like to con­cen­trate on the bat­tle­ground states on that map. For this analy­sis, I see two pos­si­ble groups of bat­tle­ground states.

Con­tinue read­ing

Hanging Tough

Generic Can­di­date

Dur­ing the debt ceil­ing nego­ti­a­tions over the past month, both the Democ­rats and the GOP are keep­ing one eye towards how their nego­ti­a­tion posi­tions are affect­ing their chances for reëlec­tion in 2012. Two recent polls may sug­gest how the debt ceil­ing nego­ti­a­tions are play­ing with voters.

Ras­mussen is the only poll­ster still ask­ing the generic Con­gres­sional bal­lot ques­tion (i.e., whether likely vot­ers pre­fer a Demo­c­rat or Repub­li­can to rep­re­sent them in Con­gress). Dur­ing the debt ceil­ing nego­ti­a­tions, the GOP advan­tage rose from three points last month to six points over the past two weeks.

Mean­while, Gallup recently dis­closed that reg­is­tered vot­ers pre­fer a generic Repub­li­can Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date to Pres­i­dent Obama by a 47% to 39% mar­gin, the largest to date.

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As of July 20, 2011, Pres­i­dent Obama’s job approval rat­ings have tanked in both the Gallup poll of adults (42% approve to 48% dis­ap­prove) and the Ras­mussen poll of likely vot­ers (44% approve to 54% dis­ap­prove). The Gallup result tied a low in approval.

In horse race polling of reg­is­tered vot­ers, demo­c­ra­tic poll­ster Pub­lic Pol­icy Polling found that the unde­cided actu­ally dis­ap­prove of Pres­i­dent Obama’s job per­for­mance by absolutely mas­sive mar­gins and, if the unde­cided break for the GOP can­di­date based on that dis­ap­proval, Mitt Rom­ney leads Obama by the same mar­gin George W. Bush won in 2004 and Obama is sta­tis­ti­cally tied with the other largely unknown GOP field. In an appar­ent nod to the fact that they were polling reg­is­tered vot­ers rather than the far more con­ser­v­a­tive likely vot­ers, PPP admit­ted: “There’s a very good chance Obama would lose if he had to stand for reëlec­tion today.”

Of course, we are a long way from Novem­ber, 2012. But using these polls as snap­shots of how things stand now, the GOP’s 2012 chances do not appear to be suf­fer­ing from their demand for spend­ing cuts to match any debt ceil­ing increase. Rather, Repub­li­can stead­fast­ness may be appeal­ing to their center-​​right voter coalition.

Here She Comes

With six months to go before the Iowa Cau­cus, the GOP may have its first break­out can­di­date in Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Michele Bach­mann (R-​​Minnesota). In con­trast to polling of reg­is­tered vot­ers, Mag­el­lan and TIR recently per­formed polls of likely GOP Iowa cau­cus atten­dees and found that Michele is the belle of this ball.

Mag­el­lan per­formed the most com­pre­hen­sive polling of 1,024 likely cau­cus goers with pub­licly dis­closed cross tabs. Con­tinue read­ing

The Albatross Economy

The GOP’s theme for its 2012 cam­paign sea­son is unsur­pris­ingly “It’s The Econ­omy, Stu­pid.”  Strate­gist James Carville coined this phrase, and Bill Clin­ton won elec­tion in 1992 on this theme even though the econ­omy was actu­ally in recov­ery and grow­ing smartly. The even­tual GOP chal­lenger to Pres­i­dent Obama has the advan­tage of observ­ing that the Obama econ­omy is the first post WWII “recov­ery” with no real eco­nomic recovery.

In the fol­low­ing video, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-​​SC) gives a good sum­mary of what you will be hear­ing from GOP can­di­dates for Pres­i­dent and all the Sen­ate seats up for elec­tion in 2012. The source of Sen. DeMint’s data is the Joint Eco­nomic Com­mit­tee report pre­pared by the committee’s Repub­li­can staff.

Con­tinue read­ing