Herman Cain on Romney: Nice hair (AP)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2011-05-2008

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FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2008 file photo, Republican presidential hopeful former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney makes a joke about his hair as he greets supporters at a polling station on Nevada caucus  day in Las Vegas, Herman Cain thinks Rick Perry is a good governor, Newt Gingrich is brilliant and Michele Bachmann is a very nice lady. What about Mitt Romney? Nice hair.  (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)AP – Herman Cain thinks Rick Perry is a good governor, Newt Gingrich is brilliant and Michele Bachmann is a very nice lady.

AP sources: Christie soon to decide on primary run (AP)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2011-05-2008

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FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011 file photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the Perspectives on Leadership Forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is reconsidering his decision to stay out of the race for the White House in 2012 and is expected to make a decision soon, according to several people close to the governor with knowledge of his thinking. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)AP – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is reconsidering his decision to stay out of the race for the White House in 2012 and is expected to make a decision soon, according to several people close to the governor with knowledge of his thinking.

OH-Pres/OH-Sen: Obama leads narrowly, Brown’s Senate lead still in double digits

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2011-05-2008

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OH-Sen: Brown leads by 13 points

As President Obama’s national numbers continue to linger near their low ebb (currently residing in the low 40s both according to Gallup and our own tracking poll), Democrats can take some solace in two continuing themes in recent polling:

  • Barack Obama still holds nominal leads over his likeliest GOP rivals.
  • Democrats downballot appear to be more than holding their own, in most cases.

The latest bit of evidence to buttress those two themes emanates this week out of the state of Ohio, where Quinnipiac’s latest numbers out of the Buckeye State show the president reeling from underwater approval numbers, but still remaining out in front of the two Republicans who are currently leading the GOP field:

Quinnipiac. 9/20-25. Registered voters. MoE 2.7% (7/21 results):

Barack Obama (D): 44 (45)
Mitt Romney (R): 42 (41)

Barack Obama (D): 44 (47)
Rick Perry (R): 41 (35)

The president has a job approval spread of 42/53, the lowest of his term to date in Ohio, according to Quinnipiac. But in a sign that the electorate is not sold on the alternative, consider the following: Obama is at a dismal 39/58 spread with Independent voters. Yet he is tied with Romney among indies, and actually holds a three-point lead among indies when paired with Perry.

If there is a troubling stat under the hood for Obama and the Democrats, it might be the re-emergence of an enthusiasm gap in Ohio, to the detriment of the blue team. 51 percent of Republicans declare themselves “more enthusiastic” about the 2012 elections than normal, compared to just 24 percent of independents and 23 percent of Democrats.

If Obama’s numbers are tenuous in Ohio, progressive Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown is looking considerably stronger. Sporting the best approval ratings of his career (52/31), Brown continues to hold strong leads over either Republican stacked against him:

Sherrod Brown (D) 49 (49)
Josh Mandel (R) 36 (34)

Sherrod Brown (D) 53 (50)
Kevin Coughlin (R) 32 (32)

Neither Mandel nor Coughlin appear to be making much headway against the Democratic incumbent. The GOP primary also appears to be frozen in place: Mandel’s 33-12 lead over Coughlin (the bulk of the primary electorate is undecided) is nearly identical to the previous Q poll in July.

On the presidential front, Mitt Romney maintains a modest lead over Rick Perry. When comparing to the previous poll, note that Perry’s ascendancy had not really begun by late July, so this was pre-boomlet:

Mitt Romney: 24 (16)
Rick Perry: 20 (8)
Sarah Palin: 9 (15)
Herman Cain: 7 (6)
Ron Paul: 6 (5)
Newt Gingrich: 4 (4)
Rick Santorum: 4 (2)
Michele Bachmann: 3 (11)
Jon Huntsman: 1 (1)

Obviously, the biggest shift since the summer on the GOP side, here as it is elsewhere, is Michele Bachmann’s balloon being burst. She drops from a clear third place to a distant eighth place, looking up at the likes of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. For her part, Sarah Palin has to be hoping for the (very real) prospect of a Rick Perry collapse, as that might make her relevant again. Her drop from July is nearly as steep as Bachmann’s.


Sen. Reid’s wife diagnosed with cancer

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2011-05-2008

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The wife of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and is receiving chemotherapy.

Calif. Dems seek waivers after embezzlement scheme (AP)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2011-05-2008

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FILE - This Jan. 2008 file photo provided by the California Democratic Council shows Kinde Durkee at a California Democratic Council Leadership Training session in Ventura, Calif. Democratic candidates whose campaign accounts may have been looted by their former treasurer, Durkee, are going before California’s political watchdog agency in Sacramento to seek a reprieve from some of the state’s campaign finance laws. (AP Photo/California Democratic Council, Henry Vandermeir, File)AP – Attorneys for Democratic candidates and committees trying to recover from an alleged embezzlement scheme appealed Friday to California’s political watchdog agency to relax financial reporting rules temporarily and waive some contribution limits.

Florida sets presidential primary for Jan. 31 (AP)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2011-05-2008

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FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2008 file photo, voters line up at a polling station to vote in Florida's presidential primary in Coral Gables, Fla. A Florida commission is expected to announce Friday, Sept. 30, 2011, that its presidential primary will be held Jan. 31, according to Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon, though GOP officials from other states are lobbying Florida to reconsider. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)AP – Florida decided Friday to hold its Republican presidential primary on Jan. 31, snubbing a party rule against fast-track delegate-selection for 2012 and triggering angry responses from traditional early voting states which will now likely rejigger their calendars to stay ahead.

Christie soon to make decision on White House run (AP)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2011-05-2008

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the Perspectives on Leadership Forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.,Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011. Gov. Christie warned Tuesday that America's promise is being menaced from within, as a troubled U.S. economy, shaky leadership and political gridlock diminish the nation's ability to solve its problems. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)AP – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is reconsidering his decision to stay out of the race for the White House in 2012 and is expected to make a decision soon, according to several people close to the governor with knowledge of his thinking.

Romney, Perry to reach deeper into early states (AP)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2011-05-2008

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FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2011 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney addresses the Republican Leadership Conference on Mackinac Island, Mich. Think of super PACs as shadow cash machines for presidential candidates. They're going to be big this year.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)AP – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is executing a long-planned, methodical strategy to secure the Republican presidential nomination, while his chief opponent, Rick Perry, continues to firm his challenge to the experienced campaigner on the fly.

Bachmann goes anti-Club on China (Politico)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2011-05-2008

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Politico – James Hohmann reports:

The arrogance of Iowa and New Hampshire continues unabated

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-09-2011-05-2008

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Iowa cornfield

Iowa is lovely, but very very selfish.

Florida Republicans have voted to move up their primary to Jan. 31, which violates the rules that say that Iowa and New Hampshire have exclusive god-given rights to dominate the process.

Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn condemned Florida’s action and said his caucus still will remain first, consistent with tradition. He said a date will be set after New Hampshire announces when it will hold its primary.

“The arrogance shown by Florida’s elected leadership is disappointing, but not surprising,” Strawn said in a statement. “Equally troubling is to see this petulant behavior rewarded with our national convention.” The convention will be in Tampa, and Strawn said the penalty should include refusing to credential or seat any member of Florida’s primary date selection panel.

“Arrogance”? “Petulance”? That perfectly describes the thuggish actions by Iowa and New Hampshire to stay well ahead the rest of the pack in determining the eventual party nominees. They cling to the notion of “tradition” that has zero value.

As I’ve written before, there are plenty of alternatives: You could have 4 or 5 regional contests on a rotating basis, so every region gets to lead every 16-20 years. You could have a lottery. You could start with a handful of small states and every week go to progressively bigger states, ending with the mega states of California, Texas and New York. You could start with the most tightly contested states of the previous election, to give the swingiest states first dibs.

There are plenty of ways to create a fair calendar that isn’t based on capricious demands to be first, just because.

The ability of these two states to retain their stranglehold on the primary calendar is a testament to their political acumen. There are 48 other states jealous of their positioning. But I’m happy to cheer any attempt to chip away at that stranglehold, because someday, we will have a process that doesn’t cede this important a decision to such a small number of voters unrepresentative of this great nation of ours.