Archive for October, 2012

Rasmussen polling data make Obama the favorite

I don’t know who will win the presidency come Nov. 6. I do know, however, that at this point, based on polling, Barack Obama remains the clear favorite to win an electoral-college majority.

I understand that’s a controversial statement among some. Sites such as Nate Silver’s have become targets of sustained attacks and critiques by supporters of Mitt Romney for making similar statements. But it’s nonetheless true.

To document that claim, let’s take a look at the race using a data source that ought to sidestep all conservative claims of “skewed polling” and “media bias,” etc. Let’s examine it using numbers generated solely by Rasmussen, using definitions of “leaning” and “tossup” states as applied by Rasmussen. And before we do, let’s take a moment to establish just how Republican-leaning the Rasmussen numbers really are by looking at state polling data.

Colorado: Rasmussen has Romney up by four points, which is a fairly large margin. Yet of the 10 polls …

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GM on Romney: ‘Campaign politics at its cynical worst’

All political campaigns lie and mislead. We all know that, and that knowledge is “baked into the cake,” so to speak, when it comes to assessing candidates. But this week in Ohio, Mitt Romney’s campaign is conducting a fascinating experiment in political science.

Its apparent goal is to discover whether, in these cynical times, a tipping point exists at which lies become so egregious, so divorced from reality and so potentially destructive to personal lives that it actually creates a significant backlash. There’s a lot riding on the outcome.

As noted yesterday,
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has already responded to one Romney ad, trying to reassure frightened Jeep employees that their jobs were not being shipped overseas to China, as the Romney campaign was trying to imply. The Romney camp responded not by pulling the ads, but by cutting a new radio ad in which the lies and economic terrorism are more blatant still.

It states:

“Barack Obama says he saved the auto industry. …

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A plaintive plea on a chilly October morning

I have just one thought:

Will Nov. 6 just hurry up and get here already? Seriously.

– Jay Bookman

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Jeep: We’re staying in U.S., and Romney is wrong

From the Royal Oak (Mich.) Daily Tribune:

Chrysler Group LLC’s top executive said any statements by presidential candidate Mitt Romney suggesting the company was moving Jeep production from its assembly complex in Toledo, Ohio was simply not true.

“Chrysler Group’s production plans for the Jeep brand have become the focus of public debate,” Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a statement on Tuesday.

“I feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position: Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China,” he continued. “Jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand. … It is inaccurate to suggest anything different.”

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has begun running ads in Ohio, stating Chrysler planned to move Jeep production to China. Analysts described the ads as part of Romney’s efforts to pry the state’s pivotal 18 electoral votes from President …

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Sandy raises the odds of major election-night surprises

This election season already had many of the ingredients of a pollster’s nightmare. Millions of Americans are abandoning land-line telephones, and thanks to caller ID and obnoxious telemarketing, millions of others refuse to answer those landlines unless they know who the caller is.  The increased use of cellphones — many young people use them as text machines or for Internet access, seldom taking calls on their phones — have made it difficult to be confident that you’re getting your demographics right.

Throw in the growing use of early voting and the difficulty of predicting what the 2012 electorate will look like, and you have a real potential for polling mistakes.

And then, of course, there’s Hurricane Sandy. Millions of Americans are without power, hundreds of thousands have evacuated, thousands have seen their homes destroyed or seriously damaged and at last count roughly 30 people have been killed. According to weather forecasters, the storm is far from over as it moves …

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Could internal GOP politics open door for Kasim Reed?

By rights, in 2010 the GOP should have taken control of the U.S. Senate and run Harry Reid not just out of the majority leader’s office but out of office altogether. But by nominating far-right, incompetent extremists such as Sharron Angle to run against Reid in Nevada, and Christine “I am not a witch” O’Donnell to run in Delaware, they blew that golden chance.

The 2012 cycle, with Republicans defending only 10 seats and the Democrats having to defend 23, offered an even better opportunity to retake the Senate. Once again, though, the GOP seems to be blowing it. As recently as Aug. 19, Nate Silver of was giving the Republicans a 61.5 percent chance of winning a Senate majority; today, he gives them a 9.1 percent chance of achieving that goal.

Why that collapse in their Senate chances, especially since in roughly that same time frame, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has resurrected his campaign and given himself a real shot at victory? The answer tells …

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Right-wing hysteria over Benghazi feeds upon itself

Fox New anchors, right-wing websites and talk-radio hosts around the country are ginning up a wave of mass hysteria about the decision by the Obama administration not to attempt a military rescue of Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya. (Glenn Beck is even telling listeners that the treason is more widespread, and that Stevens was acting as a gunrunner for al Qaida in Libya and Syria. I kid you not.)

Obama’s crime is said to be so heinous that mere impeachment for refusing to intervene would be insufficient. If you Google the words “Benghazi” and “traitor,” you get some 518,000 hits, almost all of which cast President Obama as that traitor. The criticism extends as well to the mainstream media, which as my email informs me, is being accused of covering up a scandal of such dimensions that it would supposedly dwarf Watergate.

But I have a question.

According to NBC News, Mitt Romney hasn’t mentioned Libya in his campaign appearances around the country since Oct. 12, which is more …

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Romney on disaster relief: ‘We can’t afford to do those things’


UPDATE at 11:22: The Romney campaign has issued a statement saying that the former governor does not support abolishing the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“Gov. Romney believes that states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions. As the first responders, states are in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities, and to direct resources and assistance to where they are needed most. This includes help from the federal government and FEMA.”

The impacts of monstrous Hurricane Sandy are already being felt. Thousands are already without power, with the storm still 200 miles off shore.

Most dramatically, off the North Carolina coast, the crew of the HMS Bounty, a three-masted, 180-foot replica of the “Mutiny on the Bounty” original, has been forced to abandon the tall ship. High winds and seas initially prevented the Coast Guard from launching a rescue …

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GOP’s strong grip on Georgia encourages excesses

Mitt Romney has a 99.7 percent chance of carrying Georgia and its 16 electoral votes come Nov. 6, according to a computer model created by statistical analyst Nate Silver of the New York Times.

Conversely, that must mean there’s a 0.3 percent chance — a mere 3 chances in a thousand — that Barack Obama will win the state. So to quote the Jim Carrey character in “Dumb and Dumber,” “You mean there’s a chance?”

No, there isn’t.

The AJC’s most recent poll puts Romney up by eight percentage points, 51-43, which suggests that he will take Georgia by a margin larger than John McCain’s 5.2 percent margin four years ago. And if that poll proves accurate Nov. 6 — and I suspect it will –it would bode well for the party’s immediate future in this state.

Another important gauge of the GOP’s hold on Georgia will come from the 12th District congressional race between John Barrow, the only white Democrat from the Deep South still clinging to a House seat, and state Rep. Lee Anderson from …

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The Lena Dunham ad that filled countless fainting couches


Apparently, the ad below has caused Republicans to triple their usual order for fainting couches. Kelly Fenton, deputy chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, tweeted yesterday that Satan must now be serving as Obama’s campaign adviser. The always reliable Erick Erickson of preached that it’s evidence “we live in a fallen world destined for hellfire.”

That noted defender of American womanhood and feminine virtue, Rush Limbaugh, even denounced the ad as “an insult to women everywhere.” There is no truth to the rumor that he and his pals then boarded a plane bound for the Dominican Republic, copious supplies of Viagra in their baggage. Or maybe there is, I wouldn’t want to speculate.

Anyway, here’s the ad:

The ad won’t appear on mainstream TV, and probably not on TV anywhere at all. It is designed to be shared, on Facebook and elsewhere, by those for whom it is a target audience and who, given the comments of leading Republicans such as Richard Mourdock of …

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