A widely-held belief is that voter-ID laws endanger Obama's chances in Pennsylvania, but the campaign's don't seem to buy it. Last week, Romney allies withdrew advertisements from Pennsylvania, and the Obama campaign cut their buy in half. This week, the Obama campaign is going even further: withdrawing advertisements from the Keystone State altogether, making this the first week that Obama has gone without airing advertisements in Pennsylvania.
After months defending traditionally red states like North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, and Ohio, Romney has finally decided to launch an offensive. Where? Poland: The predictably undefended flank of Obama’s route to 270 electoral votes. Poland is the ancestral homeland of about 3 percent of the American population, but a higher share of a few traditionally Democratic but potentially competitive states, like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, where Polish-Americans constitute between 7 and 10 percent of the population.
If you live inside the Beltway, you probably think that Romney had a terrible month. Since Obama cornered him on the DREAM Act, Romney has been hit on outsourcing, his time at Bain Capital, and his tax returns. But here we are a month later, and Romney’s still standing roughly where he was before. That has some Obama-fans worried about Romney’s resilience and the effectiveness of Obama’s strategy: Obama must really be in trouble, the argument goes, if Romney didn’t lose any support after a terrible month.
Today’s economic news adds another number to a long list of numbers pointing toward a tepid recovery. GDP grew at an annualized rate of just 1.5 percent in the second quarter, which is about halfway between healthy post-recession growth and a double dip recession. Put differently, it’s more or less what you could have guessed based on meager job growth, a steady stock market, or the sense that things aren’t exactly rapidly improving or falling apart. According to the opinion machines, this is bad news for the president. But is it bad enough to cost him reelection?
One of the early peculiarities of the advertising campaign is the half-hearted effort in Pennsylvania—a state which figured prominently in the electoral calculus of the last three presidential elections. Despite that place in recent electoral history, Romney hasn’t aired any ads in Pennsylvania since the general election began.
If, like me, you live in the D.C. area and your housemate has been watching “Jeopardy” over the last few weeks, you’ve probably gotten to hear Romney singing “America the Beautiful” pretty regularly and you may be wondering if the sheer number of political ads have sky-rocketed.
When a NBC/WSJ subsample showed Obama up by 8 points in the battlegrounds, it shaped media coverage for a month—even though existing evidence and subsequent findings suggested those numbers were fairly meaningless. Last week’s NYT/CBS poll could wind up having the same effect on discussions of Obama’s favorability rating. The survey found that Obama’s favorability rating was just 36 percent—probably the lowest number since he ascended to national prominence—and there are already simmering discussions of whether Obama’s more aggressive ad campaigns have backfired.
With Obama holding a narrow but consistent lead in polls of registered voters, some have begun to speculate about whether Romney would seize the advantage once polls begin to apply likely voter models. While it's possible, recent polls suggest that Obama would maintain a slight advantage. As an empirical matter, Republicans do better among likely voters since the GOP draws from high turnout groups like seniors, while Democrats depend on constituencies with low turnout rates, like young voters and Latinos.
Yesterday, the White House made it clear that they did not intend to pursue additional gun control measures in the aftermath of the horrific shootings in Aurora, Colorado. Although this insulates the president from accusations of politicizing a national tragedy, the decision was probably motivated by political considerations. While a ban on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons is potentially quite popular—popular enough that on Friday I argued that the President could safely pursue an assault gun ban—decision-makers in Washington and Chicago saw things differently. The likely reason?