If you take a quick look at the electoral map, Ohio really stands out. Here’s a white working class state that Bush carried twice but where Obama still seems to be doing quite well. Not only is Obama competitive, he leads in every poll conducted over the last two months—occasionally by a substantial margin. On balance, Obama’s up by 5 points in the RealClearPolitics average, despite a slimmer national lead and Ohio’s Republican-lean.
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.
What the Latest GDP Numbers Tell Us About the Election
July 27, 2012
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?
Will Voter ID Laws Cost Obama Reelection?
July 16, 2012
The possibility that new voter-ID laws could disenfranchise thousands of Democratic- voters in pivotal swing states has received considerable attention recently. After all, 9.2 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania lack photo identification, including 18 percent of registered voters in heavily Democratic Philadelphia. But these flashy numbers might be misleading. If voter-ID laws have consequences for voter turnout, they’re difficult to detect. Several studies conducted in the wake of the 2006 midterms showed a weak correlation between tougher voter-ID laws and reduced turnout.
More information is usually for the best, but last night’s NBC/WSJ poll took an unusual step that could detract from our understanding of the horse race. In addition to reporting Obama’s 3 percentage point lead, NBC/WSJ decided to note that Obama leads by 8 percentage points in 12 swing states: the ten true battlegrounds where both sides are investing resources, plus Michigan and New Mexico (rolls eyes). Predictably, political reporters have jumped on this data, implying that Obama holds a structural advantage in the Electoral College.
June 26, 2012
With the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Arizona law and the Obama administration’s recent decision to halt deportations and allow work authorization for certain young undocumented workers likely to gin up enthusiasm among Latino voters, it’s worth revisiting the math in 2012’s stealth battleground: Arizona. Neither campaign is airing advertisements in Arizona, but the Obama campaign has boots on the ground registering voters in an attempt to vault the state into the toss-up column.
Beyond H1-B: Other Avenues to Adding Skilled Workers
June 25, 2012
with Shyamali Choudhury Last Thursday, presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced his new “softened” immigration plan, and called for lifting the cap on visas for high-skilled temporary workers. This year, the H-1B high-skilled worker visa cap was reached within two months after the application period opened.
Back in April, my esteemed mentor and colleague William Galston and I had an exchange at TNR about whether the presidential election would necessarily serve as a “referendum” on the president’s record (particularly with respect to the economy, of course) and what that meant for Obama’s re-election strategy.
A Primer on Possible Obamacare Decisions (Updated)
June 18, 2012
[Updated at 10:30 a.m.] The Supreme Court handed down four rulings on Monday—and said nothing about the Affordable Care Act. The Court will likely have more decisions to issue on Thursday, although that's not yet certain. But the justices may not issue a ruling on the Affordable Care Act until next Monday, their final pre-scheduled session of the term. And even next Monday isn't a hard deadline.
Death of a Swing Region: Northern Virginia
June 15, 2012
The affluent and diverse suburbs of northern Virginia swung decisively toward Obama in 2008, providing most of his margin of victory in a state that hadn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964. Although Obama is not assured of another victory in the Commonwealth, Romney probably won’t win by rolling back Obama’s gains in the D.C. suburbs.