The attacks on Bain Capital are working—that’s the conventional wisdom, at least, and there isn’t much cause to doubt it. But that brings up the real question, which no one is able to answer: How much? To demonstrate the effectiveness of the Bain attacks, most analysts have relied on polls showing that perceptions of Romney’s business experience are different in the battleground states—where the attack ads are running—compared to the rest of the electorate.
It’s widely acknowledged by political observers that the country’s demographic change in the last four years—particularly the increase in minority voters and decline of white non-college voters—favors President Obama’s re-election bid. What’s less obvious is exactly how much these changes favor Obama—especially in the swing states that loom so large in this coming election. These data can be hard to come by.
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.
In 2008, Obama’s candidacy drove historic black turnout and support for Democrats, contributing nearly half of Obama’s margin of victory. Four years later, the GOP has nominated the first Mormon nominee for the Presidency, and some argue that Mitt Romney’s background might help his chances. While the effect of prejudice is difficult to judge, it is possible to gauge potential gains.
The past month has seen the momentum of the 2012 presidential election shift significantly. The national race is now in a virtual dead heat, and most key swing states are within the margin of error. And most important, it appears that Mitt Romney has expanded the playing field to include some states previously thought to be securely in President Obama’s column—including, in my view, Pennsylvania. I base these conclusions on an analysis of surveys conducted since the beginning of June. Here’s what they show.
There was a lot of chatter last week about an eye-opening New York Times piece by Sabrina Tavernise about the growing gap between the haves and have-nots when it comes to where the country’s young college graduates are choosing to live.
Amid all the hoopla over President Obama’s gay marriage announcement last week, there were a few cautionary head shakes from the wise old men (and wise young old men) of the punditocracy: Obama may be basking in the glow of history now, they said, but his strategy of trying to elevate social issues to the Democrats’ benefit, and thus distract voters from economic issues, was a dubious one.
When Lyndon Johnson endorsed path-breaking civil rights legislation in the mid-1960s, he knew that he was irrevocably changing the Democratic Party. As he was affixing his signature to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he reportedly remarked to an aide that he was “signing away the South for 50 years.” President Obama’s decision to endorse gay marriage may yield a similar outcome by weakening beyond repair his party’s links with less educated, socially conservative white voters. (For the record: what follows is a purely political analysis, not a critique of Obama’s decision on the merits.
In 2008, nobody much cared what Ron Paul wanted: He was dismissed as a fringe candidate, someone defined by the decades he spent losing 434-to-one votes in the House and refusing to endorse his party’s presidential candidate. In this presidential cycle, however, questions about Paul’s intentions have risen, precisely because his performance has begun to resemble that of a conventional politician who can compete if not win.
The famous “Colorado falling bear,” a black bear who was photographed falling out a tree after being tranquilized, has died. The photo, which went viral in recent days, depicted the 280-pound bear—who had wandered onto the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder—descending peacefully into a soft mat set up by authorities. But just days after the bear was released into the wild, it was struck by a car and killed. How can we reduce these kinds of accidents? A 2007 article in the Journal of Mammalogy may hold clues.