Today I’m offering my first crack at a new feature on Electionate, where I offer a daily polling round-up and quick takes on matters that I wouldn’t write about otherwise. So what happened today? While two polls showed Obama ahead and above 48 percent of the vote in critical Virginia, the day’s big newsmaker is Romney’s 5-point advantage in Colorado.
As Republicans have ramped up on their attack on Barack Obama as a wannabe socialist who doesn’t believe that successful businessmen are responsible for their own fortunes, I’ve been struck by an odd and little-noticed countervailing push: the desire by some conservative writers to disassociate their side from triumphant capitalists. I spotted it a few weeks ago in Nick Lemann’s New Yorker review of several books on inequality, including my colleague Tim Noah’s The Great Divergence and Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens t
Here's Jay Cost's latest Weekly Standard column about why Republicans are winning: The president can visit as many green companies as he likes. His team can put out as many strategy videos as it likes. It can organize its ground game in Virginia all day and all night. None of this is going to change the fundamentals of this upcoming election, which are: 1. The economy is substantially weaker for Obama than for other previous presidents who won reelection. 2. The deficit is now substantially higher than before. 3. His major domestic reform--Obamacare--is substantially more unpopular. 4.
With Mitch Daniels officially out of the race, Haley Barbour and Mike Huckabee now a distant after-thought, and Newt Gingrich’s campaign running on fumes, pundits of all political stripes are finding it hard to shake a persistent belief that there’s a gaping hole in the Republican presidential field. Indeed, the most frequent theme that keeps cropping up in smart analysis of the current state of play is that the contest cries out for a late-entering, credible southern candidate.
The Weekly Standard's Jay Cost continues to crusade against the idea that demographic trends are slowly making the electorate more amenable to Democrats: You see this over-confidence in subtle ways, most notably in what I would call the left's demographic category error -- whereby liberal analysts lump Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians, etc. into a "Non-White" category, which is then implicitly assumed to be a uniformly Democratic bloc.
Did the 2010 election demonstrate that the electorate is moving to the right? I thought the answer was obvious, but my colleagues Ed Kilgore and Ruy Teixeira have argued that it did not, or did so only marginally. Jay Cost, who along with Sean Trende, dispenses political wisdom for Real Clear Politics, takes issue with Kilgore and Teixeira. Who is right? I think to understand the dispute, you have to distinguish between two very different questions. First, did the election demonstrate movement to the right? On that question, I agree with Cost and not with Kilgore and Teixeira.
Jay Cost is one of those conservative political writers whom I’ve always respected for his interest in empirical analysis and reasoned debate. But in a Weekly Standard column published this week, which pushes back against Democratic efforts to highlight the growing radicalism of the GOP, he made a frankly offensive statement that strays from analysis to agitprop: At best, this strategy might help swing an odd election here and there to the Democrats—e.g. Delaware and (maybe) Nevada—and increase the historically low levels of Democratic enthusiasm by a point or two. But that's it.
Jay Cost at Real Clear Politics continues to argue that health care is a huge part of the cause of Democrats' political difficulties: The Democrats' control of the House did not become tenuous recently. At best, some of the more immediate warning signs - e.g. individual incumbents like Betty Sutton now appear to be in jeopardy - have manifested themselves recently. But there has been a real danger of losing the House for some time, a danger that predates "Recovery Summer" and goes back to the health care debate.