James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

If GOP doesn’t grab the Senate this year, it might in 2012

Oct 28, 2010 20:13 UTC

Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics has a great analysis of the 2010 Senate races and beyond:

1.  To take the ten seats they need to win the Senate, Republicans have to either run the table in every state that is D+5 or better, or make up for any misses in even bluer states. To put this in perspective, for House Republicans to pull off the same feat, they would have to pick up about 123 seats!

2. Put in this context, Senate Republicans have actually fared about as well as the House Republicans, if not somewhat better. Republicans are favored to carry almost all of the even seats or better, and have put the D+1 to D+6 seats mostly into play. They’ve even managed to put some of the D+7 or better seats fully into play.

3. Republicans are largely running the table in EVEN states or better, and are keeping D+1 to D+5 states competitive. The only thing keeping the Democrats from being decimated in the Senate is how few seats they hold in competitive states.

4.  There are twice as many Democratic Senate seats in Republican leaning states in 2012 as in 2010 (eight); the same is true of 2014. There are seven Democrats in D+5 or worse states in 2012 and another seven in 2014. If the current GOP tsunami had hit in those years, it’s likely we would see losses on a scale we’ve never before seen – around thirteen or fourteen Democratic Senate seats would probably be Tossups or worse. If the economy and public perceptions of the Obama Administration don’t turn around in the next twenty-four months, it’s possible that’s where the Democrats could find themselves in 2012.

Shock poll: Americans think Bush doing a better job than Obama (and more)

Oct 28, 2010 15:53 UTC

Some fascinating numbers from longtime Democratic pollster Doug Schoen (via U.S. News & World Report). Among them: Voters prefer Bush over Obama, want the GOP to control congress, favor extending all the Bush tax cuts, don’t favor another term for Obama and would give Palin nearly 20 percent of the vote if she ran as a third-party presidential candidate.

His survey of 1,000 likely voters finds the following (bold is mine):

The 2010 midterms

– In the generic Congressional midterm election, the Republican Party has a nine-point lead over the Democratic Party, 48% to 39%. 13% are not sure.

– However, when given the choice between a Republican, a Democrat, and a Tea Party candidate for Congress, the Tea Party candidate gains more support (19%) than the Republican candidate (15%). Meanwhile, support for the Democratic Party consolidates (39%) and more voters become undecided (27%).

-- 53% prefer the outcome of this year’s Congressional elections to be a Republican-controlled Congress, while 36% prefer the Democrats to have control.

-- 66% say things in the country are headed on the wrong track, while 26% say they are headed in the right direction. 8% are not sure.

– 57% say the economy is headed on the wrong track, while 31% say it is headed in the right direction. 12% are not sure.

– Those who say they plan to vote for a Republican for Congress do so because they think the Democratic Party is doing a bad job running the country and to oppose Obama’s agenda (37%), and because they agree more with the Party’s position on social issues (17%).

– Those who plan to vote for a Democrat do so to support Obama’s agenda and have the Democrats continue to run the country (34%), and because they agree more with the Party’s position on social issues (30%).

– If the Republicans win one or both houses in Congress, over half (53%) think it is a reaction against the perceived failed policies of Obama and the Democrats in Congress, while 29% think it is because Republican Party special interest groups bought the election. 19% are not sure.

– 39% say the Democratic Party is closer to their views on major issues, while 48% say the Republican Party is closer to their views.

Barack Obama

– Despite voters feelings toward Obama personally, 56% say he does not deserve to be reelected, while 38% say he does deserve to be reelected President.

–  43% say that Barack Obama has been a better president than George W. Bush, while 48% say Bush was a better president than Obama has been.

–  42% approve of the way Obama is performing his job as president, while 57% disapprove. Similarly, 43% approve of President Obama’s handling of the economy, while 55% disapprove

Tea Party movement

– The Tea Party movement has unprecedented, broad-based support. One-quarter now says that they are Tea Party supporters, while 27% say they are opponents. 44% say they are neutral. One-quarter of Tea Party supporters self-identify as members of the Tea Party movement.

– Almost half (49%) say they are looking for someone else to vote for in the next Congressional election, while just 36% say they are inclined to vote to re-elect their representative.

– Support for the Tea Party movement is bipartisan. Tea Party supporters say the movement is a protest against business as usual in Washington (43%) rather than a protest against President Obama (20%), Democrats in Congress (11%), or Republicans in Congress (0%).

– Over half (52%) of Tea Party supporters say they support the movement because it is committed to reducing the federal government’s size and spending and the national debt. 13% support it because it supports personal liberty of the individual.

– 39% have a favorable impression of Karl Rove, while one-third have an unfavorable impression. 28% are not sure.

– 45% have a favorable impression of the Chamber of Commerce, while 26% have an unfavorable impression. 29% are not sure

2012 election

– If a Tea Party candidate is on the 2012 ballot, 32% say they would vote for a Democrat, 19% say a Republican, and 16% say a Tea Party candidate. One-third are not sure.

– In thinking about the 2012 Presidential election, if the candidates were Democrat Barack Obama, Republican Mitt Romney, and Tea Party candidate Sarah Palin and the election were held today, 40% would vote for Obama. 32% would vote for Romney, and 17% would vote for Palin.

– If the candidates in the 2012 Presidential election were Democrat Barack Obama, Republican Mitt Romney, and Tea Party candidate Mike Huckabee, and the election were held today, 40% would vote for Obama. 24% would vote for Romney, and 24% would vote for Huckabee.

Tax cuts and healthcare

– Over three-quarters (77%) favor extending the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year, while just 15% oppose extending them.

– Half favor extending the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, including those making $250,000 or more a year, while 40% oppose this.

– Over half (52%) favor repealing the new health care law that was passed earlier this year, while 38% oppose repealing it.

COMMENT

There is no way in hell that Bush evens hold a candle to Obama, There’s to much crap being said and I feel it’s the media that is destroying this country with all these lies. If Palin ever was voted in as our President then USA have alot of stupid people…

Posted by Mcq | Report as abusive

Could Obama’s re-election plan be to devalue the dollar?

Oct 28, 2010 15:02 UTC

Will President Obama get re-elected in 2012 if his party suffers a crushing midterm defeat? His political team likes to point to the example of Ronald Reagan. Congressional Republicans were crushed in the 1982 midterms, but the Gipper cruised to victory two years later.

Of course, the “Morning in America II” scenario depends on a fast economic recovery. Unemployment fell from 10.8 percent in November 1982 to 7.2 percent in November 1984. GDP growth was 4.5 percent in 1983 and 7.2 percent in 1984.

But most economic forecasts don’t anticipate such a boom in America’s near future. More likely is trend growth — about 3 percent or so — with unemployment still over 8 percent by the end of 2012. At best, those numbers suggest a very close presidential contest. And current polls show the president will have a tough time again winning such electoral-vote rich states as Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and North Carolina.

Obama could try to emulate Reagan by proposing a massive tax cut, but that seems unlikely given the administration’s belief that America is under-taxed right now.

But there is another way, although it is amazingly risky. A Bloomberg story, using a simulation run by Macroeconomic Advisers predicts a 10 percent decline in the dollar in the first six months of next year would do the following:

1. Gross domestic product would rise 1.1 percentage points more than the St. Louis-based firm’s baseline forecast for next year, to 4.8 percent.

2. In 2012, growth of 5.7 percent would exceed the baseline forecast by 1.3 percentage points.

3. Unemployment would fall to 7 percent by the end of 2012, 1.4 points lower than the firm’s baseline forecast.

There you go, Morning in America II, thanks to the weak dollar — unless of course the dollar starts plunging out of control, boosting inflation and creating a panic.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says he supports a strong dollar — although he wants it to weaken vs. the yuan — but does the White House political team share that view? And what about Ben Bernanke? Here is an interesting bit from a recent Reuters story:

While U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner reiterated that the United States supports a strong dollar at the G20 meeting, there were few takers for that. “It is one thing for the Treasury to say that, but then the Fed holds all the ammunition and when it is set to print more money, the dollar will remain a weakened currency,” said Jane Foley, senior currency strategist at Rabobank.

COMMENT

Of corse Obama is trying to devalue the dollar, he said he wanted too before he was elected. He wants to bring us down to third world level, so that the world is more fair. It doesn’t matter to him, that we the people are paying for every cent he devalues the dollar by. It is the great hidden sales tax in the world, and Obama will try to ake credit for any phoney statistical improvements caused by what he and the fed are doing, while we all have and will suffer for it.

Posted by BaineSumpin | Report as abusive

Heck of a job, Larry (Summers)

Oct 28, 2010 14:23 UTC

This, to me, is the money exchange from President Obama’s appearance last night on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart:

Stewart: I remember thinking well that seems like the exact same person and why would you … so in some respects I get your frustration with this idea that ‘Well jeez, are you never satisfied?’ But again, the expectation I think was audacity going in there and really rooting out a corrupt system and so the sense is has reality of what hit you in the face when you first stepped in caused you to back down from some of the more visionary … like bringing a guy like Larry Summers …

Obama: First of all … if you look at how we have handled this financial crisis — if you had told two years ago that we’re going to be able to stabilize the system — stabilize the stock market, stabilize the economy — and by the way — at the end of this thing it, will cost less than 1% of GDP … I’d say we’ll take that because we saved taxpayers a whole lot of money. And in fairness, Larry Summers did a heck of a job trying to figure out how to …

Stewart: You don’t want to use that phrase dude.

Obama: Pun intended. Larry was integral in helping to think through some really complicated stuff.

Me:  Liberals like Jon Stewart really loathe the outgoing White House economic adviser. They blame him  for, in their view, a too small stimulus and for financial reform that wasn’t much harsher on the banks. And as Stewart alluded, they despise Summers role as part of  of the pro-market, pro-deregulation, anti-deficit Clinton Gang.  In fact, they view pretty much the entire Obama economic team as way too centrist and a betrayal of his campaign promises. No wonder Republicans are way more enthusiastic going into the midterm elections.

COMMENT

I blame “Heckuva Job Summers” for his antipathy to infrastructure investment. Even when he claims to support it, he limits that support to projects which can be completed, from conception to ribbon-cutting, within one year.

At least Brownie seemed to recognize he was failing and felt bad about it.

Posted by itzajob | Report as abusive
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