Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Whose party?

September 15, 2010

As a Brit I never like to write too much about the Tea Party, but today I have no choice.
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Every week that goes by the movement seems to gain more momentum. On Tuesday, our poll showed Democratic heavyweight Harry Reid clinging to a narrow lead in Nevada against Tea Party insurgent Sharron Angle. That night, Republican establishment favorite Michael Castle was knocked off his perch in the Delaware primary by upstart Christine O’Donnell. Today, our Reuters/Ipsos poll shows one of the Tea Party’s most well-known favorites, Marco Rubio, opening a clear lead in the race for a Senate seat from Florida. With just six weeks to go until the elections, Rubio leads state Governor Charlie Crist, now running as an independent, by 40 percent to 26 percent, with Democrat Kendrick Meek trailing behind.

Reuters-Ipsos poll: Senate Majority Leader Reid barely ahead in Nevada race

September 14, 2010

Perhaps it will become known as a tale of two Reids.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is barely ahead of his Republican opponent Sharron Angle in the Nevada race for U.S. Senate, and his son Rory Reid is slipping against Republican Brian Sandoval in the governor’s race, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll.

Castle vs. O’Donnell

September 14, 2010

USA-ELECTION/The fate of another Republican lawmaker lies in the balance Tuesday in tiny Delaware, where the insurgent Tea Party movement is hoping to pull off another big primary  upset.

Washington Extra – I see your gauntlet, and raise you a gauntlet

September 13, 2010

On Friday, President Barack Obama threw down the gauntlet to Republicans on taxes, effectively daring them to vote against a tax cut for the middle classes, just so that they can give an average of $100,000 in tax cuts to millionaires.

Taxes: battle of the shoulds, musts, nots

September 13, 2010

Political maneuvering is in full bloom as positions are being staked out in the battle over tax cuts to the wealthy and for the hearts and minds of the Middle Class ahead of the November election.

Washington Extra — Not another stimulus

September 7, 2010

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama plans to announce his latest package of plans to stimulate the sagging U.S. economy, most of which are already known. It was hardly a surprise to see Republicans quickly positioning themselves to block the plans, but more disappointing to the White House must have been the cautious response even from the president’s fellow Democrats on the Hill, who simply said they were looking at the proposals.wallst Even more damning, perhaps, was the verdict from the financial markets, which greeted the news with a big yawn. Both the Dow and the S&P indices ended the day more than one percent lower, dragged down by fresh growth worries in Europe. Economists on Wall Street said the plans would not do enough for small businesses or to solve the Democrats’ biggest economic and political problem: finding work for the 14.9 million unemployed. There are big questions, too, about how the plans will be paid for. “If he chooses to take away a corporate tax break to pay for this proposal, the net gain is zero,” said Andrew Busch at BMO Capital Markets. “This is likely why U.S. stocks are not seeing much of a bounce on the news.”

Reuters/Ipsos poll: Republican leads in Pennsylvania for Specter’s Senate seat

August 31, 2010

Republicans have the momentum going into Election Day for the U.S. Senate seat held by Arlen Specter for three decades in Pennsylvania. USA/

Union chief takes on a ‘Mama Grizzly’ — Sarah Palin

August 26, 2010

The head of the largest U.S. labor federation went to Alaska, “The Last Frontier,” to address local members Thursday and take on a self-proclaimed “Mama Grizzly” — Sarah Palin.

Washington Extra – Slipping poll numbers

August 24, 2010

It’s more bad news for President Barack Obama with the release of our latest Reuters/Ipsos national poll today. The headline number is that, for the first time since he took office, more Americans now disapprove of his performance than approve. After a long period where his approval rating was stable at just over 50 percent, the last three months have seen a steady deterioration, matching the economy’s faltering performance.
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Just like Ronald Reagan in 1982, Obama’s mid-term poll ratings are suffering from the economy’s woes. Faith in Obama’s ability to tackle the crisis was a key factor that swung the presidential race his way in 2008, but his performance on the economy is fast becoming his Achilles heel in the face of a concerted Republican assault. As Ipsos pollster Cliff Young told us, many voters had long been giving Obama the benefit of the doubt, but now patience has “basically vanished.”