Political Strategy Notes
Brian Beutler's data-driven analysis at Talking Points Memo guts libertarian ideologue Rep. Paul Ryan's claims about upward mobility in the U.S., compared to other industrialized nations.
Ronald Brownstein has "Eight Takeaways From Early-State Presidential Primary Polls" at National Journal's Hotline on Call. Brownstein's nuanced analysis should provoke high fives in the Romney campaign.
Ditto for Steven Shepard's "New Polls Show Romney Ahead in First Four States," also at Hotline. "Taken collectively, the polls show that -- despite Cain's slight lead over Romney in some recent national polling -- Romney has the advantage in the four states that will most determine the direction of the GOP nominating process:"
But Cain isn't over quite yet, according to Charles Franklin's wonky charts at his new website Pollsandvotes.com.
Dems can hope that past isn't necessarily prologue, especially in this unprecedented political climate. But Harry Enten's "History of Presidential Coattails Points to Republicans Keeping the House" at Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball is worrisome nonetheless.
DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-NY) is more optimistic, as Joshua Miller reports in Roll Call: "Under what he said was his most pessimistic take on the race for the House, Israel did the math to get to 25 Democratic victories in districts across the country. He saw 10 pickups in GOP-held seats won by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004 and by Obama in 2008, along with 15 pickups in GOP-held Obama districts that President George W. Bush won in 2004. But, in what he called his pessimistic scenario, he said most Democratic Members would have to hold on to their seats. "It means we don't have a margin of error with our incumbents," Israel said."
"Black Voters' Support for Obama Is Steady and Strong," reports Helene Cooper in the New York Times. "In a recent Pew Research Center poll, black voters preferred Mr. Obama 95 percent to 3 percent over Mitt Romney, "which is at least the margin he got in 2008," said Michael Dimock, associate director for research at Pew." The challenge is all about turnout.
Gene Lyons has a Salon.com post, "The Real Reason OWS Terrifies Conservatives," exploring the possibility that Occupy Wall St. could draw some support from the tea party.
Sarah Kliff's "How many Americans will gain insurance under health reform? Good question" at Ezra Klein's Wonkblog has some pertinent insights for Dems charged with defending health care reform during the next year.
Democratic upper of the day has to be Jed Lewison's "AZ-Pres: President Obama leads Mitt Romney by 5 points" at Daily Kos. Says Lewison, "Taking Arizona would be a big deal: Not only does it represent one of the very few states that could flip to Obama (John McCain won it in 2008), it has a sizable 11 electoral votes, up from 10 in 2008. Including D.C., the average state has 10.5 electoral votes, but because there are a lot of of smaller states, Arizona ranks in the top 20 by electoral vote."