Political Strategy Notes
Nate Silver's forecast model rates the Michigan GOP presidential race "too close to call," as a result of Santorum's late momentum
Romney is understandably bent out of shape about Santorum's robocall urging Dems to cross over and vote for him. Kos has a different take: "...If Santorum and Romney end up trading charges back and forth about how Michigan turned out, then good! That's the point! This GOP nomination contest is a clown show. Anything that keeps it going, keeps Republicans in a state of chaos, and keeps Obama looking better and better in comparison is a win for us."
Their policies toward Illiegal immigration have done serious damage to GOP 2012 hopes, especially in Arizona. But Adam Nagourney warns in the New York Times that it appears to be fading as an issue of concern, at least in comparison to unemployment and economic distress.
At the Daily Beast Howard Kurtz explores the prospects for Santorum's bogus "class-based" pitch in MI and AZ. "...Does it really make political sense for Santorum to call President Obama a "snob" for saying everyone should have a chance to go to college? Will that line have particular resonance in Michigan, where the auto assembly line is no longer a guaranteed ticket to the middle class and whose voters are well aware that Santorum, as well as Romney, opposed the GM/Chrysler bailout?"
E.J. Dionne, Jr. sounds a convincing warning against Democratic overconfidence caused by the follies of the GOP primary circus. He sees the GOP cave on the payroll tax holiday and the recent correction of VA Republicans on the pre-abortion ultra-sound requirement as symptoms of a possible awakening of a new realism.
The Monitor's Gail Russell Chaddock assesses the prospects for Dems' holding retiring Ben Nelson's Senate seat in her article, "If Bob Kerrey runs for Senate, can he save the majority for Democrats?"
NBC Politics discusses the politics of rising gas prices in light of GOP fear-mongering: "A new Associated Press-GfK poll shows that though Obama's approval rating on the economy has climbed, 58 percent disapprove of what he's doing on gas prices." Rick Newman's US News post "Why $4 Gas Will Hurt Less This Time" takes a counter-intuitive look at the issue.
In her post, "What Do Republican Presidential Candidates Say on Foreclosure Crisis? Not Much," ProPublica's Lois Beckett flags a significant blind spot of the GOP presidential candidates Dems should leverage to their advantage.
The Morning Plum's Greg Sargent has another good post on the white working class vote, this time on Romney's inability to connect with it, explaining, "Among non-college whites across the board, Romney's favorability rating is also at 37 percent. (Obama's favorability among these voters is the same; yet a competitive Republican is supposed to have a very significant advantage over a Democrat in presidential elections.)"
The Nation's Ari Berman has an optimistic data-driven answer to the question, "Who Will 'Reagan Democrats' Support in 2012?." Says Berman, "Obama has a 43 percent approval rating among working class whites in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, higher than it was in 2008. At the beginning of 2011, Romney led Obama by around twenty points among blue-collar whites in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, according to internal polling by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. At the end of last month, Romney led the president by only three among such voters in these Rust Belt battleground states, a seventeen-point swing over the past year. "White non-college voters in these states moved drastically away from Obama and Democrats between 2008 and 2010, but since then they have come back to basically the same levels they gave Democrats in 2008," says GQR vice president Andrew Bauman."