Political Strategy Notes
Ben Schreckinger reports in his post "Democrats Widen Enthusiasm Gap" at The National Journal that "Democrats are now significantly more engaged by the presidential race and view it more favorably than Republicans, according to a Pew survey published on Wednesday...Two-thirds of Democrats find the campaign "interesting" compared with only half of Republicans, while 68 percent of Dems find it "informative," compared with just under half of Republicans, according to survey, conducted over the weekend by the the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press."
Nate Silver has a lot more to say about the "decline of the enthusiasm gap" at FiveThirty Eight, which leads him to conclude that "for now, our forecast has stabilized a bit, with Mr. Obama holding in the range of about a four-point lead in the popular vote and an 80 percent chance of winning the Electoral College."
If you thought that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus might want to lay a little low for a while and let the wake of his hideously bungled convention quietly subside, you would be quite wrong. David Atkins cuts Priebus and his party no slack at Hullabaloo, regarding the RNC chair's inane tweet "Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic." Says Atkins: "That's the actual, nominal head of the Republican Party speaking, not some radio shock jock...But this this is who they are, and what the official Republican discourse has been reduced to. It's time the press started reporting the callous, lying extremism of the mainstream Republican Party for what it is."
The Boston Globe piles on in today's editorial "Romney's comments raise doubts about his foreign-policy savvy," as did The Washington Post editorial "Mr. Romney's rhetoric on embassy attacks is a discredit to his campaign."
In keeping with Romney's dazzling display of diplomatic ineptitude, note that Russian President Vladimir Putin has thanked the GOP nominee for his myopic comment that Russia is our "number one geopolitical foe." As Kirit Radia reports at abcnews.com's 'OTUS' blog, Putin said, "I'm grateful to him (Romney) for formulating his stance so clearly because he has once again proven the correctness of our approach to missile defense problems," Putin told reporters, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti."
Here's some really great stats for the Obama campaign, from The New York Times editorial "Fewer Uninsured People": "The Census Bureau reported on Wednesday that the number of people without health coverage fell to 48.6 million in 2011, or 15.7 percent of the population, down from 49.9 million, or 16.3 percent of the population, in 2010. Health experts attributed a big chunk of the drop to a provision in the health care reform law that allows children to remain on their parents' policies until age 26. Some three million young adults took advantage of that provision, other surveys show."
Add to that a new government report that the Affordable Care Act has saved health care consumers an estimated $2.1 billion in premiums, as Allison Terry reports at The Monitor..
Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball takes a sneak peek at an article taking an overview of 13 current political forecasting models in PS: Political Science & Politics, a journal of the American Political Science Association. Sabato's summation: "...They vary widely, with eight of the 13 showing victory for President Obama and five seeing Mitt Romney as the next president. The chances of an Obama plurality range from a mere 10% to a definitive 88%. For whatever it is worth, the average of the models' projected vote for President Obama (of the two-party total, excluding third-party and independent candidates) is 50.2% -- a tiny advantage for Obama, but hardly ironclad."
Lots of buzz about a new study of facebook as a GOTV tool. As John Markoff reports in the New York Times, "The study, published online on Wednesday by the journal Nature, suggests that a special "get out the vote" message, showing each user pictures of friends who said they had already voted, generated 340,000 additional votes nationwide -- whether for Democrats or Republicans, the researchers could not determine. "
In a more partisan vein, GOP-friendly consultant Vincent Harris reports at Campaigns & Elections on how Republican U.S. Senate nominee Ted Cruz used social media in his upset win of his party's primary in Texas. Harris explains: "Most importantly, digital was baked into all aspects of the campaign from communications to political fieldwork to polling....Ted announced his candidacy for Senate on a conference call with conservative bloggers. Texas has a large network of active conservative bloggers and giving access to them was important to promoting Ted's conservative message and helping generate buzz about his candidacy among the party base. Ted met with bloggers in person and via phone often, and the campaign created a robust blogger action center encouraging bloggers to post supportive widgets, and created a segmented email list to update bloggers from." Dems take note.