Tag Archives: Colorado

Ohio’s Last Hurrah? Obama’s Electoral Strategy

Who will win the US election? Coming into the final day of the campaign, the lifeblood of political junkies – polling numbers – continues to defy easy categorisation.

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If any nationwide trend could be discerned from the mass of information across all 50 states of the Republic, it might be said that Romney edged out in front at one point, but no longer. (As I write this article, the latest news suggests that Obama is now reclaiming the lead).

Even if a majority of Americans decide to vote against him, Obama has maintained the lead in enough of the vaunted “battleground states” to secure victory in the electoral college. This is causing all manner of confusion among poll-watchers. Many of the more respected politicos have reluctantly weighed into the debate with wildly divergent views of the American electorate: do we trust the state numbers which predict an Obama victory, or go with the deadlocked national polls? Conservatives crow about the fall off in early voting among registered Democrats, suggesting that momentum isn’t being conveyed in local surveys. Liberals point to the relatively static nature of Obama’s lead over the last year, and argue that the volatile numbers don’t reflect his underlying advantages.

If Obama is the favourite, it’s due to outlying regions bucking national trends which are weighing him down elsewhere. Curiously, this phenomenon doesn’t simply break down according to past voting habits; rather, it appears to be strikingly unpredictable. Given that Obama won Ohio by just over 2 points and Colorado by more than 6, why has the former remained firmly in his column, whereas the latter is more hostile territory?

To start with, like never before in American politics, voting preferences align with identity – whether it be race, age, or gender – and the most glaring discrepancy lies among minority voters, who favour Obama by an average of nearly three to one. The most decisive shift has come from ethnic Latinos, a movement which will doom the long-term prospects of the Republican party unless it is corrected. But already, in the multiethnic America of 2012, this one-sided nature of non-white support means that while the President might govern over a divided polity, he campaigns from a position of strength. In Ohio, Obama enjoys something approaching 97 per-cent support among African Americans: if this had been replicated in 2004, John Kerry would have seen his 118,000 voting deficit in Ohio turn into a 92,000 surplus. For this reason, despite its long-standing conservatism, North Carolina remains competitive, and Nevada can be wholly written off as a swing state; its lopsided demography puts Obama ahead without much difficulty.

To be sure, white voters constitute a decisive share of the electorate in other states, and they are poised to offset much of Obama’s strength. Indeed, Romney manages to stay competitive in the national polls by chipping away at what are referred to as “aspirational voters”: self-identified moderates increasingly sympathetic to the Democratic party over the last two decades, who nevertheless remain somewhat suspicious of labour unions and redistributive taxation. These voters typically work in newer, start-up industries, and were relatively satisfied with the expansion of credit and rising property prices during the Bush years. The squabbling in Washington over the debt crisis has turned them off politics, and the poor economic outlook confirmed their defection. This explains why Obama is struggling to hold onto 2008 gains like Virginia or Colorado.

But while it might be expected that a lagging economic recovery would depress Obama’s white vote across the rest of the country, his lead is resilient in those industrial pockets which benefited from some of his administration’s more heavy-handed interventionism. In particular, the goodwill over his rescue of the American auto industry has filtered down through the chain of suppliers in Ohio’s industrial sector; he may have lost the high-technology suburbs with his talk of stagnating middle class and the need for higher taxation, but the manufacturing heartland in Ohio and Iowa is representative of a mid-western strain in American politics which responds well to issues like job security. Throughout the budget battles of 2011, Obama held back from hammering away at the Republicans over the worsening level of income inequality in American society, in large part because he feared losing upscale supporters from his coalition. But his electoral map can take the hit, and since the beginning of the year, the Obama campaign team has waged its side of the ad war on the basis of Romney’s work at Bain Capital, cutting jobs in local businesses, as well as his opposition to the auto rescue.

It now appears that Romney was mortally wounded from this onslaught, hence his desperate attempt to claiming that American car manufacturers are haemorrhaging jobs to China. Despite this, he has proven unable to reverse that first, damaging impression; some wavering white voters were reassured after his superior performance in the first debate, but the rot has well and truly set in throughout the mid-west. Obama saved many of their jobs, and they will reward him for it.

If Obama wins, it will be in large part because his strong numbers in the face of strong disillusionment among ordinary white voters. But this suggests that any coalition of his will not last beyond the moment; the remnants of the industrial belt and such a high degree of minority voters are unlikely to be united behind any Democratic Party candidate ever again. Moreover, the political agenda in Washington will inevitably turn after the economy begins to grow at a rate that is self-sustaining; once it does, “aspirational” voters will again be up for grabs.

As a result, the future of American politics should be found in the more affluent suburbs of Colorado, Arizona and Virginia. That was what Obama aimed for in 2008, and he’ll likely shift his agenda in that direction over the course of his second term. So, here’s a tip: if the Democrats are pinning their hopes on Ohio in another four years, they’re on track to lose. But this time, they might just get away with it.

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Photo credit: DonkeyHotey

 

US Presidential Election Roundup 16/9 – 22/9

This week’s roundup of the US presidential elections….

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Obama focuses on battleground states [Huffington Post] President Obama has focused on the economy in new campaign ads running in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.

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Obama leads in Pennsylvania poll [Politico] President Obama has a lead of 11 points over Republican candidate Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania, a new poll finds.

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Ryan discusses tax proposals [Talking Points Memo] Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan has said that Republican tax proposal details will be devised with Congress.

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Adviser comments on Erickson [Talking Points Memo] An adviser to the Romney campaign has commented on the editor of RedState.com Erick Erickson after he suggesting that President Obama will win the election.

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Anchor criticises Romney riot reaction [Huffington Post] CNN anchor Don Lemon has criticised the response of the Romney campaign to attacks on US diplomatic missions during violence over an anti-Islamic film last week.

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Romney responds to campaign difficulties [Huffington Post] Mitt Romney has attempted to refocus his campaign on economy after facing foreign policy difficulties.

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Romney alters message [Washington Post] Mitt Romney has sought to focus his message on the ‘failed status quo’ of the Obama administration, the Washington Post reports.

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Romney to ‘meet the demand’ for specifics [The Hill] The Romney campaign has said that it plans to explore the specifics of the Republican ticket in more depth.

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‘A special kind of chutzpah’ [Politico] The Obama campaign has spoken about Mitt Romney’s views on Chinese trade.

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McCain analyses Romney’s popularity [Boston Herald] John McCain has commented on support for Mitt Romney among veterans.

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Secret footage damages Romney [Mother Jones] Mother Jones released secret video footage this week in which Mitt Romney is recorded making disparaging comments about Obama voters.

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Ryan reminds voters of Obama comments [Washington Post] Paul Ryan has talked about comments Barack Obama made during the 2008 presidential election about guns and religion.

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Obama campaign discusses debates [Huffington Post] Aides to the Obama campaign have discussed the upcoming presidential debates.

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‘Dear Daughter’ [National Journal] The Romney campaign has tried to appeal to women with a new ad critical of President Obama.

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Romney responds to voter comments [Fox News] Mitt Romney has defended his comments about Obama voters in a press conference and subsequently in an interview with Fox News.

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Obama’s lead narrows [Reuters] A new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows President Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney fall to five points from seven points.

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Obama leads in Virginia [Washington Post] A new poll for the Washington Post gives President Obama an 8-point lead in Virginia.

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Obama responds to Romney’s voter comments [Talking Points Memo] President Obama has responded to Mitt Romney’s comments about voters, saying, ‘If you want to be president, you have to work for everyone.’

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Ads focus on women [The Hill] Both the Obama and the Romney campaigns have tried to appeal to women with new ads.

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Footage transcript released [Mother Jones] Mother Jones has published the full transcript of secret footage filmed of Mitt Romney at a fundraiser.

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Obama enjoys increased approval [Huffington Post] President Obama’s approval rating is over 50 percent for the first time since May, according to a new poll from the Associated Press.

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Ryan criticises Obama for ‘redistribution’ remark [The Hill] Paul Ryan has attacked President Obama for his recent comments about the redistribution of wealth.

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Romney loses Pawlenty [NPR] Tim Pawlenty has left his post as co-chairman of the Republican campaign for a job as CEO of The Financial Services Roundtable.

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Poll leads for Obama [Politico] According to NBC/WSJ/Marist College polls, President Obama’s leads in Iowa, Wisconsin and Colorado have reached 50 percent.

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Romney releases tax letter [Reuters] Mitt Romney has released a letter indicating a tax rate of 14.1 percent.

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Compiled by Patrick McGhee.

US Presidential Election Roundup: 05/8 – 11/8

This week’s roundup of the US presidential elections…

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Romney attacks Obama over military voting [The Hill] Mitt Romney has criticised the Obama campaign for attempting to prevent a law that would extend the early voting period for military personnel.

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Obama policies under fire [Huffington Post] Mitt Romney has accused President Obama of ‘an extraordinary series of policy failures’ in the wake of a recent report on jobs.

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‘Apologies are in the air’ [Washington Post] The Washington Post rounds up a series of apologies from both the Obama and the Romney campaigns from the past two weeks.

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Romney supports Senate contender [CNN] Mitt Romney has campaigned in Indiana alongside Republican candidate for Senate Richard Mourdock.

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Obama ad attacks Romney on Planned Parenthood [Political Wire] A new campaign ad has criticised Mitt Romney’s stance on contraception and Planned Parenthood funding.

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Wealthy will ‘do just fine’ says Romney [CBS] Mitt Romney has said that the wealthiest Americans will ‘do just fine’ regardless of the outcome of the presidential election.

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Reid branded ‘liar’ by Republicans [The Guardian] The majority leader of the Senate Harry Reid has been accused of lying after claiming that Romney paid no taxes for ten years.

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Republican convention speakers announced [Huffington Post] The Republican National Committee has confirmed that Senator John McCain and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be among the speakers at the Republican National Convention.

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July sees Romney raise over $100 million [ABC] The Romney campaign raised $101 million in July, it was announced this week.

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Obama predicted to exceed fundraising record [Politico] Although behind his Republican opponent, President Obama is expected to surpass the $750 million raised by his first election campaign.

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Jewish organisation demands Romney apology [The Hill] Jewish Voice for Peace has called on Mitt Romney to apologise to the Palestinians after comments made by the Republican frontrunner in Jerusalem last week.

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More convention speakers revealed [Huffington Post] Rick Santorum and Ron Paul will be among those joining John McCain and Condoleezza Rice as speakers at the Republican National Convention.

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Romney challenges Reid over tax accusation [Fox News] Mitt Romney has requested that Senate leader Harry Reid reveals the source behind his claims about the Republican contender’s tax affairs.

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‘Obamaloney’ [CNN] President Obama’s criticism of Mitt Romney’s tax policies as being ‘Robin Hood in reverse’ has been described as ‘Obamaloney’ by the Republican presidential hopeful.

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Republicans label Obama ad ‘dishonest’ [Telegraph] Republicans have criticised a campaign ad from the Priorities USA Action Super PAC for suggesting that Mitt Romney and Bain Capital may have been responsible for the death of a former employee.

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Obama maintains Colorado lead [Politico] A new poll has found that President Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney in the battleground state of Colorado has remained at around 49% to 43%.

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Obama appeals to women in Colorado [Politico] President Obama has spoken about the benefits of his healthcare reforms for women during a campaign trip to Colorado.

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Spokesperson promotes Romney health law [CNN] The Romney campaign has spoken about the successes of the Massachusetts healthcare law passed by the Republican contender.

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Obama waging ‘war on religion’ says Romney ad [CBS] A new campaign ad from the Romney campaign has accused President Obama of threatening religious freedom.

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Polls show Obama lead [Political Wire] A poll for CNN shows that President Obama is seven points ahead of his Republican rival, while a Fox News poll gives Obama a nine point lead.

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Democratic National Convention to feature Republicans [Politico] Planning papers for the Democratic National Convention have revealed that the event will feature Republican speakers.

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Romney leading in Iowa poll [Politico] A Rasmussen poll gives Romney a two point lead over President Obama.

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Paul Ryan to be named VP [Reuters] Congressman Paul Ryan is expected to be announced as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

Compiled by Patrick McGhee.

US Presidential Election Roundup: 15/7 – 21/7

This week’s roundup of the US presidential elections…

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Obama campaign attacks Romney over outsourcing [The Hill] President Obama has increasingly criticised his opponent Mitt Romney over claims that the Republican contender for the presidency would out-source jobs as part of his employment plans.

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Republican Super PACs raise $6.6 million [Huffington Post] ‘Mega-donors’ have helped two super PACs with close Republican ties raise $6.6 million in the second quarter of this year.

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Romney’s VP announcement anticipated [Global Post] A Romney campaign adviser suggested that the Republican presidential contender could announce his running mate this week, but added that he had not yet made a decision.

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Race and religion election implications explored [National Journal] A poll conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post has investigated the implications of race and religion for President Obama and Mitt Romney.

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Bain Capital criticism sparks blog debate [Washington Post] Attacks on Mitt Romney’s tenure at the company Bain Capital has prompted debate over the extent to which the issue will affect his election fortunes.

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Obama’s Iowa lead declines [Talking Points Memo] President Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney in the state of Iowa has fallen to 5 points, down from 10 points in May, a new poll finds.

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Romney adviser hints at campaign ‘counterattacks’ [Political Wire] An adviser to the Romney campaign has said the Republican presidential contender ‘believes it’s time to vet the President’ in light of recent negative campaigning by the Obama campaign.

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Romney criticises Obama’s small business remarks [Talking Points Memo] Mitt Romney has attacked President Obama for a speech the President made last week during which he said that public spending helped to develop small businesses.

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Michelle Obama speaks about immigration [Huffington Post] The First Lady has spoken about President Obama’s immigration record and policies this week.

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Early transition talks underway [Washington Post] The Romney campaign and the Obama administration have engaged in talks to plan for the possible post-election transition of staff should Republicans retake the White House.

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‘I will not cut the military budget,’ says Romney [American Legion] In an interview for American Legion Magazine, Mitt Romney has said that he will not implement any cuts to the United States’ military, adding that he will ‘expand our essential weapons programs and our active-duty personnel.’

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Romney questions lack of Jobs Council meetings [Politico] Mitt Romney has criticised President Obama after it emerged that the President’s Jobs Council has not met in six months.

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Obama appeals to older voters in Florida [New York Times] President Obama has visited the battleground state of Florida, giving a speech in which he attacked Mitt Romney’s healthcare policies.

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Campaign ads suspended in Colorado [CNN] Both the Obama and Romney campaigns suspended election campaign ads in Colorado after a man killed 12 people and injured 59 others in a shooting there on Friday.

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Campaign financing expands [Reuters] Reuters analyses campaign spending by both Obama and Romney, comparing staff increases, salaries and supplies in June and discussing the limitations of both candidates.

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Compiled by Patrick McGhee.