Archive for September, 2012
“Don’t get too worked up about the latest polling. While some voters will feel a bit of a sugar-high from the conventions, the basic structure of the race has not changed significantly,” said Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse.
In his “State of the Race” memo, Newhouse argues that there are three sets of numbers that will ultimately affect the way people will vote in November: unemployment trends, how many Americans are looking for work, and how many are on food stamps.
“President Obama is the only president in modern American history to stand before the American people asking for re-election with this many Americans struggling to find work,” Newhouse writes. “The key numbers in this election are the 43 straight months of 8% or higher unemployment, the 23 million Americans struggling to find work, and the 47 million Americans who are on food stamps.” “The reality of the Obama economy will reassert itself as the ultimate downfall of the Obama presidency, and Mitt Romney will win this race.”
Following last week’s Democratic convention in North Carolina, a series of national polls showed Obama edging ahead of his Republican rival and a survey in the must-win swing state of Ohio put him five points clear.
Newhouse, however, argued that Romney was still the preferred candidate on the crucial issue of the economy and that all the signs pointed to a tight race in which the former Massachusetts governor had a money advantage.
The message was seen as an attempt to shore up support for the Republican candidate after some disappointing polls and after Obama outraised Romney in August for the first time in four months.
Newhouse said Romney’s supporters were more enthusiastic and that the campaign had crossed a 20 million volunteer threshold as they deploy an all-out “Ground Game” across the key states in the November 6 election.
“Mitt Romney will be the next president,” he said. “The outcome of this race will ultimately be determined in favor of governor Romney because he has the better leadership skills, the better record, and the better vision for where he wants to take the country.
“In short, the combination of having the superior candidate, being in a margin-of-error race with an incumbent president, having a cash advantage, and having an unprecedented grassroots effort and a winning message on the economy ensure that Americans will make a change in leadership in Washington on November 6.”
He results though may not be as bad as they suggest, The Gallup seven day tracking poll of 3050 registered voters, that has a margin of error of 2.0 percent, samples Democrats by about a 8 percent margin based on calculations from the reported data. If the data is properly weighted for the partisan makeup of the electorate, the data from this poll unskewed would show a Romney lead of 49 percent to 44. By skewing the poll, it gives Obama a five point lead instead of showing Romney leading by the same total.
The Gallup tracking poll has Democrats favoring Obama by a 90 percent to seven percent margin while Republicans surveyed in the poll favor Romney by a 91 percent to six percent margin. Independent voters to support Romney by a 43 percent to 42 percent edge. The significance of this is, somewhere along the way the weighting and sampling used by Gallup appears to have changed. The polling output resulting from this change demonstrates an apparent change that may not have happened at all, resulting in the showing of a Barack Obama post-convention “bounce” much larger than what might have actually occurred.
President Barack Obama’s campaign and its Democratic partners raised more than $114 million in August, narrowly beating Republican Mitt Romney for the first time in months as the race for the White House enters its final stretch.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, and fellow Republicans raised more than $111 million in the same month, continuing a string of high-dollar hauls that has equipped him well for the last two months of the presidential campaign.
While Obama shattered every fundraising record in 2008 after the becoming the first presidential candidate to opt out of a federal matching funds system, Romney has outpaced him significantly on the fundraising front this year.
That has added to a cash advantage on the Republican side that is helped by the success of outside groups, or Super PACs, that have spent lavishly in support of the Republican candidate.
The Obama campaign appeared to stumble in July, raising $75 million to Romney’s $101 million. That changed in August.
The Democratic incumbent broadened his donor base with more than 317,000 donors who had never given money before, said Obama campaign manager Jim Messina in a statement.
“The key to fighting back against the special interests writing limitless checks to support Mitt Romney is growing our donor base, and we did substantially in the month of August,” he said. “That is a critical downpayment on the organization we are building across the country – the largest grassroots campaign in history.”
Romney, the Republican National Committee and state Republican parties reported that together they have about $168.5 million in cash at their disposal. Republicans argued over the weekend that Obama had spent nearly $100 million to “poison” voters’ views of Romney, but polls show a tight race as evidence that they have withstood the advertising onslaught Obama’s campaign launched early in the year.
“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are offering bold solutions to our country’s problems. That is why we are seeing such tremendous support from donors across the country,” Romney’s national finance chairman Spencer Zwick and Republican National Committee chairman Reince Preibus said in a joint statement.
Obama’s advisers say they are confident they spent their campaign cash well by seeking to define Romney over the summer months, but the discrepancy in available funds is a top concern.
The average donation the Obama team collected in August was $58 and 98 percent of donations were for $250 or less. It is the first month Obama’s campaign and its Democratic partners have broken the $100 million monthly threshold this year.
U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs last month, allowing Republican Rival Mitt Romney to use the latest disappointing report to criticize President Barack Obama over the economy and jobs, leaving the White House incumbent flat-footed on the defining issue of the 2012 race.
The Republican nominee seized on weak employment data to reclaim momentum on the campaign trail and double down on Obama, whose speech at the Democratic National Convention the previous night was criticized for lacking detail and dynamism.
“If last night was the party, this morning is the hangover,” Romney said in a written statement quickly issued by his campaign. “For every net new job created, nearly four Americans gave up looking for work entirely. This is more of the same for middle-class families who are suffering through the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. After 43 straight months of unemployment above 8%, it is clear that President Obama just hasn’t lived up to his promises and his policies haven’t worked. I don’t think the American people want four more years of the four last years. I think they want to see more jobs, they want to see their kids coming out of college able to get jobs, they want to see rising incomes again.”
The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July. But that was only because more people gave up looking for jobs. People who are out of work are counted as unemployed only if they’re looking for a job.
The government also said Friday that 41,000 fewer jobs were created in July and June than first estimated. The economy has added just 139,000 jobs a month since the start of the year, below 2011’s average of 153,000. A net total of only 96,000 jobs were created, the unemployment rate remained above 8 percent, and nearly 370,000 more Americans simply gave up even looking for work
Coming on the heels of the two major parties’ conventions, the political stakes are high when it comes to jobs. Poll after poll show that voters are most concerned with the economy and the jobs markets and there are only two more monthly Labor Department reports due before the general election.
No president since the Great Depression has won re-election when the jobless rate was higher than 7.4 percent, the level at which Ronald Reagan won a landslide re-election in 1984. Given the current pace of job creation this year (139,000 jobs per month), the unemployment rate will likely remain above 8 percent by Election Day and probably by the end of the year as well.
During the past two weeks, the parties have released dueling narratives of the jobs situation: Republicans claim that progress is too slow and Democrats say that while the improvement may not be ideal, the damage was too vast to be repaired in a normal time frame.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke last week said the labor market’s stagnation was a “grave concern,” a comment that raised expectations for a further easing of monetary policy. Economists said at the very least the Fed appeared set to push further into the future its conditional pledge to keep rates near zero through late 2014. Futures traders added to bets on Friday that the central bank would keep rates near zero until at least the second quarter of 2015.
President Obama’s speech was lacking in detail, full of divisive rhetoric appealing to his base, and if anyone thinks this speech was a game changer, they are sadly mistaken. It lacked vision, conviction and really only promised more of the same renewable energy projects, and a wild promise to recruit another 100,000 teachers.
Obama used his nationally televised speech closing out the Democratic National Convention to try to revive the excitement that powered his first run for the presidency.
With just two months before election day, Mr Obama needs to win over undecided voters, especially those who had been swayed by his inspiring message of hope and change in 2008, but now feel disillusioned after years of economic weakness and persistent political bickering.
“The election four years ago wasn’t about me. It was about you,” he said. “My fellow citizens – you were the change.”
Obama implored Americans to grant him a second term in the world’s most important job, as he cast himself as a realist and said the US recovery was bound to be hard after the worst recession in generations.
“The truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades,” Obama said at the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina.
Obama’s core message was I need more time. He compared America’s economic problems to the Great Depression of the 1930s, calling it the Great Recession. To overcome the challenges ahead will require “common effort, shared responsibility and the kind of bold persistent experimentation” that Franklin D Roosevelt once made the Democrats famous for.
He said the American people were the ones responsible for accomplishments on his watch, such as overhauling healthcare, changing immigration policies and ending the ban on gays in the military. If they turned away now, he warned, “you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible”. “Change,” he said, “will not happen”.
Mr Obama built on the message Democrats delivered throughout the convention: that America is on the road to recovery while Mr Romney would revive failed policies, cutting taxes for the rich and slashing programmes that give regular Americans a chance for a more prosperous future. “If you reject the notion that this nation’s promise is reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election,” he said.
Republicans, who nominated Mr Romney last week, argue that America’s high 8.3% unemployment rate is proof that Mr Obama’s policies have failed and that the president’s spendthrift, big-government policies have hurt business and caused the federal deficit to soar.
The two candidates are locked in a tight race. Polls show that Mr Romney, a wealthy businessman and former governor of Massachusetts, is seen as the better candidate for improving the economy, while Mr Obama is viewed as more likeable and having a better understanding of everyday Americans.
Mr Obama’s speech marked the climax of the three-day convention. First lady Michelle Obama highlighted the first day, talking about her husband’s humble roots and compassion for those living through tough times. Bill Clinton, the popular former president who led the United States during years of prosperity, gave a rousing speech on Thursday, vouching for Mr Obama’s economic policies and urging Americans not to turn back to Republicans.
Preceding Mr Obama was vice president Joe Biden, who was formally re-nominated. Mr Biden proclaimed in his acceptance speech that “America has turned the corner” after experiencing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Mitt Romney’s campaign accused President Barack Obama of glossing over broken promises in his speech Thursday, saying he offered “more of the same” instead of admitting failure.
“President Obama laid out the choice in this election, making the case for more of the same policies that haven’t worked for the past four years,” Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades said in a statement issued in the middle of Obama’s speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president.
“He offered more promises, but he hasn’t kept the promises he made four years ago,” Rhoades added.
“Americans will hold President Obama accountable for his record. They know they’re not better off and that it’s time to change direction.”
Overall, the speech while decent was far below some of the other speakers over the three days most notably First Lady Michele Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and President Clinton. While the auditorium crowd were delirious, one cannot help but to feel disillusioned if you were sitting at home.
People need to be convinced that whoever they elect has a firm and detailed plan for the next four years and will deliver with actions, not speeches. President and Obama need to rise to the challenge and whoever is successful in that task will win this election.