Friday, February 12, 2016

Archive: September, 2012

POSTED: Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 3:22 PM

Republican Mitt Romney and allied organizations are off the airwaves in Pennsylvania’s television markets for now, raising questions about how much the challenger is willing to contend for its 20 electoral votes.

And yet Romney and his allies with the Republican National Committee are reaching out to voters in Pennsylvania (and other swing states) with a ground game that is far more intensive than the party was able to muster in support of John McCain four years ago.

So far, Romney volunteers have made nearly two million voter contacts by phone call and door-to-door canvassing, said Kate Meriwether, state spokeswoman for the Romney campaign. She said that 250,000 of those contacts had been door knocks.

POSTED: Monday, September 10, 2012, 11:42 AM

President Obama has seen an uptick in voter support since last week’s Democratic National Convention, but that bounce amounts to a temporary “sugar high,” the Romney campaign pollster said Monday, arguing that the Republican challenger has an inherent advantage over the incumbent.

Neil Newhouse, pollster and senior strategist in the Romney high command, wrote in a memo that was released to reporters to address the developing conventional wisdom that Obama has pulled ahead in the presidential race and to try to head off panic among GOPers. The lead will recede, Newhouse argued.

“Don’t get too worked up about the latest polling,” Newhouse wrote. “The basic structure of the race has not changed significantly. “The reality of the Obama economy will reassert itself as the ultimate downfall of the Obama presidency, and Mitt Romney will win this race.”

POSTED: Thursday, September 6, 2012, 4:56 PM
FILE - In this May 13, 2010 file photo, Allegheny County Democratic Chairman Jim Burn is seen in Pittsburgh. He is now chairman of the state Democratic Party. (AP)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Pennsylvania Democrats are focused on re-electing President Obama, of course, but some of the most interesting sidebars among the state’s delegates, donors and activists at the national convention revolve around hopes of taking out Gov. Corbett in 2014.

“We have a real shot,” said state chairman Jim Burn, a Pittsburgh lawyer. “This is the most unpopular governor in the United States.”

 Corbett’s approval rating was in the low 30s in recent polls. He supported requiring women to have an ultrasound before getting an abortion, and has slashed spending on social programs and education. “He thinks like a prosecutor in black and white, but as an executive you live in a gray world,” Burn said.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 4, 2012, 10:54 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Here’s a stratagem for Pennsylvania you don’t hear every day (OK, basically never) from Democrats: do well in the rural center, win the whole state.

“Central Pennsylvania is where the battle is going to be won,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said. “They can try to suppress the vote in the cities of Pennsylvania, and we can try to respond to that,” he said, referring to the state’s new voter ID law, “But it’s important to do well in the rural areas. If we do, it takes a lot of pressure off Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.”

Vilsack, a Pittsburgh native and the former governor of Iowa, said that farm production will be up this year despite widespread areas of drought. He noted that administration programs have poured money into farm country for rural housing and other benefits, and that the Affordable Care Act overhaul of health coverage is helping rural people.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 4, 2012, 4:27 PM

Here comes trouble for Mitt Romney. 

A former congressman is running for president as a third-party candidate and may spoil the GOP’s chances for a win in Virginia. 
Virgil Goode Jr., the conservative Constitution Party’s presidential candidate, will be listed on the Virginia ballot, ruled the state’s Board of Elections today, as will the Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein and Libertarian Gov. Gary Johnson. 
Goode, though unknown outside the Old Dominion, is an established political figure in that swing state. He served 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and 24 years in the Virginia state legislature.
In two automated polls, Goode garnered 5 to 9 percent of the Virginia’s likely voters, which, if it came to pass, would siphon off votes from Romney and turn the traditionally red state blue. 
Goode’s campaign previously has referred to Romney as “Obama-lite.”
According to the Washington Post, Goode’s campaign submitted 20,500 signatures to the state elections board more than double the required 10,000. The Va. GOP, sensing a potential disaster, filed a challenge last week to keep Goode off the ballot, something the Pa. Republicans successfully did last month, the Post reported. 
Goode, who has a law degree from the University of Va., shares several platforms with Romney: he is against gay marriage, against Obamacare, and against abortion. 
But on other issues he is farther to the right: Goode is anti-NAFTA, does not want U.S. troops under U.N. command, demands that English be named the official language of the U.S., and wants an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. He wants a moratorium on Green Cards, is adamantly against illegal immigration, and would eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, No Child Left Behind, and a slew of other federal programs. 
He has repeatedly said that his campaign would take votes equally from both of the big party candidates, but few pundits are buying that. 
Goode has taken a circuitous route to becoming a third-party candidate. He started his career as a Blue Dog Democrat, was briefly an independent after angering state Dems with his vote to impeach Bill Clinton, then fully converted to the Republican Party. In 2008, he lost his congressional seat and two years later joined the executive committee of the Constitution Party. 
[ITALIC]— Sam Wood

Virgil Goode (right) with Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio

A former congressman is running for president as a third-party candidate and may spoil the GOP’s chances for a win in Virginia.

Sam Wood @ 4:27 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
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Inquirer staff writer Thomas Fitzgerald blogs about national politics.

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