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Archive: June, 2012

POSTED: Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 10:32 AM

The latest polling snapshots find President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney neck-and-neck nationally, but with the Democratic incumbent in a stronger position in the battleground states likely to decide the election.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll released Tuesday found Obama leading Romney 47 percent to 43 percent nationally in a trial heat, but in a dozen swing states the president has a 50 percent to 42 percent advantage. (Those battlegrounds are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.)

Obama’s strength is a base of support among African Americans, Latinos and young voters, and an edge in personal likeability ratings, the poll finds. His biggest weakness: the economy.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 9:53 PM

On Thursday, the Supreme Court will pass judgment on President Obama’s health-care law.

But the law, with its requirement that individuals buy health insurance or pay a fine, is not the only thing on trial. The court itself stands before the bar of public opinion, weighing in on a highly partisan issue with what polls show is a decline in the traditional perception that it is above politics.

Earlier this month, a New York Times/CBS News poll found that just 44 percent of Americans approved of the job the high court is doing, and three quarters said that the justices’ personal political views sometimes influence how they rule on cases.

POSTED: Friday, June 22, 2012, 4:30 PM

Democrat Bob Casey of Pennsylvania has been rated among the safest Senate incumbents in the nation this year, with a time-tested political brand name, about $6 million in the bank and a little- known Republican opponent.

Casey, however, expressed “real concern” about the threat posed by former coal executive Tom Smith in a recent fundraising letter sent to prospective contributors. The letter was first reported Friday by the web site PoliticsPA.

After noting that most public, independent polls give him a lead of from 7 to 20 percentage points, Casey writes that “the not so good news is that all the polls have me at less than 50%.” That, he notes, “is a real warning sign for incumbent candidates.” Most voters know little about Smith at this point, Casey says.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 1:32 PM

The Service Employees International Union, fastest growing labor organization in the nation, Tuesday launched what officials are calling the union’s biggest field drive to mobilize votes for President Obama and other Democrats in eight battleground states.

Organizers plan 13 million phone-bank calls, 3 million door knocks, and at least 1 million face-to-face sales pitches, targeting African American, Latino and young voters, three demographic mainstays of the coalition that elected Obama in 2008. The efforts will be concentrated in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The union will spend at least as much as the $85 million it expended four years ago on the voter-contact and GOTV plan, said Brandon Davis, SEIU national political director.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 12, 2012, 2:46 PM

President Obama holds a steady 6-point lead over Republican rival Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of the state released Tuesday morning.

Obama’s 46 to 40 percent advantage among registered voters is virtually unchanged from the university’s May survey, and pollsters said that the president is buoyed in the Democratic-leaning state by his advantage among women voters and independents.

In Tuesday’s poll, women back Obama 51 percent to 36 percent in Pennsylvania, while men narrowly favor Romney, 44 percent to 40 percent. Obama is leading 43 percent to 35 percent among independent voters, the poll finds.

POSTED: Friday, June 8, 2012, 6:11 PM

It’s not every day you can get a president of the United States to eat his words in a matter of a few hours.

On Friday, Republicans and Mitt Romney managed to do just that, after they pounced on President Obama’s remark during a late morning news conference that “the private sector is doing fine.”

The gaffe was a trenchant example of Obama being out of touch with reality, and a moment of presidential callousness toward 23 million unemployed Americans, the GOP argued.

POSTED: Thursday, June 7, 2012, 10:56 AM

There’s “off message.” And then there’s former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

First, Rendell said a number of times that it was wrongheaded for President Obama to attack Mitt Romney’s experience with the private equity firm Bain Capital.

Then, on Wednesday, he was quoted in the Huffington Post saying that Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes, is very much “in play” for the Republicans; this runs counter to the CW that the state has become at least light-blue, or likely Democratic in presidential contests.

POSTED: Monday, June 4, 2012, 8:43 AM

President Obama's reelection continues to work methodically to exploit what it sees as the weaknesses in Mitt Romney's economic record.

This time, in a 60-second ad to begin running Monday in Pennsylvania and eight other swing states, the target is Romney's term as Massachusetts governor from 2003-2007. It features footage of candidate Romney in 2002 asserting that he knows how jobs are created - he's a businessman, for pete's sake - and then contrasts the promise with what happened in the state. The Bay State lagged most other U.S. states in job creation, manufacturing employment fell, and the state was left with $2.6 billion in debt.

"We've heard it before," a narrator says, showing footage of Romney on the trail this year promising he knows how to create jobs.

About this blog

Inquirer staff writer Thomas Fitzgerald blogs about national politics.

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Tom Fitzgerald
Thomas Fitzgerald Inquirer Politics Writer
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