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Catching up on Election-Related Stories

by | Feb 3, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Newt Gingrich (left) and Mitt Romney, Pro-Life Republican Presidential Candidates

I was out of the office this week on family business, so I will attempt to use today and Friday to catch up on some of what’s transpired and hopefully what remains on Monday.

Like many of you, I watched former Gov. Mitt Romney win a convincing victory in Florida’s Republican primary Tuesday. There have been so many turnabouts in the race to compete against pro-abortion President Barack Obama, it would be foolish to draw any strong conclusions.

What we know is that Romney carried 46% to 32% for former Speaker Newt Gingrich. Former Senator Rick Santorum finished third with 13% while Rep. Ron Paul, who did not compete actively in Florida, came in last with 7%.

On a national level, Gallup’s most recent tracking poll finds that among registered Republican voters, Romney has reclaimed the lead over Gingrich 31% to 26%. Santorum again is third with 16% with Paul at 11%. But as Gallup’s Lydia Saad points out, “The tracking poll is a five-day average taken Friday through Tuesday night, and includes interviewing that may reflect responses to Romney’s 14-point victory in the Florida primary yesterday.”

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama

Indeed, under the sub-head “Gingrich Has Capacity to Rebound,” Saad also cautions, “Gallup polling shows Gingrich has already been able to regain the lead in national Republican preferences once after previously losing it.”

Actually what’s more interesting are a series of analyses that would appear to paint a grim picture for the impact of Obama on pro-abortion Democratic senators, always understanding that things do, and will, change.

For example, the National Journal ran a piece that argued that ticket-splitting (voting for the President of one party and for ,say, the Senator of the opposite party) is becoming rarer. Reid Wilson explains that this is ominous for Democrats as voters less and less distinguish “between, say, a Missouri Democrat and a national Democrat.”

Put another way, “The correlation between presidential votes—and even presidential approval ratings—and Senate winners is growing stronger. And that could be a daunting prospect for Democrats’ hopes of keeping control of the upper chamber this November,” Wilson writes. “Several Democrats will face voters in states the eventual Republican presidential nominee will likely carry.” Obama’s numbers are so awful in some states the campaign won’t even seriously compete. This will hurt the Democrat running for Senate even if his or her own numbers aren’t awful, like Obama’s.

Then there is Kristen Powers, writing in USA Today this morning, explaining how the massive growth in self-identified Independents (now at a whopping 40%) has come out of both major parties but especially Democrats.

A study from the organization Third Way released in January finds that “Since 2008, it [Democrats] has lost twice as many voters as the GOP in the critical swing states of Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina and Pennsylvania,” Powers writes, based on the study. “Colorado is the only swing state where Democratic registration remained steady, though Republicans and independents actually grew.”

Why does that matter? According to Powers

.     “The Obama team knows that the president has lost his magic touch with these voters, who were crucial to his White House win. In 2008, Obama dominated independents 52%-44% over the GOP nominee John McCain. Yet, a mid-January Pew Research Center poll found that 56% of independents disapprove of Obama’s job performance— up 11 percentage points from a year ago — while just 37% approve. In a recent New York Times/CBS News poll, a whopping two-thirds of independents said Obama has not made real progress fixing the economy, the top issue in the 2012 election.”

One other important note. Earlier this week Gallup released its annual state-by-state presidential approval numbers. According to Gallup

“Overall, Obama averaged 44% job approval in his third year in office, down from 47% in his second year. His approval rating declined from 2010 to 2011 in most states, with Wyoming, Connecticut, and Maine showing a marginal increase, and Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Jersey, Arizona, West Virginia, Michigan, and Georgia showing declines of less than a full percentage point. The greatest declines were in Hawaii, South Dakota, Nebraska, and New Mexico.”

Writing in the Washington Examiner, Conn Carroll looked at those results and concluded

“If President Obama carries only those states where he had a net positive approval rating in 2011 (e.g. Michigan where he is up 48 percent to 44 percent), Obama would lose the 2012 election to the Republican nominee 323 electoral votes to 215.”

Categories: Politics