Greg Orman is trying to accomplish something that has never been done before. An independent candidate has never won election to the United States Senate without first winning an election as a major party nominee.
Brandon J. Gaylord | All Articles
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Brandon J. Gaylord
Brandon J. Gaylord, the editor-in-chief of HorseRacePolitics.com, is a graduate of George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. Brandon got his start in politics as an intern in Vice President Richard Cheney’s Office of Political Affairs.
When you pick a fight you should have a strategy for finishing it. Right now Republicans have no endgame for defunding Obamacare.
If the next Presidential Election were held tomorrow, Hillary Clinton would be the clear favorite. She holds modest, yet consistent leads over the best polling Republican candidate, Chris Christie, and often posts double digit leads over other potential Republican candidates such as Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. On the other hand, if Vice President Joe Biden were the Democratic nominee, Republicans would be favored to win the White House.
Thomas Frank’s 2004 book What’s the Matter with Kansas decried the inability of voters in the heartland to vote for their own economic interests. Frank suggested that conservatives were distracting these voters with social or “wedge” issues while working against them on fiscal issues. In other words, the voters were just too dumb to see they were voting for the wrong party (Of course wealthy Democrats who supported candidates vowing to raise their taxes were not taken into consideration).
Last week was the worst media week for President Obama since he entered politics. The State Department’s politicization of the Benghazi talking points, the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups, and the Justice Department’s heavy-handed way of dealing with journalists has brought the president criticism from all corners of the mainstream media. On MSNBC's “Hardball,” host Chris Matthews compared the administration to “a ship with the engine off.”
Just three years after Scott Brown’s stunning upset in the 2010 Massachusetts special Senate election, the race to fill Secretary of State John Kerry’s old Senate seat is closer than expected. The GOP has managed to field three decent candidates, and Democrats appear prepared to give them an opening by nominating the very liberal Ed Markey, who is serving in his fifth decade in Congress.
While much was made (and is still being made) of the GOP’s lackluster performance among Latinos, African Americans and women in November, the party rebounded strongly from its 2008 performance among voters with college degrees. Nationally, Mitt Romney performed a net six points better than John McCain among voters with four-year degrees and five points better among voters with graduate degrees. Those two groups made up a combined 47% of the electorate.
Sometimes taking the wrong lesson from defeat can be worse than not learning anything at all. While Republicans are scrambling to do damage control in the wake of this month’s election, they should keep in mind that their presidential candidate only lost by a couple percentage points in the popular vote.
The small but consistent leads that pollsters are giving President Obama in Ohio are based on the notion that Republicans will not show up on Election Day. What started as a couple of polls with questionable samples has become a consensus. Pollsters, with few exceptions, are predicting that Democrats will at least maintain their turnout edge from 2008 if not increase it.
The national and state polls are painting two different pictures of the election. National polls show Mr. Romney with a very small lead while battleground state polls give President Obama a lead of about a point and a half in the states both candidates need to reach 270 electoral votes.
The most recent Pew survey, which shows Mitt Romney reversing an eight-point deficit and claiming a four-point lead, is being hailed as potentially the best poll Romney has seen since the beginning of the general-election campaign. (The prior Pew poll showing Obama up by eight was one of Obama's best polls of the campaign.) Republicans have been quick to tout the poll as evidence of the changing political landscape following Romney’s resounding debate victory last week.
The overwhelming majority of public opinion polls show President Obama cruising to re-election. State polls of Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin and Iowa are now consistently showing Obama with leads of five points or more.
Earlier this week, the liberal magazine Mother Jones released a video recording of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney telling a roomful of Republican donors that it would be impossible to convince the 47% of Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes to vote for him.
Until “legitimate rape” became part of the political lexicon, the Republican path to a Senate majority was straightforward. Take the four Democratic seats in Nebraska, North Dakota, Missouri, and Montana, while accepting a loss in Maine, for a net of +3 Senate seats. This would create an even 50/50 split in the Senate. From that baseline the GOP would have needed to hold Scott Brown’s seat and win just one of the toss-ups in Wisconsin or Virginia. Other, less favorable options were open in Florida and Ohio.
In 2008, the Republican attacks on Barack Obama’s association with Bill Ayers failed badly --- and it’s clear why. Republicans failed to explain why Obama’s coffee with Ayers, a former member of the Weather Underground, should matter to Americans. Instead, the Republican ticket said that Obama was “palling around with terrorists” and then ran away from the issue when confronted in the debates. Americans knew the name “Bill Ayers,” but they didn’t understand why he should affect their votes.
After failing to sell the American public on the Affordable Care Act over the past three years, Democrats have decided to try a new tactic. Their argument is that Obamacare is not really unpopular at all. That’s right. Despite hovering below 40% approval in the Real Clear Politics average of polls and failing to reach 35% in the latest Associated Press and New York Times polls, Democrats are trying to make the argument that the Affordable Care Act is not the political albatross it appears to be.
Conventional wisdom says this will be a close presidential election. Conventional wisdom is probably right. Nate Silver does a great job of explaining his model, which indeed sees the election as being very close.