“If you do not feel the urge to cut out your own heart with a dull knife after reading it, there’s something wrong with you.”
“I’ve had a couple of those during the campaign, which have haunted me a
little bit, but I’m sure before this is over will haunt me a lot.”
— Mitt Romney, in an interview with Peggy Noonan, speaking about gaffes “that make me want to kick myself in the seat of my pants.”
A new Civitas Institute poll in North Carolina shows Mitt Romney just edging President Obama in the battleground state, 47% to 45%.
West New York Mayor Felix Roque (D) was arrested by the FBI “on charges of illegally hacking into a website associated with a recall movement, while attempting to tap into e-mails to find who might be plotting against him,” the Newark Star Ledger reports. Rogue’s son was also arrested.
“According to a criminal complaint filed under seal and released following the arrests, the two men are charged with an electronic dirty tricks campaign in an effort to disrupt and kill the recall movement… Details in the complaint show the two men were playing hardball, in a place where politics is always a life and death struggle against competing Democratic factions.”
Jeff Barth (D), who is running in the Democratic primary to challenge Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), released a freewheeling campaign ad that could be the weirdest of this election cycle.
A glimpse of what makes it so special: Barth makes the point that that his daughters “have straight teeth, college degrees and husbands.”
Levi Johnston, father to Sarah Palin’s grandson, “has been forced to move in with his mother after reportedly squandering his $1 million earnings,” the Daily Mail reports.
“The 22-year-old wasted the eye-watering sum on ‘guns, boats and four-wheelers’… The spending has left him penniless and he has now moved in with his mother, a convicted prescription drug dealer, at her home in Alaska.”
Paul Begala: “Quick readers’ guide to the 2012 polls: until the final two weeks, ignore the head-to-head horserace… Instead of obsessing about who’s up and who’s down, look at how folks view the direction of the country. When the ‘right direction’ number creeps up close to 50%, the incumbent is going to win. But when it plunges, get ready to back the moving van up to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. At this writing, that all-important indicator is a middling 31% — almost precisely equidistant from both an outright rejection of Obama and an incumbent’s safe reelection.”
Alan Abramowitz plugs the latest approval and GDP growth numbers into his presidential forecasting model and finds President Obama is expected to win re-election by a very narrow share of the two-party vote.
“Whether we base our prediction on President Obama’s 47% approval rating in the Gallup Poll in early May or a more sophisticated forecasting model incorporating economic conditions and the ‘time for change’ factor, it appears likely that we are headed for a very close election in November. Both models make Obama a slight favorite to win a second term. However, the final outcome will depend on the actual performance of the economy and the public’s evaluation of the president’s job performance in the months ahead. Those interested in assessing where the presidential race stands should focus on these two indicators rather than the day-to-day events of the campaign, which tend to dominate media coverage of the election.”
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: “Ever since the recall wars erupted in this battleground state, the Obama campaign has been faced with a dilemma: how involved does the President get in a polarizing fight with huge national overtones?”
“Less than two weeks to go before the June 5 election, the answer seems pretty clear. The Obama forces are pitching in with voter turnout and fund-raising appeals. But the President has avoided taking a vocal role in the conflict, and there is little expectation of an Obama visit to Wisconsin in the homestretch of the campaign.”
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Texas shows David Dewhurst (R) leads Ted Cruz (R) by a whopping 17 points in the GOP Senate primary, 46% to 29%
The main question on Tuesday will be whether Dewhurst can get over 50% and avoid a runoff.
Just published: The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic by George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling.
“What does this mean? Is 48% a good thing or bad thing? On the one hand, he’s leading and in the high 40s, despite what’s been a rocky and volatile last few weeks (the April jobs numbers, the worries out of Europe, the rushed gay-marriage announcement, etc.). On the other hand, he remains below that important 50% threshold that’s usually considered safe haven for an incumbent president, and Romney is well within striking distance, especially given all of Europe’s economic uncertainty.”
“Bottom line: 48% is really the knife’s edge; not quite close enough where you can just fall over the 50% finish line, but close enough that it doesn’t take much. It’s a number to follow in the months ahead.”
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Maryland finds a significant increase in support for same-sex marriage among African American voters following President Obama’s historic announcement two weeks ago.
The referendum to keep the state’s new law legalizing same-sex marriage now appears likely to pass by a healthy margin, 57% to 37%, a 12 point shift from a similar survey in early March.
Donald Trump tells Newsmax that he is seriously considering launching his own super PAC.
His goal would be to produce ads against President Obama that show how Washington is permitting outsiders to “absolutely suck the blood out of this country.”
Said Trump: “If I did one I would show how bad we’re doing as a country, how disrespected we are as a country. I would show people from OPEC, 11 people sitting around a beautiful gold-encrusted table talking about how they are going to continue to rip off the United States.”
“I’m so boring that I didn’t even know I was boring.”
— Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), quoted by the Washington Post.