Key findinds: “The slide in economic optimism points to Romney’s most important advantage in the race. Nearly half of registered voters (49%) say Romney would do the best job of improving economic conditions, compared with 41% who favor Obama. Yet Romney trails Obama by wide margins on connecting well with ordinary people, honesty and truthfulness, consistency, displaying good judgment and several other personal dimensions.”
Just published: The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic by George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling.
Mitt Romney “offered what he called a strategy for ‘bipartisan and long-term immigration reform’ in an address to a convention of Latino elected officials in Florida,” the New York Times reports.
“In the speech, which also touched on the economy, Mr. Romney dropped the confrontational tone he took on immigration during the Republican primary. Instead, he promised to work in a series of areas to help immigrants and their families while discouraging people from coming to the country illegally.”
John Bryson “announced his resignation as President Obama’s commerce secretary on Thursday following an episode in which he had a seizure and was involved in a sequence of automobile accidents,” the New York Times reports.
“Bryson offered no further information about his health or the status of the legal case following the episode earlier this month.”
The Atlantic: “Chris Christie is, even in moments of tranquility — of which, in his life, there seem to be none — a torqued-up, joyously belligerent, easily baited, and preternaturally exuberant son of New Jersey, so bringing him to a Bruce Springsteen concert is an exercise in volcano management. Christie, in the presence of Springsteen — whom he would marry if he were gay and if gay people were allowed to marry in the state he governs — loses himself. He is, as is well known, a very large man — twice the width of Mitt Romney — but he is a very large man who dances at Springsteen concerts in front of many thousands of people without giving a damn what they think.”
“This concert is the 129th the governor has attended… The depth of Christie’s love is noteworthy in part because most politicians — certainly most politicians of national stature — are either too dull or too monomaniacally careerist to maintain fervent emotional relationships with artists. And when they do, the objects of their affection resemble them ideologically or dispositionally — think of the loyalty that Pat Leahy, the liberal senator from Vermont, has for the Grateful Dead. Christie’s passionate attachment to Bruce Springsteen is something different, and much more complicated.”
Bloomberg Businessweek invited four retiring members of Congress, including Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), to speak candidly about what being a member of a highly partisan Congress is really like.
Said Ackerman: “Society has changed. The public is to blame as well. I think the people have gotten dumber. I don’t know that I would’ve said that out loud pre-my announcement that I was going to be leaving. [Laughter] But I think that’s true.”
Campaign finance filings show Mitt Romney’s campaign held a meeting at a racy Arizona nightclub that boasts a “specialty champagne bar in the co-ed bathroom,” according to BuzzFeed.
“The Mint” also specializes in making “all types of events imaginable” which include models, dancers, and showgirls along with body painting in a nightclub that calls itself “half restaurant” and “half ultra-lounge.”
“Each and every day that I’ve been a United States senator, I’ve been discussing issues meeting on issues, in secret meetings with kings and queens and prime ministers and business leaders and military leaders talking voting working on issues every single day.”
— Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), quoted by the Boston Globe.
A new Mitchell Research survey in Michigan finds President Obama with a tiny lead over Mitt Romney, 47% to 46%.
Said pollster Steve Mitchell: “I think this will be a battleground state. I think it is a purple state. It leans a little to the left but this election will be competitive here.”
First Read: “After all the reporting from a couple of weeks ago that Romney outraised Obama in May, well technically that isn’t correct. In the true apples-to-apples comparison for the campaigns, the Obama camp outraised the Romney camp last month, $39.1 million to $23.4 million. What’s more, the Obama camp has $109 million in the bank as of May 31, while the Romney camp has $17 million.”
“But where Team Romney outraised Team Obama was with the major party committees (the RNC’s $34.8 million vs. the DNC’s $20 million) and the victory funds. What’s going on here: A larger portion of the pro-Obama money is coming in the form of contributions to the campaign (where the maximum donation is $5,000), while a larger portion of the pro-Romney dough is coming from donations to the RNC (max is $30,800) and Romney’s victory fund.”
Rick Klein: “This election won’t be determined by either side running out of money. But a few data points suggest that the Obama campaign isn’t spinning by saying it will be outspent, as unthinkable as that is for an incumbent to have to worry about. Mitt Romney is coming off a record-setting, $6 million to $8 million day in Michigan — yes, Michigan — with a super, mega fundraising weekend coming in Utah this weekend… It’s only June, and already Romney has erased, if not reversed, the financial edge of the most prolific fundraiser in American politics.”
ABC News “has obtained access to parts of the schedule for the three-day retreat with Mitt Romney in Park City, Utah, this weekend. If you’re massively wealthy and favor Romney over Obama, or if there’s a possibility you might be No. 2 on the Republican ticket, or if you fancy being considered for the veep spot, this fancy resort town nestled in the Deer Valley is the place to be.”
The Wrap notes that’s Stephen Colbert’s theory.
President Obama’s campaign officials say “they are braced for an election decided by a razor-thin margin and are counting on their political organization in key states to overcome what they expect will be Mitt Romney’s money advantage,” Bloomberg reports.
“The president’s political advisers said that outside political action committees supporting Romney are likely to pour as much as $1 billion into the race, outspending Obama and the Democrats.”
Obama advisers “said their advantage will be their extensive operation to identify and turn out Obama voters. The campaign, for example, has 35 offices in Ohio and 40 in Florida, two crucial swing states in November.”
A new Bloomberg poll finds a plurality of Americans, 43%, say they want to retain President Obama’s health care law with only small modifications, while 15% say the measure should be left alone and 33% say it should be repealed.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the next week “on the constitutionality of the law, the centerpiece of which is the mandate that most Americans buy insurance or pay a fine.”
A new Quinnipiac poll finds President Obama has retaken the lead in Florida from Mitt Romney, 46% to 42%.
Said pollster Peter Brown: “The president is doing better among independent voters. It also is worth noting that the last Quinnipiac University Florida poll was on the heels of the president’s backing of gay marriage, which might have hurt him at that time.”
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) “to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Obama,” Bloomberg reports.
“What’s unfolding in Florida highlights a dilemma for the Romney campaign: how to allow Republican governors to take credit for economic improvements in their states while faulting Obama’s stewardship of the national economy. Republican governors in Ohio, Virginia, Michigan and Wisconsin also have highlighted improving economies.”
A new Associated Press/GfK poll finds President Obama slightly ahead of Mitt Romney in the presidential race, 47% to 44%.
Key finding: “About half — 49% — approve of how Obama is handling his job as president, dropping him below the 50% mark he was above in May. Disapproval of Obama is highest — 55% — for his handling of the economy. Still, registered voters are split virtually evenly on whether Romney or Obama would do a better job improving it.”
Meanwhile, a new Public Policy Polling survey shows Obama leading 49% to 45%.