“I can’t remember a candidate who has tackled a campaign crisis so forcefully and so strongly.”
A new CBS News poll shows three candidates in the top tier of the Republican presidential race: Herman Cain at 18%, Mitt Romney at 15% and Newt Gingrich at 15%.
“Support for both Cain and Romney has declined since late last month,
and Gingrich is the only one of the top three whose support is steadily —
if slowly — on the upswing.”
Key finding: 61% of Republican primary voters say the sexual harassment accusations against Cain won’t make any difference in their vote, but 30% say the charges make them less likely to back him.
A new Quinnipiac poll in Florida finds Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) leading Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) in the U.S. Senate race next year by just two points, 42% to 40%.
Said pollster Peter Brown: “The entrance of Congressman Connie Mack into the Senate race changes what had been shaping up as an easy reelection for Sen. Bill Nelson into a tough fight that the incumbent could lose. The fact that Mack is essentially tied with Nelson, who has been a statewide political figure for two decades, should set off warning bells at Democratic headquarters.”
Out later this month: Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism by Ralph Nader.
The Washington Post says the book “is a beautiful blend of the colloquial and the wonky — a perfect reflection of Nader himself through the years. And the message remains vintage Nader. The man who led the charge to get legislation to mandate seatbelts and other safety features in cars is still going after corporate America.”
A Hart Research survey of Ohio voters who voted in Tuesday’s election finds Democrats nearly unanimous in opposing restrictions on collective bargaining, 94% to 6%, and that independent voters also decisively rejected the measure, 57% to 43%.
There is also significant political fallout for Gov. John Kasich (R). Among those who voted for Kasich last year but voted against the measure, his job approval rating has fallen to just 28%.
Just two months ago, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) “wrote to the White House and nominated Joe Paterno for the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor,” Politico reports.
Today, “less than 24 hours after the legendary football coach was fired following allegations that an assistant coach sexually abused multiple boys — that they were rescinding their support for Paterno’s nomination.”
Private polling shared with the Associated Press shows Herman Cain’s support in
Iowa “has declined since last month. Internal polls of likely Republican
caucus-goers showed Cain’s support consistent with The Des Moines
Register‘s poll in late October, which showed him narrowly leading in
the state with 23 percent. The private polls showed Cain still in double
digits in Iowa, but markedly lower.”
“First, it isn’t really a forecasting model because the growth rate of the economy during the year of the election won’t be known until long after the election is over. In addition, the measure of the opposition candidate’s extremism is highly subjective… More importantly, Silver’s model may underestimate Barack Obama’s chances of winning a second term in the White House because it does not take into account the advantage enjoyed by first-term incumbents. And that advantage, as we have seen, is quite substantial.”
Brendan Nyhan and Jacob Montgomery have similar concerns: “Ultimately, almost every analyst agrees at this point that it is still too soon to say with much confidence whether President Obama will win in November. In particular, there is still too much uncertainty about the state of the economy next year. However, both theory and data suggest that the conservatism of his opponent is likely to matter less than Silver’s model suggests.”
A Smart Politics review of the last five presidential debates finds Mitt Romney averaging approximately four minutes more speaking time per debate (14 minutes, 40 seconds) than his closest rival for the cameras, Rick Perry (10 min. 46 sec.), and averaging greater than six minutes more speaking time per debate compared to each of the remaining six members of the GOP field.
Politico sums up the GOP presidential race: “Romney rivals continue to implode.”
First Read: “Twelve years ago, would George W. Bush — who, remember, wasn’t that good of a debater early in the 1999-2000 campaign — have still cruised through the GOP primary season in today’s current system where debates play such an important role? The fact of the matter is that the televised debates have turned into Iowa, becoming the first true test for the candidates and the first bar to clear. And that development hasn’t helped Perry one bit. Four years ago, both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were able to campaign for about three months in Iowa and New Hampshire before their first primary debate. But get this: Perry has been a candidate for less than THREE months (Aug. 13 to now), and last night was his SIXTH debate.”
A new Gallup survey
finds President Obama back to even with a generic Republican candidate,
leading 43% to 42%, a marked improvement over polls from September and
October, when Obama trailed 38% to 46%.
“The evenness of independents’
preferences marks a significant change from September and October, when
independents favored the Republican candidate by a significant margin.
The current pattern more closely resembles where independents were
earlier this year, when Obama and the Republican were evenly
matched… The changes in this survey matchup between Obama and a
generic Republican candidate no doubt foreshadow the potential political
volatility to come over the next 12 months.”
“I am the government.”
— New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), quoted by Capital Tonight,
addressing popular distrust of the New York State government despite
his own strong approval numbers in an “assertion, which if taken out of
context, could be a potentially tough one for the governor to live down
Rick Perry’s painful debate stumble last night was so serious he’ll appear on every morning news show in an attempt to rescue his flailing campaign.
“After a series of stumbling performances, the governor of Texas
attempted to tick off the three federal agencies he would abolish, and
was stumped at two. He paused, regrouped, and still couldn’t come up
with the missing one (the Energy Department, which is hardly obscure).
It was the only Perry moment anyone will remember, and a metaphor for
his erratic campaign.”
Brad Phillips: “With his bumbling answer, Mr. Perry reinforced the now almost irreversible perception that he is not ready for prime time. That indelible moment will linger, and will likely doom his campaign.”
Jonathan Chait: “And that’s it for Rick Perry. His latest debate performance was so
world-historically awful that it truly seems beyond all repair.”
Three new Quinnipiac polls show President Obama and Mitt Romney running neck and neck in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, “the three states that for the past half-century have predicted the presidential winner… Since 1960, no candidate has won the presidency without carrying at least two of these three states.”
Romney leads Obama in Florida, 45% to 42%. But Obama leads Romney in Ohio, 45% to 42%, and in Pennsylvania, 44% to 43%.
The president also has solid leads over the other top GOP contenders, although half the voters in each state say he does not deserve a second term.
If you missed last night’s Republican presidential debate, the Daily Beast has a good compilation of the best moments.