Visual source: Newseum
Tweet from Rep. George Miller:
Republicans are apoplectic. They’ve lost again.
Apoplectic? Wait till they calculate their return on investment after November.
Americans are sharply divided over Thursday’s Supreme Court decision on the 2010 healthcare law, with 46% agreeing and 46% disagreeing with the high court’s ruling that the law is constitutional. Democrats widely hail the ruling, most Republicans pan it, and independents are closely divided.
Here is our new baseline. Let’s see where we go from here.
Whatever you think about the House Republicans, you have to admit they stay focused. Yesterday, while the rest of the country was distracted by the Supreme Court decision on the most important piece of social legislation in generations, the House Republicans were concentrating on the big picture – the personal and political destruction of President Obama.
Polling focusing on the undecided voters reveals they are a deeply pessimistic and angry segment of the electorate and don’t particularly like either candidate (fitting, because they don’t tend to like politicians). But they show signs of being more conservative than not. One unpublished analysis gives Republicans a 10-point advantage on the generic congressional ballot test among those undecided about the presidential race. Close analysis of the numbers shows that Obama might have an edge with between a third and a quarter of the currently undecided bloc. That’s cutting things awfully close….
This election is hardly over: The totally unexpected could happen that changes everything. Unless the Obama team can discredit Romney, though, convincing voters that he is a ruthless, uncaring corporate buccaneer, this will be a hard election to win. Probably the only upside for Obama is that the undecided voters appear so sour that they might believe almost anything disparaging said about any politician.
During this health care decision phase, just take a deep breath. That isn’t what the election will be about.
Don’t worry. Romney will handle the disparaging part, simply by being himself.
This week revealed Obama’s contrasting choice. The president’s denunciation of the Arizona “show your papers” provision defied recent polls finding that nearly three-fifths of all adults, and about two-thirds of both working-class whites and white seniors, support the idea. Yet Obama’s criticism may resonate powerfully with many Hispanics who are viscerally offended by the law.
His choice continued a striking pattern of recent months. By endorsing gay marriage, championing free contraception in health insurance plans (over resistance from the Catholic Church), and administratively legalizing young people brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents, Obama has repeatedly subordinated the concerns of older and blue-collar whites to the preferences of the Democrats’ emerging coalition: minorities, young people, and culturally liberal college-educated whites, especially women. “He’s taking positions that are strongly opposed by culturally conservative whites, basically conceding that he is going to do poorly among them, in a conscious effort to increase enthusiasm among the coalition that put him in office,” says GOP pollster Whit Ayres.
Each strand of that Democratic “coalition of the ascendant,” as I’ve called it, is growing as a share of the electorate. But Obama’s tightening embrace of its priorities nonetheless represents a historic gamble. Romney could still beat him by amassing large enough margins among the economically strained, culturally conservative older, and blue-collar whites whom Obama’s recent decisions may further provoke.
Polls are are one thing. Showing up at the polls is something else. Having them turned away is a different animal all together.
Since the stock market is one of the economic variables the model considers, Mr. Obama’s probability of winning the Electoral College rose with the European news, to 67.8 percent, his highest figure since we began publishing the model this month.
But now there is another dimension to the presidential campaign, a reinvigorated one that is going to be mainly about repealing the ACA since the Supreme Court declined to overturn it. The initial reaction of many pundits is to say this gives Romney a fresh issue to rally his base. But these are no longer the primaries. His biggest problem is no longer his base; it is capturing the center. And in the general election it is on this issue that Romney looks weakest, indeed pretty silly. That is because, in effect, the Supreme Court has just handed Romney the greatest compliment, and the most dramatic vindication, of his political career: your successful health care law in Massachusetts is not only effective, it is constitutional. Beyond that, most polls show that while the ACA is not popular, many voters don’t really understand it and remain undecided about it, and the Obama camp will now embark on a major selling job on which its numbers have nowhere to go but up. And yet Romney is being forced to run away from his own greatest achievement as if it were a terrifying ghost from his past, which, in the context of the Right’s new Dogma, it is.
As far as Romney’s not so great achievement, the ombudsman at the WaPo sez:
Microsoft is a good example. It wanted to focus on software development and not to be distracted by peripheral but necessary jobs such as assembling, packaging and testing its products, and setting up call centers to answer customer questions. At first, Microsoft outsourced these jobs to U.S. companies who put these back-office functions in rural, lower-wage areas of the United States. Later these outsourcing companies moved most of these jobs overseas.
The companies that Bain identified and invested in, while Romney was at the helm, and that were the subject of the disputed June 22 Post article, were these U.S. companies helping the Microsofts of the world to outsource and offshore…
So Romney may not have done anything personally to ship U.S. jobs overseas before he left Bain in 1999, and the offshoring trend did accelerate after he left.
But Bain knowingly and far-sightedly made strategic investments, with Romney at the helm, in these pioneering outsourcing firms in the late 1990s, which grew into some of the largest outsourcing and offshoring companies in the world. And Romney and Bain shared in their profits while he was chief executive and after he left. Whether that’s good or bad depends on your politics.
Something else for Romney to lie about. He’ll simply declare the WaPo agreed with him in a private meeting, then take no questions.