Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics


Open Thread: A House Divided

Since Obama’s victory in 2008 our politics seems more polarised and contentious than any time in recent memory.  The 2010 midterm elections amplified the divisions and created the context for a bitterly fought presidential election on perilously narrow margins:

Americans aren’t just evenly divided in the 2012 election; they’re practically fleeing the political middle.

Towards the end of the Wisconsin recall election this year, we saw something striking happen: Not only were there very few undecided voters in the weeks before Election Day, but the vast majority of people were strongly for or strongly against Gov. Scott Walker (R), with very few people lukewarm on either side.

The same thing is happening in the presidential race.

Aaron Blake – The Incredibly Polarized American Electorate Washington Post 30 Oct 12

Click through on Mark Newman’s excellent county map of 2008 above to see that Obama was right, we aren’t a nation of red states and blue states.  However we are divided throughout the nation into increasingly inflexible and adamant local bastions with little apparent common ground and discrete sources of inspiration and information.  What little dialogue we have has largely devolved to polemics and issue-baiting as if two divergent, incompatible cultures are emerging; yet we share legislatures and infrastructure almost everywhere.

Open Thread: The Race is On

Five days to go and after a week of nail-biting, media horse-racing and a deadly storm which it seems we weathered as best we could there are some good signs for the Obama campaign.

Florida and Virginia, all but out of the game a week ago by consistent but narrow margins, are back on the menu:

Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, which once looked like they were slipping more into the Romney orbit, have pulled back to essentially even-money contests.

The seven jump ball states with a total of 94 electoral votes are Colorado (9), Florida (29), Iowa (6), New Hampshire (4), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), and Virginia (13).

Charlie Cook – Chance of Split Electoral-Popular Vote Very Real National Journal 30 Oct 12

Recent polling in both states, while marginal, shows an occasional Obama lead:

Quinnipiac University, on behalf of CBS and the NY Times, stuck a dagger in Romney’s Ohio hopes by showing President Barack Obama up 50-45, as well as a one-point lead in Florida and two-point lead in Virginia.

Kos – Obama’s crazy good polling day Daily Kos 31 Oct 12

This is an improvement, though well within the margin of error.  Keep the faith Mooses, this is close but Romney has failed to move the needle in the past ten days and time is running out.  He’s in Florida tomorrow if that is any indication of the state of his internal polling.

Open Thread: Statistical Tie, Advantage Obama

We have no idea what internal polling is showing the respective campaigns but we can try to guess.  Chait suggests the GOP has been conning the media with Romney’s momentum and it seems it was working in spite of a small pre-debate lift for Obama.  The substance of the debate isn’t the issue at this point but thank goodness its behind us with a tailwind:

Romney only has two weeks left to move the needle two points in Ohio, Nevada and Iowa, or Wisconsin and any other tilt-Obama state, and relitigating the facts and memes from last night’s debate are assured to take up at least a couple of critical days. If Romney’s deficit in Ohio is larger than one or two points, then that’s a real lost opportunity. Of course, if the Romney campaign believes they have already brought the race back to a dead-heat in Ohio, losing three days worth of lost comeback isn’t terrible – so long as the president doesn’t outright make gains as a result of the debate.

Nate Cohn – Extraordinarily Tight Race With Fourteen Days To Go New Republic 23 Oct 12

Besides agonising over the next Ohio or other state poll guessing the internals is the only game in town.

Open Thread: So Obama Won. Who knew?

Heh.  Say what one will about the lameness of the media when Ezra Klein, Jonathon Bernstein, Jonathon Cohn, Greg Sargent and Taegan Goddard write thoughtful post-debate pieces premised on the fact your guy won, well…  He won.  Their collective reasonable wonkiness seems easily more credible than the polemic Right; not to mention vastly preferable to the aimless synchronised swimming of CNN and Politico.  Factor in the winning polling verdicts and one presumes the mainstream narrative will come to the same conclusion when the music stops.  And what a sweet victory it is:

Governor Romney doesn’t have a five point plan. He has a one point plan, and that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. That’s been his philosophy in the private sector, that’s been his philosophy as governor, that’s been his philosophy as a presidential candidate. You can make a lot of money and pay lower tax rates than someone who makes less. You can ship jobs overseas and get tax breaks for it. You can invest in a company, bankrupt it, lay off the workers, strip away their pensions, and you still make money. That’s exactly the philosophy that we have seen in place for the last decade. That’s what’s been squeezing middle class families, and we have fought back for four years to get out of that mess. The last thing we need to do is to go back to the very same policies that got us there.

Rush transcript of President Obama-Mitt Romney town hall debate Daily Kos 16 Oct 12

Why vote for Obama’s second term?  Asked and answered.  What’s the Moose consensus on the post-debate vibe?  Which ass-kicking is going to hurt Romney the most?

Liveblog: Debate the Second

The next pivotal episode of “Who Wants to Be a President?” is about to begin:

Topic: Town meeting format including foreign and domestic policy

Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Location: Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York (Tickets)

Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates

Participants: President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney

Moderator: Candy Crowley (CNN Chief Political Correspondent)

The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues. Candidates each will have two minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants will be undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization.

Given the stakes and a second opportunity for the media to change the course of the election with subjective scoring this should prove riveting.

Liveblog: VP Debate 2012

“Obi-Joe Bidenomi, you are our only hope.”

Details for the debate:

Topic: Foreign and domestic policy

Air Time: 9-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time (7-8:30 p.m. MT)

Location: Centre College in Danville, Kentucky

Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates

Participants: Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan

Moderator: Martha Raddatz (ABC News Chief Foreign Correspondent)

The debate will cover both foreign and domestic topics and be divided into nine time segments of approximately 10 minutes each. The moderator will ask an opening question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the question.

Details for vice presidential debate tonight between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan 11 Oct 12

Bring it on.

Eight State Strategy: Open Thread

So seeing the writing on the wall the Romney/Ryan campaign plans to “carpet-bomb” the airwaves of just eight key states:

Romney is targeting eight states: Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and New Hampshire. No Wisconsin, Michigan, or Pennsylvania. This is surely not because Romney is husbanding scarce cash.

Jonathan Chait – Romney’s Playing Field Narrows New York 7 Sep 12

A move potentially worrisome for supporters, such as they are.  It is also strategically defensive and targeting an extremely narrow, one might say daring, margin of victory:

The eight states where Romney is competing add up to a neat 100 electoral votes, of which Romney needs 79 and Obama just 23.

Jonathan Chait – Romney’s Playing Field Narrows New York 7 Sep 12

Romney has basically spent his way through the primaries running round-the-clock broadcast offensives against all comers as the need arose.  And it seemed to work.

Given the current polling while noting that Romney lacks charisma, retail politicking ability, enthusiastic support and has chosen a mendacious opportunist for a running mate, one supposes we are about to witness the first full-scale field test of whether or not it is possible to simply purchase the presidential election.  That and voter suppression are all they’ve got left.