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14 Dec 2011 21:08


Politics: MSNBC is sorry…for what, exactly?

  • An unnecessary apology? Yesterday, a post over at America Blog noted that “Keep America American,” a phrase Mitt Romney sometimes uses while campaigning, is also a slogan once used by the Klu Klux Klan. Now, while this is embarrassing for the Romney campaign, it’s probably not an intentional effort by Romney to co-opt the KKK’s message, or pander to the group’s base. That is, it’s almost certainly just an unfortunate coincidence. What’s odd, though, is that hours after reporting on the story, MSNBC felt the need to issue an apology. But why? We missed MSNBC’s original report, but as you can see above, Chris Matthews specifically apologizes for “report[ing] on a blog item that compared a phrase used by the Romney campaign to one used by the KKK way back in the 1920s.” But…the phrase was used by both groups. It’s a fact. MSNBC doesn’t dispute this. So why was it, in Matthews’ words, “irresponsible,” and indicative of an “appalling lack of judgement,” for the network to point it out? Can someone who saw the original report shed some light on this? source

13 Dec 2011 17:45


Politics: Is Newt Gingrich beginning to fade?

  • 37.7% Newt’s support from Nov. 30-Dec. 3; that is, in the couple of days before Herman Cain withdrew from the race
  • 24.4% Newt’s support–in the same poll–from Dec. 3-Dec. 7, the first few days after Cain withdrew source
  • » What’s going on here? Actually, we’re not sure. Common wisdom says that Cain’s support flocked to Gingrich after the former dropped out of the race (or, sorry, “suspended” his campaign). So how come the same University of Iowa poll–taken in the state over a weeklong period–shows a drastic fall in the former House Speaker’s support after Cain’s exit? Of course, the standard “this is just one poll” disclaimer still applies; this could just be an anomaly. But a 13.3% decline in one week is significant, and outside the poll’s margin of error. Given the boom-bust tendency of the GOP field this year, we can’t help but wonder if this is the beginning of the end for Newt (note: it’s rather unusual for a polling house to make available the intra-week trends of a single poll; much respect to Reuters, who co-sponsored this poll, for doing so).

07 Dec 2011 19:00


Politics: Guess we’ve gotta remark on this new Rick Perry ad

  • Rick Perry, jockeying for the anti-gay vote: This ad, called “Strong,” has the Texas governor promising to end the Obama administration’s “war on religion” and touting his commitment to Christianity. “Something’s wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military,” Perry says, “but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas, or pray in school.” It’s unclear what policies President Obama has put in place to deny kids the right to openly celebrate Christmas. As of this writing, the video has 675 likes and 26,650 dislikes. source

15 Nov 2011 21:58


Politics: “Republicans are stupid,” says Republican candidate for president

  • One of the Republican weaknesses is that we rely too much on consultants and too much on talking points, and we don’t rely enough on actually knowing things.
  • Newt Gingrich • In an interview with David Brody. Not quite sure what the political calculus is here, as admitting publicly that your entire party doesn’t know what it’s talking about is rarely good politics. However, not “actually knowing things” would seem to be a disqualifying factor for someone running for president, so Newt’s obviously exempting himself from this assessment. source

14 Nov 2011 16:08


Politics: Here’s the thing about the Gingrich surge

  • yeah…Newt Gingrich is, to the surprise and annoyance of pundits everywhere, storing ahead of his GOP rivals in national polls. Newtmentum!
  • but…Polls also show the “ideas man” faring rather poorly against President Obama in a general election, trailing the POTUS by 812 points. source
  • » Now is probably a good time to bust out this gem from last summer.

10 Oct 2011 16:09


Politics: Polling shows Romney up big in New Hampshire despite tepid voter loyalty

  • 38% of New Hampshire GOP voters support Mitt Romney, according to a St. Anselm/Harvard poll
  • 10% of those same voters say they’re “definitely” voting for Romney — now that’s some dissatisfaction source
  • » Sorry guys, but Mitt’s it. It’s clear as ever this isn’t the position the GOP base wants to be in. To be clear, Romney’s polling lead is huge — Herman Cain came in second place with 20%, a full 18 points behind. The enthusiasm problem, however, as displayed by the discrepancy between his general support and those truly committed to him, should be a warning sign for Team Romney. Successful political figures usually need to inspire an extreme degree of loyalty amongst their base to weather the missteps, gaffes or scandals that usually occur over the course of a long campaign process. If it’s true that nearly 3/4ths of Romney’s New Hampshire supporters are still theoretically open to jumping ship? That’s a problem.

04 Oct 2011 14:37


Politics: Polling roundup: Cain continues to surge

  • 3 states in which Herman Cain now leads everybody else source
  • » All aboard the Cain Train! Republicans in North Carolina, Nebraska, and West Virginia want Herman Cain as their nominee–he leads all of his opponents in a new PPP poll. A Washington Post/ABC poll released today showed Cain tied with Perry for second nationally, and two polls last week also showed evidence of Cain Fever sweeping the nation. This seems to be at the expense of Rick Perry, who’s collapsing just as fast as Cain is rising (in North Carolina alone, more than half of his supporters have abandoned him, and a Fox News poll last week showed him losing ten points in a month). Romney is still the (perpetually-endangered) frontrunner, but there’s a plausible argument to be made that Cain is now in the top-tier of candidates. Of course, the same thing was once said of both Donald Trump and Michele Bachmann, so take that as you will.

26 Aug 2011 14:57


Politics: What do Rick Perry and Rudy Giuliani have in common?

  • 26% Rick Perry’s average support in GOP primary polls since announcing his candidacy; he’s now in the lead
  • 29% Rudy Giuliani’s average support in GOP primary polls at this point in 2007; he was then in the lead source
  • » Just a reminder of how difficult it is to predict the outcomes of presidential primaries  six months before Iowa. It’s also instructive to recall another Southern Republican who, four years ago, was seen as a savior by the GOP establishment. He announced his candidacy late in the game, and immediately vaulted to the top of the polls. That candidate was Fred Thompson.

18 Aug 2011 21:32


Politics: Don’t get Rick Perry cowboy boots for Christmas

  • 90+ gifts received by Rick Perry during his tenure as Texas Governor
  • 22 of those gifts were pairs of cowboy boots source

29 Jun 2011 23:49


Politics: Republican voters apathetic about presidential field

  • What’s more surprising: The fact that they actually included John McCain in the poll? Or the fact that McCain did twice as well as Tim Pawlenty?  source