Polls & VPs
Wednesday July 18, 2012
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From Cleveland, Ohio
Midwestern Legislative Conference
Donna Brazile and I did our very popular "He said; She said" act in Cleveland for legislators from the Midwest. We will take the act somewhat further on the road next week when we reprise it in Edmonton, Alberta for the Western Legislative Conference.
The buzz among the political cognoscenti is how much damage the Romney campaign has suffered from the attacks on his time at Bain Capital. The problem is, there is no evidence - thus far - that the attacks have had any effect.
In national polling the Real Clear Politics summary shows that if you average the six polls that were substantially or completely in the field after the June unemployment figures were announced, Obama leads by just 2.0 percentage points. Well within the margin of error.
But, if you use the East German Theory of Political Polling - throwing out the highest (Rasmussen Romney +3) and lowest (Reuters Obama +6) scores - we are left with four polls: Obama leads in two by two percentage points, Romney leads in one by one percentage point and they're tied in the other for an overall average lead for the President of 0.75 percentage points.
The problem doesn't appear to be with the Romney campaign. It appears to be with the Obama campaign: They can't create any separation between the President and Governor Romney.
The Romney campaign appears to be following the script they developed during the primaries: Let the attacks flow over them, wait them out, buy more ads than the other candidates when it matters, and … win the nomination.
I tried this theory out on a friend the other day who said "Well, that was a Republican primary with Republican voters."
I agreed, but we should remember that Romney was far from the darling of social conservatives yet he beat Santorum, Gingrich, Cain, Perry, and all the rest.
The current talk of the town is who Romney will choose as his running mate. The fact that we're likely to know the answer to this within a matter of days, doesn't deter us from the guessing game.
Many, especially Democrats to whom the Romney campaign has likely not turned for advice, have suggested Romney needs someone to spice up the campaign.
I have a different theory. It is based on the work of, of all people, Vice President Joe Biden.
Joe Biden was elected to the U.S. Senate when he was 29 years old. The Constitution requires a minimum age of 30 to be a U.S. Senator (25 for a Member of the U.S. House, 35 for President). Biden turned 30 before the Congress opened in January so he was Constitutionally eligible to take the oath of office
The point of all that is, Biden has been a creature of the U.S. Capitol for over 40 years as Senator and VP. He knows every cobweb in every hideaway office. Knows Senators and senior staff by their first names.
President Obama served in the U.S. Senate for less than four years and wasn't there much for the last two as he was busy campaigning for President. He wasn't a fan of the U.S. Senate or, by all accounts, for U.S. Senators while he was a member of that body; less so on both counts as President.
Who has zoomed in to smooth ruffled feathers on Capitol Hill when the President's disdain has wafted, like a dementor, up Pennsylvania Avenue? Joe Biden.
If this is to be a campaign about competence - Obama hasn't exhibited much - then a Vice Presidential pick that adds to that storyline would appear to be the appropriate one.
Maybe it's because I'm in Ohio as I type this, but Sen. Rob Portman would appear to fit that bill. Former Congressman, now Senator, OMB Director, and US Trade Representative.
With, according to the most recent Purple Strategies poll, Obama leading here by only three percentage points it might well be that sticking the popular Buckeye State Senator here for the final weekend and have him travel among the Three Cs: Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland might just tip the balance of the state and the election in Romney's favor.
Ms. Brazile has her money on House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis). She may be right.
Before On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to Obama's Senate career, dementors, a bio of Rob Porter and a bio of Paul Ryan.
Also a Mullfoto from I-270 in Maryland with no great significance other than I liked the shot and a Catchy Caption of the Day.
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