Obama landslide (310 + electoral votes)
Obama comfortable win (290-310 EVs)
Obama close win (279-290 EVs)
Obama barely wins (270 + 278 EVs)
Exact tie 269-269
Romney barely wins (270 + 278 EVs)
Romney close win (279-290 EVs)
Romney comfortable win (290-310 EVs)
Romney landslide (310 + electoral votes)
Being outraged that others are not discussing it or that someone else dismisses it makes no sense to me. Bring it up, make a point or two about what you think it means, and I am sure you will get some thoughtful responses. But to label this thread as partisan because no one has brought it up makes no sense to me. If one of us wanted to talk about it, we would. And there is nothing stopping you or others from talking about it.
-Jason "I, for one, wish the conservative leaning posters would post here more -- I would love to hear their take on how Romney is doing so far, the choice of Ryan, the tax non-disclosure, and other stuff the liberals have discussed ad nauseum" Evans
That said, Ryan is undoubtedly a bit of tough medicine, and it remains to be seen whether the public is willing to take it just yet. I suspect that this election will be very, very close, and will largely hinge on how the economy performs over the next few months (quite a revelation, I know). To put it another way, keeping the electorate focused on the economy and proper size/role of government is Romney's best chance of winning, and Ryan is the VP candidate who best helps him make that case. Whether it is enough remains to be seen. And this whole Akin controversy is exactly what Romney, and the GOP in general, don't need right now.
My guess is that the state and National GOP put tremendous pressure on Akin to get out of the race by tomorrow. First, Brunner (more business conservative) would likely beat McCaskill and now it is uncertain if Akin can. Two, they would like this story to end since I'm sure they would rather Romney and Ryan be on other talking points. I'm sure the democrats will try to tie Ryan and Akin together on this issue which would certainly disrupt the economy message they are focused on. Bad day for the GOP at all levels...politically speaking it will interesting how long this story lasts locally and nationally.
This is a really bad news cycle for the GOP.
-Jason "phone ringing with her calling me to talk about it more... wow, she hasn't been this interested in politics in ages!" Evans
Conflicting reports on whether Todd Akin is staying in the race. By many accounts, the decision would have to be made by close of business tomorrow, otherwise his name would remain on the ballot.
Duke | Mirecourt | Detroit| The U | USA
Voteview.org ranks his voting record among the most conservative in congress: http://voteview.org/HOUSE_SORT112.HTM
Disclaimer: all I know of voteview.org is that Nate Silver referenced in his column about the Ryan pick.
My impression of his voting record is one that's decidedly conservative. For example, he is against abortion in all cases and has sponsored bills to that effect. Without debating the merit of the position, I do not think this is a moderate position in a country where a majority feel abortion should be legal in some circumstances.
I guess they figured that putting Ryan on the ticket would make the Medicare debate inevitable, so better to jump on it now and at least try to control its framing and direction, rather than wait for it to happen on someone else's terms.
The heat is on Akin to bow out, and do it soon. As in, now. Sen. John Cornyn, chair of the RSCC, as well as Karl Rove's Super PAC, have abandoned ship, and state officials are talking openly about "the path forward," apparently without Akin.
Before any of that was public, however, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, chastised Massachussetts Sen. Scott Brown, who was the first high profile Republican to call for Akin to drop out.
In affirming the FRC's support for Akin, Perkins' press release included this comment on Brown: “He should be careful because based on some of his statements there may be call for him to get out of his race. . . He has been off the reservation on a number of Republican issues, conservative issues I should say. His support among conservatives is very shallow.”
So the plot thickens.
Extremely public, intra-party fighting on this issue is SO not what Mitt Romney needs to be happening right now.
So I just got a chance to listen to the audio of Akin's statement from earlier today. He didn't really say that his earlier comments were "ill-conceived," did he? He didn't really use that phrase to try to defuse this thing, did he? Tell me he didn't.
In any event, with Mitch McConnell and even Romney now advising him to "re-consider" his decision to stay in the race, it is not surprising that there are reports that Akin's advisers are preparing for a withdrawal announcement on Tuesday.
Not surprisingly, Claire McCaskill warns that attempts to force Akin out of the race will backfire:
Apparently, her argument is that the Republican primary voters of Missouri selected him ... who are the party bosses to override their judgment? (Not saying I agree ... just that this is her argument)
I've read several political blogs that suggest the reports that Akin is preparing to pull out are actually ploys by insiders to dry up his money and convince him to withdraw. Not saying he won't withdraw, but I really question the suggestion that he's already "preparing" to withdraw -- he was just on with Sean Hannity insisting adamantly that he's not going to pull out. No hedging ... no "reassessing my position" ... just pure defiance).
1) How's Romney doing? Not well. He's been unable to make up any significant ground in the swing states, and he's going to lose if he doesn't start getting a significant lead in most of those pretty soon. All the huffing and puffing and huffposting won't make one iota of difference unless he can turn all those slight-Obama-lean states into red states, and soon.
Why is that? I think he's utterly failed to take the offensive in this election. By that, I don't mean he needs to do heavy negative campaigning. I mean, he needs to frame the discussion of this election, and he's been totally unable to do so. He needs this election to be focused on a lingering bad economy, the perceived failure of the Stimulus, the growth of the debt, and Obama's foreign policy failures (mainly Afghanistan and Iran). (btw, I don't mean to imply that the economy is Obama's fault, the Stimulus was a failure, the debt is Obama's fault, or that Obama's foreign policy has been a disaster...but Romney has an avenue on all those issues to point out that Obama hasn't been particularly successful either). Instead, the election has been about gay marriage, Chick-fil-A, Romney's taxes, the consumption and transportation of dogs, Bain Capital, outsourcing, steelworkers dead wives, Akin, etc, etc, etc. Basically, if you're an incumbent without any major successes (except for some nice work by Seal Team 6) to run on, you're sitting on a crappy economy, Europe is trying to come apart, Iran and Isreal are getting ready to throw down, and the election is about one distraction after another, you're winning.
2) The Tax Non-Disclosure question - answered above. Romney allowed what's probably a non-issue to become a major campaign issue, distracting from what ought to be his core measure. Major failure. He should have disclosed his taxes during the Republican primary (which he was going to win no matter what), dealt with optics or itemized used underwear or whatever back then, and let it turn into a dead issue by June.
3) Ryan - best move of the campaign so far by Romney. That immediately energized the Republican base, first and foremost, which is important because the only way Romney wins is to get the base to the voting booth in big, big numbers in the swing states. More importantly, Ryan is known for one thing and one thing only on the national stage - aggressive deficit reduction proposals and shrinking the rate of budget growth. One thing that most Americans agree on is that the debt is too big, and the rate of growth of the debt is concerning. Ryan is one of the few guys in Washington who appears to be willing to have a serious conversation about that, and make some unpopular suggestions about how to tackle the problem. He comes at it from a budget control point of view, so his proposals are going to be unpopular with many. But at least he's willing to step up and address the problem, and I think that many people are mostly sick of seeing Washington avoiding tough decisions, and kicking the can down the road while grandstanding, squabbling, and engaging in that ill-defined but despised practice of "business as usual". There seems to be a respect for Ryan, even among people who disagree with the specifics of his proposals. Mostly, Ryan almost automatically brings economy and debt into the discussion, which, getting back to point 1, is what Romney desperately needs.
Romney will need to deal with the downside of Ryan (the fact that he's actually taken some stands in his career, and therefore has a record to go after), but Ryan's upside seriously outweighs his downside. All of us fiscal conservative types are really looking forward to the Ryan-Biden debate. It won't change the election, but it'll be fun viewing. And Ryan will probably come up with something better than "There you go again, Joe."
Brian Zoubek on what was going through his mind walking to the free throw line with 3.6 seconds remaining in the 2010 National Championship game and Duke up by 1: "Fifty percent [of me is] thinking, This is what I've been dreaming of doing my entire life. Fifty percent I'm crapping my pants."
As I've thought about the Akin situation today, I've come to believe that this has been a real missed opportunity for Mitt Romney. Sure, this story has developed very quickly, and there hasn't been a lot of time for folks to consider their options and what their reactions should be, but still. Romney is running for President and he had a big chance here.
What do I mean? This could've been Romney's Sister Souljah moment. He needs just such a moment, and I think he needs it badly. He needs an issue to arise where he can plant his flag and by doing so, broaden his appeal to the voters he's going to need in order to win this election.
That's what Bill Clinton did in 1992. He took a stand against the extreme elements of his own party, represented by Sister Souljah and her inflammatory comments. By doing so, Clinton demonstrated that he was not hostage to, or even in common cause with, the far left elements of the Democratic coalition.
Here was an opportunity for Mitt Romney to say, in effect, "No. Not only is Rep. Akin ignorant of the biological facts in question. But, unlike Rep. Akin and a minority of others inside and out of the Republican party -- including my running mate -- I am against restricting the right of a woman who has been brutally raped to abort the resulting fetus. I am against re-victimizing her in that way, and I will not be signing any bills that restrict a woman's ability to make that decision in that particular situation."
This would be smart politics on many levels. First of all, it is a simple fact that a clear majority of Americans believe that women should, at least in some circumstances, have the right to choose an abortion. And it is also a fact that even larger percentages of Americans believe that a woman who has been raped should have the ability to choose an abortion. The percentage of Americans who believe that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape is very small indeed. Romney would be losing very, very few votes by virtue of taking the position I am suggesting.
Secondly, Romney has got to make some moves to his left. I know everyone in the GOP is afraid of the Tea Party and the other elements of the right wing, but Romney has got to know that he cannot win this election without the support of more independents and those who consider themselves more moderate. Can't do it. The numbers just don't pencil out. The conventional wisdom seems to be that he still has to be "solidifying his base." I disagree. By continuing to cowtow to the right wing, he is sacrificing opportunities he has with the more moderate voters in key states that he absolutely needs in order to win this thing.
This is the perfect issue on which to make a move leftward, because the vast majority of the electorate would agree with the position he'd be taking.
Moreover, several of the swing states have blocs of socially moderate voters, including large numbers of women, who are still undecided in this race. Wouldn't the combination of fiscal conservatism, represented by Ryan, with social moderation, represented by the reasonableness of the position I'm advocating he take on abortion in cases of rape, be more likely to attract these undecided voters in the Denver suburbs or in northern Virginia, where Romney has GOT to start moving voters into his column if he wants to have a chance?
And as has been discussed earlier in this thread, Romney needs a moment, or an issue, where he can say to the voters, "I'm taking a stand. Right here. This is who I am. Not everybody is going to love it. Even in my own party. But you know what? Those people are wrong and I'm right, and here's why." Many voters still, after all these months, don't feel that they know who this guy is or where he stands on anything. He's changed his position on a lot of issues, been very vague on where he stands on a lot of issues, and voters need to know who this person is before they pull the lever for him. I think that with this Akin controversy, he had a chance to take on the extremists in his own party who are advocating a highly unpopular position (at least with the majority of voters), start a move towards the center, and at the same time define himself for voters on a very visible and emotional issue, rather than let the Obama campaign define him, as they have on so many other issues in this campaign.
It is hard for Romney to stand up to the base, when they do not trust or embrace him to start. That is his basic problem.
Romney needs to define himself, but not on this issue. I am sure he wants this to pass quickly. And, an aside, I think it is hard to do what you described given that Paul Ryan -- while having a better understanding of biology than Akin -- has taken a similar position in the past in terms of rape and abortion.
Romney needs to get back to the economy, plain and simple.
Eat Mor Jonny.
"There can BE only one."
No amount of distancing themselves will work (I think) -- every GOP candidate in tight elections will be hammered by this issue.
Look at Dailykos for example: they are trying to make a lot of hay with this, saying Akin's position is equal to Romney's position. That there is actually a distinction probably won't matter. "Romney, along with extreme idealogues like Akin who thinks victims should be forced to carry their rapist's child to term, wants to end a woman's right to control her own body." rinse, repeat. Depending on the market they may be more explicit and say "want to illegalize abortion". Scott Brown very quickly and emphatically denounced Akin and is pro-choice, but I still bet Elizabeth Warren will use this against him. "Scott Brown's party wants to end abortion in America, even for victims of rape".
And a big reason this will work very effectively is because the GOP's "War on Women" has already been through enough news cycles to be accepted as fact.
But if I may rephrase, perhaps the more salient point from an election standpoint is that Ryan has had notable success in convincing voters in his traditionally blue/purple district of the merits of his views and/or to otherwise trust in his stewardship, at least based on the margins with which he has been elected. This is no mean feat, and also part of the rationale for his selection as Romney's running mate.