A preview of 2012

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) wrapped up Saturday on its third and final day. One function of the annual conference is to allow potential Republican presidential candidates to telegraph their intentions to run, while strutting their conservative stuff to the hungry conservative masses.

And there was a lot of telegraphy (and strutting) this year. We got coded messages from Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN), Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS), Newt Gingrich, John Thune, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and The Donald Trump. There were probably others there that I’ve forgotten about.

Two CPAC no-shows, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, are both expected to join competition as well. I mean, it isn’t a coincidence that Sarah Palin hired a chief of staff just today—the same person who worked for her 2008 VP campaign. She was telegraphing from a distance….

The G.O.P. 2012 primary field is still a little fuzzy as very few of these folks have actually admitted they are running.

The Democratic race is pretty clear. President Obama will run for reelection. There will be a couple of Democratic also-rans and crank candidates, but unless an authentic Kenyan long-form birth certificate is found, or someone uncovers a third grade report by Obama where he swears his allegiance to Chairman Mao, Obama is going to be the Democratic nominee.

Today a new FOX News poll does head-to-head match-ups between Obama and the top Republican (probable) candidates.

I know some readers will be dubious about a Fox News Poll. However, this one is done jointly by Anderson Robbins Research, a Democratic pollster, and Shaw & Company Research, a Republican pollster. The poll uses live interviews on a national sample of 911 registered voters from Feb 7-9. Both landlines and cell phones were included. The margin of error is 3%.

Here is a summary of answers to the question “thinking ahead to the next presidential election, if the election were held today, how would you vote if the candidates were…”

  • Obama (48%), Romney (41%)
  • Obama (49%), Huckabee (41%)
  • Obama (56%), Palin (35%)
  • Obama (55%), Gingrich (35%)
  • Obama (54%), Jeb Bush (34%)

The findings for Palin, Gingrich and Jeb Bush are not overly surprising. However, Obama’s substantial lead over the two individuals who are widely considered the front runners is great news for Obama.

There was a poll released yesterday by Public Policy Polling that did head-to-head match-ups in nine swing states (defined as states that Barack Obama won in 2008 and that George Bush won in 2004. Indiana was excluded because of legal difficulties polling in the state. Nebraska CD 2 is also included because Obama won an electoral vote from there). The take-home message:

If he stood for reelection today against one of the current Republican front runners Obama would almost certainly win the same number of electoral votes he did in 2008, if not more.

Here are the numbers:

Obama v.

2008 Vote

Gingrich

Huckabee

Palin

Romney

Colorado

+9

+14

+9

+19

+6

Florida

+3

+5

+5

+14

+2

Iowa

+10

+13

+4

+16

+6

NE-2

+1

+19

+11

+24

+9

Nevada

+12

+11

+10

+13

+1

New Mexico

+15

+21

+19

+29

+16

North Carolina

+0

+6

+4

+9

+3

Ohio

+4

+6

+1

+7

+2

Virginia

+6

+11

+5

+11

+5

Clearly, the Republicans have a lot of work to do to catch up with Obama. After two years of ceaseless smears, Obama is still going very strong. Further smears aren’t going to cut it for the Republicans.

And Obama has most of the advantages. He is the power of incumbency. He will not have a bloody primary to fight. He will not have to shift his positions between the primary and general elections. And he has a long list of accomplishments to date.

Finally…Obama should achieve higher approval ratings over the next year. Political scientists have long noted that presidential approval suffers when his party is also in control of Congress. The House takeover by the Republicans last fall means that people’s opinions of Obama’s should rise. And that has been the trend since January.

You might say that Republicans taking the House in 2010 is Obama’s ticket to an easy re-election in 2012.

Comments

  1. 1

    ld spews:

    Sure, obama wins and we will see a 21 trillion debt by the time he leaves officed, 20% unemployment, and a continued march toward socialism…

    I don’t think soooo

  2. 2

    Doc Daneeka spews:

    Romney-Care

    Write it down. Memorize it. And use the term often and always whenever referring to the Affordable Care Act. It was his idea after all.

    Cop Killer Clemency

    No mention of former Arkansas Governor Huckabee’s many accomplishments can be considered complete without including his grant of clemency to Maurice Clemmons – freeing him to travel to Washington State and execute four Lakewood police officers.

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 A Republican complaining about deficits and national debt is like Gary Ridgeway complaining about women disappearing in his neighborhood.

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    A Republican will be president in 2013, whether his name is Barack Obama or someone else.

    Just as we elected Gregoire here in our state, and got Dino Rossi’s policies and budget, so too, we elected Obama president and got CPAC’s agenda of tax cuts for the rich and Pell grant cuts for the poor.

    In America, an underclass kid has only two paths out of poverty: Either join the military or go to college to qualify for a middle-class job.

    For decades, Pell grants have been a key element of student financial aid for the poorest members of society. The program was imperfect (if your parents were middle class but didn’t give you financial help, which was my situation, you were denied Pell assistance due to their income, and you ended up as the poorest of the poor among the college population) but was much better than nothing and helped countless poor kids reach the middle class.

    So what is Obama doing? After caving in to Republican demands to aggravate deficits and reduce reviews by extending tax cuts for the filthy rich — you know, those hedge-fund managers who get paid $1 billion a year to skim the equity out of companies, close plants, and send domestic jobs to Bangladesh — Obama is now proposing to slash $100 billion from Pell grants over the next 10 years.

    What good does it do to vote for a guy calling himself a “Democrat” when he knifes you like that?

    http://www.aolnews.com/story/a.....44/?cid=10

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: It sure looks like “top two” has been implemented on the national level and both of the candidates in 2012 will be Republicans. I don’t see how I can vote for either one of them. Seriously. Obama has been such a huge disappointment that it’s going to be very, very difficult for me to support him in any way. I sure as hell won’t campaign for him or donate to his campaign, and he doesn’t need my $25 anyway because he’ll get hundreds of millions from the Wall Street greedheads he assiduously bends over backwards for, and I can’t see myself voting for him, either. Maybe I’ll just have to sit that election out.

    Oh, and you poor guys? Sorrrrry, your college education and future economic prospects were needed to give some rich guy another tax break. Obama said so.

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Obama is seriously pissing me off. If that guy’s a Democrat, I’m a Playboy Playmate.

  6. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    There needs to be a primary challenge to Obama. Otherwise, there will be no Democrat in the 2012 presidential race, and no one for Democrats to vote for.

  7. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Obama just gave $700 billion to the super-rich and now he’s taking $100 billion away from poor kids trying to go to college to have a chance in life.

    No fucking way can I vote for this guy ever again. This is the last straw for me.

  8. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Meanwhile, Bernanke is printing $600 billion of new currency that is pumping up stocks owned by rich folks and raising food and fuel prices for he working class and unemployed.

    This isn’t a John McCain administration. This is worse than a John McCain administration.

  9. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Obama is a militarist, too. See, e.g., Afghanistan. Yeah, I know it’s hypocritical for me to say that, but Republicans are hypocrites every fucking day, so why can’t I be a hypocrite on Sundays? If they can do it, so can I.

  10. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    So, Darryl, given the realities of what Obama has turned into in office, what is there in these polls that we should be cheerful about?

  11. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Meanwhile, in other news, Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase diverted $10 billion of federal aid to poor communities and used it to build luxury hotels for guests paying $700 a night, which is not the average middle class working stiff.

    Government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. America is every bit as corrupt as Mubarak’s Egypt was. Maybe we need to take to the streets and overthrow the plutocracy that runs this country for its own benefit at our expense.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....idy13.html

  12. 13

    spews:

    Roger Rabbit,
    You are free to find cheer or dismay at your discretion.

    Personally, I do find cheer in the fact that Romney, Huckabee, Palin, Gingrich, and Bush wouldn’t beat Obama in an election held now.

  13. 15

    Puddybud spews:

    Hey Roger Dumb Rabbit@12

    How much will Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase give to Obama for 2012? Well they seem to jockstrap the DUMMOCRAPTS and go with the rich.

    Glad you dwell on Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase

    You know where I get my data. It’s very easy to find FEC contributions. Lately, your senility has gotten worse so ask the HA databaze keepa for the source of my data.

    Since 1990 Goldman loves DUMMOCRAPTS more

    TOTAL $33,360,252 $20,681,422 $12,560,740 62% 38%

    Since 1990 JP Morgan love DUMMOCRAPTS just a little more

    TOTAL $22,398,338 $11,475,725 $10,864,162 51% 49%

    Government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. America is every bit as corrupt as Mubarak’s Egypt was.

    Yes, Wall Street loves to throw money at DUMMOCRAPTS. I have been saying this for years!

    The Prosecution Rests Your Honor. Thanks for playing Roger Dumb Rabbit.

  14. 17

    spews:

    Great analysis. Even Karl Rove not too long ago all but admitted Obama will serve a second term.

    Republicans will make unbelievable asses of themselves in the coming years – till 2012 and beyond to 2016.

    The lunatics run the asylum in that party.

  15. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Of course Obama will serve a second term. He’s the only Republican in the race, there’s no Democrat, and the Fascist Party isn’t as popular as it thinks.

  16. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @15 Okay, we agree on something. Now what should we do about it? You’d better come up with something fast before Darryl throws us off this thread.

  17. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I’m for nationalizing the banks and Wall Street. If you need a seasoned bureaucrat to run them, I’m available.

  18. 21

    spews:

    20: When you say “the banks”, I assume you mean the too-big-to-fail ones? I think the local banks can be left in the hands of private industry, if they’re kept on a tight enough leash.

  19. 22

    Puddybud spews:

    Roger Dumb Rabbit,

    Make it so Wall Street stops supporting DUMBOCRATS like Obama and his sadministration.

  20. 23

    Michael spews:

    Is there a point to CPAC’s conferences? I’ve never been able to figure out why they have their conference or why anyone should care about it.

  21. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @22 Hey, myopic dipshit, how come you didn’t complain about that when they supported the rightwing numbskulls who ran the economy into the ground?

  22. 26

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    @20,

    That would be like putting Buckwheat in charge of the math department at MIT.

  23. 29

    McDermott's groupie spews:

    I’d like to add something but Roger has it pretty well covered. Thank you rabbit for keeping them on the run.

  24. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @29 As you point out, anytime we get in a fight with wingnuts, all we see is their heels and backsides.

  25. 31

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Russian Veterans Support Obama’s Afghan Policy

    Vladimir Kostyuchenko, 54, is a retired Red Army colonel who fought in Afghanistan as a helicopter pilot. Franz Klintsevich, 53, is a Russian politician (the equivalent of a U.S. congressman) former Red Army officer who served in Afghanistan as a translator, and head of the 400,000-member Russian Union of Veterans of Afghanistan.

    Both of these Russian veterans of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan argue that Obama’s troop buildup in Afghanistan and “surge” against Taliban forces is the right strategy.

    “It would be a total mistake to withdraw forces,” Kostyuchenko says. “If forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan before normality is restored there, it will be a step backwards and the nest of terrorism will only grow. And next time they won’t just be destroying buildings somewhere in the United States. They’ll be setting off an atomic bomb, maybe in America, or maybe in Russia.”

    “You need to deliver a serious, incapacitating blow. And then, gradually, while strengthening the local authorities, you need to leave,” Klintsevich says.

    http://www.eurasianet.org/node/61799

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Hey, I’m not a foreign policy or military expert, just a fucking rabbit. These guys were high-ranking Soviet officers who have been in Afghanistan and know the situation there. They’re saying we’ll eventually have to leave, but we have to break the backbone of the Taliban before we do. In previous comments on HA, I’ve been inclined to agree with this general approach. In recent news reports, I’ve seen that Obama’s surge has decimated the middle ranks of the Taliban’s leadership. From a strategic and military perspective, this makes logical sense to me.

    Afghanistan is a complex phenomenon that’s hard to explain in a few words. It’s a very decentralized society with a very corrupt (and weak) central government. Our troop presence there isn’t really about nation-building, because there’s no nation to be built. Afghanistan is merely a geographical region inhabited by dozens of tribal groupings separated by ethnic, language, and cultural differences, not to mention extreme isolation created by rugged terrain, lack of roads, absence of a telephone system, and an illiteracy rate approaching 100% in the hinterlands. All we’re trying to do there — and the only thing that is realistically attainable — is to keep the Taliban, a wholly-subordinate subsidiary of Al Qaeda Terrorism, Inc., from controlling the country and reestablishing terrorist bases there. These two Russians have the right idea — pursue this limited objective, buy time to strengthen the Kabul government’s ability to prevent a Taliban takeover and police the countryside, then get out and let Afghans run their own affairs.

    It costs a lot of money and some American lives, and this is not a good time to be spending money, and no time is ever a good time to spend American lives. As a U.S. war veteran, no one hates war more than I, or values the lives of American soldiers more than I. In fact, at this moment, I have an 18-year-old niece serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, and I want her back in one piece. (Her tour of duty is almost over; she’s supposed to come home next month.)

    But as a veteran, I also hate the idea of paying twice for the same real estate with the blood of my fellow citizens. We wouldn’t be in Afghanistan in the first place if the 9/11/01 attacks hadn’t originated there. A lot of my fellow liberals seem to overlook that fact. Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, in my view is a “necessary war.” I mean, what were we supposed to do, nothing? And let Al Qaeda continue to take potshots at American cities? At least we’ve cleaned out the nest of Al Qaeda training camps that were there, and that’s something.

    Don’t worry, I’m not gonna turn into a Republican warmonger. I don’t believe in colonial wars, or resource wars, or hegemony wars. I don’t want to shove our religion down foreigners’ throats or take over their economies to create new markets for U.S. corporations. I, too, think Dick Cheney is a war criminal and should be prosecuted. I’d throw a shoe at the guy if I had the chance.

    But I also believe in critical thinking. It’s what I spent 8 years in college to learn how to do, and even though I’m a shameless Democratic Party hack and liberal propagandist, I’d like to think I’m capable of a little bit of critical thinking. Even if I’m not, just fucking humor me, and let me think so.

    Unlike our wingnut troll friends, I don’t walk in lockstep with Liberal Propaganda Central (there is no such thing), or take my marching orders from Rachel Maddow or Ed Schulz. I think for myself. For example, I personally oppose abortion; and lately I’ve been bashing Obama for stabbing his supporters in the back, which he did, and turning into a Republican, which he is. I tell it the way I see it, and being a 30-inch-tall rabbit, I’m closer to the ground than the rest of you, so I see things from a different perspective, and that ought to be worth something.

    And, the way I see it, when former Soviet Army officers say Obama is pursuing the right policy in Afghanistan, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right, but these guys — who speak from a perspective the rest of us don’t have — are at least worth listening to. Then, pick apart their arguments if you can. That’s what intelligent debate and critical thinking is all about.

  26. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    One of the things I bring to this blog, besides original thinking, is alerts and links to sources of information and perspective on current events. I’m a voracious reader of just about everything, and being retired on a state pension and having 24/7 to pursue my lifelong passion of reading and collecting information, I have the time to parse the “literature” floating around “out there” so you don’t have to. I was trained to be an editor by one of America’s finest journalism schools; and I summarize information and present it to you with links so you can pursue it in greater depth if you wish to. It takes many hours of work on my part to do this, but I believe an informed citizen is what creates a strong democracy and a free world, and I have devoted my life to being part of America’s information intelligentsia. It is my unique contribution to the readers of HA.

    And our wingnut troll friends? Not so fucking much. No critical thinking. No factual material. They’re just a flock of talking parakeets. Give ‘em a cracker and they’ll spout Glen Beck’s latest ravings. And none of those screeching mynahs hurt the ears more than Puddy-Butts, who has absolutely nothing of any socially-redeeming value to say.

  27. 33

    Richard Pope spews:

    I have to agree with Roger Rabbit. Obama has been a bit of a disappointment, to say the least. He forked over hundreds of billions of dollars to the rich, and now he is going to fork over poor people. In the meantime, he has given liberalism a bad name, and delivered us a Republican congress.

  28. 34

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @22 So, you’re against United Citizens and for campaign finance reform? Good! We’re on the same page, Pudnutz. Let’s ban corporate money from politics. All of it. Corporations are creatures of the state, are created by public laws, and their powers are limited to those granted them by their law-defined charters. There’s absolutely no reason why we can’t pass laws confining them to the business of making money for their shareholders. Corporations aren’t people, they’re paper legal entities, and therefore have no constitutional rights. So let’s do it! Do you and I agree on this point, Puttbutt?

    Click here for further information:

    http://www.mtv.com/videos/shak.....ist=504144

    Oops, wrong link, but what the hell …

  29. 35

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    In general, I’m not a huge fan of military action, or of meddling in other countries’ internal affairs, but if we could take out Myanmar’s military junta by dropping a few bombs on their asses … I don’t think I’d be against that.

  30. 36

    Michael spews:

    @35
    A little dabble here, a little meddling there and all of a sudden you’re a neo-colonialist power!

  31. 37

    Michael spews:

    @33

    I have to agree with Roger Rabbit. Obama has been a bit of a disappointment, to say the least.

    Yup!

  32. 38

    Zotz sez: Pastafarians rule! spews:

    Re, Obama: Definitely a disappointment, but let’s be real, there is no R that would ever be an improvement and primarying him would political malpractice.

    Can we agree on that?

  33. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @38 If we never do anything about people who get elected as Democrats and act like Republicans in office, this cycle will repeat itself endlessly, and we’ll never get a real Democrat. Where’s the profit in that? Sure, disciplining Obama might mean giving up the White House in 2012, but what good will re-electing Obama do us? At some point, you have to spank an unruly kid. At some point, liberal voters must insist that people who run as Democrats fight for Democratic values in office. I’m going to have a very, very, very difficult time voting for a guy who took $100 billion of Pell grants away from poor students in order to give $700 billion of tax cuts to very, very, very rich people.

  34. 40

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Rolling over for crap like that isn’t good enough anymore. As far as I’m concerned, Obama has sold us out one time too many.

  35. 42

    John425 spews:

    2012 is still too far away to call unless you’re into tea leaves. By 2012, Obama will STILL not have fixed the economy and while he may have enough charisma to be reelected, he’ll lose both the House AND Senate. The a-hole is incompetent, and you still don’t seem to get that fact.

    The Wabbit @#32 thinks he’s an intellectual. LOL! An editor of “journalism” is as intellectual as a fucking carrot.

  36. 43

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @42 Why is it Obama’s responsibility to fix the economy? He didn’t break it.

  37. 44

    Blue John spews:

    @43 Why is it Obama’s responsibility to fix the economy?

    Because he’s supposed to be the adult in the room. Because it may not be his fault, but it is his problem.
    Here’s an analogy. It’s not his fault a mad man pushed him of the bridge into the water, but it’s his responsibility to swim to shore, (and find that guy, and beat the shit out of him!)

    Never the less, I’m also with Rabbit. I’m fed up with electing republican-lites. The country needs real democrats, not centrists who only show angry toward progressives and dilute the concept of being a democrat.