The Washington Post is busy today with their analysis - defining the GOP race as basically a two person race between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. They note that Mitt Romney 'survives the conservative gauntlet' - that his demographic performance in Alabama and Mississippi was basically within the same range (give or take a couple of points) as it was in all of the previous races. But now, the majority of the conservative Southern / Midwestern states are done - and the one's that remain, like Texas and Louisiana are those southern states where Romney is the strongest.
The undercurrent from yesterday's primaries is not the Romney 3rd place finishes in both Alabama and Mississippi - but around the comments made by Newt Gingrich after his disappointing 2nd place finishes in both of those races - in states that were in 'his backyard'. As I noted in my update last night, Gingrich is committed to defeating / damaging Mitt Romney - even via a major battle at the RNC convention in Tampa for personal reasons. Newt is still steaming over Romney's Super PAC attacks from Iowa and basically has target fixation - and lost all rationale thought.
With all of this, as Powerline notes, there is still no need to panic if you are a Republican...
They note Mitt Romney has won 52% of the delegates awarded to date - and has 495 of the 1,144 delegates needed for the nomination. In contrast, even after the wins last night, Rick Santorum has 252 delegates, Newt Gingrich 131, and Ron Paul 48.
Romney has 43% of the delegates he needs for the nomination. After April 1st - the GOP primaries move from a proportional allotment of delegates to 'winner take all' formats in many states. Just three of these 'winner take all' states, New York (95), New Jersey (50), and California (172). These three states will award 317 delegates to the winner - and does anyone think that either Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich have a viable chance to win either of these states? The last poll I saw re California's June primary had Romney up by 20 points. Add these to what Romney has already - and he's only 332 delegates short of the nomination. The math is clearly on Romney's side.
Powerline, in the above link, summarizes the two person race we are looking at....
”The contest between Romney and Santorum is generally postured as one between an economic conservative and a social conservative. That is fair enough. But economic and social conservatism are not contradictory philosophies; on the contrary, in some respects they are opposite sides of the same coin, and both are traditional legs of the conservative stool. Romney’s emphasis on economic issues is the winning formula in an election cycle when the economy is far and away the main concern of voters, and the country is drowning in debt. But Santorum’s strong showing is a reminder that the social issues will be a plus for Republicans in November, too, despite the Democrats’ hysterical attempts to miscast them in a way that hurts Republicans.”This is also reflected in the NYT and WaPo polls that were discussed earlier in the week that are reflecting a real turn against President Obama based on the economy, gas prices, and the Obamacare mandate. In my analysis of the WaPo / ABC poll, I noted that not only was this bad news for the Obama campaign, but that the poll was still skewed in favor of the President because of oversampling of Democrats.
The results prompted some significant spin to defend the Administration ranging from the front page of the New York Times to the bleatings of Harry Reid...
...calling these polls 'meaningless'.
I've got more on the Senate Majority Leader coming up, but let's start with his 'meaningless' meme and two polls that are really 'meaningless'. [ Hat Tip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air for doing the work on these]
Reuters / Ipsos conducted a poll that touted that President Obama, rather than having a record low approval rating, had a 50% approval rating in their latest poll. This was a telephone poll, and surveyed a total of 1,084 adults which included 937 registered voters. But within that sample, 51.1% of those surveyed identified themselves as Democrats while 38.8% identified themselves as Republicans.
Using the 2010 midterm election, the most recent national election, as a bell weather for determining the split between parties, 35% of the voters were Democrat, 35% of the voters were Republican, and the 30% balance were either Independents or 'Other'.
With this - yes, Reuters did slightly oversample Republicans...but really oversampled Democrats. In fact, it's a huge oversample even if one uses the percentage of Democrats who voted in 2008 (39%).
Is it really surprising that Obama gets a 50% approval rate when the poll comprises of 51.1% Democrats?
Pew is also playing similar games with samples in order to ensure that the results match the meme they want going in. Their latest poll uses a sample of 37% Democrat, 30% Republican, and 30% Independent. It undersamples Republicans by 2 points even from the GOP turnout in 2008 - let alone undersampling them from 2010 while oversampling Democrats and Independents. As Ed notes...
So far, the Pew results are all outliers compared to the rest of the polls coming out this week, and its own methodology strongly suggests the reason why.
When it comes to the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-Las Vegas), one has to really start wondering if all of his bluster is related to political theater and rabid partisanship or if it is just based on incompetence?
His latest effort towards ginning up political issues for campaign purposes comes from the show that Reid is putting on to get 17 Obama judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate after being 'blocked' by Republicans in the Senate. The problem is, once again, the facts don't fit the meme - they aren't being blocked by a GOP filibuster...
Of the 83 judicial vacancies that currently exist, he’s made 39 nominations, leaving 44 openings unaddressed. And 17 of those nominees haven’t yet been approved by the Democrat-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee.
That means an astonishing 73 percent of current judicial vacancies are awaiting action from either the White House or the Senate Judiciary Committee. What’s more, it has been reported that the American Bar Association secretly declared a significant number of the president’s nominees to be “not qualified.”
When Reid has brought Obama’s nominees to the floor for a vote, the president has a near-perfect record, including the confirmation of two Supreme Court justices, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) reminded Reid yesterday.
So while Reid would like to paint Republicans as obstructionists, his criticism is misdirected.
Misdirected? That's a kind reflection on a Senate Majority Leader who is sitting on 30+ GOP passed bills from the House to boost job and economic growth. Who has failed to pass a budget in over 1,000 days - and during that time was part and parcel of a monthly deficit in Feb 2012 that was more than $70 billion higher than the annual deficit for 2007.
But the focus is on what's best for the President and the Democrat Party.
At JammieWearingFool, blogger 'Just A Grunt' notes the excessive level of 'hero worship' that the cult of Obama has achieved...
The Democrats in one county are so swept up in the cult of Obama that they have replaced the stars on our national flag with the image of their Dear Supreme Leader.
As ‘Just a Grunt’ says - Liberals, get to a 12 step program stat! I have never seen this sort of hero worship in my half century of living that didn’t wind up with folks drinking poisoned Kool Aid. No man is greater then the country itself and defacing the symbol of that once great country to engage in your worship of a guy who gives good teleprompter is truly disturbing. Look, I know we are in decline, but it isn’t anything that can’t be halted and then turned around. My God, we survived Carter after all.
All I will add re this cult mentality is...
Former Obama Director of the OMB, Peter Orszag, writes in an op-ed today that in order to 'fix' the US economy, voters have to elect a more 'moderate' Congress while decrying the political polarization that he says plagues Congress in a not so subtle smear / point of the finger towards conservatives in Congress. He blames conservatives for the 'do-nothing' Congress - and repeats the vapid meme that Olympia Snowe's retirement is because of the conservatives - ignoring that Ms. Snowe's own explanation specifically blamed the polarization and actions of the Senate Majority Leader.
Orszag, who now is the Vice Chairman of Citigroup (which was one of 4 major banks that failed a recent Federal Reserve 'stress test'), also promotes the importance that Congress has to start listening to the 'good ideas' from businesses. Which ones? The one's that are promoted by the GOP that are ignored by Senate Democrats? Or the one's promoted by the Obama Job Council advisers like GE's Jeffrey Immelt?
President Obama announcing that his healthcare reform proposal, Obamacare, will only cost 'around $900 billion over 10 years'?
Like Speaker Nancy Pelosi said -
we also apparently needed to pass the bill to see what it would really cost.
The most recent CBO scoring of Obamacare says that rather than costing $900 billion over 10 years, the cost is now $1.76 trillion over 10 years - and that 4 million fewer people will be covered by the healthcare reform than originally promised. During the debate, I was projecting that the bill would actually come to around a $2.3-$2.4 trillion total cost over 10 years when fully implemented - so this scoring shows a far more realistic viewpoint. Given the budget challenges we already face - this is not good news for any of us.
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is flip flopping on his previous comments calling for higher gasoline prices in the US to encourage conservationism and new behaviors in a belated effort towards damage control.
Fast forward to this week, when the president's Energy Secretary Steven Chu acknowledged Tuesday at a Senate hearing that he indeed told the Wall Street Journal in September 2008 that getting U.S. prices up to higher, European-level gas prices would help move Americans to use more renewables.Green Fail - Evergreen Solar, a Massachusetts based solar company, is abandoning their Massachusetts plant and moving their operations to China...taxpayers are on the hook for $50 million.
But with rising gas prices sinking the president's approval rating in some new national polls, Chu says he has had a change of heart.
"Are you saying that you no longer share the view that we need to figure out how to boost gasoline prices in America?" Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, asked Chu.
"I no longer share that view," the energy secretary said.
"But you did then, but you don't now?" pressed Lee.
Chu noted that he had made the comments before he was in government, just a couple of months before Obama won election and Chu was nominated to his current post.
Michelle Malkin takes on CNN's Soledad O'Brien's thin skin regarding her misstatements on CRT and defenses of Derrick Bell / Barack Obama...read it all but the key point...
Nope, liberal minority journalists simply can’t resist carrying water for Obama. That’s because their journalistic unity demands political unanimity. If you don’t accept the left-leaning agenda of “social change” journalism, you’re enabling racism. If you don’t support the pursuit of racial hiring goals as a primary journalistic and academic goal, you’re selling out.Let's also not forget Rev. Jeremiah Wright - who has endorsed an Iranian sponsored anti-Semitic 'March to Jerusalem'...
Now you know the reason for O’Brien’s thin-skinned reaction to Obama’s critics. When you vet the president, you vet the media. And they don’t like the narrative table-turning one bit.
The “March to Jerusalem” is a massive campaign designed to send anti-Israel partisans across Israel’s borders and into Jerusalem. The National Conference on Jewish Affairs reports Iran's government is involved in the organization of the event and plans to send thousands of participants in caravans, whose schedules have been published by the Quds News agency.Other positions supporters of this march endorse - holocaust denial and virulent anti-gay positions.
A horrific bus crash in a Swiss tunnel has killed 28 Belgians - including 22 children with an additional 24 children injured. The crash occurred as the bus was carrying school children returning from a ski holiday in the Swiss Alps. Most of the children were aged 12 and come from 2 villages in the Flanders region of Belgium. Reports are that the driver of the bus was speeding.
Azerbaijan has arrested 22 on suspicion of plotting terror attacks on the US and Israeli embassies reportedly on behalf of the Iranian government.
The second Greek bailout was finally signed off on by Eurozone countries despite concerns that additional austerity measures would be needed by the country. This ends a process that started last July - and 6 days before a major debt obligation payment is due for Greece.
Given the timeframe that it took for this bailout - it's probably wise for the Eurozone countries to start working on negotiations for a third Greek bailout that will be needed before the end of 2013.
The Syrian regime is accused of killing more than 40 civilians outside a mosque in the northern city of Idlib. Reports are that the regime has re-captured the city after a several day long assault - and is now re-positioning to assault the city of Dara'a. I also hear a strongly worded letter may be on the way to Damascus from the United Nations and Arab League...
On This Day in History
1629 - A Royal charter was granted to the Massachusetts Bay Colony
1743 - First American town hall meeting was held in Boston's Faneuill Hall
1757 - Admiral John Byng, of the Royal Navy, was executed by firing squad on board HMS Monarch for failing to 'do his utmost' to prevent the capture of Minorca by the French during the Seven Years War.
1879 - Albert Einstein born
1914 - Henry Ford announces the assembly line method to assemble cars - process decreases the time to build a car from 12 1/2 hours to 93 minutes
1980 - A Polish Airlines flight crashes while attempting to land in Warsaw, Poland killing all 87 on board - including 22 member of the US Boxing Team.