Before we get into this post about polling in the presidential race, please understand that I'm not saying that anything we're seeing today predicts what will happen next November. With that out of the way, let me point out something interesting.
This morning, Mitt Romney published an op-ed in USA Today laying out his economic plan, which will no doubt be read eagerly by people staying in hotels all across America. It's full of all the expected claptrap and flim-flammery, but there's one part I wanted to point out:
Jonathan Capeheart has an amusing post on Mitt Romney's call for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, to be tried in the U.S., noting that Romney had previously called for military commissions for all suspected terrorists. Romney, as Zaid Jilani first noted at ThinkProgress, said that "We would try him here and see that justice is done."
As recently as last month, President Obama stood strong in polls against his potential Republican challengers: With the exception of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney – who lagged by several points – Obama was far ahead of each of his competitors. Now, according to the latest Gallup survey, 48 percent of registered voters say they would vote for Romney if the presidential election were held now, compared to 46 percent for Obama. Likewise, at 47 percent support, Obama is tied in a head-to-head matchup with Texas governor Rick Perry.
The Electric Park Ballroom in Waterloo, Iowa, is on the grounds of the National Cattle Congress, right next to the Sunrise Children's Petting Zoo. It's a dimly lit hall, plastered with neon beer signs and old photos of singers like Elvis or Buddy Holly.
The day after Texas governor Rick Perry ended the will-he-won't-he speculation by announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination in South Carolina, he traveled here to speak at the Blackhawk County Republican Dinner. When he entered the room, Perry ducked to greet each table and pose for photos, despite a throng of reporters surrounding him at all times.
Benjy Sarlin reports on Texas Governor Rick Perry's evolution from an immigration moderate (liberal by today's standards) who signed a state DREAM Act and opposed the E-Verify employment verification system to a border hawk who supported Arizona-style restrictionist legislation in his own state.
Not to be outdone by Rick Perry, Ben Smith reports that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has signed the National Organization for Marriage's pledge to "defend marriage" by supporting a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality (via Igor Volsky):
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is taking legal advice from Robert Bork, the failed conservative nominee to the Supreme Court who says things like this about the 1964 Civil Rights Act:
The principle of such legislation is that if I find your behavior ugly by my standards, moral or aesthetic, and if you prove stubborn about adopting my view of the situation, I am justified in having the state coerce you into more righteous paths. That is itself a principle of unsurpassed ugliness.
The leading figure in Iowa's conservative movement is set to unveil a pledge that would pigeonhole the 2012 Republican presidential candidates into defined positions on a host of social issues. It will include
a 14-point list of pledges ranging from the personal (staying
faithful to one's spouse) to broader policy (keeping the size of the
government small), but the heavy emphasis is on forcing the candidates to codify their opposition to same-sex marriage.
The Mitt Romney campaign announced its fundraising haul for the second quarter of 2011 -- an impressive $18.25 million. This dwarfs the funds raised by his competitors. Tim Pawlentybrought in a disappointing $4.2 million for the second quarter, while Jon Huntsmanraised $4.1 million, half of which came from his personal fortune.
Essentially, Mitt Romney's pitch for the presidency rests on a single line, "He made it worse." In campaign ads, speeches and op-eds, Romney has attacked the president for lengthening the Great Recession. During last month's presidential debate, for example, Romney led with this: