Poll: Democrats split on 2012 Obama primary challenge

November 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Washington (CNN) – Democrats are divided on whether President Barack Obama should face a primary challenge in the next presidential election, according to a new national poll.

A McClatchy-Marist survey released Wednesday also indicates that Obama would come out on top in a very hypothetical three way 2012 general election matchup against former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as the GOP nominee and New York City Michael Bloomberg as an independent candidate. And according to the poll, only 36 percent say they would definitely vote to re-elect Obama.

Forty-six percent of Democrats and Democratic leaning independent voters questioned in the survey say they don’t want the president to face a Democratic primary challenge, with 45 percent saying they do want such a challenge to occur, with nine percent unsure.

Four out of ten Democrats and independents who lean towards the Democrats say they prefer a more conservative challenger, while 39 percent say they want a challenger who is more liberal.

“Interestingly, a plurality of Democrats – 42 percent – would like to see a more liberal challenger while half of Democratic leaning independents – 50 percent – would like to see a more conservative one,” says the release by the Marist poll.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted at the end of October, nearly three out of four Democrats and independents who lean towards the Democrats prefer Obama as their party’s 2012 presidential nominee, with 22 percent preferring another Democrat.

The McClatchy-Marist poll indicates that 48 percent of registered voters nationwide plan to vote against the president in 2012, with 36 percent saying they’ll vote to re-elect Obama and 15 percent undecided at this very early date in the next election cycle.

A Quinnipiac University survey released Monday indicates that a plurality of Americans don’t think Obama deserves to be re-elected to a second term in the White House, and an Associated Press-GfK survey released 11 days ago indicated that 54 percent thought Obama should be voted out of office in 2012. To be fair, all of these surveys have been conducted in the days and weeks following major Republican victories in the midterm elections.

According to the McClatchy-Marist poll, 50 percent of independent voters say they won’t support Obama in a bid for re-election, with three in ten saying they plan to vote for the president in 2012 and one in five undecided.

“As the electoral page turns from the midterms to 2012, President Obama starts off, not surprisingly, in a somewhat tenuous position,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

Looking ahead to 2012, the Marist survey appears to be the first to ask about a very hypothetical Obama-Palin-Bloomberg showdown, with 45 percent of registered voters saying they would back Obama, 31 percent supporting Palin and 15 percent casting a ballot for Bloomberg, with nine percent undecided.
According to the survey, six in ten say they don’t want the New York City mayor to run for the White House, with 12 percent saying they’d like Bloomberg to take the plunge into presidential politics and more than a quarter unsure.

The poll indicates that in a hypothetical battle for the GOP presidential nomination, one in five Republicans and Republican leaning independents say they would support former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, with 16 percent backing former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, 13 supporting Palin, one in ten backing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and everyone else in single digits.

The McClatchy-Marist survey is in line with numerous other polls that suggest that there’s no single front-runner in upcoming battle for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

The McClatch-Marist poll was conducted November 15-18, with 1,020 adults nationwide, including 810 registered voters, questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for registered voters.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

CNN Political Ticker

2009 Transportation Act Prohibits WBI Use As Primary Screening Tool

November 20, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

A bipartisan amendment to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Authorization Act of 2009 “prohibits the TSA from using Whole Body Imaging (WBI) machines for primary screening.” Today TSA calls this equipment Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT).

The amendment was co-sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) and passed the House on a 310-118 vote. See how your Representative voted. (Seven of Washington State’s nine Congressmen voted yes: only Hastings (R) and Dicks (D) voted no.)

The bill (HR2200, summary) is stalled in the U.S. Senate; it passed the House on a 397-25-11 vote. See how your Representative voted.

According to Speaker of the House Pelosi:

This bill is the first reauthorization of TSA since it was created in the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001 (PL 107-71).  (In 2002, TSA was moved into DHS when the Department was created.) The bill authorizes $ 7.6 billion in FY 2010 and $ 8.1 billion in FY 2011 for the activities of TSA, including key increases over FY 2009 funding.

Ever since TSA was created in 2001, its focus has been on aviation security.  A key aspect of this legislation is beginning to put surface transportation security on an equal footing with aviation security – with key surface transportation security enhancements.

Consumer Traveler lauded the bill, noting that this was ” the first time [since 2001] that Congress said, ‘Whoa, TSA.”

On 8 June 2009, the bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, where it has languished. The committee is composed of 25 Senators and led by Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-WV) and Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX).

Remaining Democrats (alpha)

  1. Senator Mark Begich, AK
  2. Senator Barbara Boxer, CA
  3. Senator Maria Cantwell, WA
  4. Senator Byron L. Dorgan, ND
  5. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, HI
  6. Senator John F. Kerry, MA
  7. Senator Amy Klobuchar, MN
  8. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, NJ
  9. Senator Claire McCaskill, MO
  10. Senator Bill Nelson, FL
  11. Senator Mark Pryor, AK
  12. Senator Tom Udall, NM
  13. Senator Mark Warner ,VA

Remaining Republicans (alpha)

  1. Senator Sam Brownback, KS
  2. Senator Jim DeMint, SC
  3. Senator John Ensign, NV
  4. Senator Johnny Isakson, GA
  5. Senator Mike Johanns, NE
  6. Senator George S. LeMieux, FL
  7. Senator Olympia Snowe, ME
  8. Senator John Thune, SD
  9. Senator David Vitter, LA
  10. Senator Roger Wicker, MS

This is cross-posted from IWillOptOut.org.

The Moderate Voice

Politico’s primary production: A debate not worth having

November 19, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 


November 13, 1979: Ronald Reagan announces he’ll seek the Republican nomination for President. The content of Reagan’s speech still resonates. Reagan speaks of reducing spending and lowering taxes. He advocates a streamlining of government and a dismantling of the federal bureaucracy that’s burrowed its tentacles into more and more aspects of our lives. He reminds […]

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Hot Air » Top Picks

Lisa’s Primary Lesson

November 18, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Nicole Allan looks back on the incredible comeback of Lisa Murkowski, who becomes only the second person, after Strom Thurmond, to win a Senate seat as a write-in:

Once Murkowski announced her [Independent] candidacy and released an ad explaining to Alaskans why she was running this way, the true craziness began. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asked her to resign from Senate leadership, and the Republican caucus met to discuss stripping her of her rank on the Energy Committee (which they did not end up doing). In a matter of weeks, Murkowski morphed from one of the highest-ranking, most secure Republicans in the Senate to a party pariah risking her career on what many viewed as a pipe dream.

Her team buckled down on logistics, explaining the write-in process in clever ads and making bracelets with her name that voters could wear into booths. Murkowski firmed up her relationship with native groups, who provided vital support heading into November. The senator also received some help from Miller, whose past reliance on entitlement programs, admission of being reprimanded as a state employee, and combative relationship with the press surely soured some borderline voters on him.

Jay Newton-Small runs through more reasons for her victory:

As I've written before, Murkowski benefited from a sense of panic in the Frontier State from anyone who receives federal money. As the most highly subsidized state in the union — each Alaskan gets, on average, $ 9,000 a year from Washington — that's a LOT of votes.

Miller, meanwhile, won't let go.

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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Idaho Open Primary: The People v. The Parties

November 17, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Yesterday attorney Harry Kresky reported on his recent trip to Idaho to help defend independents there facing attack from a faction of the Idaho Republican Party hoping to close the primaries in order to control the electorate. Idaho does not have partisan registration, so closing the current open primary system in Idaho would require voters to declare a party.

Today Kresky and Idaho attorney Gary Allen filed this post-trial brief commenting on this important case.

Here’s the conclusion of the brief and you can read the whole thing on Scribd below.

The State of Idaho has adopted a primary system that protects important interests, including full participation and democratic openness. The State has determined these considerations are more important than narrow partisan interests. Idaho has a political culture that allows people to function not as Democrats or Republicans, but as citizens seeking to elect the best possible candidates to public office. The evidence shows that this system is working, and virtually all voters are voting sincerely for the person they believe is the best candidate, or at least one who is acceptable. The IRP [Idaho Republican Party] in Government dominates the Idaho legislature, but it has not voted to change the current system. The State’s post-trial brief will speak to the substantial administrative burdens and expense of implementing the relief sought by the IRP Organization.

As a final point, Defendant-Intervenors emphasize that, should the IRP Organization prevail, independent voters, now twenty-eight percent of the electorate, would be barred from participating in the election that very often is the only one that counts.

Post Trial Brief Kresky Allen Idaho Case 1-08-Cv-00165-BLW

For more news of, by and for independents, see The Hankster.

The Moderate Voice

Vander Plaats primary update

November 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Last week, POLITICO reported on Bob Vander Plaat’s move to the Iowa Family Policy Center and the possible implications for social conservatives in 2012.

Tom Beaumont’s story today makes it official that the group will be focused on the 2012 caucuses:

“We are going to be very engaged in the 2012 cycle. We believe it is our responsibility and our duty to be actively involved in taking a look at the candidates, vetting the candidates and then either recommending a candidate or candidates for consideration by the people who support us,” Vander Plaats told The Des Moines Register during an interview. The new group’s name, The Family Leader, is expected to be adopted today at the Iowa Family Policy Center’s board meeting.

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Ben Smith’s Blog

Presidential Primary Season Closer Than You Think

November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

It seems like the nation is just trying to put the midterm election behind it, but The Fix reports that the first debates of the presidential primary season are just a few months away, thanks to an announcement today from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

“Former First Lady Nancy Reagan today announced plans to invite all of the leading contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination to two debates at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. The Reagan Presidential Foundation plans to play host to both the first GOP presidential debate of the 2012 election cycle in spring 2011 and a second GOP debate on the eve of the Super Tuesday primaries.”
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

The Vaander Plaats primary

November 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Bob Vander Plaats won the ire of Iowa’s Republican establishment by running a competitive primary from the social-conservative right against Terry Branstad; he then turned his attention to the successful effort to recall the three judges who made same-sex marriage law in Iowa.

Now The Iowa Republican’s Craig Robinson, grumbling a bit on behalf of the party establishment, reports that Vander Plaats will take over the Iowa Family Policy Center, a socially conservative nonprofit that plays in primary politics:

Vander Plaats’ move to IFPC does not come out of left field. In January of this year, IFPC endorsed Vander Plaats’ campaign for governor. In doing so, the organization made a point to un-endorse the Republican frontrunner, Terry Branstad. IFPC’s backing of one particular candidate instead of pushing all the candidates to stand firm on letting the people vote on the issue of marriage was a controversial topic throughout the rest of the campaign.

A spokeswoman for the Center wouldn’t confirm any of the details of the move to POLITICO’s Byron Tau, saying that a formal announcement would come on November 21st. Vander Plaats didn’t respond immediately to a voicemail.

But his new perch, if he assumes it, positions Vander Plaats to be a broker of sorts in the intensely competitive Republican caucus fight next year, especially if his ally Mike Huckabee stands aside.


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Ben Smith’s Blog

Howard Dean and Russ Feingold: No way will we primary Obama in 2012

November 4, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 


Politico hinted this morning that Dean-o might be ready to take a run at The One, but his office issued a statement this afternoon that is, alas, quite Shermanesque. Feingold’s, however, is a bit more nuanced. I’m hoping he’ll reconsider — a Carter/Kennedy primary war between The One and some liberal darling would be traffic […]

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Hot Air » Top Picks

No Obama primary shaping up

November 4, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Russ Feingold has made it clear he won’t be the standard-bearer for disgruntled progressives.

Neither, says Karen Finney, will Howard Dean: "He is absolutely, categorically not running in 2012."

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