Category Archives: Real Clear Politics

Eagleton Poll Gives Corzine 3-Point Lead; Daggett At 20


From RealClear Politics

A new Rutgers Eagleton poll gives Gov. Jon Corzine (D) a 3-point lead with less than two weeks to go in the New Jersey gubernatorial race. With this survey, Corzine has taken a lead in the RCP Average of polling for the very first time.

General Election Matchup
Corzine 39
Christie 36
Daggett 20
Don’t Know 5

Asked for their second choice, 34 percent of Daggett’s voters say they would pick Christie, while 28 percent say Corzine and 24 percent say they would not vote at all. Daggett is tied among voters who say they’ve heard a lot about his property tax plan; but Corzine actually pulls ahead among those who say they’ve heard nothing about it — which is a quarter of the electorate.

“Daggett continues to draw fairly evenly from both major party candidates,” said Eagleton’s Dave Redlawsk. “However, in a close race, it may make a difference that Daggett voters are people who would have been slightly more on Christie’s side than on Corzine’s in a two-way race. The underlying question is whether current Daggett supporters really will vote for him on Election Day, or whether they will opt for their second choice, one of the major party candidates.”

Redlawsk also states: “While Daggett is clearly having an impact on this race, it seems that on the current trajectory, the vote would have to be very close for his candidacy to make the deciding difference. … It’s important to remember, however, that in two recent New Jersey Governor’s races (in 1993 and 1997), the victor’s margin was only about 1 percent of the vote.”

Corzine and Christie are tied amongst men, 38-38, but Corzine has a 6-point advantage among women. His campaign’s attacks on Christie over the mammogram issue has become a defining issue in the race

Favorable Ratings
Corzine 40 / 52
Christie 39 / 42
Daggett 31 / 15

Corzine’s job approval rating is 29 percent, with 70 percent disapproving.

Voter engagement in the race appears to be lukewarm, with 36 percent saying they are following the election “very closely,” and only 38 percent say they’ve watched or listened to one of the candidate debates. That factor is one reason why Democrats have brought in national surrogates to generate free media attention on New York and Philadelphia television stations that otherwise tend not to cover Garden State politics closely.

The survey of 583 likely voters was conducted October 15-20, with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percent.

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Filed under Chris Christie, Chris Dagget, Gov. Jon Corzine, New Jersey, opinion poll, Real Clear Politics

Dick Cheney on Same-Sex Marriage: Does He or Doesn’t He Support it?

Former Vice President Dick Cheney told the National Press Club he thinks “people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish.” Cheney said the decision to legalize gay marriage should be up to the states and not the federal government.

CHENEY: As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don’t support. I do believe that the historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis. But I don’t have any problem with that. People ought to get a shot at that. RealClearPolitics

So does he or doesn’t he support same sex marriage? If he does, then he is even more of a hypocrite than anyone could have imagined  and that takes some doing.
After spendingthe better part of 8 years trying to pass a constitutional amendment against same sex marriage in order to to appease the religious right, he know says that it is up to the States to decide? What an ASS !!

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Filed under C-Span, Dick Cheney, National Press Club, Real Clear Politics, same sex marriage

What Obama Needs to Do

By William Galston – Real Clear Politics

TO: SEN. BARACK OBAMA
FROM: WILLIAM GALSTON
SUBJ: ADJUST OR LOSE
DATE: SEPTEMBER 16, 2008

I’ll get right to the point: You are in danger of squandering an election most of us thought was unlosable. The reason is simple: on the electorate’s most important concern – the economy — you have no clear message, and John McCain has filled the void with his own.

This is more than my opinion. The Democracy Corps survey released yesterday proves the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Backed by a wealth of persuasive detail, here is the nub of their conclusion:

In the absence of a coherent change message from Obama, many voters are accepting McCain’s definition, particularly since they want to change Washington and clean up government. As a result, Obama has lost his double-digit advantage over McCain on the right kind of change. When I say you have no message, here’s what I mean:

First, you are not offering a coherent account of what has gone wrong with the economy – why it is no longer working for average families. People are anxious and bewildered; they want to know why jobs are disappearing, why incomes are stagnating, and why prices are soaring. If you don’t offer an explanation, McCain’s will carry the day by default: the problem is the corrupt, self-interested politicians in Washington; the solution is getting them – and government in general – out of the way.

Second: you are not offering a focused, parsimonious list of remedies for the economic ills you cite. As a result, few if any voters can actually cite a single signature economic proposal you have made. It’s not that you don’t have ideas. If anything, you have too many. At some point, more becomes less, and you are well beyond that point. You need to decide which three or four economic proposals are most important and repeat them relentlessly for the next seven weeks.

Your campaign already contains everything you need to do this. You could offer a focused economic message with four elements: rebuilding the United States, with an infrastructure bank, generating millions of good jobs that can’t be outsourced; creating millions more jobs by leading the world in environmental innovation; significantly reducing the tax burden on average families; and offering health insurance to everyone at a price they can afford. If you say that about your economic plan – and nothing else – from now until November, there’s a good chance your message will get through.

Third: you are not drawing crisp, punchy contrasts between your plans and McCain’s. An example: the centerpiece of his health care plan is the taxation of employer-provided health care benefits. Pound away at that, and let him explain why throwing workers into the individual health insurance market unprotected is such a wonderful idea. And by the way, while your plan would increase coverage, his would do the opposite. Is that the change Americans want?

Fourth: your stump speech is too long and discursive. It shouldn’t last more than fifteen minutes, it should focus on your agenda, not today’s news story, it should feature short, declarative sentences, and it should leave no doubt about what you care about the most. Right now, regrettably, few Americans believe that you feel real passion about their economic plight and are willing to wage a tough fight on their behalf. It’s your job to convince them otherwise, and you don’t have much time to do it.

A message is a thought not only sent, but also received and understood. If your hearers aren’t getting it, it’s not a message. The essence of political speech is functional, not aesthetic. It is a tree judged by its fruit, and the fruit is persuasion. Right now you’re not persuading the people you need to persuade, and nothing else matters.

Fifth: there’s no coordination between an economic message and the rest of your campaign. If you want the focus to be on the economy, that’s what your paid advertising and your surrogates should be doing as well.

Attacking McCain for employing lobbyists is a waste of precious time and resources; it plays on his turf and accepts his definition of the problem. Moreover, It diverts attention from the core issue – a Republican approach to the economy, shared by Bush and McCain, that shafts ordinary Americans and does nothing to help them deal with the challenges of global competition. So far, while the McCain campaign has gone for the jugular, you’ve gone for the capillaries.

Some Americans won’t support you because they think you’re too young and inexperienced to be president, or that you’re too liberal, or not patriotic enough, or because you might raise taxes, or because you’re African-American. That’s inevitable. The good news is that by themselves, these Americans are not a majority. The bad news is that they might become part of a majority if they are joined by the many Americans who are open to supporting you but are turning away because they don’t hear you speaking to their concerns in a manner that they can understand.

This is not about you alone; it’s a matter of political responsibility. Millions of Americans have invested their hopes and dreams in you, and you owe it to them to campaign effectively, which isn’t happening right now. Yes, the McCain campaign is replete with exaggerations, evasions, and outright fabrications. It’s your responsibility to defeat them, not complain about them. If this means listening to advice you don’t want to hear, and getting out of the “comfort zone,” so be it.

Three months ago, when you were riding high, the McCain campaign was flat on its back. But give McCain credit: when he was told that to win he had to change, he did. He focused, and he accepted a kind of discipline that he had previously resisted. Now it’s your turn.

William Galston is a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and co-editor of The Democratic Strategist.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Brookings Institute, John McCain, Real Clear Politics, William Galston

>What Obama Needs to Do

>By William Galston – Real Clear Politics

TO: SEN. BARACK OBAMA
FROM: WILLIAM GALSTON
SUBJ: ADJUST OR LOSE
DATE: SEPTEMBER 16, 2008

I’ll get right to the point: You are in danger of squandering an election most of us thought was unlosable. The reason is simple: on the electorate’s most important concern – the economy — you have no clear message, and John McCain has filled the void with his own.

This is more than my opinion. The Democracy Corps survey released yesterday proves the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Backed by a wealth of persuasive detail, here is the nub of their conclusion:

In the absence of a coherent change message from Obama, many voters are accepting McCain’s definition, particularly since they want to change Washington and clean up government. As a result, Obama has lost his double-digit advantage over McCain on the right kind of change. When I say you have no message, here’s what I mean:

First, you are not offering a coherent account of what has gone wrong with the economy – why it is no longer working for average families. People are anxious and bewildered; they want to know why jobs are disappearing, why incomes are stagnating, and why prices are soaring. If you don’t offer an explanation, McCain’s will carry the day by default: the problem is the corrupt, self-interested politicians in Washington; the solution is getting them – and government in general – out of the way.

Second: you are not offering a focused, parsimonious list of remedies for the economic ills you cite. As a result, few if any voters can actually cite a single signature economic proposal you have made. It’s not that you don’t have ideas. If anything, you have too many. At some point, more becomes less, and you are well beyond that point. You need to decide which three or four economic proposals are most important and repeat them relentlessly for the next seven weeks.

Your campaign already contains everything you need to do this. You could offer a focused economic message with four elements: rebuilding the United States, with an infrastructure bank, generating millions of good jobs that can’t be outsourced; creating millions more jobs by leading the world in environmental innovation; significantly reducing the tax burden on average families; and offering health insurance to everyone at a price they can afford. If you say that about your economic plan – and nothing else – from now until November, there’s a good chance your message will get through.

Third: you are not drawing crisp, punchy contrasts between your plans and McCain’s. An example: the centerpiece of his health care plan is the taxation of employer-provided health care benefits. Pound away at that, and let him explain why throwing workers into the individual health insurance market unprotected is such a wonderful idea. And by the way, while your plan would increase coverage, his would do the opposite. Is that the change Americans want?

Fourth: your stump speech is too long and discursive. It shouldn’t last more than fifteen minutes, it should focus on your agenda, not today’s news story, it should feature short, declarative sentences, and it should leave no doubt about what you care about the most. Right now, regrettably, few Americans believe that you feel real passion about their economic plight and are willing to wage a tough fight on their behalf. It’s your job to convince them otherwise, and you don’t have much time to do it.

A message is a thought not only sent, but also received and understood. If your hearers aren’t getting it, it’s not a message. The essence of political speech is functional, not aesthetic. It is a tree judged by its fruit, and the fruit is persuasion. Right now you’re not persuading the people you need to persuade, and nothing else matters.

Fifth: there’s no coordination between an economic message and the rest of your campaign. If you want the focus to be on the economy, that’s what your paid advertising and your surrogates should be doing as well.

Attacking McCain for employing lobbyists is a waste of precious time and resources; it plays on his turf and accepts his definition of the problem. Moreover, It diverts attention from the core issue – a Republican approach to the economy, shared by Bush and McCain, that shafts ordinary Americans and does nothing to help them deal with the challenges of global competition. So far, while the McCain campaign has gone for the jugular, you’ve gone for the capillaries.

Some Americans won’t support you because they think you’re too young and inexperienced to be president, or that you’re too liberal, or not patriotic enough, or because you might raise taxes, or because you’re African-American. That’s inevitable. The good news is that by themselves, these Americans are not a majority. The bad news is that they might become part of a majority if they are joined by the many Americans who are open to supporting you but are turning away because they don’t hear you speaking to their concerns in a manner that they can understand.

This is not about you alone; it’s a matter of political responsibility. Millions of Americans have invested their hopes and dreams in you, and you owe it to them to campaign effectively, which isn’t happening right now. Yes, the McCain campaign is replete with exaggerations, evasions, and outright fabrications. It’s your responsibility to defeat them, not complain about them. If this means listening to advice you don’t want to hear, and getting out of the “comfort zone,” so be it.

Three months ago, when you were riding high, the McCain campaign was flat on its back. But give McCain credit: when he was told that to win he had to change, he did. He focused, and he accepted a kind of discipline that he had previously resisted. Now it’s your turn.

William Galston is a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and co-editor of The Democratic Strategist.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Brookings Institute, John McCain, Real Clear Politics, William Galston

Personal Treason Soils John McCain

By Richard Cohen posted on Real Clear Politics

“Following his loss to George W. Bush in the 2000 South Carolina primary, John McCain did something extraordinary: He confessed to lying about how he felt about the Confederate battle flag, which he actually abhorred. “I broke my promise to always tell the truth,” McCain said. Now he has broken that promise so completely that the John McCain of old is unrecognizable. He has become the sort of politician he once despised.

The precise moment of McCain’s abasement came, would you believe, not at some news conference or on one of the Sunday shows but on “The View,” the daytime TV show created by Barbara Walters. Last week, one of the co-hosts, Joy Behar, took McCain to task for some of the ads his campaign has been running. One deliberately mischaracterized what Barack Obama had said about putting lipstick on a pig — an Americanism that McCain himself has used in the past. The other asserted that Obama supported teaching sex education to kindergarteners.

“We know that those two ads are untrue,” Behar said. “They are lies.”

Freeze. Close in on McCain. This was the moment. He has largely been avoiding the press. The Straight Talk Express is now just a brand, an ad slogan like “Home Cooking” or “We Will Not Be Undersold.” Until then, it was possible for McCain to say that he had not really known about the ads, that the formulation “I approve this message” was just boilerplate. But he didn’t.

“Actually, they are not lies,” he said.

Actually, they are.”…

Click on the headline to finish reading Richard Cohen artilce on Real Clear Politics

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Filed under John McCain, Real Clear Politics, Richard Cohen, The View

>Personal Treason Soils John McCain

>By Richard Cohen posted on Real Clear Politics

“Following his loss to George W. Bush in the 2000 South Carolina primary, John McCain did something extraordinary: He confessed to lying about how he felt about the Confederate battle flag, which he actually abhorred. “I broke my promise to always tell the truth,” McCain said. Now he has broken that promise so completely that the John McCain of old is unrecognizable. He has become the sort of politician he once despised.

The precise moment of McCain’s abasement came, would you believe, not at some news conference or on one of the Sunday shows but on “The View,” the daytime TV show created by Barbara Walters. Last week, one of the co-hosts, Joy Behar, took McCain to task for some of the ads his campaign has been running. One deliberately mischaracterized what Barack Obama had said about putting lipstick on a pig — an Americanism that McCain himself has used in the past. The other asserted that Obama supported teaching sex education to kindergarteners.

“We know that those two ads are untrue,” Behar said. “They are lies.”

Freeze. Close in on McCain. This was the moment. He has largely been avoiding the press. The Straight Talk Express is now just a brand, an ad slogan like “Home Cooking” or “We Will Not Be Undersold.” Until then, it was possible for McCain to say that he had not really known about the ads, that the formulation “I approve this message” was just boilerplate. But he didn’t.

“Actually, they are not lies,” he said.

Actually, they are.”…

Click on the headline to finish reading Richard Cohen artilce on Real Clear Politics

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Filed under John McCain, Real Clear Politics, Richard Cohen, The View