4) Ron Brownstein digs deeper
into this week's batch of national and state polls on the presidential race and finds that upscale white women voters could be President Obama
's indispensable line of defense. In short, he's winning a majority of that vote right now in key states, and if he holds steady among other parts of his base, that could be enough to overcome what will be a tough deficit to the GOP nominee among non-college educated whites. The key line:
If Obama can maintain majority support among those well-educated women, while remaining close to his four-fifths support among minorities, the president can win a national majority while capturing only a little more than one-third of all other whites.
With this in mind, it's pretty clear why Democrats are pressing the GOP "war on women" line hard in so many places and chastising the Republican Party every time it pursues a social agenda out of step with the beliefs of most college-educated women.
3) Elizabeth Warren
is forced to confront another story raising more questions about her claim to Native American heritage. The Boston Globe:
...for at least six straight years during Warren's tenure, Harvard University reported in federally mandated diversity statistics that it had a Native American woman in its senior ranks at the law school. According to both Harvard officials and federal guidelines, those statistics are almost always based on the way employees describe themselves.
In addition, both Harvard's guidelines and federal regulations for the statistics lay out a specific definition of Native American that Warren does not meet.
The documents suggest for the first time that either Warren or a Harvard administrator classified her repeatedly as Native American in papers prepared for the government in a way that apparently did not adhere to federal diversity guidelines. They raise further questions about Warren's statements that she was unaware Harvard was promoting her as Native American.
These kinds of stories will veer the Democrat off-message, but we've seen in the polling released this week that they are not damaging her standing against Sen. Scott Brown
, which is one of the more surprising political developments of the week.
2) Check out our complete breakdown
of the TV ad spending in the Wisconsin recall campaign. Gov. Scott Walker
is the biggest spender and Republicans overall have outpaced Democrats in a major way on air. Democrats are ramping up their ad buys in the closing stage of the race, but over the course of the last three months, the TV ad spending war hasn't been close.
Walker and Democrat Tom Barrett
will meet in the first of two debates tonight. Look for Barrett to hammer Walker on jobs and a John Doe investigation while Walker will likely offer a defense of his record and may dig into Barrett's record as mayor of Milwaukee. Remember, these two ran against one another in 2010, so they are familiar with each other in debate settings.
1) Romney's visit to an inner-city, predominantly African-American West Philadelphia charter school Thursday, pitching his message of education reform, looked like a curious move for his campaign. The images of Romney were, at times, awkward, and he faced a far-from-friendly crowd inside and a crop of protesters outside. But to understand the Romney campaign's decision, look no further than the key demographic group he needs to win over to defeat President Obama
-- college-educated white voters, particularly women.
Obama will win overwhelming numbers of African-American voters in 2008, even if their turnout level dips slightly from 2008. But it's the affluent suburban voter that's most receptive to a campaign catering to diversity. It's why so many of the potential vice-presidential picks - from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio
, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez
- don't look like the Democratic stereotype of the white Republican male. Brookings analyst Bill Galston told
the Washington Post
today: "Suburban voters will be a real battleground, and upscale white voters like to think of themselves as tolerant and they won't vote for a candidate that is seen as exclusionary, and the Romney folks must be aware of that."
-- Josh Kraushaar contributed