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Political Insiders Poll

May 3, 2012

How effectively has President Obama’s reelection campaign capitalized on the killing of Osama bin Laden?


Very effectively: 43%
Somewhat effectively: 42%
Not effectively: 15%

Very effectively


“People need to be reminded that under his leadership, Global Public Enemy No. 1 was taken out.”

“They have neutralized the weak-on-national-security issue that the Republicans have for years used effectively against the Democrats.”

“Sure, it helps the campaign, but it is important that America is reminded that we can still do things right and that the commitments made in previous administrations are carried through.”

“The president is playing his commander-in-chief card, which in this instance is an ace.”

“It’s good to see a Democrat not taking any crap from the GOP. Obama’s first punch staggered and wounded Romney.”

“When Republicans took the bait, God bless them, and began to debate whether Barack Obama really deserved any credit at all, it couldn’t have been any better for the president. It drew additional attention to a difficult and courageous decision…. Beautiful.”

“[Bin Laden’s] dead. ’Nuff said. Ask Bushie how that feels.”

Somewhat effectively

“He should do more bragging—it’s not in his nature to crow about killing someone, however.”

“This is tricky. Everybody knows about it. Restating the obvious could easily backfire, as in, ‘Fine, what else have you done for me?’ The trick is to make sure the focus is on what this says about the president, as in focused, determined, disciplined, patient.”

“The Bush administration would have made the anniversary a national holiday. Democrats tend to understate successes.”

“Good he’s gone, but it’s over and won’t be an issue. So best to mention and move on.”

“The Republican amnesia is ironic, considering it was acceptable for [George W. Bush] to raise money off of 9/11 for his reelect.”

Not effectively

“It’s one thing to boast a bit about getting OBL ... but to say that your opponent might not have made the same decision? Aren’t there enough ways to attack Romney’s record to avoid attacking things that weren’t part of his record?”

“One word: overkill.”


How effectively has President Obama’s reelection campaign capitalized on the killing of Osama bin Laden?


Very effectively: 17%
Somewhat effectively: 45%
Not effectively: 38%

Very effectively

“The timing and choreography of the Afghanistan trip was absolutely brilliant.”

“Very effectively to date, but they are very close to jumping the shark. We get it. Enough already.”

“He did it. Bush had nine years and did not.”

Somewhat effectively

“It is his good news, but most Americans believe that any president would have taken him out once the intelligence community had done its job.”

“He gets the credit because he is the sitting president.”

“Every patriotic American cheered Obama’s decision to take out bin Laden, but this ‘dancing in the end zone’ with a political ad attacking Romney is so far over the top that it erases all but the most partisan goodwill.”

“The assassination anniversary was a plus for Obama, but its excessive exploitation bespoke a certain insecurity ... as in, ‘Is that all he has to talk about?’ ”

“They can’t be perceived as overly political and are slowly stepping over the line where they are going to make it too political.”

“People know it happened, but they place more credit where it belongs—the guys with the dog tags.”

“Killing OBL doesn’t make a gallon of gas under $4 or put food on the table. You can drag a corpse along only for so long.”

Not effectively

“It is ridiculous for the president to take credit for a decision any president rightfully would have made.”

“Ham-handed, unbecoming, and, ultimately an excess of hubris.”

“Bragging diminishes Obama’s signature achievement. He made the easy decision to go for OBL. Shame on him when American people know it was the skill of our military. Should not be a partisan political prop.”

“With all the ‘I,’ ‘I,’ they are close to turning the positive into a negative—emblem of a graceless president.”

“Only a White House this politically flat-footed could take a solemn but proud national moment and turn it into a garish political spectacle.”


Who will benefit more from the influence of outside-money groups during this election cycle, Republicans or Democrats?


Republicans: 97%
Democrats: 3%


“This one isn’t even close—very scary for the Democrats.”

“The White House’s convoluted position for and against outside money and for and against super PACs has hindered our ability to compete and muddied any potential message advantage.”

“Hate to say it, but the Republicans have done a far better job on raising outside money, and with our hypocritical denunciations of ‘special-interest money,’ we have made it both harder and more politically problematic to raise it in amounts that we will need to be successful in the fall.”

“Democrats just are not as comfortable with these kinds of organizations.”

“It may be the one thing that will not only keep Romney competitive but could keep the Democrats from taking back the House.”

“Republicans will have much more outside money, though they will need it to balance the spending. The money might have the most influence on individual House and Senate races rather than the presidential election.”

“Labor is underrated in this conversation, but any advantage Obama would’ve had in campaign fundraising will be more than negated by outside groups.”

“The returns on super-PAC investments are obvious for the GOP, politically and policy-wise, and they are pushing the envelope more than Democrats, who remain cautious and disapproving.”

“At the presidential level, it may be a standoff of resources, but at the state and congressional levels, the Republicans have the infrastructure and the resources to make a difference.”

“Mark my words, this will be an $8 billion election, $4 billion of which will come from corporations and super PACs, and 80 percent of that money will go to the Republicans. That’s why the presidential can go either way.”

“When you piss off all business, you have to face the executioner.”


Who will benefit more from the influence of outside-money groups during this election cycle, Republicans or Democrats?


Republicans: 81%
Democrats: 20%


“Deeper pockets. More highly motivated donors. A better message agenda to support. Game. Set. Match.”

“The president will out-raise Mitt Romney, but the gap will be filled by Crossroads and other PACs.”

“This will be the great equalizer of 2012.”

“Millionaire Democrats organized first and spent in 2008. Finally, the GOP millionaires are organized and fearful of a second Obama term.”

“Republican outside groups after four cycles finally figured it out in 2010 to surpass their Democratic counterparts. They will get even better in the 2012 cycle.”

“The 800-pound gorilla is Crossroads GPS, and they will dominate third-party-group spending.”

“The big money has swung decisively against the incumbent.”

“The GOP is ahead of the curve and motivated. The Dems are trying to catch up and will continue to lag behind in impact.”

“Unions have dominated for years, so to have a strong business counterbalance in this election definitely helps the Republicans.”

“GOP needs more because Democrats have plenty of public-sector unions, teachers, and nonprofit zombies walking the streets.”

“Big business is going to crush Obama.”


“Despite their best efforts, no GOP-affiliated super PAC will be able to equal the sheer size, money, and boots-on-the-ground impact that the unions have.”

“Unions are still the best organized and most deep-pocketed outside-money group in politics, and they will more than even the odds for Obama and congressional Democrats this fall.”

“The media will breathlessly cover the Right’s spending, but the unions, trial lawyers, and large donors will swamp the Right, again.”


Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O’Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

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