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Political Insiders Poll

May 31, 2012

How detrimental is the Iranian threat to President Obama’s reelection prospects?

Democrats  (106 votes)

Major detriment: 4%
Somewhat of a detriment: 29%
Not a detriment: 67%

Major detriment


“Anything that makes Obama look weak on foreign policy is bad, and Iran is so combustible it poses the most serious threat.”

Somewhat of a detriment

“If that situation explodes (pardon the pun), the president’s carefully constructed foreign-policy/antiterrorism record will implode.”

“The Iranian [threat] is the great unknown of this campaign.”

“Bad Iranian news would not be a good thing for Obama, though this election is much more likely to be one fought on economic policy rather than foreign policy.”

“Anything you can’t control in a campaign is a potential problem. Clearly, the Iranians can’t be controlled.”

“Very few undecideds will take this into consideration, and no one is going to change support over the issue—unless it causes gas prices to rise, at which point it will become a major detriment.”

Not a detriment

“The irresponsible GOP rhetoric on Iran may fire up their base, but this election is about the economy, not foreign policy.”

“To say it would be detrimental is to possess a crystal ball. My grade level ain’t that high. Sorry.”

“As long as it remains only a threat, it is not something which moves voters.”

“If it erupts, he will handle it in good fashion, which will make him presidential and divert attention away from domestic problems.”

“It is not a detriment now; no American voter is focused on it at all and won’t be unless something happens there to get voters’ attention—but even then, the economy is a pretty big elephant in the election room.”

“This is the president who killed [Osama] bin Laden and helped get rid of [Muammar el-]Qaddafi. I don’t think anyone is doubting his chops on taking on dictators.”

“Despite the manufactured hysteria, it’s a narrow-based concern, at best.”

 “Americans are tired of going to war, so a tempered approach to dealing with Iran is what most independents want.”

“Foreign-policy issues have a tendency to make presidents appear more presidential, which is not what you want to happen if you’re Mitt Romney.”


How detrimental is the Iranian threat to President Obama’s reelection prospects?

Republicans (105  votes)

Major detriment: 14%
Somewhat of a detriment: 53%
Not a detriment: 33%

Major detriment

“Obama’s Middle Eastern foreign policy is by accident, not design, and Iran is the worst example of that.”

“The Obama theory of constructive engagement with tyrants and despots has proven neither constructive nor engaging. Iran’s entry into the nuclear-arms brethren is a major blow to American exceptionalism.”

Somewhat of a detriment

“He has demonstrated an inability to influence Iranian decision-making. Having said that, the economy is still the overriding factor, and his weak foreign policy won’t impact much.”

“Putting aside the possibility of a unilateral Israeli strike, if the Iranians produce a bomb, it will highlight the ineptitude of Obama’s engagement policy.”

“He’s a timid president with respect to flexing U.S. muscle. A pugnacious Iran will only remind voters of that fact.”

“If he looks weak about Iran, it will undo the bin Laden takedown. It becomes an interesting side story handled poorly.”

“An international crisis usually causes the American people to rally around the flag (and the president). An American or Israeli strike at nuclear facilities in Iran will cause gas prices to soar. Tensions alone in the [Persian] Gulf keep gas prices higher.”

“It depends on how well he handles [it], but likely will remind voters why they prefer the GOP for national security.”

“President continues to look weak around the world, and it shows.”

Not a detriment

“People who care a lot about foreign policy, absent an immediate crisis, are not swing voters. They are already either with the president or against him.”

“Most voters recognize the Iranians are hard to deal with regardless of who the incumbent is, and bad deals with North Korea never hurt President Bush.”

“Issue #22 to most voters.”

“Obama has mishandled the Iranian threat, but not to a Jimmy Carter-ish extent. Foreign-policy differences are almost invisible this year.”

“He’s the president; there hasn’t been a major terrorist attack; and bin Laden was caught on his watch. Barring a screwup, this isn’t a problem for him.”


Will Mitt Romney match the 38 percent of the vote that Republican congressional candidates won among Latinos in 2010?

Democrats (105 votes)

He’ll do better: 3%
He’ll do the same: 20%
He’ll do worse: 77%


“Since that is such a pathetic number, he won’t win unless he performs better.”

The same

“Up to this point, he’s done nothing to earn improvement, but the weakness of Obama also means the number is unlikely to go down, either.”


“Very few Latinos benefit from Bain dividends.”

“Romney made a bad situation much worse by his strident anti-immigration positions during primary season.”

“The GOP has spent an enormous amount of time defining themselves as a modern-day Know Nothing Party in the eyes of Latinos—electric fences; alligators on the border; no amnesty. Latinos will simply say, ‘No se puede por Mitt.’ ”

“Romney’s support among Latino voters is lower than [John] McCain’s was at a similar point four years ago. He can recover to that level (31 percent) but will have trouble doing better.”

“The expected additional Latino turnout will be a plus for Obama and a minus for Romney, regardless of what will certainly be an October flip-flop by Romney on immigration.”

“Latinos are going to self-deport themselves on Election Day to the party that has their interest in mind, and it is not the GOP.”

“From Dream Act opposition to campaign-ad rhetoric on immigration crackdowns and walls, racism against Latinos has gotten worse, not better, since 2010; and Romney will rightfully own the slippage.”

“With his immigration position, he should do worse, but this is one area where his vice-president selection could be the determining factor.”

“This is how Romney loses a 1-point race and deservedly so, supporting the Arizona and Alabama laws.”

“If the Supreme Court upholds Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, Romney will do a lot worse.”


Will Mitt Romney match the 38 percent of the vote that Republican congressional candidates won among Latinos in 2010?

Republicans (108 votes)

He’ll do better: 39%
He’ll do the same: 40%
He’ll do worse: 21%


“President Obama has made no friends with religious Catholics. Latinos are the most religious of Catholics in America today, and priests will work their parishes.”

“Obama’s record is not good with Latinos, and if Romney does a good job of highlighting that, Romney can build on that 38 percent.”

“The terrible economy has hurt the Hispanic community harder.”

The same

“Of all people, a venture capitalist like Romney could have made the positive case for immigrant entrepreneurs in the context of the American Dream. Instead he pandered to the base. Wrong on policy, and politically unnecessary.”

“If he gets 38 percent, he’ll probably be president. He understands the importance, but he still needs to dig out of the hole he dug during the primaries by running to the right of noted liberals Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich.”

“His immigration policies are a problem for him with Latinos, and he knows it. What is not known is if Obama’s economic problems trump Romney’s past positions.”


“He’d be lucky to get 38 percent after all his hard-core anti-illegal positioning in the primaries.”

“It won’t matter if Latino turnout continues to trend significantly below their registration.”

“The rhetoric of the primary will hold down the vote, but this may be moderated by [Sen.] Marco Rubio’s alternative to the Dream Act.”

“Unfortunately for Romney, Republicans have sent a direct message to Latinos over the past six years: ‘Go home, America isn’t for you.’ ”


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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