As we await the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act, it’s worth reminding ourselves that, regardless of the overheated rhetoric from both parties and over-caffeinated punditry, public attitudes on the issue of health reform and this law are already baked into the cake of this election.
If President Obama were a stock, how people feel about the law would have factored into his price long ago. Sure, this decision will dominate editorial pages, talk shows, and even—briefly—supermarket-aisle and office-coffeemaker conversation. But this remains an election about the economy.
It’s also pretty clear that, despite a ray of sunshine earlier this year, the economy isn’t looking as bright today as it did in February and March.
This election is hardly over: The totally unexpected could happen that changes everything. Unless the Obama team can discredit Mitt Romney, though, convincing voters that he is a ruthless, uncaring corporate buccaneer, this will be a hard election to win. Probably the only upside for Obama is that the undecided voters appear so sour that they might believe almost anything disparaging said about any politician.
During this health care decision phase, just take a deep breath. That isn’t what the election will be about.
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT
Will Immigration Decision Fuel Latino Turnout?
[National Journal, 6/25/12] In upholding the most controversial “show me your papers” component of the Arizona immigration law on Monday, the Supreme Court may have given a historically reluctant Hispanic electorate a real reason to turn out for the president.
Romney Warns Obama’s First Term Wasted if SCOTUS Strikes Down ‘Obamacare’
[Associated Press, 6/26/12] Romney tells supporters in Virginia on Tuesday that if the Supreme Court strikes down Obama's health care law, the president's first term is a wasted one. And if the law is upheld, Americans need Romney as president to stop it immediately.
Romney Gains Toehold in Silicon Valley Fundraising NEW!
[Reuters, 6/26/12] Obama is behind his 2008 campaign in donations from workers in Silicon Valley companies such as Google, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Cisco. The campaign has raised $1.44 million from employees of 15 top tech companies and raised $1.6 million in 2008- but still is well ahead of the Romney campaign.
Romney Mum on Immigration
[Politico, 6/25/12] On Monday, the Romney camp refused to say whether the candidate agrees with the Supreme Court’s decision, or even the law as a whole. Every sentence of a six-line statement released by the campaign contained a criticism of Obama, but at no point did Romney definitely state his own view.
Rice on Being VP: 'No way' NEW!
[CNN, 6/26/12] Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Tuesday she is not interested in being Vice President. "I love policy. I'm not particularly fond of politics," she told CBS's "This Morning."
Obama TV Ad Hits Romney on China, Outsourcing Jobs
[National Journal, 6/26/12] A new attack ad from the Obama campaign is going after Romney on outsourcing jobs, using a recent story about Bain Capital’s role in the practice and Romney's own rhetoric on China to hammer his message home.
Obama Campaign Banks on a High-Tech Ground Game NEW!
[New York Times, 6/26/12] The VoteBuilder database connects the Obama campaign's grass-roots team to the state headquarters to the national headquarters. This investment is likely to reach hundreds of millions of dollars and assists in demographic data mining, consumer marketing, video production and social media.
Democrats Cancel Speedway Event At Charlotte Convention
[Bloomberg, 6/26/12] Though the planners for the Democratic National Convention are suffering a multi-million-dollar deficit in their budget for the convention, they said it was logistical difficulties, not a lack of funds that caused them to shift the opening event from the Charlotte Motor Speedway to Charlotte's main business district.
Can Obama Really Take North Carolina?
[National Journal, 6/26/12] Is Obama's whole reelection effort in trouble in North Carolina -- the state he selected to showcase his presidency? While Democrats boast they have 16 campaign offices statewide, and Romney has just four so far, state GOP spokesman Rob Lockwood counters that the Republican candidate's campaign is only just getting under way here and he's already edging ahead.
Court Hampers Romney’s Plea to Hispanics
[Associated Press, 6/25/12] Romney’s cautious comments on the high court's decision underscored his discomfort with a topic that squeezes him between conflicting goals: improving his troubled standing among Hispanics while firing up his conservative base, where anti-immigration sentiments run strong.
Immigration Ruling Complicates GOP’s Strategy With Hispanics
[Washington Post, 6/25/12] The quandary for the GOP is clear: The Arizona law is popular with whites and independent voters, but GOP strategists think their party has little chance for success in battlegrounds like Colorado, Nevada, and Virginia if Romney doesn’t win close to 40 percent of Hispanics.
Charlie Rangel’s Love for Obama Unrequited in Primary
[Politico, 6/25/12] Rep. Charlie Rangel D-N.Y, looks like Obama’s tightest ally in Washington: His fliers show him shaking hands with the president, and mailers declare “Rangel’s got Obama’s back!” But Obama has declined to get behind Rangel; he suggested a few years ago that the Harlem lawmaker retire “with dignity.” New Yorkers vote to back Rangel today.
Four States Could Be Election Game-Changers
[Wall Street Journal, 6/25/12] A group of four states, deemed "the game-changers" by The Wall Street Journal's Gerald Seib, are reliably blue, but Romney's campaign thinks it has a chance winning them. A Republican win in any of these states—Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania—would change the calculus of winning the Electoral College.
Montana Ruling Could Fuel Campaign to Amend Constitution
[Roll Call, 6/26/12] Until now, proposals to amend the Constitution in the wake of Citizens United have garnered little notice, but the Supreme Court’s Monday ruling to strike Montana’s ban on corporate campaign spending is fueling an increasingly vocal movement for change. On the other hand, AP reports that the ruling could propel even more deregulation.
Events in Capital May Shape Rest of Race
[Associated Press, 6/25/12] Various events—the Supreme Court's ruling on Obama's health care law, the House's contempt vote, the transportation bill, Obama's student-loan rates proposal—are looming over the race for president and causing anxiety for the two camps.