Turns out Jay Carney wasn’t the only one who knew a bunch of Hilary Rosens.
Today’s ABC News/Washington Post poll makes clear that President Obama, despite a month of “War on Women” chatter on Obama-friendly MSNBC and from the mouths of Democrats, has fallen sharply in the eyes of female registered voters. His lead among them over Mitt Romney, a whopping 19 percentage points in last month’s poll, fell to 7 points. And married women, who backed Obama by a 4-point spread last month, now go for Romney by 17 points.
That’s a lot of women changing their minds, both stay-at-home moms like Ann Romney and not-stay-at-home moms like Hilary Rosen. The April survey, conducted before the end of the controversy over Rosen's remarks considered by some to demean stay-at-home moms, would not have gauged its full impact.
Married women are, as the pollsters note, more likely to say they’re worse off under Obama's presidency than are men or unmarried women. And they vote. The poll’s essence, that Obama’s once-daunting advantage among women has slimmed on account of the economy, is another assertion that the pocketbook gauge is the one on which this election will hinge, not the endless parade of sideshows.
-- Jim O'Sullivan
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRIMARY REPORT
The Death of the Hunch
[Slate, 5/22/12] The Obama campaign has repeatedly departed from media consultant wisdom regarding the intensity and duration necessary for effective television advertising. As a result, the campaign has practiced scattered, inconsistent messaging.
Poll: Obama, Romney in Dead Heat
[National Journal, 5/22/12] Obama and Romney are running neck-and-neck both overall and on the economic issues that Americans say matter most in choosing the next president, according to a new poll. The past 48 hours have brought a new focus on Romney's business background, but the poll shows a majority of Americans say his history at Bain Capital is not a major factor in their vote.
Obama Raised Most From Private Equity, Hedge Funds in 2008
[The Hill, 5/22/12] Obama is walking a very fine line with his Bain offensive. According to an analysis by the nonprofit group Open Secrets, Obama took in nearly $3.5 million from large private-equity donors four years ago — nearly twice as much as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Meanwhile former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell joined a growing Democratic chorus by calling the Bain attacks “very disappointing.”
Obama's Tightrope Walk on Private Equity
[National Journal, 5/22/12] The total amount the securities and investment industry has contributed to federal candidates through March is $102 million, nearly $40 million of which has landed in the pockets of Democratic candidates. That kind of financial muscle helps explain the backlash against Obama as he takes on Romney's record at Bain Capital.
'Middle Class Joe' Biden Attacks Romney on Bain
[National Journal, 5/22/12] As Obama’s campaign continues to face criticism for its attacks on Romney’s history at Bain Capital, Biden on Tuesday made clear that he’s happy to be the designated hitter. Casting himself as “Middle Class Joe” in a speech to 450 people at Keene State College in New Hampshire, Biden used layman’s terms to argue that Romney's private equity experience “no more qualifies you to be president than being a plumber.”
New GOP Ad Takes a Soft Shot at Obama
[New York Times, 5/22/12] The Crossroads GPS ad that makes its debut on Wednesday in 10 swing states as the centerpiece of a $25 million campaign is a deeply researched, delicately worded story of a struggling family — not the kind of searing denunciation of the president that one might expect in an excessively negative campaign.
Primary Day: Arkansas and Kentucky
[ABC, 5/22/12] Yep, another primary day and another chance for Romney to move ever closer to clinching the nomination. Eighty-one delegates are at stake in Arkansas and Kentucky, but Romney isn't expected to clinch until next week, when Texas holds its primary.
Obama's Arkansas Primary Problem
[Washington Post, 5/22/12] Arkansas could provide another potential embarrassment for Obama because John Wolfe, a Tennessee lawyer, is also on the Democratic presidential primary ballot. A recent independent poll shows Obama running only 7 points ahead of Wolfe in Arkansas' 4th District. Thus far, about 15 percent of primary voters are voting against Obama when there's an alternative.
With Birth Control Lawsuit, Whither Goeth the Catholic Voter?
[National Journal, 5/22/12] National Journal’s Beth Reinhard writes that political fallout from the lawsuit filed by several prominent Catholic institutions — 43 all told, including Catholic University and the Archdiocese of Washington — over Obama’s birth-control mandate could seriously hamper the president’s appeal to Catholic voters.
Pro-Obama Super PAC Uses Gingrich, Perry For Bain Attack
[TPM, 5/22/12] As was expected, Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama super PAC, is out with a new online ad that attacks Romney’s record with Bain using clips of his former Republican challengers: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, and, of course, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Could Romney Be Considering Tax Breaks for Health Insurance?
[National Journal, 5/22/12] Romney is about to release his own health care plan, one using tax breaks to try to encourage people to get health insurance. Ramesh Ponnuru, a senior editor at National Review, argues such a move would be a mistake and suggests that he go for a tax credit instead.
If It Hits the Fan
[National Journal, 5/21/12] Europe’s economy is in a tailspin and China’s is slowing; meanwhile our political system is a mess. National Journal’s Charlie Cook writes that, given the anger toward Washington and increasing cynicism, voters could lash out this November – on both sides of the aisle.
Democrats Wait by the Phone for Obama
[Politico, 5/22/12] Obama is certainly in regular touch with the top Democratic leaders on the Hill, but when it comes to some key policymakers and chairmen in Democratic congressional politics, he’s far less engaged than earlier in his presidency. This lack of communication reflects a gridlocked Congress in an election year, and speaks to the president’s personal style.
Cory Booker and Torquemada
[National Journal, 5/22/12] It's obvious Cory Booker thinks the Bain critique is a distraction from real issues and National Journal’s Matthew Cooper does not think that means he's a secret Romney supporter or that he was out to sabotage Obama, as MSNBC host Chris Matthews said yesterday.
Romney Adviser: 'You Can't Hate Job Creators but Love Jobs'
[National Journal, 5/22/12] Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior adviser to Romney, said on Tuesday on Fox News that the problem with Obama is that he has a "degree of enmity" toward those in the private sector. “I think a lot of people agree with Democrats like Cory Booker who have described these attacks as 'nauseating,’ " he added.
Kelly Ayotte Ready to Jolt Joe Biden
[Boston Herald, 5/22/12] The senator from New Hampshire and possible GOP veep pick said she’d enjoy debating Biden in the fall. “The vice president does have a way with words,” she told The Herald in a wide-ranging interview.
Obama Tops $1 Billion in Career Political Contributions
[Daily Caller, 5/21/12] With Obama’s April cash haul, the president has now taken in over $1 billion in his political career — the first politician to reach this accomplishment. This total includes his 2004 Senate race and his lucrative 2008 presidential run.
Romney PAC Fundraiser’s Fee: $3 Million
[Wall Street Journal, 5/22/12] Romney’s campaign isn’t the only winner of a super PAC spending millions of dollars to support his bid for the presidency — a company associated with Steven Roche, a former Romney aide who helped raise about $55.8 million for Restore Our Future, has received about $3 million in fundraising fees.