Conducted 10/2-4 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (D); surveyed 816 LVs; margin of error +/- 3.4% (release, 10/7).
Obama As POTUS- Now 9/2 Approve 42% 45% Disapprove 52 52
Direction Of U.S.- Now 9/2 Right dir. 29% 29% Wrong dir. 63 63
House General Election Matchup- Now 9/2 Generic GOPer 49% 49% Generic Dem 43 42 Other 2 2 Undec 4 6
Fav/Unfav- Now 9/2 B. Obama 45%/44% 44%/45% The GOP 38 /42 35 /42 Dem Party 37 /47 36 /46 Dem Congress 36 /50 34 /50
Which Party Would Do A Better Job Handling ___? (*, ^ — Split Samples)- Dems GOPers Both Neither Undec Retirement/Social Security^ 44% 37% 1% 8% 11% Listening to people^ 43 31 2 13 11 Being on your side 40 38 1 8 12 Health care* 40 46 0 5 10 The economy 38 46 1 6 8 Bringing the right kind of change* 37 44 1 8 10 Taxes 37 48 1 6 9 Federal budget deficit* 34 46 0 8 11 Gov’t spending^ 33 49 1 8 9
Remember those five things we asked you to watch on Tuesday night? It turns out the voters decided to raise more questions than even we had.
But here are the things we were watching for:
1. How weak or strong will Mitt Romney be on Wednesday morning?
Interestingly enough, Romney appeared far weaker on Tuesday night than he turned out to be when everyone awoke the next day. With Ohio still hanging in the balance at midnight, Rick Santorum looked pretty good with Tennessee, Oklahoma, and North Dakota under his belt. Romney had scored wins only in Massachusetts, a state he once governed; Vermont, a neighboring state; and Virginia, where Ron Paul was his only competition. And even there, Paul was able to consolidate the anti-Romney vote with 41 percent of the total.
But with his Ohio victory, narrow as it was, daylight showed Romney to be so far ahead in the delegate count — with one third of those needed to clinch the nomination — that we were reminded how difficult it will be for anyone else to catch up. And he added wins in Idaho and Alaska for good measure.
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum (CNN)
2. What is Rick Santorum’s path come Wednesday morning?
If you were expecting Santorum (or Newt Gingrich, or Paul) to fade away, you were sorely mistaken. Santorum, as Romney’s chief rival, was invigorated by the relatively inexpensive success he had at keeping Romney on the run. The Romney forces are stressing their delegate advantage, but that is not new. Santorum, who has been able to tap into the restive ranks of conservative Republicans who do not seem to trust the front-runner, is diving immediately into Kansas, Mississippi, and Alabama.
3. Will Gingrich be credible as a likely nominee even if he wins Georgia?
As his party’s nominee? It’s hard to see how. But as a troublemaker for the foreseeable future? Absolutely. “There are lots of bunny rabbits that run through,” Gingrich said dismissively at his Georgia victory party on Tuesday night. “I’m the tortoise; I just take one step at a time.”
But unlike in Georgia, the aforementioned Santorum plans to give Gingrich a run for those anti-Romney voters. As the results in Virginia demonstrated, the former Massachusetts governor is more vulnerable one-on-one. And as the results in South Carolina and Tennessee showed, Romney is weaker in the South.
The longer Gingrich and Santorum duke it out, the better for Romney. But that does not improve the map for Gingrich.
Romney aides told reporters in a post-Super Tuesday strategy memo: “As Governor Romney’s opponents attempt to ignore the basic principles of math, the only person’s odds of winning they are increasing are President Obama’s.”
4. How vigorously will President Obama try to use his White House bully pulpit to stomp on the GOP’s big day?
Well, he did try. A White House news conference ordinarily sucks all the air out of the room. But since the meeting with reporters was dominated by questions about national security and U.S.-Israel relations, there was precious little time devoted to politics.
But when it did come up — in the form of a question about what he wanted to say to Romney, who had called him “the most feckless president since Carter” — the president shrugged it off. “Good luck tonight,” he said to laughter. “Really?” a reporter asked. “Really,” the president replied, firmly and with a politician’s smile.
It was a handy reminder that the Obama campaign has never taken its eye off the Romney ball. They don’t mind that Romney is in a damaging dogfight, but they have always considered him to be the candidate they will face in the fall.
5. Will Republicans begin to coalesce around a winner?
See above. Not quite yet. But expect Romney to spend the next several weeks trying with all his might to roll out enough endorsements, raise enough money, and pull enough strings to rally the party around the strongest argument he has right now: inevitability.
What We're Following See More »
"House GOP leaders on Tuesday night pitched a new strategy to avert a looming government shutdown that includes children's health funding and the delay of ObamaCare taxes. Lawmakers need to pass a short-term stopgap bill by midnight Friday, when money for the federal government runs out. The latest GOP plan would keep the government’s lights on through Feb. 16, and be coupled with a six-year extension of funding for the popular Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The continuing resolution or CR would also delay ObamaCare's medical device and Cadillac taxes for two years, and the health insurance tax for one year starting in 2019."
"A key Senate negotiator and White House official on Tuesday expressed little hope for an immigration deal this week but nonetheless predicted that Congress can avoid a government shutdown." Marc Short, the White House Capitol Hill liaison, said he's optimistic about a deal on DACA overall, but not this week. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn also said he doubts an agreement can be made before week's end.
"Homeland Security Kristjen Nielsen confirmed that President Trump used 'tough language' in an Oval Office meeting last week over immigration policy, but she said she did not hear him describe some African countries and Haiti as 'shithole countries,' as has been reported." When pressed she, also said she "didn't know" whether Norway was a predominately white country.
"Chances of a government shutdown grew Monday as Republicans concluded that they would be unable to reach a long-term spending accord by the Friday deadline. GOP leaders are now turning to a short-term funding measure in hopes of keeping agencies open while talks continue, but Democratic leaders say they are unlikely to support any deal that does not protect young illegal immigrants. Aides to key negotiators from both parties planned to meet Tuesday in an effort to rekindle budget talks, setting up a Wednesday meeting of the leaders themselves. If they cannot agree, the government would shut down at midnight Friday for the first time since 2013."
“'As a junior foreign service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the president and his administration in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies. My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honor bound to resign. That time has come,' Feeley said, according to an excerpt of his resignation letter read to Reuters."