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.
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Former Rep. Bill Goodling (R-PA), who served 26 years in the House representing York County, PA, died Sunday at age 89. Goodling, who succeeded his father George Goodling in 1975, "faced few serious opponents over the years, winning 13 consecutive terms. He retired in 2001." He also served as chair of the House Education and Labor Committee from 1995-2001.
"Donald Trump Jr., his wife Vanessa Trump, and Kellyanne Conway are dropping Secret Service protection, Fox News has confirmed. The move to get rid of round-the-clock protection came after Trump Jr. wished to have more privacy. Other family members of the president will remain under Secret Service protection." Conway dropped the protection after the threat level against her dropped from earlier in the administration.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson "will resign as Foreign Secretary before the weekend if Theresa May veers towards a 'Swiss-style' arrangement with the EU in her Brexit speech in Florence, The Telegraph understands." He "believes he will have no option but to walk out of the Cabinet if the Prime Minister advocates permanently paying for access to the single market."
"Senate Republicans are considering writing a budget that would allow for up to $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade. ... A budget that creates fiscal room for a $1.5 trillion tax cut, if adopted, would then be followed by a tax bill that would specify rate cuts and other policy changes that don’t exceed that figure. Calling for a tax cut in the budget would let Republicans lower tax rates while making fewer tough decisions on what tax breaks to eliminate to help pay for the cuts."
"The Senate has overwhelmingly approved a sweeping defense policy bill that would pump $700 billion into the military, putting the U.S. armed forces on track for a budget greater than at any time during the decade-plus wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Senators passed the legislation by an 89-8 vote Monday."