Politics: Energy

Hatch, Baucus Spar Over Impact of Repealing Oil, Gas Industry Tax Breaks

Add to Briefcase
May 12, 2011, 10:49 a.m.

Con­duc­ted 9/22-10/3 by So­cial Sci­ence Re­search Solu­tions; sur­veyed 2,054 adults; mar­gin of er­ror +/- 2.2% (re­lease, 10/10).

What Grade Would You Give ___ For Their Over­all Per­form­ance?

- A/B C/D F Obama As POTUS 48% 33% 18% Your rep. 40 42 12 Dems in Con­gress 31 47 19 GOP­ers in Con­gress 22 56 18

Dir­ec­tion Of U.S.

- Now 8/04 6/00 Right dir. 34% 36% 44% Wrong dir. 59 59 47

Do You Think The Na­tion’s Eco­nomy Is Get­ting Bet­ter/Get­ting Worse/Stay­ing The Same?

Get­ting bet­ter 28% Get­ting worse 36 Stay­ing same 35

Think­ing About The Eco­nom­ic Chal­lenges Fa­cing The Coun­try, Would You Say The Ac­tions Taken By The ___ Make Things Bet­ter/Made Things Worse/Had No Ef­fect?

- Bet­ter Worse NoEf­fect Obama ad­min. 40% 31% 26% Bush ad­min. 15 63 19

Which Do You Think Is More Im­port­ant Right Now — In­creas­ing Fed­er­al Spend­ing To Try To Cre­ate Jobs And Im­prove The Eco­nomy, Or Avoid­ing A Big In­crease In The Fed­er­al Budget De­fi­cit?

In­creas­ing spend­ing 50% Avoid­ing de­fi­cit 46

Which Would You Most Like To See Res­ult From The Cong. Elec­tions This Nov.?

- All RVs A Dem ma­jor­ity in Con­gress 50% 47% A GOP ma­jor­ity in Con­gress 41 43 Split con­trol of Houses 4 4 Un­dec 6 6

Over­all, Would You Say You Sup­port/Op­pose The Polit­ic­al Move­ment Known As The Tea Party?

Sup­port 21% Op­pose 22 Neither sup­port nor op­pose 49

It’s mis­lead­ing to say that the state of the eco­nomy de­term­ines wheth­er a pres­id­ent will win reelec­tion. But it is fair to say that when a White House in­cum­bent is run­ning for a second term, the elec­tion is first and fore­most a ref­er­en­dum on that pres­id­ent; the single most im­port­ant factor that voters con­sider in as­sess­ing a pres­id­ent is the state and dir­ec­tion of the eco­nomy. That is the de­fault factor un­less something hap­pens to shift a race’s dy­nam­ic and make the elec­tion more like a choice than a ref­er­en­dum. At least, that’s what I’ve al­ways thought.

We do not know what the state and dir­ec­tion of the eco­nomy will be next fall. Without a doubt, the pic­ture is bet­ter today than it was four or eight months ago. Still, very smart eco­nom­ists have widely di­ver­gent views on where the eco­nomy will be then. If the elec­tion were a ref­er­en­dum on Pres­id­ent Obama and the eco­nomy four or eight months ago, he would have lost. If it were a ref­er­en­dum on Obama and the eco­nomy al­most two weeks ago — when his ap­prov­al rat­ing tipped up to 48 and 49 per­cent in the Gal­lup Poll, and 50 per­cent in ABC/Wash­ing­ton Post, CBS/New York Times, and CNN sur­veys — he prob­ably would have won. (His Gal­lup num­bers have since trended down­ward to 44 per­cent; the de­cline likely re­flects more at­ten­tion on rising gas­ol­ine prices.)

But now I won­der wheth­er the eco­nomy will drive this elec­tion to the usu­al ex­tent — or to the ex­tent I had thought. More spe­cific­ally, will the Re­pub­lic­an Party nom­in­ate a can­did­ate who can cred­ibly com­pete for the in­de­pend­ent voters whose sup­port is so im­port­ant in gen­er­al elec­tions?

In­de­pend­ents rep­res­en­ted 29 per­cent of the elect­or­ate in 2008. In last year’s com­bined Gal­lup polls, though, they were 40 per­cent — a re­cord high. In 2000, Re­pub­lic­an George W. Bush won the in­de­pend­ent vote by 2 per­cent­age points over Demo­crat Al Gore but nar­rowly lost the over­all pop­u­lar vote. In 2004, Demo­crat John Kerry ac­tu­ally car­ried in­de­pend­ents by 1 point but lost the na­tion­al pop­u­lar vote by 3 points. The win­ner of the in­de­pend­ent vote doesn’t ne­ces­sar­ily win the gen­er­al elec­tion. But a can­did­ate has to be very com­pet­it­ive among in­de­pend­ents to have a chance to win. In 2008, the GOP’s John Mc­Cain lost the in­de­pend­ent vote by 8 per­cent­age points and the elec­tion by 7 points.

Re­pub­lic­ans should be con­cerned that Mitt Rom­ney’s num­bers among in­de­pend­ents have been tank­ing in re­cent weeks; he went from double-di­git leads over Obama in some polls, in­clud­ing one by the Pew Re­search Cen­ter, to a 9-point de­fi­cit. He is con­sidered the “most elect­able” Re­pub­lic­an. If oth­er GOP con­tenders have equally dis­mal or worse ap­prov­al num­bers among in­de­pend­ents, you have to won­der wheth­er this could end up as a choice elec­tion, with Re­pub­lic­ans com­ing out on the los­ing end.

It is be­com­ing quite clear that the con­ser­vat­ive base of the Re­pub­lic­an Party is driv­ing the car. These voters prefer someone from the pull-no-punches brand of con­ser­vat­ism that cre­ated the tea party move­ment in 2009 and handed Re­pub­lic­ans their House ma­jor­ity in 2010. It’s cer­tainly the GOP’s right and choice to do that. The cal­en­dar, though, says 2012. The mood of the broad­er elect­or­ate — and, spe­cific­ally, in­de­pend­ents — ap­pears to be very dif­fer­ent. If you see any of Obama’s ad­visers look­ing bruised from head to toe, it might be from pinch­ing them­selves in dis­be­lief.

A month ago, in my Jan. 23 Na­tion­al Journ­al Daily column, I poin­ted out that if Rom­ney lost the Flor­ida primary, after be­ing thumped by former Speak­er Newt Gin­grich in South Car­o­lina, time re­mained for a new can­did­ate to get in­to the race. Thir­teen states still had open fil­ing dead­lines then; 10 of them still do. Those con­tests could not provide a new entrant with the 1,144 del­eg­ates needed to walk in­to the GOP con­ven­tion with the nom­in­a­tion. But with enough del­eg­ates from states such as Cali­for­nia, the new can­did­ate would have a seat at a table and pos­sibly some mo­mentum.

If Rom­ney loses Michigan and has a dis­ap­point­ing Su­per Tues­day, this scen­ario could hap­pen. It is now quite plaus­ible that Rom­ney will lose the nom­in­a­tion. But it is much harder to see Rick San­tor­um, Newt Gin­grich, or Ron Paul win­ning it.

If House Speak­er John Boehner and Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell went in­to a back room, maybe ac­com­pan­ied by the four liv­ing GOP pres­id­en­tial nom­in­ees (Mc­Cain, George W. Bush, Bob Dole, and George H.W. Bush), with the doors locked and a puff of smoke emer­ging, they could de­cide on a 2012 Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­ee. That anoin­ted one would pos­sibly be a stronger gen­er­al-elec­tion con­tender than whomever the GOP will prob­ably end up pick­ing. But could such an es­tab­lish­ment choice pass muster with the base?

Simply put, the pas­sion and en­ergy of the Re­pub­lic­an Party today may well fail to pro­duce a nom­in­ee with a de­cent chance of win­ning in Novem­ber. My as­sump­tion was that Rom­ney would be the nom­in­ee and would make a good run. Now, I have be­gun to doubt both pro­pos­i­tions. His odds of win­ning the nom­in­a­tion are grow­ing longer. And even if he does, he has twis­ted and turned him­self in­to a hu­man pret­zel. I’m not sure how elect­able he is. The al­tern­at­ives, however, seem even less so. 

What We're Following See More »
TRUMP CONTINUES TO LAWYER UP
Kasowitz Out, John Dowd In
3 days ago
THE LATEST

As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."

Source:
ALSO INQUIRES ABOUT PARDON POWER
Trump Looking to Discredit Mueller
3 days ago
THE LATEST

President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.

Source:
INCLUDES NY PROBE INTO MANAFORT
Why Yes, Mueller Is Looking into Trump Businesses
3 days ago
THE LATEST

In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."

Source:
Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."

Source:
ANALYSIS FROM CBO
32 Million More Uninsured by 2026 if Obamacare Repealed
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login