‘02 candidate/Sec/State Elaine Marshall (D) and Sen. Richard Burr (R) “offered competing visions” in a 10/11 debate” (AP, 10/11). Marshall and Burr “sharply” disagreed “on the new health care law, on drilling off the state’s coast and on which party was responsible for the national debt.”
Want More On This Race? Check out the Hotline Dashboard for a comprehensive rundown of this race, including stories, polls, ads, FEC numbers, and more!
Marshall “most often played the role of the aggressor, portraying” Burr “as a political insider” and “attempting to tie him to public discontent” with Washington. Marshall: “Washington is not responding to the needs of ordinary Americans. Senator Burr has been in Washington for 16 years and is part of that club.”
Burr: “If you believe our government has to be downsized and we need to figure out how to get more bang for our buck, then I’m asking for your support” (Christensen, Raleigh News & Observer, 10/12).
Burr “blamed unpredictable taxes and regulation for stunting the nation’s nascent economic recovery.”
Burr: “Let’s make tax rates and regulation predictable. Let’s give private capital a reason to come into the marketplace and expand business and to create jobs.”
Marshall “laid out a different vision, suggesting the nation should be offering tax credits for creating jobs.” Marshall: “We’ve got to help small businesses. We’ve got to help provide the credit they need so that they can create the jobs that we need” (Baker, AP, 10/12).
Both “refrained from offering many specifics in” the “hour long debate that touched on a broad range of subjects” (Winston-Salem Journal, 10/12).
Early Bird Gets The Votes
Early voting “has altered the dynamics of political campaign” as they’ve “gone from gearing up for voting day” to gearing up for “voting season.” In ‘08, Dems enjoyed an advantage in early voting, but “that probably reflects” better Dem organization rather than “an inherent partisan tilt to early voting itself.” In NC, early voting is set to begin in ‘10 on 10/14.
Ohio State prof. Daniel Tokaji: “It’s absolutely changed things and it’s going to change things in the future. It has to change the way campaigns are run. Campaigns are going to have to target voters earlier than they did in the past.”
NC Dem chair Andrew Whalen: “Once early voting starts, I think we’re going to see more Democrats come out and momentum build right through to Election Day” (Morrill, Charlotte Observer, 10/12).
Not Down, Not Out
Marshall “trails Burr by more than 10 percentage points in recent polls” but “told supporters that the race can still be win.” Marshall: “It is a winnable race. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about polls. … This race is about jobs. It’s about people, and it’s about jobs. That’s where we’re going to win” (Fayettesville Observer Times, 10/12).
Burr “likes to stay away from the hot button social issues” so “when he traveled to Greenville over the weekend,” it was “up to” Rep. Walter Jones (R-03) who is “a favorite of social conservatives” to “remind voters that Burr opposes abortion and opposes same-sex marriage.”
Jones: “(Burr) believes as you believe, and I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. … He shares my belief that a child is a gift from God and that ought to be part of the debate — protecting God’s gift to women” (Christensen, “Under The Dome,” Raleigh News & Observer, 10/11).
What happens in an election when two candidates who are unelectable run against each other in the fall? We are about to test that proposition.
The Florida primary is now in the record books, and Mitt Romney walked away with a big win, money in the bank, and a good deal of momentum. He is now the true front-runner in the race for the Republican nomination, and by the sound of his speech after he won Florida (and in homage to the Facebook initial public offering), he looked like he was launching his general-election IPO. So, with the understanding that the Republican primary campaign could still take a few twists and turns, let’s look forward to the general election.
After a bruising negative campaign that became considerably bitter and personal, Romney is now down to his lowest favorability rating ever among the key voting group of independents. In the latest ABC News/Washington Post polling, 51 percent of independents rate Romney unfavorably and only 23 percent view him favorably—a whopping net-negative rating of 28 percentage points. A candidate in this territory can’t win in a normal general election.
President Obama also faces bleak prospects. His approval rating (which history shows is a pretty good indicator of the vote he would draw on Election Day) is 42 percent among independent voters. That is a number that wouldn’t win a president reelection in normal times. Add to that low consumer-confidence numbers, high unemployment, and the large percentage of people who say that the country is headed in the wrong direction, and you wouldn’t put much money on the incumbent.
But someone has to win, and in the spring of 1992, a similar situation developed. Bill Clinton emerged battered and bruised from the Democratic primary race with a large number of voters viewing him unfavorably, and the incumbent president was unelectable when you looked at his job-approval numbers. So Ross Perot appeared and actually led some national polls until he showed he wasn’t ready for prime time. Clinton unified his party at the Democratic convention in New York City, and then never trailed.
In a race between two theoretically unelectable candidates, anything is possible. Could a third-party candidate emerge? Yes. Could Romney unify the Republicans? Very possible. Could Obama get a lift from an improving economy? Sure.
We won’t know any of those answers for quite a while, but it is sure going to be fun to watch this contest unfold.
What We're Following See More »
President Trump is taking heat for another series of tweets, this one aimed at the co-hosts of Morning Joe. “I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore),” Trump wrote. “Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came … to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!” In a tweet, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) said of Trump's statement, "This is not okay." NBC public relations chief Mark Kornblau said it's "beneath my dignity to respond to the President of the United States."
"Congressional investigators now want to interview Keith Schiller, President Donald Trump’s longtime bodyguard-turned-White House aide, as part of their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, sources familiar with the investigation told ABC News. Schiller, the former head of security for the Trump Organization who now serves as the White House director of Oval Office operations, is one of several Trump associates on the House Intelligence Committee’s witness list in its ongoing investigation into Russian election interference."
"After eight months of grinding urban warfare, Iraqi government troops on Thursday captured the ruined mosque in Mosul from where Islamic State proclaimed its self-styled caliphate three years ago," and the Iraqi military expect the entire city to be retaken in a matter of days. "Their fictitious state has fallen," said an Iraqi military spokesman.
"The move puts to death the long-suffering tie-up between Walgreens and Rite Aid, which was originally announced in October 2015 ...The new deal was designed to alleviate the FTC's concerns about the market overlap between Walgreens and Rite Aid and the bolstered bargaining power a full acquisition would have given Walgreens. Rite Aid said it had to ditch the original deal after regulators privately 'led the company to believe that the parties would not have obtained FTC clearance to consummate the merger.'"