Swing State Pres

Monday, June 25, 2012

Well It's a Marvelous Law with a Mandate (June 25, 2012)

THE DASHBOARD
The Dashboard has swung back Obama's way as each measure is now positive for him.  However, it is still very close, and the positive margins for Obama, while consistent, are hardly commanding.  It seems clear to me that the immigration issue has been a solid win for Obama and has been driving the recent news cycle.  That will change later this week with health care.

  • The Obameter.  Over the last week, Obama has surged a bit.  The rising stock market, falling gas prices and a dip in Romney's favorability rating have been the drivers.
  • The Charisma Factor.  Recent favorability data shows a slightly widened Obama lead, up from +4.4 to +7.9.
  • Latest Polling.  New polling has gone Obama's way (now +2.1%), as new polls by Bloomberg (see below), the Associated Press and Pew have all shown Obama ahead.  There has also been a swing back to Obama in Gallup's daily tracking.  Only Rasmussen, notorious for consistently favoring Republicans, has Obama trailing.
  • Swing States.  New polls show Michigan tightening and Missouri more decisively in Romney's favor, thus tightening the overall swing state polling to a mere +1.1 for Obama. But Obama's leads are still translating into a 314-224 Electoral College projection as of now.


OBAMETER














30-Apr
31-May
4-Jun
11-Jun
18-Jun
25-Jun
Unemployment Rate (beginning)
8.2
8.1
8.2
8.2
8.2
8.2
Consumer Confidence (end)
68.7
64.9
64.9
64.9
64.9
64.9
Price of Gas (average for month)
3.96
3.79
3.67
3.63
3.59
3.49
Dow-Jones (average for month)
    13,031
    12,722
    12,119
      12,332
      12,580
      12,724
Romney Favorability (average)
36.6
45.2
44.0
44.0
44.0
42.7
"Events"
0
0
0
0
0
0







Unemployment Rate (beginning)
5
6
5
5
5
5
Consumer Confidence (end)
4
0
0
0
0
0
Price of Gas (average for month)
-6
-5
-4
-3
-3
-3
Dow-Jones (average for month)
10
6
0
3
5
6
Romney Favorability (average)
1
-7
-6
-6
-6
-5
"Events"
0
0
0
0
0
0







OBAMETER
13.3
0.5
-4.2
-1.6
1.2
5.0
Obama versus Romney
3.5
1.5
-2.0
0.7
-1.5
2.1



The conventional wisdom, at least up until a few days ago, is that Obama was having a "bad June."  I think this is largely a media invention, borne of the up tick in the unemployment rate on the month's first Friday, coupled with Obama's "private sector is doing fine" misspeak on the second Friday.  There is no evidence in the Latest Polling, the Obameter, the Charisma Factor or any other objective measure that Obama has indeed lost ground in June.  My advice on this media spin?  Fahgettaboutit!

THE ELECTION WEEK IN REVIEW
On the heels on Obama's non-deportation announcement last Friday, immigration was the battleground of the week, and Obama clearly seized the upper hand.  Back-to-back speeches at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) illustrated the gap….Obama was cheered for his action, Romney met with skepticism even as he notably softened (flip-flopped?) his position.  He's still the guy that promised to veto the Dream Act…so it's hard to see how he can win on this issue.  He's trying to woo Hispanics the same way he went after women….by focusing on the economy.

I got a real kick out of the Obama camp's announcement that John Kerry will play the role of Mitt Romney in debate practice.  I think the Obama folks were pleased with this one on…oh, so many fronts.  First of all, he'll do the job well.  But the linkage of Romney with Kerry is even sweeter…a not-so-subtle reminder to Americans that if you want a blue-blooded, extremely wealthy Massachusetts politician with great hair as your President, John Kerry….er, Mitt Romney is your guy.  Oh, you already said no to that once?


There has been a fair amount of shock and awe venting in the blogosphere over a new Bloomberg News poll that has Obama up 53-40 in the election.  This is obviously an outlier in a race that has been contested within the confines of margin-of-error territory for quite some time now.  But Bloomberg is a reputable pollster, so what should I do vis-à-vis my models?  Well, I asked Nate Silver.  And Nate basically said that he didn't throw the Bloomberg poll out of his model, but he did discount it.    So I've done the same in my model.  Thanks, Nate!

And one more from the polling world…Gallup finds that 18% of Americans will not vote for a Mormon.   At this juncture nearly half of Americans do not identify Romney as a Mormon….so  this could be a factor among uninformed independents as the campaign continues and more people tune in.

THIS WEEK'S TOPIC:  HEALTH CARE
The Supreme Court will likely rule on the Affordable Health Care Act (aka ObamaCare) this week, probably on Wednesday or Thursday.  Here's what you should know about it.

Did you know the so-called "mandate" that is at the heart of the court case against ObamaCare was created in 1989 by a guy named Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation, the noted conservative think tank?  Yes, a conservative Republican created the mandate. It was the centerpiece of his free-enterprise-based plan, a counterpoint to the single payer plan favored by Democrats at the time.  And it was quite popular among Republicans for, um, over a decade.

In fact, of course you know that the mandate was also the centerpiece of Mitt Romney's health care plan as Governor of Massachusetts, which he signed just six years ago!  And yep, that is Teddy Kennedy front and center at the signing ceremony.  And who was tripping over himself with compliments of Romney's plan, saying it was "something I think we should do for the whole country."?  The Senate's leading Tea Partier, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC).  He said that in 2007!

As recently as two years ago, former Anthony Kennedy clerk Orin Kerr, a George Washington University professor, said there was "less than a one-per-cent chance that the courts will invalidate the individual mandate."  Obviously, things have changed, but what has changed is not the underlying principle.  What's changed, of course, is the politics.  There is simply no body of constitutional law that is controlling a decision to overturn the mandate.  You can't find an article challenging the constitutionality of the Romney law after it was signed.

Obama rammed the health care law through for the fleeting moment he had 60 votes in the Senate (actually 59, he needed brand-new-Senator Scott Brown's vote and had to yield a key concession to get it), and Republicans have since demonized it – very successfully – into the key issue against Obama.  That Romney has to carry this fight is one of the main reasons Tea Partiers are so lukewarm on Mitt.  Romney barely mentions it, preferring to focus on the economy.

I believe I've said this before in a prior post, so I am already on the record in my belief that the Court will not touch the law.  I don't think John Roberts wants this to be his legacy, and invite parallels with FDR antagonist Chief Justice Hughes, or make the court a campaign issue in the fall.  I think he'll find a way to get Justice Kennedy to decide to leave the mandate and the entire law alone, and then side with the majority in a 6-3 opinion.  I have no analytical basis for that…every indicator (and there were some great analyses of the three-day Q&A) is leaning towards a 5-4 overruling of at least the mandate, if not the entire law.  (Intrade currently has it as a 77% chance it will be ruled unconstitutional.)

Also, the Court will issue it's opinion on the Arizona "you can search anybody anytime but particularly Hispanics" law.  I'm less confident of them overturning this one.

WE INTERRUPT THIS NON-PARTISAN BLOG…..

…with an endorsement!  Wendy and I are backing Dr. Richard Becker in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday, June 26th for the redistricted 18th District U.S. House of Representatives.  The winner will face first-term Tea Partier Republican Nan Hayworth.  We will support any of the five Democrats who could win on Tuesday, but we like Dr. Becker's commitment, resources and organization.  We also like him…we had a 15-minute two-on-one with him a few weeks ago and he was articulate and passionate about causes important to us.  So if you live in our district (and some of you do), vote for Becker…tomorrow!


SONG

In honor of the pending health care decision, this one, to the tune of "Moondance," of course, is called "Mandate":

Well it's a marvelous law with a mandate
Covers all at no added expense
And right up to your 26th birth date
You've got coverage with your 'rents

And as for pre-existing conditions
They can't count on them to deny
And there's veto power on rate hikes
So our premiums don't go sky high

But now the Court's…got the power… to wipe out the whole law
And the far right's…on the warpath… for the so-called fatal flaw
Can we just keep that sweet mandate on the books, my judge?
Just give it some judicial restraint in your looks, my judge?

The irony of the opposition
Is that the mandate was born on the right
It was the Heritage Foundation
A right wing think tank that turned on that light

At the time they thought it was clever
A market-based private enterprise scheme
But back then how could they guess – no never
Obama'd steal it for his own big dream

But now the Court's…got the power… to wipe out the whole law
And the far right's…on the warpath… for the so-called fatal flaw
Can we just keep that sweet mandate on the books, my judge?
Just give it some judicial restraint in your looks, my judge?

Obama based his law on the Bay State's
Authored by Governor Mitt Romney
He made it the first item on his plate
With Scott Brown as vote number 60

But then the right wing couldn't abide that
And they took it straight to the courts
Got a district judge to reverse it
Made that the lead on all Fox reports

But now the Court's…got the power… to wipe out the whole law
And the far right's…on the warpath… for the so-called fatal flaw
Can we just keep that sweet mandate on the books, my judge?
Just give it some judicial restraint in your looks, my judge?

Well it's a marvelous law with a mandate
Covers all at no added expense
And right up to your 26th birth date
You've got coverage with your 'rents

Keep the mandate…on a split delight
Keep that health law…on a split delight
That la-la-la-la-law -- keep the mandate!
On a split delight…
Can WE-EE just KE-EEP that SWE-EET mandate as law………my judge!?

1 comment:

  1. Tom --

    I was just in the elevator with @chrismatthews and @bobwoodward and @josephalsop.

    They are all reading the blog now.

    What about Katie Couric?

    ReplyDelete

Leave a comment