Daily Archives: 11/19/2011

Florida Polls: Romney Leads Obama; Mack Leads Nelson

Rasmussen has out two polls in the last 48 hours: Romney earns support from 46% of Likely Voters in the Sunshine State to Obama’s 42%. Nine percent (9%) prefer some other candidate, while four percent (4%) are undecided.

on the Senate front, Republican Congressman Connie Mack changed his mind late last month about challenging longtime Democratic Senator Bill Nelson in 2012, and now he finds himself with a modest edge over the incumbent in the first Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Florida’s U.S. Senate race.

The latest statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters in the state shows Mack with 43% to Nelson’s 39%. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and 13% remain undecided.

Read more of both polls in the above links.

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Stock Market-FDIC Update 11/19/11

U.S. Equity Markets were down tis week wits the Dow losing 2.94%; S&P 500 dumping 3.81%, and the NASDAQ sredding 3.97%.

Year-to-Date (YTD), the Dow Jones Industrial Average, (DJIA) is up 1.89%; the S&P 500 is down 3.34%; and the NASDAQ is down by 3.03%.

In the mean time, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) closed two banks this weekend, bringing to 90 the number of banks it closed this year through November 18, 2011. At the same time last year, the FDIC had already closed 149 banks, up from the 124 banks closed in the same period back in 2009. Only fifty banks were closed for all the eight years of the Bush Administration, including 25 in 2008.

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Opinion: Jews Won’t Mind Romney’s Mormonism

Chemi Shalev writes: although Republicans are trying to make you believe that the sky is the limit as far as their share of the 2012 Jewish vote is concerned, most of the people that I talk to agree that if Romney gets 40 per cent of the Jewish vote, and thus emulates Ronald Reagan’s 39% share in 1980 or Dwight Eisenhower’s 40% support in 1956 – he will be able to boast of a historic achievement which may indeed be but a precursor to bigger and better things for the Republicans in the future. In a pinch, and on the yet-to-be proven assumption that a race between Romney and President Obama would be a close one, such a proportion of the Jewish vote may very well put Romney over the top in a state such as Florida, as many analysts have already noted, which may ensure the presidency for the Republican Party.

Romney’s moderate positions, his successful business background and his East Coast credentials play a major role in making Jews feel more comfortable with him than with other Republican candidates, as Nathan Guttmann reported in the Forward last month.  An American Jewish Committee poll conducted in September already gave Romney 32% of the Jewish vote – more than any other candidate – compared to Obama’s 50%, and 18% that were undecided.

A coalition comprised of the 22% of Jewish voters who preferred John McCain over Obama in 2008, buttressed by the ever-growing number of newly-eligible Orthodox  and ultra-Orthodox voters – who will come out to vote “even twice or thrice” if their Rebbe so orders it, as every Israeli knows – complemented by substantial numbers of Jewish professionals and business people who have despaired of Obama’s economic performance and reinforced by those Jews who have been driven crazy by what they perceive as Obama’s anti-Israeli animus  – all of these could significantly bolster the Republican Jewish vote on November 6, 2012, especially, or perhaps only, if Romney is the candidate.

But the most important factor working in Romney’s favor, from a Jewish point of view, is the one that is his Achilles’ heel in the internal Republican contest – the disaffection towards him exhibited by ultra-conservatives, evangelicals and Tea Party types. All the so-called “non-Romneys” that keep popping up in the race – first Michele Bachman, then Rick Perry, then Herman Cain and now Newt Gingrich – are supported by the kind of groups that make most mainstream American Jews squirm and stay Democrat, and this includes the staunchly pro-Israeli Christian evangelicals.

And Romney has two other, possibly relevant personal tidbits in his personal biography: first, he is the son of Michigan governor George Romney, who was a leading Republican moderate and whose close friend and later campaign treasurer was Max Fisher, the late and great Jewish Republican macher, who moved from Romney’s failed presidential campaign in 1968 to that of the eventual victor Richard Nixon and from there to a position of unparalleled political sway. Secondly, it is not widely known that Romney knows Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from the late 1970’s, when most Israelis hadn’t heard of him yet, when both were employed by the Boston Consulting Group. And according to published press reports, it was Romney who introduced the future prime minister to Fleur Cates, who went on to become Netanyahu’s second wife.

(Read More at Haaretz)

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RNC Beats DNC in October Fundraising

The Note Reports: The Republican National Committee – the Republican Party’s main electoral committee – beat out its Democratic counterpart, the Democratic National Committee, in fundraising for the month of October.

The RNC pulled in $8.5 million for the month while the DNC raised $7.9 million.

Both committees saw a decrease in fundraising from the previous month of September, but the DNC’s decline was much larger. In September, the committee raised $14.6 million – almost double its October earnings.

The RNC’s decrease was much smaller – down less than $1 million from the $9.3 million they took in for September.

The Democratic National Committee’s earnings for October include $2 million raised on behalf of a joint account shared by the DNC and President Obama’s re-election campaign called, “The Obama Victory Fund.”

As of the end of October, the RNC had more cash on hand than the DNC, but also a larger debt. The Republican National Committee had $13.5 million on hand, and $13.9 million in debt. The Democratic National Committee had $11.1 million in the bank, and a debt of $9 million.

The RNC has reduced its debt by more than $10 million since  Reince Priebus became chairman in January. Chairman Priebus put out a statement today following the release of the October fundraising numbers.

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Same Old: UN Bashing is Popular Among Republican Candidates

Bashing the United Nations seldom fails as an applause line for Republican presidential candidates.

Mitt Romney  says the U.N. too often becomes a forum for tyrants when it should promote  democracy and human rights. Newt Gingrich pledges to take on the U.N.’s  “absurdities.” Herman Cain
says he would change some of its rules. Rick Perry  says he would consider pulling the United States out of the U.N. altogether.

All that U.N. bashing has raised questions about whether a Republican victory  could strain the relationship between the United Nations and its host country,  the United States. President Barack Obama’s Democratic administration considers the U.N.  critical to the country’s interests, while Republicans traditionally have been disenchanted with the world body over America’s inability to reliably win  support for its positions. It doesn’t help that U.N. members often criticize  American policies, especially as they relate to Israel and the Palestinians. That was reinforced last month when the U.N. cultural agency voted to approve  a Palestinian bid for full membership in that body, and the U.S. responded by
cutting off funding.

Yet history shows that any American president learns to get along with the  United Nations “simply because there’s a lot of stuff the U.N. does that is  useful to the United States,” said David Bosco, who writes the Multilateralist  blog for Foreign Policy magazine.

Case in point: Even the harshest American critics were silent earlier this  month when the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog concluded that Iran was probably  developing nuclear arms.

Bosco, also an assistant professor at American University’s School of International Service, noted that the Republican administration of George W.  Bush supported a major expansion in U.N. peacekeeping despite regular  sniping about the world body.

But the relationship wasn’t a smooth one. Tensions ran high between the U.S.  and the world body during the Bush presidency, especially when outspoken John Bolton was the U.S. ambassador.

U.N. officials have declined to comment on the possibility that a Republican
win could strain the United Nations’ relationship with the U.S.

“The United States is an important state at the United Nations and we would  expect that relationship would continue under any administration,” said Martin  Nesirky, spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

(Read More at Breitbart)

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Mitt Romney Quietly Opens First Iowa Office

CBS Reports: Mitt Romney is skipping a big Republican presidential candidates’ forum in Iowa Saturday, but that doesn’t mean he’s skipping out on the Hawkeye state.

The former Massachusetts governor – who has kept a deliberately low profile in a state that gave him a rude stumble coming out of the box in his 2008 presidential effort – quietly opened a campaign office in Des Moines this week.

While some of Romney’s rivals have made photo opportunities of such headquarters’ openings, Team Romney is not going out of its way to publicize its Iowa beachhead.

Romney’s Iowa team consists of his top Iowa strategist, Dave Kochel; state director Sara Craig; and three field staffers, all of whom have been on board for some time.

This is in stark contrast to his office in Manchester, New Hampshire, with a staff nearly double in size – though the Granite State is half as large as its Hawkeye counterpart. Romney is putting a big emphasis on New Hampshire, where he’s practically a favorite son. As governor of neighboring Massachusetts, he was a familiar presence on the state’s TV screens and he owns a vacation home in the Granite State.

In Iowa, Romney has been such an infrequent visitor that Gov. Terry Branstad,  a fellow Republican, has publicly chided Romney for his truancy.

Four years ago, Romney was badly burned in Iowa, finishing a distant second to Mike Huckabee despite having poured  resources into the state for more than a year.

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Obama Outpaces GOP rivals in Small Donations

From the Washington Post: A Washington Post analysis shows that nearly half of his campaign contributions, and a quarter of the money he has raised for the Democratic Party, has come from donors giving less than $200. That’s much higher than it was in 2008 and far beyond what the best-funded Republicans have managed.

Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, the leading GOP fundraisers, have embraced a traditional approach, focusing on big-dollar contributors who can fill coffers without the high overhead costs of a campaign targeting small donations, the analysis shows.

Business executive Herman Cain has had more success with small donors, who have helped propel a surge in contributions to the candidate in recent weeks.

A grass-roots-oriented campaign presents opportunities and risks for Obama, who is weighed down by the stagnant economy, a glum public mood and signs of disaffection among Democrats.

The focus is rooted in the belief that donors, even if they give only a few dollars, are more committed to their candidate than those who have not written a check.

“The number of small donations shows who it is that supports this president and who put him there,” said Katherine Hahn, a self-described “mom and artist” from Evergreen, Colo., who gives Obama $25 a month. “It wasn’t the powers that be so much as it was people like me.”

But relying on donors of modest means could limit the fundraising ability of the president, whose campaign is already showing signs that it is struggling to bring in big donations. Fewer than 6,000 contributors had given Obama $2,500 or more through September.

That compares with more than 8,000 maxed-out donors giving to Romney. And if Romney wins the nomination, the same people will be able to give much larger amounts to his campaign and the Republican Party.

‘Broad-based’ strategy

“We always knew we needed to build a broad-based support network, and we try not to rely too much on one thing,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in an interview. “Our experience is that people who give become volunteers, and people who volunteer become donors. We want to build a relationship with them.”

Republicans say their eventual nominee will have plenty of time to build widespread excitement after the primaries.

“The role of small donors is the same as large donors — to participate in our campaign community, one that is eager to replace President Obama with a new leader who can get our country back on track,” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. She said 83 percent of Romney’s donors in the third quarter gave less than $250.

(Read More at the Wash Post)

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Rahm Emanuel Visits Iowa to Campaign for Obama

From the AP: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will launch an ardent defense of President Barack Obama to Iowa Democratic activists, warning that “we just can’t cut our way to prosperity.”

Emanuel was scheduled to speak Saturday night at the Iowa Democratic Party’s biggest annual fundraiser. Excerpts from his remarks were provided to The Associated Press in advance.

In them, Emanuel says Obama has made crucial and tough decisions based on his principles, and not to lay the groundwork for a second term in office.

“In the next four years, there will be more challenges and more crises that will determine the economic vitality of the middle class and the economic future of this country,” Emanuel says. “Whose character, whose judgment do you want in that office?”

Before winning election as mayor, Emanuel was a top aide for Obama and he’s been a vocal advocate for the president. Emanuel says he expects voters to focus on the character of the candidates during the upcoming campaign.

The deficit reduction debate in Washington has centered on a fight between Obama and Democrats, who argue the solution is a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. Republicans argue for sole reliance on spending cuts. “To create true middle-class security, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity,” Emanuel says. “We must out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the
world.”

Emanuel was to be the featured speaker at the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner in Des Moines, the largest annual fundraiser for the Iowa Democratic Party. His appearance was expected to give the party a chance to grab attention from Republican presidential candidates making their case to social conservatives
just across town.

(Read More at Breitbart.Com)

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