The Cycle 6/14/2012

The Cycle 6/14/2012

Iowa: Rasmussen is showing a 47-46 Romney lead. Obama is struggling with working class whites,  andby far the largest demographic in the Hawkeye State are working class whites.

Nevada: PPP shows President Obama enjoying a 48-42 lead in Nevada. Mitt Romney continues to narrow his deficits in battleground states following primary victory.

New York: Barack Obama is enjoying the 29 electoral votes the Empire State will provide him. Siena's latest poll shows him with a 59-35 lead.

North Carolina: There was once a time when I felt that North Carolina would be an unwelcome headache for the GOP. President Obama has built an impressive ground game in here and was able to outwork McCain here in 2008. Demographic trends are on his side, but now every major pollster covering the race shows Romney with a lead. PPP was the last holdout, but this month's survey shows Obama with a 48-46 lead. The POTUS has lost 20% of Democrats to Romney, which makes me wonder if his position of gay marriage has cost him this "battleground" state.

Pennsylvania: Quinnipiac shows Barack Obama with the advantage here, 46-40. This is narrow margin than May's survey showing his lead at 47-39.

Wisconsin: Here is an example of a post Walker bounce for the GOP, Mitt Romney actually leads Barack Obama according to the latest Rasmussen poll, 47-44. Only time will tell just how durable this blip is, but BO has some problems with his MO here.

Crossroads: Rove's superPACs are adopting a "don't give 'em time to breath" strategy. They've dropped 4.6 million in ads in six states to target senate races. Attacks in Nevada, Missouri, North Dakota and Nebraska continue to keep the Democrats on the defensive in seats where Republicans are already favored, while the ads in Virginia and Ohio continue to soften up seats the GOP feels they can win in a wave year. 

I'm not sure I agree with the specific races targeted by Rove, but his tactics appear designed to ensure the GOP controls the upper chamber in the 114th congress. By banking enough seats to control the upper chamber early, Republican groups could be very aggressive in their post-Labor Day campaign strategy.

Nevertheless, I cringe every time I see money being spent in Nebraska. New Mexico, Florida, Indiana, Arizona and Montana (or even Wisconsin, once the recall buzz dies down) would be better uses for those dollars. Republicans should be targeting a 60 seat majority and this will require more aggressive behavior on the part of groups like Crossroads to make it happen.

AZ-2: Republicans would do themselves a favor by not nominating two time loser Jesse Kelly for a third time. As unimpressive as Ron Barber was, voters decided they disliked him less than the Republican. The enthusiasm gap seen in Tuesday's special election was almost entirely fueled by the GOP's disinterest in Kelly.

IL-12: Following the departure of Brad Harriman due to health reasons, Democrats have convinced Retired Army National Guard General William Enyart to seek this open seat as a replacement. No formal decision will be made til next month, but I suspect the fix is in. Enyart recently resigned his commission as a pre-cursor to a congressional bid. There is no way he leaves a plumb gig like this only to lose the nomination.

ME-1: It's never good when you only defeat an unheard of opponent in your party's primary by 181 votes. State Sen. Joe Courtney is experiencing this very unfortunate development, leading me to believe his chances at this congressional race are very slim. This was never a top tier pick-up opportunity but still…

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