As we prepare to wave goodbye to April in a few hours, let’s take a look at the burning questions from the campaign trail from the past seven days:
- What two states that were carried by President Obama in 2008 continue to look more perilous as he heads into 2012? Furthermore, which toss-up state in 2008 actually looks safer for Obama than it might have three years ago?
- Before the political cartographers get to their map-drawin’ festival known as redistricting, might we have a marquee House race on our hands in 2011?
- Why are both parties going to be paying rapt attention to some dude named Ross Miller in the coming week? Here’s a hint: it has to do with John Ensign.
- What rapidly reddening state offered at least a little good news for Democrats this week?
All this…and more!…as we prepare to welcome May to the door by closing out the week with another edition of our weekend roundup.
THE RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE
NATIONAL: National general election polling slackens way off this week, with one of the sole contributions being a truly strange survey put out by internet-basedYouGov. Why so strange? It is the most extreme example I have seen yet of the dichotomy we have discussed all year long. Obama’s job approval numbers are pretty awful in this poll (41/51), but he has sizeable leads over the GOP field, much more than we have seen elsewhere. Paired against just three GOP rivals, Obama leads Mitt Romney by nine (46-37), and lays waste to both Donald Trump (49-32) and Sarah Palin (52-34). If you buy stock in this poll, the GOP has to be petrified by this thought: at least 46% of the electorate is either “not too likely” or “not at all likely” to vote for the entire GOP first tier. That gives them what would seem to be a narrow window of opportunity to derail Obama’s re-election campaign.
Meanwhile, Fox News looks at the GOP field, and unlike a lot of recent polls, they get a clear separation in that so-called first tier. They have Romney (19%) and Huckabee (17%) with a significant lead over the rest of the field. Unlike most other polls, the rest of the field is considerably more garbled, with everyone in the single digits (Palin, Trump, Gingrich, and Ron Paul all run between 7-9%). They do not test general elex numbers, but they do run the President’s job approval numbers, and they find him right at the break-even point (47/47).