Archive for Campaign 2012

Follow the Ad Money!

The Washington Post just started a new featured resource: “Mad Money,” where the reader can “watch the latest campaign ads in the 2012 presidential race and track ad spending during the primaries and general election.”

The Denizens will be following this site regularly… you should too! To help, we’ve added it to our blogroll on the right-side menu on your screen.

“Mitt vs. Mitt,” Fact Checked

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The Democratic National Committee let GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney have it yesterday with a new 4 minute web video entitled “Mitt vs. Mitt,” intended to cast aspersions on his trustworthiness as a public policy flip-flopper, borrowing heavily from the Bush-Cheney 2004 anti-John Kerry playbook. Perhaps predicting that Romney is the true eventual nominee, the DNC ad attacks Romney where he’s most vulnerable: in distrust among many, especially conservatives in his own party, that he places ephemeral political expedience before principle in his shifting policy positions.

First, here’s the ad:

Ever the intrepid defender of accuracy over b.s., the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s Factcheck.org released an analysis of the DNC ad that identifies a host of distortions of Romney’s public statements and positions. What did they come up with?

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Romney vs. Not-Romney

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Today’s Talking Points Memo reports on a Campaign 2012 phenomenon that the Denizens have recently commented on: the persistent competition between Mitt Romney and “Not Romney.” Here’s the guts of Eric Kleefeld’s take on the poolling in key early primary and caucus states, which depict Romney’s stagnation amidst an ebb and flow of Not-Romneys:

As has been noted many times, the Republican contest has gone through a cycle of one candidate or another gaining a sudden, massive amount of support against Romney, only to collapse after a combination of blunders and media scrutiny — see Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain. The big question, then, is whether any candidate will be able to put up a stable anti-Romney front, or if the competition are too flawed, and Romney can take it by default. (Newt Gingrich, you’re now up at bat.) And if Herman Cain should now drop out of the race — he suggested on Tuesday he was ‘reassessing’ things — that could mean a sudden turn to a much rougher road for Romney. The numbers suggest Gingrich would be much more the beneficiary of a Cain departure than Romney.

So what do we make of this situation?

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Cain’s Collapse: Was No One His Brother’s Keeper?

Herman Cain's campaign has gone much further than intended and controversy will help it sink.

Herman Cain’s meteoric rise and fall in the GOP presidential nomination race will be a subject of sustained inquiry for some time. Chris Cillizza does some early prognosticating for the Washington Post over who is likely to benefit if and when (likely when) Cain withdraws in the wake of the Ginger White extramarital affair story that broke Monday.

But some larger questions require some attention, beyond the inevitable “he said / she said” and the “how does this affect the horse race?” chat. We ought to consider how a Herman Cain candidacy got as far as it did, given its unconventional candidate and campaign approach.

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Herman, Herman, Herman: C’mon Man!

Herman Cain\’s Campaign \”Reassessing\”

Herman Cain’s campaign has gone much further than intended and controversy will help it sink.

Everyday lately, we have been subjected to some new story about Herman Cain or some inkling of a new scandal. Before that we were given a steady diet of non-traditional tactics from his campaign. In reality, we haven’t gotten too much from his campaign. Cain doesn’t have much of a campaign.

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Why Polls are for Nerds… Usually.

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OK, Point 1 on why polls are for nerds, at least usually: it’s the day after Thanksgiving, I read a Washington Post blog article on some recent polling from the Tarrance Group for Politico and George Washington University that I think has limited usefulness at best, and I proceed to start writing about it immediately. That’s nerdy.

But while there is much we can learn from public opinion polls, especially in politics, it’s important to keep them in perspective — particularly the perspective of media framing and institutional norms of journalism that are usually all but allergic to a long view.

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Steve Benen Beat Us To Romney’s, umm…

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So Mitt Romney’s first campaign ad was released, with a glaring falsehood created by manipulative editing — see if you can spot it:


The Denizens were all set to rip this one out – but Steve Benen at Political Animal beat us to it… and doing so with one of the Denizens’ favorite philosophers:

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Pre-Thanksgiving Leftovers

One of the things the Denizens are thankful for this holiday season is Factcheck.org, sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center. It is perhaps the best nonpartisan fact-checking institution out there.  When it comes to something like a campaign debate, their services are vital.  Do be sure to check them out regularly (like we do — they’re on our blogroll! See the menu to your right.)

Here’s their take on last night’s GOP primary debate: Pre-Thanksgiving Leftovers.

Poll Numbers Have Their Privileges

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Clearly, a number of linked circumstances (public stumbles by Rick Perry and Herman Cain; perpetual lukewarm support of Mitt Romney; a media blitz last weekend) have led to former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s new frontrunner status in the GOP presidential primary race.

As evidence of the relationship between ephemeral audience preferences and media agenda-setting, my friend Eric Ostermeier, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, has released an illuminating content analysis of last night’s GOP debate. Frontrunners get more talk-time, potentially perpetuating their frontrunner status by framing them as such (unless they commit a serious gaffe, provide a generally unimpressive performance, or… what was that third thing?).

Smart Politics is a great nonpartisan site for research and analysis… it’s on our blogroll!  You should read it.

Missed Opportunity: Funding our Future

Republican candidates debate national security issues at CNN debate in Washington, D.C. on November 22, 2011.

In CNN’s Republican debate on national security issues, there was a point where issues of immigration and education came into the discussion. The latest entrant to the frontrunner spot slightly ahead of Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, said the U.S. should have a visa attached to every math and science degree to assure foreign graduates stay. While this is a nice sentiment, it brings up the question of how the Republicans as well as the rest of the political establishment in the United States really feels about education.

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