Tuesday, October 16, 2012

News Nuggets 1086

DAYLEE PICTURE: Chile's Torres Del Paine National Park.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

Student Loan Mimics Subprime Mortgage Industry (Natasha Lennard) from Salon
"Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report shows all too familiar complaints from besieged borrowers."

Why the Early Vote Looks Good for Democrats (Aaron Blake) from the Washington Post
"It’s still very early in the early voting process, but at least for now, Democrats can be optimistic that they are building a lead in the 2012 presidential race. Absentee and early voting data from nine states that are generally viewed as competitive at the presidential level show Democrats requesting and returning more absentee ballots than they did in 2008 in Florida and Iowa."

Supreme Court Approves Ohio Early Voting On Final Weekend Before Election Day (Dan Froomkin) from the Huffington Post
"Ohio Republican leaders said their motivation was to make things easier for election administrators. But the appellate court noted that some Ohio election administrators actually preferred having those extra days of voting -- and that in either case, the "proffered interest in smooth election administration" wasn't sufficient reason."

2012 Polls Continue To Show Close Race Nationwide, Obama Edge In Battleground States (Mark Blumenthal) from the Huffington Post
"Although the national vote estimate has been slightly narrower over the past week and has tipped slightly to Romney at times, Obama has maintained an advantage in these crucial battleground states."

Blumenthal gets a two-fer:
2012 Polls Explained: The Truth Behind Obama And Romney's Scattered Numbers (Mark Blumenthal) from the Huffington Post
"Over the last two weeks, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney closed the gap on President Barack Obama in pre-election polls, but the sometimes inconsistent numbers have been confusing. Why do polls seem to be all over the place? And how could Romney be leading in some national polls while Obama holds an advantage in polling in the battleground states?"

Against Our Debate Obsession (Alec MacGillis) from the New Republic 
"Yeah, those are big stakes. And you know what? That's nuts. It's nuts that through some combination of media obsession and voter behavior (good luck distinguishing between those two -- it's the ultimate chicken and the egg conundrum) we've found ourselves in a situation where we believe the election of the next president, a process we've been engaged in for the better part of the past year, resides to a great degree on what happens over the course of a few remaining hours of television."

Will Obama Bounce Back or Fall Below His Floor? (Michael Scherer) from Time Magazine
"At the time, a senior Obama adviser told me that whatever bad things happened, they could take comfort in one thing: The campaign had polled enough in the swing states to know Obama had a high minimum level of support. He could dip, his campaign believed, but he wasn’t going to collapse. The last two weeks seem to have born that out."

Obama, Romney Look to Channel Bill Clinton in Next Debate from The Hill 
"Both Mitt Romney and President Obama are looking to channel one man at Tuesday night's debate: former President Bill Clinton. According to political consultants on both sides of the aisle, Clinton's 1992 performance against then-President George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot serves the gold standard of the town-hall format."
If both are looking to channel Bill Clinton, I look to Obama to do that more effectively -- but the debate is made up of an audience of "undecided" voters.  This DOES NOT favor Obama.  Why?  Undecideds tend to lean to the right.  Said another way, people on the right side of the spectrum are much more likely to describe themselves as "undecided" even though they are (ultimately) way more likely to vote for the GOP candidate than the Democratic candidate.  Second, undecideds tend to be low information voters; they tend to rely on snippets of headlines and whatever the latest meme is from one side or another.  As a practical matter, more hard, well articulated information from or about the candidates rarely impacts these people.  Whatever the latest story line or dominant media narrative is carries much more weight with most of these folks.  Having said that, I've seen Obama do AWESOME town hall Q & As.  Not so much from Romney.

Romney Is Attacked by His Father’s Longtime Aide from the New York Times 
"“While it seems that Mitt would say and do anything to close a deal – or an election,” he wrote, “George Romney’s strength as a politician and public officeholder was his ability and determination to develop and hold consistent policy positions over his life.”"

Koch Sued by Executive Claiming He Was Held Captive from the Bloomberg News Service
"William Koch held a senior executive of his Oxbow energy company captive for almost two days after discovering his concerns about a plan to avoid U.S. taxes on $200 million in profit, the now ex-employee said in a lawsuit."

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