National Polls Show Obama With Slight Lead In A Very Close Race

Heading into the party conventions, the Presidential race is as close as ever.

With the two week convention period about to start, the Presidential race remains as close as it’s been for much of the summer with neither candidate being about to execute a real breakout. Indeed, a few weeks ago it had seemed as though the President was beginning to break away from Mitt Romney thanks in no small part to a month of negative campaigning focusing on Romney’s business history at Bain Capital and his wealth. Since then, though, the polls have tightened again and, since Romney has gotten no appreciable bounce from his selection of Paul Ryan, the race is essentially tied as we had into the final two months of the campaign.

First up, we have a new poll from NBC and The Wall Street Journal that gives the President a four point lead over Romney, but which also contains some news that the Romney campaign can be happy about:

After Mitt Romney selected his vice presidential running mate, and just days before the political conventions kick off next week, President Barack Obama maintains his advantage in the race for the White House, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

A Democratic ticket featuring Obama and Vice President Joe Biden gets support from 48 percent of registered voters, and a Republican ticket of Romney and new running mate Paul Ryan gets 44 percent.

These numbers are only slightly changed from July, when Obama led Romney by six points in the survey, 49 percent to 43 percent, suggesting a minimal bounce for Romney (if at all) after this month’s Ryan pick.

(…)

In a smaller sample of voters living in 12 key battleground states – Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin –  Obama leads Romney by three points, 49 percent to 46 percent.

That’s a narrower edge in these battlegrounds than the eight-point lead the president enjoyed in the June and July NBC/WSJ polls.

I’ve written before about the questionable value of these mass “battleground state” polls, so that last part should be taken with a grain of salt, but it’s fairly clear that the election is close nationally, and even closer in the states that are likely to decide the election. That suggests that there’s still an opportunity for Romney to break through and start pushing his numbers up in the states he needs to win, especially places like Virginia and Ohio. However, when you look deeper into the poll, it appears that he’s going some work to do if he’s going to get there:

According to the poll, Mitt Romney has two challenges heading into next week’s Republican convention in Florida: repairing his image and selling his proposal to overhaul Medicare.

For starters, Romney continues to have a net-negative favorable/unfavorable score (38percent/44 percent) – which no other modern Republican presumptive presidential nominee has had.

What’s more, Obama bests Romney by 35 points (58 percent to 23 percent) on the question of which candidate is more likeable, and by 22 points (52 percent to 30 percent) on caring about average people.

In addition, a majority of voters (51 percent) view the former Massachusetts governor’s approach to issues as being “out of step” with most Americans’ thinking. By comparison, 54 percent say Obama’s positions are “in the mainstream.”

And by a 36 percent to 6 percent difference, voters say what they have seen, heard and read about Romney’s tax returns – he has refused to release returns prior to 2010 – has given them a more negative impression of the Republican candidate. Forty-one percent say it doesn’t make much of a difference.

Republicans will likely point to that last paragraph and say that it’s evidence that most voters aren’t really bothered by the fact that Romney hasn’t turned over more tax returns, however they would be missing the point if they did. In a close election, 36% is a significant portion of the potential electorate, and to the extent that it adds to Romney’s unfavorable numbers, which continue to be a problem, it’s a real problem for the Romney campaign. If  the voters come into the voting booth not really liking Mitt Romney very much, then it’s going to be that much harder for them to vote for him instead of a President who’s favorable numbers are much better notwithstanding the state of the economy. Combine this with the fact that the voters don’t believe that Romney cares about average people and you’ve got a candidate with a serious image problem. Indeed, I hazard to guess that if the economy were in better shape that this wouldn’t even be a race, President Obama would be leading Romney by a significant margin in all the polls. To that extent, Romney is lucky that the economy is still giving him a chance, but he’s in danger of blowing it if he can’t address the likability gap.

Over at NBC’s First Read, Chuck Todd makes this observation about the new poll:

Our latest NBC/WSJ poll shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney by four points among registered voters, 48%-44%; it suggests that Romney didn’t get much of a bounce after his VP pick; it finds that attitudes about the economy are still dogging the president; and it points to Romney maybe having steeper challenges when it comes to his likeability, perceptions about his compassion, and his plans for Medicare. But NBC/WSJ co-pollster Bill McInturff (R) makes this larger point about the numbers: This isn’t your ordinary August poll — it’s more something you’d see in mid-October. That’s because 1) the numbers have barely moved in the poll since the general election began in earnest in April, and 2) more than $500 million in TV ads have been dropped on these two candidates. After all, if you live in a battleground state, you’ve seen almost every negative ad that the campaigns and outside groups can produce. So when you look at the numbers, think of this as being October, but with the conventions and debates still to come.

[T]he survey offers three macro-conclusions. One, Obama holds the advantage heading into the conventions. “The election has moved from a referendum to a choice,” co-pollster Peter Hart (D) said. “Mitt Romney is starting to accumulate a number of negatives on the personal front and issues front.” Two, the president is still below that all-important 50% threshold for an incumbent. “When a guy gets stuck at 48%, it doesn’t mean they are out of the clear,” McInturff says. “It means they are in an incredibly competitive campaign.” And three, Romney has some work to do in selling himself at next week’s GOP convention. Per the poll, Obama has a 22-point lead (52%-30%) on caring about average people, as well as a 28-point advantage (52%-24%) on issues concerning women. These are what we call our “gut check” questions, and Romney is trailing here — and trailing badly.

One caveat to keep in mind here is that this is a poll of Registered, rather than Likely, Voters so there may be some differences once NBC starts narrowing its voter screen. Additionally, the poll was taken while the Akin story was breaking, but largely before it had likely had an opportunity to register with the public so we can’t tell what impact that story may have had on the race. Finally, there appears to be some slight oversampling of Democrats in the poll but it’s unclear that it’s enough to really impact the outcome.

The race is even closer in a new poll from the Associated Press, which shows the President with just a one point lead over Governor Romney:

WASHINGTON (AP) — For all the attention it got, Republican Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate has not altered the race against President Barack Obama. The campaign remains neck and neck with less than three months to go, a new AP-GfK poll shows.

Overall, 47 percent of registered voters said they planned to back Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in November, while 46 percent favored Romney and Ryan. That’s not much changed from a June AP-GfK survey, when the split was 47 percent for the president to 44 percent for Romney.

(…)

The frail economy, with the unemployment rate hovering at 8.3 percent more than three years after the deep recession officially ended, remains the No. 1 issue. Nine in 10 call it important for them and half of voters say it is “extremely important,” outpacing all other issues tested by at least 10 percentage points. Two-thirds in the poll described the economy as poor.

Registered voters split about evenly between the two candidates on whom they’d trust more to handle the economy, with 48 percent favoring Romney and 44 percent Obama. They are also about evenly divided on who would do more to create jobs, 47 percent for Romney to 43 percent for Obama. Among independent voters, Romney has a big lead over the president on handling the economy — 46 percent to 27 percent.

(…)

The president remains more positively viewed than Romney, and continues to be seen as more empathetic. Some 53 percent of adults hold a “favorable” opinion of the president, compared with just 44 percent who view Romney favorably. Obama also held a commanding lead among voters as the candidate who better “understands the problems of people like you,” 51 percent to 36 percent for Romney. Some 50 percent see him as a stronger leader than Romney; 41 percent see Romney as stronger.

Michelle Obama remains more popular than her husband. Sixty-four percent of adults view her favorably and just 26 percent unfavorably, although that’s down from 70 percent favorable in May. Ann Romney’s favorable rating is mostly unchanged since May, with 40 percent viewing her favorably, 27 percent unfavorably and nearly a third declining to say.

Thirty-five percent overall say things in the nation are heading in the “right direction,” up from 31 percent in June.

The fact that the Ryan selection hasn’t really impacted Romney’s numbers isn’t entirely surprising. I’ve already noted several recent polls that show that there really hasn’t been much of a “bounce” from the selection, and it’s unlikely that one is going to materialize at this point. What we do see here, though, are the same likability problems that manifested themselves in the NBC/WSJ poll. Again, though, we’re dealing with a Registered voter poll so the usual caveats apply.

Other than these two new polls, there are also the Daily Tracking Polls by Gallup and Rasmussen, both of which show Romney leading by two points, and a SurveyUSA poll, which shows Obama leading by one point. This leaves the RCP Average at +1.5 in favor of the President, essentially a statistical tie, and a race that seems to be returning to it’s previous state as we enter convention season:

In the excerpt above, Chuck Todd refers to this as an October Poll in August, and that’s a fairly good description of what we’re looking at. Considering how early we are in the race, things have been dramatically stable and a large segment of the voting public has apparently already made up its mind. Ordinarily you would expect to see the polls shaken up by the conventions, but given the way this election has gone so far, it’s possible we could look around the second week of September and see a race that’s as close as it has been since April. If that’s the case, then you can expect the next eight weeks or so to be one long, bitter fight as both sides struggle to break through to victory. In the end, they may end up turning off more voters than they attract.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Pete says:
  2. grumpy realist says:

    Oh the heck with it. Ruat coelum, fiat justicia.

  3. PJ says:

    I guess these posts will then be used to explain why Romney won and that it’s not because of Republicans working to deny as many Democrats as possible the right to vote…

  4. Jay Dubbs says:

    Repeat after me: Virginia and Ohio; Virginia and Ohio; Virginia and Ohio; Virginia and Ohio.

  5. Dazedandconfused says:

    @Pete:

    Your source had an interesting statement:

    “Additionally, we found that Obama is trailing among Hispanic voters.”

  6. C. Clavin says:

    These polls aren’t worth the bandwidth…if you want to talk EV…then Okay.
    But what happens to Romney’s numbers coming out of the Convention is critical…especially after not getting a Ryan bump. Can they humanize the inhuman?* Who is Romney going to speak to? Independents? The Base? Women? Immigrants? Is America going to buy the seemingly endless pack of lies? Can the Obama campaign manage to subvert the Convention in some way?
    I’m looking forward to this.

    * I bet we see an endless loop of Romney alledgedly rescuing his partners drugged out daughter…

  7. jan says:

    The polls seem to be on a titter totter — with both candidates see-sawing slightly back and forth from each other. Sometimes, though, I question if they really are this close, or if there are either sampling irregularities or people’s discomfort in voicing their real choice with a pollster because of fears in being called a racist if their choice is anything but Obama.

    The reason I bring this up is that there is an odd cognitive dissonance between how the people view Obama versus Romney, with regards to economic questions. For the most part, Romney seems higher in the polls in most questions asked except for those dealing with “likability.” On that one factor alone people lean towards Obama. And, this is it — are people to vote for a president, in a time of such fiscal neediness, based only on who they would feel the most comfortable with in, let’s say, having a beer?

    Maybe….maybe not.

  8. anjin-san says:

    @ Pete

    Interesting how many times “Battleground Watch” (a site that looks like it was designed by a 10 year old) refers to things like “a Democrat polling firm”.

    Either you don’t know that is a sure tell for partisan hackery, or you don’t care. It does not really matter. Why do you keep posting links that will ensure no one takes you seriously?

  9. Jay_Dubbs says:

    @jan: They are lying to the pollsters is the last refugee of those who are behind.

    But more importantly, Obama is ocnsistenly ahead in OH and Va. If he wins those, he can lose FL, WI, CO, NV and IA and still win.

  10. Jay_Dubbs says:

    or consistently ahead.

  11. Rafer Janders says:

    Michelle Obama remains more popular than her husband. Sixty-four percent of adults view her favorably and just 26 percent unfavorably,

    What kind of a hateful weirdo do you have to be view Michelle Obama “unfavorably”?

    I will note that 26% is within the margin of error of John Rogers’ famed Crazification Factor. That magic 27% number seems to have real staying power…..

  12. rudderpedals says:

    Forecasts for this cycle ought to be adjusted for the selective reduction in voting times and new ballot-denial policies. Easier said than done but there it is.

    This survey with 66% of respondents 65 or older must have been taken from a population of Fla AOL accountholders.

  13. jan says:

    @Jay_Dubbs:

    “But more importantly, Obama is ocnsistenly ahead in OH and Va. If he wins those, he can lose FL, WI, CO, NV and IA and still win. “

    I agree with you that OH and Va are important states.

    In Ohio, though the last two polls have Romney ahead: Ras is a tie & Purple Poll +2 Romney. The RCP average is 1.8 in Obama’s favor, in that state, which is statistically a ‘tie.’ Ryan will help in that mid western state too, being young, vibrant and having gone to college in Ohio.

    As for Virginia, the RCP average is 2.0. The most recent polls there have margins for Obama being +5, +4, +2, with a fourth Purple Poll being +2 for Romney. This state has a big ethnic population which might bode well for obama, along with government employees. However, it is also a military state, and may very well be adversely effected by massive lay-offs as those sequester notices go out, as noted, 60 days ahead of time. Lastly, Va has a well-liked R governor, who has fiscally helped that state in the aftermath of a Corzine governing disaster.

  14. The Q says:

    Jan, you’re right as usual. All those liars in 2008 who said they would vote for Obama in polls prior to the election were just giving the PC answer, as we all know McCain was elect……eeerrrr, Oh, thats right McCain lost, I almost forgot, but he came ever so close to proving your point which was what exactly?

  15. anjin-san says:

    Nate Silver has Obama with a 64% chance of winning Ohio v. 36% for Romney.

  16. jan says:

    @The Q:

    Keep that glib attitude intact, It will help brace yourself for the realities of life.

  17. jan says:

    Here’s a little ‘prediction model’ from the University of Colorado that might put a little wrinkle in some of the bravado expressed by some. I don’t really put a lot of credence in it, except giving some encouragement to the Romney/Ryan ticket. But, it does give some pause to the election puffery that goes on by some here.

  18. Jr says:

    @Jay Dubbs:

    This.

    VA and Ohio have been fairly consistent for Obama since spring. The media and Republicans can fool themselves into believing this race is a tossup, but if Obama is leading in VA and OH, Romney has no chance.

  19. jan says:

    @Jr:

    You’re obviously not following the polls. Amazing…….

  20. Jr says:

    @jan: Who cares? You add up all the modals out there, BO beats MItt 2/3 of the time.

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/07/models-models-everywhere/

  21. Jr says:

    @jan: Neither are you apparently. Obama has been consistently ahead in VA and OH since spring.

    Unless Obama has a huge scandal, or an major economic downturn. He is going to win both states and therefore win the election.

  22. The Q says:

    Jan, I do admire your chutzpah and pluck in constantly exposing yourself to constant flaming by us libs here.

    It reminds me of the famous quote by Voltaire, ” I may not agree with a word you say, but I will defend to the death my right to ridicule and dismiss it.”

  23. Jay_Dubbs says:

    @jan: I’m not sure what role that Jon Corzine, the former Governor of New Jersey will play in Virginia. Plus those lay-off notice will probably cut against the GOP, especially in a state like VA that does pay close attention to the happenings in the Capitol,

    Also I would worry about OH and VA more if there were any polls besides Purple Strategies and Rasmussen that had a Romney lead. Otherwise you have to go back several months to find any pollster that had Romney ahead in either state. Back in Feb for VA.

    Plus, Obama has only to win one. Romney has to win both (& Florida, which I can assure you is still a toss up).

    Things can change, but I am sure that the Romney camp would switch positions with the Obama team in a heartbeat if given the chance.

  24. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Rafer Janders: What kind of a hateful weirdo do you have to be view Michelle Obama “unfavorably”?

    Let’s see… overweening busybody who had a do-nothing job for whom her primary qualification was “Senator’s wife” while said employer benefited from nice earmarks from aforementioned hubby. (Said employer also didn’t bother to replace her after she left.) After husband was nominated for president, said “for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.” Takes lots of vacations with scads of parasites and hangers-on, on the taxpayers’ dime.

    Any particular reason to see her favorably?

  25. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Using two metrics that are 1) readily verifiable and 2) often touted as indicators of Obama’s support in 2008, Romney is clearly dominating — fundraising and attendance at events. Thousands show up to see Ryan; they literally can’t give away tickets for Obama.

    On the other hand, Biden should be having even higher attendance figures, much like those people who watch auto racing hoping to see the crashes…

  26. anjin-san says:

    @ Jan

    the election puffery that goes on by some here.

    You should really invest in a mirror someday…

  27. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Aha. That kind of hateful weirdo.

  28. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Rafer Janders: I repeat: any reason to see her favorably?

    Well, she seems to be doing a pretty decent job raising her kids… too bad she didn’t focus on that exclusively.

  29. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    they literally can’t give away tickets for Obama.

    Bullshit!

    Liar.

  30. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: My apologies, I misremembered the story. They should try giving away tickets to his events, ‘cuz they can’t fill even half the seats sometimes.

  31. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: And even when the event is free, they ain’t getting the crowds they did in 2008.

    I take back my apology; it was the Oiho kickoff that I was thinking of. Free event, couldn’t fill the venue.

  32. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Like when Romney appeared at a rally in Detroit, in a virtually empty arena – like that?

  33. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Got a link for that? I offered links. Also, when was that?

    But, dude… it’s Detroit. That was probably half the remaining population that was eligible to vote. Both of them.

  34. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Oh, yeah, back in February. Back before Romney clinched the nomination. Yeah, let’s compare that to a Democratic incumbent president who won the college vote overwhelmingly going to a college campus. Totally comparable.

    Please be a little embarrassed that I did your homework for you. It’s good form.

  35. al-Ameda says:
  36. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Please be a little embarrassed that I did your homework for you. It’s good form.

    I’m embarrassed that you didn’t know that Romney enthralled the few people who bothered to listen to him at Ford field.

  37. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    while said employer benefited from nice earmarks from aforementioned hubby

    What sets you apart as not just an ordinary bullshitter but as a world-class, graduate-level bullshitter is the way you regurgitate the same bogus talking points over and over again even after you have been shown that they are false. This makes it obvious that you’re being intentionally deceptive and not just making a stupid mistake.

    Any particular reason to see her favorably?

    Any particular reason why anyone who is not a fool would take you seriously?

  38. anjin-san says:
  39. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: So… your proof is your own word? Circular douchebag is circular.

    So, Barack Obama didn’t file for a million-dollar earmark for his wife’s employer? And after she resigned to be First Lady, said employer actually hired a new “Vice President for Community and External Affairs?”

    Any particular reason why anyone who is not a fool would take you seriously?

    Well, you’re always so deathly serious, so I guess you’re calling yourself a fool.

    I think we just found an area of agreement!

  40. Modulo Myself says:

    It’s worth pointing out that since the end of the Cold War, there have been five presidential elections. The GOP has won a majority of the popular vote in just one of them. Just one.

    The GOP is still treated as if its the default choice for normal Americans. But this election is proving this assumption completely wrong.

  41. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: You’re a bit slow on the draw there, cowpoke. Two of us already linked to that event. And I was first.

    I’m calling it a night. Summer reruns on TV are bad enough. Here? No, thanks.

  42. anjin-san says:

    I’m calling it a night. Summer reruns on TV are bad enough. Here? No, thanks.

    LOL – This is coming from the guy who repeated his “bashing his head against the pavement” line with a level of obsession that made “Rain Man” look look mute by comparison…

  43. anjin-san says:

    Seriously Jenos, don’t try to do “too cool for school” – you are not even too cool for nursery school.

  44. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    So… your proof is your own word?

    No, my proof is the article I cited in my linked comment. In your usual style, you are ignoring all inconvenient evidence.

    So, Barack Obama didn’t file for a million-dollar earmark for his wife’s employer?

    Next time try reading what I said instead of putting words in my mouth. Also, stop trying to move the goalposts. This is what you said:

    while said employer benefited from nice earmarks from aforementioned hubby

    Explain how “said employer benefited” from earmarks that were never approved.

    you’re always so deathly serious

    I’m serious, but I don’t take you seriously, because you’re a joke.

  45. An Interested Party says:

    Lastly, Va has a well-liked R governor, who has fiscally helped that state in the aftermath of a Corzine governing disaster.

    Who knew that Jon Corzine was once the governor of Virginia…

    Well, she seems to be doing a pretty decent job raising her kids… too bad she didn’t focus on that exclusively.

    Oh absolutely! How dare she think that anyone would care about her opinion about anything…she definitely should of stuck to just birthin’ babies…

  46. anjin-san says:
  47. DHgate says:

    Obama is ocnsistenly ahead in OH and Va , that is the point. If not so then Romney still has a chance. Now he can just bless for himself.

  48. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Seriously Jenos, don’t try to do “too cool for school” – you are not even too cool for nursery school.

    Too cool for school? I dunno about that, but certainly smarter — or at least quicker and quicker on the uptake — than you this time.

  49. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: How dare she think that anyone would care about her opinion about anything…she definitely should of stuck to just birthin’ babies…

    I care a great deal about her opinions… because they carry considerably more weight than mine. And those opinions — which, you may note, I discussed and you won’t — bother me.

    And I’ll thank you not to put such racist sentiments in my mouth.

  50. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Let’s see… you’re a serious person who doesn’t take me seriously.

    Dude, how the hell is ANYONE suppposed to pick up on that distinction?

    And just how does it make it any better for Barack Obama that he didn’t get his wife her earmark? He still put in for it in the first place. And the hospital still eliminated her position after Michelle Obama resigned. What were her “unique qualifications” that made her the only person who could carry out the duties of “Vice President for Commmunity and External Affairs?”

    Hey, I hear that Doug totally LIED in both the headline and body of another thread, saying that the GOP had a bunch of “anti-immigrant” policies in their platform — when they all only affect ILLEGAL immigrants and say or do nothing about LEGAL immigrants. Why don’t you fact-check him for a change?

    Oh, yeah, that would interfere with your life’s goal to be my personal hemorrhoid. Can’t let that happen, can we?

    I am glad to report, though, that we agree on something: I don’t take you seriously, either.

    The difference is, I actually act like it. You just say it.

  51. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Modulo Myself: It’s worth pointing out that since the end of the Cold War, there have been five presidential elections. The GOP has won a majority of the popular vote in just one of them. Just one.

    Let’s see… the last five elections were 1992 (Clinton 43% plurality, no majority), 1996 (Clinton 49.2% plurality, no majority), 2000 (Bush 47.9% plurality, no majority), 2004 (Bush 50.7%, majority), and 2008 (Obama 52.9%, majority).

    So, the Republicans have won a majority of the vote exactly the same number of times the Democrats have.

    What the hell was your point, anyway? You should have just stuck to elections, where the Democrats won 3 of 5. But “it’s worth noting” that your own metric is totally meaningless — and it makes you look a fool or a liar to say that the Republicans winning a majority once as something significant, when the Democrats have achieved exactly the same thing.

  52. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    Let’s see… you’re a serious person who doesn’t take me seriously. Dude, how the hell is ANYONE suppposed to pick up on that distinction?

    There are serious people here talking about serious things. Also some fools show up, like you. And you would be able “to pick up on that distinction” except that you can’t because you’re a fool.

    just how does it make it any better for Barack Obama that he didn’t get his wife her earmark?

    If that distinction wasn’t important you wouldn’t have lied and said this:

    while said employer benefited from nice earmarks from aforementioned hubby

    Still waiting for you to retract your lie, liar.

    And that’s not the only reason your claim was dishonest, but in your usual style you’re ignoring most of the inconvenient facts I presented.

    the hospital still eliminated her position after Michelle Obama resigned

    Make sure to not mention that what you’re describing was part of this:

    University of Chicago Medical Center will lay off 450 workers as part of a recently announced restructuring, the hospital said Monday. The cuts represent about 5% of the Hyde Park hospital’s nearly 10,000 workers. Hundreds more jobs are likely to be eliminated through attrition over the next 18 months, officials said. … Hospitals locally and nationally are cutting costs amid dropping patient volumes as consumers pull back on spending. Many also are having a tougher time collecting payments from patients.

    Also make sure to not mention that there were layoffs effecting “15 other senior executives.”

    Why don’t you fact-check him for a change?

    I do regularly fact-check Doug. But you’re in a different class, because your lies are so frequent, obvious and predictable. I’m always going to start with low-hanging fruit like you. If you don’t like it, too bad.

  53. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    it makes you look a fool or a liar to say that the Republicans winning a majority once as something significant, when the Democrats have achieved exactly the same thing

    The Democrats “achieved exactly the same thing” only if you think that winning a plurality means “exactly the same thing” as failing to win a plurality.

    Anyway, this is what he said:

    The GOP has won a majority of the popular vote in just one of them.

    This is what he could have said instead:

    The GOP has won the popular vote in just one of them.

    But then I’m sure you would have figured out some other way of being foolishly pedantic for the purpose of missing the point.

  54. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Actually, right after I posted I remembered the existence of Perot, and the firm belief that if Perot hadn’t run Clinton would have lost. It doesn’t really matter.

    I thought my point was pretty simple: the GOP has been treated as the party of normal America, whatever that is, whereas the Democratic party represents cities, minorities, gays, women, all others who have to prove they are worthy enough to speak to the good Americans.

    Yet this party has been the won more than it has lost since the end of the Cold War. My feeling is that all that is holding the GOP together as a non-joke is the inherited assumption that deep down, there is a real point other than genuine extremism to voting for a Republican.

  55. jukeboxgrad says:

    the firm belief that if Perot hadn’t run Clinton would have lost

    This gets said a lot but it’s probably wrong:

    there is no indication—none whatever—that Clinton would have lost to Bush if Perot hadn’t been in the race

  56. anjin-san says:

    certainly smarter — or at least quicker and quicker on the uptake — than you this time.

    Apparently you are not smart enough to know that blogs are constantly having content added, and that not everyone who is on the site is necessarily looking at the same iteration of any given page.

    What they are seeing depends on when the last time the the page was refreshed in their browser. You might want to hold off on patting yourself on the back. But then I guess you kind of need to grasp at any reed, no matter how slender.

  57. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Hey, Circular Douche, I wasn’t getting semantic — that kind of hairsplitting is your trademark, not mine.

    He asserted that the GOP, for won a majority only once out of five elections, was lacking in some kind of legitimacy. I pointed out that the Democrats have achieved exactly the same thing.

    Go take your anal-retentive attentions elsewhere.

  58. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: So, you’re asking me to cut you a break for making a fairly trivial and silly error?

    Oh, sure. No problem. After all, I’m sure you’d do the same were the tables reversed, wouldn’t you?

  59. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Idanian #13

    No, I’m saying you should stop congratulating yourself for spouting nonsense – but it’s obvious that you lack the level of self-awareness to do so.

  60. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Well, then, if you don’t want me to excuse your mistake and move on, I won’t.

    Good lord, you’re a thorough stupidhead and totally redundant twit. Your first contribution was to bring to my attention a fact that not only had two others already raised, but I was the first one. And I certainly don’t need YOU to affirm my correctness. So until you have something original to contribute AND figure out how to refresh the screen before posting a comment, why don’t you go play in traffic?

    But back to the point here… over the past couple of weeks, especially since Romney picked Ryan, the Republican ticket has been thoroughly trouncing Obama and Slow Joe Biden in two key areas — fundraising and turnout. In other words, when people vote with their feet and vote with their wallets, they’re voting Republican.

    I’ll put more faith in that than a bunch of people who have land lines and don’t tell pollsters to eff off when they call.

  61. anjin-san says:

    Jenos I have a question – have you even noticed that nobody, and I mean nobody on this blog (a collection of bright and interesting people for the most part) digs what you have to say – ever?

  62. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: It’s lonely at the top. But it’s just a burden I have to bear. God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.

    In the words of the great poet Mac Davis:

    Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble
    when you’re perfect in every way.
    I can’t wait to look in the mirror
    cause I get better looking each day.
    To know me is to love me
    I must be a hell of a man.
    Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble
    but I’m doing the best that I can.

  63. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    Wow. If you were in 8th grade, that would be semi-clever.

  64. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Six hours to come up with that devastating comeback? You really are slow on the uptake, sport. I asked Vinnie The Three-Toed Sloth to review this thread and six hours later, he said “that guy is seriously slow.”

    When Vinnie says you’re slow, you know you’re bad.

  65. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Oh, and now that we all agree that Romney’s appearance in Detroit was really pathetic, can we discuss how current campaign events show Obama and Biden with pretty pathetic crowds, while Romney and Ryan are drawing huge throngs? And how the GOP is clobbering the Democrats on fundraising?

    Remember, fundraising was good way back when Obama said he was prepared to raise and spend a billion dollars for his re-election. No fair saying that it’s bad now just because your guy is getting his ass kicked.

  66. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos, you have now posted about 20 comments in this thread, but I can’t find the one where you explain how “said employer benefited” from earmarks that were never approved.

    I also can’t find the one where you explain why you said the hospital “eliminated her position” without mentioning that this was in connection with hundreds of layoffs.

    I also can’t find the one where you explain how winning a plurality means “exactly the same thing” as failing to win a plurality.

    Maybe when you’re not busy quoting “the great poet Mac Davis” you’ll have a chance to address these issues.

  67. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: The hospital employed Mrs. Obama, gave her a vague and meaningless title, and after she resigned, never bothered to hire anyone to fill it. Further, I don’t ever recall seeing any glowing press reports about all the wonderful work she did at the hospital.

    The conclusion is obvious: her job was to be Mrs. Senator.

    As for the “plurality” silliness, Modulo made some silly point about how the Republicans have won exactly one election by a majority out of the last five. I pointed out that is also exactly how many the Democrats have won — making it an extremely silly thing to bring up to score some sort of political point.

    I think I’ll change my name to Fonzie. He had a knack for hitting a jukebox and making it play whatever tune he wanted. I seem to have a similar ability — I can get you all riled up and serious and pompous just as easily.

    There’s an old saying that one of the most ridiculous things is someone insisting they have a great sense of humor — usually in an utterly humorless manner. You take that one step further — you solemnly and soberly proclaim that no one takes me seriously, while writing in the most serious and formal language. I find it quite entertaining.

  68. jukeboxgrad says:

    after she resigned, never bothered to hire anyone to fill it

    That’s because they were laying off hundreds of people, including other executives, and eliminating hundreds of other jobs through attrition.

    The conclusion is obvious: her job was to be Mrs. Senator.

    The conclusion is obvious: you want to make it really clear that you’re determined to ignore all inconvenient facts.

    Modulo made some silly point about how the Republicans have won exactly one election by a majority out of the last five.

    The Republicans have won the popular vote in one election out of the last five. If you think this is “silly” and means nothing, good for you. I hope every other Republican feels the same way.

    And you still haven’t explained how “said employer benefited” from earmarks that were never approved. One more in a very long series of you making a false claim and then refusing to take responsibility for it.