Presidential Race Tightening?

For no apparent reason, the presidential race is tightening ahead of tonight's first debate, according to two reputable national polls.

For no apparent reason, the presidential race is tightening ahead of tonight’s first debate, according to two reputable national polls.

National Journal (“Obama, Romney Tied Among Likely Voters“):

President Obama and Mitt Romney are deadlocked among likely voters as they prepare to square off in their first presidential debate, according to the latest United Technologies/National JournalCongressional Connection Poll.

The survey showed that voters remain resistant to either Obama or Romney holding full control of the federal government.

Obama and Romney each pulled in 47 percent support in the poll among likely voters. It is among the narrowest margins of several presidential surveys published ahead of the debate this week. Other polls have shown the president with a slim lead. In this survey, while the race is tied among likely voters, Obama has a 5-point lead, 49 percent to 44 percent, among registered voters.

The survey was conducted Sept. 27-30 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

Romney led in the poll among independents, 49 percent to 41 percent, with both candidates winning more than 90 percent support from their respective parties. The survey had Obama winning 81 percent of the nonwhite vote and Romney carrying 55 percent of white voters.

In estimating the turnout on Nov. 6, the poll projects an electorate that is 74 percent white, 11 percent African-American, and 8 percent Latino. The likely-voter party splits are 36 percent Democratic, 29 percent Republican, and 30 percent independent.

The estimates are similar to the 2008 turnout, when, according to CNN exit polling, 74 percent of voters were white, 13 percent black, and 9 percent Latino, with Democratic turnout at 39 percent, Republicans at 32 percent, and independents at 29 percent.

NBC (“NBC/WSJ poll: Obama holds lead in Ohio; statistical tie in Va., Fla.“):

President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney prepare to square off for their first debate Wednesday night, the Democratic incumbent maintains a significant lead in one key battleground state while the contests in two others have tightened, according to a new round of NBC News/Marist/Wall Street Journal polls.

In Ohio, Obama holds a 51 percent to 43 percent lead among likely voters, which is relatively unchanged from his 50 percent to 43 percent lead three weeks ago.

In Florida and Virginia, Obama and Romney are statistically tied, with the Democrat clinging to a slight edge. In Florida, Obama leads 47 percent to 46 percent, down from 49 percent to 45 percent in mid-September. And in Virginia, Obama is up 48 percent to 46 percent. Last month, Obama led 49 percent to 45 percent in the Old Dominion state.

“The polling in September was right after the conventions,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll. He added, “We may be seeing a dissipation in some of that post-convention bounce that [Obama] enjoyed.”

Miringoff also noted, “Things have returned in Florida and Virginia to the kind of closeness we’ve been seeing earlier in the campaign. Not so in Ohio.”

[…]

The polls were conducted from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1. The Ohio poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percent. The Virginia poll is plus-or-minus 3.1 percent. The Florida poll is plus or minus 3.3 percent.

It’s noteworthy that the National Journal poll is the only one showing a tie nationally; all the other major polls in the RealClearPolitics aggregate show an Obama lead. These includes a separate NBC-WSJ poll conducted at the same time by Peter Hart and Bill McInturff. On the other hand, if Romney is gaining momentum in Florida and Virginia, it’s certainly reason for hope.

The notion that the convention bounce is wearing off makes some sense, although it certainly held for quite some time. And Romney has had an awful couple of weeks since then, committing several unforced errors and just generally not performing well.

Then again, it almost doesn’t matter. It’s virtually impossible for Romney to get to the magic 270 Electoral vote threshold without winning Ohio; all the polling in recent weeks has shown him way behind in that key state.

FILED UNDER: Public Opinion Polls, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    It’s certainly inexplicable to anyone who relies only on sources of info like OTB. It’s escaped the notice of such worthy sources that the Obama administration has gotten wrapped up in a bunch of messes that show, at the minimum, gross incompetence, and more likely gross corruption.

    –Operation Fast and Furious, including the recent Telemundo investigation that has added a LOT more bodies to the body count.

    –HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius flagrantly violating the Hatch Act, and not even getting a slap on the wrist.

    –The Obama administration “asking” companies to violate the Obama-championed WARN Act, to the point of promising to pay any fines and other litigation expenses said companies incur.

    –The constantly-developing story about the assassination of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, showing that there were plenty of warnings and indicators that there was going to be an attack in Benghazi — and a staunch refusal by the Obama administration to take any kinds of precautions.

    Perhaps there are a significant number of people who have actually been noticing such things, and are reconsidering whether or not they want four more years of Obama.

  2. jukeboxgrad says:

    Meanwhile, Gallup now has Obama back at +6, after dipping to +4. Go figure.

  3. Fiona says:

    Mercifully, all of this nonsense will be over in a little more than a month. I’m suffering from serious election fatigue.

  4. Just Me says:

    One reason for the shift may be more people making a decision and swinging towards Romney.

    I also think the way the Admin has handled the Benghazi affair is hurting.

  5. PJ says:

    @jukeboxgrad:
    1. Obama threatened to send the Gallup boss to Gitmo.
    2. Obama told every liberal pollster (that’s everyone except Rasmussen and Gallup) to lower his lead so that they then could raise it after the debate as a way to negate Romney’s debate win.

  6. jukeboxgrad says:

    Obama threatened to send the Gallup boss to Gitmo.

    Doesn’t Tucker Carlson have secret video of Obama waterboarding that guy?

  7. jukeboxgrad says:

    RCP average now: Obama +2.8.
    RCP average exactly eight years ago: Bush +2.7.
    Link.

    Last time Kerry led in the RCP average: 8/25/04.
    Last time McCain led in the RCP average: 9/16/08.
    Last time Mitt led in the RCP average: 10/11/11. Only 358 days ago!

  8. PJ says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    Doesn’t Tucker Carlson have secret video of Obama waterboarding that guy?

    Yes, but they won’t release it since they think that if Republicans saw him waterboarding some guy, they would vote for him.

  9. jukeboxgrad says:

    Good one. I am so out of touch I didn’t even think of that.

  10. John Peabody says:

    “For no apparent reason”…? Isn’t that like tossing “unexpectedly” in front of negative ecomonic reports? “For no reason that I can think of, anyway” might be accurate. There must be a reason.

  11. Jen says:

    The final paragraph of this post is the only thing that matters. Unless Romney can win in battleground states and get to 270, a national poll showing a tie only serves two purposes: to keep political junkies hooked to their TVs and PCs like IV’s, and to convince the electorate that the race is a close one so they will start tuning in and watching.

    There is a certain portion of the electorate that loves a horse race, and perhaps we’re seeing a bit of a sympathy backlash here–it does seem like Romney has had a horrible few weeks. I can’t remember which regular commenter was concerned about a sympathy vote, and I think it’s entirely possible this may be playing some role here.

    Only a few more weeks of this. Then we can start hearing about sequestration, and the 2016 race…

  12. Ben Wolf says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: What does anything you’ve written have to do with the electoral scorecard? What does any of it hqve to do with a battleground states analysis? If all you’re going to do is try and derail yet another thread, take a walk.

  13. Mr. Replica says:

    I am not one to really put too much faith in polls, no matter if they show “my guy” winning or losing.

    Having said that…
    I learned my lesson in 2004 that I can not expect this country to feel the same way as I do. I was much younger in age and mentality/maturity then.
    But, that experience has left jaded and I honestly would not be surprised if Romney pulls this out. Which pretty much means we are back to the neo-con dream world of 2001-2008.
    But, oh well. IF Romney wins, at least I know I won’t be signing up for fighting in the war/s of aggression, and when I have to go to ER for my medical care, I won’t be paying for it. There is always a bright side.

    Also, I have a question. Is it normal for something like this to happen?

    An early voting event for the former Massachusetts governor on Tuesday in downtown Cincinnati drew roughly 45 supporters

    I know it wasn’t a major event to where Romney or Ryan attended, so I won’t think it’s a big deal that so little people actually showed. At least until someone says that it isn’t normal.

  14. Scott says:

    Down here in Texas, this election is almost surreal. In my little part of the world, there is no big political competitions. There are no yard signs. There is no excitement. I feel as if you can see the flashes of the artillery over the hill but the war is far away. I would hate to be in one of the battleground state.

  15. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: The only item in your list that even matters to non-political-junkies is the last. If more than 5% of Americans are even aware Sibelius violated the Hatch Act, I’ll eat my own underpants. If more than 10% know what the “WARN Act” is, I’ll add ketchup.

    The “Fast and Furious” thing has been out for a while, and regardless of any new developments (unless they are really “blockbuster”) it’s old news.

    The Benghazi thing, though–that could matter, especially if public awareness rises regarding the fact Ambassador Stevens repeatedly requested beefed-up security and was repeatedly rebuffed.

  16. jukeboxgrad says:

    Stevens repeatedly requested beefed-up security

    It seems to be not quite that simple (link):

    Stevens personally advised against having Marines posted at the embassy in Tripoli, apparently to avoid a militarized U.S. presence

    He was trying “to maintain a low-profile security posture and show faith in Libya’s new leaders.”

    and was repeatedly rebuffed.

    There’s also a problem with this part of the narrative (link):

    GOP cuts to embassy security draw scrutiny

    So Mitt is on thin ice when he starts throwing these stones (and I am too, when I start mixing metaphors).

  17. jukeboxgrad says:

    I am not one to really put too much faith in polls

    Last time the late September national polls did not correctly predict the popular vote winner: 1948.

    Number of non-Rasmussen national polls done since 6/20: 67. Number of those polls which show Mitt leading by more than one point: zero. Last time a poll not done by Rasmussen showed Mitt leading: 8/27.

    What’s the saying? Just saying.

  18. Smooth Jazz says:

    “For no apparent reason, the presidential race is tightening ahead of tonight’s first debate, according to two reputable national polls.”

    But, But, But…..Didn’t you and your fellow posters and all your commenters tell us that the race was OVER already. Goodnight, Goodluck, Don’t be the last one to turn out the lists, Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda.

    Maybe, just Maybe the “apparent reason” the Polls are tightening: The chickens are coming home to roost for the pollsters and the Wash DC/NY Liberal centric echo chamber – ie That the closer we get to the election, the more and more these wacked out samples showing Dems outvoting Reps by 10%, at a time when Dem registration compared to 2008 is noticeably down, start to suddenly revert back to something more reasonable, say Dems 3%+.

    As I said in another post, all you Liberals who called this election over because of Romney’s 47% gaffe, or his dog, or his wife’s horse, or his taxes, or his awkwardness blah blah blah, should keep some Maalox around just in case you are proven wrong.

  19. Mikey says:

    @jukeboxgrad: I wasn’t thinking Romney would bring up Benghazi in the debate–as I recall, tonight’s debate is supposed to focus on the economy anyway. But if the public perception increases that Stevens wanted more security and didn’t get it, it could have an impact.

  20. jukeboxgrad says:

    tonight’s debate is supposed to focus on the economy

    Yes, “the debate is to focus on domestic issues, with a particular emphasis on the economy.” However (link):

    advisers said he [Mitt] would try to broaden the argument against Mr. Obama’s job performance by raising questions about how his administration handled the attack on a diplomatic mission last month in Libya that killed four Americans.

  21. jukeboxgrad says:

    smooth:

    the more and more these wacked out samples showing Dems outvoting Reps by 10%, at a time when Dem registration compared to 2008 is noticeably down

    The problems with your ‘reasoning’ have already been explained, but you are impervious to facts and logic.

  22. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Mikey: If more than 10% know what the “WARN Act” is, I’ll add ketchup.

    Then let me spell it out for you: the Obama administration championed the hell out of the WARN Act, which requires employers to give 60 days notice before any mass layoffs. Now, when some big government contractors might have to give those notices because of sequestration, the very same Obama administration is “asking” those companies to deliberately ignore that law, promising to not prosecute them under it and pick up any and all fines and other expenses involved in breaking the law.

    The hypocrisy is so rank, I’m almost surprised that the liberals can manage to ignore it.

  23. Curtis says:

    I tend to think of this being expected rather than unexpected.

    For a while, Romney was polling below the number of people who disapproved of the President’s job performance. That always seemed unsustainable. It is hard to imagine Romney coming in below that 47% or so.

    At the same time, to move from 47% to the 49% or 50% he needs to win this thing, now he has to convince people who approve of the president and disapprove of him, since his approval numbers are below water. That seems like a much tougher road to hoe.

    It is typical, I believe, after the in-party convention for the challenger’s numbers to be soft as a certain percentage of the leaners will report as undecided. It took longer than usual for Romney to reclaim that group because of the Libya comment, the 47% video, and Paul Ryan. But I don’t see any fundamental shift that has happened, and everything to me points to a 51-47 or so win for the president, winning every state he won in 2008 except Indiana and perhaps North Carolina.

  24. john personna says:

    For a while, Romney was polling below the number of people who disapproved of the President’s job performance. That always seemed unsustainable. It is hard to imagine Romney coming in below that 47% or so.

    I’ve hoped for a smarter electorate. You shouldn’t vote for the contender simply because you don’t like the incumbent. You should only vote for the contender if you think their plan is better.

    Surely it cannot be that 100% of the people who disapprove of the President are far right of the President. That’s what you have to be, far right of his position, for the Romney vote to make sense.

  25. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    While those issues might create some “mood” they aren’t very strong in themselves. They are ankle-biters. They certainly are not high-level economic or foreign policy issues.

    If they are what you can name, you have kind of a problem.

  26. Muffler says:

    The has to be a tie in the election polls or the paid advertisers will not get the ratings promised! I do not think it is as close as being all of sudden called. No one picks up 8% points over a week… Bunk!

  27. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Well, I knew all that already, but like I said, I would bet underpants with ketchup 90% of my fellow Americans don’t. Had you heard of the WARN Act before this year? Because it was signed into law by…Ronald Reagan. Yeah, it’s that old.

  28. Mikey says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Interesting. I do think it’s an issue that could get some traction, although I’m not sure it would convince anyone who’s already decided to vote for Obama. It might swing a few undecideds, though.

    It also depends on how Romney frames it, and given his recent bouts of foot-in-mouth disease…

  29. Mr. Replica says:

    @Mikey:

    Had you heard of the WARN Act before this year? Because it was signed into law by…Ronald Reagan. Yeah, it’s that old.

    Which means that every president that came after Reagan, and including Reagan, have done what Jenos is complaining about.

  30. @Smooth Jazz: So now you like polls from mainstream sources?

    Just checking.

  31. john personna says:

    For what it’s worth, what I’d love as a debate question:

    Do patent and copyright law restrict competition and creativity excessively?

    From the Becker-Posner blog.

  32. Rob in CT says:

    Since I generally think Nate Silver knows what he’s doing, and Silver’s model assumes race-tightening was going to happen, I am utterly unsurprised if that’s what’s happening.

  33. anjin-san says:

    Wall Street’s Professional Pundits Game Out An Obama Victory

    Whether they like him or not, a number of Wall Street analysts are publicly predicting that President Obama is likely to be re-elected.

    They’re not idle predictions, either. Party strategists and reporters aren’t the only ones who get paid to evaluate the presidential landscape — firms routinely hire analysts or “political intelligence” firms to predict election outcomes or, more importantly, game out legislative scenarios on Capitol Hill. While partisans may have the luxury of optimism as to whether their candidate might prevail, investors need to keep a clear head if they want to predict whether the health care companies will be transformed by Romney repealing Obamacare or the defense industry pinched by the upcoming sequester.

    http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/10/wall-street-pundits-see-obama-re-election.php?ref=fpa

  34. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Mikey: Because it was signed into law by…Ronald Reagan. Yeah, it’s that old.

    Half-right, Mikey. I confused the WARN Act with some similar sentiments, but it wasn’t signed by Reagan — Congress passed it with a veto-proof majority in 1988, and went into law in 1989 without Reagan’s signature.

    @Mr. Replica: Which means that every president that came after Reagan, and including Reagan, have done what Jenos is complaining about.

    Care to cite examples of that, chump? As noted, the law came into effect without Reagan’s signature and just as he was leaving office, so I seriously doubt Reagan issued these “waivers” to the WARN Act.

    I was mistaken, and you corrected me, but your correction itself introduced a whole new set of faslehoods. So I’m not inclined to take your word for it that other presidents have done what Obama just did. Especially for such transparently political goals.

    Clarification: The WARN Act became effective February 4, 1989 — two weeks after Reagan left office. So there’s no way in hell Reagan could have worked around it — it simply didn’t exist during his administration.

  35. EddieInCA says:

    Intrade still shows 76-24 Obama, so until THAT tightens up, I’m not worrying at all.

    http://www.intrade.com/v4/home/

  36. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Yeah, I misread “without” as “with.” Either way, it’s been law for over 20 years.

  37. Gustopher says:

    Romney has been off doing debate prep for a week or so, which means he hasn’t been speaking to people, so his numbers start going up.

    If the Republicans could find a generic Republican, they would clean Obama’s clock this year. Unfortunately for them, they found Mitt.

  38. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Mikey: Either way, it’s been law for over 20 years.

    Which means pretty much nothing. It’s a very pro-labor, anti-management measure (objectively speaking; I’m not commenting on its merits, but its orientation). That’s what makes it even more damning that Obama would be openly encouraging companies to violate it.

    I understand that if it was a Republican administration conspiring to ignore a federal law designed to protect workers, the Left would be up in arms. But since it’s Obama doing it, that makes it OK.

    I’m noticing that seems to happen a lot…

  39. G.A. says:

    lol…for no apparent reason?Um. the people are starting to understand that Obama and his media are all lies like some of us have been telling you like forever? The whole world is on fire while Obama parties like it’s NOT!?!?!?! The polls are BS? lol….

    Man I wish you guys wold wake up and take to this clown and stop making excuses for him…

    Oh and did you see this? http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/02/obama-speech-jeremiah-wright-new-orleans/

    In the immortal words of ICE T “racist peace of ****!!!”

  40. LCaution says:

    @john personna:
    Since it’s OT, I won’t get into the patent/copyright argument except to say I agree with the arguments against current law. And I blame both Democrats and Republicans for caving in to big money interests.

    But do you think either Obama or Romney have any opinion on the subject? Or that it is even on Lehrer’s domestic radar?

  41. MBunge says:

    @Gustopher: “Romney has been off doing debate prep for a week or so, which means he hasn’t been speaking to people, so his numbers start going up.”

    That, hilariously, is probably close to the truth.

    Mike

  42. john personna says:

    @LCaution:

    I think it’s an example of the problem-issue mismatch.

    How many top issues are actually top problems?

  43. Eric Florack says:

    For no apparent reason,

    Is that like the economic numbers, such as unemployment taking an ‘unexpected’ nose dive every month?

    If you’ll recall, I told you guys to watch for the numbers to start swinging back to reality as the election draws closer.

  44. EddieInCA says:

    @G.A.:

    I saw that in 2007.

    Interesting… You and some in the GOP want to have a referendum on Obama 2008, while the rest of the country wants a referendum on Romney in 2012.

    Guess what?

    You lose that fight.

  45. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @LCaution: The whole copyright thing is literally a Mickey Mouse issue. Disney is one of the biggest forces behind the constant extensions because they will do ANYTHING to keep “Steamboat Willie,” Mickey Mouse’s first appearance in 1928, from going into the public domain.

  46. Eric Florack says:

    @EddieInCA: Actually, no, you didn’t see that in 07. What you saw didn’t contain half of the more racist crap that he spewed that night.

  47. PJ says:

    @G.A.:

    Oh and did you see this?

    Is that the video that the media, including Tucker Carlson, reported on back in 2007?

    Tucker Carlson has nothing so all he can do is to regurgitate old stories.
    Obviously you’re eating it all up, but, well, you weren’t going to vote for Obama in the first place anyway.

  48. mantis says:

    @G.A.:

    In the immortal words of ICE T “racist peace of ****!!!”

    Yes, you are.

  49. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Disney is one of the biggest forces behind the constant extensions because they will do ANYTHING to keep “Steamboat Willie,” Mickey Mouse’s first appearance in 1928, from going into the public domain.

    The copyright thing isn’t about Mickey Mouse as that character is protected as a trademark (which is established in perpetuity) as are most of the Disney characters. That essentially protects Steamboat Willy.

    The real issue for Disney is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs — their first great blockbuster. The irony is that the film is based on public domain characters.

  50. john personna says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Is that like the economic numbers, such as unemployment taking an ‘unexpected’ nose dive every month?

    Some people, some of our hosts not excluded, take a view that any cherry picked number makes a recession, and an Obama loss.

    Not really:

    Imminent Recession?

    I think the “chicken littles” should ask themselves how carefully they watch the economy, for real. Do they really survey the broad state of things, or do they just surf for bad news?

  51. john personna says:

    @mattb:

    As I understand it, Disney was a prime driver of the Copyright Act of 1976.

    Wikipedia:

    In addition to the Walt Disney Company (whose extensive lobbying efforts inspired the nickname “The Mickey Mouse Protection Act”), California congresswoman Mary Bono (Sonny Bono’s widow and Congressional successor) and the estate of composer George Gershwin supported the act.

    That said, I think Jenos missed the patent part, and that Posner thought patents were our much bigger problem.

  52. Wayne says:

    Much of it is what poll someone focuses on. After the election some will go back and talk about polls that were more accurate and ignore others that were not even the one they focus on prior. Like I always said, polls need to be taken with a bucket of salt. IMO it is going be a close race but I realize that is just an opinion.

    IMO some of the polls show the race is getting tighter so that they can show an Obama bump after the debate tonight. Then the bump will slowly die off the next week. I’m only so so confident in that since it is within a month of the election. Polling firms tend to adjust their sampling, as the election gets closer starting at about a month out in order to keep credibility. Another note the slow declines haven’t gotten much press but Obama bumps tend to. With as many bumps Obama has had and going by what one hears about polls, he should be up by 20.

  53. jukeboxgrad says:

    florack:

    If you’ll recall, I told you guys to watch for the numbers to start swinging back to reality as the election draws closer.

    If you’ll recall, you told us a couple of days before Obama was elected that he would lose and there would be “rioting in Grant park.”

    Your statements were a joke then, and they’re still a joke. And speaking of things to “recall,” you have a long trail of falsehoods you need to clean up (example, example, example).

  54. Moderate Mom says:

    @Scott: I live in Memphis, the only reliably Democratic part of the state of Tennessee. In 2008 there were yard signs everywhere, as there were in 2004. This year, I haven’t seen any. Even Steve Cohen, a Democrat running for re-election for Congress, doesn’t seem to have any, even in the heavily Democratic Midtown area. I’ve also seen almost no bumper stickers while riding around, and I’ve been looking. For anyone other than political junkies, this election seems to be generating very little interest in my little area of the country.

  55. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    the very same Obama administration is “asking” those companies to deliberately ignore that law

    No, it’s not telling “those companies to deliberately ignore that law.” It’s telling them what everyone already knows: that sequestration is probably not going to happen, which means the law doesn’t apply.

    Notice that Ryan said he has a plan to “retroactively prevent that sequester from taking place in January” (if Mitt wins). This is one of many reasons to predict that sequestration is not going to happen.

    And if we’re supposed to think that Ryan’s promise is credible, that means that the people who claim notices need to go out are suggesting they think Mitt is going to lose. Because if Mitt wins, he will “retroactively prevent that sequester from taking place in January,” which means there will be no layoffs and therefore there is no need for layoff notices. How ironic that a bunch of Republicans are essentially taking the position that they think Mitt is going to lose.

    And there has never been a need for layoff notices on 11/2, because even if the sequester happens, the layoffs wouldn’t happen right away. See here:

    Todd Harrison, a budget analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, issued a report this summer that said contractors would not feel the effects of sequestration immediately, casting doubt on the need for mass layoff notices in November.

    The initial threat to issue layoff notices on 11/2 was itself a transparent political stunt:

    The administration and Democrats have argued the layoff-notice threat was a political ploy because there was never going to be a need to fire employees en masse on Jan. 2. They pointed to guidance from the Pentagon that said contracts would not be canceled on the day the cuts begin.

    Bob Stevens, Lockheed’s CEO, created a firestorm in June when he threatened to send out notices of potential layoffs to all 123,000 of his employees on Nov. 2 — four days before the election — due to the WARN Act requiring companies to give 60 days’ notice of mass layoffs. …

    Loren Thompson, a defense analyst at the Lexington Institute who consults with many defense firms, said that as the notice threat became more political, Lockheed had become “a little lonely” as the chief advocate for issuing them.

    Lockheed was making a threat for political purposes, and Obama has been pushing back on that threat.

    [WARN is] a very pro-labor, anti-management measure

    Exactly.

    The hypocrisy is so rank …

    Indeed. The only “hypocrisy” here is the GOP suddenly pretending it really cares about WARN. It’s “a very pro-labor, anti-management measure,” which means they don’t.

  56. C. Clavin says:

    Indiana Jones, GA, and Florack…a f’ing trifecta. Where is Jan?

    It may be tightening nationally…which is meaningless.
    In the swing ststes where it counts???
    http://election.princeton.edu/2012/10/02/swing-state-advantage/

  57. Rob in CT says:

    IMO some of the polls show the race is getting tighter so that they can show an Obama bump after the debate tonight.

    :shakes head:

    Believe what you want to believe, I guess.

  58. mattb says:

    @john personna:
    Without a doubt, Disney has been a prime driver of copyright. And people typically — and erroneously associate it with Mickey Mouse. But as I wrote (and has been documented by Lawrence Lessig and others) the issue is really Snow White and the not trademarked material.

  59. jukeboxgrad says:

    In the swing ststes where it counts???
    http://election.princeton.edu/2012/10/02/swing-state-advantage/

    From that link:

    Obama appears to be significantly overperforming in critical battlegrounds compared with the rest of the country. Is this because of the much-vaunted microtargeting by the Obama campaign?

    Yes, and also stuff like this:

    Why Obama Is Leading in Swing States … Across most of the presidential battleground states, particularly in the Midwest, President Obama’s lead rests on a surprisingly strong performance among blue-collar white women who usually tilt toward the GOP.

    … Democrats say blue-collar women have been the principal, and most receptive, target for their extended ad barrage portraying Romney as a plutocrat who is blind, if not indifferent, to the struggles of average families.

    … A Republican strategist familiar with the Romney campaign’s thinking agreed that Obama’s improving position among these economically strained, often culturally conservative women has keyed his rise in most battleground states.

    … The powerful new Obama ad that airs the audio of Romney’s hidden-camera “47 percent” remarks, for instance, features three different images of working-class women, each of whom are shown without men present. …

    The Obama campaign has heavily targeted its ads on daytime shows that attract a large audience of downscale women, including programs like Judge Judy and Dr. Phil, and networks like Lifetime, Bravo, and the Hallmark Channel.

    … Beyond the opposition’s portrayal of Romney as obtuse to the problems of working families, both sides agree that he has been hurt among blue-collar white women by the skirmishes over defunding Planned Parenthood and access to contraception in health insurance. Many of these women view such women’s-health matters not as moral issues but as practical pocketbook concerns.

    But you have to admit this is a pretty shabby tactic: telling the truth about Mitt’s attitudes and beliefs, as expressed in his own words when he thought most of us weren’t listening.

    The ad that was mentioned is called “My Job” (link). It was posted 6 days ago and now has over 500,000 views.

  60. Smooth Jazz says:

    “It may be tightening nationally…which is meaningless.
    In the swing ststes where it counts???
    http://election.princeton.edu/2012/10/02/swing-state-advantage/

    From that link: Obama appears to be significantly overperforming in critical battlegrounds compared with the rest of the country. Is this because of the much-vaunted microtargeting by the Obama campaign? Yes, and also stuff like this:”

    Let’s play tag. Your poll says Obama is ahead in the Swing states but this poll from POLITICO says Obama is behind between 2 – 4 points in the Swing states. Now mind you we all know POLITICO is a left wing rag on par with the NY Times, but their poll is conducted by the well respected Dem & Rep pollsters Celinda Lake & Ed Goes from Tarrance Group and Lake Research. The Battleground Poll usually has a reasonable Dem 2%+ partisan split, much more credible than these bogus Dem 10%+ samples that have you all so giddy.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/10/03/politico-romney-up-four-in-toss-up-states

    And before you criticize the link because it was from Breitbart, that is not the issue. OutSideThe Beltway is a far left blog that focuses on the left of center point of view. Breibart is a far right blog. We all know that. The question is the poll accurate and how reasonable is it compared to all the left wing centric polls and Nate Silver 99% probability of Obama victory blather.

  61. KariQ says:

    I’m sorry if I missed it, but has no one considered that this could be variation within a range rather than actual change in sentiment? If it’s just one poll, or even two, then that’s my guess. If other polls come out and confirm it, then it’s a genuine tightening.

    I’m not surprised if it is tightening, but I’m cautious about putting too much emphasis on individual polls.

  62. jukeboxgrad says:

    smooth:

    this poll from POLITICO says Obama is behind between 2 – 4 points in the Swing states

    Where does it say that? You linked to a Breitbart article that says this:

    Nationally, Obama leads by 2-3 points, but, in the critical swing states, Romney now has the edge.

    That link is a pdf containing 279 pages. Those pages are packed with tables I find indecipherable. Where on those pages does it say that “Obama is behind between 2 – 4 points in the Swing states?”

    before you criticize the link because it was from Breitbart

    I’m not criticizing the link because it’s “from Breitbart.” I’m criticizing the link because he makes a claim and then pretends to show support for the claim by providing a link that leads to a mountain of gibberish.

  63. KariQ says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    OutSideThe Beltway is a far left blog…

    Doug should really stop spending so much time telling us all how much he dislikes Obama’s policies. James should stop telling us that he plans to vote Mitt. Their cover is blown, the truth is out. Smooth Jazz knows the truth! Of course, it’s the right-wing epistemic closure truth that bares no resemblance to the real world, but that won’t stop him from spreading the word.

    Honestly, though, this never fails to make me laugh.

  64. jukeboxgrad says:

    Smooth, one more thing:

    Your poll says Obama is ahead in the Swing states

    When you say “your poll,” you are indicating how deeply confused you are. You seem to be referring to the link Clavin provided, but that’s not about one poll. It’s an index derived from many polls. So it’s not that one “poll says Obama is ahead in the Swing states.” It’s that virtually every poll says that Obama is ahead in almost all the swing states.

    Here’s the RCP data for Ohio. Last time any poll showed a lead for Mitt in Ohio: 9/2. Number of polls done since then: 15, all showing Obama in the lead. Those 15 polls include polls done by Fox and Rasmussen, as well as other R or R-leaning pollsters.

    Here’s the RCP data for Virginia. Last time any poll showed a lead for Mitt in Virginia: 9/9. Number of polls done since then: 12, all showing Obama in the lead. Those 12 polls include polls done by Fox and Rasmussen.

    Here’s the RCP data for Florida. Last time any poll showed a lead for Mitt in Florida: 9/19. Number of polls done since then: 9, all showing Obama in the lead.

    In Wisconsin, Mitt has not held the lead in any poll since 8/19. In Nevada, Mitt has not held the lead in any poll since April. In Iowa, Mitt has not held the lead since February, with the exception of polls done by Rasmussen or another R pollster. In NH, Mitt has not held the lead since April, with the exception of one poll by Rasmussen. In CO, Mitt has not held the lead since 8/9, with the exception of one poll by Rasmussen.

    NC on the other hand seems to be genuinely close.

    So it’s not that “your poll says Obama is ahead in the Swing states.” It’s that almost all recent polls show Obama ahead in all the swing states except NC. That’s why Breitbart’s claim (“in the critical swing states, Romney now has the edge”) is so deeply bizarre. Are you going to show us where to find support for that claim you cited?

  65. @jukeboxgrad:

    Now, now. Why are you insisting on spiking footballs and uncorking champagne? Clearly the only reason you are citing these figures is because you are prematurely celebrating! Everyone knows that only hacks point to a series of polls and try to draw inferences from them. After all, only leftists take polling seriously!

  66. dennis says:

    @Fiona:

    Me too, Fiona. Sometimes, I just have to shut it all off. But then, the itching starts again . . .

  67. jukeboxgrad says:

    steven:

    only hacks point to a series of polls and try to draw inferences from them

    It’s dawning on me that these polls involve some kind of arithmetic, which I’m pretty sure has something to do with Arabic numerals. So it’s no surprise to find that they’re all in cahoots with Obama and the other Muslims trying to put one over on us.

  68. Eric Florack says:

    @john personna: Essentially, one need not cheery pick for bad news with Obama. There’s no good news to be found. Unless of course, you don’t wait for the weekly downward adjustment on jobless and GDP numbers, which “unexpectedly’ took a dump.

  69. jukeboxgrad says:

    There’s no good news to be found.

    I guess you must be someone else who owns no stocks and hasn’t noticed that the Dow is up 64% under Obama.

    By the way, the Dow dropped 22% during Bush’s term, after more than tripling during Clinton’s. Interesting pattern.

    If the Dow is higher than 6475 on the day Obama leaves office, then he will have done better than GWB, on this metric. That would be a drop of over 50% from where it is now.