Let’s put this into context…
|Polls of Polls||Change||Who’s Up|
|Real Clear Politics
|Talking Points Memo PollTracker||Obama
|New York Times
|No change||Obama +2.1|
|Obama +.2||Obama +1|
Same-sex marriage hits the mainstream
The Democratic Party has announced that Same-Sex marriage has unanimously been added to the Party’s platform. Many anticipated a huge fight over the issue earlier in the year. But the President’s leadership has consolidated opinion and made marriage equality the mainstream view for Democrats.
Bill Clinton to nominate President Obama
President Obama personally asked former president Bill Clinton to nominate him at the upcoming Democratic National Convention. Senate candidate and liberal icon Elizabeth Warren will speak before Clinton, whose popularity now matches the all-time high he reached around his first inauguration. Notably, both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have announced they will skip their party’s convention.
The context wars
After weeks of taking the President’s quotes on small business out of context, the Romney campaign demanded that the media provide context for Mitt’s comments on Palestinian culture. This indicates how beyond the pale Romney’s comments about Palestinian culture were. Even John McCain couldn’t agree with them. This is an issue that will stimulate few voters but works into the Obama campaign’s assertion that Romney’s trip abroad has been all about fundraising, flubs and photo-ops. It’s hard to overstate the magnitude of Romney’s gaffes on this trip. Our Joe Conason points out that what Romeny said in Jerusalem were even worse than his foibles in London.
Forget intentionally offending the Palestians and Iran. Could Mitt honestly have intended to end up becoming the punchline of the 2012 Olympics or to be praising socialized medicine? The only good news is Romney’s jaunt through Poland today hasn’t yet yielded a gaffe worth mentioning.
Mitt’s issues poll well; the President still leads
Gallup released a poll that provided some good news for Romney’s messaging team. The top issues that voters say they care about read like Romney ad copy: 1. Creating good jobs; 2. Reducing corruption in the federal government; 3. Reducing the federal budget deficit. Most economists would say that numbers one and three are directly contradictory. And liberals would argue that if Mitt’s policies could create good jobs they would have worked when George W. Bush tried them. However, the fact that “Increasing taxes on wealthy Americans” was low on the list of concerns probably indicates that the President will need to adjust his message a bit. Maybe tax increases on the wealthy could pay for the President’s American Jobs Act, which economists say would create over a million jobs.
Politics USA released a new national poll (PDF) showing the President up by 4%, which is good news for the Obama as his swing state numbers continue to outperform his national results.
Romney will do Paul Ryan’s bidding
Ryan Lizza from the New Yorker has a lengthy profile of Paul Ryan that’s well worth reading. The key takeaway:
To envisage what Republicans would do if they win in November, the person to understand is not necessarily Romney, who has been a policy cipher all his public life. The person to understand is Paul Ryan.
Grover Norquist famously suggested that Republicans just need a president who will sign what the Congress passes. So even if Romney doesn’t pick Paul Ryan, expect Democrats to treat the congressman as if he’s Mitt’s running mate. This could help the GOP ticket in Wisconsin and likely hurt them in Florida where Ryan’s Medicare plan is sacrilege to many.
Verdict: President Obama’s steady poll performance and leadership on same-sex marriage outshine Mitt’s last attempts to salvage his foreign policy tour gone wrong.