Obama leads Romney 49 – 42 in the new Ohio poll, a state where the political ground has shifted greatly over the last few months. After the massive defeat of SB 5, the anti-union legislation pushed by state Republicans, Obama has seen a major turnaround in his numbers on the ground.
Back in October, PPP’s President Dean Debnam said that were the election to have been held then, Obama would have lost. PPP’s analysis at the time suggested it would be hard to see more support coming to the president as the election got closer. The SB 5 vote moved the state back toward Obama in PPP’s November poll, resulting in a nine point lead, and it seems that trend is continuing into the new year.
“The race in Ohio is going to get closer because there are so many more undecided Republicans than Democrats,” PPP pollster Tom Jensen wrote in a email to TPM. “But it does look like Obama’s chances at matching his 3-4 point victory in the state from 2008 are pretty good right now. John Kasich has really hurt the Republican brand in the state and the economy’s getting better. Romney’s not popular enough to overcome those two factors if they persist through November.”
I’ll happily go along with the political professionals and say that former Fox News personality John Kasich has “really hurt the Republican brand” (hah!).
That happened in Florida, where the GOP candidates avoided another extremely unpopular Tea Party-backed governor, Scott:
Scott’s disappearing act is a conscious decision. The governor who rode the conservative wave of 2010 to victory has since watched his popularity plummet.As a Quinnipiac University poll earlier this month found, his approval rating among Florida voters stands at just 38 percent — among the lowest for any governor in the country. He also has a sour relationship with some Republicans in the state after winning a bitter primary against the heavily favored Bill McCollum.
So it’s easy to understand why Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich might not be eager for a photo-op with Scott.
Branding may be really important, you’d have to ask Rupert Murdoch about that, but reality matters too, and I think the revival of the US auto industry is what’s really helping Obama here. Despite the near-constant drumbeat of doom that comes out of the national political media, stories like this are in local news.
Chrysler, propelled by higher sales of Jeeps and other revamped cars and trucks, reported its first annual net income since 1997, capping a pivotal turnaround year that many thought would never come. The U.S. automaker, now privately held and majority owned by Italy’s Fiat SpA, earned $183 million last year, reversing a $652 million loss in 2010, its first full year out of bankruptcy protection.
Chrysler expects an even better 2012, despite a sluggish and uncertain economy. The company, which sells most of its vehicles in the U.S., predicts it will make about $1.5 billion this year and increase revenue 18 percent.
Chrysler spent much of 2010 designing new vehicles and trying to spruce up an archaic lineup that wasn’t selling well. Now those vehicles are in showrooms, and they’ve sold far better than expected, especially the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV. The company’s global sales climbed 22 percent to 1.86 million last year. U.S. sales growth was even faster, up 26 percent.
President Barack Obama has been touting Chrysler’s turnaround in recent appearances ahead of the November presidential election. Obama cast the deciding vote to save Chrysler and authorized much of the $12.5 billion in government funding that bailed out the company. Of the original bailout to Chrysler and its financial arm, the government said it was repaid all but $1.3 billion.
What helps Obama helps Sherrod Brown, they’ll rise or fall together, and Sherrod Brown is the top target of the wrecking crew this cycle, so good news all around.
All those ads claiming Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is a job-killing, doctor-harming tax raiser are adding up to make the Ohioan the nation’s top target for third-party GOP spending,according to the Huffington Post.
The ads by groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the60-Plus Association, not officially affiliated with the Republican Party, bring the tab against Brown to nearly $2.9 million, according to a Senate Democratic campaign operative cited by Huffington. That makes Brown a bigger target, so far, than Democrats like Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren.