Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Who Won the Week? (June 17-23)

Last week was a mixed bag for each of the campaigns.  The media seemed to focus on only two issues: immigration and Fast and Furious.  Let’s begin with the former. 

In what had become a painful week for Mr. Romney on the topic, the back-to-back candidate speeches at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) conference didn’t help the candidate.  During his speech on Thursday, Mitt Romney stopped short of endorsing the President’s immigration policy, only to tell the Hispanic crowd that he would replace the policy with his own.  However, he failed to outline even the skeleton of such a plan, and his speech was generally poorly received. 

On Friday, President Obama greeted the same community (and more) and cast himself as one of them: as a fighter for their rights and values against an obstructionist Congress.  Played back to back, there is no doubt of whom the Latino community is supporting. 

To back up this assertion, polls came out at the end of the week showing the President has an even larger lead among Latinos than he did in 2008.  With a growing lead like that, it will be hard for Romney to win in key swing states that will decide the election.

On the second issue of the week, a Republican-controlled House of Representatives panel voted to hold Attorney General in contempt over him (and the administration) not providing some documentation sought by the committee.  The Obama administration claimed executive privilege on the specific documents. 

Up until then, the Fast and Furious issue, as it is called, had not really reached the mainstream media.  However, it is now front and center. 

Oddly enough, the Obama administration and Democrats seem to be happy to see the GOP-led House focus on the issue, and the Republican leadership has been reluctant to make the issue a big deal.  Perhaps Boehner sees it as a distraction from talking about the economy or the Democrats see it as a prime way to display how radical the Tea Party has become.  

I’m personally not convinced this is a win for the administration, as it tints Obama with scandal in an election year, even though perhaps there is no scandal at all.

Polling:  This past week brought a poll by Bloomberg putting the President 13 points above Mitt Romney in a hypothetical matchup.  That single poll, which is likely an outlier, has increased Mr. Obama’s lead in RealClearPolitics’ average to 2.6% from 0.7% last week.  However, if we were to not include that poll, the President would only lead Mr. Romney by 1.4%, making the race still a statistical tie. 

Who Won the Week?  Tie

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