Saturday, March 7, 2009

Obama Polling Lower than Bush

A recent Gallup Poll shows that President Barack Hussein Obama is currently polling lower than President George Walker Bush did during the same period of time in their first term in office. A poll conducted March 5-7, 2001 found that President Bush had a 63% positive, 22% negative approval rating after spending a little more than a month in office. A poll conducted March 2-4, 2009 shows President Obama currently has a 62% positive, 28% negative approval rating during the same period of time for his first term in office.

The Bush poll, conducted prior to the 9/11 attacks, also gave Bush a lower negative number than Obama has during the same period of time.

The 9/11 attacks were undoubtedly the defining moment for the Bush administration. His handling of the attacks led to his highest approval numbers during his term in office. So far, it seems that the economic situation of the United States will be Obama’s defining moment. If the various bailouts and stimulus packages work and work quickly, he will likely see a surge in his numbers. If they fail, his approval will likely tank and deny him the opportunity of claiming the mantle of highest presidential approval rating from President George Walker Bush.

The top three approval numbers went to:

Republican President George Walker Bush with 90%
Republican President George Herbert Walker Bush with 89%
Democrat President Harry S. Truman with 87%

Specter, Casey Polling Lower

According to a recent Franklin & Marshall poll conducted by Times-Shamrock, both of Pennsylvania’s United States Senators are not doing too well in the realm of public opinion.

30% have a favorable view of Casey, 42% have a favorable view of Specter. 17% view Casey unfavorably and 29% view Specter unfavorably. 21% are undecided on Casey and 32% don’t know what to think of him. 15% are undecided on Specter and 14% don’t know.

While Specter is certainly doing better than Casey, Specter has less time to improve his image than Casey does. Specter faces re-election in 2010, Casey in 2012.

Earlier polls had Casey in a much stronger position. An earlier Quinnipiac University poll completed in the beginning of February 2009 had Casey at 54% approval rating. An earlier Franklin and Marshall poll conducted six months after taking office in 2007 gave Casey a 29% approval rating, 22% disapproval, 23% undecided and 26% didn’t know.

A recent letter by Scranton Diocese Bishop Martino accused Casey of misrepresenting the Catholic position on abortion and of violating what the church calls for from its flock as it relates to abortion. Bishop Martino also issued a reminder to Eucharistic Ministers that when faced with “public and persistent actions in opposition to the moral law as taught by the Church” that they should refuse to provide communion to the offender. Both letters were issued in the same day.

This has been festering since Casey’s vote on the Mexico City policy. The vote overturned the Bush and Reagan prohibition against using federal tax dollars fund organizations that promote abortion. It has come to a head recently with Bishop Martino’s outreach to Casey to try and change his position. This certainly could explain what would cause Casey’s approval number to nosedive 24% in about a month.

Specter’s problems are of his own making. Specter’s vote on the crap sandwich a.k.a. economic stimulus bill has caused major fallout for Specter. The House and Senate Republican Caucuses tried to put a hold on the bill due to concerns of wasteful spending and based on promises made by the Obama Administration that bills would be placed on the internet before voting on them and that a certain amount of time would elapse before passage would occur so the public would have the ability to review the legislation. Both Obama campaign promises were violated with the bill. Republican also offered many amendments to the bill that would have stripped the pork from it, all of which were defeated.

When the Republicans tried to take this principled stand, Specter and two other moderate Republicans jumped ship and supported the Democrats. This has led Republican leaders to at least consider cutting support for Specter should he have a viable Republican opponent. Both Chairman Steele nationally and Chairman Gleason locally have indicated that they were very unhappy with Specter over his vote.

All of this has likely caused former Pennsylvania Congressman and front man for the Club for Growth Pat Toomey to suggest that he might abandon his hopes of running for Pennsylvania Governor and seek a rematch against Specter in 2010. In 2004, Specter beat Toomey in the Republican primary by about 17,000 votes or just less than 2% statewide.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Crap Sandwich Update

If you were to believe what the Democratic leaders of Congress have been telling you, the primary impetus for the crap sandwich a.k.a. economic stimulus bill has been President George Walker Bush’s spending practices. Obviously, the Republican Party controlled Congress from 1995 until the close of 2006. It is also a fact that the Democratic Party assumed control of Congress in 2007, after the Republicans were widely defeated in the 2006 mid-term elections.

During the twelve year period in which the Republicans were in control, the combined deficit was $1.2453 trillion. This includes the monies used after the September 11th attacks and hurricane Katrina.

The actual “inherited” deficit that the Democrats were left with when they took control of Congress in 2007 was $160.7 billion. This is largely due to the fact that the Republicans had instituted a program to pay down the deficit in every year from 2004 to that time.

In 2008 with both Democrats Reid and Pelosi in charge of their respective chambers of Congress, the deficit ballooned up to $454.8 billion. This was the largest nominal deficit in history.

After 2009, it will be nearly $1.5 trillion dollars. That is more than the combined deficit of the entire 12 years the Republicans controlled Congress.

As far as the success or failure of the bill, the Congressional Budget Office’s evaluation of the current Democratic spending package is somewhat bleak. According to the non-partisan CBO, the stimulus bill will increase employment in the short term but also crowd out private investment in the economy. It will also put downward pressure on the GDP and wages after 2014. Scary stuff.

The numbers listed in this story can be found on the Congressional Budget Office website.

On the political side, the Democrats are in full defense mode. Since the bill was passed nearly 100% by Democrats, the DCCC is already taking action to limit the negatives on the bill. This is obviously a difficult task with the high negatives the bill faces. The fallout from this bill has been so immense that the DCCC has sought out “stimulus spinners” to work in each district to try and make the crap sandwich easier to swallow. These are publicly named people that will work to improve the public’s reaction to the bill.

Tea anyone?

Walter Griffith Announces for Luzerne County Controller

Republican Walter Griffith, 54, of Wilkes-Barre has announced for the Luzerne County Controller position. Griffith is a self-described taxpayer advocate and government watchdog. Griffith is the owner of Rutter Auto Service Inc., and a lifelong resident of Luzerne County.

Griffith stated that he decided to seek the Republican nomination for controller to be “a fiscal watchdog at the county courthouse” because of what he calls a “lack of fiscal oversight by the current administration.” Griffith went on to say “if we’re going to have change in Luzerne County, we have to vote for a change.”

Griffith and his wife Mary Jo have two daughters.

Romney Chips In

According to The Hill, The DCCC has targeted 12 Republican seats for 2010. Those are:

Ken Calvert (Calif.)
Jim Gerlach (Pa.)
Charlie Dent (Pa.)
Mark Kirk (Ill.)
Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo.)
Dave Reichert (Wash.)
Judy Biggert (Ill.)
Mike Castle (Del.)
Dan Lungren (Calif.)
Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.)
Adam Putnam (Fla.)
Pete Sessions (Texas)

The attacks have been largely in the form of auto-dial calls hammering these members of Congress for their vote against the crap sandwich a.k.a. economic stimulus bill.

Former Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney has stepped up to the plate to defend these Republicans. Romney, through his Free and Strong America PAC, has cut checks to support and defend the targets of the DCCC’s telemarketing calls.

DCCC Announces Frontline Candidates

According to The Hill these 40 members of Congress have been named the DCCC’s frontline candidates for 2010:

John Adler (N.J.)
Mike Arcuri (N.Y.)
John Boccieri (Ohio)
Leonard Boswell (Iowa)
Bobby Bright (Ala.)
Chris Carney (Penn.)
Travis Childers (Miss.)
Gerry Connolly (Va.)
Kathy Dahlkemper (Penn.)
Steve Driehaus (Ohio)
Bill Foster (Ill.)
Gabrielle Giffords (Ariz.)
Alan Grayson (Fla.)
Parker Griffith (Ala.)
Debbie Halvorson (Ill.)
Martin Heinrich (N.M.)
Baron Hill (Ind.)
Jim Himes (Conn.)
Steve Kagen (Wisc.)
Mary Jo Kilroy (Ohio)
Ann Kirkpatrick (Ariz.)
Larry Kissell (N.C.)
Suzanne Kosmas (Fla.)
Frank Kratovil (Mary.)
Dan Maffei (N.Y.)
Betsy Markey (Colo.)
Eric Massa (N.Y.)
Mike McMahon (N.Y.)
Jerry McNerney (Calif.)
Walt Minnick (Idaho)
Harry Mitchell (Ariz.)
Glenn Nye (Va.)
Tom Perriello (Va.)
Gary Peters (Mich.)
Ciro Rodriguez (Texas)
Mark Schauer (Mich.)
Kurt Schrader (Ore.)
Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.)
Harry Teague (N.M.)
Dina Titus (Nev.)