CNN Poll

33/34. If Barack Obama were the Democratic Party’s candidate and Mitt Romney were the Republican
Party’s candidate, who would you be more likely to vote for?

Obama 53 Romney 45

35/36. If Barack Obama were the Democratic Party’s candidate and Mike Huckabee were the Republican
Party’s candidate, who would you be more likely to vote for —

Obama 54 Huckabee 45

37/38. If Barack Obama were the Democratic Party’s candidate and Sarah Palin were the Republican
Party’s candidate, who would you be more likely to vote for? Neither Other No
Obama 55 Palin 42

39/40. If Barack Obama were the Democratic Party’s candidate and Newt Gingrich were the Republican
Party’s candidate, who would you be more likely to vote for?

Obama 55 Gingrich 43

And that’s with unemployment at 9.7%. 2010 may be a bad year, but 2012 is going to be a good year.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

20 thoughts on “Chill!”

  1. Were the Republicans able to field a halfway-decent candidate, I would imagine the numbers could be a lot closer. The four candidates listed above, however, barely pass the laugh test. Unfortunately for the Republicans, however, their nominee will likely come from that field (or Ron Paul, which which would be equally fortuitous for Obama).

    Based on this lack of presidency-ready talent in the Republican ranks, 2012 was always a foregone conclusion in my mind. Romney and Huckabee have tried, tried, and failed. Gingrich is (way) old news, and Palin is an embarrassment to politics (and I consider myself a moderate independent, not a Democrat – yet I still cringe whenever she speaks out of sheer embarrassment for my country). The key for the Democrats starting in the next few years is to develop a 2016 candidate (not Joe Biden) who is also young, well-spoken, and semi-charming, and hope to not fall into the same no-talent rut that the Republicans find themselves in, because by the the Republicans will have some of their so-called "up and coming stars" coming of age and will be pushing them hard – i.e. Ryan, Cantor, McDonnell. Whatever you think of them, and I am not saying they are perfect, or even great, candidates, but they will likely garner more support than Romney/Huckabee/Palin/Gingrich.

  2. I thoughts Democrats were worried about losing the House in 2010, not the Presidency in 2012.

  3. I strongly doubt that any of those four will get the GOP nod in 2012. The smart play is to pick some inoffensive, telegenic governor without much history or track record to trip him up.

    If I were a betting man, I'd put a sizable wager at suitable odds on Bob McDonnell being the 2012 Republican nominee.

  4. 2010 elections are nearly half a year away. It isn't clear how good or bad a year it will be for Democratic candidates for congress. Arguably it is more important how state legislature elections go; they will control redistricting in most states and in the longer term that has potentially greater influence on Congress.

  5. If there is anything we have learned from Obama it is that

    – HE is unwilling to do much to push Congress in particular directions (no LBJ or even GWB)

    – Congress is pretty determined to maintain the plutocracy's grip on power

    – Precious little of importance happens without Congress (since Obama seems unwilling to do much to veer from GWB's line in those areas where he has control)

    Wake us up when you have info on how Congress will change in the next elections.

  6. Bob McDonnell? Bob McDonnell???

    The guy who has stepped on his crank constantly since proclaiming April to be Confederacy Month? Actually, make that stepped on his crank constantly while wearing golf shoes…

    The 'thugs would be better off nominating Kenneth The Governor, errr, Bobby The Jindal.

  7. Dennis, do you think that McDonnell's recent foray into Confederate apologia hurts him or helps him with the party's base? I'll wait while you consider your answer.

  8. It's not only McDonnell's Confederate apologia; it is his virtually calling for unconstitutional literacy tests for voting. But, even if that helps him with the party's base, the party's base would prefer Palin anyway, I presume.

  9. Ha… Bobby Jindal… what a joke. That guy's national office aspirations ended with his response speech to Obama last year. Even the far right agrees to that.

  10. "Unwilling to push Congress in particular directions"? After the largest piece of redistributive legislation since the New Deal? You're kidding, right?

  11. That Obama has less than a 2-1 lead over Huckabee, Palin, and Gingrich does not cause me to chill. It's terrifying that 40-45% of the public thinks any of these three would be less than a catastrophe as President.

  12. The Rasmussen link which Brett connected to doesn't seem to say anything about Ron Paul. What is interesting about it is how completely Rasmussen has given up on even the pretense of objectivity.

  13. Here is what Brett meant to link to.

    A couple of tidbits:

    "Ask the Political Class, though, and it’s a blowout. While 58% of Mainstream voters favor Paul, 95% of the Political Class vote for Obama.

    But Republican voters also have decidedly mixed feelings about Paul, who has been an outspoken critic of the party establishment.

    Obama earns 79% support from Democrats, but Paul gets just 66% of GOP votes. Voters not affiliated with either major party give Paul a 47% to 28% edge over the president."

  14. Chuchundra,

    Sure, it helps him with the base. BFD. The question isn't does it help him with the base, the question is, "Does it help him with the center?"

    Yes, I understand that you have to win the nomination to be in the general election, but winning the nomination isn't helpful if you have to offend the other 75% of the electorate to win it. Saying truly stupid s*** like McDonnell has in the past week is putting him on the Jindal list.

  15. What, nobody found the Obama-Paul matchup funny? I did. The leadership of the GOP would crawl over broken glass to keep Paul from getting the nomination, even if they DID think he'd win the general election. And he'd be, what? 78? when he took office, if he did.

    I mean, I like the guy, but it's a bit late for him to be running for President.

  16. "

    “Unwilling to push Congress in particular directions”? After the largest piece of redistributive legislation since the New Deal? You’re kidding, right?


    Well, Mark, that's the difference between you and me. You look at the healthcare bill and imagine that it will generate all sorts of wonderful results. I look at it and see a massive giveaway to the insurance industry, coupled with precisely fsckall to solve the ACTUAL healthcare problems — nothing to increase the number of medical professionals, nothing to modify the way medical education is financed, nothing to modify the incentives regarding how doctors are rewarded and how they can own facilities whose use they recommend; just some weak tea regarding fact-finding studies with no real power to implement the results of those studies. How well has that worked out for climate change? The issue is not STUDIES — we have the rest of the world to know how to do things better — the issue is that less money going to the healthcare industry means less money going to the healthcare industry.

    The redistribution in the healthcare bill is the right's favorite type of redistribution — take from the upper middle class and give to the poor, but with precious little effect on the truly rich — who, as I've already said, now have a nice government guarantee for their parasitism.

    I expect this will be followed by another show bill regarding finance which will, likewise, do precious little to change the true power and economic relationships of society but will be trumpeted to the skies by people like yourself.

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