Ah, whatever became of the Christmas spirit. Over the Christmas holidays voters, with an inspiring outpour of political generosity, boosted President Barack Obama's Presidential Approval Index to the dizzying height of Minus-Twelve. It was short-lived, though.
Date Presidential Approval Index Strongly Approve Strongly Disapprove Total Approve Total Disapprove 12/29/2011 -18 22% 40% 45% 55% 12/28/2011 -18 23% 41% 45% 54% 12/27/2011 -12 26% 38% 47% 52% 12/26/2011 No Polling 12/25/2011 No Polling 12/24/2011 No Polling 12/23/2011 -13 25% 38% 47% 51% 12/22/2011 -14 23% 37% 49% 50% 12/21/2011 -18 21% 39% 47% 51% 12/20/2011 -18 21% 39% 47% 51%
Obama's latest foray into political gamesmanship, in which he berated House Republicans for approving his own proposal to extend the payroll tax holiday for a year instead of the Senate-approved two months, apparently hasn't panned out all that well. Media gloating over the presumed Republican snafu has simmered down some, as Obama's approval has settled back to his pre-Christmas -18, which was itself an improvement over his dismal performance throughout the fall.
Meanwhile, out in Iowa, Mitt Romney has taken a lead in the questionably relevant Iowa Caucuses.
CLINTON, Iowa -- A new poll of Iowa voters shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney surging to the lead in the Hawkeye State as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich plummets and former Sen. Rick Santorum finally catches some momentum.
Romney leads in the CNN poll of 452 Republicans who are likely to caucus on Jan. 3, with 25 percent, ahead of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who is in second with 22 percent.
The poll was conducted by CNN from Dec. 21 to 27.
It's hard to take the Caucuses seriously when a candidate like Ron Paul can hold second in the polling at 22%. That said, a strong showing by Romney in Iowa followed by a convincing Romney win in New Hampshire will, in my view, all but lock up the Republican nomination. Romney's momentum, plus his 45% - 39% lead over Obama in Rasmussen polling, puts him in position to run the table on the rest of the Republican field.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Mitt Romney has now jumped to his biggest lead ever over President Obama in a hypothetical Election 2012 matchup. It’s also the biggest lead a named Republican candidate has held over the incumbent in Rasmussen Reports surveying to date.
Romney even beats out the generic Republican candidate who only leads Obama by 1%, 45% to 44%.
And it's unlikely that President Obama will get any help when congress reconvenes in January. The first order of business there will be the extension, yet again, of the payroll tax holiday. For Democrats this presents the mouth-watering opportunity to demagogue the tax fairness issue and push, yet again, for a millionaire surtax. The outcome is likely to be successive two-month extensions of the payroll tax as Democrats repeatedly fail to push the surtax through. Get ready for a continuation of progressive class warfare rhetoric for at least another two months.
Seems odd that it hasn't occurred to them yet. It isn't working. But what are you going to do? It's all they've got left, the Democrats. (Look for 2013 to be another year of progressive soul searching, "Why aren't we able to get our message across? What's the matter with America?")
Further, Obama is unlikely to help himself. As part of his winning legislation to extend the payroll tax holiday, he will also have to make a decision on the Keystone Pipeline. And though the pipleline project will create tens of thousands of jobs, many of them union jobs, Obama will not be able to support it. He cannot support anything that threatens to reduce the cost of conventional energy sources relative to green energy. He'll axe the pipeline project, shooting himself, and America, in the foot.
There go energy independence, economic growth, job creation, rising federal revenues, and a host of other benefits we would expect from such a boost in domestic energy production — at least temporarily. On the upside, there goes Obama's presidency, as well.