Obama leads potential 2012 opponents in Iowa

Only Huckabee sits within striking distance of the current president
Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 11:00 am

President Barack Obama currently leads all of his main 2012 Republican rivals in Iowa, according to a new poll from Public Policy Polling. The closest hypothetical campaign according to the poll would be a match-up between Obama and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, though Obama would still win that race by a 47-43 percent margin.

The other prominent Republicans considering presidential bids fare far worse against Obama. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich trails Obama by a 51-38 percent margin, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney finishes behind the incumbent at 47-41 percent.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin performs the worst for Republicans against Obama. She only gains 37 percent support from Iowans compared to 53 percent for Obama in a hypothetical match-up. PPP’s poll only looked at these four top tier Republican candidates, excluding other possible nominees such as former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty or Sen. John Thune (S.D.).

November 2012 is a long way off, but Iowa will likely be one of the handful of swing states that could decide the president’s re-election. Governing Magazine analyzed the electoral landscape and rated Iowa, with its six electoral votes, among its 10 toss-up states. Obama carried Iowa in 2008 with 54 percent of the state’s vote. But after the 2010 census, the states carried by John McCain in 2008 gained further electoral votes, so Obama will likely start his re-election bid with less secure electoral college votes, making states like Iowa that he won in 2008 even more important to hold.



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Comment posted January 14, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

By 2012, The National Popular Vote bill could guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Elections wouldn’t be about winning states. Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

In the 2012 election, pundits and campaign operatives already agree that only 14 states and their voters will matter under the current winner-take-all laws (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) used by 48 of the 50 states. Candidates will not care about 72% of the voters- voters-in 19 of the 22 lowest population and medium-small states, and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX. 2012 campaigning would be even more obscenely exclusive than 2008 and 2004. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: CO– 68%, IA –75%, MI– 73%, MO– 70%, NH– 69%, NV– 72%, NM– 76%, NC– 74%, OH– 70%, PA — 78%, VA — 74%, and WI — 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE –75%, ME — 77%, NE — 74%, NH –69%, NV — 72%, NM — 76%, RI — 74%, VT — 75%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and border states: AR –80%, KY — 80%, MS –77%, MO — 70%, NC — 74%, and VA — 74%; and in other states polled: CA — 70%, CT — 74% , MA — 73%, MN – 75%, NY — 79%, WA — 77%, and WV- 81%.

The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA ,RI, VT, and WA . The bill has been enacted by DC, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, and WA. These 7 states possess 74 electoral votes — 27% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


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