News from the Votemaster
At the last minute, the Republicans have changed the schedule for their convention. Mitt Romney will now be nominated on Monday, the night the networks are not going to cover. That is a pity because the roll call of states is often amusing. Ann Romney's speech, originally scheduled for Monday, has been moved to Tuesday, so it will be covered. In some ways, she is the most important speaker at the convention and the only one who can poke fun at Mitt Romney and humanize him. She often mentions the time he was speaking somewhere and he said to her: "Sweetheart, in your wildest dreams, did you ever see me coming here and speaking to this group?' And she said: 'Mitt, you aren't in my wildest dreams."
Another schedule change--albeit not controlled by the Republican National Committee--is that Joe Biden has postponed his trip to Tampa on account of tropical storm/hurricane Isaac. He is making this change because a vice-presidential visit requires a lot of assistance from local law-enforcement agencies and they are going to be stretched to the limit by the convention/storm combo.
While the text of the Republican Party platform won't be released until Monday, reporters have deduced bits and pieces of it by talking to people who know what is in it. One thing everyone should understand about both parties platforms is that they are written by party activists, not the nominee, although a sitting President has more influence than a nonincumbent nominee. The Republican platform will call for an amendment to the Constitution to prohibit all abortions. Period. It will also contain a plank calling for a law forbidding U.S. courts from considering foreign laws and traditions when rendering decisions. Also new is a call to study returning to the gold standard (in an attempt to keep Ron Paul from unleashing a second hurricane on Tampa). Other planks call for banning any future tax increases, denying women combat roles in the Armed Forces, and building a two-layer fence along the entire Mexican border. It is an angry platform and RNC chairman Reince Priebus said: "This is the platform of the Republican Party. It's not the platform of Mitt Romney."
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said yesterday that the Republicans' approach to immigration is going to hurt them badly among Latino citizens. He said that they are continuing the fantasy that they can round up and deport 11 or 12 million illegals and build a great big fence to keep future ones out. He added that they don't want to solve the immigration problem but are merely trying to fire up their base.
The AARP, a lobbying group for Americans over 50 with 38 million members, has waded into the presidential election. Its main issues are saving Social Security and Medicare, and helping seniors deal with retirement. The organization has produced a Website to provide information to its members about the candidates' stands on these issues. It does not endorse candidates but still has a powerful influence.
Despite a new Rasmussen poll showing that he is trailing Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) by 10 points, embattled Missouri Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin once again clearly stated yesterday that he has no intention of dropping out of the race. At this point the party is against him, his money is gone, and the polls show he will be defeated in a landslide but he still says he will soldier on. Maybe he means it.
For the first time this year we have a Rasmussen poll showing Obama ahead in Missouri. In Rasmussen's July poll, Romney was up by 6 points. This might be a kind of reverse coattail effect from Todd Akin, but it could also just be a statistical fluctuation.
|California||56%||33%||Aug 03||Aug 07||Tulchin Research|
|Missouri||47%||46%||Aug 22||Aug 22||Rasmussen|
|Virginia||47%||47%||Aug 23||Aug 23||Rasmussen|
|State||Democrat||D %||Republican||R %||I||I %||Start||End||Pollster|
|Virginia||Tim Kaine||45%||George Allen||45%||Aug 23||Aug 23||Rasmussen|
* Denotes incumbent
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