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Obama's Gay Marriage Stand: 60% Don't Care

40% say they'll change their vote over gay nuptials

(Newser) - President Obama's stand in favor of gay marriage is no game-changer for six out of ten US voters, a new Gallup poll says. For those who may change their vote over it, 26% are less likely to vote for Obama, and 13% more likely. The numbers among all-important independents... More »

Why This Politician Is a National 'Test Case'

Moderates and pragmatic vets might become political outcasts: David Brooks

(Newser) - Nathan Fletcher is a California legislator and decorated Marine who is running for mayor in San Diego, but it's his move this week to leave the GOP that has caught the attention of David Brooks in the New York Times . Fletcher is a moderate, and the pragmatism he learned... More »

Maine's Angus King: Next Senate Power-Broker?

Independent ex-governor hopes to replace Olympia Snowe

(Newser) - There's a decent chance his name won't ring a bell, but the Washington Post today declares Angus King to be the "most important Senate candidate in the country." As the Fix blog explains, King is running for Olympia Snowe's seat in Maine , and as a... More »

Obama's Achilles Heel: Independents

But they've turned on GOP in Congress even more

(Newser) - Independent voters were key to President Obama's victory in 2008, but this year he may have a tougher time winning them over. Only 31% of independents say they view Obama favorably, while two-thirds say he's done little to improve the economy, a New York Times /CBS poll finds.... More »

Conditions Right for a New Ross Perot

An independent candidate might do some damage in 2012: Steve Kornacki

(Newser) - Not that it necessarily will happen, but today's political climate is more favorable to a Ross-Perot-type of independent candidate than it has been for quite a while, writes Steve Kornacki at Salon . Three key conditions that help: an incumbent president (check), a lousy economy (big check), and a nominee... More »

Social Security Reform Could Save Obama's Presidency

Liberals may not like it—but key independents will

(Newser) - If President Obama wants to get things done, he’ll have to keep cooperating with Republicans—and offer a “decisive” economic message. He can accomplish both of these goals, and push himself toward reelection, with Social Security reform, writes Michael Gerson in the Washington Post . Reform would a significant... More »

Bloomberg, Scarborough 'Eying 2012 Run'

Mayor, MSNBC host may form 'odd couple' independent ticket

(Newser) - New York City's mayor and the host of MSNBC's Morning Joe are exploring the possibility of an "odd couple" run for the White House on an independent ticket, according to the Huffington Post , which cites "well-placed sources." Joe Scarborough, a longtime friend of Michael Bloomberg's, denies that... More »

How Obama Can Win Again

David Brooks offers a four-step plan to win over the center

(Newser) - The president is set for a bruising on Tuesday, but he can come back, writes David Brooks in the New York Times . Here’s how: first, “win back independents,” who have swung Republican lately. Second, he must “redefine himself” as “a traditionalist on social matters and... More »

Poll: GOP Steamrolling Toward Midterm Vote

They're picking up crucial blocs such as independents, seniors

(Newser) - A new poll has old news for Democrats: The midterm elections are going to be ugly. The Wall Street Journal/NBC survey says Republicans have won back crucial blocs that strayed in recent elections, including independents, seniors, suburban women, and rural voters. Also, about a third of respondents say they don't... More »

Tea Partiers Are 'Average' Americans, Just 57% GOP

Movement currently accounts for 17% of voters

(Newser) - A pair of new polls poke holes in the conventional image of the tea party as a fringe group of loud Republicans. In a Sunday poll of 1,000 registered voters, 17% identified themselves as “part of the Tea Party movement,” the LA Times reports. Of those, 28%... More »

Voters Seek—But Don't Find—Safety

Independents flee Dems to avoid 'turmoil and risk'

(Newser) - Independent voters are more volatile than ever, and politicians who want their votes need to regain their trust first, writes David Brooks . Polls show those voters, especially in new suburbs hard hit by recession, trust the government less than ever before, leaving them "in the position of a person... More »

Sorry, Dems, 2008 Is So Last Year

Winning coalition doesn't reemerge in gubernatorial races

(Newser) - Last night’s gubernatorial defeats proved to Democrats that whatever magic they harnessed last November has left the building. Off-year elections aren’t usually great predictors, but with the Democrats’ winning 2008 coalition essentially absent, the warning signs are clear, writes Dan Balz in the Washington Post. Most notably, Democrats... More »

Independents Threaten Dems in 2010

Gubernatorial races will be 3-way tangos in half-dozen states

(Newser) - Independent candidates figure to play a major role in at least six states next year, threatening Democrats in an election where they already must defend 21 of their 28 governorships. In New Jersey, for example, independent Chris Daggett is trailing well behind Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine and Republican Tom Kean,... More »

Obama's Support Slides Among Whites

Prez's poll numbers drop among key demographics

(Newser) - President Obama’s support is eroding among those he fought hard to win over: whites, including independents and members of his own party, the Los Angeles Times reports. Since the close of his first 100 days in April, the president has seen his support among white Democrats plummet 11 points,... More »

Health-Care Protesters Winning Sympathy: Poll

34% 'more sympathetic' to protesters, 21% less

(Newser) - Town-hall protesters have succeeded in making some Americans “more sympathetic” to their health care views, a USA Today/Gallup poll finds. Of 1,000 adults surveyed, 34% say they’re now more sympathetic of the protesters’ stance, while 21% say they’re less. Among independents, that grows to a 2-to-1... More »

Obama's Independent Support Wanes

Pollster cites political 'sea change'

(Newser) - Though his overall approval rating remains sturdy, President Obama is losing support among independents, particularly in swing states, polls show. “This is a huge sea change that is playing itself out in American politics,” says a Democratic pollster. Obama fell 6 points last week from the week before... More »

West Primed for Dems' Taking

Washington's neglect has voters yearning for change, Colo. senator writes

(Newser) - The West has long been a Republican stronghold, but Democrats have a chance there in November, Ken Salazar writes in the Los Angeles Times. Salazar himself beat the Republican establishment to win a Colorado Senate seat in 2004. Independents are now the region’s largest voting bloc, he writes, and... More »

Obama Backers More Enthusiastic: Poll

Independents, however, appear to be losing interest in the election altogether

(Newser) - A new AP/Yahoo poll shows a bounty of enthusiasm for Barack Obama and a deficit for John McCain, the Boston Globe reports. Some key stats:
  • 38% of the Democrat’s supporters are excited by the election, while only 9% of the Republican's are.
  • Among Obama supporters, 16% say they could
... More »

Two National Polls: Obama Up 9, 8

Age more of a problem than race

(Newser) - Barack Obama leads John McCain nationally in a new Quinnipiac poll, 50% to 41%, with huge advantages among female and young voters. The two split independents with 44% apiece, and McCain led 47%-44% among men and 49%-42% among white voters, the Boston Globe reports. Far more respondents said they were... More »

Obama's Pragmatism Rooted in Hyde Park

Dem learned to pay his due on Chicago's South Side

(Newser) - Barack Obama was once a no-name politico on Chicago’s South Side with an Ivy League degree and few supporters, the New York Times reports. But he found allies by courting opposing groups, a balancing act that has proven effective on a national scale. “He’s looking for ways... More »

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