With the drop out and endorsements of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney has really begun to gain some momentum.
And it’s just in time too as the election comes down to crunch time in the final six months from the November election and the crucial campaigning begins for both of them.
In a CNN.com article on Monday, CNN writer Ashley Killough stated that Romney is just two percent behind President Barack Obama in the most current USA Today/Gallup Swing States Poll.
Although Romney hasn’t been too far behind The President for quite some time now, with every poll that’s conducted the gap between the two just keeps closing as Romney climbs in the polls.
The most current poll stated that Romney acquired 46% of votes from people that agreed he would do a good job handling the economy, while President Obama only acquired 34% of voters on that subject.
Killough also stated in the article that, “The president, however, scored higher in favorability ratings, with 58% saying the president is likable and 31% describing Romney as likable.”
So with many factors still at stake and the majority of the votes still to come in the race for President, both Romney and The President still have plenty of campaigning to carry out.
Although Romney has been campaigning for quite a while now, The President just barely kicked off his campaign, but with the speed Romney is gaining momentum, the race is bound to be a tight one and is just a short six months away.
Keep following our blog for political coverage right up until Election Day.
Even though it’s still months away and not even close to crunch time, the 2012 presidential election is beginning to look like it’s going to be a close one and perhaps one that will be down to the last minutes of the race.
But the numbers are starting to show a tight gap.
Following a nationwide poll, which was conducted by telephone between April 13-17, it’s looking as though the race for the presidential nomination will be a tight one between President Obama and Mitt Romney, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.
This poll was taken just a short amount of time after Romney secured the Republican GOP following the election exit of Rick Santorum.
The New York Times reported that the New York Times/CBS News poll found Romney and Obama evenly split among registered voters at 46%.
However, further information about each parties supporters yielded that a majority of supporters on Romney’s side lack the enthusiasm of Romney winning the republican side with just one in three republican supporters saying they will stand by him in the November vote.
Despite the lack of support Republicans are showing on Romney’s side, the current poll showed a two percent increase from the March New York Times/CBS News poll where Romney sat at 44 percent and Obama at 47 percent support.
The New York Times article also reported that just over 60 percent of Republican voters supported Santorum’s choice to step out of the presidential race.
With the big vote just months away we’ll know soon enough if President Obama will be elected for a second term or if Romney will enter the Whitehouse.
As the fight for the presidential seat continues, republicans are attacking President Barack Obama from every angle available to them—and currently, it’s the rising cost of fuel.
Newt Gingrich recently pledged $2.50 a gallon—although no explanation of how this magical number is to manifest has been made public. And in retaliation, Obama stated “It’s easy to make phony promises.”
U.S. gasoline prices have jumped nearly 9 cents just in the past week, soaring to an average of $3.61 a gallon; and they’re expected to rise to over $4.00 a gallon by spring.
Gas prices have not been this elevated since June of 2008 when the average consumer was filling up twice a week at $80 a pop!
Who’s at Fault?
Obama is blaming the recent increase on a number of factors “beyond his control” for the inflation in gas prices including: rising tensions in Iran, high demand from China and India, and “Wall Street speculators taking advantage of the uncertainty.”
“It’s the easiest thing in the world (to) make phony election-year promises about lower gas prices,” Obama said, defending his attempts to “wean Americans off foreign oil.”
“What’s harder is to make a serious, sustained commitment to tackle a problem that may not be solved in one year or one term or even one decade,” he said.
President Obama is obviously trying to deflect blame and regain the upper hand in his attempt to remain in office another term, with the presidential election only nine months away.
But republicans are determined to point out that higher gas prices are due to the president’s tax and environmental policies which have disallowed drilling for oil on U.S turf, keeping the United States reliant upon foreign imports.
And western states like Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico where people drive a lot and are most particularly feeling the sting of high gas prices, are leaning more towards Republican opinion.
That opinion includes statements from Republican spokesmen like Brendan Buck–who speaks for House of Representative’s John Boehner. He said, “Facing an election, the President would like everyone to forget that gas prices have doubled over the past three years, while he consistently blocked and slowed the production of American-made energy.”
Shouldn’t Obama Listen to his Own Party?
It seems even lawmakers from Obama’s own Democrat party, are urging Obama to take steps to alleviate gas prices in the short-term. How? By tapping into the country’s petroleum reserve which contains approximately 696 million barrels of oil.
Unfortunately, Obama seems to be turning a deaf ear to such pleas.
At least for the present.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has raised some concern since coming into play in October of last year. The act is designed to prevent sites like Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, and YouTube from allowing users to post unauthorized content by increasing the punishment of site that contain such content. These sites, along with many others have decided to protest, especially during tomorrow January 18, 2012 in order to spread awareness of SOPA.
What Are the Ramifications of SOPA?
Before SOPA, websites like those mentioned above (also called user-generated sites) would allow just about any kind of content to be posted without penalty. If the content was deemed illegal or unauthorized for any reason, it would be reported to the website and removed. The person responsible for the content would then have disciplinary action against them.
But for a bi-partisan group in the United States House of Representatives, these measures were not enough and they decided to present a bill (H.R. 3261) that would punish user-generated sites for “facilitating” copyright infringements.” Some worry this bill will cripple and possibly destroy user-generated sites and that SOPA violates the first amendment and free speech.
Of the many companies protesting, Google and Wikipedia are among the leaders. CNET has reported that Google will place an anti-SOPA link on their home page tomorrow, while Wikipedia will shut down their site in protest of the act. Here is a public statement from Wikipedia:
It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web.
Over the course of the past 72 hours, over 1800 Wikipedians have joined together to discuss proposed actions that the community might wish to take against SOPA and PIPA. This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation. The overwhelming majority of participants support community action to encourage greater public action in response to these two bills. Of the proposals considered by Wikipedians, those that would result in a “blackout” of the English Wikipedia, in concert with similar blackouts on other websites opposed to SOPA and PIPA, received the strongest support.
On careful review of this discussion, the closing administrators note the broad-based support for action from Wikipedians around the world, not just from within the United States. The primary objection to a global blackout came from those who preferred that the blackout be limited to readers from the United States, with the rest of the world seeing a simple banner notice instead. We also noted that roughly 55% of those supporting a blackout preferred that it be a global one, with many pointing to concerns about similar legislation in other nations.
It’s clear that SOPA and its sister bill PIPA are raising concern among websites that we use every day.
What Does This Mean?
With the blackouts of Wikipedia and the attempt of other sites to increase SOPA and PIPA awareness, tomorrow will mark one of, if not the largest internet protest in history. You too can voice your opinion by writing your local representative and letting them know how you feel. If you are against limiting free speech and free expression, take a stand now.
After GOP hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum essentially tied the Iowa Caucuses (eight votes separating the two). The race for the GOP nomination heats up and has essentially become a four-man race between Romney, Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul. But that’s not to say other candidates like Jon Huntsman or Rick Perry are completely out of the mix. It’s safe to say this race is bound to be remembered for decades to come.
If this was a literal race and there were bets on who would win it, odds would be in favor of Romney. But the former Massachusetts governor has struggled to get the literal majority vote. The “anti-Romney” vote has swayed between former hopefuls Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain and current runners Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and as of late, Rick Santorum.
Simply put, as long as there are two or more candidates running against Romney, he will continue to win primaries. Currently he is on pace to win New Hampshire and from there it’s South Carolina and Florida.
New Blood Surging
As surprising as it was to see Santorum fall by just eight votes to Romney after he was only receiving 1% of the vote in previous state polls, the surprise of New Hampshire primaries is the sudden surge of former governor Jon Huntsman. While Huntsman is currently in third place in the New Hampshire voting behind Romney and Paul, it is a surprise for many considering he was received less than 1% of the votes in Iowa. In the meantime, Santorum’s surge has seemed to have hit a wall (currently, he sits in 4th).
What to Expect
Don’t be surprised to see at least one candidate drop out of the race after the New Hampshire primaries are complete. We expect Rick Perry to follow the lead of Michelle Bachmann and drop from the running.
Romney should solidify his first place standing with a considerable win in New Hampshire and unless there is only one “anti-Romney” remaining come Florida’s primary, Romney will most likely take the Sunshine State as well as the Palmetto State.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has been gaining major opposition since it was proposed on October 26, 2011. It is scheduled for markup on December 15, but there are some things you should know about the bill and reasons why so many people oppose it. Here are just a few reasons.
Popular Sites Will Be Crippled
Do you use any of these sites: Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or any other site that relies on social contribution and allows for user uploaded content? If so, how would you feel if those site were less functional or even shut down?
SOPA is designed to “protect copyright laws” by punishing sites like YouTube and Facebook for “facilitating copyright infringement.” While we agree that copyright infringement is and should remain illegal, SOPA is proposing the wrong steps to take action against online piracy. As of now, social websites allow for users to upload content from anywhere. If that content is deemed illegal, it gets reported and removed from the site. SOPA is proposing more punishment for sites that allow the content to be posted in the first place. This threat to websites will force them to put more focus on “copyright security” and less focus on updates and new features that we all like and bring revenue to the site. Less revenue for the website, less jobs and in a struggling economy, can we really deal with that?
Following China’s Footsteps
As if mandatory health care was socialist enough, the government is now following a pattern similar to what is used in China and Iran. Those countries have a system where they can literally control which websites you can and can’t visit. They essentially control the internet.
SOPA allows for the government to control which sites are deemed “illegal” and shut them down. While it may not be as extreme as China’s regulations, the concept is still the same.
More Government Spending
As just about any regulation bill that is passed, SOPA will cost the government money. While we don’t know how much money, we know that the government has none to spend as it is. Another bill will mean higher taxes and nobody wants that.
If you are one of the many internet users who do not want your internet experience to be controlled by the government, take action now. Write your congressman and let him know how you feel. The internet as we know it is in jeopardy and it’s up to us to save it.
Besides the obvious conservative policies both Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain have in common, there is one major thing the two Republican GOP candidates have in common, at least allegedly in Cain’s case. Both have had affairs while married.
Herman Cain is going through recent allegations of a 13-year affair with a woman from Atlanta. Cain allegedly met the woman at a business meeting and flew her out to dates over the thirteen year period that allegedly ended just before Cain began his presidential campaign. While personal issues are relatively unimportant when it comes to presidential candidates, these allegations have all but destroyed Cain’s presidential hopes.
In the meantime, New Gingrich has soared in the polls, finding himself in a similar situation Cain was in before his sexual harassment allegations surfaced. The interesting thing is, Gingrich has a personal life with similar mistakes as Cain’s, allegedly. Gingrich has been married three times and has been accused of having two affairs, one in 1980 and the other in the mid 1990s.
It’s clear that Cain lost supporters due to the allegations that have been revealed recently. Many voters have taken into effect the alleged mistakes of one man and let it sway their opinion of them. It seems odd that as one candidate falls, another rises but then again it would seem natural to assume support simply shifted from Cain to Gingrich. If that is the case, and people decided they like Gingrich over Cain because of alleged personal mistakes made in the past, they need to take a step back and understand the double standard that comes with that decision.
Republicans need to drown out the news about allegations of personal decisions. This is a political race. We should be focusing on foreign affairs, size of government, health care repeal, education, etc. rather than point fingers and accuse others of personal mistakes.
While women are technically still allowed a choice, legislators on one side of the line have tried to make laws to get around that and make it as difficult as possible for women to make what they consider to be the “wrong” choice” for years. There are some states in which legislators have even made miscarriages questionable, requiring women to prove that the miscarriage was related purely to natural causes. In other words, women are presumed guilty until proven innocent, which goes in direct conflict with everything our court systems have tried to stand by before.
However, there are some courts that are evening the playing field to some degree. A federal judge in Raleigh, NC just joined the ranks. While NC legislators have been trying to pass a certain abortion law, a federal judge blocked this movement, determining that providers do not have the right to put an ultrasound photo next to a woman so she can view it before determining whether or not she wants to have an abortion.
Of course, we can be sure that there will still be some providers who skirt the law and lawmakers who look the other way. Providers in all 50 states have done it for years, providing an ultrasound image before women had the chance to object or answer a simple yes or no request.
The law was supposed to take effect Wednesday, but Judge Catherine Eagles put a hold on the law until she hears more arguments on the case. North Carolina legislators currently state that offering the woman an image (some activists would say forcing it on her) or the opportunity to hear the child’s heartbeat encourages childbirth and protects patients from the emotional pain associated with the procedure itself and “possible coercion.” But of course, for those women who made the decision on their own, using these tactics could also be considered coercion.
The judge currently states that she has received no evidence to support the idea that these tactics would prevent emotional distress, coercion, etc. Judge Eagles specifically states that these legislators “have not articulated how the speech-and-display requirements address the stated concern in reducing compelled abortions, and none is immediately apparent.”
The Other Side
According to attorneys for abortion providers and pro-choice advocates, a lot of what is stated above comes into play. These legislators and other individuals argue that these kinds of tactics would actually inflict more emotional pain and violate the doctor’s code of ethics, forcing “Republican-controlled legislature’s ideology.” According to Katy Parker, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation, “If the ultrasound requirements were put into effect, this law would place doctors in a murky legal situation and inflict unnecessary harm on women.”
Judge Eagles, who was nominated by President Obama last year, did allow other parts of the law into play including a 24 hour waiting period for women to go over abortion risks and alternatives. However, many activists consider this to be a way for the Republican legislature to use women as pawns in the political game.
Amid a country in economic turmoil, in a world where countries across the globe are declining into further financial difficulties, the next presidential election should be highly interesting. But for more reasons than how monetary finances will be dealt with.
The Supreme Court is the next step and final decision in declaring the president’s new health care law either constitutional or not. The Obama Administration has refused to press for a full, lower court appeal, speeding up the Supreme Court’s decision.
After a 2-1 ruling in the panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, The Justice Department has declared it will not appeal to the full court panel in Georgia.
Appealing to the 10 member court would take the case months longer to pass further along in the appeals process, and could potentially have delayed the case being heard by the Supreme Court until 2013.
In a decision rendered in August, the 11th Circuit is now the first appellate court to have declared the new health bill unconstitutional in a 2-1 vote. The next step includes the administration appealing directly to the Supreme Court to hear the case in the term that starts in the next week and ends in June.
If the plan follows through as it’s now lined up, the final decision of Obama’s legislative health bill will be rendered by the end of June—in the middle of the most heated months of the presidential debate.
The main issue the court will have to decide is if Congress can use the power granted in the open-ended, liberally-applied “Commerce Clause” (originally used to control interstate commerce) to force all Americans with a taxable income to purchase insurance by the year 2014. (Strangely, it doesn’t take effect until AFTER the next presidential election.)
With the bill as it is now, if Americans with a taxable income don’t have proof of medical insurance, they will be forced to pay a tax penalty that starts at $95.
The Georgia judges siding against ObamaCare claimed Congress had overstepped its power and applied the Commerce Clause too liberally by trying to force people to buy insurance. The judges said that refusing to buy something shouldn’t be considered as commerce.
The National Federation of Independent Business and 26 states came together to file the lawsuit. Let’s hope the Supreme Court has a sense of decency and finds a law which forces Americans to purchase a commodity to be completely and utterly unconstitutional!
In what will be the first big drop of American troops in Iraq this year, America is finally starting to pull out of the sticky mess in Iraq. By the end of the month, the number of troops in Iraq should drop to about 30,000, according to the top U.S. military officer.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke of the number of troops, but didn’t give many other details. He refused to offer a comment about the current negotiation between Iraq and the U.S. over whether or not any troops at all will still be there at the beginning of the new year.
As of now, there are about 44,500 American troops in the hot deserts of Iraq. Last year, when the U.S. officially ended the combat mission in Iraq, we had about 50,000 troops. (Clearly military officials were serious about getting our soldiers home.)
In an agreement made in 2008, all American soldiers are to be home, out of Iraq by the end of 2011.
In referring to a plan made by the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Mullen said, “This is the drawdown plan that Gen. Austin’s had in place specifically, and it’s really a plan that gets us to, under the current agreement, to (pulling) all the troops out by the end of the December.”
As of now, negotiations are in place with Iraq which are considering leaving a couple thousand military soldiers to help train new Iraqi forces. No decisions have been reached. One of the biggest issues being discussed is whether or not adequate security will be provided to the American personnel in Iraq once the military leaves.
It might be a good idea to finally come home. If the American troops leave Iraq (finally!), the absence of the military presence isn’t good for those people relying on the American military for support. Who knows what damage and toll America will leave behind in this skirmish.