WPA's Weekly Political Brief 120525
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  • 1. WPA’s Weekly Political Brief May 25, 2012 Page 1
  • 2. WPA’s Weekly Political BriefAs part of our continuing effort to keep our clients and friends up-to-date on the politicalenvironment as we head toward Election Day, 2012, we’ll be distributing these weekly data updatesevery Friday.In each update you can expect to find the following key indicators tracked: • Direction of the Country • Obama Job Approval • National Unemployment • Obama Approval on the Economy • Generic Congressional Ballot • National & per capita debtIn addition, each week we’ll feature a few charts showing what we think is the most interesting andtimely new data from that week. This week we have: • A look at the Democratic primaries in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Arkansas. • The electoral implications of the administrations war on coal. • The results of a major Obama ad campaign against a perceived Romney vulnerability: Bain Capital. Page 2
  • 3. Weekly SummaryPresident Obama encountered some mild trouble as rural Democrats in Kentucky andArkansas turned out in large numbers to vote for anyone on the Democratic ticket buthim.On the other end of the economic spectrum, a major ad campaign against private equityfirm Bain Capital backfired as numerous well known Democrats came out in support ofthe company, alarmed at the hostile tone the administration took toward a privatecompany in political advertisements.The president’s image remains split and a majority of Americans disapprove of how he ishandling the most important issue to them: the economy.While some prominent Democrats advance racism as an explanation for Obama’sembarrassing, but ultimately transitory difficulty among Democrats in Appalachia, thereare less strained explanations for why Obama is struggling among voters who formed acore component of Hilary Clinton’s base. The administration’s hostility toward coalappears to be putting some of the top coal producing, and coincidentally swing, statesinto serious contention. Page 3
  • 4. Americans remain unhappy with the direction of the country. Direction of the County100%90%80% 75%70% 63% 64% 63% 57% 60% 59%60%50%40% 36% 34% 34% 29% 29% 30%30% 20% 18%20%10% 0% Jan-10 Apr-10 Jul-10 Oct-10 Jan-11 Apr-11 Jul-11 Oct-11 Jan-12 Apr-12 Approve Disapprove Source: Real Clear Politics Page 4
  • 5. Americans are deeply divided on the President’s performance. Obama Job Approval100%90%80%70%60% 52% 52% 49% 51% 51% 50% 48% 48% 49% 48% 49% 48%50%40% 46% 46% 46% 47% 47% 47% 48% 42% 44% 43% 44% 44%30%20%10% 0% Apr-11 May-11 Jun-11 Jul-11 Aug-11 Sep-11 Oct-11 Nov-11 Dec-11 Jan-12 Feb-12 Mar-12 Apr-12 May-12 Approve Disapprove One Week Ago One Month Ago Approve 49% 48% Disapprove 48% 47% Source: Real Clear Politics Page 5
  • 6. The national debt has increased $18,956,230,001 this week. $15,743,180,165,125 U.S. National Debt$138,530 Debt Per Taxpayer$50,201 Debt Per Citizen Source: USDebtclock.org Page 6
  • 7. Republicans maintain a lead on the generic congressional ballot. Generic Congressional Ballot100% Previous Election Day Generic Ballots90% 100% R+7 seats D+37 seats D+29 seats R+69 seats80% 49% 47% 54% 53% 52% 45% 46% 43% 50%70% 0%60% 2004 2006 2008 201050% 46% 45% 46% 43% 44% 42% 43% 44% 41%40% 45% 44% 44% 41% 42% 43% 42% 43% 41%30%20%10% 0% Democrat Republican Source: Real Clear Politics Seat change includes Congressional and Senate gains Page 7
  • 8. A majority of Americans continue to disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy. Obama Economic Approval100.0% 90.0% 80.0% 70.0% 53% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 40% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% Approve Disapprove Source: Pollster.com Page 8
  • 9. Unemployment remains above 8%. Gallup Data11.50%11.00%10.50%10.00% 9.50% 9.00% 8.50% 8.2% 8.00% 7.50% 7.00% National Unemployment Rate12.0%10.0% 8.0% 6.0% April, 2012 4.0% 8.1% 2.0% 0.0% Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics & Gallup Gallup data is unadjusted Page 9
  • 10. Obama has a slight edge over Romney, though he remains under 50%. Obama vs. Romney100%90%80%70%60% 47% 49% 49% 49% 47% 49% 47%50% 46% 46%40% 46% 45% 44% 45% 44% 45% 43% 43% 43%30%20%10% 0% 1-Jan 15-Jan 1-Feb 15-Feb 1-Mar 15-Mar 1-Apr 15-Apr 1-May 15-May Obama Romney Source: Real Clear Politics Page 10
  • 11. Obama’s first major ad campaign against Romney fell flat as Democrats quicklydistanced themselves from the Administration’s sharply critical attack of the privateequity firm. Cory Booker • “I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity” Harold Ford Jr. • “Private equity is not a bad thing” Ed Rendell • “I think [the attacks] are very disappointing” Deval Patrick • “[Bain Capital is] not a bad company” Page 11
  • 12. On the other end of the spectrum, Obama ran into trouble in Appalachia, as Democrats in Kentucky, Arkansas, and West Virginia showed that they were far from united behind the party ticket.100%90%80% 42% 41% 43%70%60%50% Not-Obama Barack Obama40%30% 58% 59% 57%20%10% 0% Kentucky Arkansas West Virginia Page 12
  • 13. Six states the Obama carried in 2008 are among the key 2012 swing states. These states are also some of the top coal producers in the nation. The recent election results in the Democratic primaries in Kentucky and West Virginia do not speak well for turnout among blue collar Democrats in Ohio and Pennsylvania, both of whom have seen state governments switch to Republican since Obama took office. 2008 ResultsEnergy Policy Electoral Implications Most Recent Public 2008 Obama Poll State Obama Romney Colorado 47% 47% Indiana 40% 49% 16 Top Coal Producing States Ohio 48% 42% Pennsylvania 47% 41% Virginia 48% 44% Source: RealClear Politics Hat Tip: Moe Lane, Red State Page 13
  • 14. For additional information about this or any other of our services, please feel free to contact: Bryon Allen Chris Wilson Chris Perkins Partner and COO Partner and CEO Partner 202.470.6300 405.286.6500 202.494.3084 E-mail: E-mail: E-mail:BAllen@WPAResearch.com CWilson@WPAResearch.com CPerkins@WPAResearch.com Ryan Steusloff Vice President 202.470.6300 rsteusloff@WPAResearch.com Page 14