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Barone: Recent News Could Cause Panic for Obama Campaign

By Michael Barone

Is it panic time at Obama headquarters in Chicago? You might get that impression from watching events -- and the polls -- over the past few weeks.

In matchups against Mitt Romney, the president is leading by only 47 to 45 percent in the realclearpolitics.com average of recent polls. A CBS/New York Times panelback poll, in which interviewers call back respondents to a previous survey, showed Romney leading 46 to 43 percent -- and leading among women.

That's despite the Democrats' charge that Republicans are waging a "war on women" by opposing requirements that all health insurance policies provide free contraceptives. Evidently that's not the only issue on the minds of American women.

Or consider the clumsiness of Obama's announcement a week ago that after "evolving" he is now in favor of same-sex marriage.

This was clearly not rolled out according to some long-term plan. On Sunday, May 6, Joe Biden told "Meet the Press" that he was "absolutely comfortable" with same-sex marriage. On Monday, press secretary Jay Carney was so battered with questions about the issue that he cancelled the daily press briefing for Tuesday.

Then, at a hastily arranged interview with ABC News on Wednesday, Obama announced his switch.

As a supporter of same-sex marriage, I am glad that Obama took the step that Dick Cheney took several years ago. Like many Americans, he changed his mind at some point and supported a policy that almost no one backed a quarter-century ago.

Recent polls report that about half of Americans now back same-sex marriage. True, voters in North Carolina on Tuesday voted to ban same-sex marriage by a 61 to 39 percent margin. But only a few years ago, any political pro would have been astonished to see the issue get 39 percent support in a state where 44 percent of voters are white evangelical Protestants.

And some same-sex marriage supporters may be grumbling that even more would have done so if Obama had made his announcement one day before the vote rather than one day after.

Obama was facing a tough political choice on the issue. He needs two groups of voters who often don't turn out in large numbers to do so this fall: blacks and young voters. Young Americans tend to favor same-sex marriage by wide margins. Black Americans have tended to oppose it by wide margins (though not as wide this month in North Carolina, it seems, as in California in 2008, where 70 percent voted against it).

By saying he was still against same-sex marriage but was "evolving" on the issue, Obama sought to avoid riling black voters while giving a wink to young voters hinting he shared their view.

He was in the position of the old-time pol who said, "Some of my friends are for the bill, and some of my friends are against the bill, and I'm always with my friends."

Particularly the friends with money. The Washington Post reported that one of out six Obama "bundlers," people who bring in large amounts of campaign dollars, identify themselves as gay.

Probably not all of them consider same-sex marriage a top-priority issue. But many undoubtedly do, and Obama has surely heard from them at the fundraisers he so frequently attends.

On another issue, Obama sided with rich liberal contributors by blocking construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to bring Canadian oil to the United States. He did so even though energy is a big issue and large majorities of voters favor the pipeline.

On same-sex marriage, the political calculation is closer. For one thing, it's a low-priority issue for most voters.

I think Obama's switch will help him significantly with young voters. And he has been doing conference calls with black ministers to mollify them in the hope they'll turn out their followers despite his stand.

But Gallup reports that 26 percent of voters say they're less likely to vote for him because of this issue, exactly twice the 13 percent who say they're more likely to do so.

And the CBS/New York Times panelback showed 67 percent saying he made his decision "mostly for political reasons," while only 24 percent say he did so "mostly because he thinks it is right."

That's a harshly negative result. It suggests that most voters see the president, on this issue at least, as opportunistic rather than sincere. That's good reason for panic.

---

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.

COPYRIGHT 2012 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

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8 Comments

  1. Pingback: Recent News Could Cause Panic for Obama Campaign | Tea Party of the USA

  2. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    May 17, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    Let’s make one thing clear Barone, 50% of Americans DO NOT back gay marriage, they do tolerate it. There is a big difference tolerance and acceptance, and when a 2-3% minority thinks they know better than what the lessons of the past 3000 years have taught us about what edifies and what demeans a culture and society, who think they can wave a magic political wand and destroy the foundations of what has been built and sacrificed by those who came before, who think they can shove their distorted ideas of what constitutes REAL marriage to redefine the acceptable boundaries of human behavior,,,,,the tolerance level of sane people soon reassumes the posture in percentage of actual personal acceptance which approaches back to the level of 2-3%.

    There are people who love their pets and engage in strange sexual behavior with them, and in a land of personal freedom of choice that is supposed to be followed by personal responsibility, most Americans will allow people to engage in their own self destructive behavior if allowed to suffer the consequences of their own foolishness. But just when have the people of Progressive persuasion EVER allowed their people to suffer the consequences of their own foolishness without making others pony up the cost of their failed social experiments? (I.E. Obamacare) When push comes to shove (literally) by Liberal experimenters of the norm which exceed the safe boundaries of society, and endanger its ability to reproduce and sustain itself, the people of sanity must draw the line and in their sane minds reject that behavior which they know is sustainable if only practiced by a few, but will destroy the foundation of society when that destructive behavior is embraced as normal by a majority.

    Society can sustain itself when 2-3% are aborting their children in the womb, but cannot when EVERYONE is doing it. Society can also sustain itself when 2-3% of the population is engaging in dangerous sexual orientation that can not only kill you, but produces no future progeny, but when the majority embraces it, soon becomes the beginning of the end to that society.

    For a socialist who edifies the best interest of the collective over the individual, you would think Obama and his crew would understand and get it? You would also think Barone would get it? But this President is not about others, or power to the people in personal responsibility, but power unto himself by making the people irresponsible and dependent upon HIM..

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  3. oldcuzComment by oldcuz
    May 17, 2012 @ 11:26 am

    I guess you feel like if we are beat over the head with this filth long enough we’ll just give up and let you kooks have your way, but his is one white, strait hetrosexual male and even though I am in my 81st year will not accept this abberation, no matter what kind of a silver platter you put it on.

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  4. wdjincComment by wdjinc
    May 17, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

    Same sex marriage and ‘war on women’ are not our country’s main problems and should not be priority campaign issues. I am getting tired of the liberal press’s obsession with these issues.

    Obama has been trying his best to change our country to a Marxist driven socialism where wealth is distributed from those who have to those who have not. He decrees this policy in the name of ‘fairness’, but it is destroying our republic.

    Issues that should be played up are the state of the economy, national debt, spending, lack of adherence to Constitution, lack of bipartisanship,lack of transparency, ObamaCare, housing market collapse,liberals assault on religion, foreign wars/conflicts, welfare gone wild, illegal immigration enforcement, Obama’s war on energy (oil, gas, drilling, coal, nuclear,etc),unemployment, scandals (Fast and Furious, Solyndra – many others) and false campaign promises.

    There should also be no more bowing to foreign leaders or placating to Afghanistan or any other countries. The ACLU and EPA and all of Obama’s communist-driven czars should go in November house cleaning (along with Holder and others in his cabinet). We need to bring back America to greatness as it once was.

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  5. genesalComment by genesal
    May 17, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

    Lowbama’s background with Islam doesn’t account for his acceptance of ‘SSM’, I doubt that his indoctrination by Pasterd Wright does either.

    That leaves one reason and one reason only for his stance, money, donations for his campaign. Pandering X 100000000.

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  6. mcoryComment by mcory
    May 17, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

    I really fail to understand how courting the Gay vote helps Obama. Homosexuals are only 1.7 percent of the population according to the CDC. That population isn’t going to help anyone in a election except maybe for the election of 2000. I don’t see homosexual ghettoes, unless you consider San Francisco or West Hollywood homosexual ghettoes. I don’t see homosexuals starving or underemployed; if I am mistaken, they seem to be doing quite well. For thousands of years heterosexuality and marriage has worked out quite well for humanity, and yet in all those thousands of year homosexuals never formed bonds or institutions that lasted longer than 18 months. Never produced babies, except recently through artificial means. Homosexuals were never slaves; they probably were slaveholders. Oh, they got the most preventable diease in the world, AIDS. And, then they became the darings of the scientifically and morally challenged left. Only then homosexual marrage became a pressing social issue. So, progressives/liberals/idiots are going to fix what isn’t broken. Right!

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  7. genesalComment by genesal
    May 17, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

    He’s not doing it for the votes, it’s for the money, donations, that is.

    He was supposed to have a billion dollars.
    He’s raised 43 million.
    Romney’s raised 40 million.

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  8. JimWComment by JimW
    May 17, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

    David Axelclod must be apoplectic by now with all the screw ups, while Ovomit keeps plodding and stumbling ‘forward’. Love it.

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  9. PhilComment by Phil
    May 18, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    BTW, wdginc, you left out the Secret Service Latin America Incentive Plan! LoL

    The comments posted here are well-written and to the point.

    I looked long and hard at dad’s Purple Heart with Cluster and Bronze Star from his army service in WWII, as well as the flag from his coffin that was crisply folded at his funeral in Arlington. I know how he would have felt about the current sad state of affairs in which we find ourselves. The “Narcissist-in-Chief” is a perfect embodiment of the problem. The government is here to satisfy my every whim. I don’t need hard work or enterprise; I just need to sit back and watch “Wheel of Fortune” re-runs while Uncle Sam pours money into my account. Just imagine if I spent more than double than my income? I would be sleeping on a piece of cardboard somewhere. Who on earth thinks that this is acceptable for government? Oh, yes, that would be BHO. Some example to the American people!

    I shudder for the liberal hordes who will go to meet God one day and try to explain as to why they did everything they could to rub Him out. Since morality is now relative, and no one REALLY knows right from wrong, we have justified our narcissistic excesses and even perversions in the name of civil liberty (sic). Because one is wont to legislate morality does not implicitly mean that one allows immorality to run rampant. The Germans have contracepted themselves into importing workers from Turkey (funny how the Muslims don’t seem to contracept themselves out of existence, just those who are of the so-called Judeo-Christian tradition – or the athiests with whom they are, de facto, in league).

    O.K., since we are essentially a pagan society now, let’s borrow from a famous 1st century pagan, the Roman playwright, Seneca: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Thank God for a pagan such as this. And now: “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” – that would be from Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence. And to think that BHO sits in the same chair – egads, where we have gone. And the American electorate is fat, dumb, and happy on Poppa BHO’s policies. To think that dad shed his blood to preserve the Republic for a day and age such as this. We arguably have adverse impact to opportunity, but the real reason that we lack for luck is that there is no incentive for preparation. Including for that amateur we have in the White House who is killing American greatness. Maybe he is from Kenya after all. Instead of enterprise, we have social ‘crack cocaine’ to which our society is undeservedly addicted. It’s all gone so very wrong and it is tragic.

    My point in bringing up morality is that moral people would not feel the entitlement for ‘something for nothing’. To borrow from the great Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw (and as popularized by the president and statesman, John F. Kennedy), “Some men see things as they are and say, ‘why?’. I dream things that never were and say, ‘why not?’.” In the half-century of the ascendancy of the liberal mindset, my civil liberties are being systematically destroyed and the good name of our country smolders in ruins. They took the ‘why not?’ and perverted it; we must take up the ‘why not’ again to right the ship. From his inaugural address, Kennedy challenged us with doing what we could do for our country, not the other way around. Then, my family were card-carrying members of the Democratic Party. However, we didn’t leave the party, the party left us. Now it is the Republican Party that maintains the flicker of what once made America great. The current doctrine of ‘fairness’ is an abhorrent aberration. Fairness is in potential opportunity, not that we all are on the government payroll – for equality does not connote ‘sameness’.

    Currently, I am unemployed. In between my applications, phone calls, consulting, I take the time to write these lines. I do not begrudge the wealthy the money they have from their enterprise. I am suffering for the present, but I have no desire to have top-earners to bankroll me through higher taxes. What did I do to deserve that? Now, if they hire me, I’ll clean out their pool – great! Honest pay for honest work. What a concept!

    I am not going to be on the public dole due to personal responsibility, integrity, and honor. Unfortunately, our government and a good deal of our populace believe that there is no percentage in these attributes.

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