Patterico's Pontifications

4/26/2012

Romney Saves Dogs While Obama Eats Them

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:58 pm

The key issue of the upcoming election is, of course, how the candidate treats dogs. (Don’t try to distract us with crap about the Supreme Court majority or $5 trillion added to the deficit in 4 years. It’s all about the dogs). And the clear winner is not the guy who eats dogs, but the guy who saves their lives:

“We heard a whole bunch of screaming,” said Josh Romney, who immediately hopped onto his Jet Ski. “We tore out of there and my dad hopped on the other Jet Ski and came out right after us.”

Roughly 300 yards out onto the lake, six adult family members and their dog were floundering in the water, after their boat suddenly sprung a huge leak — sinking in less than 90 seconds, Josh said…

In the middle of the rescue, the governor actually took a dunking himself — thrown off the Jet Ski as one anxious boater scrambled aboard and tipped the craft off-balance.

The rescuing Romneys also managed to snatch the family dog, McKenzie, from a watery grave — grabbing the Scottish terrier first because it was the only passenger without a lifejacket.

“It looked like it wasn’t going to last much longer,” said Josh, who held the waterlogged pooch on the ride back to shore.

I’d heard this story before, of course, but I remember it as a pedestrian tale about Romney saving the lives of some human beings. I had forgotten that he saved a dog as well, rendering this a keeper.

UPDATE: I initially said Obama spent $5 trillion in 4 years. Of course he has spent far far more. $5 trillion is just how much further in the ditch we are. I knew this, but had an episode of brain flatulence. Thanks to Beldar for catching me giving Obama far too much credit.

Although what this all has to do with dogs is beyond me. Can we keep our eye on the ball, people?

Is Obama really in trouble with young voters?

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 8:56 am

[Posted by Karl]

There has been a wavelet of stories from outlets like The Atlantic, The Hill and Yahoo! suggesting Pres. Obama could be in trouble with the youth vote.  The Atlantic’s Molly Ball notes:

Less than half of 18-to-24-year-old voters want Obama to win reelection, and he leads a generic Republican candidate by just 7 percentage points, according to a survey of youth voter attitudes released Thursday by the Public Religion Research Institute and Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.

The poll did not test Obama against Romney directly, but found more enthusiasm for Obama than Romney.  The Hill’s Amie Parnes found a somewhat different result in another poll:

Obama leads presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney 60 percent to 34 when it comes to the youth vote, according to a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. But Obama’s enthusiasm has taken a nosedive, the poll shows. In 2008, 63 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds took a big interest in the election. Four years later, 45 percent have the same level of interest, reflecting the most sizable drop in one of the major voting groups.

Yahoo’s Chris Moody reports on yet another survey:

The wide-ranging survey of 3,096 18-29 year-olds conducted by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics shows 43 percent said they plan to vote for Obama in November, while just 26 percent plan to vote for Romney. The last time Harvard matched Obama against a GOP challenger, in December 2011, they asked who young voters thought would win the election: 36 percent said Obama would lose, a sign that support for Obama is increasing closer to the election.

***

However, Obama’s approval rating has dipped by six percentage points from Obama’s first year in office, according to a Harvard poll taken in November 2009, from 52 percent to 58 percent. That could be a sign that the youth vote is far more up for grabs in 2012 than it was in 2008, when Obama overwhelming won the youth vote.

As John Sides notes, these types of stories should always be read in the context of a number of polls, as well as the broader population and other demographics.  Sides notes that a recent Pew poll has Obama over Romney 61%-33% among 18-29 year-olds, in comparison to Obama’s 66%-33% victory with the demographic in the 2008 exit poll.  Those numbers better for Obama than some of the polls cited above, but what Sides notes is that Obama’s numbers now are down 3%-5% among all of the age demographics from the 2008 exit poll results.  Moreover, as Andrew Gelman notes, nonuniform swings are difficult to detect in a survey, because they have a larger margin of error.  In short, Obama’s problem with young voters is likely reflective of Obama’s problem with voters generally.

So why is Obama wooing college students and slow jamming the news with Jimmy Fallon at taxpayer expense this week?  Because Team Obama, like most everyone, is anticipating a much closer election in 2012 than in 2008.  If Obama were to drop from 66% to the level of youth support John F. Kerry got in 2004 (~54%), he would lose ~2% of the overall vote, which he likely cannot afford.  We cannot know this for certain. Obama’s 2008 performance with young voters was tied in part to his boost in performance and turnout of minority voters.  Conversely, we do not know whether the Republican-leaning youth vote was particularly depressed.  While the latest raft of polls might look like Obama’s youth vote has softened, the GOP should not take it for granted any more than Obama does.

–Karl


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