The most useful site on the web for touting the great race of our time is Real Clear Politics (www.realclearpolitics.com). A cornucopia of the latest statistics, it has dramatically updated today to show current totals in delegates, popular vote count, all current polling data, and so much more.
President Obama’s numbers are surging in polling match-ups. Against Newt Gingrich, for instance, the president is at +18 in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. The NBC poll has him at +6 against Mitt Romney. Six weeks ago the numbers were much closer, with the president and Mr. Romney in a virtual tie.
Trend lines for Mr. Obama’s job approval rating has hovered around 50 percent for the past two years. Congressional approval rating in the same period has dropped substantially, from 30 to 13 percent. More than one Republican congress member looked rather nervous at the State of the Union address (we think especially of you, Mr. Cantor), as the president of late has changed tactics in dealing with the opposition, from attempting bipartisanship in the past three years to rather abruptly slapping them around.
With his recess appointment of Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, President Obama gave a veritable flip of the finger to GOP obstructionists who seem a bit shell-shocked that Mr. Nice Guy has suddenly turned into Mr. Chicago. We expect Mr. Obama’s approval numbers to continue their rise; the presumption by the right wing has been that the president’s soft approval rating has indicated broad support for his opposition. That presumption has been incorrect. His less-than-stellar numbers have been from his supporters disapproving of his refusal to put boot to throat of obstructionist GOP members of Congress. As the bootheel (finally) begins to twist, we expect his approval rating to soar.
In the Florida primary, Mr. Romney is in the catbird’s seat. The latest polls show him at a solid +9 against his closest rival. And with some 10 percent of the vote already in, what with Florida’s mail-in voting option, Mr. Romney most likely has at least a 40,000-vote lead before polls open Tuesday morning. A big win in Florida will give the Romney camp the momentum to pretty much lock up the primary. Unfortunate. We would like the horse race to continue. The mud that gets kicked up sticks – sometimes permanently – to the horses’ asses.