The Fix: 2012 campaign

The GOP's big electoral vote gambit, explained

The GOP's big electoral vote gambit, explained

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus voiced support over the weekend for an effort to reform how some states award their electoral votes.

And the effect of the movement should not be underestimated.

Below, we take you through the particulars of the effort, what it would mean, and why it will or won't happen.

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Republicans race to be rebuilder-in-chief

Republicans race to be rebuilder-in-chief

It didn't take long after the 2012 election for Republicans to decide they needed a new way forward. Now, several high-profile GOP figures likely to give a 2016 presidential campaign a close look are jockeying for a position at the forefront of the party reboot.

After the disappointment of 2012, leading Republicans sought to swiftly part ways with the rhetoric they believe brought them down in November. A week and a half after Election Day, high-profile governors quickly denounced Mitt Romney's remark that President Obama won reelection by bestowing "gifts" on certain parts of the electorate. The Republican National Committee this week launched an effort to figure out what went wrong this cycle.

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The top family feuds in politics

The top family feuds in politics

Earlier this week, we asked Fix readers to help us identify the biggest family feuds in politics. The Fix readers delivered, pointing out some great ones.

Below is our list of the top family rivalries in politics, culled from reader suggestions and our own brainstorming. Did we miss any? The comments section awaits your input.

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Ousting a senator in a primary? Not so easy.

Ousting a senator in a primary? Not so easy.

Barely removed from the 2012 election, the 2014 chatter has already begun. In the Senate, much of it involves which incumbents might face primaries. For activists who've long opposed a senator despite belonging to the same party, the hope is that the scuttlebutt materializes into a strong challenge. But, the reality is that knocking a senator out of office in a primary is no easy feat.

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Mark Warner won't run for governor of Virginia in 2013

Mark Warner won't run for governor of Virginia in 2013

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EARLIER ON THE FIX:

Can unions save the white working-class vote for Democrats?

The best candidate of 2012

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Secession petitions raise worthwhile questions,' Ron Paul says

Secession petitions raise worthwhile questions,' Ron Paul says

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EARLIER ON THE FIX:

2012: The C+ election

Lindsey Graham: Obama's worst enemy and best friend

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Kelly Ward tapped as next DCCC executive director

Kelly Ward tapped as next DCCC executive director

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ispromoting current political directorKellyWard to the position of executive director for the 2014 cycle, a committee official told The Fix. Current communicationsdirectorJesse Ferguson will serve as Ward's deputy while Missy Kurek will bedeputy executive director for finance.

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The ads Senate Republicans have dreaded in Missouri are here

The ads Senate Republicans have dreaded in Missouri are here

Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-Mo.) campaign has unleashed a series of brutal new TV ads hitting Rep. Todd Akin (R) squarely where it hurts the most: the issue of rape.

Each spot features a woman who says she has survived a sexual assault. Two of the woman also identify as being “pro-life” on the issue of abortion. 

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How the presidential campaigns are spending money, in one chart

Fundraising receives a great deal of attention in politics. But looking at how campaigns and outside groups decide to spend money can be just as revealing. 

If it seems as if various organizations are bringing in and shelling out eye-popping heaps of cash in the presidential election, it’s because that’s exactly what’s happening. As The Washington Post’s 2012 Presidential Campaign Finance Explorer shows, President Obama and his allies (including the national Democratic party, a joint fundraising committee, and super PACs) have raised $775 million and spent $606 million. Mitt Romney and his allies have raised even more ($784 million) and spent $534 million. 

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Outside campaign cash worries voters

Outside campaign cash worries voters

Three-quarters of voters are concerned about campaign ads from corporations, unions and wealthy individuals, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The broad sentiment is boiling in an election year in which spending from nontraditional sources has skyrocketed.



Liberals offer the sharpest reaction to the flood of outside ad spending — more than eight in 10 are concerned, including more than six in 10 who are “very concerned.” Liberals may be reacting, at least in part, to a sense that big spending from outside groups has been a boon to supporters of Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Nearly seven in 10 liberals say Romney is the chief beneficiary of outside campaign spending.

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New poll shows Obama leading Romney by 7

President Obama leads Mitt Romney by 7 points in a new CNN/ORC poll, Heather Wilson attacks Martin Heinrich in a new ad, and four McCotter aides face charges in Michigan.

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Jill Biden says Joe Biden would make a ‘great president’

Jill Biden talks up Joe for president; Michelle Obama praises Bloomberg’s soft drink ban; Paul supporters cry foul over convention; and the Missouri Senate GOP primary ad war begins.

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Stephen Colbert teaching America about super PACs

It’s hard to get people interested in the minutae that is campaign finance law. But Stephen Colbert appears to be making headway in his quest to make “super PAC” a household word.
Stephen Colbert, educating. (Grace Beahm - AP)

A 2006 Indiana Unversity study found “The Daily Show” to be as informative as network news. Colbert has taken that a step further — not only reporting the news in a humorous way but creating news to bring attention to an often-overlooked issue.

Searches for “super PAC,” as well as related searches for more information about how super PACs work, have spiked dramatically every time Colbert mentions the independent expenditure groups on his show, a Hitwise analysis finds. Over the past few months “super PAC” has become a more popular search term than regular old “PAC.”

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Republicans showcase wives in pre-Christmas, pre-Iowa ads

A few days before Christmas, the wives of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and ex-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney are all featured in their husband’s political ads.

All three Republican candidates have something to gain from highlighting their spouses just two weeks shy of the first-in-the-nation Iowa voting on Jan. 3.

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The politics of President Obama’s Iraq withdrawal decision

The politics of President Obama’s Iraq  withdrawal decision

President Obama’s lunchtime announcement that all American troops will be out of Iraq by year’s end will produce a series of political reverberations — some of which we know and some that, quite frankly, we don’t.

Here’s our look at the knowns and unknowns from Obama’s announcement today.

KNOWNS

* Promises made, promises kept: Over the past six weeks (or so), Obama’s message to the Democratic base has been clear: “I said I would do things when I ran for office and I have accomplished them.” (We are paraphrasing.) From health care to equal pay for women to the killing of Osama bin Laden, the president has emphasized that the promises he made in 2008 he has largely kept in his first term in office.

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What John Edwards can teach Barack Obama

What John Edwards can teach Barack Obama

John Edwards is persona non grata in the Democratic Party these days. And for good reason.

The former North Carolina senator, two-time presidential candidate and 2004 vice presidential nominee wrote his own political obituary with his marital infidelities and an ongoing investigation into campaign finance irregularities during his 2008 campaign.

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Obama raises $ 70 million for campaign, DNC

Obama raises $ 70 million for campaign, DNC

President Barack Obama collected $43 million for his 2012 re-election campaign and helped raise an additional $27 million for the Democratic National Committee over the past three months, according to an email sent to supporters by campaign manager Jim Messina this morning.

“If I could sum up this last quarter in a few words: You came through,” wrote Messina. He added that more than 600,000 people had donated to the campaign over the between July 1 and Sept. 30 and that 98 percent of the contributions were $250 or less.

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Opposition to Obama grows — strongly

Opposition to Obama grows — strongly

Four in 10 Americans “strongly” disapprove of how President Obama is handling the job of president in the new Washington Post-ABC News poll, the highest that number has risen during his time in office and a sign of the hardening opposition to him as he seeks a second term.

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The long, dark tea time of the American political soul

Americans are in a historically bad mood.

The question for candidates — from President Obama and the men and women running to replace him all the way down to people seeking state and local office in 2012 — is how to you win elections in an era where people feel so dismal about politics?

In an apocalyptic web ad released on Wednesday, Texas Governor Rick Perry embraces the “grim is good” approach to politics and dubs Obama “President Zero” for the struggling economy and the lack of new jobs created by it.

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Barack Obama doesn’t have a ‘women’ problem. At least not yet.

Barack Obama doesn’t have a ‘women’ problem. At least not yet.

Amid stories of dissatisfaction among high-level female staffers in the White House, it’s easy to extrapolate that Obama has a “women” problem.

Except that he doesn’t.

In the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, Obama’s approval rating is at 47 percent among women as compared to 38 percent among men.

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President Obama’s delicate dance on Medicare

President Obama’s delicate dance on Medicare

House Democratic strategists make no secret of their belief that Medicare amounts to their political silver bullet in 2012.

The decision by the Republican controlled House to back and pass a plan authored by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan that would turn Medicare into a voucher system is regarded by many Democrats as a strategic error of colossal proportions.

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President Obama picks a political fight on taxes

When President Obama unveils his deficit-reduction plan this morning in the Rose Garden, the proposal sure to draw the most attention is his call for people making $1 million or more to pay more in taxes.


U.S. President Barack Obama makes a speech to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. (Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg)
Obama is touting the proposal as the “Buffett Rule”, an homage to billionaire investor Warren Buffett who has repeatedly insisted the wealthy should be paying more taxes.

And there are (smart) politics everywhere in it. Here’s why.

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Obama ignores D.C. echo chamber. Should he?

Obama ignores D.C. echo chamber. Should he?

From the time that then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama made the decision to run for president in early 2007 until today, the Democrat and his team have held firm to one core belief about the political-media world: the D.C. chattering class doesn’t have any idea what regular people think.

It was pundits who predicted that Obama could never beat then-New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primary, talking heads who declared the race over when Obama was stuck in place in December 2007 and professional talkers who speculated that his relatively thin political resume would be a handicap against Sen. John McCain in the 2008 general election.

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Michele Bachmann’s rise and fall in the 2012 Republican primary


Rep Michele Bachmann has struggled to build on her victory coming out of the Ames Straw Poll last month. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
In politics, things change fast.

Less than a month ago, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann sat atop the political world fresh off her win at the Ames Straw Poll.

Today, two new polls show Bachmann’s support badly eroding — a finding that when coupled with a Labor Day staff shakeup raise serious questions about her ability to recapture the momentum that shot her into the top tier over the summer.

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