Friday news roundup

The Friday news (selective) roundup: In another sign that political polarization is spreading to even institutions our that Founding Fathers envisioned as above the fray, a new poll today shows that the Supreme Court has its lowest favorable rating since polling on the institution began several decades ago.

Not that the justices' goal is to be popular, but more disturbingly, the public questions their independence, with 75 percent of respondents believing that the justices’ political and personal views “sometimes” affect their decisions. These findings come on the eve of one of the court’s potentially most divisive decisions on the Obama health-care law.

Karl Rove, who has always been a ground-game guy, has an interesting take on the Wisconsin recall election. He sees it potentially as evidence that the vaunted Obama turn-out machine may be losing a step and that Republicans may be able to beat Democrats at their own game. Maybe, but turn-out is only decisive in races where the margin is three points or less. Walker won by seven points, which indicates to me that forces other than ground game were driving the election. Indeed, I believe the November election will be extremely close, or Romney will win comfortably. What made Wisconsin scary is that size of the margin indicates that the pro-Walker forces were highly motivated. That has to do with more fundamental dynamics than political technique.

Finally, if you would like a good summary of why the 2012 presidential election matters, here is the link for you. Not only are our country's problems acute, so are the differences in the candidate's solutions. This could make for an interesting election, but it will definitely make for an interesting aftermath. More to come after President Obama’s 10:15 a.m. news conference.

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