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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Unstoppable Obama Trails GOP In Swing States



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Lately it feels like USA Today is on a one-paper mission to refute the conventional wisdom that President Obama is an ironclad lock for reelection:

In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of the nation’s dozen top battleground states, a clear majority of registered voters call the bill’s passage “a bad thing” and support its repeal if a Republican wins the White House in November. Two years after he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act— and as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments about its constitutionality next month — the president has failed to convince most Americans that it was the right thing to do

In the poll, Obama lags the two leading Republican rivals in the 12 states likely to determine the outcome of a close race in November:

•Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum tops Obama 50%-45% in the swing states. Nationwide, Santorum’s lead narrows to 49%-46%.

•Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney edges Obama 48%-46% in the swing states. Nationwide, they are tied at 47% each.

Romney also has a health care problem: Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in the battleground states, 27% say they are less likely to support him because he signed a Massachusetts law that required residents to have coverage. Just 7% say it makes them more likely to back him.

Just a random thought… what would happen if, say, Romney is nominated, and in his convention speech, he says, “I have thought long and hard about whether government should require citizens to purchase health insurance, and heard many voices discussing the mandates enacted on my watch in Massachusetts and nationally under President Obama… While I believe that states have the right under their constitutions to enact individual mandates, and the “free-rider” problem they aim to address is a serious one, my review and analysis in the past year has driven me to conclude that they are a bad idea, because they fundamentally change the relationship between the government and the people – from free citizens to obedient subjects. The best of intentions can drive us to make bad decisions. The mark of a leader is reevaluating your decisions based on their results. I’m a man who can do that; the man in the Oval Office is not. As president, I’ll repeal Obamacare – and urge every governor to avoid the same mistake.”


Tags: Barack Obama , Mitt Romney , Rick Santorum


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