Why The Bloomberg Poll Showing Obama Up Big Matters

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 20 2012 5:54 PM

Why The Bloomberg Poll Showing Obama Up Big Matters

I've reached out to the Obama campaign and will update if they comment, but it's hard to imagine a better vindication of their strategy and approach to Mitt Romney so far -- and a better way to quiet the dissident voices in the party, for now at least -- than today's Bloomberg poll showing the president up 53 to 40 percent.

As Maggie Haberman notes, many suspect the poll to be an outlier, but the woman behind the numbers -- J. Ann Selzer of Des Moines -- is a legend who nailed Obama's big Iowa caucus win in 2008. She commands respect from Democrats both inside and outside the re-election campaign. And she seems to think that voters are capable of separating their lingering anxiety about the economy from their judgment of Obama's performance in the White House. Her numbers also suggest that the attacks on Mitt Romney's private equity background might be helping to define him as out of touch, exactly what Team Obama has been striving for.

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Which isn't to say we'll stop hearing from Stan Greenberg and James Carville (and other Democrats expressing concerns about the Obama campaign's "it's getting better" approach to the economy) in the coming days. But just as that pair, veterans of Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign, occupy a storied place in the annals of Democratic presidential politics, so is Selzer held in high regard for her ability to tease out the whims of a changing electorate. Her numbers will be cited privately, at least, to reassure donors and other party heavyweights known for their tendancy to panic a bit more than their Republican counterparts.

Matt Taylor is a reporter living in Brooklyn. He was the political correspondent for the National Memo and a staff reporter at his hometown newspaper, The East Hampton Star. He's a contributor to Newsweek/The Daily Beast. You can reach him on Twitter @matthewt_ny

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