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Politics Notebook: On the campaign trail

Kaine statement on U.S. Senate budget votes In response to the votes the U.S. Senate took on five proposed budgets yesterday, Tim Kaine released the following statement:

“The Senate voted down five bad budgets yesterday. They proved once again that they can block action, even on the most important and critical matters of the day.

“The Senate must now show that it can act for the good of the country. They haven’t passed a budget in nearly three years. They have refused to confirm key appointments – no Administrator of Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has been confirmed since 2006.  They’ve allowed filibuster and other vanity rules to grow into everyday tools for obstruction.

“We won’t change the dynamic in Congress by sending folks there who’ve been part of the growing dysfunction. I led Virginia through the worst recession in 70 years by making tough budget cuts in all areas and still finding ways to make critical investments in education and infrastructure. I balanced budgets and negotiated a compromise between two Republican houses in 2006 when they stalemated over the budget.

“I will fight against Senate inaction on budgets or anything else. I urge the Senate to work in earnest to pass a budget. The House budget is deeply flawed – cutting education, defense and Medicare too deeply and foolishly embracing deficit-busting tax reductions for the folks at the upper end of the income scale. The Senate can do better and they should. The American public is waiting for a responsible alternative.”


PPP: Obama leads Romney by 12 in New Hampshire, by 1 in North Carolina Barack Obama has a healthy lead in Public Policy Polling’s newest poll of New Hampshire. Obama is at 53% to 41% for Mitt Romney. When PPP last looked at the general election in the state, July, Romney was up 46-44. In April of last year Obama led by just a 47-46 margin.

Obama’s improvement comes thanks to an equation that’s become familiar in our polling over the last few months: he’s more popular than he was for most of last year, and Romney’s a good deal less popular. Obama’s approval is a 52/45 spread, up 10 points on the margin from 46/49 last July. Romney’s meanwhile gone from having a slightly positive favorability rating at 43/42 to quite a negative one at 40/54. His numbers with Republicans have improved but he’s gone from 25/58 to 8/89 with Democrats and from 43/40 to 38/53 with independents.

In PPP’s latest polling in North Carolina, Obama leads Romney 48-47, which represents an improvement for Romney. The one time the race strayed from a 3 point margin one way or the other was last month, when Obama led by 5 points. Since wrapping up the Republican nomination Romney’s seen a 13 point improvement in his net favorability from -29 (29/58) to -16 (37/53). He’s still not popular, but his standing with independents and GOP voters is getting a lot better as conservatives unify around him for the general.

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