So far, the battle on issues favors the GOP ticket, poll shows
posted at 10:43 am on August 27, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
“If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things.”
Who knew when Barack Obama offered up that well-turned observation in his acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination for president in August of 2008 that he was providing a sneak preview of his campaign strategy four years later?
His campaign recently trained its focus on class size in schools (more on which presently) after its efforts to scare senior citizens away from voting for GOP bogeyman Paul Ryan yielded paradoxical results. According to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, nearly half of voters 65 and older report having a favorable view of Ryan, a full third of them strongly favorable. Commenting on the poll, WaPo’s Aaron Blake writes:
The numbers suggest Democrats’ attempts to turn Ryan’s Medicare proposal against the GOP haven’t stuck yet among the most pivotal group: seniors. If a Medicare attack was working, after all, seniors would likely be the first group to start deserting Ryan.
Possibly the GOP’s success in defending the Ryan plan in the face of withering and highly misleading criticism by the Obama campaign is a function of Ryan’s affable nature. Another factor may the VP hopeful’s crafty decision to bring his own aging mother with him to a Florida retirement community to explain that his budget would not touch the benefits of current retirees. Almost certainly, the Republicans’ counterattack on Obamacare’s raid on the Medicare trust fund has turned the debate in their favor. (It is still early in the battle, but it appears that liberal pundits’ giddiness over the Ryan pick may come back to haunt them.)
Team Obama, meantime, has moved on to Plan B. Here is their latest attack video, which quotes Romney as saying class sizes don’t matter and notes that Paul Ryan’s budget could cut education by 20%. Notice the careful wording in the ad. It doesn’t saying that passing the Ryan plan would cut education spending but rather that it could.
There are several fatal flaws in the argument, one of them an indictment on Obama. To wit, the president has asked for a $60 billion increase in allocations to the Department of Education (DOE) for fiscal year 2013. The conservative Heritage Foundation writes:
If enacted, these proposals would mean that in one term, President Obama has spent almost as much on education as President George W. Bush spent in two terms—even considering the fact that Bush nearly doubled the size of the DOE.
Despite Obama’s profligate spending , the U.S. fell in its education ranking by the end of his second year in office, coming in at 14th out of 34 countries in reading, 17th in science, and a below-average 25th in mathematics.
What is more is that a number of the many studies done on class size suggest that it has no redeeming merit as a variable in educational outcomes. Even the left-leaning Brookings Institution concludes:
Class-size reduction has been shown to work for some students in some grades in some states and countries, but its impact has been found to be mixed or not discernable [sic] in other settings and circumstances that seem similar. It is very expensive.
- The election will determine who has the last laugh over the Ryan pick
- Has racism, not incompetence, hobbled the Obama presidency?
- ‘Republican’ woman in Obama ad turns out to be long-time registered Democrat
- Obama administration ‘cooking the books’ on deportation numbers
- Report: Obama has more fake Twitter followers than Romney
- Obama WH controlling topics for local press avails
- Suppose American universities gave courses and nobody came
- Obama Secs of Education and Labor break law, meet with illegal aliens at Ed Dept
- Is Obama courting the ‘dead’ vote?
- To win, Obama needs to get white voters to stay home
Recently in the Green Room:
- “I don’t think you’d find…even a small number of Republicans voting for any kind of bill that has amnesty first and enforcement second”
- Photo of the day
- Programming note: Hosting the Hugh Hewitt Show this week
- It’s come to this: Democrats now complaining that … the Senate hasn’t passed a budget
- Video: The worst pageant answer ever?