Politicususa: A new poll released by the non-profit non-partisan group Texas Lyceum found that President Obama is almost as popular as Gov. Rick Perry in the Lone Star State. The poll found that President Barack Obama’s 51% Texas approval rating is only 3 points behind that of Governor Rick Perry (54%).
…In 2008 McCain beat Obama by 10 points in Texas, but where the Obama campaign sees hope for 2012 is in the fact that the President got 63% of the Latino vote in 2008, and 1.5 million more Spanish speaking voters will be eligible to go to the polls in 2012.
As Politico reported, “The spike in voting-eligible Hispanics offers a tantalizing prospect for Democratic strategists who have yearned to flip Texas ever since John Judis and Ruy Teixeira published their landmark book, “The Emerging Democratic Majority,” which predicted just such a shift nine years ago.”
Republicans counter with the argument that five Hispanic Republicans were elected to the Texas House in 2010, and there is no evidence that Texas will be in play in 2012 …. A lot can change between now and next fall, but the long predicted bluing of Texas could take its next step towards becoming a reality in 2012.
Pew Research: Looking ahead to the 2012 presidential election, 47% of voters would like to see President Barack Obama reelected, while 37% would prefer a Republican candidate take the White House.
…Obama does about as well in his hypothetical election matchup as President George W. Bush did in April 2003, a time when Bush enjoyed very high approval ratings (72%) on the heels of the start of the Iraq war.
Obama’s current approval rating is 51% and most Americans (74%) remain unsatisfied with the state of the nation. Working in Obama’s favor, however, is that most Americans have an unfavorable opinion of the opposition political party – 51% have an unfavorable view of the GOP – and he remains personally popular (58% have a favorable view of Obama).
Obama also does considerably better than Bill Clinton did in March 1995. At this stage in his presidency, Clinton had a lower approval rating (44%) and faced a much stronger GOP (67% favorable).
Reuters: President Barack Obama’s approval ratings inched up again this month as Americans grew slightly more optimistic about the economy and the future, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.
Obama’s job approval rating rose to 51 percent from 50 percent in January … continuing an upward trend since October’s low of 43 percent.
The improvement for Obama came as the economy showed signs of improvement … the jobless rate dipped to 9 percent in January from 9.4 percent the month before, completing a 0.8 percentage point drop since November that was the biggest two-month decline since 1958.
…Americans are feeling more confident about the future as the economy improves, the poll found … “The more positively people feel about the economy, the better they feel about Obama,” Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said.
WSJ: The Senate on Wednesday voted 51-47 against repealing the health-care overhaul but approved a measure eliminating a tax requirement that had irked small businesses.
All of the chamber’s Democrats who were present and one independent who caucuses with them voted against it, and every Republican voted for it…
Wednesday’s voting produced a small change to the health law, though. The Senate voted 81-17 to remove a piece of the law that calls for businesses to file a 1099 tax form when they pay a vendor more than $600 in a year.
President Barack Obama has indicated he would sign the tax-change measure, and the House already approved a similar bill. The change will be the most significant so far to the law, designed to expand insurance to 32 million Americans.
….Wednesday’s vote against repeal means that a Republican repeal bill, which passed the House last month, is now effectively dead in Congress.
Two senators, Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia and independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, missed the day’s votes.
Meanwhile Ronald Reagan’s former Solicitor General, Harvard Law Professor Charles Fried, and New York University law professor Rick Hills (a “registered Republican and outspoken conservative”),believe the health care mandate is constitutional – which is bad news for Tea Party Judge Roger Vinson in Florida.