Entries in Reelection (82)


Sen. Jay Rockefeller Will Not Seek Reelection

US Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia will announce his plans on Friday to retire and not seek reelection, aides confirm to ABC News.

The longtime senator, 75, will make his announcement at 11 a.m. in Charleston, W. Va., joined by family and staff.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Senate to Make Obama’s Re-election Official

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Americans thought they elected a president on Nov. 6, 2012, but those results were not official -- until Friday.

The votes cast in November’s general election went to pick electors from each state -- members of the Electoral College -- who cast their ballots based on the preferences of their constituency for one candidate or another.  On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden will announce the results.

The Electoral College met and cast its ballots on Dec. 17.  Now, it’s time to officially count them.

In a ceremony that starts on Friday at 1 p.m. in the House Chamber, tradition dictates Senate pages will carry boxes with votes from the states into the Senate, where they will then be passed from hand to hand.  The Senate Parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, will present the votes to the secretary of the Senate, Nancy Erickson, who will pass the results to House Parliamentarian Thomas J. Wickham Jr., who will then hand them to Biden.

All members of Congress -- both from the House of Representatives and the Senate -- are expected to be present for the ceremony.

Biden will give the results to tellers, who verify their authenticity and record each vote.

At the end of it all, Biden will read the results and have them recorded for posterity.  Most likely, the vice president will tell us what we already know -- that he and Obama have been re-elected.

The only possible disruption to this process would be if both a House or Senate member submitted a challenge to a state’s vote tally in writing.  That would trigger each chamber to consider and vote on the objection.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Campaigning for Re-Election Is ‘Not Fun,’ Analyst Says

Tom Pennington/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- After the speeches, flying confetti and dancing delegates of the Democratic National Convention fade, the fun is over for the Obama campaign, ABC’s political analyst Matt Dowd said Thursday on the ABC/Yahoo convention live show.

“Campaigning for a re-election is not as fun.  It becomes work,” Dowd said.  “Keeping the hill is a lot harder and a lot different emotion than taking the hill.”

How difficult it is for the president to maintain his spot at the top could be influenced, in large part, by the latest jobs report, which will be released Friday morning, just hours after President Obama delivered his convention acceptance speech.

Whether that report shows improvement in the unemployment rate or more stagnation could make the difference between a sustained bump in the polls for the president or a flat line response to his convention hype, Dowd said.

“That jobs report could put water in the gas tank that they’ve revved up,” Dowd told ABC’s Amy Walter and Rick Klein during the Democratic Convention show.

If the economy added less than 100,000 jobs, Dowd said the report “could completely dampen what has happened over the past few days” at the convention.  But if that report shows significant progress, adding 200,000 jobs, Dowd said it could have an impact on the election, propelling Obama to maintain any bump in the polls stemming from his party’s three-day rally in Charlotte, N.C.

“If they don’t get a bounce [in the polls] that’s problematic for them,” Dowd said.  “The question is how sustainable is it?”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Michelle Obama Courts Kid Vote at Gwen Stefani Fundraiser

Alex Wong/Getty Images(BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.) -- No doubt, first lady Michelle Obama had a fun and lucrative Sunday at the Beverly Hills, Calif., home of singer Gwen Stefani.

Mrs. Obama, on a West Coast fundraising swing for her husband’s re-election campaign, mingled with supporters and delivered a keynote address at a $2,500-per-family event on the lawn beside Stefani’s outdoor pool.  It was billed as a “Sunday of Fun” on invitations to donors.

Organizers provided fake tattoos on the tennis court for kids, while platters of roasted meats and cookies sat on tables by the hot tub for parents, according to press pool reporters at the scene.

Bandmates from No Doubt sat in the crowd, many with children on their laps.  Stefani’s children -- Kingston, 6, and Zuma, 3, -- were also in attendance.  Her husband, singer Gavin Rossdale, was said to be on tour in Europe, a campaign official said.

Given her audience, Mrs. Obama delivered a kid-focused pitch for her husband’s campaign.

“Barack can’t do it alone.  He’s not Spider-Man.  He’s not a superhero.  He’s a human, so we need your help,” she said.

“I am not just talking to the adults here today.  I am talking to the young people here as well.  All of our young people -- you might not be old enough to vote.  You vote at school, I know -- I met several young people who are going to be voting for my husband, who are 10 and under -- we accept those votes,” the first lady said.  “But you can play an important role in this election, too.  I want you all to feel empowered.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Has Coffee with Vets as Romney Addresses VFW Convention

YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- While Mitt Romney was courting votes at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno, Nev., President Obama on Tuesday ventured to the Gateway Breakfast House in Portland, Ore., sliding into a restaurant booth for a cup of coffee and an intimate “roundtable discussion” with three retired American service members and veterans of foreign wars.

"How's it going guys?  I just wanted to come by and say thank you," Obama said as he took a seat in the alcove in the back of the room.

The president explained that he had addressed the VFW gathering on Monday and wanted to hear firsthand about their experiences interacting with the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Much of the conversation was out of earshot of traveling press pool members who were allowed to glimpse the encounter inside the bustling breakfast joint.

One of the veterans seated with Obama was overheard asking about a rumor that the administration was backing a pay cut for some members of the National Guard.  The president insisted the rumor was “false.”

"So we can clear that one up right away.  You're hearing that from your commander in chief," Obama said.

The group also discussed access to care for veterans in rural areas, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and care for disabled veterans, according to reporters on the scene.

Obama was in Portland Tuesday on the fourth stop of his three-day western states swing.  He attended two fundraisers for his re-election campaign expected to raise a combined $1.2 million.  He then headed to Seattle for two evening high-dollar fundraisers at the private home of Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal.

The president will round out his trip Wednesday, flying to New Orleans, where he will attend more campaign events before returning to the White House later in the evening.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obamas End NY Night of Fundraisers with Performances at Plaza Hotel

Chris Kleponis/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- President Obama and the first lady concluded their night of campaign fundraisers in New York on Thursday at the Plaza Hotel with a $10,000-a-plate gala that featured performances by Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey.

Michelle Obama spoke first on stage in the elegantly-appointed ballroom before a blue curtain backdrop and a row of American flags.  Approximately 250 guests sat around a mix of square and round tables with linen table cloths, vases of white flowers and crystal bowls with floating candles.

Mrs. Obama, who has recently stepped up her appearances on the campaign trail, gave a sobering assessment of the presidential race against Mitt Romney, which she said was “just the beginning.”

“It’s going to require us to work like we never worked before,” she told the crowd.  “I know each of you has somebody in your lives today who doesn’t know what’s at stake.  Those are the kind of uncomfortable conversations that we need to have… You have to multiply yourselves.  For everyone here, you have to find 10, 20, 30, 50 people to be responsible for shaking them up and getting them engaged, convincing them of what’s at stake”

“I’m going to be out there.  I’m going to be out there as much as possible, with as much passion and as much conviction as this little body can muster up.  Because I completely believe in the man whom I’m about to introduce,” she said.

President Obama picked up where his wife left off, telling the crowd that he’s as determined as ever to fight to keep his job, while offering a sobering assessment of the challenges he faces.

Rehashing his message from Cleveland earlier that day, Obama said the economy is the “crux of this campaign” and the differences of vision between him and Romney could not be more stark.

The president said of Republicans that the “essence of their prescription” for economic growth is to cut taxes and cut government.  “Their analysis is that government is the problem and that if we just prune it back to a few basics like national security… we’ll grow faster,” he said.

“I don’t question their sincerity, but I do question their conception of how we grow America,” Obama said, later adding, “I understand the argument the other side’s making.  The problem is we tried it just a few years ago.  And it was exactly that theory that led to sluggish economic growth…”

Before taking questions from the audience, Obama started to discuss the impending TV ad wars, but caught himself and qualified his remarks.

“Over the next five months, you won’t be seeing a lot of ads because frankly Manhattan’s not a battleground state,” he said drawing laughter and applause.  “But out in those battleground states they will be seeing not just millions of dollars, but potentially over a billion of negative ads and the message will be very simple -- the economy isn’t where it needs to be and it is Obama’s fault”

Obama said it will be a close election but he believes he will win because “we are right.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama to Hit Reset Button on Campaign in Ohio

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will use a speech in Ohio on Thursday to hit a reset button on his re-election campaign, following a stretch of bad economic news and messaging missteps that have shaken Democrats' confidence and caused some allies to sound the alarm.

At a community college outside Cleveland, Obama will seek to frame the economic debate with presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, casting the November election as a stark choice rather than a referendum on his record.  He will also warn that a President Romney would doom the middle class.

"Gov. Romney and his allies in Congress believe that if you simply take away regulations and cut taxes by trillions of dollars, the market will solve all our problems on its own," said a campaign official describing the arc of Obama's speech.  "The president believes the economy grows not from the top down, but from the middle class up, and he has an economic plan to do that."

It's a case that Obama has been pushing for weeks in smaller campaign appearances with donors and grassroots volunteers.  But he's now under pressure to articulate it more convincingly and broadly, as polls show a tightening race headed into the summer with many swing voters still making up their minds about the Republican nominee.

"You've got to be able to say, 'we've saved you from the abyss and we're moving incrementally forward,'" said a strategist affiliated with the Obama campaign.  The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, conceded, "That's just a tough message but it happens to be the environment you're in."

"You've also got to take this period to help educate the American public as to who is this guy; let's fill in the blanks," the strategist said.

Some Democrats, pointing to recent focus groups and polling data, worried publicly this week that Obama's pitch on progress in the economy isn't resonating with voters in key states, leaving him politically vulnerable and at risk of appearing out of touch.  There are also concerns in some circles that attacks on Romney's record in private equity and as governor are not sticking well enough.

White House and campaign officials insist that their game plan is working and will succeed over the long haul.  They frequently note that the president has high public opinion ratings on empathy with Americans who are struggling financially.  And they say he has presented detailed legislative proposals that would immediately put more workers back on the job.

"The problem here isn't the president's campaign staff and message he's put together, it's the economy that he inherited and is working hard to fix," said former White House aide and senior Priorities USA strategist Bill Burton.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama, Dems Raise $43.6 Million in April

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama's reelection campaign raised $43.6 million in April, the campaign announced Wednesday morning.

That's down from the $53 million raised in March -- the Obama camp's best fundraising month of the cycle -- but well above the $31 million Obama raised the same month four years ago.

The total reflects funds collected directly by Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and two joint fundraising accounts.  Combined, they have now raised nearly $400 million total for the 2012 campaign -- on pace to hit their record-setting $746 million from 2008.

In a video posted online Wednesday, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina says more than 437,000 supporters donated last month, 169,500 of them giving for the first time.

He also points out that 98 percent of the donations received in April were less than $250, with the average donation being $50.23.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mixed Views on Three Key Issues Mark Obama’s Campaign Challenges

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Americans give President Obama mixed marks on three prominent issues he’s touted in his bid for re-election in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, with no scores above 50 percent on either the auto industry bailout, greater regulation of financial institutions or -- most basic -- the administration’s economic stimulus program.

Middling ratings on each of these denote some of the president’s challenges in the campaign now officially under way.  While he’s substantially more popular personally than the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, Obama is vulnerable on key issues.

The poll finds that Americans divide almost exactly evenly on the administration’s economic stimulus program, with 47 percent seeing it favorably overall, 48 percent unfavorably. 

It’s a bit better for Obama on the auto industry loans, 50-43 percent, and financial industry regulation, 49-44 percent.

But none of these reaches majority favorability -- and the intensity of sentiment on the stimulus is much more strongly negative than positive.

Obama has cited his performance on these issues, among others, in making his case for re-election.  But this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds responses sharply divided by political allegiance and ideological preference.

In likely the president’s biggest risk, independents rate the economic stimulus negatively by 50-44 percent.  They’re less negative (indeed slightly positive) on the automaker loans and regulation of financial institutions, but it’s the economy that dominates voter concerns.

Political independents are the key swing voters in national elections, and at 41 percent of the population, they outnumber Democrats and Republicans alike in this survey, 33 and 23 percent, respectively.

Among partisans, anywhere from 66 to 74 percent of Democrats and liberals have positive views of Obama’s work on these issues, compared with a paltry 16 to 26 percent of Republicans and 24 to 35 percent of conservatives.  Moderates are more positive than negative on all three, but again most closely on the economic stimulus.

As noted, intensity of sentiment on the stimulus is against the president: Among all Americans, many more rate the economic stimulus strongly unfavorably, 31 percent, as strongly favorably, 18 percent.  It’s a similar 31 vs. 15 percent among independents.  Strong sentiment on the automaker loans and financial industry regulations is more evenly divided.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Swing State Ad Touts First-Term Record

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama campaign is going on the air in nine battleground states this week with a new TV ad that focuses solely on the president’s record and the four accomplishments of which Democrats are most proud.

The entirely positive spot -- titled “Go” -- is the first attempt by President Obama to encapsulate his three and a half years in office and use it as a second-term sales pitch in targeted markets.

“We’re certainly running on our record,” senior Obama strategist David Axelrod said of the ad in an interview Sunday on ABC’s This Week.

In just 60 seconds, the ad reminds viewers of the economic crisis Obama inherited in early 2009 -- “America’s economy spiraling down,” the narrator says -- and strives to portray Obama as the nation’s rescuer -- “He believed in us.  Fought for us.”

The ad touts the resurgence of the U.S. auto industry, killing of Osama bin Laden, end of the Iraq War and a positive trend in private sector job growth as the signature achievements of Obama’s first term.

It notably does not mention his signature legislative achievement -- the Affordable Care Act -- or Wall Street reform.

“We’re not there yet.  It’s still too hard for too many.  But we’re coming back,” the narrator says, “because America’s greatness comes from a strong middle class.  Because you don’t quit, and neither does he.”

Obama campaign officials said the ad will air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia -- a list that offers fresh insight into the states the president is making his top priority for November.

Of the five multi-state TV ads aired by the Obama campaign this year -- including the latest, “Go” -- four have included Iowa, Ohio and Virginia.

Obama officially kicked off his re-election campaign with rallies in Ohio and Virginia on Saturday, and he has visited Colorado, Florida and North Carolina within the last month.  The president stops in Nevada this week.  And while he hasn’t been to Pennsylvania this year, Vice President Joe Biden has visited three times, while first lady Michelle Obama has visited twice.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio