THE DEBT CRISIS IS THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE GOP PRESIDENTIAL FIELD
If all of America is like the swing state of Pennsylvania, as depicted in Quinnipiac's polling, then the debt hostage crisis worked out just as well as could be expected for the GOP presidential candidates: President Obama is diminished; voters blame both parties -- in almost exactly the same proportions -- rather than one party over the other; and the GOP presidential candidates, who were mostly in hiding as the crisis went on, are surging:
The protracted slugfest over raising the national debt limit leaves President Barack Obama with a 54 - 43 percent disapproval among Pennsylvania voters....
Looking at the other players in the national debt debate, Pennsylvania voters:
* Disapprove 68 - 28 percent of the job Republicans in Congress are doing;
* Disapprove 67 - 28 percent of Democrats in Congress.
Pennsylvania voters say 52 - 42 percent that Obama does not deserve to be reelected. Matching the president against possible Republican challengers shows:
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 44 percent to Obama's 42 percent;
* Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with 43 percent to Obama's 45 percent;
* Obama leads Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann 47 - 39 percent;
* Obama tops Texas Gov. Rick Perry 45 - 39 percent.
... A June 15 Quinnipiac University survey showed Obama topping Romney 47 - 40 percent in Pennsylvania and leading Santorum 49 - 38 percent....
So Romney and local boy Santorum have eached gained 9 points on Obama in 7 weeks. (Matchups of Obama-Bachmann and Obama-Perry weren't included in the June 15 poll.)
Yeah, I suppose this debt-crisis effect will be transitory. But it's a reminder of how easy it's going to be for the GOP to beat Obama: just keep creating legislative stalemates, keep voters disgusted with Washington (because Democrats, of course, will never succeed in focusing the anger on Republicans), and then watch the perceived "outsiders" -- Romney, Perry, probably even Bachmann -- clean up.