National Journal Online

What We Learned: Popular Opinion

What we at The Hotline learned this week:

-- Recent public polling has given President Obama's reelection team new cause for concern. Throughout much of his presidency, even as his job approval numbers declined, the president's personal favorability has held up. But new CBS/New York Times and ABC News/Washington Post polls show a drop even in his personal popularity -- yet another troubling sign for Obama's reelection prospects.

Posted: Sunday, September 25, 2011 - 1:50pm

Fitch Affirms U.S. AAA Credit Rating

Credit-rating agency Fitch affirmed the United States's AAA rating on Tuesday, saying that the cornerstones of America's "exceptional creditworthiness" are intact.

The announcement, first reported by Fox News, comes 11 days after Standard & Poor's downgraded U.S. credit from AAA status to AA+ and stands in stark contrast to S&P's explanation for the downgrade.

Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 10:36am

New Home Construction Declines in July

Construction on new homes slowed in July, highlighting the continued weakness of the housing sector as the economy struggles to recover.

Housing starts fell to a 604,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in July, down 1.5 percent from June but exceeding the 600,000 predicted by economists who were surveyed by Reuters. The number remained below the 1 million to 1.5 million level economists say would indicate a healthy market.

Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 10:36am

NRCC Hits 10 House Dems On The Economy

The National Republican Congressional Committee will be launching robocalls this week against 10 House Democrats, hitting them over the economy and rising prices for families.

Targeted calls will begin today against Rep. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-Mo., Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., Rep. Mark Critz, D-Pa., Rep. Michael Michaud, D-Maine, Rep. Collin Peterson, Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., and Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky.

Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 10:36am

Gibbs Scolds Perry, Raises Issue of Texas Secession Comments

Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs lashed out against Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday, saying it was a “remarkable turnaround” for the Republican presidential candidate to say he was passionate about America just a few years after he was talking about the possibility of Texas seceding from the U.S.

(RELATED: Perry's Vulnerabilities with the Right)

Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 10:36am

Hotline Sort: Perry's Fighting Words

Welcome back to Hotline Sort. It's Election Day in Wisconsin, where the GOP hopes to pick off a seat in the final round of recalls. Meanwhile, Perry has some harsh words for Bernanke, Huntsman picks up a former TPaw aide, and Janice Hahn is on a collision course with a member of her own party. Here's today's rundown:

Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 10:36am

Ron Paul Doesn't Make the GOP 'Top Tier'; Iowa Voters Steal Money from Bachmann -- VIDEO

Jon Stewart doesn't understand why Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, isn't included in the Republican 'top tier', "You're not forgetting, I don't know anyone, say an ideologically consistent, 12-term congressman who came within less than 200 votes of winning the straw poll? Isn't anyone going to give that gentleman a little love?"

Today's Must See Moment -- Fast forward to 0:30, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., gets 80 percent of the votes she paid for.

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Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 10:36am

Expect Little Bitterness in Peosta, Iowa, During Obama's Visit

Expect more of President Obama's heightened criticism against Congress on Tuesday as he seeks to hold a district in Iowa that he won in 2008.

When the bus pulls into Peosta, Iowa, 12 miles west of Dubuque, the president will find himself in the eastern flank of Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, once represented by Rep. Jim Nussle, R-Iowa, and which went for Obama over Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., at a 58-41 clip in 2008. The same year, 65 percent of the vote went to Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, over his Republican challenger.

Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 10:36am

Gallup: Record Low Approval Of Congress

Just 13 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing according to a new Gallup poll released early Tuesday, just the latest data point showing the American public's disgust with Washington at record levels in the wake of the contentious debate over raising the federal debt ceiling.

Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 10:36am

Obama Sounds Like Bush on Bus Tour When Blaming Congress -- VIDEO

As President Obama tries to claw his way to a second term during dismal economic times, some observers are comparing him to President Truman, who faced, and overcame, a similar challenge. Obama's recent finger-pointing toward Congress also brings to mind another man-in-trouble from our political history: President George W. Bush.

Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 10:36am