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Trail Mix - 06.14.12 

Congressional Republicans have decided to give it up for the session.

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It’s Over — In June?

Last week, Congressman Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said out loud to reporters what many inside the Beltway have believed for some time: Congress is going to hang it up until 2013. Rather than legislate — aka, do their jobs — Cantor, who speaks for the GOP House leadership, said the rest of the year would instead be for sending “signal[s] that we’ve actually gotten with reality here, that we have huge problems to deal with.”

Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? Hard to figure why Congress’s approval rating is below 20 percent.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) jumped in: “I have a message for Leader Cantor: You may have abandoned any intention to legislate this year, but we will not bow to election-year politics here in the Senate. The nation needs us, and we have too much to do.”

Less is Certain

If Congress waits until 2013 to do something, it’ll be with the least experienced Congress in decades, according to a recent analysis. “Between the historically large 2010 freshman class, 36 lawmaker retirements in 2012, and the expected election turnover this fall, the new Congress could have upward of 155 members with less than four years of experience,” Politico concluded.

“There are chairmen of subcommittees who don’t know which end of the gavel to use,” Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) told Politico, “much less how to get a bill through Congress.”

Parallel Polling

It’s happening: The deluge of daily polling on the presidential race. Romney’s up… no, wait, Obama’s up… it’s a tie! What is it with us wanting to jump ahead to the end when the story is just starting to unfold?

As you process the plethora of percentages, keep in mind that national polls might tap the mood of the nation, but they have little to do with who will be elected president. Remember, the POTUS is not chosen by a raw tally; the electoral college makes the call.

So it’s the state-by-state polling you need to watch — especially in the handful of swing states (and Washington and Idaho are not among them). To stay up to speed, check out the insane level of detail going into the New York Times “FiveThirtyEight” blog. Its first official polling roundup gave Obama a “tenuous” edge toward winning re-election.

Recall Reasoning

It was interesting to watch the results in Wisconsin last week with our own recall going on in Coeur d’Alene. Some exit polling showed a significant percentage of voters of all political persuasions just did not like the idea of recalling elected officials simply because you disagreed with them. Could that dynamic play a role in the Lake City’s process, too?

— Ted S. McGregor Jr., @InlanderTMX

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