Before the debate, Mike Flynn of Big Government posited that Biden challenge was to “Keep Down-Ballot Dems From Jumping Ship”:
Biden needs to go beyond his tendency to misspeak and make gaffes and nail a coherent vision for Obama’s second term. If he doesn’t, down-ballot Dems running for the Senate or the House will start to aggressively move away from the national ticket. Obama may do a better job in the debate next week, but without a powerful assist from Biden on Thursday, many Dems won’t be able to wait that long.
Polling margins in many high-profile races are narrowing in the wake of Romney’s epic debate performance. There is clearly nothing coming from the Obama campaign until next week, when he tries to undo his disastrous debate. So, it all settles on Biden. If he doesn’t clearly beat Ryan, Democrat candidates will likely try to strike out on their own path for November. At the end of the day, a political career trumps political parties.
There’s one theme that ties all of these posts together: if you’re posturing because you’re worried about locking down your base and propping up down ballot races in the middle of October – you’ve got big trouble. Add to that Stephanie Cutter’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day yesterday, along with the Most Powerful Man in the Free World clutching onto Big Bird like he’s Radar O’Reilly’s teddy bear — to the point where even Jon Stewart is worrying — and you’re seeing a collective bunker-time flight into fantasy. And no wonder Stewart is raising an eyebrow, as the administration’s embrace of a surreal TV icon seems eerily reminiscent of Congressional Democrats in 2010 asking Stewart’s colleague Stephen Colbert to pop in for a congressional visit – a month before they lost their congressional majority, at a time when they had to have had plenty of internal polling data to all know the thumpin’ was on its way. (The administration once again underbussing inconvenient segments of their base is also highly reminiscent of 2010, as I mentioned yesterday.)
Does that mean that Romney-Ryan has it in the bag? Absolutely. Not. (The cockiness – do not acquire it, to paraphrase our Insta-host’s frequent refrain.) But it does indicate all the signs of a base on the left that’s demoralized as hell. Ride right through ‘em, as Da Tech Guy would say.
Update: DaTechGuy himself weighs in on last night here.