The economy alone may do Obama in among late-deciding voters. But the economy isn’t the only issue in play.
We’re seeing story after story in the mainstream press indicating that Obama is a poor leader or that he wastes his time on trivialities. The more late-deciders hear these stories, the worse he will do with them. These are serious times, and he is not coming across as a serious leader.
Right now, Obama is also benefiting from political correctness in two key ways. Voters have been hesitant to tell pollsters what they really think when it comes to this president and one key social issue with which he has identified. That issue is same-sex marriage. The president has come out in favor of SSM, which creates a fundamental problem for him. The issue polls far more strongly than it votes. Sure, younger voters tend to support SSM in greater numbers than older voters, but younger voters tend not to vote until they’re older and have learned a thing or two. More liberal when we’re young, we all tend to get more conservative as we see and experience a bit more.The young vote simply is not going to be there to save Obama this time. Some of those voters just aren’t interested anymore, and some have grown up since their childhood affection for Barack the blank slate. Many of them still can’t find work thanks to their hero from four years ago.
Additionally, Obama polls more strongly personally than he does professionally. I believe that this is evidence of the same chasm we see in polls versus votes on gay marriage. Americans don’t want to tell pollsters that they dislike the president, out of fear that they will come off as racist. The fact is, the president’s race helped him win four years ago but will not help him win re-election. His record will matter no matter how many distractions he and his campaign toss up. The same voters who tend to say that they like Obama personally still rate him poorly on his job performance. Many of those voters turned out to buy chicken sandwiches last month to defend free speech. They will turn out in November.
None of this means Romney has this thing in the bag. Far from it. Florida still had to score, and Romney still has to run a great ground game against an incumbent who may have a weak arm but he has a strong line in front of him, in the form of his own campaign and the mainstream media.
Romney still has to play to win. But win he can, and probably will.