Is Romney Imploding?

By Tuesday night the New York Times was reporting what was the obvious conclusion after almost two days of wild left-wing political ecstasy: "A Mood of Gloom Afflicts the Romney Campaign":

SALT LAKE CITY – Mitt Romney’s traveling press secretary walked to the back of the candidate’s plane midflight on Tuesday and teasingly asked a pair of journalists in an exit row if they were “willing and able to assist in case of an emergency.”

Under the circumstances, it was hard to tell whether it was a question or a request.

A palpably gloomy and openly frustrated mood has begun to creep into Mr. Romney’s campaign for president. Well practiced in the art of lurching from public relations crisis to public relations crisis, his team seemed to reach its limit as it digested a ubiquitous set of video clips that showed their boss candidly describing nearly half of the country’s population as government-dependent “victims,” and saying that he would “kick the ball down the road” on the biggest foreign policy challenge of the past few decades, the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

Grim-faced aides acknowledged that it was an unusually dark moment, made worse by the self-inflicted, seemingly avoidable nature of the wound. In low-volume, out-of-the-way conversations, a few of them are now wondering whether victory is still possible and whether they are entering McCain-Palin ticket territory.

Now, folks might want to discount such reporting, coming as it is from the belly of beast of the Democrat-Media-Complex. But it makes sense. The polls have shown for months a basically deadlocked election. But Romney's much-hoped-for convention bounce was dead on arrival. And while in contrast the Obama-Democrats' post-convention bounce was real but ephemeral, the fact is Team Romney's been trailing all year and that oft-cited impending turnaround remains eternally elusive.

I'm not one to put much stock in the presidential election forecasters, although I do pay attention to a few keen analysts, especially Charlie Cook at National Journal. Here's his latest report, published Tuesday, "Pollsters Agree: Romney Needs Something To Happen":

Obviously there are dozens of permutations in the calculus for a Romney path to victory, but as long as Michigan and Pennsylvania are noncompetitive and Ohio continues to look tough for Romney, he would have to come pretty close to running the table to get the 270 electoral votes needed to win. Obama winning Colorado, Iowa, and Nevada would put 276 electoral votes in the Democratic column—six more than necessary for a win—even if Romney carried North Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Florida. At this point Romney is only ahead in one, tied in another, and trailing in the other three.

This election is still quite close and could go either way, but Romney badly needs something to happen to change the trajectory of this race. If things remain as they are today, he loses. Presidential debates are scheduled for Oct. 3, 16, and 22. A vice presidential debate is scheduled for Oct. 11, and unemployment numbers are released on Oct. 5 and Nov. 2. These are six events that could prove consequential. Though debates arguably have changed campaign trajectories in 1976 and 1980, in the last seven presidential elections they didn’t materially affect the outcome of the races. Obviously, candidate gaffes or campaign miscues outside the debates can matter as well as external events, domestic or foreign. Anything involving an attack by Israel and/or the United States against Iranian nuclear facilities would certainly create an “all bets are off” situation. Major incidents elsewhere in the Middle East or around the globe—for example, North Korea—could be consequential as well.

I've highlight the key bit. There are no certainties in politics, and the voters themselves could ultimately confound the pollsters and expert commentators and finally throw the Marxist interloper out on his behind in November. And to be sure, I'll be working my tail off toward that end myself. But campaigns matter. And they matter especially so when the challenger is facing an entrenched machine-politician incumbent who deploys classic Alinsky tactics and is aided by a corrupt media establishment that's totally in the tank.

Unfortunately, Team Romney's been lacking. They've made a lot of mistakes. And while the "SECRET VIDEO" is --- with the exception of a few demographic inaccuracies with the 47 percent statement --- not all that controversial, in the end it's just more fodder for the maw of the left's Orwellian disinformation program of deceit and double-standards. Honestly, at this point I'll be surprised if Romney's able to smash the Obama machine in its totality. It's a Herculean task. One can only keep pushing back twice as hard, meanwhile hoping for the best while preparing for the worst.