President Barack Obama’s free ride with enough of the disengaged portion of the electorate to matter may finally be coming to an end.
A look at the top two presidential election polls listed at Real Clear Politics on Sunday morning showed the race between Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a dead heat.
The first, the daily tracking poll at Rasmussen — the most accurate presidential pollster in the 2008 presidential contest — had the 2012 race knotted at 46%. (Pew Research, often cited along with Rasmussen as being the most accurate four years ago, was only on target in its final 2008 poll after showing absurdly cooked 15- and 14-point leads for Obama over John McCain one and two weeks, respectively, before Election Day.)
The second Sunday poll came from Gallup, which reported a 47% deadlock — erasing a six-point Obama lead from the previous week. Interviews in both polls went through Friday, September 21.
The six polls listed below Rasmussen and Gallup at RCP showed Obama with an average lead of 4.5 points. Their poll cutoffs were several days earlier, ranging from September 16-19.
Even after considering that at least two of the previous polls had samples overstuffed with Democrats, that’s quite a swing in just a few days. If this kind of move had gone in Obama’s direction, there would be a constant drumbeat in the establishment press declaring the race all but over.
Oh, wait. There is anyway.
On Saturday, Thomas Beaumont and Charles Babington at the Administration’s Press attempted to pile on. In a piece headlined “Tide shifts to Obama in most competitive states,” the pair wrote that “the advantage has shifted toward President Barack Obama after a series of miscues by Mitt Romney, punctuated by the Republican challenger’s comments about people who pay no income tax.” The premise of babblers Beaumont and Babington is that the key swing states Romney badly needs to win are now slipping away.
Really? Before the national polling swing in Romney’s direction just cited, Rasmussen had the following toss-up state rundown: Virginia, Obama up by three points; Nevada, Obama by two; Ohio, Obama by one; Florida, Romney by one; Colorado, Romney by two; New Hampshire, Romney by two; Iowa, Romney by three; and North Carolina, Romney by six.
A question for Tom and Chuck at the AP: Why wouldn’t these states be moving in the same direction as the two most respected national polls? The answer is that they probably are. If the GOP nominee wins the eight states just listed — a three-point move similar to the one we’ve just seen nationally would put him ahead in all but Nevada — he’ll be on track for an Electoral College majority, even if the three electors exploring the idea of withholding their votes for the honor and glory of Ron Paul go through with their threats.
Team Obama’s reaction to the deadlocked polls at Rasmussen and Gallup — besides to have its Department of
Justice Unconstitutional Electoral Intervention continue its support of a “whistleblower” lawsuit against the latter filed by a disgruntled ex-employee who just so happens to be a self-declared “devout Marxist” and former Obama Iowa field organizer — is telling. Campaign apparatchik Jim Messina said we should ignore national polls, because winning battleground states like Wisconsin is what matters. W-W-Wisconsin? On Sunday, the Badger State was “Leaning Obama” at RCP. Messina’s reaction would indicate that if the tide is indeed turning, it’s in the opposite direction the AP and the rest of the press want everyone to believe.
It’s not like there’s a shortage of administration and campaign “miscues” one can cite as possible reasons for a movement towards Romney, particularly in foreign policy.
In Egypt and Libya, the administration was apparently so convinced of its supposedly awesome diplomatic accomplishments in placating the Muslim world that it treated September 11 as just another day, allowing organized “protesters” to enter the gates of the Egyptian embassy in Cairo and Islamist terrorists to carry out an assault on the Libyan consulate in Benghazi which took the life of ambassador Christopher Stevens — the first such loss in 33 years — and three others.
In the aftermath of these disasters, the administration spent almost a full week bitterly insisting that the Libyan consulate attack was a “spontaneous” reaction to a 14-minute video made in July, and not the coordinated, premeditated attack that it was. Most of those among the relatively disengaged who were paying even a little attention had to see through this facade, and to shake their heads at the ultimate admission to what was so obvious from the very start.
Even now, violent protests including plural effigy-burnings of Obama continue against the U.S., exposing the “Arab Spring” as the cynical farce so many seasoned observers always knew it was. All of this has many Americans asking a question — “Are we safer now than we were four years ago?” — that was hardly on anyone’s radar on Labor Day. As with the equivalent question about the economy (“Are we better off than we were four years ago?”) — they are answering firmly in the negative.
I also believe that the secret recording released by David Corn at Mother Jones with Romney observing that 47% of Americans are heavily dependent on government while 47% of Americans pay no income taxes may be hurting Obama more than Romney.
One of the first rules of persuasion is to avoid directly stating facts which will hurt your case. Before the tape’s release, many if not most Americans had no idea about the size of either group of 47%. I would suggest that those who now know are quite unhappy with these conditions and are pinning the blame squarely on Obama, where it belongs. One sign that I may be right: the reaction of U.S. Senate candidate and former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, a seasoned Democrat, was not primarily to go after Romney, though he did; it was to suggest that he is “open” to the idea of having everyone pay at least a little income tax. You don’t do that if you believe that most of your potential constituents are happy with the growing entitlement state.
The capper was Obama’s appearance on David Letterman’s show, where he told the starstruck host that he didn’t know how big the national debt was when he took office, and that our debt isn’t a short-term problem. Many disengaged and undecided voters had to be appalled.
Perhaps Obama defines “short-term” as “anything happening before January 20 of next year.” If so, here’s hoping that we don’t have to deal with him as president in the long-term.