Archives for October 2012
Opinion: Here comes the landslide – The Hill – covering Congress, Politics, Political Campaigns and Capitol Hill | TheHill.com
James Pethokoukis writes that Mitt Romney may be cruising to a “decisive victory” on Election Day. Fox News also has had a few videos of the latest take on the race out of Ohio.
The Weekly Standard is predicting a Romney victory of 52 to 47%.
As Josh Jordan explains in National Review, both Gallup and Rasmussen agree that the partisan split between Republicans and Democrats has changed markedly since 2008. Whereas four years ago the Democrats had a seven-point advantage, this fall that has become a 1 or 2 point Republican edge.
Under those circumstances, it’s difficult to take seriously those polls like the Investors Business Daily/TIPP tracking poll that shows Obama up by one point, since its sample has seven percent more Democrats than Republicans. But even there, there is little to encourage the president’s supporters since his numbers have been declining in that poll over the past week. You have to believe along with Obama staffer Jim Messina that their ground game that will produce an electorate that is disproportionately Democratic with more minority and young voters than even in 2008 to think such a result is even possible.
This makes the operative question this week not so much whether which polls are accurate as it is how even with a field office advantage can the Democrats possibly manufacture the sort of partisan turnout advantage that could re-elect Obama? In a year when independents are flocking to Romney, there simply may not be enough Democrats, youth or minority voters to offset the fact the GOP base will turn out in numbers that will far eclipse their totals in 2008. Discussion about a ground game may be simply an attempt to distract us from the fact that the president’s campaign is betting everything on an organizational plan that can’t overcome the way the electorate has changed over the course of the Obama presidency.
A recent story in the Washington Times dissects the Obama experience over the last four years. In particular, the writers focus on the catastrophic leadership, or lack there of, that Pres. Obama has displayed while in office. Rather than reach across the aisle, and find practical compromise with his opponents on the hill, he battled them. As a result of his leadership vacuum, the economy is limping along, at antianemic pace. We are suffering from the worst “recovery” on record, and there is no indication that things will get better in the next four years.
Mr. Obama’s economic record has been about as bad as it could possibly be. In his first budget proposal, he promised the economy would be growing at a brisk 6.3 percent by 2012. Instead, it’s limping along at just over 1 percent. He promised that the federal deficit would be carved down to $581 billion. Instead, it has ballooned beyond $1 trillion. In 2009, he promised that if his budget-busting stimulus plan were passed, unemployment would be around 5.5 percent by now. Instead, the official rate is nearly 8 percent. Poverty has increased; the number of long-term unemployed has increased; there are millions more discouraged workers; food stamp use has surged; gas prices are up and family incomes are down. A second term would be no different.
Independents’ Day | The Weekly Standard. In this article, Jay Cost examines why one component–possibly above all–may prove to be the deciding factor in the election.
The polls are clear. Since the fallout from the first debate in Denver on October 3, Romney has enjoyed a relatively durable lead over the president in the Real Clear Politics average of the national polls. While the lead is small, it has persisted over time, and, more important, history suggests that this is trouble for an incumbent. The only sitting president to mount a last-minute comeback against his challenger was Gerald Ford in 1976, and of course Ford still lost. Usually, late deciders in a presidential campaign either break for the challenger or split about evenly between the two sides.
The problem for the president is Romney’s strong and sustained lead among independent voters. Despite four years of boasting from the Democrats that they were in the process of transforming the electorate, the fact remains that voters unaffiliated with either party determine the outcome of national elections. And with these voters, Romney has a substantial lead. The most recent Rasmussen Reports poll shows Romney besting Obama by 13 points, 52 percent to 39 percent, among unaffiliated voters. Since 1972, the first year of exit polling, no candidate for president has won election while losing independents by such a wide margin.
Politico reports how white voters, a demographic not as emphasized in prior election cycles, could prove to be pivotal this November.
If Mitt Romney wins the presidency, part of the lesson of 2012 will be that white voters still matter.
The polling couldn’t be clearer or more polarizing: A POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll has Romney ahead of President Barack Obama among white voters by 18 points, 57 percent to 39 percent. Gallup showed Romney ahead among whites by 20-plus points this month.
Jennifer Rubin discusses how the impact of the recent economic numbers should continue to assist Romney’s rise:
The third-quarter gross domestic numbers were released, showing a measly growth rate of 2 percent. The Associated Press noted, “Since the recovery from the Great Recession began in 2009 the U.S. economy has grown at the slowest rate of any recovery in the Post-WWII period.” Not surprisingly, the Romney camp pounced, putting out a statement pointing out that this was less than half the growth rate predicted by the Obama team (4.3 percent). “Slow economic growth means slow job growth and declining take-home pay,” Mitt Romney declared. He is right in that regard, and multiple economic gurus made the point that with this growth rate we’ll be looking at sky-high unemployment for the foreseeable future.
The timing could not have been better for the Romney camp as its candidate prepared to deliver an economic speech in Iowa. His central argument was, according to released excerpts: “We have had four presidential and vice-presidential debates. And there is nothing in what the President proposed or defended that has any prospect of meeting the challenges of the times. Raising taxes will not grow jobs or ignite the economy — in fact, his tax plan has been calculated to destroy 700,000 jobs. A new stimulus, three years after the recession officially ended, may spare government, but it will not stimulate the private sector any better than did the stimulus of four years ago. And cutting one trillion dollars from the military will kill jobs and devastate our national defense. This is not the time to double down on the trickle-down government policies that have failed us; it is time for new, bold changes that measure up to the moment, that can bring America’s families the certainty that the future will be better than the past.”
The Weekly Standard has an interesting write-up about how this election, and Obama’s desperation, is similar to the 1992 race:
Any veteran of the ’92 presidential campaign has learned to identify marks of intellectual exhaustion. The déjà vu this year is especially creepy. President Bush went to a Waffle House to illustrate Bill Clinton’s “waffling” on the issues. He took to calling Al Gore “Ozone Man,” and surrogates warned darkly of Clinton’s unexamined past, just as the president today dwells on Big Bird and “Romnesia,” and his surrogates raise half-baked questions about foreign bank accounts. Both presidents are dignified men, yet their campaigns have felt compelled to abase themselves in the same way for the same reason. They couldn’t think of anything else to say.
I see you can buy Agenda on Amazon for $141. It’s a ridiculous price, but I briefly thought of buying a copy anyway, for old time’s sake. Then I realized I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I had it—like an incumbent with a second term.