Michael Barone: Obama won by going negative

Michael Barone has bad a chance to look at the numbers and has come away with one undeniable fact: the candidate who strove to unite America in 2008, did just the opposite to win reelection in 2012.

This year, the Democratic president was re-elected with a smaller majority, while House Republicans have won or are leading in 235 districts, the most they held between 1994 and 2006. Based on the latest count, they lost only seven seats, even though Democratic redistricting plans cost them 11 seats in California, Illinois and Maryland.

This despite the fact that almost every House Republican supported Paul Ryan’s Medicare reforms, which were supposed to cost Republicans votes — but didn’t when they had a chance to explain that people over 55 aren’t affected and that Obamacare cut $716 billion from Medicare.

So Obama owes most of his victory margin to negative personal campaigning, while Republicans held the House despite — or because of — their opposition to big-government policies.

The president claims a mandate because, as he said in 2009, “I won.” But Speaker John Boehner has some basis for claiming a mandate, too, as the fiscal cliff negotiations begin.

Fighting in blue states is a good sign for Romney – Right Turn – The Washington Post

Fighting in blue states is a good sign for Romney – Right Turn – The Washington Post.

Romney’s momentum accelerating

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.

State of the race: race is still trending towards a Romney victory

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.

GOP ground game a major improvement since 2008

Washington Times: 

The biggest single change in our Ohio ground game is changing from phones to doorknobs,” Mr. Bennett said. “People screen calls or the calls go into answering machines — not the same as talking to a voter.”

In Virginia, another key state Mr. Obama captured four years ago, volunteers have rapped on 11 times as many doors as they did in all of 2008, the RNC said.

Rally in Virginia:

Thousands of coal miners, along with their families and friends heard the mountain top message, and agreed to “take their fight to the ballot box” on Nov. 6, during the Rally in Support of Coal Jobs Sunday at Poplar Gap Park near Grundy, Va. Matt Romney, Susan Allen and her son, Forrest Allen, and several more spoke before Charlie Daniels rocked the mountain.

Another study tries to undermine the central premise of the Romney tax plan — and fails

The American Enterprise Institute knocks down another media outlet’s attempt to muddy the waters regarding Romney’s tax plan and whether it can be deficit neutral.

GOP 12: Romney up huge with independents

This article outlines the advantage of Romney among independents. This is especially relevant given that the registrations have become so tight. Republicans and Democrats all across the battleground states have reasons to be optimistic about the early registration totals. However, above all, independents often outnumber either Republican or Democrat registrants. Thus, the above article from thehill.com really shows how potent this factor maybe in the end.

Project Veritas: DNC staffer assists double voting in support of Obama » The Right Scoop –

Project Veritas: DNC staffer assists double voting in support of Obama » The Right Scoop –.

Adam Carolla and Mitt Romney

Occasionally, I tune into Adam Carolla’s podcast to hear his take on things.  (If you don’t know Adam Carolla, he’s a libertarian-leaning comedian who records a daily podcast.  Lately, he has come out more and more in favor of Mitt Romney.)  In his October 4, 2012 podcast, he breaks down the debate and lauds the Romney approach to life: link.  (Note: Fast-forward to 1:21:00 of the show to hear the group discuss the debate and Romney.  However, there is some colorful language in the bit, so be forewarned.)  It looks as though along with Mr. Eastwood, that Hollywood may not be 100% against Romney.  This is particularly relevant on a day when an African-American actress named Stacey Dash (most famous for her roll in the mid-90s movie “Clueless”) came out in support of Romney on her Twitter account.  The Washington Post provides a good blog entry about the hateful backlash she received from all of the non-racist progressives out there.

Adam Carolla spoke about Gov. Romney on KTAR’s Mac and Gaydo’s show back in September as well:

Krauthammer: Obama Is Uncomfortable With The Presence, Rightness And Justice Of American Preeminence