Monday, May 14, 2012


Yeah, Mitt Romney has pulled out to a three-point lead over Barack Obama in the latest New York Times/CBS poll, but I'm calm. I've always said it's going to be a tight race, and I'd prefer to let the right take the current polls too seriously. (Late last week, Rasmussen had a poll showing Romney with an eight-point lead, which led Power Line to ask, "Is Romney Pulling Away?," and led Breitbart to taunt Democrats with "Time to Panic?" Then -- whoops! -- one Rasmussen tracking poll later, Romney's lead was cut in half. So don't count your chickens, righties.)

This race really, really reminds me of 2004. You know who led in most of the polls inmost of May 2004? Kerry, by as much as 8 points. Kerry did well in June, and led in most polls in July and August.

Notice when he led? He led when he wasn't actively campaigning. In the downtime between the primaries and the general election, he was doing well in the polls; by the time the race got under way in earnest, however, Bush began to lead in most polls. And that's how it wound up.

I think Romney is doing better because, if you're not a politics junkie, you're not seeing him on the news. The less people see of him, the more they like him -- and I'd say, vice versa. (A lot of people felt that way about Kerry, too.) So I still think he's going to lose. In the fall, he actually has to start campaigning again. Then people will be reminded that they don't like him, a fact of which they were all too aware during the primaries.

I wish he'd lose because the public rejected Republican ideology. But as a nation we're not ready for that, alas. Maybe someday.


Victor said...

"Maybe someday."

Yeah, when there's nothing left.

Maybe then the morons, rubes, and marks will scratch their jaws, and wonder just how it was that the grifters came in, and took everything in sight?

But by the, it'll be too late.

I love the 99% movement because it tries to make the morons, rubes, and marks, realize that it's not about race, gender, religion, country of origin, or sexual orientation - it's all about CLASS!

And until everyone realizes that, the grifters hold all of the cards!

Johanson said...

Someone once observed about the U.S. electorate that they'll never return to a restaurant that served them a hair in their food while a cockroach crawled by. Yet conservationism screws them over again and again, and people keep ordering it. What kind of culture will reject bad food and embrace bad governance.

BH said...

Perhaps the kind of culture which evolves (so to speak) from beginnings among transplanted provincial religious cranks & ne'er-do-wells, in a physical environment which rewarded brute strength and ruthlessness far more than learning, who accepted race-based slavery as well as ethnically-indifferent indentured servitude as part of the natural order.

BH said...

To your point, Steve, I agree. The ideal Mitty campaign would be a la McKinley in 1900 - nothing but a few carefully orchestrated front-porch appearances by the candidate, with surrogates out beating the bush. However, even as long ago as 1948, Dewey tried something similar - for similar reasons, i.e., an essentially unlikable candidate - and blew what appeared to be a sure thing. The time may be past for any such plan to work, given an active, funded, reasonably likable opponent; on the other hand, technology & means of mass persuasion (and susceptibility to it) are quantum leaps ahead of and different from what Dewey had available, so we could see the triumph of a basically holographic candidacy.

Dark Avenger said...

Dewey tried to be above the fray, and was criticized for doing so:

Given Truman's sinking popularity and the seemingly fatal three-way split in the Democratic Party, Dewey appeared unbeatable. Top Republicans believed that all their candidate had to do to win was to avoid major mistakes; in keeping with this advice, Dewey carefully avoided risks. He spoke in platitudes, avoided controversial issues, and was vague on what he planned to do as President. Speech after speech was filled with non-political, optimistic assertions of the obvious, including the now infamous quote "You know that your future is still ahead of you." An editorial in The (Louisville) Courier-Journal summed it up as such: "No presidential candidate in the future will be so inept that four of his major speeches can be boiled down to these historic four sentences: Agriculture is important. Our rivers are full of fish. You cannot have freedom without liberty. Our future lies ahead."[14] Truman, trailing in the polls, decided to adopt a slashing, no-holds-barred campaign. He ridiculed Dewey by name, criticized Dewey's refusal to address specific issues, and scornfully targeted the Republican-controlled 80th Congress with a wave of relentless, and blistering, partisan assaults. He nicknamed the Republican-controlled Congress as the "do-nothing" Congress, a remark which brought strong criticism from GOP Congressional leaders (such as Taft), but no comment from Dewey. In fact, Dewey rarely mentioned Truman's name during the campaign, which fit into his strategy of appearing to be above petty partisan politics.

: smintheus :: said...

The NYT/CBS poll keeps going back to the same people month after month. Problem is that the group is fewer than 600 registered voters. That's the size of a modest state-wide poll, not remotely adequate for a national poll.

In so far as the poll tells us anything significant about Romney, it's that his support hasn't gone up at all during the last month. Stands flat at 46%.

AmPowerBlog said...

Because he's not campaigning? That's the dumbest theory I've heard in a long time. O has dominated the news this last week. Ever occur to you that it's not Romney driving the decline, but Obama? Just keep coming out for gays and death row inmates, or whatever, and Romney won't hardly even need to hit the stump.

Way to go Stevie!!