L’art du gouvernement consiste à organiser l’idolâtrie. George Bernard Shaw
We loved your vocal performance so much we’d love to invite you on to American Idol this Season for a duet with Al Green. Nigel Lythgoe
If it were an election based on vocal talent @barackobama would beat Romney hands down. Mitt was very flat singing « America the Beautiful ». Lythgoe
Barring any debate debacle, Romney will win by 4 or 5 points and will win Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Dick Morris (former strategist for Bill Clinton)
After all, polls reveal that 41% of Americans identify themselves as conservative, while only 23% choose liberal. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 66% of likely voters believe the government has too much power. In another poll, 51% of Americans believe the government is more a threat to individual rights rather than a protector of them. In still another poll, 54% of Americans wanted government “to get out of the way” rather than “lend a hand,” the choice of only 35%. As Dick Morris put it, “It was odd to watch a president commit political suicide by so brazen and overt an embrace of the 35% and a repudiation of the 54%.” Bruce Thornton
Effet de sur- ou sous-déclaration des sondés ayant peur de passer pour racistes (dit Bradley aux Etats-Unis, Le Pen en VF), suréchantillonage de sondages prenant comme référence l’année de mobilisation démocrate exceptionnelle de 2008, désaffection de plus en plus claire de nombres d’anciens électeurs démocrates pour leur champion de 2008, basculement toujours plus prononcé de l’électorat vers le conservatisme et la méfiance vis-à-vis de l’Etat …
Et si, contrairement à ce que nous serinent à longueur de journée nos médias moutonniers, c’était la tortue Romney qui battait sur le fil en novembre le lièvre Obama?
Victor Davis Hanson
Tribune Media Services
September 10, 2012
The 2012 race has turned into one of Aesop’s classic fables. After each new media blitz against the no-frills Mitt Romney, a far cooler President Obama races ahead three or four points in the polls — only to fall back to about even as the attention fades.
Meanwhile, the Romney tortoise, head down on the campaign trail, keeps lumbering along toward the November finish. There is nothing fancy day in and day out — only the steady plod of a good enough convention, workmanlike speeches that pass muster, a Midwestern vice president nominee who is informed and reliable, and the standard conservative correctives offered to liberal excesses.
We have now gone through Obama’s various caricatures of a scary Mitt Romney — the financial buccaneer who outsources his wealth abroad, the misogynist who wages a war on women, the veritable racist whose proposed budget cuts and nativism are aimed mostly at the nonwhite, the ageist bent on dismantling Social Security, and the near killer who cares little when the innocent die in the wreckage of his Bain profit-making. At each juncture, President Obama gains some traction, picks up a few points, and then slowly slides back to even.
How does Romney’s thick tortoise shell withstand these frenetic assaults as he keeps trudging back to even in the polls?
Barack Obama does not do well as Richard Nixon. Four years ago, he ran on a new civility, an end to name-calling and an abhorrence of partisan bickering. And an unknown Obama without a record was largely able to abide by his professed ethos in 2008. After all, it was easy to as donations poured in, the McCain campaign was as polite as it was timid, and the banalities of untried hope and change mesmerized millions.
But now, all the new negative advertising just cloaks Obama in hypocrisy. By the same token, Romney’s challenge has always been that he is blandly and predictably straight-arrow. If that normalcy means he cannot give soaring hope and change speeches, it also ensures that casting him as a multifarious sinner is preposterous, and reflects more poorly on the accuser than the intended target.
Obama cannot run on his record of Obamacare, reset foreign policy, Keynesian deficit priming, and wind and solar power in preference to developing fully vast new finds of oil and gas. What ultimately doomed incumbents Jerry Ford in 1976, Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992 was that they likewise did not wish to talk about the economy under their respective watches, but instead alleged that their opponents would be far worse to the point of being unfit. Such tactics usually don’t work.
In Obama’s case, 42 months of 8-percent-plus unemployment, laggard GDP growth, $4-a-gallon gas, a precipitous drop in average family income, record numbers on food stamps, serial $1 trillion budget deficits and $5 trillion in new national debt can no longer be packaged as either a « summer of recovery » or George Bush’s legacy — and so are left unmentioned
The current presidential race remains a seesaw battle because for all the advantages of incumbency and the president’s charisma, the public is not happy with the Obama administration’s record on the economy. And it does not believe — at least at this juncture — that Romney is the villain that the Obama campaign has portrayed.
Yet Romney trudges rather than sprints ahead because he is no glib Ronald Reagan. He is also the first Mormon candidate in the general election and a very rich man at a time when Americans are growing angrier by the day that they are far poorer than they were four years ago.
The country is also not quite ready to confess that it went a little crazy in 2008 and voted for the embarrassing banalities of « hope and change » offered by a little known senator with a thin resume and little national experience. Again, no voter likes to admit that he was led to the polls in a trance by the mellifluous music of a pied piper.
Obama’s present paradox is that the more he goes negative against Romney, the less the slurs seem to stick, and the less presidential the self-avowed ethical reformer appears. Yet because the economy is not going to noticeably improve by November, Obama believes he must continue in hopes of discovering a bona fide Romney scandal, or that he must claim the country is threatened abroad and in need of national unity.
Barring a real recovery or a sudden war, the steady, plodding Romney tortoise is ever so slowly winning the race against the flashier — surging, yet always fading — Obama hare.
September 10, 2012
The Democrats’ convention was the public coming-out bash for the party whose political clock stopped in 1972. Every speaker and speech celebrated the musty left-wing ideology and smug arrogance of those who idolize big government because it gives them the power to tell everybody else what to do and how to live — exactly what most Americans say they don’t like and don’t want. Then why are Obama’s poll numbers still so high?
The Dems’ whole production was an in-your-face spectacle of cobwebbed radical chic, spurious “diversity,” and Nurse Ratched’s totalitarian iron fist wrapped in a therapeutic velvet glove. Speech after speech peddled blatant lies, including Bill Clinton’s folksy, mendacious repudiation of every policy and principle that made his own presidency a success until it went up in intern-scented cigar smoke. God and Jerusalem were booed, and a rabbi Eastwooded thousands of empty chairs with a benediction that was careful not to mention God. In the midst of economic disaster, the heads of abortion lobbies like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, and federal functionaries like abortion fundamentalist Kathleen Sebelius, were given ample time to rant and rave about protecting a “woman’s right” to kill the unborn without any limitations. And of course, plagiarist Joe Biden blustered his way through a whole catalogue of lies, claiming Obama “saved the auto industry” when in fact what he saved was the Auto Workers Union, and pronouncing “America has turned a corner!” almost to the day that the national debt hit $16 trillion and the latest jobs report showed paltry job growth and worsening unemployment.
Such a public show of leftist arrogance, coming on the heels of 4 years of incompetence, monstrous deficits, billions of dollars squandered on pork for political clients and cronies, and scorched-earth partisan attacks, should spell doom for Obama and the Democrats. After all, polls reveal that 41% of Americans identify themselves as conservative, while only 23% choose liberal. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 66% of likely voters believe the government has too much power. In another poll, 51% of Americans believe the government is more a threat to individual rights rather than a protector of them. In still another poll, 54% of Americans wanted government “to get out of the way” rather than “lend a hand,” the choice of only 35%. As Dick Morris put it, “It was odd to watch a president commit political suicide by so brazen and overt an embrace of the 35% and a repudiation of the 54%.”
So we should be expecting a landslide somewhere between Nixon’s 23-point drubbing of George McGovern and Reagan’s 10-point whipping of Jimmy Carter, two other big-government progressive Democrats who believed that the limited government, individual rights, and personal freedom bestowed by the Constitution weren’t as important as creating the brave new world of absolute equality and “social justice.” And yet, Obama and Romney are tied in the polls. That per se is not unusual. In June of 1980, Carter led Reagan 39% to 32%, and Carter was still leading in early September. Much can happen between now and November. Just ask John McCain, who was leading Obama by 5 points in early September, only to have the economy implode later that month. What is more mystifying is Obama’s high personal approval numbers, which were up to 54% immediately after his tedious, vacuous convention speech. This number partly reflects something even more curious: his consistently high “likability” numbers, also at 54% according to Gallup. Only 31% find Mitt Romney likable.
The whole notion of “likability” is dubious on its face. What really is being measured is not the actual personality or character of Obama, but the perceptions of an ever-changing image, which is what most of us encounter. Thus subjectivity and duplicity are built into “likability,” particularly when lapdog media relentlessly accentuate and fabricate the positive, and ignore or cover up the negative, as they have done with Obama.
Even so, based on the image of Obama that comes across in his television appearances and statements, it’s hard to see what anyone can find so likable about him. Yes, he has a nice family, and seems to be a good father and husband, but so what? What has that to do with being President? And anyway, no one would label serial philanderer Bill Clinton a good family man, yet his likability numbers are still high.
Unlike Clinton, however, who seems sincerely to be an affable good-ol’-boy who obviously likes people, Obama comes across as quite different. What the media and even some conservatives laughably call his “cool” is actually an arrogant disdain for other people, particularly those who refuse to worship at his shrine. His narcissism is monumental, as when last month he told a group of NBA players, “It’s very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth- or sixth-most interesting person.” This self-regard is made even more distasteful by the gap between it and his obvious incompetence daily revealed in everything from verbal gaffes to ignorance of basic economics, not to mention his utter failure to turn the economy around. He has arrogant mannerisms, such as lifting his chin when he lectures, his addiction to the first-person pronoun, and his verbal tics like “Let me be perfectly clear,” as though he were speaking to incompetent underlings rather than the citizens he supposedly serves. His claims to be “post-racial” have been belied by his incessant dealing of the race card to deflect criticism, as when he called his grandmother a “typical white person” for fearing the statistically factual probability of being the victim of a black criminal.
His nice-guy persona is also belied by his political minions’ vicious ad hominem attacks on Romney and the Republicans, and by his fondness for using scorched-earth tactics against his political enemies. Witness the coarse, unnecessary attack on the Catholic Church over the contraception mandate, or his last minute demand for another $400 billion of tax increases in his negotiations with John Boehner over raising the debt ceiling last year. And let’s not forget his juvenile penchant for blaming others for his own mistakes, particularly his ungracious treatment of his predecessor, made all the more glaring by George Bush’s classy restraint. Finally, there are the numerous unsavory details from his past, such as palling around with terrorist Bill Ayers, getting his political opponents’ sealed divorces record unsealed, spending 20 years in racist Reverend Wright’s church, and profiting from his association with convicted real estate operator Tony Rezko. What’s so “likable” about all that?
The obvious answer, as Rush Limbaugh has argued, is the “Bradley Effect.” In 1982, Los Angeles’s black mayor Tom Bradley had a significant lead over George Deukmejian in the race for California governor, but ended up losing. Some argued that voters lied to pollsters about their support for Bradley because they feared being seen as racist or prejudiced, thus creating the discrepancy between pre-election polls and the final result. Other elections that seemed to reflect this phenomenon were the 1989 New York mayor’s race between Rudy Giuliani and David Dinkins, and the 1989 Virginia governor’s race between Douglas Wilder and Marshall Coleman. Dinkins and Wilder both won their elections, but by margins much narrower than predicted by pre-election polls.
If the “Bradley Effect” is at work in the polls measuring Obama’s likability, then the dysfunction of America’s race relations is even worse than we thought. Obama has governed not as a centrist like Clinton or even a conventional liberal like Bradley or Wilder, but as a doctrinaire progressive who is way out of touch with the center-right American political majority. Nor does his arrogant public personality soften the extremism of his politics. If a significant number of Americans are telling pollsters that they find someone so out of touch with their political beliefs “likable,” just because they’re afraid of appearing “racist” by criticizing a black man, then the race card remains a powerful trump. Whether it’s powerful enough to return a manifest failure to the White House remains to be seen.
Romney Pulls Ahead
September 25, 2012
The published polling in this year’s presidential race is unusually inaccurate because this is the first election in which who votes determines how they vote. Obama’s massive leads among blacks, Latinos, young people, and single women vie with Romney’s margin among the elderly, married white women, and white men. Tell me your demographic and I’ll tell you who you’re voting for and I’ll be right at least two times out of three!
Most pollsters are weighting their data on the assumption that the 2012 electorate will turn out in the same proportion as the 2008 voters did. But polling indicates a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the president among his core constituency. He’ll still carry them by heavy margins, but the turnout will likely lag behind the 2008 stats. (The 2008 turnout was totally unlike that in other years with all-time historic high turnouts among Obama’s main demographic groups).
Specifically, most pollsters are using 2008 party preferences to weight their 2012 survey samples, reflecting a much larger Democratic preference than is now really the case.
In my own polling, I found a lurch to the Democrats right after their convention, but subsequent research indicates that it has since petered out. Indeed, when one compares party identification in the August and September polls of this year in swing states, the Democratic Party identification is flat while the ranks of Republicans rose by an average of two points per state.
Pollster Scott Rasmussen has the best solution to the party id problem. He weights his polls to reflect the unweighted party identification of the previous three weeks, so he has a dynamic model which adjusts for sampling error but still takes account of gradual changes in the electorate’s partisan preferences.
Finally, with Obama below 50% of the vote in most swing states, he is hitting up against a glass ceiling in the high 40s. He can’t get past it except in heavily Democratic states like New York or California. The first time Obama breaks 50 will not be on Election Day. Either he consistently polls above 50% of the vote or he won’t ever get there in the actual vote.
So here’s where the race really stands today based on Rasmussen’s polling:
• Romney leads decisively in all states McCain carried (173 electoral votes).
• Romney is more than ten points ahead in Indiana – which Obama carried. (11 electoral votes)
• Romney leads Obama in the following states the president carried in 2008: Iowa (44-47) North Carolina (45-51), Colorado (45-47), and New Hampshire (45-48). He’ll probably win them all. (34 electoral votes).
This comes to 218 of the 270 Romney needs. But…
• Obama is below 50% of the vote in a handful of key swing states and leads Romney by razor thin margins in each one. All these states will go for Romney unless and until Obama can show polling support of 50% of the vote:
• Obama leads in Ohio (47-46) and Virginia (49-48) by only 1 point (31 electoral votes)
• Obama leads in Florida (48-46) and Nevada (47-45) by only 2 points (35 electoral votes)
If Romney carries Ohio, Virginia, and Florida, he wins. And other states are in play.
• Obama leads in Wisconsin (49-46) by only 3 points (10 electoral votes)
• Obama’s lead in Michigan is down to four points according to a recent statewide poll
• Obama is only getting 51% of the vote in Pennsylvania and 53% in New Jersey. And don’t count out New Mexico.
It would be accurate to describe the race now as tied. But Romney has the edge because:
• The incumbent is under 50% in key states and nationally. He will probably lose any state where he is below 50% of the vote.
• The Republican enthusiasm and likelihood of voting is higher
• The GOP field organization is better.
That’s the real state of play today