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AdLib On September - 27 - 2012

Yesterday, a CBS News/NY Times/Quinnipiac University poll was released that showed President Obama with a 10-point lead over Mitt Romney in Ohio. Yet on MSNBC and elsewhere, the Ohio race was still called a “showdown” and a “battleground”. Now, this does not seem to be wholly inaccurate but it is reflective of how the MSM continues undeterred by developments to promote the Presidential election as a horse race.

Yes, any election could be deemed a “showdown” no matter how far ahead one candidate is from another and any area where candidates compete for votes could be called a “battleground” but the inference from the pervasive use of these terms is that there is a nail-biter of a race going on…when that may not in fact be the case.

And so far, looking at the polls in Ohio and the rest of the swing states, it hasn’t been and isn’t currently a close election. This same poll showed Obama leading in Florida by 9 points, 53 percent to 44 percent. In Pennsylvania, Obama leads by 12 points at 54 percent to 42 percent. In fact, in all of the most recent polls, Obama leads Romney in all of the swing states (courtesy of Real Clear Politics):

===============================================

Monday, September 24

Race/Topic Poll Results Spread
Colorado PPP (D) Obama 51, Romney 45 Obama +6
North Carolina Civitas (R) Obama 49, Romney 45 Obama +4
Nevada ARG Obama 51, Romney 44 Obama +7
Iowa ARG Obama 51, Romney 44 Obama +7
Florida ARG Obama 50, Romney 45 Obama +5
Michigan Rasmussen Reports Obama 54, Romney 42 Obama +12
Wisconsin WeAskAmerica* Obama 53, Romney 41 Obama +12

===============================================

Putting aside the neck-an-neck meme that the American public has been hammered into their minds by the media from the outset, look at these numbers and the numbers in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania and ask yourself, do these numbers reflect a race that could go either way? Might not reality be a bit different from what the mainstream media has been insisting it is?

President Obama has held a lead nationally over Romney for the entire year (when you discount the Republican skewed and discredited Rasmussen polls). Romney has never led Obama in the Electoral College vote, not once, and those numbers are the only ones that count. The national poll numbers are often presented by news channels to demonstrate how close the election is but national polls are irrelevant. If there are hundreds of thousands or even millions of more Republican voters coming out in red states than Democrats in swing states, that is meaningless when it comes to electing a President. Romney doesn’t get any more electoral votes if he wins Texas by 20 points instead of 10 points.

Perhaps, from the outset, this hasn’t truly been the neck-and-neck race the mainstream media either anticipated or hoped for. Perhaps the reality is that President Obama began as a solid favorite and is only strengthening as one. Perhaps there is a financial incentive for the MSM to lean the election story into a horse race because it’s better for ratings and earnings when people feel anxious about who will win and are driven each day to watch these networks to get the latest news.

On the other hand…we are still six weeks out from election day and polls are merely a snapshot of where sensibilities are at a certain and fleeting point in time. So is it possible that despite all of these polls, the lead Obama holds is fragile and could be reversed by gaffes or unpredictable events? Might it really be a horse race even if the polls say differently?

And what effect could overconfidence have on turnout for Obama, could a meaningful number of Democrats shrug off voting because they feel their vote isn’t needed…and in fact obliviously create an opening for Romney to win? Or, will Obama’s rise continue to energize Democrats and result in a greater turnout?

Right now, Obama is clearly ahead of Romney and his momentum keeps growing and building bigger margins. No doubt, the Obama campaign is mindful of the danger of overconfidence in their supporters. So, even the Obama campaign is not going to come out and dispute that this razor very close election.

The Fat Lady hasn’t sung yet but if you listen closely, you can here her warming up in the wings. The election isn’t over until the votes are counted but Obama’s lead in the poll numbers has been a constant.

Three major factors argue that Romney can’t take the electoral lead.

1. There are not enough undecided voters left.
When the General Election began, about 20 percent of voters were undecided. Now, it’s down to about 10 percent (yep, those low info voters still can’t see a big enough difference between Obama and Romney to make a decision…maybe we should have been legislating Voter IQ laws instead  of Voter ID laws?). Even if Romney gets a majority of that 10 percent, it would only amount to around half to one percent of the vote. That’s just not enough to move the needle to Romney’s side.

2. Early voting has started in some states and is starting shortly in others.
People are already voting in swing states today and more will be voting each day. Those are votes that don’t change and in an environment where Obama is leading in a big way in those states, he is currently locking in an advantage. This creates an exponentially difficult mission for Romney, to convert a greater and greater percentage of people who haven’t yet voted to his side. It’s not impossible but it is difficult to see how, as referenced above, the small percentage of undecided voters remaining can be used to accomplish this.

3. Expectations for Romney at the first debate are so high, they can’t be fully met.

The voices on the right and Romney’s campaign have been in a stampede away from the reality of the polls, trying to claim all polls are liberally slanted (including Fox News’ polls!). They simultaneously, in that Romney way, contradict themselves and say that while Romney may be a little behind, we haven’t had the debates yet. While the main motivation here seems to be disqualifying the current momentum of the race towards Obama, it also builds up a scenario that all of this will be but a memory after Romney and Obama have their first debate. This is setting up Romney for an impossible situation. Let’s give Romney every benefit of the doubt, all of his preparation pays off and he looks strong and confident and  dare I say, Presidential while Obama stumbles and looks like the loser of the debate. That doesn’t change the fact that only about 10 percent of the population remains undecided.  In a debate, no matter how expertly Romney flips and flops, he will still be promoting the agenda of the wealthy against the majority of Americans and advocating the killing of the ACA so that the uninsured can go back to emergency room treatment as their sole health care solution. There is no doubt that Obama and Jim Lehrer will bring up the 47% comment and mentality, Romney’s untruths about Welfare and his support for ending Medicare as we know it. No matter how wonderfully Romney does, much of that remaining 10 percent of persuadable voters will still not be interested in signing up with Mitt. Now, consider a scenario where Romney doesn’t do well in the debate after all this build up. His people and the right wing will quickly pivot to, “Wait until next time, that’s when he’ll win and turn this election around.” From all appearances, whether he does or doesn’t get crowned the winner of the first debate, despite that many in the media are praying for Romney to win and reinvigorate their horse race meme, it just seems like even in the best scenario for Romney, it’s throwing a cup of water on a forest fire.

Consider what the meme will be if Romney is celebrated as the winner of the debate…but it makes little to no difference in the polls. Will there finally be an admission that Romney just can’t reverse Obama’s lead?

We’ve been inundated by memes from media pundits throughout this election, nearly all have proven to be flat out wrong. They told us that if unemployment didn’t fall below 7 percent, Obama would lose. They said that the economy would be the only issue for voters. They explained that Obama would never be able to out raise Romney in any given month. They assured that ROmney would move to the center in the General Election. They stated that when the weak labor report came out last month, Obama would take a hit in the polls. Has there been a single prediction by pundits that has turned out to be accurate?

Keeping this in mind, might it also be possible that despite all the alleged conventional wisdom that we’ve been buried in…that the 2012 Presidential election is not a horse race that is going to come down to a photo finish? It may instead be a different kind of match up that’s a bit more one-sided…like the Washington Generals going up against the Harlem Globetrotters.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

22 Responses so far.

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  1. lalalu says:

    “And what effect could overconfidence have on turnout for Obama, could a meaningful number of Democrats shrug off voting because they feel their vote isn’t needed…and in fact obliviously create an opening for Romney to win”

    A big resounding yes. Voter apathy is one of the biggest problems in this country. This election isn’t just about the president. It is also about control of congress.

    Just try explaining to the average American that congress passes laws and not the president. They do very little work in congress because they have very little fear of being voted out of office.

    Sad to say but some of those who have a bigger stake in fair government policies also have the lowest voter participation. I am hoping some of the things being said by Romney and the possibility of President Obama losing will scare them into voting.

    But I am not holding my breath. There are the poor Fox viewers who may not like Romney but hate President Obama more. There are the church goers being told by their religious leaders, including black churches, to not vote for President Obama because of issues like gay marriage.

    It will be up to a small and intelligent segment of the population that rarely votes to come out and vote. I know that may not sound nice but even Santorum admitted intelligent people don’t vote republican. Now let’s hope they use their intelligence to realize their vote does matter.

  2. glenn says:

    My biggest fear is that after another month of President Obama showing a lead, Democrats will become complacent again, and not vote. Whatever the polls say, the only one that counts is the ballot box. The republicans/tpartiers are going to become more and more desperate the closer the election gets, and we cannot allow them to lie their way to a victory.

    We must be vigilant. We must vote in record numbers, so even if the republicans/tpartiers cheat, our numbers overcome their cheating.

    I’m seeing more and more lies from the republicans/tpartier supporters, and they don’t even try to “prove” them any more; they just “know the truth.” They are going to keep hanging onto those lies, and it worries me.

    Our only hope is that those so-called independent voters are not as low-information that they cannot recognize and/or find the truth. And I still cannot figure out why there are people who have not made up their minds. Anybody have any idea why they haven’t?

    Anyway, I agree that it’s going to take a definite, catastrophic “October surprise” for Romney, to win this thing, but let’s make sure there is no November surprise, and get any and all supporters of President Obama out to vote.

    • Exactly glenn that’s a bigger concern to me than voter suppression. Call it self voter suppression where the Dems are experts. The best part of this election is that we don’t have a Nader type on the left and Johnson could pull some votes away from Romney in the mountain west.

      • KQ, don’t forget the rabid Ron Paul supporters. I suspect they’ll still be bitter about the rule change at the RNC. I know they’ll never vote for Obama, but I’m hoping they’ll stay home on election day. They just might.

  3. AdLib says:

    Didn’t see this one coming:

    Poll: George W. Bush More Popular Than Romney

    A Bloomberg News National Poll released Wednesday has Bush receiving a favorable rating from 46 percent of those surveyed and an unfavorable rating from 49 percent. That’s compared to Romney’s 43 percent favorable and 50 percent unfavorable.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2012/09/28/poll_george_w_bush_more_popular_than_romney_biden.html

    Well, at least Romney’s ahead in one contest.

    • AlphaBitch says:

      But won’t his magic underwear help?

      Greetings all. Started the trip -- am in Little Rock, having driven about 600+ miles today, solo and sick. (awww…..) Tomorrow in N-ville to see BFFs and go to David Byrne concert on Wednesday. Uh huh.

      So……the report so far is: 600+ miles, mostly EAST Texas (where Confederate flags still fly, and what I call “Louisiana”). All that distance, and only TWO Romney signs!! Oh, I remember 2008, when every few feet in this redneck of the woods you saw McCain/Impalin. One was in Outer Dumbf*ck Texas and the other in Jefferson (not named for Thomas, mind you, but Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy). Don’t know what to make of it. I think everyone is just sick and tired of the whole damn deal, personally. They’ll still vote, we’ll still vote, but sick of it all is what I see by total lack of signs (BTW -- none for Obama, but one bumper sticker and 0 Romoney stickers)

      Blov and I are smashing our “Thanks for all the jobs you create, Mitt,…..IN CHINA AND INDIA!” on our old Outback and driving through Kentucky and Ohio, NY, PA, VA, VT, ME RI and MA (not in that order -- I’m tired of driving)

      I have the mini-micro netbook tonight and I cross eyed from fatigue (or inbreeding -- is it contagious?? I was in EAST Texas). Do we have a VOX tonight? I might make 10 minutes or so ….if the typing becomes too bad, know that I conked out on the keyboard.

      Adios, muchachos y muchachas.

    • kesmarn says:

      Romney’s people had better be ready do go into Full Suppression Mode if anyone ever does a poll pitting him against Hitler or Satan.

  4. agrippa says:

    I do not see Romney winning. The issue for me is holding the Senate and gaining enough seats in the HoR to organize it.
    If that happens -- PBO wins, the Dems hold the Seante and gain 25+ seats, the GOP needs to revise their thinking.
    It will take very large swing to gain control of the HoR.

    The GOP is, at the same time, deeply cynical ( even more than the Dems) and very ideological. I do not see, in the short term, a sufficient number of realistic/moderate Republicans to force a revision in thinking. That Party is controlled by a modern version of the Know Nothings and the Moderates ( what there are of them) are cowed.

    • AdLib says:

      agrippa, this is why I’m so energized by Obama’s rise and Romney’s descent, the Senate and House races seem to be veering strongly for the Dems.

      I think Warren holds and builds her lead in MA, that and Todd Akin’s probable loss in MO should assure that the Dems retain the Senate. As for The House, I just haven’t seen enough data about how possible a Dem takeover could be but I have seen a number of Baggers from 2010 looking like they’re going down in defeat to Dems.

      Man, if the Dems could retain the WH and The Senate and re-take The House…and change the filibuster rules in the Senate, Obama could get a huge amount done in his second term.

      And if the Repubs retain The House, as long as things keep going in the right direction and Repubs keep looking insane, Dems could retake the House in 2014 and even increase their strength in The Senate. So, at least 2 years of Dem control could still happen under Obama.

      And very importantly, two liberal SCOTUS judges will likely need to be replaced…and who knows, maybe one RW judge could go. This also makes Obama’s Presidency a huge deal.

      • escribacat says:

        Adlib, I was looking at the House numbers and on realpolitics and it looks impossible for the Dems to retake the House this time around. But maybe, as you say, there is hope for 2014. I’d be very interested to know if the nutbaggers are being tossed out this time around. Do you know of a place where that is tracked? I have no clue who all these nutbaggers are. I am hoping that once ACA is implemented and people realize the world hasn’t come to an end and that it’s a good thing, the age of nutbaggers will come to an end.

  5. SueInCa says:

    Jennifer Granholm said it last night. She was talking about Romney’s debate skills(even she thinks they are good which I find preposterous) however she nailed it. The media is still trying desperately to make this a race to keep viewers on their networks and they will do most anything to make that happen. I am not saying Obama is a shoe in but there would have to be a pretty big problem to come along for him to lose at this point. The voter suppression is still a problem but I talked to a woman on a FB group I belong to and she suggested that people who are turned away sue for violations of their civil rights in voting. It is an interesting proposition.

    • AdLib says:

      Sue, agreed, as mentioned, the MSM has been trying to keep the focus on the national polls of registered voters which has been close…even though it’s totally irrelevant…because it is the support they needed to declare that it was a horse race and so the public should watch their networks every day all day to see the latest developments about their candidate’s chances.

      Voter suppression is a concern but the most severe aspects of it have been blocked in most states except PA but it looks like that’s going to happen there too. And Obama has a 12% lead there so even if voter suppression shaves 1%-2% off Obama’s side, he should have enough of a buffer.

      Just hope that by 2014, things are going well for Obama and the Dems and voters toss out most of these GOP governors from swing states.

  6. funksands says:

    Nate Silver tweet: Nate Silver ‏@fivethirtyeight
    Romney’s winning in the Gallup poll if you reweight the sample to have more Romney than Obama voters.

    LOL

    By the way, his “Now-cast” has Obama at a 99% likelyhood of winning. Wow.

    • AdLib says:

      Funk, now that is logic no one can argue with…unless you ask only people who like to argue with anything Nate Silver says.

      With less than 6 weeks left, do you see any way that Romney can chop down Obama’s lead and take the lead? Even if he was perceived as doing well in the debates…how can such a lead be so radically reversed by such an unlikeable and untrusted candidate?

      • funksands says:

        No chance Mitt can win this without serious serious outside intervention beyond both his and Obama’s control.

        Everything is playing out like I thought it would way back in the early stages of the primaries.

        Romney crushes his opposition with money and slowly but surely his personal flaws would shed his disgruntled but resigned voters.

        I certainly had no idea how flawed he really was though. And the Senate and House races are very surprising.

        Hopefully this leads to even more energy to really crush the GOP rather than resting on laurels that don’t exist yet.

        It is very exciting though.

        • AdLib says:

          Right with you on this Funk. The only way I saw Romney winning was if enough low info voters remained available to be brainwashed by Romney’s campaign, the GOP and the RW SuperPAC propaganda machine.

          It just doesn’t seem to be the case that enough of them remain to hand the election to Romney. 90% of voters have already made their minds up so unless Obama suddenly admits that he is in fact Kenyan, I don’t see how anything a discredited and untrusted Romney says or does can change the majority’s choice of Obama over him.

        • escribacat says:

          My thoughts exactly, Funk. Only some outside catastrophe that they could blame on the POTUS could stop Obama from winning. And even though Romney looked like the only remotely sane candidate in the GOPer lineup earlier this year, he’s turning out to be a pathological liar — who doesn’t even remember what yarn he spun yesterday.

          • AdLib says:

            Escrib, I’ve tried to think of what kind of disaster could occur that would send voters from Obama to Romney and I have trouble envisioning one.

            If there was a terrorist attack, I think most Americans would band together with President Obama and wouldn’t see Romney as the guy they’d rather have in the WH dealing with it.

            If there’s an economic crash in the next 40 days (though the market could take some hits, there is no bubble to pop that would hammer most of the 99% so this is a very unlikely scenario), maybe that could turn against Obama but then again, the “Rally Around the President” factor could come into play and more importantly, the specifics of how to solve it would likely favor Obama over Romney.

            A natural disaster or pollution disaster could occur and it could reduce Obama’s lead if he’s perceived as not being responsive enough…but what could Romney offer to argue that he would be better at handling natural and man-made disasters?

            There may be more things that could happen but if they don’t happen very soon, all the early voting will be cementing Obama’s lead in place to a certain degree so even if people wish they could change their votes, they couldn’t.

            Bottom line, a disaster happening in the next 40 days is unlikely but not impossible. How it could cause a massive stampede of voters from Obama to Romney is hard to see.

            Otherwise, Romney being lauded in the debates by pundits just isn’t going to reverse all the damage done to him with voters. And the small fraction of undecided voters just doesn’t seem sufficient to flip Obama’s double digit leads in swing states to Romney’s advantage.

            I’m trying to imagine the insanity that will come out of the RW when they finally accept that Obama’s re-election is inevitable…though considering their addiction to denial, part of their minds will just refuse to accept it…even after the election.

  7. Nirek says:

    The estimates of electoral votes shows a runaway for Obama. 332-191 looks to me like Obama is a winner. Romney is a loser to be sure.

    • AdLib says:

      Nirek, this is what’s stood out for me throughout the election period. Even when the MSM was crowing about what a horse race this was and how it will be a photo finish…based on the meaningless national registered voter polls…the electoral map has always shown Obama well ahead.

      I do think that the American people have been deceived by a good deal of its press all along the way thanks to the greed and incompetence of the press.

      This has never been a close race, Romney has never been in a position where it seemed likely for him to get 270 electoral votes and yet most of America has been convinced along the way into believing that it’s been a neck and neck race…told that only now is it seeming to lean to Obama.

      Is it possible for Romney to win? Yes. Is it possible for me to win the lottery? Yes…and just like in this Presidential race, the commercials for the CA lottery try to convince me that there’s a very good chance I could win…even though the odds are 175,711,536 to 1.

      Romney’s odds are not as bad as that but when Nate Silver puts Obama’s re-election chances at 81.9%, as he has as of today (http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/), it does still seem just as likely that Romney is bound not to win the Presidency just as sure as I’m bound not to win the lottery.

      Though Obama winning re-election…and the Dems holding the Senate and winning back the House would indeed be like winning the lottery.

      • Nirek says:

        Adlib, I have always said that Romney had little chance. I am looking forward to the debates. Some say Mitt is good at debating, I chuckle at that. Obama will out debate him and make Mitt look like what he is. A fool. My son said to me today that Romney has waffled more than eggo.

        On the lottery I like to say it is a voluntary tax that I choose not to pay.

        Let me be clear though, I do VOTE! Also will be driving others to the voting booth.
        Regards, Nirek, Northfield , Vermont

        • AdLib says:

          Nirek, fantastic and thanks for helping others vote! A noble deed!

          I think the RW and pundits are way too optimistic about Romney as a debater. Okay, surrounded by a crowd of lunatics in the GOP Primaries, he looked better in comparison…in only some of the debates (he lost in debates to some of these loons!).

          And because of that, because he out debated Rick Perry, he should be seen as good at debates?

          I don’t buy it and agree with you. My bet is that Romney will be like an over-wound toy soldier, he will march out his memorized BS, lies, attacks and “clever quips” quickly and desperately, all punctuated with his phony chuckle. Then…either Obama or Lehrer will hit him with a question or statement that throws him off, he’ll have to improvise and the Romney will nosedive.

          I am looking forward to the debates and pleased that the bar has been set do high for Romney, that it’s basically do or die for him. It sets him up to fail no matter what. As I mentioned, even if he does okay, it’s not going to change the polls meaningfully so the meme will be, “too little too late”.

          Set your alarm for Wednesday, it should be quite a fascinating debate. BTW, we’re hosting a live chat then so join us here if you can for a running commentary.


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