To be fair, how can one really explain this?
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How can we explain this (the new NBC/WSJ poll showing President Obama leading both Mitt Romney and Herman Cain by healthy margins)?
Let me try. First off, President Obama really has a solid campaign… And all the early investment is already starting to show results. As we’ve talked about here before, folks in “Middle America” may not be excited about Obama, but they’re also not stupid enough to believe he alone is the cause of all our problems. Contrary to what Nate Silver suggested last weekend, most Americans may really be smart enough to know this election is more about “Obama vs. Not Obama”.
Again, OFA is making a real, early investment in building a strong campaign. While pundits in The Beltway obsess over this and other polls, OFA volunteers are on the ground, knocking doors, making calls, and registering more voters. And while the Republicans keep beating each other up over salacious scandals and tea party ideological “purity”, OFA volunteers are recruiting even more volunteers as new offices open, more Democratic voters are getting calls, and more neighbors are seeing friendly OFA volunteers at their doorsteps.
It also helps that The White House has finally been succeeding in honing in on a strong economic message. Obama has had to figure out how to get past the obstructionist Congress to deliver his message directly to the American people. He’s had to deliver his own message while also allowing Americans to realize who his Republican opponents really are. And he’s had to demonstrate to the country exactly how Congressional Republicans are out to sabotage economic recovery and threaten the well-being of the country.
This certainly hasn’t been an easy task, especially considering the mostly negative coverage of Obama by the media. I know that whenever I turn on the TV and flip on one of the cable “news” channels, I see this in full force. But when I go out and talk to other people in my local community, the opinions I hear are far more complex and thought-out than the typical TV shouting match.
And maybe that really explains it all. While Obama’s campaign is busily, though relatively quietly, building up its volunteer base and developing its road map to winning next year, it’s not really creating the kind of incessant drama we’re seeing on the GOP/”tea party” side of the aisle. So of course, “NEW!” and “SEXY!” and “CRAZY!” win out and get the media fawning… But they’re not fooling the majority of Americans that are getting sick and tired of the craven political games being played by Beltway Republicans as real proposals to put Americans back to work are being blocked.
Yes, Americans are angry… But it’s a mistake for media pundits to just assume that “Americans hate Obama!” because the economy isn’t in ideal shape. And it’s a mistake to completely ignore why we’re where we are now. And it’s a mistake to just assume that Koch Industries and Karl Rove funded TV ads matter more than the real people power we’re seeing develop here in the real world. And it’s a mistake to just assume that voters are too stupid to figure out who caused the mess we’re in today.
This 2012 campaign certainly promises to be a wild roller coaster ride. It’s just too bad that too many in the media prefer to toss real facts and figures overboard as they take us on another wild ride through hype and speculation.
(As always, even more of my fairly unbalanced take on politics and policy can be found at Nevada Progressive.)
- Nate Silver: Obama ‘probably a slight underdog’ – LA Observed (laobserved.com)
- How Mitt Romney Can Be Both a Flip-Flopper and an Extremist (usnews.com)
- Mitt Romney Finds Herman Cain Mess “Particularly Disturbing” (dekerivers.wordpress.com)
- Conservatives Launch “Not Mitt Romney” Campaign (alan.com)
Obama’s reelection campaign IS good, and I’m a volunteer in my town. But a campaign only goes so far. Many Americans know only what they see/hear on radio and TV.
What’s currently driving me nuts is that Huffington Post — a big popular news/political site — is ACTIVELY campaigning against the president via headlines, photos, slanted reporting, and only a few commenters seem to get it. Too many people are falling for it.
Plus, I am CERTAIN that they are trying to bring him down in time for a primary challenge, and judging by which potential candidate they play up every chance they get, it looks like it’s going to be Hillary Clinton.
IS THERE ANY WAY TO THROW A MONKEY WRENCH IN THIS PLAN? I keep trying to tell folks what’s happening, but you have to watch everything you say out there. It’s so frustrating…
Obama will win. As low as his numbers are(and they are rising in many areas of the country)
Congress’ numbers are far, FAR lower. I think Democrats will take the House but I don’ think it will be a wide margin anymore.
I think a lot of people are going to lose their jobs. Mostly Republicans but the numbers are too low for the Democrats to get through unscathed.
Though I agree that Obama has better ideas, it won’t be his policies that win him re-election. Just the simple fact that the Republicans have nothing.
All this time they’ve controlled the House, not a single bill to create jobs. Their lack of interest in governing the country will be their downfall.
atdnext, I suspect more and more of the middle will continue to join the “Comparative Voters for Obama 2012” movement as the year winds on. Many liberals, including myself joined a while ago. Our unofficial motto?
“He may not be a liberal, but he isn’t a sociopath”
Uninspiring? Maybe. True? Definitely.
Funk, I am so glad to see you again. You can always make me laugh. I like your motto. May I use it to address some people I know? Although, some of them may be sociopaths………come to think of it.
Feel free! And don’t worry about your friends. If they are sociopaths they won’t care what you call them. 🙂 Great to see you too Sally!
I could not agree more with your synopsis. I heard a snippet on the news about Daley and why he was relieved of some of his duties. It seems he may be having problems with Republicans now that Obama has pretty much taken off the gloves. Too bad
Also don’t forget to sure up his right wing bona fides, Romney is going to be pressured to pick a teabagger to run with him like Rubio and that will hurt him with independents to some extent as well.
Nice article next. I couldn’t agree more.
It’s easy for Romney to be a flip flop artist and right wing extremist at the same time. Since he has no convictions besides bowing to political pressure he will be whatever the right wing teabaggers want him to be. This line of attack is not unprecedented and has been proven to work. People forget McCain was more in the middle before he was a GOP candidate as well. While he would have been somewhat more independent than Romney, his platform on the issues was down the right wing line.
Thanks, KQuark. Did you see this?
Erick Erikson is throwing a temper tantrum over Romney, and he pretty much admitted Romney can’t beat Obama. No one trusts Romney because no one knows what his real principles are.
Before I get to my comment…..I would really welcome your keen eye re. my most recent contribution. You have one of the best minds her re. strategy and tactics. Things are popping in the background. I need as much wisdom as I can gather.
NOW….I am one of those OFA volunteers. I worked for the campaign from 2006 to 2008. I did a lot of neighborhood organizing. Now I am dong a lot of on-line and phone work. I now live in a heavily GOP state in a rural area so time on the ground here is not so smart. Thus the campaign is using me at a distance. Right now what I do is speak with highly involved, high influence volunteers from 2008 to get them linked back up to the campaign. So far, my experience mirrors yours. Folks are smart. They know who is at the root of our problems. AND it’s not Obama.
Out of 138 phone calls to date, I have had 109 “yes’s” and 15 “probabably’s” That means I only got 14 “No’s.”
Love the way you put things together.
Thanks for what you’re doing, Murph. I’m near Las Vegas, so I’m seeing all the jockeying from all sides play out here. But funny enough, I NEVER hear about any sort of GOP field effort. While OFA is making calls and starting to plan canvassing operations, I’ve yet to see Team Romney or Team Perry or Team Cain (ha!) do anything other than show up at the occasional parade or fight it out on the local TV news again. That’s why I scratch my head when I see the kind of hype and speculation that passes for “serious analysis” on the cable “news” channels.
Adnext….I sent the link to your article to three of the OFA organizes (field managers) and they loved it. One of them left this comment: “I think this guy’s been at our strategy meetings. He’s reading us like a book.”
The downside of the GOP’s reliance on Big Money for Big Media is that once that strategy is exposed (as it was in Iowa) then the Big Media does not work to convert the swing voters who assume they are being conned. Without a real grassroots organization the GOP finds itself without troops to win the battles.
You hit the nail squarely on the head….what will win for Obama in 2012 (and hopefully for enough other Dems to expand control of the Senate and to win back the House) is that combination of his persona, his (far from perfect but quite strong) record, and the organizing on the ground.
I worked for the campaign as a so-called super-volunteer in 2008 in SC, NC, GA, TX and know how good these folks are.
Appreciate your work in putting this all together.