Who beats Obama? (Part XXVII)

posted at 8:40 am on January 10, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Allahpundit touched on some of the new CBS numbers last night, focusing on the fact that too many Republicans still wish they had someone else to pick from in the primary. But another segment of the data seems to stick out like a sore thumb, and it goes to the general electability of the remaining candidates. In other words, before we go putting the cart before the horse, let’s not forget why we all came to this shindig in the first place.

In terms of The Big Question (i.e. who will win in November) there doesn’t seem to be any “conventional wisdom” because there are two competing camps. I would focus today on the one which seems to be most frequently heard around these parts. It generally includes a few common themes:

  • Every time we nominate a moderate we lose. (see McCain, John)
  • The country is actually far more conservative than you think and they want a clear contrast
  • If you don’t nominate a “true conservative” the base will stay home and we’ll lose again

OK… but if that’s the case, how do we explain this?

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a two-point lead against President Obama in a potential general election matchup, according to a new CBS News poll.

The survey found that Romney is the only GOP candidate to hold a lead over the president in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, though Texas Rep. Ron Paul trails by just one point.

Both Romney’s lead over Mr. Obama – 47 percent to 45 percent – and Mr. Obama’s lead over Paul – 46 percent to 45 percent – are within the survey’s three percentage point margin of error.

The poll found Mr. Obama with leads of at least four points over the other major Republican presidential candidates.

CBS News Survey 1/9/2012

There’s a number of disturbing items in these figures, but none of them support the line of thinking outlined above. Right up front we should notice that, yet again, CBS skews out the window with an RDI sample rate of 31/35/34, so everyone on the list might outperform these numbers by a bit. But that doesn’t alter the original premise, because in this type of a survey, if we adjust the results to have more Republicans and less Democrats, then – at least in theory – all of the Republicans will do better, including Mitt.

The other frequently cited and completely valid factor is that all the Republicans’ numbers are depressed a bit until the primary ends because “spoilers” will answer in the positive for their candidate, but claim they might vote for Obama if it’s one of the others. But once the dust settles, the disgruntled come home and lift up the eventual nominee a bit. Yet just as with the previous complaint, that helps any of them… including Romney.

And it’s not just the fact that Mitt comes in on top. The next best performer against Obama is… Ron Paul? And in terms of winning the hearts and minds of the independents, (who, I’m sorry to say, are still going to decide the election) Ron Paul and Mitt come in with not only the highest marks, but they beat the other four outside the margins. There’s got to be some explanation for this.

Then again, for your exit question, perhaps we should just toss the entire thing out? I mean… how in the heck does Ron Paul run competitively against Obama???

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The base will turn out for Romney. Everyone knows it. Quit paying too much attention to a few loudmouths on some message board. They are statistically meaningless.

bluegill on January 10, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Don’t be so hard on yourself. Granted, you are statistically meaningless, but that’s true of a lot of us.

Don’t count on the base turning out for Romney. Eventually, trying to force people to vote for your candidate because the other guy is so much worse is going to backfire. Eventually, people will refuse to be herded and will demand they get a candidate they can vote for. We may be at that point.

tom on January 11, 2012 at 2:45 PM

I mean… how in the heck does Ron Paul run competitively against Obama???

My, how far has this blog fallen. It’s not surprising that a blogger here wants a milk-toast candidate. The same principles that invigorated the Tea Party are almost identically the same ones espoused by Ron Paul. The real question should have been why [R]e-pubic-ans and the pundit class, who supposedly agree with Ron Paul’s domestic agenda, hang on so dearly to squandering our most precious lives and resources in every stinking rat hole on this earth? As hard as it is to believe, there is a war pendulum and it swings 2 ways. It is entirely possible that someone may fall in the middle of each extreme. This topic is not without its grey area. Did it ever cross your mind that continuing the foreign policy of the past 10+ years may not yield any better of a result than it has thus far? Maybe, just maybe, a new course is worth a shot? It’s not like we’ll ever draw down 100%, so calm yourselves. Just imagine what we can do with all of those extra troops on our southern border? Imagine what it’d be like to not be squandering trillions on failed social programs or propping up the military industrial complex. Imagine what it’d be like to not have the Federal Reserve leveraging the full faith and credit of the USA to pay for all of this crap. The dollar would crush all other currencies. We’d be buying stuff from Europe and Asia for next to nothing.

So I guess what you’re question reveals is that you have no imagination and need Karl Rove to tell you how/what to think.

Levinite on January 11, 2012 at 4:24 PM


How in the heck can Ron Paul run competitively!

Have you really not been watching that? Ron Paul occasionally BEATS Romney in head to head matches against Obama, but usually does worse by a few points. But check out his RCP average, he has been in second place against Obama after Romney for the entire race. You only think he couldn’t win because that is what the pundits say.

Why is he competitive?

Well, he has a plan to balance the budget in 3 years without cutting social security (which he considers a contract right) or medicare, or veteran’s benefits, and block granting welfare / medicaid to the states. It is a beautiful budget, a sight to behold, and completely trashes what ‘everyone knows’ is or isn’t possible about the budget (it is on his site under the issues tab if you want to see it.)

And, he predicted where we are now before it happened on sooooooo many fronts I won’t bug you with the youtube cites unless you want them. (youtube amazingly accurate predictions Ron Paul) This indicates his prescriptions going forward might work.

AND he is the only game in town for civil liberties. For those of us who think the Patriot Act taking away the requirement of probable cause for a domestic warrant to search your information is unconstitutional, for those of us thinking declaring the US ‘part of the battlefield’ and saying it is ok to indefinitely detain US citizens on SUSPICION of supporting a site which supports terrorism (note the removal from actual terrorism) with no due process, lawyer, court….heck, Obama signed both bills. Ron Paul opposed both. Believe it or don’t, this is a HUGE deal. All the other candidates on both sides are fine with this including Huntsman who makes a play for independents but says he would have signed it himself.

And Ron Paul believes strongly in representative government which is why he favors more local determinations over more centralized ones, where individuals can less impact policy.

And more. But that is some of what you might not have considered.

windwardtack on January 12, 2012 at 11:03 AM

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