Rasmussen: Bain attacks not working

posted at 1:21 pm on May 22, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Will the strategy of highlighting Mitt Romney’s track record at Bain Capital do more to damage the Republican nominee, or Barack Obama?  A poll released yesterday by Rasmussen suggests that it might do more damage to Obama’s re-election efforts than it will to his challenger.  Only 33% of a sample of 1,000 likely voters say that Romney’s record at Bain was a reason to vote against him, while 44% believe it boosts his candidacy:

Democrats have begun criticizing Mitt Romney’s business record, but a plurality of voters view the Republican’s business past as a positive.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 44% of Likely U.S. Voters believe that Romney’s track record in business is primarily a reason to vote for him. Thirty-three percent (33%) see his business career as chiefly a reason to vote against him. Twenty-two percent (22%) are undecided.

It may also tend to boost Romney’s credibility on the overall economy while pointing to Obama’s deficiencies:

Fifty-five percent (55%) voters believe venture capital companies are better at creating jobs than government programs are.  Only 26% see government programs as better job creators. Nineteen percent (19%) are not sure. That’s essentially unchanged from January.

For those keeping score on sampling techniques, the D/R/I on this survey was 34/35/31, nearly identical to the 2010 midterm exit poll split of 35/35/30.  That might be slightly optimistic for Republicans; in a national election with a Democratic incumbent at the top of the ticket, it’s likely Republicans will have to work hard on GOTV efforts to match Democratic turnout.  It is, however, a defensible model for predictive purposes, and as we’ll see, the margins on the questions are wide enough to make this very reliable.

The internals show the trap that Team Obama is setting for itself.  The 33% who buy their argument comes in slightly under the level of Democrats in the sample.  It’s an argument that works primarily to bolster the base, not attract independents.  Independents on this question split almost 2-1, 48/25, towards Romney’s business record being a reason to vote for him rather than against him.  Emphasizing Romney’s business experience as a venture capitalist plays even more toward Romney among unaffiliated voters, 57% of whom see that experience as better at job creation than managing government programs, which only 23% of independents choose.

In fact, on that latter question, venture capital wins majorities or pluralities in nearly every demographic category, including some key Democratic constituencies.  Women overwhelmingly favor venture capital over government programs, 51/26.  Younger voters go nearly 2-1 for venture capital, 48/27.  With the exception of those making under $20K per year, wide majorities of all income categories favor venture capital.  The only demos that break the other direction do so weakly: Democrats (27/43), black voters (21/42), liberals (24/50), under $20K (29/43), and unsurprisingly the political class (34/47).  Even union households prefer venture capital by a wide margin, 52/25.

If I were consulting for Team Obama, I think I’d offer them Admiral Ackbar’s advice:

It’s one they’re springing on themselves.


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The Bain attacks can’t/won’t work because the Democrats no longer have any moral high ground in a debate against corporatism. Since the Clinton era they sold themselves out to corporate-elite interests, and not just via campaign contributions, but also with NAFTA, welfare reform and by signing into law the repeals of Glass-Steagall that gave us our housing bubble. The Democrats haven’t talked about “the poor” or even the “working class.” Everyone, apparently, is “middle class” which is of course false. So the Dems abandoned class consciousness, abandoned class-focused rhetoric, abandoned the idea that capitalism has many forms and that its possible to be capitalist while critiquing corporatism.

So, of course, Obama et al shouldn’t be surprised when they attempt to have a debate about corporatism without laying any of the groundwork for doing so. And after telling the left to sit down and shut up the last three and a half years. Obama’s still going to win because folks are going to watch those debates and when Mitt Romney says “plans? uh, I don’t have any” they’ll stick with Obama. But yeah I’m not surprised these have not worked yet.

libfreeordie on May 22, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Anybody see angryed or Hondav65? I wanna hear their takes on this.

thebrokenrattle on May 22, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Yeah, you keep telling yourself that. Great plan, I’d stick with it if I were you. Funny!

Bmore on May 22, 2012 at 2:58 PM

…in a national election with a Democratic incumbent at the top of the ticket, it’s likely Republicans will have to work hard on GOTV efforts to match Democratic turnout.

I’m hoping, praying and working towards busting all the “norms” this November!

txhsmom on May 22, 2012 at 3:15 PM

All these attacks on Romney and Bain…

… I wonder what George Soros thinks about all of this.

Oh, wait…!

Seven Percent Solution on May 22, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Good stretegery, DIMocrats… keep pushing it…

Khun Joe on May 22, 2012 at 3:27 PM

War on Women
Trayvon
Slow Jam the News
The Buffett Rule
Bin Laden
Gay Marriage
Bain

midgeorgian on May 22, 2012 at 1:29 PM</blockquote

Don't forget the war on dogs and Ann Romneys shirt. Steeerike!

Buttercup on May 22, 2012 at 3:31 PM

It’s simple (minded) liberal logic:
All rich people, capitalists, corporate CEOs, and corporations are evil unless they vote Dem and donate to Dems and publicly say they want to pay higher taxes.

dentarthurdent on May 22, 2012 at 3:35 PM

At Obama’s press conference yesterday after a reporter referred to the Bain attacks as a “distraction”, Obama was clearly upset and went on to state that Romney’s time at Bain is a core issue. After the “war on women” flopped and now this there must be sheer panic right now in the Obama reelction camp. I think they thought Bain was going to be a central tenet to their campaign and to have it flame out so quickly has to be shocking. I know the point is to distract away from Obama’s dismal record, but to divert attention to a strength of Romney’s is a huge blunder that only a group of out of touch ideologues could make.

Ellis on May 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

I just have to tell you man, my favorite scense from the DAY I saw it is that Akbar “It’s a Trap” scene and I LOVE that you use it all the time!

hayekorbust on May 22, 2012 at 3:38 PM

I’m waiting for Romney to strike back with the Obama/GM ads showing that Obama did the same stuff as Bain – except that Obama did it with taxpayer money (and ran roughshod over the legal rights of investors/bondholders/shareholders).

krome on May 22, 2012 at 3:48 PM

krome on May 22, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Exactly. Obama forced the closure of successful car dealerships putting thousands of people out of work in an absolute Government takeover.
Unlike Bain where some companies just could not be saved and were allowed to fold to cut investors losses, Govt’ Motors will be propped up by tax dollars no matter how much $ they lose.
Not unlike the Postal service and Amtrak.

Buttercup on May 22, 2012 at 4:13 PM

For those keeping score on sampling techniques, the D/R/I on this survey was 34/35/31, nearly identical to the 2010 midterm exit poll split of 35/35/30. That might be slightly optimistic for Republicans; in a national election with a Democratic incumbent at the top of the ticket, it’s likely Republicans will have to work hard on GOTV efforts to match Democratic turnout.

I’d say that grossly underestimates the Tea Party. Obama is trying to gin up excitement in this campaign by his phony war on women and gay marriage memes, but we’ve been waiting for the opportunity to get rid of this socialist liar for almost four years! Romney may not have been our first choice, but for the sake of the future of this country we will turn out in droves!

Christian Conservative on May 22, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Since Obammy likes to double down, I hope he tries it one more time with this Bain stuff. Mitt needs an ad showing the youth just how deeply in debt they are as they enter kindergarden.

Kissmygrits on May 22, 2012 at 4:46 PM

…that picture leading to the thread!…Who took a picture of my Michigan Senator… Debbie Stabmenow?

KOOLAID2 on May 22, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Hey Flora,

O also signed an executive order a few weeks ago…..U.S.A no longer has a ban on eating horse meat. Think there’s a connection?

MONACO1121 on May 22, 2012 at 5:43 PM

pass the popcorn please

cmsinaz on May 22, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Here ya go, (passes over the bowl and an ice cold glass of tea)

The Bain attack is blowing up all over the place.

I’m starting to wonder if the Clintons have a mole in Obama’s campaign that keeps handing Obama exploding cigars… Sure is starting to look that way.

I wonder how many more gaffetastic attacks will blow up before Obama starts firing people, to eventually run his campaign himself. He does after all know that he is a political genius, does he not?

He knows too, after all, that he is a gifted orator, a speaker without peer, and a brilliant master strategist.

dogsoldier on May 22, 2012 at 6:12 PM

I wonder how many more gaffetastic attacks will blow up before Obama starts firing people, to eventually run his campaign himself. He does after all know that he is a political genius, does he not?

He knows too, after all, that he is a gifted orator, a speaker without peer, and a brilliant master strategist.

dogsoldier on May 22, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Teh One can do the job of everyone who works for him better than they can. He said so.

He acquired and developed this extremely broad and deep skill set by applying his innate genius while working as a community organizer, as a part-time lecturer, and as a state senator.

farsighted on May 22, 2012 at 6:21 PM

dogsoldier on May 22, 2012 at 6:12 PM

thanks :)

don’t know what’s happening but i hope it doesn’t stop….hillarious

cmsinaz on May 22, 2012 at 6:26 PM

The Bain attacks can’t/won’t work because the Democrats no longer have any moral high ground in a debate against corporatism. Since the Clinton era they sold themselves out to corporate-elite interests, and not just via campaign contributions, but also with NAFTA, welfare reform and by signing into law the repeals of Glass-Steagall that gave us our housing bubble. The Democrats haven’t talked about “the poor” or even the “working class.” Everyone, apparently, is “middle class” which is of course false. So the Dems abandoned class consciousness, abandoned class-focused rhetoric, abandoned the idea that capitalism has many forms and that its possible to be capitalist while critiquing corporatism.

So, of course, Obama et al shouldn’t be surprised when they attempt to have a debate about corporatism without laying any of the groundwork for doing so. And after telling the left to sit down and shut up the last three and a half years. Obama’s still going to win because folks are going to watch those debates and when Mitt Romney says “plans? uh, I don’t have any” they’ll stick with Obama. But yeah I’m not surprised these have not worked yet.

libfreeordie on May 22, 2012 at 2:53 PM

You really are a moron. What do you think drives this country – paper pushers in DC?

Most people in this country work for businesses that produce things and services that others want to buy. Most people also work at the job that will pay them the most – not because they want to short change someone else but to provide for them and their families the best they can. This is how the country has worked since its inception and has served us well. I can’t believe you actually need this explained to you.

Politicians like Obama that denigrate the capitalistic principles that 90% of Americans live by in favor of government jobs and corporate welfare is not only antitheitical to the American way, it is a positively stupid political strategy, which is why you have prominent Democrats throwing him under the bus every time you turn on the TV and why he will be out of work by this time next year.

The Count on May 22, 2012 at 8:16 PM

How can you still put Rass polls on headlines when the results are ~always~ the opposite of every major polling company? They sampled more GOP than dems for a presidential year? lololol.

Anywho, Obama still up by what, 9? in PA? Even if these numbers weren’t outrageous, getting 97% of the vote in Alabama doesn’t do a whole lot.

Rainsford on May 23, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Obama’s still going to win because folks are going to watch those debates and when Mitt Romney says “plans? uh, I don’t have any” they’ll stick with Obama.

libfreeordie on May 22, 2012 at 2:53 PM

We’re not coming before you to say we have a definitive solution to our long-term problem. What we do know is we don’t like yours.

- Timothy Geithner, in testimony before the House Budget Committee

One incredibly important factor that will lead to Obama’s defeat in November will be the fact that his allies and supporters are morons who think that they are really smart – people such as yourself.

SubmarineDoc on May 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM

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