Has Obama peaked?

posted at 4:46 pm on July 10, 2012 by Allahpundit

Conn Carroll’s post is kryptonite to an eeyore, but I owe you guys some sunshine after yesterday’s raincloud about Romney’s chances after the debates.

Note the big “if” built in here.

Worse for Obama, the latest fundraising numbers show he will not be able to outspend Romney forever. Romney and the Republican National Committee raised $106 million in June, while Obama and the Democratic National Committee raised only $71 million. Romney will eventually reach parity with Obama on television spending and will probably surpass him.

So how is Obama doing now, at the height of his incumbency advantage? At best, he’s treading water…

The source of Obama’s weakness is easy to identify. Sixty-three percent of respondents [in today’s ABC/WaPo poll] say the country is on the wrong track. Eighty-nine percent identify the economy as the most important issue in the election. And 54 percent disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy. However, few people know what Romney will do about the economy if elected president. Only 38 percent of respondents say Romney has presented “a clear plan for dealing the the economic situation.”

If Romney can build on his existing economic advantage (respondents trust Romney more on the economy 49 percent to 44 percent), this may be Obama’s high water mark.

Two potential problems. One: What would an effective anti-Obama attack ad look like at this point? We’re all waiting for Team Mitt and their battalion of Republican Super PACs to launch a nuclear ad blitz against O, but what’s going to be in those ads that’ll move the needle? Probably 80 percent of them will focus on the economy, but even in a nation of low-information voters, we must already be approaching the moment when economic stagnation is mostly priced into the polls, no? Granted, many of the people in the center who’ll decide the election spend their lives in a blissful news coma, but even the comatose have some dim awareness by now that “economy = bad.” If things turned so sour that the economy slipped into a new recession, that might alarm swing voters enough to really move the polls, but barring that, what’s Romney supposed to say to “build on his existing economic advantage”? His message is simple: We can’t risk another four years on Obamanomics. Will that point be more effective after it’s made eight million times?

Which brings us to problem two: Is there any affirmative case for Romney? Matt Lewis made a good point in a post this morning that hadn’t occurred to me:

Think of it this way. Despite the fact that Obama has had a pretty miserable couple of months, he has still driven the debate, and has generally maintained a slight lead in the polls (including in most of the swing states). And during that time, whether the conversation has been the Buffett Rule or the DREAM Act or extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone making less than $250,000 — Obama has defined the turf.

Even in the rare instances where conservatives have been on offense, Romney was mostly just capitalizing on gaffes (Hilary Rosen). In some cases, it was the work of third parties (such as Jim Treacher discovering a young Obama dined on man’s best friend) that turned the tide. (In fairness, Obama has the bully pulpit and much of the media, so it’s not a fair fight.) Still, this question is worth asking: If Obama is still winning now, after getting off to a rough start, why should anyone expect things to change in, say, October…

Ironically, Romney may be harmed by the fact that the race has been so close. He can take solace in the fact that he is within the margin of error, but that will be cold comfort should he lose by a point or two.

Why hasn’t Romney been on offense more often? Is it a simple matter of the point I made above, that Obama’s biggest liability is already so well known that it’s difficult to find new angles of attack? Is it just bad packaging, as Rush Limbaugh alluded to yesterday in wondering how anyone’s supposed to remember Romney’s 59-point economic plan? Or is this just Mitt being Mitt? If you nominate a guy who’s not very ideological, don’t be surprised when he struggles to make an affirmative case for the conservative vision. That’s not how he won the primaries, after all: He won by making Gingrich and Santorum radioactive to voters with negative ads. That was easy to do given his financial advantage and their comparatively low name-recognition; to do it to The One will be orders of magnitude more difficult. So let me ask again: How should he start? What’s the first line of attack besides “the economy stinks”?

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Probably much like when he was conceived. He prematurely went off.

CW on July 10, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Now you’ve labeled Obama as deceitful, and from there you can expand on things like Solynda, F&F, on and on to reinforce that label. Now you can tell the 53% they were deceived when they voted for him. People don’t like to admit they were wrong, but if you can convince them they were lied to then it isn’t all that hard to get them to state clearly they will switch teams.
Caddell did a great job of laying it all out. It kinda crystalized what the gameplan should be in my mind at least. I just don’t know if the timing is right to really go full throttle with this yet. I don’t think necessarily right after the convention like so many have stated. Probably more like just before. Get their attention before, and then use the convention venue as transistioning to the alternative.
stldave on July 10, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Exactly. At some point you have to start educating the voters. Just harping on “the economy” isn’t enough. There’s something more fundamentally wrong here than just the economy and unless Romney just wants to be president instead of helping the country he’s got to start educating over the heads of the corrupt media.

Tell him to call Palin for a backbone.

Cleombrotus on July 10, 2012 at 6:14 PM

He’s a broom and dustpan, you have a lot of foot prints to clean up Mr Carbon_footprint dude… ;p

SWalker on July 10, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Ah man, I like you SWalker.

the new aesthetic on July 10, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Has Obama peaked?

….that’s what she said.

bobsacramento on July 10, 2012 at 6:29 PM

There is plenty of fuel for this fire but the Republicans are using green wood. All it does is smoulder, time for a FIRE. If not now, when?


When people actually start paying attention instead of wasting money now when they aren’t.

But this isnt true. If the election was today, Romney would lose. He doesnt have a message or a good background for the presidency. It’s a fighting a boring empty suit versus a celebrity one.


But the election isn’t today. If it were, Romney would have spent the past few months making the case for himself, and the polls would possibly look different….just like he will do a couple of months before November.

xblade on July 10, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Romney needs to turn his riches into a positive. He should say he will work for only a $1 a year (as Bloomberg did in NY) as proof that he his money makes him “unbuyable” to lobbyists and special interests. (I dont know if this jives with his history)

Then invent a catchy phrase /s

AverageJoe on July 10, 2012 at 6:37 PM

As most people who think they know more than anyone else, they peak the day they get put in charge of something. Its all downhill after that. In obumbo’s case the only thing that hasn’t peaked are the lies that keep flowing like the Nile but get ready as the lies are about to become Niagara Falls.

aposematic on July 10, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Tell him to call Palin for a backbone.


Why, is he planning on quitting the election?

xblade on July 10, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Why, is he planning on quitting the election?
xblade on July 10, 2012 at 6:44 PM

We’re still waiting for him to start.

Cleombrotus on July 10, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Well Obamacare Penalty. Or is it a Tax.

This is what nominating a squish/ left of center / flip – flopper does. But anyways, we will stick around… don’t have options… what will we do… vote O? sheesh…

PS: Would be funny if it was not so tragic.

antisocial on July 10, 2012 at 6:57 PM

One thing I never heard democrats do is bash their own candidate more than his challenger. I heard “conservatives” do it every day with McCain and now with “mittens”. This does little to get anyone to the polls and depresses the wrong side.

If we don’t support Romney, we will get four more years of the socialists.

The Obamunists did not win with eye rolling snarkiness. The positive energy was contagious even if Obama was an arrogant sod with faux Greek theatrics and 57 states.

Limbaugh is right on this, Romney is our hope in November.

clnurnberg on July 10, 2012 at 7:02 PM

clnurnberg on July 10, 2012 at 7:02 PM

That’s because the Liberals know how to purge nominals from their ranks.

Cleombrotus on July 10, 2012 at 7:25 PM

For a moment just contemplate that Romney and his inner circle are concentrating specifically on the relative handful of voters who will decide this thing.

It will look radically ugly to us folks who live and breath this stuff, but the squishy indies in the middle are like trophy bass in an over-fished pond. You have to be very careful not to spook them as you try one bait after another to coax them on the hook.

I think Romney is playing that game and doing it with exquisite patience.

Metanis on July 10, 2012 at 7:29 PM

sorry to disturb this rather boring partisan propaganda blog post and present you with this nice red meat from the guardian:

I would love to have hot air prolife commenters and that guardian commenter all in the same forum, it would be the mother of all flame wars… oh, one can only dream…

nathor on July 10, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Someone has put out An open Letter to Mitt Romney detailing what he thinks Romney should do.

He makes a lot of sense. It doesn’t cover everything, but throws up a few ideas.

evilned on July 10, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Has Obama peaked?

…Mooch must think so…why else would he play so much golf?

KOOLAID2 on July 10, 2012 at 8:02 PM

AP asks: How should he start? What’s the first line of attack besides “the economy stinks”?

Behind the economy, Romney’s most effective line of attack has to be the failure of HopenChange and the its now revealed hypocrisy.

The most transparent administration evah is now hiding behind executive privilege to avoid accountability over Fast and Furious.

The administration which would do away with cronyism has instead paid off its influence purchasers through a failed near $1T stimulus, various green energy subsidies and loan guarantees, and the promise of Obamacare.

The post-racial, presidential healer instead used his bully pulpit to increase racial division in Cambridge, MA and Sanford, FL.

HopenChange is Obama’s trademark and “strength”. Attack it as the cynical campaign ploy it was and and is now known to be. Destroy it. Then our emporers not-so-new clothes will fall off and reveal the naked waif mistakenly elected four years ago.

exdeadhead on July 10, 2012 at 8:09 PM

He peaked election day, 2008.
It’s been all downhill since then

ToddonCapeCod on July 10, 2012 at 8:30 PM

He peaked in Nov 2008.

bayview on July 10, 2012 at 8:31 PM

What would an effective anti-Obama attack ad look like at this point?

Barack Obama Is The Man
Of A Thousand Excuses
(And just as many lies)

See the Third World
Without Leaving America
Reelect Barack Obama

VorDaj on July 10, 2012 at 8:37 PM

Is there any affirmative case for Romney?

I came to terms with Romney as the nominee when I realized we could certainly do worse than the guy who saved the Salt Lake Olympics and numerous troubled companies. Our government is a basket case right now and fixing troubled organizations is what Mitt Romney does best. That’s his bread and butter and I don’t think he’ll get in there and say “You know what the problem is? We don’t have universal health care!”

NukeRidingCowboy on July 10, 2012 at 8:52 PM

I love his new slogan “Betting on America” In Betty Boop font. I laugh evertime I see him behind that sign.

UT Cowboy on July 10, 2012 at 8:56 PM

zer0 peaked the day a fly stuck on his face as if it were a pile of doggy-do. He hasn’t come close to topping that moment since.

MisterElephant on July 10, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Hey, Mitt, here is your plan for the future:

1 – New Energy Policy – Open all avenues of domestic energy production and build more nuke plants. Let Wall Street decided when its safe to invest in renewables.

2 – Gut the EPA

3 – Repeal Obamacare

4 – New Tax Cuts for Job Creators

5 – Kill every Executive Order regulation passed in the last 4 years.

6 – Get China back to the table on fair trade.

7 – Amend Dodd-Frank so that it stops killing small banks and opens up credit for small businesses.

Seems pretty simple to me.

goflyers on July 10, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Hmm…Zero “wags the dog” and takes out Iraq? He’s desperate enough, and it fits with the Chicago Way “anything to win” mentality.

Who is John Galt on July 10, 2012 at 9:56 PM

the new aesthetic on July 10, 2012 at 5:49 PM

; )

Bmore on July 10, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Conn Carroll?

The same guy that claimed that the California high-speed rail project was dead on June 21, just before it was approved? Meh.

bofh on July 11, 2012 at 12:27 AM

Send your input to Mitt


audiotom on July 11, 2012 at 1:09 AM

AP, “kryptonite to an eeyore”??? Mix metaphors much? Alliteration alot?

Simple answers:

1) “The Economy Stinks because (insert data point)”
2) The president’s plan hasn’t worked (insert results that result in the data point in #1 above)
3) In my first 100 days, I will do (insert simple plan) to turn this around.

Repeat with new data, video, tweets, emails, etc. daily.

Bigurn on July 11, 2012 at 5:02 AM

It would seem so. He has no capital to spend for accomplishments. All he can do is hope his handlers can come up with a new distraction each week, read the speeches written for him and of course answer no questions that might expose his lack of knowledge or understanding.

Obama never has had the ability to be president. The signs have been there since the beginning when he made the state that he had won and implied with it that he could do as he wanted; in essence, the kingdom he would rule was his to rule as he chose.
He was shocked, in his own words at how much stuff came to the president’s desk. He did as he always had done, delegated the work to others, his cabinet and his czars. That effectively isolated him from doing the one thing he has the most difficulty doing, making decisions. It also meant he was out of his own loop thus insuring his lack of understanding and preparedness for the job he was there to do. Obama became, if he was not already, a puppet with his strings in the hands of many masters, Obama had time to do things he wanted to do, following the teams, playing basket ball until someone bruised his ego with a split lip, golf and movies. By this time last year they had stopped including reports on the economy in his daily briefings, as reported; because he could not understand the reports, making it just a waste of time.

By this time last year Obama was in crises. There was the uncharacteristic personal involvement in the congressional debate that was clearly a long hope on stabilizing him. We all know how that ended in a failure of epic proportions for a psychotic narcissist. He went on vacation while they tried to figure out what to do with him to keep him stable. It was obvious that he needed to be campaigning as it was the one thing he felt confident doing. The problem was he had nothing but failures to campaign with. The solution to that was a cobbled together of failed bills into one jobs bill, and making it sound important with a joint congressional session, The jobs bill did what it was suppose to do and now it is just a matter of preventing him from having to face his failures with distractions and allowing him to perform the ceremonial duties as they came up.

He is over his peak, but never forget that an narcissist can not fail and if they do they punish those they feel are responsible for that failure. Mainly that is all of us on the domestic terror list, which is mainly all those who will vote against him, Obama once said that all he has to do is get re-elected and his job is done. We would be well advise not to make like of that statement, Expect him to do something to delay the elections, or more likely start a war since sitting presidents in a war are usually re-elected, or so they hope.

Franklyn on July 11, 2012 at 5:43 AM

Which brings us to problem two: Is there any affirmative case for Romney? Matt Lewis made a good point in a post this morning that hadn’t occurred to me:

Name Ryan VP, theres your affirmative case. He will have an army to march with him if he does.

cpaulus on July 11, 2012 at 7:07 AM


How does one possibly ‘peak’ when they’ve never drawn a single positive BREATH or perpetrated a single positive action?

How about – “are there ANY blips in the friggin FLATLINE?”

Katfish on July 11, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Obama’s support has flatlined at around 46% for three years now in approval and horserace polling results.

After three months of carpet bombing Romney with negative ads, there is no movement of the undecided to Obama. None.

This is simply not enough for a president to win reelection since incumbents generally only win the votes of those who approve of them and often not even all of those.

I am becoming convinced this election was decided back in 2010.

Bart DePalma on July 11, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Obama peaked in 2009, and the 2010 mid-terms were a pretty good indicator of that.

baldylox on July 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM

The Obama girl will be disappointed…

Pest on July 11, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Has Ojesus peaked?

Well, if you define peaked as constantly galloping down an unending nightmarish avalanche of car-sized boulders of burning coal, then yeah, the dude has peaked.

The real question is:

How low can he go?

hillbillyjim on July 12, 2012 at 5:52 PM