Quotes of the day

After more than a year of campaigning, endless political advertisements, two conventions and four debates, the presidential election is almost over. The big decision of 2012 will soon be in the hands of the voters. The choice Americans make will shape great things, historic things, and those will determine the most important and intimate aspects of every American life and every American family. All presidential elections matter. This one matters a great deal.

It matters to the senior who needs medical care but, thanks to ObamaCare, can’t find a doctor who is taking new Medicare patients. It matters to the men and women who once had good-paying jobs with benefits but now work part-time with no benefits just to put food on the table. It matters to the college student graduating this spring with a heavy load of debt and few opportunities to pay it back. It matters to the single mother who lives in fear of foreclosure as her employment prospects dwindle…

This requires a different direction, a change from the course of the past four years. It requires that we put aside the small and the petty, and demand the scale of change that we deserve: real change, big change. I pledge that my presidency will bring about that kind of change—confronting the problems that politicians have avoided for over a decade, revitalizing our competitive economy, modernizing our education system, restoring our founding principles.


An Obama second term means that the movement toward European-style social democracy continues, in part by legislation, in part by executive decree. The American experiment — the more individualistic, energetic, innovative, risk-taking model of democratic governance — continues to recede, yielding to the supervised life of the entitlement state.

If Obama loses, however, his presidency becomes a historical parenthesis, a passing interlude of overreaching hyper-liberalism, rejected by a center-right country that is 80 percent nonliberal.

Should they summon the skill and dexterity, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan could guide the country to the restoration of a more austere and modest government with more restrained entitlements and a more equitable and efficient tax code. Those achievements alone would mark a new trajectory — a return to what Reagan started three decades ago.


Poll after poll, I generally see the same thing. Romney has an edge on the economy. That includes most of the state polls…

I do not know of an election where the electorate was so singularly focused on one set of issues, and the person trusted less on them nevertheless won…

Is it possible to win a presidential election while losing the independent vote? Sure. The independents basically split down the middle in 2000 and 2004, which left the outcome up to the relative strengths of the two party bases. But that is not what I see right now. Instead, I see a Romney margin among independents that ranges between 5 and 10 points. Prior to the 1980s, I could see the Democrats overcoming that, but not in 2012…

[T]his is a different approach than the poll mavens will offer. They are taking data at face value, running simulations off it, and generating probability estimates. That is not what this is, and it should not be interpreted as such. I am not willing to take polls at face value anymore. I am more interested in connecting the polls to history and the long-run structure of American politics, and when I do that I see a Romney victory.


Early voting is the best indicator we have for base enthusiasm. The weeks of early voting that now precede Election Day are the best chance for Democrats to win elections. This is not a time when undecided or even many persuadable voters go to the polls, but instead partisans show their ardor.

The latest Pew study and a slew of others show that what had been a huge advantage for Obama has been erased and maybe even reversed…

Romney leads widely among the most passionate voters – 9 points in the most recent Politico/George Washington University survey of battleground state voters – and Republicans have managed to match Democrats when it comes to contacting voters directly.

Team Obama staked nearly as much on ground game superiority and getting out the vote as it did on the “kill Mitt” strategy. Again, the Blue Team did not deliver.


Obama is in big trouble in Wisconsin. He is spending his last weekend in a state that last went Republican in the 1984 Reagan landslide.

Team Romney is going hard after Pennsylvania because both internal and public polling show significant movement toward Romney in recent days. Yesterday, Rep. Ryan and Sen. Marco Rubio drew large and enthusiastic crowds in Pennsylvania. On Sunday, Romney will hold a campaign rally in the Philadelphia suburbs. Who would have thought that Obama would spend the last days of the campaign defending a solidly blue state, while Romney makes a play for another one?


So assume:

(a) Total PA turnout is up 3% over 2008. Philly County comprises 11.5% of total PA electorate (similar to 2004, less than 2008).

(b) Romney wins non-Philly county 54-46. (Slightly better than Bush ’04, who won 52.5 to 47.5)


Obama MUST net 433k votes out of Philly County to win. In 2008 he netted 478k votes. In 2004 Kerry netted 410k votes. In 2000 Gore netted 350k votes.

Tweak the assumptions to lower Philly turnout, increase non-Philly turnout, increase Romney share of non-Philly. And Keystone State goes red.


Obama may need to do something Democrats have almost never done in the past nine decades: win a higher share of the vote in [Ohio] than he does nationally. Almost always, the GOP nominee has run stronger in Ohio than nationally. That’s not entirely surprising in a place that served as one of the birthplaces of the Republican Party and where two native sons, William McKinley and his legendary political strategist Mark Hanna, stamped the GOP’s modern identity as the pro-business party of small government in the realigning election of 1896.

Since 1924, the only Democratic presidential nominees who attracted a higher share of the popular vote in Ohio than nationally were Lyndon Johnson in 1964, Hubert Humphrey in 1968, George McGovern in 1972, and Kerry in 2004. And of those four, only Johnson (at 1.8 percentage points) improved on his national vote by more than 0.6 percentage points in Ohio. Since World War II, the Democratic presidential nominee has carried, on average, almost exactly 1 percentage point less of the popular vote in Ohio than he did nationally.

That’s obviously a challenging precedent for Obama, who is running at best even with Romney, if not trailing slightly, in most credible national surveys. Even Obama, while winning Ohio comfortably in 2008, drew 51.4 percent of the vote here, pointedly less than his 52.8 percent national showing. All of that suggests Obama would be defying history to take Ohio in an election where he wins the national popular vote by a hair, or tries to amass an Electoral College majority while losing the popular vote altogether. “Relying on Ohio is not where you want to be as a Democrat,” says Terry Nelson, the national field director in 2004 for George W. Bush, who clinched the presidency by defeating the Democratic nominee in Ohio by 118,000 votes after an epic investment from both sides. “I would not be sleeping well.”




“The door to a brighter future is there, open, waiting for us. I need your vote, I need your help. Walk with me, walk together. Let us start anew.”