President Obama told supporters at a campaign event in New York City Monday night that, if the election were held today, he would win.
“So the upshot is if the election were held today, I think it would be close, but I think we’d win,” Obama said.
Noting that there were 99 days left until the election, Obama added: “If I can say that every single day for the next 99 days, then we will be able to embark on the next phase of this journey.”
Looking at the polls in this context, the worry should be clear: despite significantly outspending Romney, Obama has gotten no separation from him. Nor is it just Democratic spending that has assailed Romney. He weathered a long grueling primary, during which he was the constant target of all challengers.
Over this prolonged pummeling, Romney has not simply endured, he is even with the incumbent. Shouldn’t the incumbent Obama, who faced no primary and was able to save, focus, and control massively more resources, have opened up a lead? Has Obama taken his best shot, while Republicans are still waiting to throw theirs?…
The realization should be emerging that Obama was not really that strong in 2008, when he massively outspent a disadvantaged opponent. And he is even weaker now — despite an early and significant spending advantage — when he will be unable to financially overwhelm a stronger opponent. The questions Democrats must be asking is: Has Obama already peaked? And can he hold on just long enough?
The goal is to drive up Romney negatives. The payoff the campaign hopes for is that voters who would never vote for Mr. Obama will prefer to stay home rather than vote for that rich so-and-so Romney. The White House strategy is a “shrink-the-electorate” strategy. Team Obama will play the Mormon card at some point too. Count on it…
With “you didn’t build that” going viral, Team Obama at least senses trouble and reportedly is looking for a positive message. But what message? Stay the course? What course? For and against gay marriage? For and against fossil fuels? More Solyndras? More trillion-dollar deficits? A recovery more halting and uncertain the longer Mr. Obama presides over it?
Mitt Romney has been getting a lot of advice: Don’t just stand there, do something (preferably not utter a gaffe). But maybe Mr. Romney is being shrewd. Maybe, given his own less-than-scintillating public-relations skills, just standing there is the right strategy as Mr. Obama flails after a theme for his presidency all the way to Election Day. Maybe the cool, sure-footed Mr. Obama is capable of beating himself after all. Could it be that in selecting Mr. Romney, with his very particular kind of baggage, Republicans picked exactly the candidate best suited to bring out the worst in our president?
Democrats are betting that when the final moment of choosing comes, their base will show up – with some help from the Obama campaign’s extensive, costly field apparatus. But there are indications of a deeper and, for Obama supporters, more alarming malaise among the core groups that made Obama president.
“Democrats are significantly less likely now (39 percent) than they were in the summers of 2004 and 2008 to say they are ‘more enthusiastic about voting than usual’ in the coming presidential election. Republicans are more enthusiastic now than in 2008, and the same as in 2004,” Gallup pollster Jeffrey M. Jones wrote last week. “If Democrats do not close the enthusiasm gap between now and Election Day, it would put Obama’s re-election chances in serious jeopardy.”…
The Democratic donor fatigue is amply documented – Wall Street donors, centrists, business-minded ambidextrous givers who were staples of the Bill Clinton era generally feel poorly treated by the current White House. Obama’s lack of interest in so-called “donor maintenance” is also well known – he has little appetite for the schmoozing that his Democratic predecessor did. And the repeated, and heated, rhetoric about Wall Street and the financial services sector has caused real and likely sustained damage for Democrats.
Those are the donors who would be the likeliest to give to a super PAC, but the White House discouraged such giving for months, frowning on the Citizens United decision that paved the way for such profligate single-source donations. Yet the bigger problem is that massive numbers of low-dollar donors have also not returned to the fold yet.
So it’s with that skepticism in mind that I offer, not a prediction, but a flat pre-election assessment: If President Barack Obama is to win, he is going to have to overcome a set of numbers that no incumbent President, or incumbent party, has ever managed to surmount…
The core question for many voters—“Are you generally satisfied with the country’s direction, or has the U.S. gone off on the wrong track”—gets a 32.7-60.7 negative answer, according to the RealClearPolitics average. Generally, an incumbent party needs to have at least a 35% positive response to this question to win the election, says the Gallup Organization…
Now, try this as a thought exercise. Forget who is running, what the latest gaffe of the day is, who is outraged and what latest insult to what group has been perpetrated by the candidate or his staff. Ignore whom you’re rooting for, and just look at those numbers with the ice-cold heart of a bean counter.
What you would conclude, I think, is that there is no way an incumbent President could get re-elected given these current numbers.
If self-interest and self-righteousness are at the heart of the Republican Party today, cowardice lies too close to the spine of the Democrats. While Republicans show extraordinary hubris by harnessing minority rule on virtually every issue with just the threat of a filibuster, Senate Democrats show extraordinary fearfulness in enabling them. In the past, Democrats spoke openly of poverty, a word seldom heard today even though Americans of every race and color are sharing a rapid descent down the economic ladder. While the president has begun to speak effectively in the past several months about the economic distress of working- and middle-class families, on the major issues he too often uses the bully pulpit to bully the truth…
Obama may be reelected by a public that has nowhere else to turn. Perhaps freed of the constraints imposed by having to raise a billion dollars to finance his campaign, he will reveal a true self of which we’ve seen glimmers. One who will speak forthrightly to the American public and be unafraid to take on the perpetrators of economic crimes that have devastated American families; the perpetrators of myths about “clean coal,” which the president instead repeats even as the industry rains fire on America’s breadbasket; or the perpetrators of the record foreclosures on longtime homeowners who have become collateral damage in the war on the middle class.
We can only hope that in his heart, Obama can truly feel the pain, sadness and fear of ordinary Americans, because it’s not hard to imagine that inside the chest of his opponent is a cavity waiting to be filled.
Via the Daily Caller.