In the six days since the first 2012 Presidential debate, Mitt Romney has jumped in the polls. Rasmussen (the most unbiased polling outfit, I feel) polled 1500 likely voters Oct 6-8 and found the race tied. Pew Research polled 1112 likely voters Oct 4-7 and found Romney ahead 49% to 45%. Gallup polled 1187 registered voters Oct 4-6 and found the race tied, and also found that Romney’s domination of the debate was perceived to be the largest in presidential polling history.
Here’s how RealClearPolitics shows the toss-up states, even with the Romney bounce not fully absorbed into the moving averages yet:
Colorado: Romney 47.7%, Obama 47.2% (Romney by 0.5%)
Florida: Romney 48%, Obama 47.3% (Romney by 0.7%)
Iowa: Obama 48.6%, Romney 45.4% (Obama by 3.2%)
Missouri: Romney 49%, 43.8% (Romney by 5.2%)
Nevada: Obama 49.5%, Romney 46% (Obama by 3.5%)
N Carolina: Romney 49.2%, Obama 46.2% (Romney by 3%)
Ohio: Obama 48.5%, Romney 47.8% (Obama by 0.7%)
Virginia: Obama 47.8%, Romney 47.5% (Obama by 0.3%)
Another 3-4 days, and we’ll see all these numbers trend further in Romney’s favor. Why is this happening, and what’s next?
We found out in Denver on Oct 3rd that when President Obama’s teleprompter staff can’t spoon the words into his mouth, his oration prowess deteriorates into a compost pile of uh’s and uhm’s.
Many sympathetic observers have said things like “Obama just had an off night.” But I say if Obama doesn’t have the affordability facts to back up the rationale behind his utopian vision – which he can’t because such facts don’t exist – and he has very little positive track record to point at, how can he really do much better? You can’t defend the indefensible.
President Obama is now backed into a corner, the likes of which he’s never faced before. I predict he will now play to his instincts. His raw ideology will come to the foreground, unobscured by the gauze of political half-talk and double-talk that his teleprompters normally feed him.
Here’s what I believe we’ll see from President Obama:
- He will increase his pandering to people who want something at other people’s expense. Social justice. Spreading the wealth around, to make sure everybody’s getting a fair share.
- He will increase his expression of distrust and suspicion about businesses in the private sector. He will talk about reigning in the excesses of the health care, financial, and energy industries. He does not trust the virtues of competition and entrepreneurship – quite frankly because he doesn’t understand them.
- He will increase his rhetoric about the rich not paying their fair share, despite the fact that they already do pay their fair share, and making them pay even more won’t help the debt situation, and won’t help grow our economy. It comes down to an overarching issue of social fairness to him.
- He will increase his emphasis on creating subsidized “green jobs” and hiring more regulators, bureaucrats, and teachers. When he lists the things he wants to do for creating jobs, listen closely and you’ll note that his focus is on jobs in the government sector.
- He will increase his insistence that more and more aspects of American society need to be masterminded and managed – actually his new word is “channeled” – by government oversight.
In short, I believe he will just double down on the policies he’s advocated for 3½ years. He believes his stable of economic advisors – yes, even including the delusional Paul Krugman – when they insist we simply haven’t “invested” (translation: “taxed and spent”) enough yet in these government-centric solutions.
The race for President now hinges on whether Mitt Romney anticipates how Obama will regather himself, and prepares again and again to counter Obama with reality-based challenges to the hollow ideology. And also whether Romney is tactically prepared for direct frontal attacks from Obama in the upcoming debates.
I believe this race has now become Romney’s to lose. Obama will attempt to go on the attack, with little reason not to risk exposing his raw ideology. If Romney remains prepared, articulate, and aggressive, he will counter the attacks, further expose Obama’s empty suit, and win on November 6th.