State of the Race Outside of 6 weeks: The race stands on the edge of a knife and the message that Mitt Romney can convey that would seal the election for him
Looks like we’re going to get quite the race coming down into the stretch. Rasmussen shows that the race is tied among likely voters, assuming a D+2 turnout of the electorate, Gallup shows it to be a +2 lead for Obama among registered voters. Typically, if Gallup was using their likely voter model, it would show Romney with a 1 point lead as the average usually is about 3 points gain for the GOP candidate in this poll model. Obama’s convention bounce has dissipated and there is probably anywhere from 7-9 percent of voters out there that are undecided.
The 9 Swing States
In the swing states it is tied pretty much as well. I have 9 states. They are Florida, Ohio, Virginia, New Hampshire, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, and Nevada. The assumptions I am making are that Romney has Indiana and North Carolina locked down and Obama has Pennsylvania locked down. However, if I objectively call the way a state I believe is leaning I would see it as this: Virginia is a complete toss-up. Very difficult to get an exact gauge on what is happening. The dynamics favor Romney as nothing has changed with Virginia since the 2010 elections. However, there are a lot of rich government employees in Northern Virginia that make it quite difficult to gauge the state. The Romney campaign feels the same way. Ohio is probably leaning 1-2 points toward Obama right now. Gotta be honest with this one. It’s a hair toward Obama and I’ll explain the dynamics of Ohio later in this post. Romney definitely can win this state. Florida looks to be a toss-up, maybe just the slightest hint of a lean toward Romney at least on the surface with what polls have been observed. However, the Democratic party has lost 240,000 registered voters in this state since 2008 and the GOP base is fired up to come out and vote this election. New Hampshire surprisingly showed Romney surging into a 3 point lead in the latest Rasmussen poll there. This would be consistent with some movement of independents toward Romney that have shown in national polling with Barack Obama bungling protection of U.S. Embassies in the Middle East prior to the September 11th anniversary. The polling showing that Ovide Lamontagne with a 4 point lead over Maggie Hassan in the governor’s race makes it clear that Rasmussen’s poll isn’t an outlier. For the time being, I think New Hampshire is a toss-up though I would put it in the Romney column as a very slight lean given what has happened with independents nationally. New Hampshire is a flinty state. They don’t like foreign policy wimps. Iowa and Colorado have shown that there is a noticeable slight lean toward Romney given the dynamics, consistent but very slight leads for Romney for the most part, and voter registration data. I still consider them toss-ups as anything can happen still in this race. Wisconsin is a toss-up as well though I think this is leaning slightly to Obama right now. Michigan is a clear lean to Obama right now as there looks to have been a little distance that Obama has put between him and Romney. Romney is still within striking distance and shows no signs of giving up on that state. If he could pick the bluest state to go after, he’s picked the right one considering his roots. Nevada has seen a big surge toward Romney. I consider the state a toss-up considering Romney’s momentum there.
In summary, taking leaners into consideration, Obama gets WI, MI, and OH. Romney gets FL, CO, IA, and NH. VA and NV are completely up in the air. 265 Obama, 254 Romney. Romney would have to sweep both VA and NV. Being honest, I don’t like our chances if the election was held today which in the end, Erick stated correctly this past week. Thank goodness the election is still over six weeks out and it remains very, very tight and fluid. I have to admit, I really like Romney’s position given the fact that there is still a substantial amount of undecided voters out there. Historically, these break 4 to 1 against the incumbent. The Obama campaign would feel a whole lot better if it had a 4-5 point lead here nationally but that just isn’t the case with this race. The only way that could happen is if the 2012 electorate turns out to be a 2008 electorate. In other words, there is a deliriously enthusiastic Democratic base (there isn’t), youths and Hispanics are fired up fainting ready to vote for Obama (they’re not), and GOP voters stay home because of a squishy, wimpy, “nice” moderate who didn’t fight during the debates and ran out of money with over a month to go before Election Night (not the case this time either). GOP voters are going to crawl on broken glass this election to vote for Mitt Romney because of one thing: They want Barack Obama out of office because they see the terrible peril our country is currently in.
The Observed Political Strategy Of The Campaigns
Team Obama and The Media
- Roll out polls that are assuming a D+7 or a turnout of the electorate which Democrats will be able to outperform what was seen in 2008. The tactic is to depress the unskilled GOP voter into not coming out to vote because it is hopeless to. It is inevitable Barack Obama will win. Intimidate pollsters Chicago-style (like Axelrod did to Gallup) to achieve victory at all costs, honesty be damned. I have openly complained that there aren’t pollsters willing to use more reasonable projections of how the electorate will turn out. Rasmussen is using a D+2 electorate. That is reasonable. His Partisan voter identification index showed the GOP with a 4 point lead in August but even I have a hard time believing the electorate will be that, though I would very much like to see that. Historically the electorate is D+3. In 2004, the breakdown of the electorate was a push, 37D, 37R, 26I. Bottom line, Team Obama and The Media are doing everything they can to de-motivate the base of the GOP. With independents slightly favoring Romney right now and that large groups of undecideds in an election where the economy is bad, they need all the help they can get. If youths and Hispanics don’t show up and the GOP base shows up in force, Romney wins solidly. Given the fact that there are no jobs out there for these groups, this is the reason why they aren’t motivated to vote. So they have to use whatever tool they can to keep as many GOP voters out of the election as they can. It is an effective tactic, I will give them that.
- Pour all the money into the presidential race. The latest numbers that the Democratic National Committee has are just awful. They only have $7.1 million cash on hand as of the end of August, more than 10 times less than the Republican National Committee. However, Obama had 87 million cash on hand. This tells me one thing. The Democrats are going all in to win the presidency. Their chances of holding onto the Senate are at best 50/50 and that might be quite kind. Obama cannot generate any coattail effect for them this election and there are enough seats that could flip the Senate solidly in the GOP’s favor. Their best chance at retaining any power is to hold onto the White House.
- Blasting the airwaves trying to take Romney out. They are still trying to do this. The Obama campaign has spent more than $200 million trying to take Romney out until now. Romney’s still neck-and-neck with Obama. Their ads have reached the point of diminishing returns.
- That Romney guy is an awesome debater. Poor Obama really has his work cut out for him. At least this is what is being floated out by Team Obama now. Reverse sympathy psychology. They know that Romney isn’t going to be McCain and has a lot he is going to hit Obama with. He’s such a meanie. How could he attack Obama like that? Team Obama and the media or trying to dupe Romney into going easy on Obama, like McCain did 4 years ago. I hope Romney doesn’t hold anything back. The media and Team Obama have done anything and everything to prevent the focus of being on Obama’s record the last four years. They have been successful in this by throwing out constant distractions to throw Romney off message and take the focus off Obama. If anything, I hope the Romney, Ryan, and the campaign keep their answers/explanations short and immediately pivot back to Obama’s record in completing their answers to whenever the media or debate moderators question themselves on something. Any answer should be structured with what will be positive with Romney and how negative it will be with staying with Obama based on what Obama has done while in office.
- Holding their fire – I along with every one else is quite anxious to see Romney unleash a carpet bomb of ads in the swing states. He is virtually assured now of being able to outspend Obama in the final stretch. Looking at the finances between the Romney campaign, the RNC, and the SuperPACs and comparing them to their counterparts, Romney had a $43 million edge. This is why donating to the Romney campaign will be so important in the next couple of weeks. If GOP voters open up their wallets and give Romney a potent, final burst of cash, the more intense the carpet bombing of ads that can be done in the swing states until Election Day, the incredible ground game the Romney campaign has built which has already surpassed the incredible effort of Bush-Cheney 2004 can be further expanded, and enough momentum can be created to get Romney over the top. I do have a concern here though. My concern is the RNC diversifying the funds to make sure that they gain the Senate if Romney loses. Bad political strategy. They have to be all in to help Romney win. 70% of funds go to attacking Obama and propping up Romney. 30% of funds go to help Senate candidates by attacking Democratic Senate opponents. If the Democrats are all in to retain the White House, we should be as well.
- The focusing of the message — Romney’s ideas and platform are great. I liked it that he simplified his economic plan to five simple points. I hear a lot of pieces but there isn’t anything that unifies them that will turn the light on in the American voter’s head. However, a simple, common message must be formed that will resonate with Americans. I thought about one that could work and I think I found one. More on that later.
- An inverse strategy to the Obama campaign — The Romney campaign has focused more on building up a ground game to get out the vote than blitzing the airwaves with Obama. The results thus far have been staggering, particularly in the swing states. 6 million contacts have been made in Florida, 3 million in Ohio just for starters. I think the reason why the Romney campaign has done this is to ensure that all efforts have been made to get a favorable turnout of the electorate. Remember, whenever viewing a poll, it is important to look at the partisan weight because the partisan weight really mirrors what the electorate turnout will be. As has been stated previously, the media and Democratic party pollsters are assuming an electorate of 2008 or better for tactical reasons. This strategy I believe is correct but an airwave TV blast from the beginning of October until Election Night must be done since not everyone is going to watch the debates. Psychologically, when people in the swing state see this carpet bombing of ads in the final weeks of the campaign, it could startle those who don’t pay attention to politics. I think the D-Day for this looks to be October 4th, the day after the first debate when Romney has first made his case to the people and crossed swords with Obama at the podium.
I stated earlier that Ohio is in Obama’s corner barely right now. That should be a pretty clear indicator of where the election is. I wanted to go over the key variables that the Romney must address regarding Ohio to win it.
- The automotive industry is huge in Ohio – Probably the thing that is barely keeping Ohio in Obama’s corner currently is the government bailouts of GM and Chrysler. There is a false assumption that has taken root that Obama saved the auto industry and should get all the credit for it. The GM and Chrysler bailouts were the worst form of classical political cronyism of picking winners and losers that have ever taken place. It was the The Obama Administration that structured the bailout to lopsidedly favor the unions and screwed over non-union salaried employees over at Delphi Automotive, cut their pensions, screwed over retiree’s investment income that was vested in GM and Chrysler as shareholders/bondholders, and left taxpayers on the hook that if GM was allowed to buy back the shares from the treasury, taxpayers would take on an enormous loss by at least $25 billion. From Michelle Malkin:
While Team Obama promotes fables to indict Romney, the incontrovertible stories of the current administration’s economic malpractice are finally getting out. In 2010, I first reported on how Obama’s UAW bailout threw tens of thousands of nonunion autoworkers under the bus. It’s the ongoing horror story of some 20,000 white-collar workers at Delphi, a leading auto parts company spun off from GM a decade ago.
As Washington rushed to nationalize the U.S. auto industry with $80 billion in taxpayer “rescue” funds and avoid contested court termination proceedings, the White House auto team and the Treasury Department schemed with Big Labor bosses to preserve UAW members’ costly pension funds by shafting their nonunion counterparts.
In addition, the nonunion pensioners lost all of their health and life insurance benefits. The abused workers — most from hard-hit northeast Ohio, Michigan and neighboring states — had devoted decades of their lives as secretaries, technicians, engineers and sales employees at Delphi/GM. Some workers have watched up to 70 percent of their pensions vanish.
“I worked for 34 years at GM/Delphi Corp. When Delphi went bankrupt, we lost everything,” Dana Strickland of Michigan wrote me. “Because I was salaried (middle management), we lost our pension and health insurance. I did not belong to the union, so GM/Delphi could have cared less. I have never felt so betrayed. We never hear this brought to the public’s attention. People need to know how we were screwed, while the Obama administration kissed up to the union.”
“I’m one of the Delphi Salaried Retirees that lost the health care, life insurance and 67 percent of the pension I was promised in retirement after working hard for 40 years,” Charles Stone of Michigan e-mailed. “Words cannot describe the frustration and let down these events have thrust on my family’s lives, and to have GM’s rescue all sugar-coated in the current political environment is like putting lipstick on a pig. … We will continue to fight to right this grievous wrong.”
Tom Rose of Ohio added: “I am one of the 20,000 salaried retirees that lost all of my health care and — in my case — a 40 percent pension cut. So I am now paying increased health care costs with fewer pension dollars and contributing what is left to our lawsuit to correct this injustice. Meanwhile, the politically connected union has their full pension and 90-plus percent of their health care. You have hit upon the key question: How can our own federal government pick winners and losers amongst its own citizens?”
Through two costly years of litigation and investigation, the Delphi workers have exposed how the stacked White House Auto Task Force schemed with union bosses to “cherry pick” (one Obama official’s own words) which financial obligations the new Government Motors company would assume and which they would abandon based on their political expedience. Obama’s own former auto czar Steve Rattner admitted in his recent memoir that “attacking the union’s sacred cow” could “jeopardize” the auto bailout deal.
In June, 20 months after a federal judge first ordered the government to cooperate, the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association broke through the administration’s information stonewall and dislodged 62,000 pages of documents in their lawsuit to right the administration’s wrongs. As Matthew Boyle of The Daily Caller reported on Tuesday, the documents included “internal government emails (that contradicted) sworn testimony, in federal court and before Congress, given by several Obama administration figures. They also indicate that the administration misled lawmakers and the courts … and that administration figures violated federal law.”
Mitt Romney wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about what he would have done. The Times decided to label the op-ed “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” which Romney stated he did not title the op-ed. To summarize it, he advocated GM and Chrysler doing a managed Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, replacing the company’s management, and where all workers in the company from the CEO to the janitor would have to cut back to ensure the survival of the company. Suppliers would have stayed in business. Creditors and bondholders wouldn’t have got screwed. The key passage in the article is this:
The new management must work with labor leaders to see that the enmity between labor and management comes to an end. This division is a holdover from the early years of the last century, when unions brought workers job security and better wages and benefits. But as Walter Reuther, the former head of the United Automobile Workers, said to my father, “Getting more and more pay for less and less work is a dead-end street.”
You don’t have to look far for industries with unions that went down that road. Companies in the 21st century cannot perpetuate the destructive labor relations of the 20th. This will mean a new direction for the U.A.W., profit sharing or stock grants to all employees and a change in Big Three management culture.
The need for collaboration will mean accepting sanity in salaries and perks. At American Motors, my dad cut his pay and that of his executive team, he bought stock in the company, and he went out to factories to talk to workers directly. Get rid of the planes, the executive dining rooms — all the symbols that breed resentment among the hundreds of thousands who will also be sacrificing to keep the companies afloat.
That of course is the just way to do this. Everyone participates, sacrifices and contributes to the survival of the company. Obama’s looking to ensure his re-election while shafting taxpayers by trying to look like a counterfeit hero and the UAW and other union bigwigs were only looking out for one thing, themselves, regardless if taxpayers, non-union employees, and retirees got screwed in the process. This type of cronyism has been rampant in the Obama Administration. Solyndra comes immediately to mind, Amonix is another. Doing a basic web search on examples of Obama cronyism will yield you a deluge of instances. In order for Mitt Romney to win Ohio, he must have these ex-GM Delphi automotive workers from Ohio tell their story in TV ads and must be willing to take Barack Obama head on in regards to this issue. If Mitt Romney can expose what the auto bailout really was, attack and take down this false bulwark that has been created by the Obama Administration and the media, he’ll significantly increase his chances of winning Ohio. I would do this in ads and I am sure those “objective” debate moderators will bring this up in the debates. Romney must be prepared for this which I am sure he is. It would also dovetail nicely into Romney’s position of being for 100% of Americans. We all prosper and sacrifice together. Obama only chooses those who will benefit his political ambitions.
2. War on Coal and other regulatory impediments that have been put up by the Obama Administration to prevent Ohio from flourishing– The Romney campaign has just started doing this in ads targeting Ohio and Virginia.
3. Obamacare – Ohio is strongly against this legislation. This shouldn’t be ignored. The Obama campaign loves to crow about how Obamacare is modeled after Romneycare in Massachusetts. There is a very key and fundamental difference between these two pieces of legislation. The people of Massachusetts wanted government health care legislation. There were super majorities in the legislature which would have overridden a Romney veto. That legislation was going to happen with Romney or not. However, the people of United States didn’t want Obamacare, made it known in the 2010 elections, and still to this day don’t want it. Do you think Mitt Romney would have passed that type of legislation against the will of the people? No, but Barack Obama did. That leads us into a unifying message that sums up what this election is all about and how Romney can use this to get into the minds of Americans. I have to admit, I winced a little when this came into my mind but it was in a good way:
The Simple Message for the Romney Campaign
The only thing that is preventing you, the people, from significantly increasing your chances of getting or insuring stable, better paying work, from a better future, from being more prosperous, is Barack Obama. The only way to removing that obstruction is to vote Barack Obama out of office.
The explanation: Barack Obama and his Administration have made it too costly and fearful for businesses to hire you. From excessive regulation and obstruction through his Administration, to overbearing legislation like Obamacare, businesses are simply trying to survive and preserve themselves. Businesses are only hiring what is necessary but they are not growing. Growth is necessary so your opportunities for fulfilling work can be maximized. Businesses will continue to be mired in self-preservation with another four years of an Obama presidency. Fear and uncertainty, not hope and change, is what has been bred since Barack Obama has been in office. Businesses do want to hire you and make use of your unique talents. The unfortunate truth is that it just has become too hard to hire you under Barack Obama. The anemic job growth indicates that it significantly lags behind in population growth. Many Americans now live in fear if their job will be there for them tomorrow. We have the lowest labor participation rate since 1981. Sadly, many people have just given up looking for work. This has caused our deficits to explode because of the decreased tax revenues, bigger government, and more unemployment payouts and food stamps. We must pay more for necessities like gas and food with less income. Gas prices have more than doubled while Barack Obama has been in office. Things are not getting better. Things are getting worse and will continue to get worse with another 4 years of Barack Obama as president. Not only are things getting worse here at home, things are getting worse abroad. America isn’t as respected as it once was. Our enemies are emboldened, our allies confused and disheartened, our ability to defend ourselves abroad is in question. That is not your fault America. That responsibility rests upon Barack Obama. There is nothing based upon the record of Barack Obama’s time in office that indicates a brighter future for America. For all those who are still looking or who have stopped looking for work, do you see your prospects getting better in the next four years? To those who are just trying to get by, will it be easier to make ends meet? To those with children and grandchildren, does the last four years indicate that their future is one of promise? (Heck, it might be good for Romney to invoke some Reagan 1980 in this message) Government dependency is never the answer. Government dependency is a destructive downward survival that will ultimately bankrupt and end our country as a free nation. The nightmare that follows is something so awful that it would turn the most courageous person’s blood cold. The direction to take our country in is to reverse this direction that our country is on. To do that, the crushing regulations and legislation that have been enacted by the Obama adminstration must be lifted so businesses can hire people and we can get Americans working again. The only way to do that is removing Barack Obama from office.
In closing, there is an old saying in politics that is if you’re explaining, you’re losing. I remember back when Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate and they took the fight to Obama on Medicare. The Democrats and media were so disoriented by this attack that it took awhile to gain back their feet. So they started throwing stuff out about Romney’s tax returns and other distractions, anything to blind the American people on what this election really is about. The state of our nation, the economy, and the referendum on Barack Obama’s performance in office. From here on out, it is my hope that the Romney campaign seizes the initiative, starts hitting the public with this simple message or something like it, and swats down any further distractions the media and the Obama campaign throw out there by brushing them aside with a brief answer and then talk about Obama’s performance in office. What I have shown above is indefensible for Obama. He cannot defend anything that I have highlighted in this post that Romney can use effectively against him. Nothing of what has been listed here can be rebutted if the Romney campaign took these lines of attack. Another important thing: The accuracy of a poll you may see is mostly based upon the electorate turnout, whether there will be a 3 point advantage in turnout for Democrats or if it is split evenly down the middle. It is my opinion that whichever sides base shows up best will be the deciding factor in this election. That means all of us voting in November. We’ll see how things pan out.
6 weeks to go. By the way, donate. It’s that important, particularly now.