Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Romney's hyperbolic rhetoric will not play with the persuadables

GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney hyperbolic rhetoric may play well with his base, but won't play well with the persuadables.  The persuadables is a group of undecided voters who make up about 10 percent of the electorate.

Persuadables aint paying attention to politics

The persuadables really don't care about politics.  They don't live, eat, and breathe it like Buzz and me.  Some of them may not even know that Mitt Romney is the all-but-certain Republican nominee.  Unlike the old Miller Lite commercials where Billy Martin says he "feels strongly both ways," the persuadables don't feel strongly any way.  They are just not that into it, politics that is.

Romney is still working the base

Romney had to pivot to the right, the far right, in order to win the Republican primary.  The Romney of 2012 is a far cry from the former Governor of Massachusetts, and even a farther cry from the "liberal" Republican who ran against Ted Kennedy for US Senate in 1994.

At a campaign event in Ohio this past month Romney said,  "Barack Obama's attempt to denigrate and diminish the achievement of the individual diminishes us all. "We're a united nation, he divides us. He tries to divide America, tear America apart. He tries to diminish those who have been successful in one walk of life or another. It's simply wrong."

Romney surrogates have gone even further.  Although he later apologized former New Hampshire Governor and  former Chief of Staff to President George H.W. Bush said, "The president clearly demonstrated that he has absolutely no idea how the economy functions.  I wish this president would learn how to be an American.”

These comments are tame compared to some of the crap out there where Republicans, conservative bloggers, Fox News, and others have continually referred to President Barack Obama as a "Kenyan," "a Socialist," a "Halfrican American," "Incompetent," and other over the top and base motivating terms.

It seems like the Romney, under the guise of running the "issue oriented" campaign is instead engaging in hyperbolic rhetoric.  They take everything to the extreme.  It is hard to believe that this will sway the persuadables.

Obama remains personally popular

Although Barack Obama's job approval has been in the mid to high forties over the past few months, his personal popularity  remains in the mid to high fifties. Obama's ratings in both job approval and favorability vary widely with party identification.

Democrats like Obama and the job he is doing in great numbers.  Conversely, Republicans don't care for the guy and think he is doing a terrible job.  The Independents, the ones who make up the vast majority of the persuadables may be divided on the job Obama is doing, but they generally like the guy.  

This shows that making the race about the issues and not the personality may have a much strongly influence on the persuadables

Persuadables will decide the election

Who are these persuadables?  Well, as we've said before, they are the people who aren't watching cable news 24 hours a day.  They are watching the Olympics, they're watching the Phillies try to claw their way out of the NL East basement, they're buying school clothes for their kids, they're on summer vacation.  They are doing everything but paying attention.  They don't feel strongly any way.

Neither Obama nor Romney have jumped above the high forties in the polls.  The persuadables make up the difference.  (Except in the Rasmussen Daily Tracking Approval Poll, which always adds up to 99 to 100 percent) The persuadable universe seems to be made up of about ten percent of the electorate. They will decide the election.

All the millions, if not billions, of dollars being spent on the campaigns are being spent to convince a majority of the persuadables that they should vote for either Romney or Obama. Obama doesn't need to spend a dime to get the diehards to support him, just as Romney doesn't have to spend a dime to get the Obama haters to support Romney.

If Romney hopes to win the persuadables and thus the Presidency, cut out the hyperbolic rhetoric.  The persuadables generally believe Obama is doing his best, that he is an American, that he loves this country, that he doesn't hate the free enterprise system, that he's not a socialist, and that he is at least marginally competent to be President.

Buzz and I would like to (and so would the persuadables) hear Romney say Obama has done and okay job with the hand he was dealt, but that he (Romney) can do better.  And, the I can do better stuff should be specifics and not this Ayn Rand "let free enterprise be free enterprise."  Persuadables don't read Ayn Rand, or for that matter Karl Marx.  They want jobs, a reasonable tax rate, reasonable government regulation, reasonable gas prices, and they don't care if the one who gives it to them worships at the altar of Ayn Rand or all those "evil" European Socialists.

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