Mitt Romney will lose in November and the reason is simple. The powers that be in the current Republican party do not understand a majority of the American people, in general, and the persuadable middle, in specific. They are locked in a political bubble powered by talk radio and the conservative blogosphere.
The Romney campaign is locked in this same bubble, and they have lost their ability to appeal to the voters who will decide this election. (Whether they ever had that ability it the subject of another post.)
Sometimes our best understanding of politics is through satire.
On February 14, 2009, less than a month after Obama took office, comedic legend Dan Aykroyd made a guest appearance on Saturday Night Live. He appeared in the opening sketch entitled "Republican meeting."
Aykroyd played then House Minority Leader John Boehner. He led a strategy session with Republican Congressional leaders discussing how they could bring down newly inaugurated President Barack Obama and regain the majorities in the House and Senate.
All of the leaders were convinced that Obama was already a failure, and that the American people were just waiting for the Republicans to pounce on him. Among the ideas they discussed was impeachment (too early, wait until at least April,) who is the smartest person in America (Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity,) Obama's first Press Conference ("the single most embarrassing appearance by an American President in US history,") and "bringing down" the Obama girls "a notch" (their sleepovers were costing too much money.)
All of these ideas were greeted with unanimous support of the Republican leaders.
Of course the sketch was over the top, but it does illustrate the disconnect between many of the shakers and movers in the Republican party today, particularly Mitt Romney and his campaign.
A majority of Americans personally like President Obama. A majority of Americans don't believe that the economic troubles we are experiencing in 2012 were caused by Obama. A majority of Americans generally believe that Obama has tried to fix the awful mess he inherited from President George W. Bush. And, a majority of Americans don't sit on the edge of their seats waiting for Limbaugh or Hannity to impart them with words of wisdom.
Romney is losing in almost every poll on a national level and doing even worse in the 10 or so battleground states which will decide this election. And don't believe those who tell you the pollsters are in the tank for Obama. Pollsters want to be as accurate as possible (that's how they get work in the future,) and, believe it or not, some of the pollsters are Republicans.
The polls remained relatively stagnant until around Labor Day, but Romney was generally behind. Since Labor Day, Romney's polling numbers have not been good. There has been a general trend towards Obama, particularly in the battleground states.
The shift in the battleground states should be particularly troubling to Romney, because that's where the Romney campaign and its allies having been spending time, money, and effort. The non-battleground states have been ignored by both sides, and those numbers appear to be stagnant. Where Romney is getting out his message (as well as Obama getting out his,) Obama is moving ahead.
Romney's message is not resonating with voters. His message, may in fact, be turning voters off.
Romney did have some truth in his now infamous "47 percent" comments. He is correct, give or take a few points, that at least 47 percent of Americans cannot be persuaded and will vote for Obama, but 47 percent of Americans, give or take a few points, cannot be persuaded, and will vote for him. The $64,000 question is "For whom will that 6 to 8 percent of persuadable voters cast their ballot."
The over the top and visceral anti-Obama rhetoric of the Romney campaign will not persuade the persuadables.
The first Presidential debate is tomorrow night. For our Republican friends, let's hope Romney tones it down a bit. For our Democratic friends, let's hope he keeps it up. And finally, for our "persuadable friends," we hope you enjoy a few new episodes of "Storage Wars."
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