The contest between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama for the presidency will end with a decisive, and possibly even a landslide, victory for Romney in November. Polling data that hasn’t even come close to supporting this contention of mine is of no relevance. Outside of political junkies, the rest of the electorate doesn’t begin paying attention to election races until after Labor Day.
Furthermore, Obama has heretofore outspent Romney vis-à-vis (intensely negative) campaign ads — in spite of the fact that Romney has by far and away outraised Obama in campaign donations. Campaign finance laws preventing Romney from spending a cent of any of the monies that he has raised for the general election until after he formally becomes the Republican Party’s presidential nominee conspire to conceal this fact. However, after the GOP convention in Tampa at the end of this month, Romney’s funds will be unleashed.
In other words, Obama hasn’t really even gotten hit — yet.
These considerations aside, polling phenomenon depicting a razor sharp race or, more incredibly, an Obama lead, is irrelevant simply and solely because it contradicts a few basic facts that partisans of all stripes must concede.
The first of such facts is that Obama is no longer an unknown candidate. He now has a record — a record of which everyone is painfully aware. So, even the most naïve, even the most ignorant of voters, will not fall for the same rhetoric of “hope and change” that Obama endlessly espoused four years ago and that succeeded in mesmerizing legions of unsuspecting Americans who ecstatically consumed the notion that he was a “new” type of politician.
That Obama himself knows this accounts for why he no longer even attempts to speak along these lines.
Secondly, the president’s approval rating has plummeted since the fall of 2008. But not only have Obama’s numbers fallen further and more rapidly than that of any other president, a Pew Research Center poll from earlier this month reinforces what every poll reader knows: Obama’s favorability rating is actually below average for a presidential candidate at this time in an election season. In short, in stark contrast to 2008, Obama is not well liked.
Thirdly, it stretches credibility to the snapping point to think that everyone who voted for Obama in 2008 will vote for him this time around. Not even close.
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Jack Kerwick, Ph.D. (photo)