By DAVID BEILSTEIN
RICH LOWRY DOWN at National Review reports the Romney campaign crying horse
shit concerning recent polls showing President Obama bouncing into a lead. I’m not discounting a bounce for the president, but I’m a bit suspicious that a man unable to hang time over 45% is now routinely at 49-50% in post convention polls. How does a man with this economy do that? This is especially true since two major economic indicators — jobs and cost of living — continue to creep from bad to worse, for the raptor-armed president.
I would speculate team Romney feels they have a wonderful shot at winning — and want to make sure a modest bounce for President Obama is not taken as some kind of bad omen or momentum shift. For those pessimistic readers of Crede, ut intelligas, remember George H.W. Bush was trailing Gov. Michael Dukakis in September ’88 by 17 points. Bush Sr. went on to throttle the governor with over 420 electoral points. In September, 1980, Gov. Ronald Reagan trailed President Jimmy Carter by almost nine points. We know what happened. Reagan scored a knockout in November. He knocked Carter ass-over-teacup with a beautiful right hand, netting 489 electoral votes, and sending Carter packing South for a cold enswell and peanuts.
So, plenty of time for Mitt Romney to navigate the election serf, illuming the presidents atrocious record, and make things happen.
Elections like this are slow to evolve … conservative commentators continue to beg the question and lightly panic that with President Obama so bad — Romney should be leading by 10 points. Problem is — the last two similair models where the American public replaced the President of the United States in the midst of seeking a second term (Carter & Bush Sr.) that was not the case. Reagan was not trouncing Carter according to polls even up to the last minute and Clinton was not way out in front of Bush Sr. In both these examples, the public clearly rebuked the incumbent and sent them packing.
But the polls did not indicate an upcoming slaughter even with the public brassed off at the sitting president. History seems to show, the comeuppance by the public against incumbents is done in the seclusion of the ballot box — not in polls.
We will see.
What I’m saying is quite simple … even if Romney wins 320 electoral votes, don’t expect polls to show him way out in front up to election day. You’ll see it in the tally on election night — not polls. And before some of our readers collapse in the weight of imagining Obama still president next year, remember, John McCain led Barack Obama from September 6 until September 20 of 2008. And Barack Obama went on to gather 365 electoral votes. McCain was not down by a lot in polls leading up to that election, either.
If there is an area to worry, it’s Ohio as Rich Lowry’s piece goes into. Romney has to take Ohio. Romney and company will be spending a ton of bread there I would imagine. Is there something up with polls? Who knows. I’ll leave that up to the more conspiratorial minded folks out there.