By DAVID BEILSTEIN
The Drudge Report linked to a collection of polls, gone due to the morass of death and fire in Egypt and Libya. One poll, CNN, showing President Obama up by six — a few days ago, now — but the poll tilted heavily with Democratic voters in the sample. Without this poll weighted so heavily toward Democrats, Romney comes out on top. This makes more sense, since the president has been routinely polled at 44-46% losing to Romney, — which, I might add, appears to be his approval rating.
Other polls, including Rasmussen, all show the president’s convention bounce dissipating … given we’re less than a week out from the president’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, that cannot be good news for the Obama campaign. These polls, showing a 48-47, 49-48 split, favouring Obama, are within that margin some pollsters now think Romney will still win.
This would assume, like most election years, a majority of undecided voters go against the incumbent. Most important to pay attention too for those that care, however, are state-by-state polls. And even more important, perhaps, the CNN poll showing Obama up by six points also shows him losing independents to Romney by 14 points! If the 14 is correct — and this is the same poll heavily tilted toward Democratic voters — I’m not buying Obama’s bounce, or jump into the lead at all. No. I’m buying the 52-46 with Romney in the lead — which you get when levelling out the CNN poll evenly between Democratic and Republican voters. Bottom line, Republicans are in a good position. Not great, not bad. Romney is in a position now that if he makes a congenial, common sense case against the president’s record, he will win the presidency baring unforeseen events.
The average American voter, again, sees elections through experiential terms, their livelihoods, and their wallets. When things tilt toward the bad — and economic indicators are worse for Obama almost daily — approval ratings do not go up. Politicians do not go from 44-46% to over 50% because of a convention speech in real numbers … not normally, especially when that incumbent has been giving speeches for almost four years and things are the same — or worse.
When the economy began to go south (before the financial meltdown) during George W. Bush’s second term, his poll numbers dipped precipitously. They dipped even more when unemployment ticked up. Obama has a worse economy than at least seven of George W. Bush’s eight years in office, and growth under Obama, is far worse. Obama’s unemployment numbers have not gone below Bush numbers.
Remember, for most of President Bush’s years in office, economic growth — meaning productivity and job creation, was good. In fact, Obama scorned a job report during the Bush years that showed 300,000 plus jobs created — about the same number needed now to grow us out of our unemployment hole. And this was at the end of Bush’s term when things weren’t good.
Obama’s last job report hovered at 96,000. Unless the American people in the majority are now drowning, I cannot relate these numbers and Obama’s sudden poll surge — showing a support for him finally happen after a speech. I would presume Obama struggles to net more than 48% on Election Day, while Romney will hit 51-53%, if models continue to hold and Romney doesn’t stumble. Those who want to see President Obama defeated, be confident. It is not over — but just begun.
All historical indicators favor a Romney victory. Those historical indicators are not false optimism, for they often go against Republicans. They are, as it were, ideological neutral. These historical indicators with these economic realities always go against the incumbent. If roles were reversed, and a candidate Barack Obama had thrown his hat in the ring against an incumbent President Mitt Romney, with like economic stasis, I would be predicting an Obama victory and his winning of the presidency.
Fair is fair, after all.