Free Markets, Free People

NYT says Obama distraction campaign may not be working

Much to the Obama campaign and the Time’s chagrin I would suppose.  You see, the economics and politics of unemployment are personal, and most of those who find themselves in that position don’t care about Bain Capital or Romney’s tax returns.  That’s essentially the message the most recent NYT/CBS News poll reported:

Despite months of negative advertising from Mr. Obama and his Democratic allies seeking to further define Mr. Romney as out of touch with the middle class and representative of wealthy interests, the poll shows little evidence of any substantial nationwide shift in attitudes about Mr. Romney.

Personal situations trump political rhetoric, especially when the political rhetoric has no bearing on that personal situation.  Apparently, unlike the media, most of the public still realize what is important.  They aren’t caught up in the politics.  They want answers to the hard questions … the questions the Obama campaign would just as soon ignore.

Thus the distraction game.

But, apparently, that game isn’t working.

The new poll shows that the race remains essentially tied, notwithstanding all of the Washington chatter suggesting that Mr. Romney’s campaign has seemed off-kilter amid attacks on his tenure at Bain Capital and his unwillingness to release more of his tax returns. Forty-five percent say they would vote for Mr. Romney if the election were held now and 43 percent say they would vote for Mr. Obama.

When undecided voters who lean toward a particular candidate are included, Mr. Romney has 47 percent to Mr. Obama’s 46 percent.

Now that’s pretty much dead even with the challenger, despite all the negative ads and stories, having the slight edge.

Frankly, given history, it shouldn’t be this close at this point.  Even Jimmy Carter had a lead at this point in his re-election campaign.

The poll is another among many indicators that the Obama presidency is in trouble.  Take it for no more than that.  It’s a temperature check.  A snapshot. 

However, when put together with all the other temperature checks, you begin to see a campaign that isn’t at all healthy.

I can’t say I’m shedding too many tears over that.   And it also says that the voters are, at least to this point, able to push aside the distractions, focus on the key issues and hold a president accountable that desperately seeks someone (or something) to blame his failure on or an issue to distract from that failure.

Not working.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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18 Responses to NYT says Obama distraction campaign may not be working

  • Polls in this instance are even less useful than usual.  Several of the big names are grossly over-sampling Ds and such, and there is the whole “Obama Factor”, which I read as a tangle of race, young, nice-looking, wanna like him, invested so much in him, etc.
    I predict a sea-change election.
    Erp, want to step up and take a piece of this???

    • I’ve been predicting that the ability of ads to change minds would showcase the law of diminishing returns.
      That said, most folks just aren’t paying attention.  They usually start with the conventions but with “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)”, the networks aren’t really showing them that any more either, so they are left with the final night in 3 hours.
      Take another look two weeks after the conventions are over.  About then the polls start to show where this is heading, barring “events.”.

    • Especially if they’re oversampling D’s the news is even worse than stated.

  • Of course, you know Obama is almost certain to be re-elected, as I’ve said for years. Though Romney is a pretty good candidate too as I’ve said. Because he knows how to sit down and hash things out with everyone and end up ensuring that government does all the wonderful things it needed to do such as giving everyone healthcare, which is a moral right. He did that right next door in Massachusetts. So, while I’ll really crow to the skies if Obama gets re-elected, I’ll be able to do a bit of crowing if Romney gets elected. It’s all good.

    So suck on it, righties, because I’ll be reasonably happy no matter which one is elected. That’s how much your kind of thinking is obsolete. You don’t have anyone to vote for who believes the same things you do. You’re marginal and out-of-touch. As long as those extremist Tea Partiers don’t get any more influence.

    Which they’ve never had much to begin with, and I think they’ve peaked. So shut up about how I said they would make no difference in 2010 and that the Democrats would easily hold the House, just shut up about that. Even though that was an entirely well-founded opinion three weeks before the election, by the election I had changed my mind. No, I don’t have any links where I said so before the election, so stop asking. It was in a casual conversation with the cashier at the 7-11. He could tell you, if he hadn’t gone back to Pakistan last month.

    But I told him that the Democrats would be lucky to hold the House, so I got it just as right as you dense righties who were predicting that GOP would take the House four months earlier. Stop laughing. I’m a professional political science professor with an advanced degree and everything, so of course I get these things right. So stop with your lists of all the things I got wrong. Please.

    What was I talking about? Oh, how unimportant the Tea Partiers are. No, as I told you last year, it was the Occupy Wall Street that really made a difference. Plus the Arab Spring, which is the anti-tea-party. And after a lot of good and necessary violence in which hundreds or thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people are killed, Twitter will force the ones who still survive to modernize. I decree it.

    Your ideology and interpretation of what’s happening is simply wrong. The problems we have can be solved, as long as we keep electing wise pragmatic moderate leftists like Obama, instead of thick righties.

    Yes, the kind of world you nostalgically remember is gone – that’s reality, it changes. Yep, that world in which people only bought houses they could afford, and had low enough taxes that they could save for retirement, and actually decided how their daily lives would work – gone, I tell you. Now, the magnificent hand of government takes care of them, so they don’t have to worry about those things.

    You can scream against the change and say it’s the end of everything good, or you can embrace it and recognize that people are still free, democracy still exists, and it’s hyperbolic silliness to say we’re somehow all dependent, enslaved or unfree. And for goodness sake, stop with all the charts and graphs that say this wonderful state of things is going to come crashing to a halt. I mean, really, that Dale Franks fellow – so depressing to read. Of course, you doom and gloom righties just eat it up. You want things to fail, because you hate my children. It’s certainly not because you are afraid your own children will get caught up in an unprecedented financial crash, you’re just deluding yourselves if you think that. Not gonna happen, because those smart, wonderful people in Washington will always make everything just turn out roses.

    People are more free than any time in US history – no slavery, women have full rights, the information revolution expands power and knowledge. And don’t start up about sexual molestation by TSA agents or people killed by no-knock SWAT raids or any of that. I mean, really, what are the odds it will ever happen to you?

    It’s a new world – different in the past, but still one that reflects freedom and opportunity. Ideological rigidity can hinder understanding. Much better to adopt a wonderful, post-modernist way of thinking, in which things just get re-defined to sound good no matter what happens. Which is not at all the same as having no principles, so stop saying that.

    Things aren’t that bad, and they will get better! So shut up about a coming crash! Hey, if it happens, it will be the Republican’s fault anyway, so it certainly won’t disprove my thesis that we’ll all more free and better off under the wise, beneficent hand of people like Obama of the christlike visage. Optimism is the essence of what makes America great! Say it and mean it! “I do believe in big government! I do!”

    • Outstanding!
      The only thing “wrong” with the wonderfulness of Screb is that he might suppress the comedic stylings (though they be inadvertent) of Erp.
      And I did so want to have his prediction on the elections…

    • Hey, what about Sarah Palin’s ample bosom!!!!

      • Apparently alive and heaving in your head, without further prompting…!!!

      • Don’t forget the magenta caterpillars!! Those combined with the ample bosoms…ah utopia.

    • So shut up about a coming crash! Hey, if it happens, it will be the Republican’s fault anyway…

      Actually, in the Bizarro world, the libertarians are to blame, since the Republicans have implemented that far-right extremist ideology since Reagan.  The US economy has been untethered and drifting in a sea of laissez faire uncertainty and complete deregulation.  Everything bad that has happened has been the fault of libertarian thinking and only when Republicans emulate Democrats do good things happen.

  • “Even Jimmy Carter had a lead at this point in his re-election campaign.”
    And what happened to Jimmy Carter?  He got crushed.
    I’m no fan of Romney but I can only imagine that panic is setting in at the Obama campaign.  There will almost certainly be debates and Obama will not be able to personally attack Romney at them without looking bad.  That is something you leave to surrogates.  If Obama has to defend his record and takes the usual tack of blaming everyone else for his tenure then he is in big, big trouble.

    • Part of the stand still of the poll numbers, I believe, is that, in 2008, Obama had his minions do the attacking but he would make noises when one might go bad, but now he isn’t making those pleasing noises.  In fact, he is piling on.

    • What I like about the idea of panic amongst these rats, is their answer, considering their home of operations, will be to go Chicago style all the way.
       
      And eventually they’ll get nasty in a way they can’t walk back from, because they really HAVE no legs to stand on in the first place.
       
      Big Ears has managed to OUT-CARTER Carter so far as a President, I expect he’ll OUT-CARTER him in the coming election with a record loss.

  • I don’t get what the big deal is about Romney’s tax returns. We already have allowed a tax cheat to become secretary of the treasury. Isn’t this now like the pot-smoking or coke-snorting? Just youthful indiscretions?

  • I still think Obama will win. Too many people with their head in the sand about the future and too many people in a bad situation who need the government check.

    • You could be right, but the indicators aren’t lining up that way. And talking with people all around the country, to include Obama supporters, I’m not seeing near the enthusiasm or support for him that he enjoyed last time.

      • I conduct my own personal poll every day I get out of the house - Obama bumper stickers.  In 2008, cars were virtually littered with them so much that by the time of the election it was easier to count the cars that did not have Obama stickers on them.  Taday, and every day till the election, pay attention to the stickers.  They are already far behind the 2008 rate.  Just an observation!

        • Last time he was running against Hillary for the nomination, so the number of bumper stickers today might not be as important as the number of bumper stickers in September and October, when the rhetoric gets cranked up.  If the Chicago gang can gain a foothold on some “scandal” (real, concocted) or gaffe, they might be able to get more voters angry or scared enough to get their legs tingling and heads swooning.  Without such a foothold and without an October surprise (or some external black swan event), Obama’s best chance will be if Romney plays Caspar Milquetoast and campaigns like Dole or McCain.  If Romney has the balls to keep pounding on issues like “you didn’t build it”, he could ride a rising tide of discontent, like Reagan.