Free Markets, Free People

Has the preference cascade begun?

As I’ve been saying for months, the “atmospherics” which surrounded the Obama win in 2008 just don’t exist in 2012. They’re just not there.  The excitement has vanished, the “hope” has been dashed and the “change” – well, it’s not at all what those who hung their own meaning on the word thought they’d see.

In other words, the President is and has been in deep electoral trouble for some time.  The only thing that has really helped him and propped him up is the media.  Many in the media have spent an inordinate time trying to explain away or cover up very serious failings on the part of his administration.  The media has also constructed a strawman Mitt Romney which they used to “help’ Obama as well.

Two events have sort of tipped the scales against the incumbent, however.  The first debate (Romney unfiltered, Obama unenthused) and Benghazi.  It is those two events which have, in my opinion (note the word), started the preference cascade toward a Romney win.

Indicators?  Well there are quite a few.

One, for instance, is a newspaper endorsement from a very liberal paper.  That would be The Tennessean.  Why is that significant?  Well, as Glenn Reynolds points out, it provides “social permission” to deviate from the Democratic norm.  And that sort of permission is necessary to begin a preference cascade.  Today the Orlando Sentinal also endorsed Romney.  Expect to see more of these sorts of endorsements in the coming days.

Another is found in polls showing the unexpected.  For instance, Romney with a chance in PA? Really?  Well apparently, if this poll is to be believed, it’s more than a chance.  And that may have downstream effects if true.  Meanwhile, in MO, the odious Todd Aiken has gone ahead of equally odious Democrat Claire McCaskill (great choice you have there, MO).  That’s important for a very good reason – it has do with enthusiasm and which side appears to have it.

Additionally, both the Romney and Obama campaigns are pulling out of NC. Why?  Because it appears the state’s results are no longer in doubt.  It will not go to Obama this time and, apparently, that’s not even iffy.  Florida seems to be going that way as well and my guess is VA too.

In OH, coal miners are mad as hell.  While that may not put OH in total jeopardy, it doesn’t make a state that was comfortably Obama’s in 2008 the same in 2012.

Other indicators?  How about the defection of this one-time solidly Democratic demographic?

Romney’s surging poll numbers in the crucial state of Florida reflect his growing success with Bubbie Molly and her unemployed grandson Adam, who both thought their right hand would wither if it ever pulled the lever for a Republican.

The signs and portents are everywhere, beginning with the special election of a Republican in Anthony Weiner’s heavily Jewish, New York congressional district one year ago. Now a startling new poll even has Romney performing the ultimate miracle: the parting of the blue states, winning the Jewish vote by a healthy 44% to 40%!

Florida activist Alan Bergstein described his recent experience advocating for Romney in the Jewish stronghold of Delray Beach. “Of about 100 entering and leaving the Bagel Tree eatery in that plaza, we ran into only two Democrats and loads and loads of Romney supporters. They stopped to talk to us, to congratulate us and to support us with their views of the Ryan/Biden debate. They were militant and fearless.”

Why?  Well, for every effect there is a cause.  In this case, it’s pretty clear:

The Democratic Party booing God and Jerusalem: At their national convention, Democratic leaders attempted to do undo the political damage of stripping all mention of God and Jerusalem as Israel’s capital from their party platform. But when they asked for a floor vote to add God and Jerusalem to the platform, the delegates loudly booed – three times. As the cameras revealed the hate-filled faces of the jeering delegates, some Jews felt frightened by the ugly scene.

Obama’s open contempt for Prime Minister Netanyahu: From the beginning of his presidency, Obama has seemed to enjoy humiliating Israel’s elected leader. He walked out on Netanyahu in the White House, claiming he had to eat dinner, and refused to pose for an official photograph with him. Now, as Iran races to complete a nuclear weapon, Obama rejected Netanyahu’s request for a meeting in New York, choosing to appear on The View instead. And when Netanyahu spoke at the United Nations, Obama instructed both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice not to attend.

Fawning over the Jewish people’s enemies: Obama bowed to the Saudi king, gave a high-profile speech in Cairo, apologizing to the Muslim world, and ordered NASA to make “Muslim outreach” its foremost priority. Over the objections of Congress, he gave at least $1.5 billion to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which advocates for “holy jihad” against Israel. And when Muslim terrorists murdered our Libyan ambassador, Obama responded with a speech at the UN, in which he stated, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

Appointment of anti-Semites to high government positions: Obama just appointed a Muslim leader who blames Israel for the 9/11 attacks to serve as US delegate to a Warsaw human rights conference. Salam al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), openly supports Hizbollah and Hamas. Al-Marayati is only the latest of Obama officials hostile to Israel, including foreign policy advisor Samantha Power and UN Ambassador Susan Rice.

Obama’s long association with anti-Semites: Obama spent 20 years in the Chicago church of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who maintains, “The state of Israel is an illegal, genocidal…place.” Obama’s biggest contributor is George Soros, who is a prime funder of anti-Israel NGOs. And Obama’s close association with Palestinian activist Rashid Khalidi is still being kept under wraps by the Los Angeles Times, which refuses to release a video of a reportedly inflammatory toast to Khalidi by Obama at a 2003 dinner. Breitbart News is offering a $100,000 reward to anyone with a copy of the tape.

Iran’s Growing Nuclear Capabilities: Obama has seemed more interested in deterring Israel from defending itself than in stopping Iran. His Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff explicitly stated he doesn’t want to be “complicit” in an Israeli attack on Iran, implying such an attack would be criminal. Now counter-terrorism expert Reza Kahlili is reporting that Obama’s emissaries have struck a secret “October surprise” deal with Iran, in which Iran will announce a halt to their uranium enrichment, in order to enhance Obama’s presidential prospects. The deal reportedly was negotiated in Qatar with former Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Velyati, who’s wanted by Argentina for the Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 people. If Obama has lost the trust of Jewish voters, they may not dismiss these reports as completely impossible.

That’s a very long and compelling list.  Long and compelling enough to see a usually reliable demographic begin to seriously question their support for the incumbent.

And other reliable demographics are either deserting Obama or just not very enthused about his re-election.

Indeed, what Obama is facing for the first time in his life is having to live up to his real performance.   No excuses.  No BS hype and pretending.  No Nobel prize his first day in office.  He is being judged on performance, merit and judgement.  He’s apparently being found less that adequate in all three by a huge part of America.

Add to that the fact that he seems to have no discernable plan to alter or correct his deficiencies or those of his administration and policies.  That’s probably because he doesn’t think he has any (remember, he thought he won the first debate).  How does one “change” if there’s nothing that needs changing?

So, all that being said, it is my opinion (again note the word) while reviewing the evidence at hand that the preference cascade we’ve talked about for months is beginning if not well underway.  Look for a lot of “whistling past the graveyard” as the Obama campaign and their surrogates downplay and ignore the gathering bad news.

But in the meantime, watch the indicators. At the least, they promise an excruciatingly tight vote.  And, if they say what I think they’re saying, Obama will be back in Chicago on January 21, 2013.

And what a mess the new president will inherit from him.


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55 Responses to Has the preference cascade begun?

  • Another trend…black Christians see the enmity Obama has for their values.
    I read something yesterday that showed polling FOR Romney running in the double digits in some states.  That would be great on several levels.

  • “And what a mess the new president will inherit from him.”  Already, prematurely setting the table for Romney blaming Obama, like Obama blamed Bush, for the state of affairs he inherited, which conservatives claimed to be contemptuous—and now they’re planning on using it—instead of taking the action necessary to saving this country. Ridiculous.

    • Ridiculous

      As are essentially all your posts.
      Everyone here has allowed as how the economy Obama faced WAS bad…four years ago.  That does not account for how bad OBAMA has made it since, and at what COSTSSSSSSSS.
      And the word is “contemptible”, moron.
      I’m willing to bet you will be among the loudest whiners when…if…we start to take action to save the country.

      • As usual, your comments are based on insults and name-calling, rather than factual information.

    • Statements of fact are now “setting the table?” You need to back away from the politics table for a while or get new talking points.

      • I don’t use talking points—only facts and my opinion based of facts.  Facts confuse the issues for conservatives; unlike myself, they think their opinions are facts.

    • “instead of taking the action necessary to saving this country. Ridiculous.”
      No, jackwagon, we’re anticipating Romney won’t whine excuses for the better part of four years.  And if he does, I can guarantee I’ll be just as pissed as I am at Obama.
      And YOU are already setting the stage for attacking him if unemployment and the other problems don’t disappear the afternoon of his inauguration, assuming you give him that long to try and fix things.
      And what the HELL would you know about the action necessary to save the country, you’re nose is so far up Obama’s back end you’re looking out through his eyes.  Your messiah has been a dismal failure.

      • and furthermore my allegedly righteous indignation does not excuse my use of “you’re” in place of “your” in my insults.

      • I don’t make biblical analogies (Messiah).  I think they’re just shrouded name calling and don’t have a place in rational discussion.

        • It’s not necessary for you to call him messiah, actions being louder and all that…
          And I didn’t think I was shrouding my name calling.  I will try and be more overt next time when the mood is upon me.

    • Yes I do plan on using it. I’ll use it to club people like you down like a baby seal. And I’ll do it with a sh-t eating grin

    • Realistically Romney can’t blame Obama the way Obama blamed Bush. The MSM won’t cover for him.

      Bush inherited bad things from Clinton. A recession. A housing bubble that was driven by Clinton administration policies. Perceptions by the bad guys that we would cut and run at teh first pushback (like Clinton did in Somolia) and only bomb ineffectivly at 60,000 ft (like Clinton did in Iraq and Serbia).

      The 2008 financial crisis is due to Clinton more then any other POTUS, yet Bush couldn’t blame him and didn’t try. And frankly, Bush, a bigger man and actual leader unlike Obama, woyuldn’t have blamed Clinton if he could.

    • About a year and half is a reasonable time period to see the beginning of change.  I never picked on Obama on the results of his economic failures until about then.
      But to maintain that 4 years later we shouldn’t see any improvement because of the last guy?  Ridiculous.
      I fully expect you’ll support another switch in the jobs metric.  Jobs added per month was  great way to fool people who don’t realize that you need X-amount of jobs added to tread water because of population growth into thinking any jobs added was positive movement.  The switch to Jobs added is such an ‘in the tank’ maneuver for the media.  I’m sure you’ll applaud the switch back once Obama is out.

      • “Jobs added per month was  great way to fool people who don’t realize that you need X-amount of jobs added to tread water because of population growth into thinking any jobs added was positive movement.”
        Only works for as long as people like us don’t explain it to those who think it’s a positive sign.  I explain the mechanics every time I get the opportunity and assuming I’m  not talking to fact wavers like Erb, I’ve noted the look of revelation.

  • All of this on top of a terrible economic ‘recovery’.  One can go on and on about government statistics and whether or not they are accurate but I would be worried if I were an incumbent facing millions of people who are either unemployed or under employed.

    And if Romney uses Obama as an excuse then he’ll be shown the door too.

  • “Indeed, what Obama is facing for the first time in his life is having to live up to his real performance.   No excuses.  No BS hype and pretending.  No Nobel prize his first day in office.  He is being judged on performance, merit and judgement.  He’s apparently being found less that adequate in all three by a huge part of America.”
    but we all know the only reason we’re not voting for him is because we’re racists.  Screw that Martin Luther King “content of their character” thing….  I mean, we could never make a rational decision based on the man’s performance alone.

  • The “Cascade” effect is right in front of our faces, if we choose to recognize them. Use your own eyes to see:
    Any Obama/Biden stickers on the cars today? This time in 2008, you would be surrounded by them if you were on virtually any road in America.
    Obama/Biden yard signs? Same thing – in 2008 there were 14 such signs in my small neighborhood. Today, none. I will repeat that, NONE!
    In 2008 I received an average of 2 phone calls a day during the month of October from local volunteers urging me to vote Obama. I have yet to receive a single phone call.
    In 2008, no less than 8 people knocked on my door for Obama. This year not a one.
    And more importantly, no less than 8 diehard Democrats among family and friends, people who voted deleriously for Obama in 2008, have tod me they will vote for Romney this year. And I cannot number the people I know who voted for him that have indicated they may not even vote this year.

    • In four cities in the past three weeks, I’ve seen pretty much the same thing. And two of those states were Iowa and Pennsylvania.

      • Even here in California I’ve been seeing as many R/R stickers as O/B ones.  Of course, teh stupid in this state burns with the fiery heat of 10,000 suns, so it’ll still wind up in the D column, but it’s nice (and surprising) to see.

  • My lefty MiL probably won’t bother to vote this cycle. She has stated she won’t vote for Obama, or Romney.

    Not sure about my lefty BiL, but I doubt he will expend much energy towards that end.

    My wife and I have already mailed in our ballots. Both of us voted Romney/Ryan.

  • It would be nice to see a Reagan/Mondale class sweep wouldn’t it?

  • Well durn (hats off) Big Tex caught fire and burned y’all.
    I know, I know, off topic again.

  • If Obama scares some died in the wool democrat Jews to vote for Romney, well, it will have far reaching consequences because once you pull that switch for another party it becomes easier to do it again.

  • After a lifetime of voting for and supporting Democrats — and even declining appointment to the U.S. Senate from a Democratic governor — Lee Iacocca Thursday endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for president.

    • The Chicago Jewish Star an independent twice-monthly general interest Jewish newspaper wrote an editorial endorsing Governor Romney over their Hometown President Barack Obama.
      “It is not only that Mr. Obama thus deserves to be a one-term proposition; it is that Mr. Romney is simply the better bet for our country.” writes the Chicago Jewish Star.

    • After nearly four years of economic stagnation, massive unemployment, record-setting debt and government intrusions into the economy that have paralyzed the private sector, the United States needs a new direction. For this reason, The Dispatch urges voters to choose Republican Mitt Romney for president in the Nov. 6 election.
      In 2008, The Dispatch warned of the problems that would result if Barack Obama were chosen as president. Noting the scant experience that Obama offered the nation in 2008 — eight unremarkable years in the Illinois Senate and less than one term in the U.S. Senate — the newspaper said:
      “A resume containing so little evidence of leadership and accomplishment leaves in question Obama’s ability to handle the most responsible and difficult job in the world, especially at a time when the nation faces a combination of problems so large and complex that they would challenge even the most seasoned leader.”
      Four years later, the nation is in the grip of the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression.

      • And for SEVERAL reasons, IT CANNOT GET BETTER under these conditions.  Pure cause >>> effect.

  • I had my first inkling of what was to come on April 15, 2009. On that day I saw the first spontaneous political gathering in my almost 70 years. Then came the elections in VA, NJ and MA, the townhalls, 2010. I have been saying for almost two years now that Obama and the Democrats were headed for the ash heap – nay, the funeral pyre – of history.
    I saw just today that Romney is farther ahead in the polls at this point than Carter (1976), Reagan (1980), Bush I (1988), Clinton (1992) and Bush II (2000). I don’t know how much time I have left, but I feel better about the future my children and their children now.

  • Keep in mind that it might be difficult for Romney to fix our economy, No need to blame anyone – just a fact that there are so many problems and not much time and political capital to fix them all. Especially once the press gets back to its normal duty.

    • Yes. This is why I can’t get that excited about the election either way. I’ve long maintained that Romney is a casting-call perfect scapegoat for a financial meltdown. If it happens on his watch, all you’ll hear from the media is how it is his fault and the fault of those wicked Republicans in Congress. The Democrat’s prolifigacy, intellectual bankruptcy, arrogance, corruption, and disconnection from reality will be utterly ignored. 

      It will be seen as one more crisis not to waste – if your goal is to get the left in power and keep them there. If the media has their way, the next financial crisis will be painted by the narrative as the fault of the GOP and proof that the GOP is unfit to run the country. Which they sorta are, even though the Democrats are worse; the media will no doubt try to build some narrative of a “new breed” of Democrats who can ride to the rescue of the country.

      I admit to some pleasure (I started to say “guilty pleasure”, but to be honest I feel no guilt over it) at the wailing and gnashing of teeth of clueless leftists. I’ll be in Europe election night, so I’ll be scouring blogs and YouTube the next day for the clips showing those long faces and somber pronouncements. I remember when I watched Dan Rather with a lemon-sucking face pronounce that George Bush was easily re-elected in 2004. And Peter Jennings. And the rest of the lefty media, who just could not believe their vaunted Kerry got whomped by the chimp from Texas.

      I’m expecting even more of that. The media is ten times as invested in Obama as they have been in any previous Democrat. I’m a student of body language, and they’ll be providing plenty of examples to study that night.

      • They don’t just capitalize on crises.  They have plans in place to capitalize on whichever outcome happens.  A Romney victor won’t be moped about long.  They’ll move to stories about vote fixing.  Or, if there is not enough evidence of that to get traction, they’ll talk about voter ID laws disenfranchising voters.  Elements of these stories will be started even before the voting polls close.

        • The question becomes, has the media so thoroughly demonstrated it’s in ability to tell the truth that the only people who will believe it will be the people who would have voted for Obama even if he declared he was Lenin re-incarnate come back to lead us to socialist paradise.
          The little dog didn’t accidentally pull the curtain aside to reveal them this time, they pulled it aside themselves and played a trumpet fanfare to boot in case people might not notice.   There hasn’t been a media so in the tank for a candidate, and so blatant about it, in my life time.
          Look at the surveys, people finally noticed.  Good luck to them trying to sell another assault on the Republicans AND staying in business too.

    • “The economy” is WAY too generic (I use it too).
      On the optimistic side of things, business growth (both in terms of numbers and expansions) will start the day after the election, and strongly ramp up thereafter UNLESS…
      our political office holders fail to effectively control spending AND…
      produce a plan to EFFECTIVELY curtain entitlements, OR…
      the regulatory behemoths inflated by Obama are not brought to heal or dismantled.  (Or there is a melt-down globally, or our lose money comes home to roost in the form of very high inflation).
      SOME states are going to have to eat the consequences of bad blue model policies, and they should be made to eat them without Federal intervention.  That will be hard on folks, but best in the long run, and there are things we  as individuals can do to ease hardship.
      There should be a market economics renaissance in the U.S., and people like us are going to have to lead it and propel it.
      I also think it high time we addressed the Fed, and either re-tasked it or killed it off…after “uneasing” the money supply.

      • On the plus side, he may have enough experience to know what he is doing, and rolling back regulations is in someways easier than slowly making thousands of them over 4 years. (Slowly, as in roll out time, not speed of overall production.)
        Gas and Oil he already has planned and that’s a no-brainer and should be fast.
        Tax reform should require horse trading but could be implemented qucikly – the plan of capping deductions is a fast way to do that, though I don’t actually like it in principle.

        • I hope that any tax reform is an intermediate step toward a complete revolution in our Federal tax system, to include repeal of the 16th.  THAT would be a HUGE step on so many levels, taking us to a more Constitution-based republic.

          • Maybe a cap is a good idea from another perspective…it would allow politicians to endlessly create new tax breaks for people but have less actual impact as the cap is in place. The Cat Fanciers can get a break on cat food, but it won’t matter….perfect feel-good politics,

  • Another indicator (of unknown value): Take a look at Amazon’s Heat Map, which tracks the books Americans are reading (per Amazon sales):
    Only a week or so ago, there was a lot more blue on the map and, although “red” books were in the majority, they hadn’t broken into the 60% bracket. Now the map is nearly solid red and pink. Very comforting!
    And look in the right margin at the sales reports for books by the two presidential candidates and the two VP candidates. In both cases, the Republican candidates have gained a lot of ground in the past week. I wouldn’t swear to a specific number in a court of law, but I believe Obama’s book has dropped 10% in the past week.

    • Interesting point. And like anything else, the closer to the election we get, the more that kind of result reflects what people are likely to do in the voting booth.

      I like these sort of indicators because they can’t be gamed, or to be precise, they are very difficult and expensive to game. Even InTrade can be gamed, and for trivial amounts of money in the context of a billion dollar campaign. Amazon does the best job of any of the tech companies of sitting above the political fray, so these results should be untainted.

  • Bruce; Consider a subset, for discussion… the most recent “Town Hall” where we had a number of supposedly “undecided” voters, who all seemed to tilt left in their questions of the candidates.
    There are some who suggest this is because these were plants, but that assumes a level of smarts on the part of Candy Crowley unsupported by decades of watching her in action. (And by the way, if the left is going to circle the wagons around Crowley, they’re gonna need a lot more wagons…)
    There’s only one logical answer for what we saw that night… All these undecideds, were actually former Obama voters who cannot stomach the idea of supporting the re-election of what they’ve seen the last four years, even though they’ve yet to determine in their own minds precisely what went wrong. They recognize Obama is a failure of epic proportions…. Even by the standards of the left. Trouble is, they haven’t figured out yet that the problem is leftist/socialist policy and that Obama is merely rather grotesque symptom of the problem, not the cause.
    That said, that shift I think is emblematic of the shift we’re seeing in the poll data. I do not think this is a long term shift away from leftism, alas, but a recognition of the failures of Obama… if not a recognition of why he failed.
    I suppose it will be enough to put re-election out of reach, but we’re going to be having the same arguments again in four years, particularly since, as I’ve commented before, in Romney we have someone who speaks Conservatism as a second language.

    • Eric, remember the venue…New York.  These were Left-leaning people from a Leftist population.  And some WERE plants, which has just been sort of a tradition with these “town hall” affairs.

      • Possibly, but I doubt we’ll ever really know.
        Still, if one is undecided at this stage of the game, this far along, one there is no way they’re anything but Obama voters questioning the wisdom of their last vote. And the polling data I’ve seen that addresses former Obama voters tends to support this idea.
        And after all, the number of former Obama voters would tend to be very high, in any event, given the wild swing from the 08 voter tallies.

        • Malkin pretty much proved there were plenty of plants in the one of those townhall debates.

      • When you control the venue, how hard is it to control who gets in.
        You can control it on both sides of the equation, who applies, and who’s selected.
        Let’s get real, there’s no media bias?  there’s no voter fraud? right?  So when we say there weren’t a pretty fair number of plants there, we can’t possibly be right and we’re participating in conspiracy theory?   Yeah, damned right we are, and with good reason.

  • Were a fair number of plants, not weren’t – where’s my morning wake up juice.

  • The problem with the debates is entirely the biases of the “moderators”. They are all old white DC liberals and their performances show that as did the questioners that Crowley choose for the townhall debate. It is entirely shameful that this mess happens every election season, heck, it even happened at some of the Republican debates. I would have preferred the reporter form Univision! If fact, why not a Spanish translated debate? Romney’s son could translate.

  • Dang it FROM not FORM!

  • Obama isn’t going back to Chicago!  Oh, no.  It’s too cold there, and there is too much crime.  Not to mention that some folks might actually expect him to help them out, the way they helped him.  He has bought a nice home in Hawaii; perhaps even a home that was used to film part of an episode on Hawaii Five-O.  Maybe Michelle will be happy there, but I doubt she has the capacity to be happy or grateful.