Andrew Sullivan wrote a post on his blog named: “Does Obama want out?”. He quotes a couple of people who thinks he does. And remember – Sullivan has been an ardent if not realistic supporter of President Obama.
Then he says this HERE:
That we are having this discussion at all reflects the enormity of Obama’s implosion. This race is now Romney’s to lose. Not just because Romney is shameless liar and opportunist. But because Obama just essentially forfeited the election. In the first match-up between the two candidates, one was a potential president; the other a dithering wonk. I’m still reeling. I’m sorry if these are not things an Obama supporter should say at this point. But the demoralization is profound.
And this comes after a post he wrote labeled “Did Obama just throw the entire election away?“
I’m a big fan of Andrew Sullivan. If you don’t read his stuff …. you should. He is usually on point and has a very good grasp of what a better America looks like. When it comes to politics … his radar is good about 75% of the time; if he were a baseball player – he’d be in the Hall of Fame by now.
But – even the Hall of Famers strike out in an embarrassing fashion. So let’s discuss. It has been 5 days since the 1st Presidential debate. Obama lost the style points by not addressing the many falsehoods that Romney claimed as facts. That was the first real “win” for Romney in 3 months. There were months after months of Romney losing standing in the polls via attacks on his time as CEO of Bain, his record as Governor, reliving his positions from the Republican primary to the disastrous Republican National Convention to the 47% hidden video and now Romney finally got a win. Yes – even a broken clock is right at some point.
Sullivan says “this race is now Romney’s to lose”. Well – damn Andrew. Et tu? I had to consult Nate Silver for a fair, unemotional look at where the race lies with less than a month to go. Nate says:
According to Twitter, Barack Obama went from a huge favorite at 1 PM to a huge underdog at 4 PM. Get a grip, people.
— Nate Silver (@fivethirtyeight) October 8, 2012
In other words – chill the f-ck out. There was a big Pew poll showing Romney up by 4%. That’s significant because it showed huge movement towards Romney and Pew is very well respected; they’re sort of the gold standard in polling. But as Nate Silver later tweeted, “How much difference did the Pew poll make? We had Romney win % rising to 24.4% from 21.6% today. Without Pew, he’d have made no gain at all.”
And even the good pollsters are not to be evaluated simply off of one poll; everyone including Mr. Sullivan knows that. Gallup shows Obama up 5 points nationally and they have been trending lean Republican for a while. The truth is we only need to look at the electoral college to see where the race is headed.
Nate Silver says the race is Obama’s to lose HERE:
The last thing to consider is that the fundamentals of the race aren’t consistent with a 4-point lead for Mr. Romney. Instead, the most recent economic numbers, and Mr. Obama’s approval ratings, would seem to point to an election in which he is the slight favorite. We don’t use approval ratings in our forecast, but we do use the economic data, and both the monthly payrolls report and the broader FiveThirtyEight economic index would point toward an election in which Mr. Obama is favored in the popular vote by around 2.5 percentage points.
And a few things to consider:
#1 – Romney is riding a one hit wonder performance that Obama will not likely be unprepared for again.
#2 – Romney WILL say something stupid in the next couple of days if history is any indicator.
#3 – The economy IS improving; Ezra Klein says the # of jobs created in September was probably MORE than reported HERE.
#4 – Some of the improvement in the standing in the polling comes from disaffected Republicans who just needed a reason to vote Romney.
#5 – If you look at the electoral college – Romney has to sweep the swing states to win this thing. Obama is a favorite in Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, Wisconsin, Iowa etc. Romney could win Florida, Colorado and North Carolina and Obama still wins. If I had to pick a map … I’d pick Obama’s electoral position hands down.
So – Mr. Sullivan … let’s not start claiming the sky is falling until we start to see some trends. Three things that have already squelched some of the debate momentum are the jobs #’s on Friday, the Obama campaign’s eagerness to report their record fundraising #’s for last month this weekend and Romney’s lackluster and widely panned foreign policy speech 10/8. The Obama campaign has enough money to appropriately attack the vast # of lies the Romney campaign has disseminated; let’s not freak out over one political setback for Obama.
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