The polls aren’t looking particularly good these days for Mitt Romney. Already, some pundits are starting to pronounce him as done. Indeed, the RCP poll shows Barack Obama with 265 electoral votes, only five away from the total needed for victory. Some conservative writers have even begun writing what might respectfully be called post-mortems, which is a little strange given that the election is still five weeks way.
David Frum attempted to lay the blame not on Romney the man, but rather Romney’s policies: “But if governing-minded Republicans chose the candidate, it was the radical wing of the party that dictated his message - and it's the message that is dragging this campaign down.”
True though that statement may be, it doesn’t begin to get at the heart of the matter. Mitt Romney’s biggest problem is, well, Mitt Romney. And while the cynic in me is always a little apprehensive about counting any chickens before they’re hatched, let’s face it. The former governor of Massachusetts has quite an uphill battle on his hands. One opinion poll actually has him with a lower favorability rating than George W. Bush. You know you’re up a creek, politically speaking, when the worst president since Herbert Hoover is beating you.
But if the main-stream media and what’s left of the responsible conservative movement show Obama with a commanding lead, the Right remains, shall we say, skeptical. To them there is a giant conspiracy underway to make Obama look more popular than he actually is. They point to the sampling rate of the polls as being overly Democratic and when you factor that in, Romney ends up with a lead in many of the swing states.
Of course there’s only one problem with that logic, aside from the sheer paranoia of it. There’s absolutely no truth to it. The sampling rate has been fairly consistent in virtually all of the polls throughout the year. These were the same polls which showed Romney with a slight bump after his convention and, until quite recently, had him ahead in North Carolina and tied with Obama in Colorado, Iowa and Wisconsin. In fact, if you go back several months, the polls showed a fairly tight race between the two candidates.
So what happened? Why has Obama pulled away from Romney in the latest polls? One word: incompetence. Over the last few weeks, Mitt Romney has had a number of missteps which have showed him in a highly unfavorable light. The Libyan press conference, the 47% video tape and the ridiculous statement he made about airplane windows that don’t open have revealed a side of Romney that many likely voters find objectionable. Put simply, he is not looking very presidential and it is becoming painfully obvious to an awful lot of people that maybe this isn’t his true calling.
By comparison, Barack Obama has looked far more consistent and steady. His campaign has made far fewer mistakes and is a lot more disciplined. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that time is starting to run out on Mitt Romney, and the Right knows this full well. They may be insane, but they know how to read a calendar.
So rather than criticize the worst presidential campaign since, well, the last one, they have decided to go after the bearers of the bad news and blame them for Romney’s failures. Apparently everybody is out to get Mitt Romney – including, unfortunately, Mitt Romney himself, but that’s another story altogether. The real reason Obama is ahead in all these polls is because the liberal, elite media want him to be. Yes, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Gallup, Politico, Rasmussen and Fox News are all involved in a giant conspiracy to get the President reelected in November. Funny, I wasn’t aware how leftist Rasmussen and Fox News had become. Seems only yesterday both were actively trying their best to defeat Obama and extoll the virtues of Thurston Howell III. But not even the well-known conservative bias of both can deny the painful truth. Whatever it is that Mitt Romney is selling, the public simply isn’t buying.
The good news for Romney, if you want to be optimistic, is that there is still time for him to repair the image that many voters have of him. Next week marks the first of three presidential debates. It deals with domestic policy, which was supposed to be the one strength Romney had. This may well be the best and last chance he has of being able to revive a campaign that is taking on water faster than the Titanic.
It’s a long shot, but if he can manage to hold his own and make the case for why he is best suited to run the country for the next four years, those same liberal, elitist polls that show him decidedly behind will start to move back in his direction.
If he flubs it, well, let’s just be polite and say it’s over.