By Dave Andrusko
We’re going to end this week’s editions of National Right to Life News Today with a look at pro-abortion President Barack Obama’s problems. They extend beyond some of the ominous polling numbers that have popped up and the universal consensus that pro-life Mitt Romney is going stronger as a candidate. It extends to qualities even his adoring press admirers are beginning to be repelled by.
First some numbers from political observer Charlie Cook. Yesterday he dug deep into polling data from Gallup, which is the gold standard because its sample sizes are so large. Others who know far more about this than I do might quibble with his pretty-much-nothing-has-changed- since-early-April. For example, Republicans, and especially Republican women, are rapidly coalescing around Romney and Obama is far behind today from where he was vis a vis Catholics in 2008. But….
What for Cook has changed—and why the secondary headline reads, “Dig into the polling numbers and you find some warning signs for the president heading into the general election”—is turnout predictions.
According to Gallup, African-Americans and non-Hispanic whites rated themselves very likely to vote in November, but far less so for Hispanics.
“This data suggest that Obama is on track to replicate his performances in terms of support among African-Americans and Hispanics,” Cook writes. “The Hispanic-turnout problem, though, is very real.”
But there is a much more fundamental problem for Obama and Democrats as a whole. Cook writes
“The most striking poll finding was the generational divide among white voters. Among whites 18 to 29, Romney led by 3 points in the first three weeks of interviewing; Obama had a 1-point edge in the second three weeks. Among whites 30 and older, the Romney advantage ballooned to 19 points in the first half and 20 points in the second. But it’s the likelihood of voting that should worry Democrats: 84 and 85 percent of those 30 and older said their likelihood of voting was 10; only 61 and 63 percent of those 18 to 29 indicated 10.”
Just to be clear, the age group with whom Romney enjoys the largest advantage (30 and older) is also the one that said they are most likely to vote—and by a huge margin.
The other facet of all this is something I’ve been meaning to get to for three days—and now I’m out of time. So, let me quickly summarize the gist of “Obama’s negative feedback loop,” written by Glenn Thrush, that ran in POLITICO (www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76843.html).
Thrush’s thesis can be summarized quickly: because of who Obama is—or at least how he was seen to be—“going negative” carries extraordinary dangers. Yet everything about the campaign to date suggests that is exactly what is going to be the President’s approach.
(It is not an accident that David Axelrod is Obama’s top campaign strategist. Obama biographer David Mendell told POLITICO last November, “David Axelrod has always been skillful at creeping into your room in the middle of the night and slicing out your heart, somehow without leaving behind a single fingerprint or drop of blood that ties him or his candidate to the crime.”)
No better barometer could have been provided than “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer, whose bias in favor of Democrats is difficult to miss. Thrush said Schieffer started his show on Sunday
“by summing up those grievances [of Independent voters]in an exchange with former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs. ‘One of the refreshing changes when the president was elected — he talked about hope and change,’ Schieffer said.
“’Whatever happened to hope and change? Now, it seems he’s coming right out of the box with these old-fashioned negative ads.’”
“’There is some validity to the point that we lose something’ by attacking Romney, said one senior Democratic strategist active in the campaign.
“Republicans, and a few Democrats, see an ominous downward trend for Obama and say his direct attacks on Romney are eroding a robust personal popularity rating north of 50 percent, his top electoral asset.”
The “consolation” supposedly is that Romney is not all that well-received by the electorate. This misses the obvious: that Romney’s likeability numbers have jumped enormously in the last month.
As NRL News Today reported on Monday, the Washington Post’s Jon Cohen looked at a brand new Washington Post-ABC News poll and concluded
“Overall, Romney’s favorability rating still trails President Obama’s, but the gap is far narrower than it’s been. In the new poll, 41 percent of all Americans express positive views of Romney; 52 percent do so for Obama. Just over a month ago, the president had a 56 to 35 percent advantage on this score.”
In other words, a 21 point different has essentially been halved—to 11 points. And among registered voters the gap was ONE point!
But the Obama campaign is un-persuaded. They believe they can win a narrow victory, according to Thrush, “provided they don’t heed the siren song of critics saying they should lay off Bain and take it easier on Romney.”
We’ll see if that’s what the American people want from a man who packaged himself as a “transformational” candidate.
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