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The Race is Dead Heat

by Keith Koffler on May 7, 2012, 8:14 am

The three most recent national polls show President Obama and Mitt Romney tied, with Romney, upon consolidating his position as the presumptive GOP nominee, having erased a consistent Obama margin averaging about 5 percentage points that had existed for months.

The three most recent national polls, by Gallup, Rasmussen and Politico, all give Romney a one point advantage, within the margin of error.

Why does this matter, six months before Election Day? Who cares?

It matters for two reasons.

First, it says we’re at the starting gate, and the competitors are lined up shoulder to shoulder. This is anyone’s race to lose or win.

If Romney can convince voters he’ll heel the economy and conduct a solid foreign policy while at the very least not annoying them – all while painting Obama as a scary Socialist and incompetent on the economy – he will win. If Obama can convince voters that Romney eats babies and that he as president has been doing well enough given the circumstances and needs more time to fix things – while not frightening too many off with his leftism – he will win.

Second, the poll also suggests that Obama’s current strategy of using inconsequential issues like the Buffett Rule, student loan rates and the “war on women” to demonize Republicans is, so far, not getting him anywhere. Not only has the race tightened, his own rise in popularity has stalled and even fallen back in recent days, remaining stubbornly below 50 percent.

The Politico poll also shows Romney winning independents by ten points and leading by 6 among those who describe themselves as “extremely likely” to vote.

There is no sign that the economy is going to suddenly improve. This will be close race, and Romney’s fate is in his own hands.

{ 31 comments }

lcsouthern May 7, 2012 at 8:31 am

Have to admit I have been having a little fun with pollsters…telling them I support Obama and his wacky policies lol…oops.

Car in May 7, 2012 at 9:28 am

That’s awesome. I think you should keep that up until about … September. THen – it’s time for his numbers to TANK.

lcsouthern May 7, 2012 at 11:57 am

That’s what I’m thinking lol.

Jojo May 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Great idea! Give him false confidence so he can show his true colors ;-)

lcsouthern May 7, 2012 at 8:32 am

Looking at the elections around the world it is not a good year for incumbents.

Mike C May 7, 2012 at 11:47 am

but a good year for socialists and the trough feeders who enable them

Mike C May 7, 2012 at 11:48 am

oh yeah, Keith, he needs to heal the economy, not heel it.

MT for re-redistribution May 7, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I think Obama can only ‘heel’ it. He won’t ‘heal’ it.

Earth Ocean Sky Redux May 7, 2012 at 8:34 am

I’ve never understood polls – they are all over the place depending on who asks what questions. Romney has a good ad out this weekend that bites Obama in the right places – the economy, but I want him to do much more. Maybe he can’t until the convention makes him the real nominee, not just the presumptive? Anyone know?

How do you think the announcement of the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson will play into the election, if at all? Do we presume Johnson will take votes from Romney?

Swedishlady May 7, 2012 at 8:44 am

I think that Romney has a very good chance if he stays focused on the economy and let others in his organisation deal with the distractions that Obama dishes out.Romney has been in business for many sucessful years and is not a political broiler like Obama. He should emphasize that. On top of that he appears to be calm, resolute and pragmatic. And he has a likeable wife who could work for him. The more he will be in the media after he is chosen as the Republican candidate, the more positive coverage he will get, I am sure. He is so likeable compared to Obama. I think we will witness the awakening of the US.

MT for re-redistribution May 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I enjoy hearing your insights, Swedishlady. And I hope you are right on this one.

Swedishlady May 8, 2012 at 4:05 am

Goodmorning MT, thanks it´s mutual. And yes, let´s hope so.

Girly1 May 7, 2012 at 8:45 am

Good points, Keith. Another factor is the upcoming June SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare. Obama loses either way. If it is upheld, Romney will win by a landslide – he promised to repeal it. 60% of the electorate oppose it. Conversely, if it is defeated, Obama still loses – the majority of voters will not take a chance on him resurrecting it in 2013. There will be a stampede on Nov. 6.

Ultimately, Obama will be known as the FIVE TRILLION DOLLAR MAN! There’s no way around it for him. And don’t forget, he is also the first DOWNGRADE President in history! Student loans vs. $5 Trillion? I don’t think so, Barry! Give it up!

Just2old May 7, 2012 at 8:46 am

I agree this is going to be a close election. But, Mitt Romney is an excellent campaigner and will tear Obama apart. He’ll concentrate on the poor economy, huge deficit and high unemployment. Obama’s popularity is waning as witnessed by the poor turnout Sat at OSU. Even some of the dimwits are beginning to wise up. Obama must be defeated. Get active and get involved.

Wigglesworth May 7, 2012 at 9:41 am

The unemployment rate will continue down because so many people are leaving the labor force, but that isn’t going to help Obama much. He can survive weak job numbers through the summer, but he needs a strong September. If the data released in early October shows job creation like we had the beginning of this year combined with more people leaving the labor force we could see a substantial dip(say from 7.9% down to 7.5%) in the unemployment rate. This news will be blasted continuously for days and give Obama a positive talking point and enough of a boost to win the election.

The shrinking labor force gives modest job creation a bigger bang for the buck statistically. In his 3rd year Reagan had 1 month where 1 million jobs were created and it barely moved the unemployment rate because the labor force was expanding, not shrinking like it is now. Don’t count on the media to explain why the unemployment rate has been dropping.

Iran is the wild card. Conventional wisdom says war helps the incumbent President, but we wouldn’t be fighting a war of survival and its not clear how involved we would actually be. If it happens right before the election than Obama can give a speech and look Presidential. The price of gas will go up, but if it is within days of the election there won’t be enough time for the pain of higher gas prices to effect their voting decision.

Robin H May 7, 2012 at 9:58 am

I think we overanalyze the benefit of unemployment figures. The media can scream until they’re blue in the face, but if the people looking for jobs can’t find them, do they pay attention to the official numbers?

Also, the effect of higher gas prices is already being felt. Have you seen the prices at the grocery stores? My husband and I laugh every time we hear that the official inflation rate is low.

Just these to things alone may be enough for Obama to lose the election, especially if he keeps talking about student loans and Julia.

Jojo May 7, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I agree with Robin, I think everyone knows someone who can’t find work and has given up! And we ALL can do the math at the grocery store and the pump. People aren’t always super bright, but they are feeling the pain right now and having to make tough choices of what to do with the little money they have…

Shofar May 7, 2012 at 9:56 am

Netanyahu is calling for early elections in Israel (September, 2012), and looks to be a sure winner. This will give him leverage to deal with Iran, and the Palestinians pretty much anyway he wants because Obama is going to be more worried about his own rear than what is going on in the Middle-East.

This would give Israel the chance to take out Iran’s nuclear installations, and there really isn’t anything that Obama could do due to the the coming November election here.

If Israel does strike at Iran, and shuts down the attacks on its civilian populations, and Obama does not support and condemns Israel for its actions, that is going to show a lot of the Jewish voters what Obama real is. Bibi is playing a dangerous game, and will be taking a huge gamble, but it may cause the O Team to have a total melt down, and definitely open the eyes of a very small but influential voting block.

If you believe in prayer, now is the time to start praying for Israel and what possibly will happen in the next 4-5 months. God help us all.

langley barfly May 7, 2012 at 10:56 am

Go Netanyahu!

Moe May 7, 2012 at 11:07 am

This is a real “gutsy” call!

MT for re-redistribution May 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm

That will be an enjoyable time, when it is seen that Israel has waaaaay bigger stones that owebama. And RIGHT BEFORE the election!!

Susan May 7, 2012 at 10:47 am

“This will be close race, and Romney’s fate is in his own hands.”

So true Keith. Because this election is so important to the future direction of the country, Romney will most likely win regardless of who he chooses as VP. If he wants to win in a landslide, he’ll pick a constitutional conservative as his running mate. If he selects a moderate, the race will be a lot tighter. If he does select an establishment Republican as a running mate, I think we’ll start to see the formation of a new political party shortly after the inauguration. Personally, I don’t see too much difference between the Democrats and the establishment Republicans any longer. They are both big government statists. The only difference…the establishment Republicans are nicer to us as they steal our liberty.

Keith Koffler May 7, 2012 at 10:54 am

Interesting point about possibility of a new party Susan.

DeniseVB May 7, 2012 at 11:03 am

I think Romney’s VP selection will be a game changer. Will he pick a boring old professional politician white guy, a hard charging minority, or a ball busting Lady Governor (several are very good) ?

I personally like Alan West and Marco Rubio. Funny the left is already attacking Rubio for his inexperience. Hasn’t Obama really lowered the bar for that? :D

Susan May 7, 2012 at 11:45 am

My personal favorite is Allen West. He is a statesman in every sense of the word. Marco Rubio is a true conservative, but he is losing some of his luster by pushing a version of the Dream Act.

Jojo May 7, 2012 at 12:50 pm

I am with you Susan, I would LOVE to see Alan West as VP!! He totally ROCKS!

Quintis Arrius May 7, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Outstanding choice. Ryan was my choice, West is the Captain America type.

Mike C May 7, 2012 at 11:52 am

Rubio has already accumulated more experience than Obama. He was ACTIVE in Florida House Leadership, Obummer in IL senate voted “pass” when he deigned to show up.
In the US Senate, Rubio has done more than Obama dreamed of doing (or not doing) since it was nothing but a “present” voting situation and a launching pad for his never ending incessant campaigning.

Mark Holbrook May 7, 2012 at 11:16 am

Keith–
In your posting, shouldn’t Romney HEAL the economy and not ‘heel’ it? I prefer that he be leading the charge. Obama seems to want the economy on his heels so that he can keep all of his entitlement voters in line.

gracepmc May 7, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I liked the ten point lead from Independents. But I am not a poll watcher. That said, the ten points will not make it into the MSM talking points. Just as an aside I was talking with a friend, a lifelong resident of WDC ,who doesn’t follow the blogs or internet “news” so much and the impression he is getting is that the Republicans are losing big, Romney doesn’t have a chance etc. etc. I reminded him yet again, that when we live either in WDC or California our perspective is tainted. And I must say that the ridicule by hashtag of Twitter delights. It a lot of laughs and it quickly and publicly seizes the highground by ridicule. Whether it is important or not only time will tell (it seems to have made an impact with Julia ). But the very thought of so many people having fun at this Administration’s and Barack Obama’s expense is just desserts. I don’t know but suspect that Barack Obama is thin skinned enough to have this irritate. And I am just small minded enough to enjoy that thought. And then of course there are the larger strategic battles to win. For now, today, I will take this.

MarjoJimbo May 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm