"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bump? What Bump?

A new Washington Post poll has Mitt Romney ahead of Barack Obama by 49-46, and has Obama's approval disapproval rating at 47-49.   Obama, in other words, has completely squandered whatever "bump" he got from "masterminding" the killing of Osama bin Laden.   (I think that it didn't take common sense Americans very long to figure out that he had very little to do with it, and that his grandstanding to take credit was distasteful.)

But this is actually worse than it looks for Obama.   The poll, as many left-leaning polls inevitably do, uses "all adults" without screening for likely voters.   But the young, the poor, and the transient (often overlapping categories and generally Democratic consitutencies) don't vote as regularly as older, more affluent, and more settled voters.   So a "likely" voter poll would undoubtedly skew more toward the GOP candidate.  Moreover, the poll only reflects a 25% GOP sample.   But, in the 2010 elections, there were many more GOP voters than that.   So, again, a 47-49 approval/disapproval split is likely much worse that that for Obama. 

How much worse?   I think the incompetence of the Obama administration coupled with its arrogance, its ultra-liberalism, and an economy that hasn't turned around (read:  broken promises), has turned off a substantial majority of American voters.   I also think that a significant number of people may not criticize him openly (out of reticence to be heard criticizing a black President), but won't vote for him when they get in the polling booth.   But I can't remember the last time I heard anyone in my office (a large law firm with a generally Democratic set of partners) openly defend Obama.   It's become embarrassing to support him.

That may change a little as we approach the election.   The old adage that you can't beat someone with nobody is different in presidential politics:  nowadays a president will inevitably do worse against a generic candidate and better once the opposing candidate is known and defined and attackable.   But I think a center-right, sober, competent Mitt Romney will beat an ultra-left, arrogant, incompetent Barack Obama every time.   And it might not be close.  

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