● Polls: It seems almost obligatory that we talk about polling these days. So here are two things worth noting. A new Politico/GWU poll claims Romney has a 14% lead on Obama among the middle class. If true, that would not only put the lie to Obama’s class warfare strategy and claims to represent the middle class, but it would also mean Romney is blowing Obama away because 60% of the public is middle class. Interestingly, this figure doesn’t fit with Politico’s topline number of Obama leading by 3%.
The other interesting news was hidden within an article by Dick Morris on why you can’t trust the current polls. We’ve discussed this extensively here, but what Morris adds is that while most polls are using sample turnout identical to 2008, Rasmussen is using a combination of 2008 and 2004. . . not 2010. This explains why Rasmussen is better, but still calls the race a toss up. The electorate in 2004 was one of the most closely balanced in recent history and 2008 was a high-water mark for the Democrats. Neither of those scenarios is likely this time because there is a huge enthusiasm gap in favor of the Republicans and many Democratic voters (like college kids) haven’t even registered. Thus, any poll that incorporates the 2008 numbers will be skewed too far toward the Democrats. Moreover, 2004 is not a good balance for 2008 because it was also a low-Republican turnout election which gave the Democrats the House and Senate. Consequently, even Rasmussen’s numbers appear to be skewed left. I suspect that balancing the numbers against 2010 would show Romney with a 5-8% lead.
● It’s All Falling Apart: It’s been amazing to watch this false narrative being built about the Romney campaign falling apart. This started at Politico as a speculation piece on one of their back pages. The following morning, several MSM outlets and blogs ran with this story as if it were being reported as true rather than speculation. Suddenly, reporters were asking Romney about it and reporting his responses as him denying the truth of the supposed turmoil. Romney has all but laughed these off, but the MSM continues to run with stories about the troubles Romney is experiencing and how they are desperate for a re-set button, etc. They are also weaving in the fake poll narrative now, claiming that these polls are proof that Romney’s campaign is failing. In the latest incarnation, they are spinning it backwards by claiming the polls caused the panic, even though the panic story began before the polls they are talking about.
● Ryan Fires Back: This narrative of internal chaos has been pushed hard by many on the right. Leading the charge is RINO Peggy Noonan, who last week called the Romney campaign “incompetent,” and this week said:
“The Romney campaign has to get turned around. This week I called it incompetent, but only because I was being polite. I really meant ‘rolling calamity.’ A lot of people weighed in. . . . [but] no one that I know of defended the campaign or argued ‘you’re missing some of its quiet excellence.’”This is pathetic logic: “I’m right because I nobody bothered to tell me I’m wrong.” You can prove anything that way. She even claims that an unnamed source inside Romney’s camp secretly agrees with her! Yeah, right. But Noonan is not alone. Others on the left and right ends of the conservative spectrum have been just as harsh. Romney is swinging too far right, not far enough right, hasn’t said enough, says too much, needs to provide specifics, should avoid specifics. Mostly, he just needs to do “better.”
The truth is that our pundit class are idiots. They don’t know what they are talking about, so they try to fake having knowledge by criticizing the campaign while careful avoiding actually saying what the problem is. They do this because criticism is easy and they win no matter what. If Romney loses, they warned him. If he win, it was only because he followed their advice and “did it better.” Moreover, they make their living by drawing attention to themselves. Thus, they look for ways to be controversial and to sound smarter than they really are. This is not helping. These people should be attacking Obama’s myriad of failures, flaws and outrages, but they know they will sell more copies attacking their own side.
Paul Ryan put his finger on this when he said these commentators were wrong and that “I think that’s just the nature of conservative punditry is to do that – to kind of complain – about any imperfection they might see.” Sadly, that is correct.
● Return of the Tax Return: Finally, Romney released his 2011 taxes and the media is frustrated. They have no idea how to smear Romney with these because Romney gave $4,020,722 (29.4% of his income) to charity. Obama gave only $172,130 (21%) of his income and Joe Biden gave $5,540 (1.5%) of his income to charity.
There are also no strange surprises or deductions the MSM have been able to attack. So the best they’ve got now is Harry Reid whining to the Las Vegas Sun, “He’s hiding something! He’s hiding something! It is so evident he’s hiding something!” Which makes me ask again why Harry won’t tell us where he buried the children he molested. . . it’s evident he’s hiding something.