Saturday, November 5, 2011

So ... Is Mitt Romney the New John Kerry?

Jon Chait and Steve Benen think so.

With all the talk being rammed down our throats by "those whom we must obey" in the privileged Professional Left portion of the Fourth Estate of the President being this generation's Jimmy Carter, these guys offer a curious link back to the election of 2004, considering next year's big show.

First Chait:-

The prevailing view is that an election is a referendum on the incumbent…. On the other hand, it’s possible that the unacceptability of the Republican Party will redound to Obama’s benefit. That is what I think happened in 2004. President Bush was unpopular at the beginning of the year, but he relentlessly painted John Kerry as a flip-flopper. Over the course of the campaign, Bush’s approval ratings rose from the mid-forties to just over 50 percent.

And now Benen fact-checking, supporting and enhancing upon Chait's take:-

I wasn’t sure if that was right, so I checked. Sure enough, in the summer of 2004, Bush’s approval rating dropped to 47% in Post/ABC polling, 44% in Fox News polling, 45% in NBC/WSJ polling, and 46% in Gallup polling. Those aren’t great numbers, but they weren’t abysmal, either. And as it turns out, Bush’s approval rating the summer before his re-election bid wasn’t much different than President Obama’s current approval rating. Bush had a few months to see his support grow; Obama has a year.

And why did Bush’s support grow from the mid-40s to the low-50s? Chait argued, persuasively, that voters starting seeing the president “within the context of a partisan choice,” and decided they liked him more after taking a look at the wealthy Massachusetts challenger with an awkward personality and who was often accused of flip-flopping.


Ahem, indeed.

Republican-leaning voters who weren’t sold on Bush — weak economy, awful job growth, etc. — became more inclined to support him after evaluating the alternative. Could that happen again with Democratic-leaning voters and Obama? Of course it can. As Chait put it, the president “has a chance to have his approval rating rise simply by drawing a sharp contrast against the Republican nominee. In other words, incumbent approval rating isn’t something that’s independent of the opposing candidate. Voters may shape their view of the incumbent by making a comparison.”

If Republicans were a popular party with a popular agenda, this would be a very different story. Likewise, if Obama were a poor campaigner facing a charismatic GOP frontrunner, I’d have a different set of expectations. But I’ve seen a lot of Obama political obituaries, and at this point, none of them have proven persuasive to me.

Even if this turns out to be an election where there has to be a rationale imparted for the simple-minded: Vote for the President and the Democrats, FFS, because look at the looney tune alternative - it's got the ingredients of a Democratic win.

The only thing, the only thing that can affect this election is a low turn-out, which is what the Professional Left are pushing, for their own agenda.

In 2012, it's imperative that we get out to vote, and get out to vote DEMOCRATIC.

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