Romney Still Has A Chance
July 18, 2012 4 Comments
While we here at Steven Birn Speaks believes Obama is going to win the election this November, there are some positive signs for Romney. The Real Clear Politics spread is 2.1% for Obama. That’s pretty good in light of the fact that Obama is currently free to spend all of his primary money. I’ll bet you didn’t know that Obama has money to burn before his convention while Romney is severely limited after spending most of his $85 million in primary money on winning the nomination. Campaign finance rules prevent Romney from spending the $100 million or so he’s made each of the last couple months until after his convention.
What’s the result of this been? According to the Washington Post Obama has outspent Romney $17 million to $2 million in Florida, $22 million to $6.5 million in Ohio and $11 million to $3 million in Virginia. What has that earned Obama? Not much. In Virginia Obama is only up 2, in Ohio he’s up 3.8 and in Florida the candidates are essentially tied. Those numbers are largely unchanged in the last three months. So while Obama is outspending Romney, he isn’t getting anything for it. Come October Romney won’t be outspent by Obama.
It doesn’t appear that Obama’s Bain attacks are having much affect on the electorate. That’s certainly a positive for Romney. One wonders if it’s because the public has tuned out Obama, whether the Bain attacks are stale because of what Gingrich did during the primaries or whether the public just isn’t paying attention. It may be a combination of all three. Either way, it isn’t hurting Romney right now, which can’t be viewed as anything but a victory for them considering the campaign’s largely inept response.
Historically the polls have favored Democrats at this time of the election. There have been a number of recent polls which have overly skewed Democrat. A recent Marist Poll showed Obama up by 2 points. Yet the poll skewed to the Democrats by 7 points. (it also over polled independents by 4) To believe this poll is accurate one has to assume that the electorate in 2012 will be the same as it was in 2008. For the record the 2010 election had a spread of 35-35 Democrats to Republicans. It’s more likely that the 2012 election will look like the 2010 election than the 2008 election. But even if it’s right in the middle and thus the spread is 3.5 in favor of the Democrats, the Marist poll is skewed. Even with the 7 point spread, Obama is only up 2.
The Marist Poll isn’t an exception to the rule, many of the polls cited by newspapers consistently skew towards the Democrats. Some of them as high as 9 or 13 points. The fact is that there aren’t 9 or 13 points worth of more Democrats than Republicans in this country. An exceptional year for Democrats in 2008 still only yielded a +7 number for the Democrats. Surely this election won’t be +7 for either party, much less the Democrats. It’s more likely to be 35-35 like 2010 or perhaps something along the likes of 35-33 Democrats. Go back to that Marist Poll, if the poll were more in line with what the electorate is, Romney likely would be ahead.
Romney supporters can at least look to some of these poll trends as well as the money situation and sleep peacefully at night. Romney is nowhere near out of this thing. He is exceptionally close to Obama, who cannot seem to break out in swing states despite out spending Romney. This of course doesn’t mean the challenger is going to win. Until Romney can sell undecided voters on the notion that he has a plan that is better than Obama’s he isn’t going to win. But things are setting up to be a very close election and Romney has a shot if he gets his act together. What more could a challenger ask for?