● I Like You, But I’m Not “In Like” With You. Polls have consistently shown Obama doing much better than Romney in the likability category. This seems a strange contradiction given that every other indicator goes against Obama. So what is going on? Looking at the way people make decisions, it strikes me that this high likeability really indicates that the voters have already made up their minds. In other words, since they’ve already decided, there have no reason to generate dislike for him to aid their decision. This fits with his amazingly steady low approval rating.
And now we have more reason to question the likability number. Indeed, according to a new poll by The Hill, 93% of likely voters said that competence and policies matter more than likability. That’s horrible news for Obama. Once you get away from likability, Obama’s in deep trouble. Even the The Hill, whose polls do lean left, found that 47% of voters share Romney’s values compared to 44% for Obama, 48% view Romney as the stronger leader compared to 44% for Obama, and 46%-44% view Romney as more trustworthy.
Interestingly, The Hill uses these numbers to conclude that Obama’s attacks on Romney “as a heartless corporate raider responsible for layoffs, outsourcing and tax secrecy” have “largely failed to change the narrative in the race.” Yep. So it sounds like all those conservative blogs that were pounding the table that Romney wasn’t responding correctly have been proven wrong. Imagine that.
● Senate Math. With 98 days to go until we can upgrade from the Moron to the Mormon, there is another aspect of the election we should consider: the Senate. The Republicans need to win the Senate to get their policies in place. Romney can make some changes through agency rules and the such, but any sort of significant policy changes just won’t be possible. So what are the odds the Republicans will win the Senate? Not as high as you would think.
The Republicans need to gain four seats to control the Senate, three if Romney wins. There are 33 Senate seats up for reelection this time. The Democrats are defending 22 of those. And of the eight seats considered most endangered, the Democrats hold six of those. Should be simple, right?
Well, not quite. Right now, it looks like the Republicans will pick up North Dakota, Nebraska and Missouri for sure. However, they may lose Maine and Massachusetts. In the key swing states of Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Ohio, the Republicans have compelling candidates, but they still trail. Everything I know about Virginia tells me the Republicans will win that, but the polls don’t reflect that yet either. So based on this, we would be looking at anywhere from -2 to +7 seats, with a more likely result between +1 to +5.
That said, in the last several elections, the undecided seats have tended to sweep to one party, and that’s the party with the momentum. That would be the Republicans. Moreover, Obama’s lack of coattails and excitement will hurt the Democrats in each of these states except maybe Ohio, where blacks are likely to turn out in huge numbers. I personally think the Republicans will gain five seats, but we won’t know until we get a lot closer. This will be much closer than it should have been.
● Here Come The Excuses. Finally, the Democrats are starting to build up excuses for the loss they are expecting. The most used excuse is likely to be Voter ID laws. These laws were passed in six swing states, including Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin, as well as several other less competitive states, and the left is claiming that these laws are aimed at blacks and the young, who apparently are incapable of getting state identification cards for some reason. They have even attached a number to this issue to make it sound scientific: 5,000,000!! Said Politico:
At least 5 million voters, predominantly young and from minority groups sympathetic to President Barack Obama, could be affected by an unprecedented flurry of new legislation by Republican governors and GOP-led legislatures to change or restrict voting rights by Election Day 2012.Yeah, ok. It’s no coincidence that the enthusiasm of both of these groups is down right now, probably in about the exact amount the left claims will be affected by these Voter ID laws. Not to mention that if these groups wanted to foil us in our dastardly plan, they could actually go get a valid license and register to vote. Imagine that. But that wouldn’t give the Democrats an excuse, would it?
No doubt, more excuses will be forthcoming soon. Want to help them with some suggestions?
P.S. Don't forget, it WAS Star Trek Tuesday at the film site.