Could Romney Romp to Big Win in November?
It’s still very early with six months until Election Day, and I’m not ready to turn away from my statements that this may be a very tight race, but there are some recent indicators forming that make me wonder if Mitt Romney might just win election by a landslide.
The indicators can be broken down into three categories – money, metrics and message.
As of March 31, 2012 Obama had $104 million on hand compared to Romney who had $10 million, which would be expected given Romney has had to endure a primary contest while Obama was raising money. Those amounts only represent the individual campaigns though with no effect from Super PAC’s backing either candidate, and that is where the big money will be in 2012.
Current indicators seem to be in favor of Gov. Romney in PAC support with the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson and Foster Friess, to name just a few, who are capable of and have intimated they are prepared to spend huge amounts of money to defeat President Obama. While the President obviously has his own well-to-do supporters there have been some signs that his Super PAC’s do not have what the Republicans appear to have when it comes to raking in the serious, unregulated money.
It’s also worth noting that the Democrats are even having challenges financing their own convention in Charlotte, NC and while I’m confident they’ll reach their goals it does cast some doubts about how much labor unions and big corporations can be counted on by President Obama, both of which have alluded to different donation and spending strategies in 2012 than previous Presidential election years.
Agree or disagree, like it or not, money is king in political campaigns and there are some significant early signs that Gov. Romney may well have the upper hand in this critical area.
Polling this early is always suspect at best since a large percentage of the country is yet to even focus on the upcoming election but there are still some trends that deserve attention.
As of May 12, 2012 the Real Clear Politics average shows Obama with just a 2% lead, well within the margin of error, and considerably less than just 8 weeks ago.
Looking at the trendlines though paints a considerably different picture than today’s snapshot. While the current polling in many states is sketchy, looking at the movement over the last 6 to 8 weeks in twelve key states and extrapolating the direction of each individual state produces a considerably different electoral college map than the Obama campaign has been espousing.
As I stated the polling is weak right now and this is a purely mathematical exercise but when adjusting the following states based on the recent trends even the electoral math can get lopsided rather quickly.
The noted states are: Nevada moved to the Obama column; Arizona, Florida, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia moved to the Romney column; Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin moved to toss-ups; and Colorado remaining a toss-up.
There are a lot of outside factors that could change many of these adjustments in the next six months, but there is an equal amount of influences that could solidify them just as easily. Only time will tell which it is.
There are a couple of graphically demonstrable messages the voters are espousing in daily polls, the President’s approval rating and the direction of the country. Here again the current numbers must be tempered given how far away Election Day is but they are telling nonetheless.
Presidential Approval Rating from Real Clear Politics:
Direction of Country from Real Clear Politics:
While a few news cycles have had some very recent effect on both of these charts, like the anniversary of Osama bin-Laden’s death and the President’s endorsement of same-sex marriages (though this issue will not have the impact Obama may have hoped for per a recent Gallup poll), the trends speak directly to the overall dissatisfaction the American public has with the current administration.
From a politicking perspective the recent announcement by the Obama campaign they are shelling out $25 million (25% of cash on hand) for a series of TV ads in May alone, to be televised in nine key states, says a lot. It is almost unprecedented for an incumbent to make a media buy this large, this early in the campaign and it may well speak directly to stemming the momentum Gov. Romney is building.
As noted in a CBS News article, the ad buy is also a change of course for Obama who is trying to defend against the Romney attacks on his handling of the economy, and the country on a whole, for the last three plus years. In campaigning you’re on offense or playing defense, and it seems that the Obama camp is on the defense and they know there is precious little time to waste in trying to reverse public sentiment.
What I’ve written here is contrary to my belief that this will still be a very tight race, that there is still a long way to go until November and anything can happen, and that most polling and daily tracking is still suspect on the surface. But with the economy still stagnated (something that the slower GDP growth numbers for the second quarter will bear out in July), unemployment still above 8% as of April 30, gas prices continuing to rise, and a general sense of frustration overcoming the American public, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that things may only get more challenging for President Obama and his reelection bid.
From Gov. Romney’s perspective there are several indicators that speak well such as a demonstrative beginning to a coalescence of the ultra-conservatives and Evangelical Christians, though there is a long way to go in this area, the last several days have borne witness to positive movement; a few stumbles by the campaign have been drowned out by more sensationalist news stories; and his organization continues to pivot toward full-on general election mode in fund-raising, staff increases and a clearer message.
If the Governor can establish that clear message of economy, jobs, elimination of burdensome regulations and reducing the size of government with a balance that incorporates the issues important to the far-right, he just may create a juggernaut that leads to a “Romney Romp in November”.