In watching the final days of the 2012 presidential campaign, it appears that we're witnessing a rapidly accelerating preference cascade. Whether it's a broad spectrum of polls that show an undeniable (except by people like David Axlerod) shift toward Romney, or the surprising number of liberal newspapers that have switched to endorse Mitt Romney, or anecdotal counts of bumper stickers in battleground states, the trends are clear. I suspect that the Obama campaign is beginning to worry—really worry. The question is—why has all of this occurred when Obama was a "dead-lock" according to most of the MSM little more than a month ago?
Jennifer Rubin provides an interesting explanation:
It is worth recollecting the array of attacks from the Obama camp that failed to carry the day. Romney’s approval rating is now higher than Obama’s and the Obama team tried portraying Romney as: 1) the “vulture” capitalist; 2) a tax evader and/or a felon for signing (or not signing) Bain documents after he left to run the Olympics; 3) killer of Joe Soptic’s wife; 4) outsourcer of jobs to China; 5) determined to take contraception away from women; 6) ready to give a tax cut to the rich and hike middle-class taxes; 7) egging on the auto industry’s demise; 8) willing to throw granny over the cliff on Medicare; 9) President George W. Bush’s political twin; and 10) Big Bird terminator.In going so negative for so long, Barack Obama painted himself as a small, even petty campaigner—arrogant, crass, unpresidential, and finally, desperate. Instead of using the power of his office to present a clear plan for the future and to tout his achievements (undoubtedly, a challenge), Obama and the political hacks who run his campaign demonized Romney—over and over and over again. It worked until the public got to see Romney unplugged and then—a preference cascade in the contender's favor.
In big and large assaults, some petty and some sweeping, Obama and third-party groups have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to make Romney an unacceptable alternative. It seems to have failed, spectacularly so. You can attribute a great deal of that wipeout to Romney’s outstanding debate performances. You can give him and his campaign staff credit for (belatedly) focusing on the beleaguered middle class and his positive agenda to restore them to prosperity. And you can even credit some in the mainstream media — and many more in conservative media — for debunking the attacks.
But you do have to wonder if Obama’s throw-the-kitchen sink approach was ever going to work. The Obama team’s arrogance, I suppose, did not allow for the realization that the truth might be an impediment to its negative onslaught or that voters would be able to judge Romney for themselves ...
I predicted that a preference cascade would happen, but even I am surprised by its strength and depth. Some blue states are now in play, and a number of battleground states are clearly in Romney's camp.
No one has a crystal ball, but if I had to guess based on current trends, I'd say that Mitt Romney will win the Presidency, not because he had all of the answers, but because the current President has demonstrated he has almost none.