The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Little Things

Two debates down, and one to go.

It appears that the President's supporters and his cheerleaders in the MSM were thrilled by the fact that Barack Obama was active enough to fog a mirror in this second debate. Overall, I'd say the result was a push—both candidates arguing points but no real blood was drawn. If, however, you can believe the CNN instant "scientific" polling immediately after the debate, it looks like the edge goes to Romney on most substantive issues.
"Mitt Romney was seen as better able to handle the economy, taxes, and the budget deficit among the debate audience, but it seems that issues were trumped, or at least blunted, by intangibles, including the expectations game," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

By a 49%-35% margin, debate watchers thought that Obama spent more time attacking his opponent. The president was expected to be more forceful in attacking Romney following his lackluster performance in the first presidential debate in Denver two weeks ago.

Other questions showed little daylight between the two candidates among debate watchers on some key characteristics. Romney had a 49%-46% edge on which candidate seemed to be the stronger leader and 45%-43% margin on who answered questions more directly, while Obama had a 44%-40% advantage on which man seemed to care more about the audience members who asked questions.

No matter. The President needed a knock out, and he didn't get one. Even though national polls are skewed in the Dem direction, poll after poll is showing a shift toward Romney. The President's vaunted advantage among women has disappeared (so much for the "war on women"). Obama's advantage in swing states has largely evaporated, and even blue states like PA are now in play.

But you'll also see it in little things. In Florida, the number of Obama campaign ads has diminished noticably—probably because internal polling indicated that Romney now has an insurmountable lead in the Sunshine State and further expenditures need to be shift to states that Obama thought were his and his alone—MI, PA, VA, WI, NV, and others.

In OH, a state that was solidly Obama, there is something interesting going on: A commenter at Instapundit writes:
For what it’s worth: Obama is making an appearance today at Ohio University in Athens, in the rural, Southeastern corner of the state. The OU Democrats requested his appearance, and it’s being sold as the product of their elbow grease. But just observing the logistical nightmare involved in moving the POTUS around makes you realize that this trip isn’t happening because some scrappy young college Dems wished it so. Although this area of Appalachia is very poor and can trend conservative outside the city of Athens, generally speaking the district couldn’t lean more to the left unless they air-lifted reinforcements in from Madison or Ann Arbor. Seriously, the voters here are congenitally incapable of rejecting any ballot initiative that involves a tax levy. Republicans are curiosities; faculty Republicans (like me), endangered species. So it begs the question: just why is Obama going to the trouble of showing up? The last sitting president to do so was Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and he was launching the war on poverty at the time. One can only imagine what Chicago’s internal polling is telling them about the state of the race in Ohio (and/or among college-aged, suburban voters from Columbus and points north, who disproportionately attend the school), if they feel compelled to shore up this bastion of Great Society liberalism in the Valley That Time Forgot.
Polling of independents heavily favors Romney. But even among staunch 2008 Obama voters, there seems to be erosion. District #29 in deep-blue IL, an affluent district with a significant percentage of Jewish voters, went for Obama in 2008 by a margin of 28 percent. Polling in recent weeks, gives Obama a 2 percent lead! It won't change the result in IL, but it's an indicator for places like FL, PA, NV, VA, MI and others.

None of these things, when taken by themselves, means much. But when taken together, they indicate that something is happening, and it's not good for the election prospects of Barack Obama. A preference cascade began quietly a few weeks ago, and now, it looks like it's accelerating.