10. Old White Dudes Aren't Enough Anymore
The demographics of this country are always changing. Now, instead of Irish, Italian and German immigrants creating a draw for xenophobic politics, the “Other” is much more identifiable. The reliability of the elderly vote (heavily conservative) and the fact that any generic Republican would get nearly 60%of the white male vote used to be able to deliver vast swaths of the center of the country to a Republican candidate. This is no longer good enough. With Republican assaults on Medicare and Social Security becoming more widespread, many older Americans will back President Obama. White males make up less than 40% of the population today, leaving the Republican block of them well under one quarter of the total vote. Where will the other, fatter quarter come from? How does Romney get his precious 50%?
9. The War on Women
Women being majority of the population, Romney would have been wise to tone down the rhetoric about ending Planned Parenthood. While this talk may shore up the southern and Evangelical base, modern women are largely pro-choice and in favor of contraception as part of health care. Romney’s repeated promises to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act are another attack on women’s reproductive rights.
All the while, Obama’s numbers with women are helped by the popularity of the First Lady and his signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law (something the Romney campaign has never even heard of).
8. Latino/a America
Normally a toss-up, the Latino vote swung heavily to Obama in 2008. So did the youth vote. The largest growing youth demographic by far? You guessed it. Romney has insulted this group with his talk of “self-deportation” and using the insane “stop and identify” Arizona statute as a model for federal law. Cuban Americans? Yes, they are still key to victory and largely conservative, but only represent about three percent of the Latino vote. Though considered a cultural rather than racial group (skin tone amongst Hispanics varies as much as the rest of society), Latino/as now outnumber every other minority group, and they are more likely to vote in 2012 than ever before.
Everyone knows that the grassroots online campaign waged by Obama was a revolution in funding. Building on Howard Dean’s impressive tactics from 2004, and with some of the same staff, Obama championed the masses, gathering small donations at a superior rate to that of Hillary Clinton and John McCain. His campaign knows what it is doing.
Despite the Citizens United-derived super PACs that are swinging the money advantage to Romney’s side, it just won’t be enough to buy the election. Obama’s ads are often more positive, and the negative ones more impactful.
The failure of news media to scrutinize George W. Bush the candidate, the run up to the Iraq war, and the unprecedented redistribution of wealth upwards has created a populist uproar in this country, and it’s not just libertarians this time.
The Fox News revolution in the 1990s created a culture of victimhood among conservatives, leading editorial pages across the country in an uproar against “liberal media bias.” Then the only criticism that was allowed on popular news outlets was of leftists and liberal ideals. When the right took power during this time, CNN, the New York Times and everyone else tried to out-Fox the NewsCorp outlets that became so popular. It was a business model.
Now it is profitable to be a liberal. Debate and criticism of the right wing can be found everywhere, even on big city radio stations.
MSNBC has championed the left’s answer to Fox News by including liberals and populists in their lineup for years. As long as it is profitable.
Even after axing Phil Donahue, Keith Olbermann and Cenk Uygur, MSNBC keeps a nightly drumbeat of populist Obama support (and some criticism) from Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell, Ed Schultz and even Al effing Sharpton (for Chrissakes!).
5. Willard the Secret Liberal
When Mitt Romney speaks, it seems as though he’s hiding something, actively deceiving the listener. Why is this? Is perception reality?
As the former governor of a liberal state, Romney once held liberal views. He advocated gay rights, professed to believe in global warming and implemented an affordable and relatively socialized health care system that still covers 98% of the state’s citizens. Candidate (for U.S. Senate) Romney even tried to run to the left of his opponent, liberal lion Ted Kennedy in 1994.
Now, this “perfectly lubricated weathervane” of politics, as Jon Huntsman calls him, has reversed field. He ran to the right of a far-right wing Republican primary field, pumping unheard-of sums of money into the fight, often criticizing opponents for having a record of cooperating with Democrats.
Or for having any record at all. Shockingly, he ran on claims that he is an outsider, not a career politician.
In fact, Romney has been running for office seemingly his entire life. He runs from his record as governor, toward his record as a corporatist.
4. Bain and Taxes
Gaining traction in the media this summer has been a drumbeat of criticism of Romney’s elitist history. The vulture capitalism he exhibited at Bain, dismantling companies and firing thousands in order to profit personally. This impression of him that the public now has cannot be washed off.
Adding insult to the injury of the shrinking middle class and growing poor, the former governor’s financial holdings take advantage of tax loopholes and foreign tax havens, again screwing over the Americans that he took this money from.
The onslaught of campaign coverage recently is blasting Romney for not releasing his taxes. Rumor mills, as well as Occam’s razor, are telling the electorate that Romney has something to hide. Whether it is criminal tax evasion or just more elitist holdings, it will certainly look bad if it comes out.
Romney’s pleas for special treatment and privacy ring hollow. People’s minds will run wild about what he is hiding all the way to election day.
And one more thing: How stupid was Romney not to sanitize his financial holdings? His ambitions over the last decade have been obvious. This shows that he makes very poor executive decisions.
John McCain saw 23 years of Romney’s tax returns when vetting him to be on the 2008 ticket. He went with Sarah Palin instead.
The giant hole left by the Bush administration will take a generation to dig out of. All Republican criticisms of Obama's economy policy can be debunked as pure politics when one takes a look at the numbers in 2008 and 2009.
The tax cuts for the rich that Romney favors would again add to the deficit without helping the middle class at all.
The stimulus and TARP, first enacted by Bush, were not as successful as they could have been if not for the substantial tax cuts that were included.
Romney’s support of corporate personhood indicates that, as president, he would nominate Supreme Court justices who would uphold the Citizens United decision.
Stimulating the economy through war appears to be an idea Romney is comfortable with. His rhetoric on Iran, and his alignment with members of the Project For A New American Century both indicate that he would reinstate Bush/Cheney’s militaristic imperialism in the Middle East.
Nationwide, Republicans are not so unpopular. The main thing holding them back is the negative perception of the Bush/Cheney. Why is Romney surrounding himself with the same people from such a toxic administration?
2. Obama is Popular
This may be hard to believe as the president’s job approval ratings hover below 50%, but considering that unemployment numbers and the sustained economic stagnation, he must be doing something right.
Obama’s likability numbers are still over 50%, and it is easy to see why. He speaks with great thought, feeling and empathy. He is very popular amongst minorities and women for various reasons, some obvious. He ended the Iraq war, killed bin Laden and even pleased militarists by stepping up the fight in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
He even gets credit for doing things that may not be popular at the time, like prioritizing health care reform and coming out in favor of gay marriage. What’s more, Congress has passed an incredible amount of legislation in his first term, with the president deserving much of the credit.
I won’t belabor this point, but if polls in battleground states now and throughout this year have told us anything, it is that Obama will win a second term. Albeit by a smaller margin than in 2008, but still a solid win.
Obama beat McCain by seven percent in the popular vote, but crushed him in the electoral college.
Romney is neck and neck with the president, but he must win almost every large battleground state if he wants the upset. Granted, all battleground states went blue in ’08, but the ground to be retaken here is just too great.
2008 Obama states that will go red: Indiana (shocking), probably North Carolina.
Beyond this, Romney has a set of dominoes that must fall in the following order: Florida (29 electoral votes), Virginia (13) and Ohio (18).
Romney still loses the electoral vote count 272 to266. He must pick up New Hampshire or Iowa to win, possibly Nevada. I do not see Wisconsin or Colorado going red. Obama is in serious trouble if that starts to happen.
Unlikely. I have the count 293-245 Obama.