The big winner of the GOP primary season thus far is President Obama. As the two factions of the GOP, the greedy rich and the duped social conservatives, tear their party apart, Obama is doing quite nicely, thank you. The recent good economic news, ephemeral as it may prove to be, is also helping.
Read and rejoice (but don't get over-confident):
Obama's "favorable" is now 53% nationally. Super! That's a 9 point gain in 4 months! For a president to have a rating that high when unemployment is still over 8% is unprecedented unless you go all the way back to FDR.
One-third of the electorate now views America as "on the right track". One-third isn't great but it's TWICE the number last November.
Among independents, the key sector in this election, Romney has a disapproval rating of 51% v. 33%. The longer he campaigns, the more his favorable rating sinks. That's great good news for Democrats! Voters just don't like Romney, and likability is everything in election politics. The result is that Obama is the independents' choice over Romney by 49% v. 37%. It would be better for Obama's prospects if he were over 50% with independents, of course, but that seems to be where we are headed. Cross your fingers! And may Obama keep singing! And smiling! A sunny disposition in hard times is a great asset with voters.
Oddly enough, Santorum is doing better with independents than Romney, with a higher favorable rating than unfavorable. Santorum's numbers are 40% favorable v. 32% unfavorable, while Romney's are the flip-flop of that (most appropriately): 33% favorable and 51% unfavorable. After Santorum's recent crazy binge, with attacks on women, sex, college education and JFK, one would think he'd be tanking with independents.
But let's remember who independents typically are. While some share values of each party, e.g. socially progressive but fiscally conservative, a large percentage are actually tuned out of politics and salve their consciences by characterizing their disinterest as independence. Another significant segment are conservatives in disguise. The not-interested factor is clear in these latest polls: Only 72% of respondents had any opinion about Santorum. This is rather astonishing at a time when he's the hot comedy number on every late night show. Apparently independents go to bed early.
Can Obama's lead hold? It's up to you. Bill Maher is rightly concerned that Democrats may get complacent and let the GOP sneak across the line in November. As a good example to us low-rollers, he has written a $1 million check to Obama's super pac. Good for you, Bill!
So how about the rest of us who are kind of poor? Why don't we each send send $5? If a million of us do that, it's $5 million! And if we do it every month from now through November, that's $40 million! Sounds great!
Except Mitt Romney has spent $67 million so far just trying to get the GOP nomination. So we are going to need a bigger boat.
So how about $25 a month? That's $200 million just from us folks who can't afford more.
Can we do this?
Yes, we can!
So we'll see your $1 million, Bill Maher, and raise it to $200 million. You betcha!