We hear so much in the media about the idiots among us that we forget that most Americans are not idiots and are not easily deceived. At least I forget sometimes. Therefore, I apologize for beating the drum so hard recently on the frightening prospects of the Romney plan for Medicare. I never worried that YOU would be deceived by Romney, but now it turns out I needn't have worried at all. The majority of American voters aren't being duped.
Per a new NYT/CBS/Quinnipac poll, sixty percent of likely voters in Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin trust Obama more than Romney with the future of Medicare. Less than one-third want Romney's voucher plan. About 75% believe Medicare's benefits are worth the cost.
Voters in these same three swing states place Medicare in their top three issues. The other two issues are the economy and health care. Is it too much to expect that those who trust Obama on Medicare also trust him on heath care?
As for the economy, an NBC poll this week shows a majority are not impressed with Obama's handling of the economy but not also are not willing to hand it over to Romney. Can it be that the majority of American voters are realistic enough to perceive we are on an upward path, albeit a slow one, and that President Obama can't do much about it because the GOP House keeps blocking him? Do they perceive that Romney merely promises more of the same GOP policies that brought on the Great Recession and the eight years of middle-class stagnation before that?
Not all the polling news is good, however. Obama's lead in the twelve swing states has narrowed from about six points to only three. But that's okay. He's reached 50% in Ohio! And the Eleventh Commandment is "Thou GOP shall not win the presidency without Ohio".
I just checked my journal from 2008 for mid-September. By then the 2008 Crash had occurred, the shine had rubbed off Sarah Palin, and polls should have been tipping wildly for Obama. Surprisingly, they were not! In mid-September he was leading by only a couple of points in swing states, and the then-King of the Polls, Chuck Todd of MSNBC, was screeching that Michigan and Wisconsin were "slipping away from Obama". On election day both of these states, lots of others, including even less likely ones, dropped neatly into Obama's lap, e.g. North Carolina, Virginia, and - of all places! - Indiana. (Indiana was home to the 20th century revival of the KKK and is still a state blown north from the Deep South by a long ago hurricane. Obama will not win Indiana in 2012.)
The moral of the story is that there will be ups and downs and downs and ups. Let's hope we end on an up note. We can - if we help get out the vote. No matter how well Obama does campaigning - and he's very good at it - it's up to us to bring in the votes.
Meantime, we know it will be lots closer than 2008. It may be downright scary.
Indeed, we must remember the immortal and sage advice of Bette Davis in "All About Eve": "Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy seventy-five days."
Tax returns! Tax returns! Any old tax returns for release, Mr. Romney?