Are we headed for a blowout of an election? Is Obama going to repeat the 2008 results? This would be astonishing, given the criticism he has endured from the left and right and the media over the past four years. And it would be unprecedented given an 8% unemployment rate, so the experts tell us.
Well, folks, it just might be happening. Things began looking good long before the conventions. The key indicator: Obama's likeability numbers have remained strong all along, while Romney's have remained upside-down. Rule Number One of politics is that voters elect the candidate they like as a person. In fact, Romney is setting a new record: until now no major party presidential candidate has ever headed into an election with upside-down personal "favorable" numbers.
People also like a candidate they can trust. Romney's biggest mistake has been refusing to release his tax returns. No matter what's in them, he has given the impression he has something to hide. And it's a simple issue: release or not release. You don't have to understand the tax code to get it: there's something that he's hiding. He might have explained away his flip-flopping on other issues, but he chose to (or had to?) stand firm on the one thing that's really killed voters' trust.
The other issue was you. By the millions, small donors were sending in their donations to Obama all through the summer. This wasn't happening for Romney even though the GOP before 2008 always out-collected Democrats on small contributions. The enthusiasm to "beat Obama" wasn't running as strong as had been predicted. And Obama' supporters were staying strong!
Now Romney's house of cards has really come crashing down. His convention was a disaster. The polls this week are against him at astonishingly high levels. He keeps shoving his foot into his mouth in lieu of the silver spoon. His 47 percent crack isn't going away. His campaign staff are starting the blame game against each other. Republican Joe Scarborough has covered his face with his hands, moaning "Sweet Jesus", thus epitomizing the despair of GOP opinion leaders at their dreadfully inept candidate.
Meantime, Obama's popularity is so strong he's lifting some Democratic Senate races that were deemed losers by the experts.
Obama's small contributors have become 3 MILLION strong; he out-raised Romney and his rich friends last month; and Romney is hard-pressed for funds. Further, the Democratic rich are now getting on board with big checks; George Soros just gave $1 million to an Obama super pac and others are rushing to do likewise. Meanwhile, the GOP super pac spending doesn't seem to be making a dent: You can't successfully smear a candidate whom everybody already knows and a majority like. And super pacs are charged up to five times as much as the TV ad rate candidates' campaigns have to pay.
The polls this week have been so good for Obama as to make you dizzy. He's leading by 10% in Ohio, the state the GOP MUST win. No GOP candidate has ever won without Ohio. Obama's also leading in Florida, Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, and all the "swing states", with even a slight edge now in North Carolina. Not that he needs North Carolina. With Pennsylvania and Michigan now safely bagged, all Obama needs is Ohio plus six more electoral votes from any pro-Obama "swing" state to reach the magic 270.
The other magic number is 50%. Or just a tick over it. For the first time, Obama's job approval rating has reached 50%, and his polling numbers in most of the swing states have also reached 50 to 51%. That's called "winning"!
And Romney is bleeding support from his strongest segments. His lead with white men has dropped by a big amount, as has his lead with seniors. Regarding the latter, his "bold" pick of Ryan was more "bad" than "bold" because of Ryan's dire plans for Medicare. Seniors DO NOT like the voucher proposal. Regarding white men, they may be white but they are not crazy. Apparently Romney's disdain for the 47% really offended many of them. They are IN that 47%!
There's not only talk now of a Democratic pick-up in the Senate instead of losing the majority, but there's also the first faint whispers among the talking heads of a possible Democratic recapture of a House majority. Wow!
So is it going to be a Democratic blowout? Or could it still turn into a Democratic blowup?
It's up to you.
Sure, Romney could score big in the debates and turn things around. And, yes, voter suppression could skew the outcome. Or Europe's economy go in the tank. Or something else awful happen. But the most frightening thing is that Democratic voters may stay home, lulled by the good poll numbers. That would be a disaster.
And it's in your hands. You who stuck by Obama all through the dark times and made the good numbers possible. Now is the time to bring in that harvest. Help get out the vote! Polls don't win elections. Voters win elections! YOU are the ones who hold the key!
Can we go this last mile? We damn well better!
You're losing the election, Mitt, because of your non-release of your tax returns. So why not release them now? What have you got to lose at this point? Freedom from prosecution for fraud?