I have a hunch that we’re about to witness a wholesale change in this election in the next ten days and that Romney’s campaign is on the verge of losing it.
At this point in the campaign, the narrative is set. And for the first time in decades, it was Democrats who succeeded in framing the debate. From the Republican fight for the nomination, Democrats were busy staking out the territory that they were going to occupy and have kept the Republicans on the defensive the entire time. Were the Republicans to win, it would have been almost solely due to the stagnant economy. With an incumbent President who’s acquitted himself very, very well on the foreign policy and defense fronts, that was about the only front on which Romney could have hoped to best the President.
But that’s not happening. Obama has pulled ahead of Romney on perceptions of who would better handle the economy, according to a recent poll. If you take that away from Romney, you have, basically nothing. He can’t run on gravitas (he doesn’t have any), like ability (he’s not) or other policy sectors in which the President has a clear and growing edge. At this point, he’s becoming very much like the Republican convention: erratic, not all that pleasant, and totally lacking in specific plans. Romney, from his comments on his Olympic trip to Britain to his comments last week on the death of consular staff in Libya, to his most recent gaffe wherein he stated all Obama supporters were dependent on the government, he has repeatedly fumbled the ball at a time when he can afford zero errors, particularly those of the unforced variety. And what’s more shocking for a candidate that’s demonstrated such a striking sense of self control is that he appears to be making them at an even faster rate than before.
If the current trajectory of the campaign continues, we may well be headed for a landslide for the President, a feat not achieved for Democrats since 1964, and one that may spill over into Congressional races as well.
Having said that, I’m going to go ahead and give you all of the reasons as to why I might be wrong. This is a hunch. It’s not based off of any real data, and there’s no science to this. Looking at the factors I mentioned, this is all just my gut telling me how Americans are going to react, on average, to Romney and some of the things that he’s said or done over the past few weeks. Being that there’s no real equation into which you can stuff all of these variables, it may well be that I’m suffering from a case of confirmation bias, and that I’m just seeing what I want to see, and in so doing, projecting an ultimate outcome on a election which, as a partisan Democrat, I care a lot.
But I doubt that’s the case, and I’ve got a hunch Mitt Romney’s polling numbers are about to do a swan dive into the toilet.