WASHINGTON – The national press is working overtime. “He can still win” and answers to the question surrounding that notion now blanket the American media.
Joe Scarborough asked Howard Fineman on Thursday, “Is it over?” “No,” said Fineman, dutifully keeping the “he can still win” narrative alive.
This would be understandable if Mitt Romney was aggressively driving his campaign to change its current trajectory. He is not.
The other problem is the cascade of polling showing battleground states shifting to Obama leading, with the latest Pew poll delivering a death knell number for Mitt Romney. On who “connects with ordinary people,” Obama is +43%, with Romney only at 23% who believe he connects. This is a killer.
Mitt Romney’s response to the catastrophe he’s living and we’re all watching was a USA Today op-ed that doesn’t even crack 500 words.
Then suddenly on Thursday night, the campaign took the candidate out of moth balls to deliver a barn burner in Florida, so just maybe they’re seeing what professional political analysts like myself have been writing about all week. Romney’s Univision interview had the candidate uttering “My campaign is about the 100%,” after the 47% remark that was heard ’round the world.
The cumulative affect of Romney’s lack of political skills and his campaign’s complete ineptitude has led to a definite shift in the presidential race towards Obama being the very clear frontrunner, which is backed up by every single poll of battleground states, as well as comparing both candidates character traits. National polls mean nothing, because we have an Electoral College system, which puts super emphasis on battleground states,
On Thursday, Nevada’s Dean Heller, up against Shelley Berkley for the Senate, became the latest Republican to walk away from Mitt Romney’s 47% remark.
Paul Ryan went rogue on Thursday, calling the description “obviously inarticulate.” Not even Sarah Palin stuck a shiv in John McCain publicly when things got bad for her.
But on goes the it’s far too early to pronounce Romney a loser chant, even if everything points to exactly that reality.
The best you can say is Mitt Romney is now the underdog, though it would be the first time in world history a man on his way to being a billionaire fit into that club.
It’s understandable what’s going on, because how democratic would it be in the new media, social media era in which we now live to stamp D.O.A. on a presidential candidate before a vote’s been cast?
The American political system in this environment is withering, while revealing the paucity of choices of candidates for office, because few can survive the juggernaut. There are no discussions in the media about Obama making a proposal to which Romney can respond, leading to a debate on issues as the drama unfolds across multiple platforms. Instead it’s all about gamesmanship, the latest sound bite, and who can banter better about turning the the economy around when both candidates are short on actual plans. And let’s face it, we should really be talking to Wall Streeters, because they’ve got us all by the balls.
That was supposed to be Mitt Romney’s case for his candidacy. So what happened?
Over the last weeks, actually starting with Mitt Romney’s foreign policy trip, a word that describes it in the literal sense as well, Romney’s serial mistakes have resulted in President Obama drawing even with him on who can best handle the economy. If that isn’t illustrative of the farce of our economic battles nothing is; one man screws up, the other man benefits; no policy prescriptions were debated to cause the switch. On likability Mitt Romney remains in no man’s land.
Women are giving the Republican national ticket the finger with both hands, which is richly deserved. No one cares if you are against abortion, but people do tend to object strenuously when you start campaigning on forcing a woman to give birth after she’s been raped or is a victim of incest. The notion is not only barbaric, it is cruel.
Any professional political analyst looking at the recent polling data has to come to one conclusion: Barack Obama is clearly ahead in the Electoral College challenge, which is the only thing that matters. Mitt Romney’s continual ineptitude, as a candidate and the CEO of his own campaign, has now relegated him to underdog status, with a hard fight needed to regain ground he’s lost.
Chuck Todd is the first of the media gang that shapes the narrative in American politics to make the turn to what I’m talking about here, citing polling evidence over weeks and weeks to prove the reality Mitt Romney is now facing.
“He can still win,” as everyone across the media continues to chant in unison, but the hill he’s now got to climb to change the trajectory in states that matter, coupled with the demographic divide he chose not to court with his pick of Paul Ryan, is only passable for a political triathlete, which Romney is not.
The best that can be hoped for is a debate miracle.
Until that manifests, or President Obama makes a campaign altering mistake, it’s time for political writers, infotainment hosts, pundits and conservative bloggers and talk radio bloviators to let go of the “he can still win” narrative until Mitt Romney illustrates he’s going to do something to actually change the dynamics now playing out.
Barack Obama is now leading. Full. Stop.
Mitt Romney is the underdog, with the odds stacked against him, because he made it so himself.
“He can still win” at this point is a hail Mary narrative made by the media who doesn’t want to shiv the democratic process, joined by desperate Republicans, conservatives and right-wingers who just can’t believe they’re on the way to getting beat again by Barack Obama.
Because of Mitt Romney and the way he’s running his campaign, that’s exactly what’s likely to happen.
Taylor Marsh, a veteran political analyst and former Huffington Post contributor, is the author of The Hillary Effect, available at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. Her new-media blog www.taylormarsh.com covers national politics, women and power.