The near-certainty that Mitt Romney will be defeated by Barack Obama in November is both intuitive and numerical.
There is no evidence that Romney can unseat President Obama in November. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has Obama beating Romney handily in a one-to-one contest, with Obama drawing 50 percent support to Romney’s 44 percent.
Much more important than opinion polling, however, is the real polling that has taken place since the Iowa caucus. These elections provide a true account of how many people are actually turning out to vote for Romney. So far, they indicate that Romney is failing to generate substantially more support than he did during his losing campaign in 2008.
It’s not Republicans who are looking for the anti-Romney. It’s Democrats.
Obama is already spending millions of dollars on anti-Romney ads. Obama’s campaign adviser David Axelrod, is desperately tweeting anti-Romney messages all day long. In open primaries in Michigan and Ohio, Obama’s Democratic supporters came out to vote for Santorum or Gingrich. MSNBC hosts openly encourage Democrats to vote for Rick Santorum.
There’s a reason liberals are frantically searching for an anti-Romney candidate. While it’s true that any of the Republican candidates for president would be an improvement over Obama, it is not true that any of them can beat him.
Romney’s manner isn’t the whole problem. His opposition to the auto bailout — whatever the economic policy explanation — has added to blue-collar suspicions. His use of immigration as a wedge issue against Rick Perry and other Republicans has complicated his general-election appeal to Hispanics.
But Romney has been fortunate in the weakness of his opponents. If he eventually secures the nomination, his luck may hold.
In the general election, Romney would not be facing Bill Clinton. Obama has difficulties of his own in the human-touch and blue-collar-appeal departments. His massive alienation of the white working class was the story of the 2010 election (Republicans won this group by a 30-point margin). Obama’s signature presidential achievements — Obamacare and the stimulus — are too unpopular to mention in mixed ideological company.
“Women will make up their own minds in this election as to who is advancing the causes they care about.”
“We show that the roll-call effect on vote share was driven by healthcare reform. Democratic incumbents who voted yes performed significantly worse than those who did not. We then provide simulation evidence suggesting that Democrats would win approximately 25 more seats if those in competitive districts had voted no, which accounts for the gap between the academic forecasts and the observed outcomes.”
The study doesn’t offer much insight into what might happen this November, however.
“The economy is the dominant issue in the presidential race and most of the vulnerable Democratic incumbents in Congress lost in 2010.”
Just six months ago, having their names uttered in the same sentence as President Obama’s was something many Congressional Democrats could have lived without.
But with the economy slowly crawling back to life, a shift in messaging at the White House and a Republican push on social issues, Democrats are accepting — and in some cases openly embracing — the inevitable yoking of their campaigns to Mr. Obama’s as election-year activities accelerate. On Capitol Hill, Democrats have begun to mention Mr. Obama more often and have gone out of their way to publicly back some of his proposals.
Democrats say Mr. Obama’s near monophonic campaigning in recent months — highlighting his differences with Republicans on policies affecting the middle class — is far more resonant in their districts and states than defending the health care law or the stimulus package, issues that have dogged Democrats.