September 10, 2012 10:44 am
But subjectively, I couldn’t see how Romney’s arguments – more war in the Middle East, more tax cuts while allegedly trying to cut the deficit, turning Medicare into a premium support model option, banning abortion and marriage equality in every state in America, denying climate change, etc – could possibly best Obama’s. So Romney’s enduring polling strength impressed me, given how far out there he is on policy, and how unappealing he is personally.
Well, it has also occurred to me that most sane Americans may not have been obsessing about this election until around now, when attention is paid. What we may have seen so far is a very stable default election, in which low-information voters are essentially backing their party in reserve before truly focusing. They’ve been putting a partisan marker down. But now that the actual policy comparison has been made, and Romney agreed to a choice election with Ryan, and the GOP bungled its message in Tampa so badly and the Dems did so well in Charlotte … well, we see the first true shift of any magnitude since Romney became the nominee.
The logic of the Obama argument – so pellucidly laid out by Bill Clinton last week – is so compelling, the GOP positions so extreme, the Republican brand still so tainted if it isn’t merely a protest vote (as in 2010) … that a landslide is possible, if still unlikely. Anything is possible. But, trying not to get too excitable about this, it cannot be encouraging for the Republicans that after the first real apples-to-apples focus on the choice, Obama has surged.
And you wonder why Romney is now saying he wants to keep parts of Obamacare. If that doesn’t depress his base, what would? His own shape-shifting could now alienate his core voters and still lose the center that Clinton won for the Democrats on Wednesday night.
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