Election 2012

Surprise: Despite 100 Percent Terrible Campaign, Romney is…Tied with Obama!


The New York Times reports that "A Mood of Gloom Afflicts the Romney Campaign," which sounds about right if you've been reading major press accounts of the train wreck that is the Romney campaign.

Grim-faced aides acknowledged that it was an unusually dark moment, made worse by the self-inflicted, seemingly avoidable nature of the wound. In low-volume, out-of-the-way conversations, a few of them are now wondering whether victory is still possible and whether they are entering McCain-Palin ticket territory.

Who can blame them? Over the past few weeks, hasn't Romney been skinned alive for piping up too quickly after the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya? Hasn't he been unmasked again and again as a guy who doesn't care about "the very poor" and even "the 47 percent of Americans" who pay no federal income tax? Didn't he make his dog ride on top of his car once? Isn't he a Mormon, a religion that means 18 percent of Americans won't vote for him under any circumstances? Don't 58 percent of Americans believe Obama would kick Romney's ass in a fist fight?

Jeepers, Mr. Romney! It's bummers all the way down, man.

Except for this from Gallup:

Obama 48%, Romney 46% in Swing States

According to Gallup, 39 percent of Romney voters and 38 percent of Obama voters have locked their votes. Twenty-two percent of swing-staters might still change their votes. Overall, Gallup's daily tracking poll (September 11-17) gives Obama 47 percent to Romney's 46 percent.

Then there's this from Rasmussen, which shows Romney at 47 percent and Obama at 45 percent:

And over at RealClearPolitics, the single-best place to track all election polls (and to get a buttload of commentary and opinion pieces), the average of major polls taken September 8-17 show Obama ahead of Romney at 48 percent vs. 45 percent.

These numbers don't factor in the release of Romney's taped comments about "the 47 percent," but it's far from clear that's going to turn out to drive his numbers down substantially (especially if it's true, as so many in the commentariat report, that voters have known all along that Romney hates the poor when he isn't completely ignoring them).

What might explain the lack of a sustainable bounce for Obama from the Democratic National Convention? Why is Romney still in this thing at all given his self-evidently awfulness (created the model for Obamacare, has flip-flopped on just about everything, is pro-stimulus spending, an on and on)?

The short answer: Obama's record. Which—like high levels of unemployment, broken promises on civil liberties, job creation, foreign policy mastery, and just about everything else—isn't going away any time soon. Which means this race should stay tight up through November. Not because Romney is any good, but because Obama has been so bad that voters are willing to consider an alternative. (Would that they check out this guy named Gary Johnson.)

We'll be releasing results this week from the latest installment of the Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey, so stay tuned for that.

NEXT: Warren Edging Brown in Recent Polls

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  1. So if the election were held today it would be won by Barack W Romney? I’d say we’re fucked.

      1. You made me sad.

  2. Well, Obama and Romney are equally terrible. So it only makes sense they’d be tied in the polls.

    1. Equally? No way. Obama is world-class terrible, Romney isn’t even a finalist at the State Terrible Championship.

      BTW Nick, Romney hates the poor? And this comes from where? Not soliciting their vote is one thing, but hating them is entirely another.

      1. “BTW Nick, Romney hates the poor? And this comes from where?”

        “… the commentariat report, that voters have known all along that Romney hates the poor”

        Your answer is before your eyes.

        1. Reading is hard. Better to criticize first.

      2. especially if it’s true, as so many in the commentariat report, that voters have known all along that Romney hates the poor

        1. you don’t suppose anyone in the commentariat has a vested interest in portraying Mitt as the hater of the poor, do you? Because our media is nothing if not straight down the line, blinders off objective. Seems that same disease that infects the Blue/Red axis has spilled into the Reason building.

          1. I’m pretty sure I detected some sarcasm in that statement.

            1. I did too – but I had my sarcasm-o-meter tuned up just last week.

            2. did I give that away. Dammit. 🙂

          2. Let me ask an honest, if unpopular, question. Why the hell are we supposed to love the poor, anyway? On average, they’re much more likely to be ignorant, violent, badly behaved, and downright dislikable. Romance of noble poverty aside, the middle and upper classes are much more likely to be populated by people who are actually nice.

            Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get my monacle polished.

            1. Upper classes nice?

              No, you’re surrounded by assholes. It is assholes all the way up, and down.

              1. Well, maybe, but upper class assholes generally are going to be a little more likely to behave with a tiny modicum of basic civility that you lower class assholes won’t worry about. I mean, you probably won’t have to worry about an upper class asshole punching you in the face if you tell him he’s wrong for cutting in front of you in line.

                1. “you lower class assholes” should read “your lower class assholes”. No offense, Death Rock and Skull.

  3. This neck and neck crap is getting old. Time for another war!

    1. Four more wars!

      1. A warmonger for every war and a war for every warmonger!

  4. Nice snap of Obama impersonating Timmy Cavanaugh

  5. Hmmm. Obamney tied with Robama. Or is it the other way around?

    1. “Roboma” – Gah! Sounds like a spendingdroid.

  6. The key swing states of VA, FL, and OH matter more and Obama is up by 5-8% in those. For this reason Intrade has him a 2-1 favorite currently.

    1. Obama will lose at least two of those. The only one I’m not sure about is Ohio.

      1. Without Ohio, the other two almost certainly don’t matter.

        1. Nah, he can lose OH and PA and still win. But he’ll need either WI or MI. He could tie (and then win in Congress) if he loses both WI and MI, but gets CO and NV.

          But OH is really important. Some of the surprising things for me so far in looking at the polls are: as much as O has buttfucked the coal industry, why does he have an 8-12% lead in PA, and is even contending in OH? How is WI—hell, Michigan!—possibly in play for Romney?

          Some political science professor is going to make their bones investigating the widespread poll under-sampling of GOP votes, if O goes down in November.

          1. Re: PA, it’s because the 2 biggest cities are ragingly liberal

    2. I made a prediction this morning that Obama would win Florida, Romney would win Ohio. Obama would win the election. I stand by this prediction until two seconds after I hit submit here.

      1. Romney will win handily. Voters aren’t between a rock and a hard place, they are under a rock. They’ll vote to get back between it and that same hard place.

  7. I keep waiting for Romney to start campaigning. Maybe because I don’t live in a swing state, it just doesn’t seem like he has even started.

    1. Because of where I live, it’s like the election isn’t even happening.

      No ads. No signs. Nothing.

      In a sense, there really isn’t an election taking place in VT, MA or NY, and that takes care of my tristate media area. The Presidential race isn’t competitive, and the congressional races aren’t competitive, either. So there’s near total politicking silence.

      Brown / Warren is competitive, but not in western MA (very crunchy and liberal) so we don’t even get those ads. When I go down to Berkshire County I see more signs for the District Attorney and Register of Deeds races than I see for Obama / Romney or Brown / Warren.

      1. Same here in SC, at least in my area. All I have seen is the same Obama ad with Bill Clinton begging me to vote for Obama, and that one usually airs at like 5 am. Not one Romney ad.

      2. Some of the Boston stations have been running Obama and Romney ads. I noted the ads while at the gym and tried as best as I could to ignore the ads. Those stations’ coverage area includes southern NH.

    2. I guarantee you it’s because your state isn’t in play. Non-stop commercials from both camps here in IA. And we’ve unplugged the landline (need to cancel the damn thing).

      1. Same here in VA. Every other TV ad is either Romney or Obama, and I’d say it’s about 50/50 between them.

  8. Romney is a terrible candidate. Obama is a terrible president. Go figure.

    1. Blackadder: Meet the new member of Parliament for Dunny-on-the-Wold.

      Prince George: But he’s an absolute arsehead!

      Blackadder: Precisely, sir. Our slogan shall be: “A rotten candidate for a rotten borough.” Baldrick, I want you to go back to your kitchen sink, you see, and prepare for government.

      1. My God, do I wish there were more seasons of that show.

        1. I was going to post a link about the Blackadder reunion that was mentioned on Twitter by Rowan Atkinson, but found out it was fake in the process.


  9. Put Obama on one side of a coin and Romney on the other. Heads they win. Tails we lose.

    1. Admit it: in a flip contest Romeny has the advantage.

  10. People are going to vote Barack Obama or Not Barack Obama. Romney would do himself well to keep his trap shut until November.

    1. Making Gingrich his bitch was his political high water mark.

      1. “Making Gingrich his bitch was his political high water mark.”

        Yeah, Romney tore Gingrich a new one in a couple of debates by pointing out a lot of hypocrisy on the part of Gingrich and his railing about Romney’s investments, etc. Romney might suck as a candidate, but he can defend himself in a debate pretty well.

      2. Gingrich? Our witness protection program has been a complete success in hiding him.

    2. I think Kerry would have beaten Bush if he used this strategy. Every time Kerry opened his mouth he lost votes. He even looked like a Giant Douche.

      Same goes for Gore vs Bush.

      16 years of Bush and Obama.

      I hope the Mayans were right.

      1. I hope that the people that mistranslated the Mayan calendar get their wish in December. It would be an improvement.

        1. I loved the Futurama parody of the Mayan calendar. No, I will not spoil the episode for those who have not seen it. Go watch it – you will love it.

          1. great episode, best show in the world!

        2. All I’ve heard is the Dec 21, 2012 date. If that’s a mistranslation, what’s the correct translation?

  11. Don’t 58 percent of Americans believe Obama would kick Romney’s ass in a fist fight?

    How is this even possible? I understand that he’s a decade younger, but they’re both old and Obama has shown all the athletic ability of a teenage girl. I’m going with racism.

    1. the only white guys in boxing these days are Russians or Mexicans, the latter being the “white Hispanic” variety, of course.

    2. Obama has shown all the athletic ability of a teenage girl

      He could be an Olympic gymnast!

      1. If he was a gymnast Michelle would just bug him even more about what he eats.

    3. One thing my father taught me was to always bet on the black guy in a fight.

      Though I would set Ryan as the favorite to kick all of their asses, with Michelle a close 2nd.

      In a free for all cage match:

      Ryan: -400
      Michelle: +150
      Obama: +500
      Romney: +550
      Biden: +3000

      1. That high for Michelle? She would unhinge her jaw and tear flesh from her opponent.

  12. Doesnt matter who wins, the Sheeple are doomed!


    1. OK, you are showing progress, anonbot!

    2. We’ll have you converted in no time.

  13. Libertarians don’t love Mitt Romney. They are mean poopy-heads.

    1. Libertarians are the dog on the car roof of American politics.

      1. Shooting doggy diarrhea everywhere.

    2. does the latter require the former?

      1. Libertarians are bastards for not being Republicans. How dare they.

  14. “Who can blame them? Over the past few weeks, hasn’t Romney been skinned alive for piping up too quickly after the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya? ”

    That was all the lamestream media’s doing. They are all in the tank for Obama and it was all about protecting him from any focus on the results of his own policies and performance.

    1. Um… that sort of was the sarcastic point I believe Nick was making.

      1. Which in no way precludes me from using it as an opportunity to point out what a bunch liberal hacks the media are.

  15. What might explain the lack of a sustainable bounce for Obama from the Democratic National Convention?

    The fact that he’s a terrible President?

  16. The Obama campaign has to be worried. No bounce from the convention, and the MSM has administered the worst beating they possibly could to Romney over the past few weeks, and he’s . . . tied. At best (because the odds that the Dem samples in those polls isn’t too high are pretty low).

    I’d be curious to see a couple of things:

    (1) What was the Dem sample in polls before 2010, and how accurate were those polls, in September, regarding the outcome?

    (2) What do the battleground state polls look like if you “renorm” the polls to something between the current Dem sample and the 2010 turnout?

    1. “The Obama campaign has to be worried. No bounce from the convention, and the MSM has administered the worst beating they possibly could to Romney over the past few weeks, and he’s . . . tied.”

      Yeah, but the MSM has changed the conversation away from the Middle East and the bullshit the administration was peddling about the Libyan attacks being about the Muhammad movie.

      1. Sure, sure, but he’s still has no led nationwide, and the daily tracking polls by Gallup and Rasmussen in the battleground states show a tie there, as well.

        How does Obama close the deal? The anti-Romney media has taken its best shot. Where’s the good news that will make people feel better about his stewardship going to come from? The QE3 bounce in the stock market is pretty much done, it looks like, and all sorts of economic indicators are or have been rolling over. What are the odds that there won’t be more bad news? The Islamist temper tantrum shows no signs of fading, Syria continues to burn, the Israelis and the Iranians aren’t escalating their rhetoric and preparations, the Japanese and the Chinese are pissing on each other’s legs, etc.

        1. The media will just keep ignoring the bad economic news and will continue to pimp for Obama. That’s all they have to do.

          Look how they fawned over Obama for being so presidential during the dead embassy people speech. If that were Bush, they would have blamed him for their deaths, but Obama was treated like a hero.

    2. Obama still has 3 debates in which to work his oratory magic, though. Romney did ok in the Republican debates, but only because he got preferential treatment over the candidates that could have really hurt him (Paul, etc.) Now he’ll be the one suffering from that bias.

      I also can’t wait to see the VP debate. Ryan vs. Biden. Should be hilarious.

      1. “Obama still has 3 debates in which to work his oratory magic, though.”

        That “magic” faded four years ago after the White Guilt trip that got him elected wore off, and all it ever consisted of was writing blank checks for “Hope” that he would “Change” everything the previous administration had done wrong.

        I’d say he can’t run that platform again after four years of EXPANDING upon Bush policies, but he’s pretty fucking determined to try.

  17. the Israelis and the Iranians aren’t escalating

  18. The real surprise is that Obama, the worst f’ing POS to ever inhabit the oval office, is getting more than single digit support against any candidate.

    Then again, since most voters are either imbeciles or morally bankrupt parasites bought and paid for by trillions in borrowed money, there’s no real surprise here.

    1. I disagree with your second point. Most voters are just like us, not happy with their choices and picking what they think is best. Personally, I will vote Romney because neither party should have a president not up for re-election. Facing the voters in 4 years is the only constraint left on the presidency.

      1. By your logic there should be no limit to the number of terms a President can ‘serve’. I’m OK with that. But with each election the incumbent should have to win by a larger margin. 1st go-round, 50%+1 votes. 2nd round 50.5%+1 votes, 3rd round 51% + 1 votes, etc. That way the office-holder has to earn MORE respect due to his/her ‘service’.

  19. And perhaps Romney could enunciate a few principles along the way, to help his cause…

  20. My headline of the same story:
    “Surprise!: Despite Continued Unemployment above 8%, Obama Leads Romney.”

  21. Well, it’s not like Obama is running anything resembling a halfway decent or competent campaign either. Lectures about how everybody owns everybody else and obfuscating his dire record behind a wall of an imaginary “War on Women” which is nothing more than reactionary slander aimed at people who don’t feel their taxes should be paying for Sandra Fluke’s sex life don’t tend to appeal to anybody except Fellow Travelers.

  22. If Romney looses Republicans cannot say that Ron Paul supporters did not warn them this might happen.

    1. Romney is the only candidate that can beat Obama. Now keep repeating that statement.

      1. Sorry, but I have been diagnosed by my physician as being physically incapable of repeating that statement without vomiting. I can hardly watch a few minuets of Fox News anymore without vomiting. It used to be at least watchable back when they had Glenn Beck and Andrew Napolitano.
        As a side note it is apparent that Fox Business Channel apparently prefers infomercials to Judge Napp.

      2. What candidate for the republican nomination do you think would be in better shape right now?

        1. That’s what I thought.

          The problem isn’t the candidate, it’s the politics.

  23. Yesterday, I had yet another liberal tell me that Romney wants to ban contraception, so the media is doing its job. IOW, Obama can’t lose.

    Obama created 4.5 million jobs, the stimulus either saved the economy or prevented it from being worse, the video caused the spontaneous riots on 9/11, etc. The lies just keep coming. I’ve never seen the media so much in the tank for a guy like this. It’s the perfect storm of free shit and white guilt.

    1. Stop yer whining. Its always a conspiracy, isn’t it? If I don’t get my way it had to be due to a conspiracy.

      Romney either never opens his mouth about details, or when it is one of the rare times he does, he inserts his foot in it. And its the media’s fault for reporting what he says?

      He’s only doubling down on his comments, so the media should give him a break? Please.

    2. But keep in mind that to many liberals, the word “contraception” means drowning a sack full of toddlers in the river.

  24. Mark McKinnon, Republican strategist and Bush campaign aide, wrote the following today:

    “I loved Michelle Obama’s line in her speech:? ‘A presidency reveals who you are.’ So do campaigns. And mark me down as one Republican not happy with what is being revealed about Mitt Romney.

    1. This whole episode is very interesting for any political junkies.

      You have one group of Republican pundits urging Romney to not back down, and another group saying this was a huge mistake.

      The post-mortems should be interesting after election day. Right now their candidate is siding with the “Limbaugh” wing. What excuse will they trot out if loses? He was not conservative enough?

  25. Desperation is a stinky cologne, nick.

    Obama has a commanding lead.


    1. Desperation is on full display when you listen to any of the far right talking heads. Yesterday and today, the Limbaugh’s and Hannity’s were so shrill that you know they see things slipping away.
      And as always, the conspiracy theories come out.

  26. It always cracks me up when Libertarians, who are political nobodies, trash Republican politics. At least we have a guy out there who has a shot at getting rid of the worst president in history. How is that Gary Johnson thing going for ya?

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