Andrew Sullivan Just About Needs Suicide Watch over Obama Numbers

And now a lesson on the dangers of becoming emotionally attached to political figures


When you've lost Sullivan, you've … I don't know how to finish this alt-text

I know, I know. Writing about Andrew Sullivan's emotional fulminations can descend into "dog bites man" reporting, but the man got very, very upset yesterday about Pew's polling putting Mitt Romney ahead of Barack Obama. He asks if Obama just threw the whole election:

The Pew poll is devastating, just devastating. Before the debate, Obama had a 51—43 lead; now, Romney has a 49—45 lead. That's a simply unprecedented reversal for a candidate in October. Before Obama had leads on every policy issue and personal characteristic; now Romney leads in almost all of them. Obama's performance gave Romney a 12 point swing! I repeat: a 12 point swing.

Romney's favorables are above Obama's now. Yes, you read that right. Romney's favorables are higher than Obama's right now. That gender gap that was Obama's firewall? Over in one night.

Terribly demoralized over the results of a single non-Rasmussen poll (he dismisses those out of hand) the superlatives come out flying:

Look: I'm trying to rally some morale, but I've never seen a candidate this late in the game, so far ahead, just throw in the towel in the way Obama did last week—throw away almost every single advantage he had with voters and manage to enable his opponent to seem as if he cares about the middle class as much as Obama does. How do you erase that imprinted first image from public consciousness: a president incapable of making a single argument or even a halfway decent closing statement? And after Romney's convincing Etch-A-Sketch, convincing because Obama was incapable of exposing it, Romney is now the centrist candidate, even as he is running to head up the most radical party in the modern era.

What "imprinted first image" is he talking about? He's gotten so upset about Obama's debate performance (a week later) that it's unclear what he even means. For whom was this debate their first impression of Obama? And the idea that the increasingly fractured Republican Party is "the most radical party in the modern era" is amusingly absurd. Their candidate invented ObamaCare and worries about "garage-based businesses" not being regulated by the government. If only the GOP actually were radical.

Matt Drudge picked up Sullivan's freak-out and placed it as his top story this morning. His blog readers are having hissyfits right back at him:

It's one poll—calm down.  He is up five in the Gallup Daily tracking and made up some ground in Rasmussen as well.

His response:

Or as another puts it, "The polls are volatile, but as Obama supporters we shouldn't be." I'm an Obama supporter but also a journalist and blogger. I'm not going to spin for anyone. Leave that to other sites. This one is biased toward my thoughts and feelings but balanced by yours. I'm not on the Obama campaign team, I don't belong to any party, and I feel I have a duty to say what I think when I think it, and let the chips fall where they may. I don't think, in the long run, you'd want me to blog the way true partisans do.

Yeah, this is the guy who declared Obama to be the first "gay president" on the basis of finally agreeing with about half the population that gay marriage is okay and last month wrote a Newsweek cover story about Obama titled "The Democrats' Reagan." Having an emotional meltdown over Obama's poll numbers and debate performance may not count as pure partisanship, but it does indicate an unhealthy attachment toward a political authority figure.

Oh, and of course there's now a parody Twitter account inspired by Sullivan's outburst.