I don’t fully buy it, but this is what I see:
1. The polls that show Obama ahead show a larger percentage of self-described Democrats than did the 2008 election exit poll. By comparison, the 2010 poll showed an equal number of self-described Democrats and Republicans. If you split the difference between 2008 and 2010 it looks more like a very small Obama lead. Maybe there has been (despite unfavorable circumstances) some kind of enormous, bigger-than-2008 surge among Democratic identifiers that surpassed the 2008 tide. If that is the case, then there is nothing Romney or anybody else can do. Better to proceed as if the polls, when adjusted for the expected electorate, show a very, very, close race.
2. Obama’s Real Clear Politics job approval average is 47%. The median voter isn’t someone who thinks Obama is doing an okay job but might be willing to trade up. So if Romney doesn’t give the remaining population of swing voters a strong reason to not vote Romney, the undecideds are likely to overwhelmingly break against the incumbent. So don’t make any mistakes and don’t give them a reason to not vote for you.
I think the fallacy here is that if Obama wins the argument on Romney’s (vague) spending cut proposals and his somewhat more detailed Medicare reform proposal, enough voters will get freaked out enough to stick with Obama. Nevada isn’t the US, and Romney isn’t Sharron Angle, but Harry Reid got reelected with lower approval ratings than Obama has now. Romney has proposed a major change to Medicare policy coupled with spending cuts. That’s scary. Something like “there you go again” isn’t as likley to cut it if we’re taling about the future rather than who supported what in the past. Letting Obama win the argument about Romney’s spending proposals might be exactly the mistake that causes Romney to lose a close election.
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