Contributed by Shell Suber
If you read my occasional political posts, you know that despite being a dedicated Republican political hack, I only give Romney about a 2-in-5 chance of unseating the President. Not that I think Romney wasn’t the best choice for the GOP (he was and is), but because defeating a sitting president is about as rare and difficult a thing as any in American politics. Had it not been for the post-Watergate election of ’76 and the GOP-splitting Perot revolt of ’92, only one president would have been fired since WWII.
So when fellow politico Grace Rentiers directed my attention to this Townhall.com column by Wayne Allyn Root, I found his predictions a bit overly optimistic. Townhall.com “Why Obama Will Lose in a Landslide” – Wayne Allyn Root, 5/30/12 Still, Root, a libertarian who dislikes Obama intensely, makes some very good observations I agree with – and a some I don’t. NOTE: Read Root’s piece first, then return for my observations about his predictions below.
BLACK VOTERS – True, they are not as enthusiastic as they were, but they will vote for Obama in close to the same numbers they did last time.
HISPANIC VOTERS – Root published his piece before Obama announced his “amnesty for illegals brought to the US as children” maneuver. Pure election-year pandering, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work.
JEWISH VOTERS – Root may have a point there, but will a drop off there be enough to help much in swing states or will it just cost him a few points (and some fund raising dollars) in NY where he will win by a mile anyway.
YOUTH VOTERS – Agreed.
CATHOLIC VOTERS – I agree there will be some drop off here for Obama but most Catholics seem to vote according to other political factors, not out of allegiance to the Church of Rome.
SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS – Agreed, big time.
BLUE COLOR WORKING CLASS WHITES – True but he didn’t need them last time.
SUBURBAN MOMS – The female vote won it for Obama in ’08. If there is a significant drop off this year, he really could be in trouble. But that remains to be seen.
MILITARY VETERANS – Obama didn’t win them in ’08 and he’ll do even worse in ’12. Fortunately for him, veteran populations are disproportionally concentrated in states he doesn’t need.
As national polls are released every few days this time of year, it’s critical to remember America doesn’t hold a national election. We hold 50 simultaneous state elections. The voting blocs discussed above are important but it’s all about Electoral Votes and if eroding support from one of them causes the President to do extra poorly in a state he only did poorly in last time, it matters not a bit. Nor does it matter if it means he only wins California by one touchdown and not three.
The next 20 weeks will be long and there are good days and bad days ahead for both incumbent and challenger. Is the stage set for the defeat of a sitting president? I’m not completely convinced, but perhaps I could upgrade our odds to 3-in-7.