Monday, April 16, 2012

Color Me Confused

I was a little put off today by a facebook posting of a friend of mine who also happens to be Republican. Yes, I do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation or politics when it comes to my facebook friends.
I didn’t begrudge her the posting. It was an honest question. It was a poll.
It was a poll question asked by Republican operative Dick Morris. The question was “Do you think Romney will be able to maintain his recent poll numbers?
At present well over 600 maintain that he will, and around 39 say no.
It was obviously a push poll to get people fired up about the presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney, and conservatives are coming out in droves to say yes. And I see that a few Democrats are saying no.
But I don’t agree with my fellow-Democrats. I agree with the over 600 conservatives who think, or rather hope, that Mitt Romney will continue to maintain his poll numbers. I hope so too. His poll numbers stink and I hope to high heaven that he can maintain them, or even improve on the downward trend.
But for a minute I was confused. I’ve been watching the polls and they don’t bode well for Romney. I asked myself “what has changed?” Has the Mittster pulled a rabbit out of a hat and he is now soaring in the polls?
And the answer is no, making this a very clever poll question. Make Republicans think that Romney is getting ahead in the polls and maybe everyone will agree eventually. It’s like Fox News at a small scale.
It’s like asking “by how many percentage points do you think Mitt Romney is going to trounce Barack Obama?”
So to ease my confusion, I consulted the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll taken late last week.
And it’s true, Romney’s numbers are up – among Republicans. Not a hard thing to do when his number one fly in the ointment, Rick Santorum, the last true conservative in the race, withdrew last week, making Romney the presumptive nominee.
But that is about it.
Nearly all of Romney’s numbers indicate trouble ahead for Mitt Romney.
African-Americans hate him. He gets a 10% favorable rating from African-Americans, versus 93% for Obama. Hispanics are similarly disaffected with Romney with a 43% gap between favorable and unfavorable.  Women have turned their backs on Republicans in general and who is surprised at that with a well-documented “war on women” in full throttle?  58% of women favor Obama versus 36% for his presumed opponent. Independents narrowly tilt toward Obama with 53% for Obama versus 47% favorable for Romney.
The only demographic where Romney outperforms Obama is white men. White men love the Mittster, and if it was 1919 he would very probably win in a landslide.
And really, I am wondering how long he will enjoy even that advantage. Some white men, I think, might take umbrage over a presidential candidate hiding some of his wealth in a Swiss bank account, keeping it out of the range of the IRS.
Having just mailed a check to the IRS myself, I know other white men might just feel a little outraged.

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