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Home Opinion Commentary Originally published September 26, 2012

Odds Are Romney Will Lose

Dispatches from the Trail

by Sean Yoes

    Sean Yoes (Courtesy Photo)
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With the first presidential debate between President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney less than two weeks away, it seems clear after several weeks of bungling, rambling and news cycle-chasing on the national stage that Romney and his campaign are in over their heads.

A phalanx of the most recent polls in the battleground states and elsewhere bolster this argument.

According to the most recent Gallup Organization daily tracking poll President Obama’s approval rating is at 51 percent. When Obama’s Gallup number went over 50 percent during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte it was the first time his approval rating was north of 50 since the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.

In the all important battleground states of Florida, Ohio and Virginia, Obama has either widened his lead or actually overtaken Romney.

In the latest RealClearPolitics averages Obama leads Romney in Ohio 48.8 percent to 44.7 percent. In Virginia it’s Obama 49.6 percent and Romney 45.1 percent. And in Florida where Romney has held a tenuous lead over the president for several weeks, Obama now leads 48.5 percent to Romney’s 46.3 percent.

In North Carolina, where Obama won by a little more than 12,000 votes in 2008 and has trailed Romney for months, its Obama 47.8 percent and Romney 46.8 percent. Romney’s home state of Michigan shows a nearly nine-point lead for the president, 49.8 percent to 41.2 percent. And in Wisconsin, the home state of Romney’s running mate Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan Obama leads Romney 51.5 percent to 43.7 percent.

The fact is in most of the recent individual polls in the battleground states President Obama is at 50 percent or above with about six weeks before the general election in November; ominous news for Romney and his supporters.

Further, the {New York Times’} intrepid political predictor Nate Silver puts President Obama’s current odds of re-election at 77.7 percent.

President Obama’s improving numbers come in the wake of perhaps the most definitive vignette of the Romney campaign–described recently by influential conservative commentator Peggy Noonan as a “rolling calamity” – the now infamous 47 percent fiasco.

If you’ve been spelunking in an ice cave in Antarctica for the last 10 days, here’s part of what Romney said before a roomful of his big money campaign donors during a $50,000 a plate dinner fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida.

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it – that’s an entitlement…these are people who pay no income tax…My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Another important conservative commentator William Kristol called Romney’s comments, “arrogant and stupid.”

The ongoing Republican hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth is the result of the sheer political ineptitude of the Romney campaign and the electoral map math which continues to strongly favor President Obama.

In 2008, I remember reassuring a veteran television news anchor I worked with who was fretting mightily about the odds of then-Sen. Obama prevailing in his bid for the White House.

“I really don’t know Sean,” she said shaking her head as I told her Obama was a lock to win. I pulled out a piece of paper and quickly scribbled a crude map of Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio and guaranteed my colleague Obama would win those three states and capture the presidency.

I was right.

It’s funny how history repeats itself; but in 2012 it’s just Ohio and Virginia (I don’t think Pennsylvania is really in play) that are at the epicenter of the Electoral College. Obama will win both states.

But, the Obama base – Blacks (!), Hispanics, gays, women and young people – have to do the work, they have to show up and vote. And the Obama ground game, perhaps the most prodigious in the history of presidential campaigns will have to be at the top of its game to counter the nefarious voter suppression efforts of the GOP. 



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