Friday, September 28, 2012
Election Week in Review...Calm Before the (Debate) Storm? (September 28, 2012)
Ah, a week without a huge event, the first in a long time. As I noted last week, for the last six weeks the campaigns have been dominated by a single weekly theme. In order: Ryan picked as the VP, Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments, the Republican Convention, the Democratic Convention, the
Libya tragedy and ensuing Mideast violence and then the “47 percent” video last week. Nothing approached that order of magnitude this week. Perhaps a collective breath is being taken before the debates begin: one per week starting this coming Wednesday, October 3rd (at 9 PM EST).
The week was primarily driven by the fall-out from Romney’s “47 percent” video, with the Obama campaign extending the news life cycle as much as possible (and grumpy Republicans adding their critiques as well, of the video comments as well as the campaign management). Some Republican congressional candidates were distancing themselves from the comments. Polling seems to indicate that this particular gaffe has hurt Romney and will live on, but was not necessarily a “game-ender.” I’ll have more on that Monday.
This week had its share of unusual comments…not quite gaffes, but not so great, either. Obama said that “you can’t change
from the inside” at a Univision event. He seemed to mean that he was taking his case to the public to pressure their elected officials rather than relying on inside-the-beltway negotiations, but it came off awkwardly, as if he was giving up on his 2008 promise to change the poisonous Washington culture. Washington
Romney, for his part, said to Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes that he did not believe his campaign needed a “turnaround” to win. The answer, odd for a CEO-type, seemed to indicate that all he needed to do to win was to keep up his current tactics. This seemed consistent with Einstein’s famous definition of insanity: “…doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This might be an appropriate time to remind Romney that he has not led once in the entire campaign. But I guess the conservative right is reminding him quite pointedly every day….indeed, they were the inspiration for Pelley’s original question.
Middle East seems to have calmed down, at least from headline news. There were some rumblings that the Obama Administration should be held accountable for Ambassador Stevens’ death in some way, by not protecting him adequately, but this has not coalesced into a major news item as yet.
Finally, some very encouraging numbers for Obama:
reports his approval rating in its daily tracking has been in the 50-51% range over the last week, and will average 49% for the month of September. This is a significant improvement over the 45% level of August and 41% of one year ago. Most importantly, Gallup states that 50%+ are “numbers associated with near certain re-election” for incumbents. Stay tuned… Gallup