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2012 Election Richard Falknor on 11 Sep 2012 11:00 pm

The Romney Campaign and The Swing Voters

Daniel Horowitz (Madison Project) declared today (highlighting is Forum’s throughout)

“Convinced that swing voters want to see a banal presentation, Romney’s consultants obdurately ran the convention as a touchy-feely ‘everyone has a story’ Oprah show, which was devoid of ideas or acerbic attacks on Obama.  They could have ripped apart every aspect of his fiscal, social, and foreign policies while showing how it is his socialism that is raising the cost of goods on consumers and destroying jobs; how it is his appeasement of foreign enemies that is making the world dangerous; how it is his Hollywood values that are destroying families and exacerbating poverty.  They could have charted a specific conservative, free market approach, most notably, by attacking Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and Cap and Trade.  We heard almost nothing of that during the entire convention, and especially during Romney’s speech.  Someone watching the convention would not have seen exactly how it is Obama’s policies that are bankrupt and bankrupting the nation.  They would not have seen a strong united message of counter-culture forces that are unabashedly disseminated from the convention lectern.  They didn’t even see a typical challenger’s convention.  They saw weakness.

He continues – –

“If you subscribe to the postulates of the GOP consultant class, you would have expected the DNC to turn off swing voters in droves.  In reality, not only did their convention energize the liberal base, it won over swing voters.  Does this mean that the majority of people support their ideas or associate with the lunatic fringe that populated that convention center?  Of course not.  But as we noted, swing voters don’t vote rationally.  They want to vote for a winner – someone who evinces decisiveness and confidence.  The DNC looked like a winner to them; the RNC looked like a loser.”

Why does the GOP keep giving up? Marylander Horowitz cites chapter and verse – –

“We defeated the left in 32 out of 32 state fights over gay marriage.  Yet, Republicans inexplicitly ceded the issue and stopped fighting.  They are acting like losers, as if they are resigned to the other side winning.  That creates a self-fulfilling doomsday for us.  The polls reflect that.  The same thing goes for amnesty.  This was the biggest losing issue for Democrats just 5 years ago.  Republicans have given up on it for no reason.  The polling reflects that.

The biggest proof of all?  Obamacare.  All sides agree that Obamacare was a huge loser for the left.  But Romney has completely ceded the issue, refusing to bring it up for most of the campaign.  Now he is agreeing to major portions of the law.  What message does that send to swing voters?  Believe it or not, the Rasmussen tracking poll shows Obamacare gaining a lot of momentum on that issue.”

Horowitz is right citing these examples. But ‘given up. . . for no reason’ may not be just the phrase. Many in the GOP Establishment favor what amounts to immigration amnesty; few want to fight against the homosexual lobby or undertake any cultural-reform initiative; and some are certainly sensitive to the wishes of large insurance companies for the House leadership has a record of hesitation with respect to an outright repeal of Obamacare. Horowitz correctly says “there is no law saying that you just have to ‘focus on the economy’ – whatever that means.”  We believe that idea is a deliberately crafted escape clause allowing GOP politicians to avoid addressing immigration or cultural issues no matter how well they poll, nor, Heaven forbid, the dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Madison Project’s Horowitz — after warning that “When Obama is beating Romney to a pulp and Romney fails to counter attack, all the negativity is projected on Romney” – – does have some words of hope:

“I am not presenting this information and analysis to dispirit you.  A five point lead can easily be overcome in a matter of two months.  Moreover, the convention bounce can easily fade.  However, the real question is why Romney never got a bounce; why Romney never led?  He can easily win this race, but is he willing to do what it takes?”

Indeed.  But a further question is can governor Mitt Romney break out from his habitual use of consultants and, in this campaign at least, their groupthink?

A worthwhile read: analyst Horowitz’ entire ‘The State of the Race’ here.


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