Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Maybe Running on Bin Laden Won’t Work

To listen to some Democrats lately, President Obama’s re-election is in the bag. Most are convinced that Mitt Romney has too many problems connecting with ordinary Americans to be considered a serious threat to the president. Their confidence in their “cool kid” candidate and contempt for their opponents is such that many refuse to accept the possibility that the president is in for the fight of his life in an electoral environment that is radically different from the situation in the fall of 2008. And yet the evidence that the race is a virtual dead heat continues to be right there under their noses. The release today of tracking polls from the two leading firms confirms that the Democrats need to sober up about the competitive race that is about to unfold.

Gallup, whose results tend to skew slightly toward the Democrats, reports that Romney has a 47-46 edge for the period of April 24-29. Rasmussen, which tends to tilt slightly toward the Republicans, also shows Romney ahead for their last reporting period of April 27-29 by a similarly slim 47-45 margin. Both polls illustrate that the presumption that Romney has no chance is simply a Democratic fantasy that fails to take into account the general dissatisfaction with a failing economy.  It also may show that the administration’s decision to spend the last week trying to politicize the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. Navy Seals might have been a bad mistake.

As Alana noted earlier, the fact that some influential liberal pundits are backing away from the Obama campaign’s claim that a President Romney would have let bin Laden live, illustrates the contempt that this shameless slur has generated. If Arianna Huffington thinks it’s a bad idea, imagine how the rest of the country thinks?

But, of course, perhaps the negative results in the tracking polls for Obama in the last several days, which contrast with the slight edge he held a week earlier might confirm that tactic has backfired.

The lead in the tracking polls has changed hands several times in the last few weeks, and we can expect it will continue to fluctuate in the coming months. As Gallup confirms, the matchup in the swing states that will decide the contest are as close as can be. If the Democrats think all Obama has to do is call the Republicans names and play the “cool kid” on late night television, they may be in for the shock of their lives when they discover that the competition for posts in his second administration is a waste of time.