Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Romney V Obama - What Romney must do to win

The latest ABC News-Washington Post polling data shows a closer race (likely voters are the key) than Nate Silver had suggested. To be honest, I am surprised that Romney is not 1-2 points ahead of the President after last week's terrible jobless numbers - I expect this is for the reasons I mention below. The polls will fluctuate as the next few weeks pass by. The really important data will start coming in after the Presidential debates. However, there is some useful information below the surface of this latest poll.
            First, the poll shows a deep dissatisfaction with Obama's handling of the economy. 53% of voters oppose of his handling of the economy. The majority of these voters believe that the issue is rooted in the President's policy failings, rather than in his purported need for more time to remedy the situation. In addition, a statistically relevant ten point majority of voters (43%-32%) believe that the economy has become worst since the President took office. There is a division between voters who blame the President for the bad economy and those who do not. Mitt Romney also holds an advantage in terms of being viewed as someone who understands small business needs. Interestingly, a clear majority of voters believe that government programs do more to harm small businesses than help them (53%-35%).
           Second, the poll shows that most voters do not believe that Mitt Romney has given them enough clarity on what policies he would pursue as President. Further, the President holds significant advantages in terms of his polling on whether he or Romney would do a better job for the middle class or women's issues. 

           So what do these results mean? First- the election remains close and most certainly winnable by Romney. As I noted earlier this week, Romney must do more to boost his personal appeal numbers. I don't think that this will be too difficult to accomplish, Romney must simply get out on TV more. He needs to do more late night tv interviews (shows that have a comedic edge) and he needs to show the American people his life story - a committed husband and successful businessman. Second, Romney also needs to take much greater advantage of the President's weakness on the economy. The polling data shows that many voters are looking for a reason to abandon the President. Romney must take the fight to Obama. Romney should be aggressive and bold in articulating why the President's economic policy continues to be an abysmal failure and why in specific terms, he (Romney) would do a better job. Romney should also be unafraid to assert the conservative message as to why government is not the solution to America's problems. America is not Europe and attacking government spending will not alienate independent voters. Romney should attack the President for his proposed American Jobs Act (which Obama frequently touts on the campaign trail) by pointing (as I have) to the Chicago teacher's strike, as an example of how Obama serves Union vested interests rather than the interests of the private sector. Specifically, Romney should root this argument in a broader narrative that explains why the President is no friend of the middle class nor of small businesses. This shouldn't be too hard - Obama has showed his own disregard for hard work and business risk takers. Third, Romney must show American women that he is not with the fringe Republican goon squad when it comes to issues that concern them. These fringe morons have been able to shape public perceptions of the GOP on social issues for far too long - Romney must ensure this changes. Romney should openly condemn Republicans like Todd Akin, while asserting that the economy rather than abortion will be the key for his Presidency. If Romney is unable to attract a larger percentage of women voters, he will lose the election. James Boys recently wrote about this important concern.
             But again, the key is the economy. Romney should engage with Paul Ryan in a collective attack on Obama's failed economic record. Failure on the economy, failure on the debt. This is not a difficult argument to articulate. With reference to the economy, perhaps Romney should adopt the line-
  'Failure only the President believes in'.
GOP ad - Illustrates the message that Romney should relentlessly present

1 comment:

  1. I never understood how the President is correlated to the employment rate. Please cite sources that state the President's policies and/or tenure is office affects the employment rate.

    It is Congress, the laws, and their policies that are related to the employment rate. While the President may veto, none of that has occurred. In fact, the opposite has occurred in such that Congress has not passed any of Obama's plans for job growth aside from the stimulus package of 2010 (a minor victory to employment).