The Romney campaign , apparently noticing some dissension among the troops released a memo today written by Romney's pollster Neil Newhouse that is designed to calm things down and help their supporters see things in perspective:
Don't get too worked up about the latest polling. While some voters will feel a bit of a sugar-high from the conventions, the basic structure of the race has not changed significantly. The reality of the Obama economy will reassert itself as the ultimate downfall of the Obama Presidency, and Mitt Romney will win this race.
In his acceptance speech, President Obama did not offer any solutions for the millions of Americans unemployed or underemployed. But his convention speech was not the only big letdown to voters, as Americans also dealt with yet another dismal jobs report last week. President Obama is the only president in modern American history to stand before the American people asking for re-election with this many Americans struggling to find work. The key numbers in this election are the 43 straight months of 8% or higher unemployment, the 23 million Americans struggling to find work, and the 47 million Americans who are on food stamps.
Today, there is no question: Americans are not better off than we were four years ago, and that is why President Obama has struggled in this race. The truth is that some of President Obama’s allies are claiming victory, but others are acknowledging the unsustainable position in which they find themselves. This is evidenced in a recent quote in The New York Times by an Obama Administration official saying, “It’s certainly not what I would call the position we wanted to be in at this point in the race…He’s going to have to make the case that we wouldn’t even be at 8 percent if it weren’t for him.”
The memo goes on to discuss these points in detail, including details on the Romney campaign's ground game and progress that's being made in battleground states.
Newhouse is by no means wrong in these matters. The remaining two months of the campaign are an eternity in politics, and this president's abysmal record is not going to be an easy thing to shake. And though Newhouse doesn't refer to it quite this way, the media right now is definitely mounting a campaign with the theme that President Obama has already won, with the idea of hyping the Democrat base and increasing enthusiasm and turn out while depressing the same thing in Republicans.
Even the polls are subject to manipulation. Many of the ones in the Obama Media routinely oversample Democrats to get the results they obviously want to report, and for those who don't there are other methods. For instance, Gallup, long considered the gold standard in polling has been suspiciously pro-Obama since late August. That was when the Obama Justice Department officially joined a suit that had been sitting around since 2009 against Gallup for allegedly overcharging the federal government for polling services brought by a disgruntled ex-employee/whistle blower.
Prior to the Justice Department ramping up this suit, Gallup had a several confrontations with Obama adviser David Axelrod over polls that showed the president's popularity down. Since the Justice Department became actively involved, Gallup's polls have been a lot more favorable to the president.
In any event, it's worth remembering that the only poll that counts is the one that occurs November 6th.
That said, I think the Romney campaign needs to take a good look at a few things and make some changes.
The reason the Democrats got the bounce they did was because the entire convention was one large attack ad. The speakers on the podium had no problems attacking Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Republicans in general in the most vicious of terms. and even th eparty platform was phrased as an hyper partisan document that attacked Mitt Romney by name, something that's never happened before in America's political history.
The Republicans, with the exception of of Clint Eastwood's brilliant satire and a few moments in Paul Ryan's and Marco Rubio's speeches was restrained. President Obama, when he was mentioned was gently referred to as someone who was mistaken or in over his head. His abysmal record was not referred to specifically. Only the dire statistics on the economy were mentioned rather than relating therm specifically to the president's execrable policies. Nothing was said about the President's primary boast his so-called saving of the auto industry, and people watching the GOP convention heard nothing about the $80 billion plus cost to the taxpayers to gift GM to the unions that will never be recouped. There was little mention of this president's abysmal foreign policy errors or his farcical energy policies in visceral terms Americans could understand.
Even worse, when the Democrats held their convention, people like ex-President Bill Clinton and the president himself were allowed to make speeches containing the most amazing misrepresentations, half truth and exaggerations without an adeqaute and forceful response.
The Romney campaign needs to start hitting these things hard. President Obama is making his case that he deserves a second term, and the American people need to be told in no uncertain terms about his record. There are numerous videos of Ronaldus Maximus doing just that to Jimmy Carter in 1980, and I suggest that Paul Ryan and Mitt Romeny study them if they don't want to risk defeat.
Moreover, they need to devote some effort to schooling their own surrogates on Obama's record. Just this weekend on 'Meet The Press', I saw an Obama surrogate, the mayor of Newark New Jersey get away with touting President Obama's record on veterans. Neither Senator Rand Paul nor columnist George Will challenged it by mentioning the president's early efforts to strip wounded veterans of their VA benefits and force them to purchase private insurance, his gutting of the Tricor health insurance program that protects thousands of veterans or the president's attempt to disenfranchise military voters by encouraging states to violate federal law.
They didn't even mention that all polls of both veterans and active duty military show Mitt Romney leading the president by better than two to one.
Points like these are simple fact that Americans can understand..provided they're informed of them.
Finally, the Romney campaign needs to create its own reality in terms of the media.
It's simply a fact that the majority of the dinosaur media is even more in the tank for President Obama's re-election than they were for his election, and aside from spinning the stories they choose to cover in this president's favor, they're refusing to cover any stories that embarrass him to the degree they're able to.
But they do have to cover the campaign, and thus what Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan say. So it is very possible for them to drive the media narrative to a degree, and they need to do so. Governor Sarah Palin showed how that could be done successfully without having the benefit of either a large campaign war chest or even a position as a candidate for office. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan ought to be able to accomplish even better results.
On the plus side, let's remember that 2months is a long time in politics, the debates haven't happened yet and that as the official GOP nominee, Mitt Romney now has access to a lot of money he wasn't permitted to use up until now. He's a smart and pragmatic man, and I'm sure he knows how to use it.
But he needs to overcome his reticence about attacking Barack Obama and start slugging back.