President Obama’s five-point boost following the Democratic National Convention is not unexpected. Although most pollsters admit there are few voters that remain undecided, the key will be the party that energizes their base and gets out the vote.
The most recent Rasmussen poll shows the president up by two points. That’s about a five-point swing in his favor since the conventions were held.
Will it last? This is a classic polling bounce and will more than likely fade within a couple of weeks. That is usually the trend in past elections.
But the question becomes why Mitt Romney, the contender with a bad economy in his favor, did not get the bounce? It can be said that the Democrat’s convention following the Republicans only three days later wiped any memory of the GOP affair from the minds of most viewers.
It can also be said that Bill Clinton delivering the keynote address made a much better defense of the Obama administration than Obama has ever been able to muster.
With over 100 cable channels for most Americans to select from on any given night, the two conventions were the least watched in history. It could be said that the audience was less of the curious sort and more of the hardcore decided voter.
Many are already calling for two-day affairs in the future.
Meanwhile, Romney continues to shoot himself in the foot unnecessarily. In an appearance on “Meet the Press“ last Sunday, he decided to announce that entirely scraping Obamacare was not his intention as president.
He could have mentioned a couple of less damaging proposals. Maybe something like a proposal to eliminate the mortgage deduction for a second home or something even less controversial. Why bring up this sort of talk less than two months before the election?
In he next few days, Democrats will again portray Romney as a “flip-flopper.”
Why not discuss something safe like defense spending? The plan to severely cut defense spending is mandated for the end of the year, but Romney wants to keep defense spending at least at the current level of the GDP.
Such ideas will greatly help Romney in heavy-spending military swing states like Virginia and North Carolina. Thus far in this presidential campaign, the key to victory unfortunately is to avoid discussing the really important things that have to be done a month or two after the election.
Is that a wise course for Romney to follow, as Obama has, or lay it out to the voters exactly what he thinks and roll the dice? How will the two candidates actually deal with the issue of our “fiscal cliff?”
Expect a lot grand posturing and attacks from both sides. Most of the attacks will come nowhere near finding a solution from either candidate leaving the heavy lifting to be done in lame duck session after the winner is announced.
Obama and Romney have plans on their minds, but public demand is not high enough for either to risk losing the election to spell it out. Count on the moderators in the October debates to engage them in specifics.
Most political experts expect September to be the “phony war” as the two candidates stake out their strongest supporters. The election will rest on three key debates in October where there will be no teleprompters. All questions and answers are live before millions of potential November voters. Unlike the conventions of late summer, the debates will have a lasting memory with the election a mere two weeks following the last debate.
Embarrassing or not, the questions posed at the debates must be answered with no political strategist to block for his candidate or end the event promptly.
No debates have become more important since Kennedy v Nixon in 1960.
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*** Interview with John Fund, author of Who’s Counting – How Fundraisers and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote At Risk, coming soon.