WASHINGTON, November 2, 2012 — Like it or not, Republicans are having to face up to a very sobering truth: Mitt Romney will lose the election.
He gave it the old college try. He has been whatever voters wanted him to be. He would say whatever they wanted to hear. He truly was the Etch-A-Sketch man.
His first decisive win during the debates rejuvenated his faltering campaign and gave him a tail wind for weeks afterwards. The momentum was his. But then the wind began to subside and it wasn’t just Hurricane Sandy blowing into town.
Yes, the polls got tighter for a bit, but then they slipped back to where they were pre-debate, giving President Obama safe margins in key swing states. Meanwhile some states that were originally Romney’s began to slip towards Obama such as Florida and Virginia. They may not tip completely to Obama, though Virginia just might, but the fact that they even edged that way is bad news for Romney.
Then there is Romney’s desperation dash for votes. True, both candidates are in Ohio, but the ads that Mitt Romney are running about the auto industry, Jeep, and jobs are flat out untrue and the executives at GM and Chrysler did something unprecedented. They stepped into the fray and unequivocally said, Romney is not telling the truth. Even Ohio newspapers on both sides of the spectrum criticized the Romney ads. And yet, they did not come down.
Just as the Romney ad endorsing Richard Mourdock who is running for senator in Indiana did not come down after his inflammatory remarks about rape. So now Romney finds himself hinged at the hip with a Tea Party candidate who is considered on the fringe. None of this has done the perception of Romney any good.
As if to seal the deal, along came Hurricane Sandy and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. It is hard to say which was more destructive to the Romney campaign, Sandy or Christie.
Sandy certainly closed down campaigning for a few days and all Romney could say was for everyone to keep the victims in their prayers and to donate to the Red Cross. There wasn’t much else he could do. Even when he returned to the campaign trail, trying to campaign with gusto, there was no way he could get too aggressive against Obama without looking tone-deaf to the dire situation facing a large portion of the population.
Then there was Hurricane Christie with his gushing praise for all that Obama and the government had done and was still doing for New Jersey. There they were arm in arm surveying the devastation. Those pictures were worth more than a ton of campaign ads. Now mix in Republicans like former Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi, who knows what a hurricane is like having led his state during the worst days of Katrina, praising Christie for his praise of Obama.
The hurricane will probably give a tiny bump to Obama, but he was already headed up. Add to that the fact that during the disaster, he was doing the job of President of the United States and doing it every night on your TV. Presidents during a national tragedy automatically get the mantle of leadership. Just ask President George W. Bush how fast that mantle slipped over his shoulders and stayed there.
At a Virginia rally on Thursday, Romney supporters worried that things are headed south. Some remained “cautiously optimistic” while others expressed their worry that Obama is perceived as “hip, cool, and sympathetic.” All of this while they said passionately that they would vote for Romney no matter what. But there was unease about how the election would turn out.
What they are feeling is exactly what is showing up in the polls. Come Tuesday that will translate into a win for another four years for Barack Obama.
To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.
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