Monty Pelerin / EconomicNoise.comThis post is from two years ago (September 29, 2010). It represents my view of Obama then and what would happen in the mid-term elections (then about 5 weeks away). In the last two years Obama’s record has only become more dismal and his character flaws and ethics have been revealed. Virtually everything he has touched has been a failure (although he claims successes, still believing his words are more important than our eyes or the actual data).
Two years later we are again about five weeks away from an election. The media and the pollsters would have you believe that Obama has a lock on being re-elected. The public knew much less about Obama then than they do now. It is incredible to me that pollsters are publishing (with a straight and serious face) the numbers they are. Look for these pollsters to move toward reality as the election nears, not because they will have a clearer vision but because they will eventually be judged in terms of their accuracy during the few weeks preceding the election (especially their last polls). These last polls are their samples for future business. They will change because they value future business more than Obama’s re-election.
There may be a closure effect in the media as well, although it will be less easy to spot. The media publishes qualitative rather than quantitative substance, which somewhat protects them from the clear-cut conclusions that can be drawn against quantitative data. Many media people seem immune to shame and unconcerned about their reputations. The alternative hypothesis of stupidity is also a possibility. Living in their own world, their errors are reinforced by fellow thinkers.
Nevertheless, some members of the media will realize what is coming and abandon their positions rather than go down with the Obama ship. Watch them in the last two weeks preceding the election to see the hedging and perhaps a Road to Damascus conversion or two.
Blacks are disillusioned as their “Great Black Hope” has made their lives more, not less, miserable. They will turn out in smaller numbers this time. College students who came out in droves to vote for the rock star are now jobless, living at home with their parents. They too will turn out in smaller numbers and some who turn out will switch sides. The same can be said about most other identifiable groups.
I cannot think of one sub-group that Obama might benefit from. Perhaps his support from Hispanics will increase, but I am unsure about that. Whether they do or not, it is difficult to imagine Obama doing anywhere close to what he achieved in 2008. As I have written elsewhere, his biggest advantage of 2008 — people did not know him and could imagine him to be whatever they were looking for — is gone. Now his biggest liability is that too many people know him!
Romney is not the best candidate in this American Idol World of politics. Competency and success seem not to be honored by the electorate. Nevertheless, the bulk of Americans are looking to dump the current albatross and many others need only the slightest excuse to do so. If Romney does not blow it in the debates, I think 2010 will be another huge surprise and embarrassment for Dems and their public relations specialists (otherwise known as the media and most pollsters).