I swear, most days I think I inhabit some weird no-man’s-land between parallel universes.
In one, the economy is sputtering and people are anxious about their long-term prospects. Government is borrowing money we can’t pay back to prop up a political status quo the foundationof which is cracked. At the end of the year, the economy will get a knock-out blow when the largest tax hike in history takes effect. In the other world, though, the economy is just fine and the most pressing issues on voters’ minds is whether Billy can marry Bob and if women can get someone else to pay for their birth control. Oh, and in this world, apparently racist, homophobic thugs roam the streets ready to harm gays and minorities.
Obama and his allies in the media clearly live in the latter world. Unfortunately for them, the voters live in the other.
Today’s Rasmussen poll should be a shocking wake-up call that the Obama campaign needs to quickly find a way into the real world:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows Mitt Romney earning 50% of the vote and President Obama attracting 43% support. Four percent (4%) would vote for a third party candidate, while another three percent (3%) are undecided.
This is the first time Romney has reached the 50% level of support and is his largest lead ever over the president. It comes a week after a disappointing jobs report that raised new questions about the state of the economy. See tracking history.
Thirty-seven percent (37%) give the president good or excellent marks for his handling of the economy. Forty-eight percent (48%) say he’s doing a poor job. Consumer confidence has slipped four points since last week’s government report on job creation and unemployment. The number who believe their personal finances are getting better slipped from 30% a week ago to 28% today. The number who fear their finances are getting worse increased from 43% before the jobs report to 47% today.
Romney has only just wrapped up the GOP nomination. Obama has been campaigning for… well, he’s never actually stopped campaigning. He has access to all the tools of the Presidency and benefits from a sycophantic press corps, who focus their considerable resources on diverting attention away from the sad state of the economy. We’re told ad nauseum that Obama is “winning” the news cycle and forcing Romney to respond to him rather than drive his own campaign. And yet, Romney is absolutely crushing Obama.
The problem for Obama and the compliant media is that the economic news is so bad that their old trick of focusing on social issues, which few people really care about, isn’t working. When you can’t find a job, worrying about whether Billy marries Bob is pretty far down on your priority list.
Don’t get me wrong; there are people who care passionately about social issues. They see both gay marriage and free birth control as fundamental civil or human rights. There just aren’t that many of them. Obama’s campaign needs to find a way to talk to the 99% of us who are worried about the economy and our children’s future.
Even messianic politicians ignore the voters at their peril.