Posted on | September 29, 2012 | 38 Comments
McDonald’s sign in Galion, Ohio, offers congratulations to local
high school football players David Nay and Nathan Cass.
A recent series of three polls — by the Washington Post, Quinnipiac and Fox News — show Mitt Romney getting blown out of the water in Ohio, and those of us who are skeptical about these numbers (c’mon, 10 points?) are being derided as “poll denialists.”
It is worth pointing out that these polls were all taken in the immediate aftermath of the “secret video” uproar, and all of them are now at least five days out of date. The Fox poll was taken Sept. 16-18, the WaPo poll was taken Sept. 19-23 and Quinnipiac’s poll was taken Sept. 18-24.
There has been no new public polling since Monday, which is significant in that Paul Ryan and Romney spent three days this week campaigning in Ohio — Lima, Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo. We must ask: Do polls matter more than the campaigns themselves? Do the national media control the narrative to such an extent that 4,000 people turning out for Romney in Toledo can be dismissed as irrelevant? Is all the grassroots effort by Americans for Prosperity moot?
We’re still four days away from the first debate, Wednesday in Denver, and yet we are being told that Obama’s headed for a landslide victory in Ohio, and thus re-election Nov. 6.
A new survey by Gallup asked Americans how much trust and confidence they have in the mass media — newspapers, television and radio — when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately and fairly: a great deal, a fair amount, not very much, or none at all. The result shows that “trust” disappeared long ago. Trust becomes disgust.
Gallup has been taking this measurement over the past decade or so, and the erosion of trust has been consistent and steady since at least 1998. Twelve years ago, 53 percent of Americans told Gallup that they had “a great deal” or at least “a fair amount” of trust in the media. By this year, only 40 percent of Americans put their trust in newspapers, television and radio to tell them what’s going on in the world. A remarkable 60 percent said they had “not very much” trust or “none at all.”
How do underdog candidates — and let’s admit Mitt is the underdog at this stage of the campaign — cut through the media filter? On Wednesday, for the first time, Americans are going to get a chance to see Romney and Obama on the same stage, head-to-head, and if you think that debate is going to be a walkover for Obama, you don’t remember the Jan. 26 debate in Jacksonville, Fla., where Mitt fatally lacerated Newt Gingrich.
Keep in mind that Romney doesn’t have to be declared hands-down winner of that debate in order to “win.” All he has to do is to “look presidential,” avoid gaffes and get in a couple of good zingers and everything that happened before will be forgotten.
Should that happen — if Mitt scores at least a draw in the first debate — the narrative changes and, by the time Paul Ryan meets Joe Biden in the Oct. 11 vice-presidential debate, we’ll be hearing about a race that is a neck-and-neck horse race.
Yet there are those Ohio polls, and there are those who are willing to take the polls as evidence that the campaign is all but over. Doug Ross lists some of the improbable beliefs necessary to buy into this argument:
[Y]ou have to believe that the Tea Party never organized or simply disappeared into thin air
[Y]ou have to believe that Obama’s act of adding $6 trillion — 60 percent — to the national debt, which has resulted in the country’s first credit downgrade, is wildly popular . . .
[Y]ou have to believe that the 2010 tidal wave election never happened
You don’t believe that, do you? No, of course not.
Frankly, despite all the certainty of the pollsters and pundits, I don’t think most people in Ohio (or anywhere else) are paying much attention to the campaign at this point. In the parking lot of this McDonald’s in Galion, there is not a single car with a bumper sticker for either Obama or Romney and, driving around the state this week, I haven’t seen a lot of yard signs.
Obama may be ahead in Ohio right now, but the campaign is far from over, because many voters haven’t yet made up their minds. The attempt by the Obamaphile media to create the appearance of an early decision — with the help of the polling firm of “Madoff, Marist, Quinnipiac and Ponzi” — ought to be rejected as the propaganda ploy it really is.
Understand that most Ohioans are currently more concerned with Ohio State football (the Buckeyes beat Michigan State 17-16 today) than they are with the upcoming election. These sensible Midwesterners, who two years ago elected Republican John Kasich govern0r and Republican Rob Portman to the Senate, are unlikely to buy into a lot of media hype going ’round.
- Sept. 27: VIDEO: AFP’s Jen Ridgely Talks About ‘Obama’s Failing Agenda’ Ohio Bus Tour
- Sept. 27: Get on the Bus! AFP Leads ‘Obama’s Failing Agenda Tour’ Across Ohio
- Sept. 26: ROMNEY RALLY IN TOLEDO: Huge Crowd Stands in Line in the Rain!
- Sept. 26: Fear and Loathing on the Road to Toledo
- Sept. 26: The Most Biased Question, Ever
- Sept. 26: Polls: Self-Fulfilling Prophecies?
- Sept. 25: SCENES FROM ROMNEY-RYAN RALLY
- Sept. 25: ROMNEY-RYAN AT DAYTON AIRPORT
- Sept. 25: PAUL RYAN IN CINCINNATI
- Sept. 25: Cracking Under Pressure?
- Sept. 24: Scenes From Ryan Rally in Lima, Ohio
- Sept. 24: GREETINGS FROM LIMA, OHIO
- Sept. 24: The Best Revenge: Ohio-Bound
- Sept. 23: Memo From the National Affairs Desk: Worldwide Headquarters of Crazy, Inc.