Posted on | October 8, 2012 | 170 Comments
A steady drip, drip, drip of polling data — including a new Battleground poll showing Democrats on the losing side of an “enthusiasm gap” — has started to undermine the carefully maintained perception of Obama’s re-election as inevitable. Ed Morrissey comments:
If Obama trails in a D+8 poll by 6 among the extremely likely voters with four weeks to go, he’s in deep trouble — and his debate performance certainly won’t boost him.
Obama’s debate performance also raised a bigger question: Is he overrated as a candidate?
Four years ago, that question would have been unimaginable …
Fast-forward to this campaign — and specifically its last two major public events — and you see Obama’s flaws as a candidate in starker relief.
His acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention was flat and, rhetorically, felt like a patchwork effort — five or six different speeches all clumped into a single address. His debate performance was glum and defensive, leaving anyone who watched with the overwhelming sense that the president would have rather been anywhere but sharing the stage with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R).
That the question “would have been unimaginable” in 2008 is likely a result of Cillizza having his head inside the liberal media echo chamber where never was heard a discouraging word about Obama. Democrats were pumped up and eager for action after eight years of Bush, and having a completely untested candidate allowed them to project onto Obama whatever they wished to see there. If you bought into that hype (as Cillizza evidently did), then it was easy to imagine Obama the Light-Bringer riding to glory astride a flying unicorn, eating Magic Peace Flakes for breakfast and farting rainbows all day long.
Reality? What a bummer. It’s like the old joke: What did the Grateful Dead fan say after the dope wore off? “Dude, this band sucks.”
Two weeks ago, I warned that Democrats were “spiking the ball early,” but they didn’t listen to me then, and I don’t expect them to listen now. Cillizza is shrewd enough to see the value of hedging his bets, being one of the first liberal media types to warn of the possible defeat ahead, but Nate Silver seems unwilling to kick the Kool-Aid habit just yet.
Remember that a month ago, Silver gave 4-to-1 odds against Romney. Nate’s confidence is quietly fading, as he starts to wonder what excuses he’ll make on Nov. 7 if he has to explain why he was wrong.
UPDATE (Smitty): Welcome, Instapundit readers.