The Other McCain

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Distraction Tactic Backfires: Romney Gains in Polls After Obama Gay Shift

Posted on | May 15, 2012 | 27 Comments

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign strategy could be summarized in four words: “It’s Obama’s Economy, Stupid.”

Romney and his aides have made clear that they regard every other issue as a distraction from what polls — as well as common sense — indicate as the main concern of American voters: Jobs, the economy and the explosion of deficit spending under the Obama administration.

So when the news cycle last week was dominated by President Obama’s announcement of his support for same-sex marriage, this was viewed by Republicans as yet another attempt to distract voters from the economy — and thus, strategically, as another “win” for Team Obama.

Yet the first polls reflecting public reaction to the president’s endorsement of gay marriage show the move has, at least so far, backfired on the White House. A CBS/New York Times poll taken Friday through Sunday shows Romney leading Obama 46% to 43%, whereas a CBS/NYT poll taken April 13-17 showed the race a tie at 46%. This result verifies polling by Rasmussen Reports showing Romney moving ahead. Obama has clearly lost support since a month ago, and the New York Times article indicates voters are starting to see through the president’s motives:

Most Americans suspect that President Obama was motivated by politics, not policy, when he declared his support for same-sex marriage, according to a new poll released on Monday, suggesting that the unplanned way it was announced shaped public attitudes.

(Via Memeorandum.) Examining details of the latest poll, Allahpundit at Hot Air suggests “that some people who would otherwise support [Obama’s] shift on gay marriage have been turned off because he’s been so transparently cynical and opportunistic about it.”

There is also the possibility that the gay shift may undermine support for Obama among some socially conservative black voters. Yesterday we reported that Obama’s gay position was condemned by Texas pastor Dwight McKissic, who supported Obama in 2008. And Peter Ingemi’s suggestion that the “historic” Newsweek cover — “The First Gay President” — could unintentionally yield an anti-Obama undercurrent is not as far-fetched as it may seem, Ed Driscoll says.

UPDATE: “We’re Not as Stupid as Barack Obama Thinks,” says The American Spectator‘s Ross Kaminsky, but Democrats may be that stupid:

Despite the issue not working so far, Democrats are doubling down, with 17 Senate Democrats (actually 16 Democrats plus socialist Bernie Sanders) asking the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to stop refusing green cards to foreign gay “spouses” of Americans.

Hispanic voters are going to love that one, huh?





27 Responses to “Distraction Tactic Backfires: Romney Gains in Polls After Obama Gay Shift”

  1. Adobe_Walls
    May 15th, 2012 @ 11:58 am

    In addition to the above I’d wager that the over hyping of this “historic” outing is seen as “histrionic” at best. At least he didn’t claim to be “unprecedented”.

  2. PGlenn
    May 15th, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

    I’ve not been following this story, so others have probably already asked this, but . . .
    Doesn’t the Newsweek cover suggest one of two possibilities: either the Newsweek decisionmakers are now hostile to Obama’s reelection; or, they believe that such a cover would help, or at least be neutral to SCAOMF’s reelection chances, in which case they have lost the few threads remaining by which they had still clung to the “real world.”
    It’s probably possibility #2 above, but maybe possibility #1 is not out of the question at this point.

  3. robertstacymccain
    May 15th, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

    they have lost the few threads remaining by which they had still clung to the “real world.”

    1. Tina Brown is in the magazine business, not the politics business.

    2. If Newsweek still has any interest in Red America, maybe the magazine wouldn’t have been sold to Tina Brown for $1.

    2. Both Tina Brown and the writer of the cover article, Andrew Sullivan, are British ex-pats whose existence on this side of the Atlantic has been lived entirely in the deep-blue precincts of elite liberalism, and who therefore are both ignorant of, and hostile to, Red America.

    We should rightly view this Newsweek cover as an attempt to market a “souvenir edition” to gay readers. In a nation of 300 million people, if 2% of the population is gay, that’s a potential market of 6 million.

    Think about it: Don’t you suppose that Tina’s circulation spiked this week in San Francisco, New York, etc.? Don’t you suppose she sold copies this week to gay college kids who otherwise wouldn’t bother with a tired old rag like Newsweek?

  4. ThePaganTemple
    May 15th, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

     Not just reaching out to the pole smokers, but to all the other progressive interest groups as well. And its also a way to hype Obama to them. Obama’s approval rating is down below fifty percent even in states like Oregon and Michigan. Of course, there’s no way in hell he’ll lose Oregon, he’s down there probably because he isn’t seen as liberal enough. But its a problem for him across the country if the liberal base can’t get enthusiastically behind him he’s toast.

    And in Tina Brown’s world, Red State America doesn’t read Newsweek, so not only does she not have to worry about losing readers, she doesn’t think they’ll even notice articles and it wouldn’t make any difference if they did. She’s hopelessly unaware that a great many Democrat voters aren’t far left progressives and don’t appreciate this, especially in the swing states where it might matter most.

  5. Bob Belvedere
    May 15th, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

    Wait until their ads come out [pun intended].

  6. IrmaSDean
    May 15th, 2012 @ 1:41 pm
  7. JeffS
    May 15th, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

    Bill Clinton probably hasn’t stopped laughing his ass off.

  8. McGehee
    May 15th, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    I’d been thinking that instead of “gay” the word for the alternative-lifestyle community should be “faaaaabulous!!!!!” (note, there are the same number of A’s as exclamation points) — but Obama is most definitely not fabulous.

  9. Adjoran
    May 15th, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

     Oh, they sold a bunch of copies they wouldn’t have otherwise sold:  the RNC probably bought 25,000 themselves to drop into black barbershops.

    But the $1 sale of the magazine was just the price; the cost was much higher since the buyer was stuck with much of the company’s liabilities, too. 

  10. JeffS
    May 15th, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

     Nor Hillary, now that I think about it.

  11. Adjoran
    May 15th, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

    Let’s debunk the notion that Biden “gaffed” right now.  He did not, it was all planned, just as it was planned for Arne Duncan to endorse it the next day and Obama a few days later. 

    Notice Obama’s schedule for the next several days thereafter:  the Clooney event had been known, but he then went to a bunch of other fundraisers organized by gay bundlers and their friends.  You don’t organize events like that in a week, folks.  Don’t be naive – you can’t even book a room that quick, it takes time to nail down attendees and caterers and entertainment, everyone has their own schedule and a suitable time has to be found.

    No way all this comes together in days.  It was not only all planned, it’s been planned for a while.

  12. PGlenn
    May 15th, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

    Excellent points. It’s just that it doesn’t take a right-wing ideologue like me to see that the cover is really kid of bizarre. My feeling is that even people sympathetic to SCOAMF will see the cover as making him look ridiculous. If I didn’t know any better, I might think it was absurdist art piece, or something.

    Look, I grant you that the cover might be great for selling this one edition of a dying magazine, but which reader/consumer will it make happy? If I can’t resist making the error of conflating magazine economics with media ideology in this case, it’s because such publications must sell long-term subscriptions and, thus, I ask: What’s the constituency for this cover?

    Gays/lesbians will be offended by the halo because of how cynical, calculated was Obama’s “coming out” on this issue.

    Hard-core partisan Democrats will be annoyed if they feel the cover is unnecessary, unhelpful, even if they want to turn it into a poster.

    The people who still inexplicably perceive that Newsweek is an “objective” news monthly, upon seeing the copy in their dentist office, etc., will be ever so slightly disturbed from their waking slumbers.

    Who wants this cover except the RNC, Tina Brown, and the “artists” who like to hijack images from the public domain?

  13. Adobe_Walls
    May 15th, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

    That’s what has me wondering about the timing, if #OccupyResoluteDesk wanted to seem heroic to the gays (I assume he’s simply not worried about Black Christians) wouldn’t it have seemed gutsyer to have done this Monday?

  14. PGlenn
    May 15th, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

    Good points. What’s your prelminary take on the costs v. benefits of this calculation?

  15. PaulLemmen
    May 15th, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

    I still prefer my version of the cover (The Gay Patriot also seemed to like it, he retweeted it enough!)

  16. PGlenn
    May 15th, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

    If SCOAMF put his makeup on like that, it’d actually be proof he isn’t gay.

  17. PaulLemmen
    May 15th, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

    Or that he is actually a tired old queen from the 80’s where he hung out in gay show bars. There is no actual evidence either way. I present a possibility just as relevant and factual as his supposed “history” as promoted by his campaign.

  18. K-Bob
    May 15th, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

    The picture looks like they caught Barack just as he was putting on his ass hat.

  19. DaveO
    May 15th, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

    With the SCOAMF now on record as wanting to undo the Defense of Marriage Act, another shibboleth for gays, Obama and Progressives have pursued every single item on the Progressive wishlist (America may not survive, even with Romney).

  20. Tex Lovera
    May 15th, 2012 @ 11:29 pm

     So is the Obama “gay shift” anything like a “Doppler shift”?  Does it mean his rainbow ring gets bluer?

  21. andycanuck
    May 16th, 2012 @ 12:02 am

    “After Obama’s Gay Shift”
    Is “Shift” a typo?

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  23. Bob Belvedere
    May 16th, 2012 @ 9:18 am

    Methinks it is a typo because, as Reggie Love and others surely can tell you, Obama has a gay shaft – and I ain’t talking ’bout the detective.

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