Polls continue to shift, Romney now being called “front-runner”

| June 2 2012
Christopher Cook

Granted, it was one of our cousins across the pond who said it, but sometimes, you have to go to the British press to get unvarnished news on U.S. politics:

Mitt Romney is now the front-runner to win the White House in 2012

If Mitt Romney turfs Barack Obama out of the Oval Office in November, then we might well look back on today and say that this was the day that the 44th President of the United States lost his bid for re-election.

The jobs numbers were appalling – just 69,000 jobs added last month, unemployment clmbing to 8.2 per cent and the ranks of the long-term unemployed swelling by 300,000. As Jim Pethokoukis of AEI notes, if the Obama administration hadn’t slashed the numbers looking for jobs, unemployment would be 10.9 per cent.

Unemployment among young people is over 12 per cent, with a knock-on effect across the country as twenty-somethings continue to live with their parents. Barely any recent economic indicator has been good. Today, the Dow plummeted, wiping out its 2012 gains.

Obama’s strategy against Romney is to seek to disqualify his opponent by painting him as an out-of-touch rich guy who robbed the poor and (below the radar) subscribes to a “weird” religion that puts him outside the American mainstream (kind of like the way some racist types have tried to portray Obama as “other”).

I came across this link via a post on Hot Air discussing the fact that Obama is now below 50% in California, of all places. Things would have to change a great deal more for Romney to be competitive there, but for Obama to be below 50 in a deep-blue state is not a good sign for him.

Neither is the fact that Romney is up by four in the latest Rasmussen poll:

 The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows Mitt Romney picking up 48% of the vote, while President Obama attracts 44%. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided.

This is the first time either candidate has been ahead by more than two points since President Obama held a three-point edge on May 21. As with all such changes, it remains to be seen whether these new numbers reflect a lasting change in the race or are merely statistical noise. See tracking history.

Following yesterday’s disappointing jobs report, consumer confidence fell five points overnight. It often takes up to a week before the impact of a jobs report is fully measured.

It is hard to say for sure what will happen with the economy. Frankly, given some structural problems we have, I am surprised it’s done this well for this long. The fact that Europe is in worse trouble has helped, because the dollar still looks rosy as a reserve currency by comparison. But how long we can continue like this is hard to say. Right now, indicators are pointing to more stagnation or even a reversion to slower growth. And anything that takes the economy in the wrong direction spells trouble for Obama.

Whether Romney is the front runner now or not is still an open question, but right now, all in all, they’re probably in a happier mood over at Team Romney.

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