Last week a new Washington Post-ABC News poll said that 4 in 10 Americans are dissatisfied with President Obama’s performance. There’s always plenty of Washington Post commentary about Obama, but they hailed this poll as a “sign of the hardening opposition to him as he seeks a second term.”
Trouble always appears to be at the President’s door step when reading the Washington Post lately. “Obama the loner”, “Blaming Obama”, “Is Obama an underdog in 2012”, “Obama has a people Problem—Not a Jewish Problem”, “Does Obama still have political juice” and “Opposition to Obama grows—Strongly”. While Obama may be in a tough position, there is nothing tougher on the horizon for Republicans than defeating Obama.
Why not write commentary about who those dissatisfied four might be? Could they be the unemployed, recent college graduates, tea partiers or any of the groups currently expressing anger at the state of our Union … or simply 4 people pissed off at Obama?
Try focusing on the future Republican alternative. One could make the case that you could rustle all the Republican nominees together and brand them far right – all except Romney, Gingrich, Roemer and Huntsman. How might the 4 out of 10 respond to nominating an ultra conservative nominee like Michelle Bachmann or Herman Cain? They just might be overjoyed. That would probably be your 4 out of 10.
To not pick a Romney, Huntsman or Gingrich completely ruins the chances of a GOP presidency. In 2008, Romney bowed out early after his campaign failed to win early primary states. Pray that isn’t the case this time because Gingrich, Romer, and Huntsman are in the lower tier of the Republican nomination race and they don’t appear to be gaining ground anytime soon. The Republicans would then be left with a far right candidate who is unable to capture the middle. Those four would go where?
Maybe those 4 are White southerners who vote one way no matter the candidate. Who is it? Call them out. Now if the study brandished a gleaming chrome-plated 8 out of 10 Americans who were dissatisfied, then Obama would have a serious problem to overcome for 2012. Unfortunately for those Washington Post guys it has not gotten that deep – although they believe that “… these numbers are a sign of the hardening opposition to him as he seeks a second term.”
Moreover 4 out of 10 is not a surprising number. So why the big story? Does it have to do with beating the war drum on behalf of Republicans for the 2012 election? Another way to analyze the 4 out of 10 story might also be to read that 6 out of 10 Americans are satisfied with President Obama’s performance. Now what?
Keep the focus on the future Republican alternative. How will they gain ground? Nominating a far right nominee quickly takes the GOP dog out of the hunt. What happens in the early January primaries will tell the story of what the Republicans can do in the upcoming 2012 election. If Romney fails to win enough early primary states and looses out in many early southern states then there is no GOP 2012 victory. Not picking a common sense Republican like Mitt Romney as the GOP nominee would murder the Republican Party.
The secret formula to winning the Presidential election is nestled between rallying a base vote and persuading enough in the middle. How might the Republican Party do this if their strategy is based solely on the far right by electing candidates like Cain, Paul, Santorum and Bachmann? If winning is the issue and not the drive-by political polls, then Obama has more of a shot than the Washington Post’s bloggers believe.