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I'm going to use the Pollster polling composite charts today, since the TPM ones haven't updated for a while for some reason. I used "less smoothing" to give us more pronounced trendlines.

Pres. Barack Obama:

Mitt Romney:
Believe it or not, they both got a 7-8 net bounce on their favorability rates after their conventions, and Romney continued to improve even during the Democratic convention. Much of that comes from Republicans pretending to like their guy. Just watch how those Romney favorables evaporate the day after Obama cleans his clock.

Still, the big difference is that Obama started with halfway decent favorability ratings, while Romney began in the gutter. And with Romney going negative from here on out in an attempt to erode those Obama numbers, there will be precious few opportunities to convince more voters to like him while giving them plenty of reasons not to (going hard negative brings down the attacker as well).

Finally, remember that Romney and his Super PAC friends have already spent about $180 million (did the math here) bombarding Obama with negative ads. The entire point of negative ads is to bring down the target's favorability numbers.

Yet look at the chart above. Has $180 million ever been so ineffective in a political race? Meg Whitman's $130 million in the 2010 California governor's race has now been eclipsed.

That's why I no longer fear the billionaire cash. I'm wary of it, but I don't fear it.

By the way, there's a punchline: See that Obama spike on the chart above? It begins on August 27. You know what else began on August 27? Yup, the Republican National Convention. So not only has their $180 million failed to erode Obama's favorabilities, but their convention improved them.

I told you it'd be funny.

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Comment Preferences

  •  and Mittens has only begun to gaffe and flail (21+ / 0-)

    Romney under pressure to go negative and chasing headlines is certain to amp up his gaffes per day statistics.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:34:50 AM PDT

  •  So I should not be askeered of the $100 Million (7+ / 0-)

    Dollar Carpet Bomb of Conservative Wisdom that will Ultimately Destroy Obama and Sway Undecideds to Romney in Droves? Yeah. Didn't think so.

    Let's go back to E Pluribus Unum

    by hazzcon on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:40:10 AM PDT

  •  Chart data doesn't import. Probably ought to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoCoDem, illinifan17

    find a better way to attach them to your diary.

    I'm on dsl; IE8.

    I get the message "Stop running script?"



    Notice: This Comment © 2012 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:42:06 AM PDT

  •  Be afraid, very afraid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, MooseHB

    The conservatives with their big money are full of hate and spite and have yet to spend all of their money.  They aren't bombing the carpet to get rid of fleas, although they do think of liberals as vermin so maybe that is probably their goals.  We need to encourage everyone to VOTE, VOTE, VOTE unless of course if they are going to support the Republicans, then maybe we should encourage them to take a tour overseas to visit their money shrines.

    •  Don't be afraid yet (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AreDeutz, MooseHB, My two cents worth

      I don't fear billionaires and their cash now, because they're using it stupidly.  However, although they may learn it the hard way, they will learn their lesson and use their cash more intelligently at some point.  That's why one of our main goals should be undoing the mess caused by Citizens United.  I'm all for free speech, but we should have the right to know who's speaking, and corporations -- which are NOT people -- shouldn't be able to drown out other voices with a tsunami of cash.

    •  saturation (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ohkwai, AreDeutz, MooseHB

      The only real thing they can do is try to blanket the airwaves with commercials. But this might not be as effective as could be for several reasons:
      a. The Obama campaign's got some real dough too, so he can push back against Romney's lies, damned lies and statistics.
      b. There's a moment you can also oversaturate the air waves with too many ads. And then people just ignore and tune out. Better to have strategically placed well crafted ads with a good message than too many abresive ads. Such oversaturation might lead to annoyance and to irritation with the messanger.

      In effect the next possible gamechanger probably is, without any unforseen happenstance or Obama gaffe, the first debate in October.

      Obama-Biden in 2012!

      by Frederik on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:35:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you 'be very afraid' (0+ / 0-)

      if you want to be in the weak ass position of being afraid.  

      I'll be aware but confident...thank you very much.

  •  That improvement in favorables is exactly what (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Jerry J, IM

    Romney needed, but it's not enough to win.

    One way or another, he has to make the latest jobs news back into news -- it was more or less buried by the Democratic convention -- and pin it squarely on the President.

    That's a tall order, but not an impossible one.

    I don't know if anything else can help him.  Go into negatvie chant mode and he risks his own favorables more than hurting the President's.  Face it -- people more or less know Obama, and even those who aren't enamored of the President tend to like the man.

    I, of course, have completely given up trying to call this election. My post-2010 track record is nearly perfect -- for misses, that is, not hits.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:51:46 AM PDT

    •  Obama has spent almost double attacking Romney (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and Romney's favorables are up.  (kos did not mention that part)

      So, yes.. I agree that this election defies logic.  Negative ads are not going to work on people who have already decided.

      So, I will stick with my "it's gonna be really close" non-prediction.

      The winner will be determined by turnout.  If Obama can get all his base constituencies out in the same numbers as '08, he probably wins.  If not, and the GOP can get 2010 levels of turnout or better, Romney wins.

      •  I have only one prediction -- and I certainly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jerry J

        don't guarantee it:

        If turnout is high, I expect President Obama to win less than 50% of the popular vote.

        It's very hard for me to see Obama's performance exciting very many of the non-affiliated voters who helped sweep him to victory in 2008.

        At the same time, I don't see Mitt Romney stirring up much passion from anybody.

        So -- what of those "other" voters?

        If they don't stay home, will they suck it up and vote for Romney anyway?
        Will they lodge protest votes for somebody lese?
        Will they vote down-ticket and leave the Presidential ballot alone?

        On a personal note, I don't remember any election (and I've been voting in Presidential elections since 1972) where I have been unsure of my vote this late in the game.  Can I really be alone in that?

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 08:51:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  maybe not alone (0+ / 0-)

          but crazy.  How can you be unsure of your vote? based on what?

          •  Easy. (0+ / 0-)

            I don't believe that the current administration has earned re-election and I don't think much of Mitt Romney.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 09:39:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  what has... (0+ / 0-)

              this administration fallen short on, that wasn't largely due to an obstructionist Congress?

              Obama's biggest successes have been in his Comnmander-in-Chief role, largely because it isn't dependent on Congress.

              Domestic issues are another story...imagine if he were entitled to CiC style powers over the economy...

              "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

              by JackND on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 11:21:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Combo fall short and overr-reach. (0+ / 0-)

                I think this administration has  been willing to throw millions of unemployed people under the bus and acted with cynical political calculation in its:

                1. Disbursement of TARP funds,
                2. Enactment of large pork-rich "stimulus" package that would come back later to hamstring efforts to actually get people back to work
                3. Willingness to look the other way while millions suffered so that health insurance company welfare act could be passed.

                Am also highly disturbed by Supreme Court ruling on ACA. At this point, the two recent decisions that, in my sure to be disregarded opinion, take the clearest steps down the road to fascism have both been carried by the so-called liberal justices, ie, Democratic appointments.

                And -- OH!
                The Republicans didn't get their 1 measly house of Congress until 2010.  Which is why the President was able to get those big nasty bills passed that he got passed.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 01:19:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I think you are probably (0+ / 0-)

          feeling what a whole lot of voters are feeling.

          My problem with polls this year is that I really feel there should be a "None of the above" choice.  I think we would get a better gauge of voter preferences.  As it is, voters must pick either Obama or Romney or Undecided.  

          So many people I talk to are just sick of the current state of the country (as is clear in the right/wrong track polls), but don't like Romney all that much either.

          My kids are staunch Democrats, but will likely not even vote this year, and they say the same holds true for all their 30 something friends.

      •  correction (0+ / 0-)

        "If Obama can get all his base constituencies out in the same numbers as '08, he probably wins"    Duh, he if gets them out in the same numbers as '08 there is no "probably"; he definitely wins

  •  WTMW. Worse.Than.Meg.Whitman: ROF.LMFAO (6+ / 0-)

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:53:39 AM PDT

    •  Meg spent more than $140 million of her own money (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IM, Mr MadAsHell

      on her campaign (not just $130 MM as mentioned in the diary), according to an article written just before the election:

      the billionaire Republican has smashed records by dropping $141 million of her own money in her battle against Jerry Brown, and she'd said previously she was willing to put in as much as $150 million....

          In the end it turns out that too much money can turn against a candidate—male or female—and it does not spare you the burden of having to connect with the voters.

      The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

      by ybruti on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 08:04:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Meg Whitman rebuilt the California GOP, Mitt (4+ / 0-)

    might rebuild the GOP national party, LOL ROF LMFAO

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:54:13 AM PDT

  •  Will be interesting to see (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if they have to resort to Jeremiah Wright or other measures of total desperation.

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:54:51 AM PDT

    •  Hannity's in the back room dubbing "Whitey" tapes. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AreDeutz, norm

      Meanwhile, Sheriff Joe's taking scuba lessons and getting a posse together to find bin Laden's body before Bill Ayers blows it up with his secret fleet of Russian-powered Iranian subs bought from North Korea.

      -- I doubt a guy like Romney even knows what "austerity" means.

      by here4tehbeer on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:26:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is not easy to run a political convention and (7+ / 0-)

    have it televised and actually lose ground during that period of time. Those who least like you mostly do not watch it. Your supporters often do.

    About the only way you can do it is to be unusually boring and unappealing or feature speakers at key times who appear to be insane. They did it.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:55:32 AM PDT

  •  If the conventional wisdom holds and Romney (4+ / 0-)

    Loses what will be interesting if like so many of his Bain ventures he ends up turning a profit since IIRC he would get to keep/control any remaining cash on hand.

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:56:00 AM PDT

  •  Still need more. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obama needs to be farther ahead just before the election, because the Republicans will resort to really nasty attacks and get a few percentage points from gullible, scared voters on the ramp up.

  •  Favorable Polling Coupons Expire on Nov 6th... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Unless the political coupons for Obama's relatively favorable early Sept polling data can successfully be cashed in for actual political goods on Nov 6th, they will become not merely worthless, but will lingeringly haunt us for decades from the lasting damage a Romney/Ryan Presidency and GOP controlled Congress can inflict on the country over even a single four-year term.

  •  More taste! Less smoothing! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, commonmass

    Let the debate begin.

    Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:57:48 AM PDT

  •  I think TPM is trying its best (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Torta, commonmass, AreDeutz, askew

    to contribute to the "dead-heat horse race" meme. Good for clicks obviously. They had to be practically dragged kicking and screaming into finally noting Obama's bounce in their tracker and their electoral college scoreboard has Obama at something like 256 to Romney's 210.

    •  I've been going to TPM less frequently (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Molly M, ROGNM, askew

      because I think they are contributing to the tight race theme and to some of the politico driven narratives.  It has been dailykos, news wires and local news for me.

      President probably gets a 9-11 bounce and then heads to Nevada and CO this week.  Should be another solid week for him.

      Alternative rock with something to say:

      by khyber900 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:11:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Trapped by their own mythology, they can only (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brook, commonmass, Aquarius40

    stamp their feet all the louder in relentless demand that reality conform to their desires.

    Personally, I think the Republican Party has been acting like a two year old having a tantrum.  The first national political campaign that functions at a pre-school cognitive level.

    I can’t decide who’s cuter – the dead guy with the arrows in his chest, or the guy in the ditch with the seeping wound. -- Game of Thrones (Heard on Set)

    by prodigal on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:00:33 AM PDT

  •  I made that point last week...that Obama's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, commonmass, Farkletoo

    bounce began during the RNC.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right. I'm riding for MS in September. Please donate here if you can.

    by darthstar on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:01:59 AM PDT

  •  Romney's rising favorables (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It is possible that, bad as he is, that the convention itself made him look better in comparison. Pundit after pundit have said that Christie, Ryan and others spoke more about I than about Mitt. Romney's favorables might have risen out of pity as a clear impression formed that he is not a serious option.

    Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

    by textus on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:03:27 AM PDT

  •  I can understand why Mittens got a bounce. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, KHKS, IM

    Like the bulk of the electorate that is just now beginning to think "for whom shall I vote?", Mittens is vapid and refuses to say what he wants for breakfast. He looks shiny and white, which is good. He is rich, like those people on Who Wants To Be A Rich Extreme Makeover American Idol Millionaire and says he's going to keep our lawn guy working for under minimum wage, which is good, because "my husband just got laid off but he doesn't do lawns".

    Also, he can fix the depression, because he has magic underwear and loves God and his wife "Looooves yewwww wimmmminnnnn!" and FDR has old failed policies like Social Security which we all know is a Ponzi Scheme because some 42 year old Irish guy who never held a real job in the private sector he fetishizes says so. Oh, and Barack Obama is black.

    Yep, that's how Mittens got a bounce.

    I know what Mitt Romney is hiding: Mitt Romney.

    by commonmass on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:03:55 AM PDT

  •  I think the billionaire cash is still having an (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    effect down ticket. That is where it worries me.


    "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room." - President Merkin Muffley

    by Farkletoo on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:16:51 AM PDT

  •  Poor Romney (0+ / 0-)

    If he could only pull it together and act like a human being for a couple of weeks this might be a race.

    If he hadn't been literally the last choice of primary voters, it might be a race.

    If he'd picked a different state to be governor of, or not been leading the vanguard on healthcare mandates, he might still be in this.

    If he'd given the NRA more to work with than trying to spin his AWB into some sort of pro-gun victory, he'd have more of a chance.

    If he was from a more mainstream religion, he'd probably still be in the fight.

    Maybe if he'd not run off to France to avoid being drafted he would have a shot.

    He just has the distinct ability to alienate everybody in his party in some way. It is unique to Mitt.

    We could have had a hilarious Newt or Cain Train debates, and that is the biggest Mitt disappoinment of all.

  •  There is only one angle of attack on Obama, (0+ / 0-)

    and that is the economy. Everything about him is known and is factored in. And the fact is, every economic attack against the president has already been leveled. As I said at the start of this cycle, president obama has been a largely conventional presidential, free of scandal both personal and political. He wasn't challenged in his primary providing no new angles of attack to divide Democrats.

    He's not a dominating incumbent by any means. But he's strong enough to be a weak challenger like Mitt Romney for sure.

  •  when people ask who (0+ / 0-)

    might be suspicious of this poll, obama not only is a likeable regular guy but romney is just the opposite, and it comes out so clearly the more america sees and hears from him and his family, the harder they try to make him likeable the more he seems the exact opposite.

  •  Fear the billionaire cash (0+ / 0-)

    This overconfidence and gloating about the presidential numbers hides the fact that the real war is going to be waged to win back the senate and hold the house.  I wish you would change the narrative and demonstrate the reality of the next few weeks.

  •  A bit off topic, but this post sparked a question: (0+ / 0-)

    Everything I read says that between Mitt's fund raising and all his Super PAC's fundraising they're going to approach a combined $1 billion raised, how is it possible that through mid-Sept they've only spent $180 million??

    •  exactly my thinking (0+ / 0-)

      I began an unfinished diary a while back saying the exact opposite of current conventional wisdom that Romney has oodles of cash. he does not. I believe his own campaign fundraising has reached its finite limit. All the moneybags have maxed out. His $$ has been falling since his June peak of $125 million.

      The so-called billionaire superpac $$ is simply a narrative mirage that scares the corporate media into compliance thinking they'll get their grubby hands on outsized ad $$.

      I don't think any such outrageous pac money exists. The billionaires don't have that kinda cash sitting anywhere to cut checks from. Their monies are paper/stock digits not actualized wealth.

      They are backing Romney in order to get their greedy hands of government contract and tax largesse & corporate welfare.

      Romney is running to change tax laws for his own benefit so he can repatriate his money stash abroad to pass on to his kids & grandkids tax free.

      This is my analysis.

      "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

      by zizi on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:06:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Understand your point. But even Romney by (0+ / 0-)

        himself (not including Super PACs) has had like 4 straight months of more than $100 million raised.  So for his campaign alone it's something in the neighborhood of $450 million.  How is it possible they've only spent $180 million so far?

        In the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter.  I'm just curious because it stood out as odd to me that this post said they have only spent $180 million to date between Romney AND his Super PACs.

  •  Gallup just reported Obama at 50% Romney 44% (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in their daily tracking poll. This is the first time since April 26th with Obama at 50%. Romney was at 43%.

    GOP - "Home of the Whopper!"

    by Templar on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:07:33 AM PDT

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