Very excited is the media about Mitt Romney’s “momentum”. They say he got this “momentum” when he lied his way through the first debate, leaving the President stunned by Mitt’s willingness to abandon all of his positions when facing the general public. We were told that the public loves an alpha male so win for Romney. No word on the fact that Romney’s post debate bounce evaporated a week later and the President won the second two debates, and Biden won the VP debate.
When Obama won the second debate, we were told women didn’t like the “pettiness” of the debate so lose for Obama because he fought back against the lies.
In the third debate, in which the President clearly routed Mitt Romney with facts and style (not surprising given that Mitt Romney knows less about foreign policy than he knows about taking care of dogs properly), we were told that Romney won or pulled even by not making any mistakes.
Sure, if Romney were ahead, that might make sense. But he’s not. And he did make mistakes. Romney made a gaffe ignored by the media, who lowered the bar for Romney as they did Palin. Romney said (again), “Syria is Iran’s . . . route to the sea.” This, of course, isn’t true. That’s Palin-level stuff, but barely a peep has been uttered about it. A Washington Post Fact Checker didn’t think it worthy of a Pinocchio rating “unless we create a category for weird language.” They haven’t done that yet, even though Sarah Palin used weird language for as subterfuge just as Romney is doing? Words don’t matter anymore?
Hey, kids! Climate change is a hoax and Syria is Iran’s route to the sea. Also, myths.
Romney, the media claimed, earned his stripes by sitting next to the president on a tough subject that the president is so good at. So, see, it’s not that you want the person who’s best at national security and foreign policy – it’s that you should give it to the guy who doesn’t care to learn about it because it’s unfair that he was outclassed by the President. Republicans don’t want a meritocracy anymore. They want a feel sorry for Mittocracy.
Helping these narratives along were the 25,000 tickets for a venue that seats 10,000 that the Romney campaign gave out to a Kid Rock concert/Romney campaign rally. There were crowds! He’s never managed to get a crowd until now, but the media claims it’s part of his momentum – not Kid Rock for free. Never mind that Romney has not managed to draw crowds like the President has consistently drawn during this entire campaign. Of special note were the “Democrats for Romney!” signs. This raises the spectre of the homeless African Americans the Scott Brown campaign paid to wear Obama for Brown! t-shirts, but okay.
And then we have the pollsters. New on the scene this year, because you can’t have enough Republican leaning pollsters even though there are more registered Democrats in this country than Republicans (though Republicans vote more than Democrats), we added Gravis Marketing to Rasmussen and Gallup, both of whom lean Republican — both of who are also reputable, tried and true polling firms, unlike Gravis Marketing.
Gravis Marketing is the pollster that announced African Americans were going for Romney suddenly by 40%, when all other polling showed Romney with 0-2% of the African American vote. When bloggers questioned Gravis Marketing’s methods, the owner showed up to argue in the comment section over and over and over again. Gravis is being included in most of the major poll tracking, and some folks weigh Gravis heavily.
Because Rasmussen uses formulas that render it in a different category than PPP, it’s possible that legitimate outlets are using Gravis as a conservative leaner to offset PPP. That doesn’t make Gravis accurate. It’s not just me — Bob Shrum noted Gravis’ Republican outlier status today on Politics Nation. It might behoove the media to read up on Gravis sooner rather than later. If they need help, the folks at Democratic Underground have done some digging.
This election will be won by state, not by feigned or propped up momentum. And by state, Romney is in trouble. Obama has the math in his favor at this point. Greg Sargent points out, “Whatever is happening on the national level, the fact remains that Romney faces a more daunting climb in the electoral math than Obama does — meaning the President is currently leading.”
Three new polls in battleground Virginia show Obama leading between 3-7 points. We’ve been told by the Romney campaign that Virginia was in the bag for them. “We are going to win Virginia, you know that?”
By early voting, Romney is in trouble. The Obama team’s ground game is a force of nature. In the all important state of Ohio, Obama is winning in early voting. Jason Easley covered the Obama ground game yesterday, “Obama is winning early voting in Ohio, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Ohio early vote turnout is higher for Obama in 2008 than in Republican counties. He (Messina) said that this election is more diverse. Most new registrants are under 30. 2/3 of those who have early voted are women, African-Americans, and Latinos. Democrats are winning everywhere where there are in person early votes.”
Can Mitt Romney win this election? Yes, he can. Between voter suppression, voter ID laws, voter registration fraud, voting machine malfeasance, True the Vote intimidation of minorities, and a Campaign of Lies so surreal and epic I’m nominating him for a Political Razzie, it’s possible. Low information voters combined with voter disenfranchisement and a lot of dark money creates a toxic brew.
But not much of this is real. Mitt Romney doesn’t have momentum.
He has never had momentum. What Mitt Romney has is a lot of big money behind him, propping him up and selling his lies to an unsuspecting public. He also has a media hungry for a horse race and seemingly incapable of keeping up with his repositioning and denials of his own policies. Is that dangerous and can he win? Yes, and yes. Does he have “momentum”? No.
What we have here is a Mittocracy rather than a meritocracy; it’s all about the myth, the con, the illusion.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.