TPM has a great little analysis of the effect Romney’s ‘47%’ video has had on his Presidential campaign. In short, it’s not good:
The snap shot is that 57% of independent voters had an unfavorable view of Romney’s outburst (according to a Washington Post poll) – the exact demographic Romney stated he was trying to get at in the talk he was giving. Said Romney:
What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not.
The polling looks absolutely devastating if even vaguely accurate as Romney is basically right – his entire campaign must be built around capturing independents – and it now looks like he has lost them.
It really makes you think – if that was originally Romney’s idea to go for the center, why on earth has he run such a nasty, ultra right wing campaign for the better part of the election? It was always going to be an incredibly difficult task for Romney as he had to shore up the base that didn’t trust him, and attract the center at the same time. Given the GOP base now closely resembles something akin to fascism, doing both would have been close to impossible as Romney is now finding out.
I hate to write Romney’s obituary so early as there’s always a danger he could pull the upset, but it’s looking like a demographic catastrophe for the GOP in November. This is equally troubling for their long term prospects as a bad loss will throw the party into further chaos. It’s impossible to predict which faction of the GOP wins out in the long term because American political culture, particularly on the Right, is inherently erratic and unstable. One would think that they’d choose moderation in the face of electoral defeat, but given the direction in which they went after the banking crisis (even further to the Right) anything is possible.
Who knows, the Romney-Ryan ticket might look moderate in years to come. A pretty scary thought.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.