Poor Mitt

Before yet another post, an apology to long-time readers for the overly political bent of the blog this week.  Please know that my continued goal is to write on a variety of topics.  With both the Republican and Democratic conventions happening right now, however, I feel that I should spend some time reflecting on the current state of the presidential race.

Along those lines, I–like many of you–watched Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech last night.  I was again struck by the focused case the Republicans are attempting to make: they are the party of free enterprise, prosperity, and growth.  The Democrats and Barack Obama is not.  Re-electing the president will only increase the size of government, raise taxes, and make things worse.  The only way to correct the direction of the nation is to vote for Romney.

Whether or not you agree with them, this is in large part the position they are putting forth.  With a successful businessman and manager at the head of their ticket, you’d think they’d be making great headway in a time dominated by continued economic troubles and slow growth.  Not amongst diehards of either party, of course, but in the ranks of those in the middle who could and will support whoever they think will help most.  Specifics aside, you’d think it would be a no-brainer that the opposing party would be polling pretty well against the status quo.  But then there’s this chart:

Though Romney has been gaining ground, he’s been running behind President Obama pretty consistently.  Why?  I’ve considered a few reasons.  Let me know what you think:

  • Are bad memories of the George W. Bush years continuing to poison the Republican brand?
  • Is there lingering loyalty to the inspirational and “game-changing” Obama campaign of 2008, regardless of how it all as been perceived to work out?
  • More substantively, has there been a leftward shift in American political opinion from, say, center-right to center-left?
  • Do the particular policies of President Obama simply agree more with where Americans are right now?  Are issues other than economics just too important?
  • Are we as a nation simply unsure of change?
  • Is Mitt Romney far too stiff, patrician, rich, or otherwise incapable to connect with Americans?  Or, dare we say, too Mormon?

In an economic downturn such as this one, you’d think the other party–especially one dominated by a businessman–might be doing a lot better.  And I suspect they will.  Indeed, I suspect Romney has a better chance at winning than that the above chart might suggest.  We will see how the polls change in the next few days…and, importantly, after the Democrats their say next week.

What are your thoughts?

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One comment on “Poor Mitt

  1. Viletta Knight says:

    I also watched Mitt Romney’s speech last night, and I have to admit that although I’m one of those few Black Republicans, I was not inspired. And to be honest, I wasn’t inspired because he looks and sounds so out-of-touch with the average citizen. I liked George W. Bush a LOT. And I like Barack Obama’s personality (but would never vote for him).

    Of the reasons you listed, the two I think are keeping voters away from Romney are the “lingering loyalty” even among Christians (particularly Black Christians). I’ve had a couple of folks send me emails about supporting President Obama’s campaign. I’ve respectfully declined, citing my disagreement with his position on abortion and same-sex marriage.

    The second thing is “rich, Mormon…” My 26 year old son and I had a quick conversation just after the speech about how Mitt Romney looks so much like a slick businessman, complete with the ‘perfect’ haircut and white shirt. This, coming from a middle-class young man raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. The “Mormon” part makes us both a little nervous considering Blacks were only “allowed” to be part of that faith as recently as 1978.

    That all being said, I will vote for Romney in November. But I have to be honest and say that with that vote I will be “voting against Obama” rather than voting for Romney.

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