Republicans are anxious because the presidential race is a dead-heat despite a stagnant economy, three and a half years of unemployment above 8 percent, high gas prices, the unpopularity of Obamacare, the devastation of household net worth, and more than $5 trillion in added debt. A record this disastrous should have the president further down in the polls.
But the Obama campaign has its own worries. As Katrina notes below, for the last two months the Obama campaign’s been spending campaign funds like the Obama administration spends tax dollars. The primary target of the spending is independent voters. Yet in last week’s CBS/NYT poll of registered voters, if the election were held today Obama would lose independents to Romney 47–35. Obama’s favorable/ unfavorable rating among independents is 28–52. After three and a half years in office, Obama won’t improve his favorability among independents constructively; it’s imperative that he sour them on Romney. So far, that hasn’t worked.
The CBS/NYT poll shows 56 percent of Republicans are enthusiastic about voting in November, compared to just 27 percent of Democrats. Given Obama’s furious recent pandering to Democratic constituencies — blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, issuing the HHS mandate, supporting gay marriage, gutting welfare reform, granting de facto amnesty to young illegal immigrants – the abysmal Democratic voter-enthusiasm figure must have Obama-campaign staffers wringing their hands. Although Obama has the advantages of incumbency and supportive media, his poll numbers consistently hit a ceiling below 50 percent.