40% of Dems in WV prefer inmate to Obama, NC votes pro-marriage & a conserv romps squishy GOP sen. Our long national nightmare is over Nov 6
— Will Davis (@willpdavis) May 9, 2012
It’s also worth noting that Scott Walker turned in a surprisingly powerful showing in Wisconsin. Of the stories mentioned in the tweet above, a couple of them may prove particularly noteworthy over the long haul.
For one thing, the Left’s impulse to heap abuse on North Carolina and call for a boycott of the state is going to run headlong into the fact that the Democratic National Convention is being held in the state. It’ll be fascinating to see how much of their pride liberals are willing to swallow not to undermine the convention. Additionally, there is a lot more discontent with Obama on the Democratic side than most people might realize as evidenced by this story.
Democrats–those are members of the president’s party–voting in the West Virginia presidential primary gave 40% of their votes to a man whom the Associated Press identified as a federal prison inmate.
Keith Judd is serving time at the Beaumont Federal Correctional Institution in Texas for making threats at the University of New Mexico in 1999, the AP reported. With 90% of precincts reported, he had 40.3% of the vote to Mr. Obama’s 59.7%
Mr. Judd was leading or had won in at least five of the state’s more than 50 counties.
Holy Alvin York, Batman! How BAD do you have to be to lose multiple counties in your own party to an almost unknown federal prison inmate?
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that early on, the electoral map is definitely leaning Barack Obama’s way. Overall, the map looks basically the same as it has in every election from 2000 onward. If everything breaks right, the Republican can win. If everything doesn’t break right, the Democrat wins and the potential is there for a sizable Democratic victory. Worse yet, the map looks more like early 2008 than early 2004.
Romney and Obama are neck-and-neck in Ohio and Florida, both of which Romney will likely need to win to come out victorious. Romney also probably needs to win NC and VA, which are also both toss-ups. Then there’s Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico, which are states Mitt is likely to need that are either toss-ups or leaning Obama. Also notice that the entire game is currently being played on Romney’s side of the field. For Mitt to pressure Obama, he’d need to start threatening him in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Jersey, or Oregon. That’s just not happening yet.
Moreover, the fact that it’s not happening is a sign of Mitt’s weakness as a candidate. Keep in mind that McCain was handicapped by Bush’s absolutely horrific approval ratings and, believe it or not, Obama’s lack of a record that McCain couldn’t properly exploit because of his reluctance to play hardball. On the other hand, Bush isn’t in office this time and Obama has wracked up a terrible record. So, for Mitt to be behind at this point is kind of like being behind “moldy cheesy” as an option at dinner. Sure, the dinner guests don’t want the moldy cheese, but they’re looking at a Mitt Burger and actually thinking, “Gee, we might actually prefer that cheese.” Not a good sign at all.
That being said, Obama’s poll numbers seem to mostly be in the low forties in those states, which is very dangerous for an incumbent. If you’re extremely well known, like Obama, and you’re well below 50%, it means there are a lot of people who are familiar with you who are looking for any excuse to vote for someone else. The longer those undecided voters take to make up their mind, the more likely they are to go for the challenger.
So, what happens when it’s time for voters to actually pull the lever and they have to decide between Mitt Romney and a President who has delivered four years of disaster? It’s sort of like the 1980 election in that respect, where voters tended to like Jimmy Carter personally, but thought he was a buffoon. Ultimately, the question people were asking themselves in that election was, “Okay, is this Reagan guy a radical? Can I trust him not to do anything crazy in the White House?” When voters made the decision that Reagan wasn’t a loon, they broke for him hard because they didn’t want another four years of Carter. In Romney’s case, with the type of temperament and record he has, Obama is going to have an extremely difficult time convincing the American people that Mitt’s a radical. Of course, Mitt isn’t going to inspire the kind of enthusiasm that Reagan did either. He’s going to have to hope that conservative dislike for Obama, which is off the charts, will turn out the base in droves while ad campaigns convince the voters in the middle that he’s just the guy to get us out of the mess Obama has dragged the country into.
Despite the horrible job Obama has done so far, he’s in a stronger position than Mitt, although Romney seems likely to close strongly. That means it’s still anybody’s ball game at this early point.