|Poll: Carter 63%, Reagan 32%|
February 21, 2012 by Don Surber
As I look at the Real Clear Politics averages of the polls of the various match-ups between President Obama and the various Republican candidates, I know I am supposed to feel impending doom. But I don’t. Let’s see, the numbers this morning are:
Obama 48.6 %
But I don’t feel doom. Here are 9 reasons why: February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September and October.
A couple could copulate today and still have a baby by Election Day.
President Obama’s leads of 5.7% to 13.9% over each candidate do not scare me. In fact, they are rather puny.
At this point 8 years ago this month, John Kerry was ahead of Bush by 12 points in the Gallup Poll: 55%-43%.
And in January 1980, the Gallup Poll showed:
That was followed 8 years later with a July 1988 poll by Newsweek that had Mike Dukakis up by 17 points over the first President Bush. Ah yes, the Dukakis presidency when we all rode around in tanks and watched Olympia Dukakis film festivals.
A blogger known only as SteveT wrote on September 23, 2007:
In my lifetime, I can recount many instances where early national polling has shown itself to be less than useful. In the summer and fall of 1991, George H. W. Bush was leading all Democrats by 20 points or more. The pundits all saw Bush cruising to reelection the following year. Obviously, Bush’s second term never arrived.
In 1995, US Senator Robert Dole continuously led President Clinton in head to head matchups. Throughout that year we were subjected to arguments from Dole supporters, “Bob Dole can beat Clinton. Let’s win this thing!” Even as late as January of 1996, one poll had him ahead by several points. Of course, Dole lost that race by about 8 percent that November.
When, in 1999 the Presidential race was heating up, many saw George W. Bush as the only hope. He led the polls over Al Gore all year and even had a substantial lead in the summer of 2000. As almost all of us now know, he won that race by perhaps the smallest margin possible. Perhaps a less well known, but stronger candidate might have been able to win a clear victory against the hapless Al Gore?
Even polling a few months out can be less than valuable. In August 1988, Mike Dukakis was leading George H. W. Bush by 17 points in one poll. Of course Bush went on to win that race by 8 percent.
As national polling measures little more than name recognition at this point in the game, it is important to look at other indicators to gauge electability. When the decision comes down to who I support, current head to head poll numbers do not factor in. I look for someone who has shown proven leadership, projects optimism, fights for things that I believe in, and can unite the party. In my view, the one candidate that matches all of the criteria is Mitt Romney.
The purpose of this post is not to endorse Mitt Romney or anyone. At various times various people have demanded that candidates drop out. Rick Santorum was written off. Newt Gingrich was written off. Now some say if Mitt Romney doesn’t win big in Michigan he should drop out. And while no one has asked Ron Paul to leave, let’s face it no one gives him a chance to win except his wife.
I will let readers in on a little secret: Most voters are paying little attention to this race and won’t until after Labor Day.
Keep fighting, keep believing in your candidate. He’ll leave when he decides to leave.
My prediction: Republicans will nominate someone and he will defeat President Obama. I just don’t know who that Republican will be.