At Real Clear Politics, the Gallup tracking poll has Mitt Romney at 43% against President Obama and declining. Although in the Electoral College (the latest map from Electoral-Vote.com is illustrated below), Romney has never been ahead, he is currently a massive 114 EC votes behind, and he has previously been up to 5 points ahead of Obama in the tracking polls.
To go from 55% to 43% in a matter of weeks is a poor indicator for the Romney campaign, with the usual caveats – “polls don’t count this far out, people are not paying attention, and etc. Be that as it may, when the McCain team sank to 43%, they considered what they might do to fire up the base and lift their numbers.
They certainly did not turn to a “boring white man,” and it beggars belief that if they had chosen Romney or Pawlenty, McCain would have passed candidate Obama in the polls as he did after Palin was chosen.
The history of the McCain campaign, including of course, Palin’s dramatic entry and McCain’s subsequent rise from doldrums to leader, is brilliantly set out AT THIS LINK. Further, the polling history from Gallup in 2008, chronicling McCain at 43% then rising to being in the lead, and the reason for his loss is set out under the map below this post.
Does anyone believe that if Romney adds Portman or Pawlenty or Daniels or Thune to his ticket that he will get such a polling lift that he will pass President Obama either now or post convention?
It may be that the Romney team will go the “no drama” route and hope that either the economic situation does for Romney what it did for Obama or that the base will turn out,with eyes closed, having someone else help them to put their tick next to Mitt and vote for him because of their “anyone but Obama” imperative.
Both of those situations may not happen. The economy might just dawdle along enough, the bully pulpit and the assistance of the leftist media might play their traditional roles, and libertarian Ron Johnson might take enough conservative protest votes to give Obama another term.
One thing is certain, though. If Romney chose Palin (if she would accept the role of course) or a “Palin,” then he would get an immediate lift in support from most of the base. The enthusiasm for “Palin” would be palpable, as it was in 2008, and the negatives from 2008 would not come into play this time.
Everything the left could possibly dig up, make up, and vomit up against Palin has been dug, made, vomited. Every aspect of her and the life of every member of her family has been dissected and distorted. The public is no doubt tired of the imitators and the “I can see Alaska” shtick is tired and forlorn. No, this time around, the media would have to report on Palin’s actual words not the caricature they make of her.
This time around Palin would be just as combative, possibly more so, and she would be media savy and not open, in her honestly and innocence, to the traps the MSM and the Journolist conspiracy set for her.
This time around, if there was a major economic downturn like the one that derailed the McCain campaign in 2008, it would be the Obama team which would feel the full brunt of the ire of the public and the spearhead thrusts of Palin.
Romney can play it safe and possibly suffer a worse defeat than McCain, or he can go for a game changer. History will show how his first “executive” decision turns out, but he has the option now to gain the base.