Here’s the Nonsense: We know everything we need to know to figure out who has the best chance to win the November election.
Here’s the Horse Sense: Whenever we think we have enough information to make a good prediction of November’s election something happens and undermines the prediction. It’s just happened again.
Up until now it’s been assumed that Mitt Romney has an uphill fight in this election because President Obama will have $1 billion to spend on his campaign, plus have the news media backing him and slanting everything they can to his favor, which is easily worth at least a few hundred million dollars in advertising and probably even more. But now we learn that Mitt Romney, who outspent his competitors in the primaries by dramatic margins, may just be able to do the same against Barack Obama. Romney may have been underestimated.
As the establishment Republicans and conservative Republicans are coalescing around Romney as the candidate interesting things are happening. What was once thought to be an uphill battle to raise even half the money that Obama will have has become a formidable juggernaut moving to put Romney over the top and into the White House. Super PACs and donors supporting Republicans are now committed to break all records and finance what’s needed for victory. Combined the donors and Super PACs have a plan to spend $1 billion on behalf of Romney in addition to another $800 million that the Romney campaign itself is planning on for the election contest. This changes the entire race.
Recent reports say that the Obama campaign is having trouble raising the money they thought they would. While many on the right are delighted to hear of those struggles, the fact is that it’s a long way to election day. The ideologues on the left still have plenty of time to act and will not easily give in to a loss.
However, with the Republicans now planning on spending this kind of money it means that Romney will be able to spend as much or more than Obama on his campaign. When that happens much of what determines the election results are how effective the negative campaign ads are, a candidate’s record, and a candidate’s rapport with the voters.
Certainly both Obama and Romney are experts at negative advertising. It’s the trademark of the Democrats and Obama’s campaigns are notorious for it. And Romney has proven by his ads during the primaries against other Republicans that he can get extremely negative, too. With this kind of money flowing around there’s no doubt that we haven’t even seen the tip of the iceberg yet when it comes to negativity.
As for a candidate’s record, Obama has nothing positive to stand on. His presidency is a disaster and the public knows it. Romney, on the other hand, will focus on selling his business successes as his record, not his political achievements. And his business successes are many and quite worth noting. Romney has the definite edge in this area.
When it comes to rapport with the voters it boils down to who has the most in common with them that causes them to feel the most rapport. Romney also wins this hands down. While Obama tries to portray himself as a regular guy the fact is that he went to high-priced exclusive private schools from the time he returned from Indonesia in sixth grade. He has spent his life in elite, but radical, social relationships. His is not the life of the average American. Romney, on the other hand, while he came from wealth he did not get his personal wealth from his family. Rather, he worked hard and earned it himself. While he may be wealthy today, it is the result of his personal hard work. That is something that most Americans admire. They can relate to gaining reward for hard work. While they may not personally live the lifestyle that Mitt’s success has accorded him, they can understand he has lived the American Dream and they appreciate that.
Contrary to what Obama wants people to believe, most Americans don’t resent someone else’s success. They appreciate it. They admire it. And they might even envy it a bit, too. That makes Mitt Romney the kind of guy that many people would see as a role model for their children. And that's something this country desperately needs in our leaders.
We shouldn't underestimate the ability of Obama to pull off a November victory. But the good news is that it looks like this might be a far more even fight than was originally thought.