Real hope and real change
In 2008, Rasmussen Reports was generally believed to have been the most accurate pollster in predicting the outcome of the presidential election between John McCain and Barack Obama. Assuming Rasmussen maintains that accuracy this election season, Mitt Romney will be the next president. As of Wednesday, Rasmussen has Romney beating Obama 48 percent to 47 percent, with 4 percent undecided, and 1 percent preferring another candidate. Of course, that is a national poll result, and it is meaningless since we elect the president through the Electoral College in what amounts to 50 state elections. Recognizing this, Rasmussen conducts individual state polls and then aggregates the 11 crucial swing states (of which Florida is one) to come up with a swing state average that currently has Romney up by 2 percent (49 to 47 percent). It is in these swing states where the election will be decided. For Republicans, Romney's change of fortune after the first presidential debate should give them a sigh of relief. From now until Election Day, so long as Romney doesn't have a major gaffe in one of the remaining debates or on the campaign trail, he should win.In fact, even if the polling suggests he is down a point or two, I expect he will still pull out a victory on Nov. 6 because there is absolutely no intensity for Obama compared to 2008. This is relevant to the polls because lacking intensity, a lot of people who will tell a pollster they would vote for Obama is not the same as actually voting. The lack of intensity, in addition to the poor economy, record high gas prices, 43 straight months of unemployment higher than 8 percent, a $16 trillion debt people are beginning to understand, the housing crisis and a huge new government program in the form of Obamacare suggests people will be voting with their pocketbooks — which should benefit Romney. In 2008 a lot of people voted with their hearts to "do something cool" by participating in the election of the first black president. Many of those voters quickly felt buyer's remorse when the real Barack Obama — an arrogant, big-government liberal — showed his true stripes. Obama's election certainly demonstrated a new day for America as it relates to race, but the White House is no place for social experiments. Obama has proven that a fancy tagline and being able to effectively deliver a speech (at least when a teleprompter is involved) doesn't translate into leadership. This poor guy couldn't lead a bee to a buttercup. In 2008 it felt good for many to vote for "change." But change for change's sake, or change to make ourselves feel good, isn't much of a reason — especially when the change agent is nothing more than an untested, community organizer with just two years' experience in the U.S. Senate. Fast forward to 2012, and Obama's new bumper sticker slogan is "Forward," even though he's stuck in reverse and looking in the rear view mirror. The president is more likely to blame others and make excuses for his poor performance in office rather than suggesting solutions — and it showed last week. But the greatest distinction between Mitt Romney and Obama at the first debate was, for the first time, Romney looked like the guy who was looking forward and who would provide real hope and change.
Chris Ingram is a Republican political consultant and political analyst for Bay News 9.