Monday, September 10, 2012

What If Romney Catches Obama?

Andrew Sullivan frequently uses Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner as a metaphor for Obama outpacing his various nemeses. This particular episode speaks to me more than others:

To me, Romney doesn't seem to have a plan to win. He seems to have a plan to get it to a tie. Then what? It sounds like a bit of a "hoping for a coin flip" strategy. For instance, notice what Neil Newhouse (Romney's pollster) said today in a memo for NBC News on Obama's post-convention bounce in the polls:
"Don't get too worked up about the latest polling," Newhbouse writes in the memo. "While some voters will feel a bit of a sugar-high from the conventions, the basic structure of the race has not changed significantly. The reality of the Obama economy will reassert itself as the ultimate downfall of the Obama presidency, and Mitt Romney will win this race."
So, the plan is that the Romney campaign won't get too worked up and "the basic structure" of the race will reassert itself (I agree) and ... Romney will win. That last part needs a little fleshing out Neil. "The basic structure" of the race ... had Obama winning. Not by a lot. But it does seem like a pretty clear, stable pattern.

The Romney strategy, in short, is to "catch" Obama. They figure he's struggling to get above 50% (aside from the "bounce" polling) and so the "basic structure" of the race is roughly a 47-45 lead for Obama with about 8% undecided. And they figure most of those undecideds will break for Romney in the last few days.

Here's the problem: IF they break 5:3, Romney has "caught" Obama. Romney needs them to break 6:2 his way. I think that even if Romney "catches" Obama, he's going to be in a position much like Wile E. Coyote (Super Genius) above.

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