Five days ago, several polls (including a liberal one) reported that Romney’s favorability rating has surged past Obama’s:
And late Thursday, the Pew Research Center, the poll that has been toughest on Romney’s favorability, released results showing that Romney is ahead of Obama by a point, 50 percent to 49 percent. That is a stunning turnaround from March, when Obama’s favorable rating in Pew was about twice Romney’s, 55 percent to 29 percent.
Pundits from the mainstream media love to point out that rarely if ever does a presidential candidate get elected when their favorability number is below that of their opponent. Until this week, Obama’s rating has been higher than Romney’s all year long. What changed? Mr. Obama poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the media to paint Governor Romney in a negative light most of 2012. Then Americans got to know Mitt Romney, the man, starting with the first debate (see graph above). Both Romney and Obama experienced a dip in their ratings from last week’s intense debate of confrontation. I am guessing we will see a dramatic positive change for Governor Romney after Monday’s debate in which Obama employed sophomoric attacks against a calm, gentleman opponent.
The Washington Times also reported:
“The debates — especially the first one — destroyed the Obama crew’s strategy of disqualification,” said Republican pollster Mike McKenna. “Six months of work and $400 million of ad buys went up in smoke in about 10 days. With less than 340 hours to go, they are having real trouble with their footing.”
The debates’ effect can be seen in the favorability ratings. At the end of September, ahead of the debates, Mr. Romney had a 44.5 percent favorable rating. But by Monday, when he and Mr. Obama faced off for the third and final time, the Republican’s rating had leapt to 50.5 percent.
Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm, said Mr. Romney’s favorability surge “really has been remarkable” and explains why Mr. Obama has not been able to put away the race at this point.
By Tuesday, Mr. Romney’s favorability average at Real Clear Politics had dropped below 50 percent again, though he still leads Mr. Obama when it comes to net favorability — the calculation of favorable rating minus unfavorable rating.
Mr. Obama’s favorability averaged 49.7 percent, or 4.5 points more than his unfavorable rating. Mr. Romney’s favorability was 49.3 percent, or 6.5 points more than his unfavorable rating.
John Zogby, a pollster for The Washington Times, said Mr. Romney’s favorability surge is a significant development in the race.
“Voters got to see an option. Now that there is an option, Romney is viewed as favorably as Obama as a person,” he said.
Could it also be that America is finally seeing Barack Obama, the man, for who he really is? A person that allows his ego and pride to blind him from perceiving reality? Why is it that article after article from the Left and the Right frequently use words now such as arrogant, condescending, petulant, hubris, etc., when referring to Barack Obama? In his weekly WSJ column last week, William McGurn wrote an outstanding article titled, The Wizard of Obama. Excerpts:
Mostly this image was the making of his own immodesty, starting the night he clinched the 2008 Democratic nomination. Mr. Obama might have simply declared victory and congratulated Hillary Clinton on a valiant fight. Instead it became the backdrop for one of his more infamous egoisms. History, he said, would look back at his victory as the moment “the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
This was no aberration. A man who interviewed for a job on the campaign was told by Mr. Obama: “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
Everything about his campaign fed that idea. The Styrofoam Greek columns at the Democratic convention when he was nominated. The faux presidential seal with its own Latin motto. And before the campaign, the two books he authored about—himself.
The press, far from exhibiting any skepticism about this immodesty, bowed before it.
An editor at Politico (and veteran of the Washington Post) put it this way: “I have witnessed the phenomenon several times. Some reporters need to go through detox, to cure their swooning over Obama’s political skill.”
In short, Mr. Obama was the man who declared that he would change the thinking of the Muslim world by the mere fact of his election, restore science to its rightful place, and win what he called the “necessary war” in Afghanistan.
And then came this month’s debate in Denver.
That night, the American people watched “the smartest guy in the room” struggle to put together a simple declarative sentence, and then ask the moderator to move onto another topic after Mitt Romney had given a strong statement about jobs and growth and tax revenues.
Some 67 million Americans were watching on TV. What they saw was the scene from the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy’s dog pulls back the curtain to reveal there is no wizard at all, just a man from the Midwest who pumped himself up into something far beyond his mortal self—and got the whole of Oz to believe it.
“The whole of Oz” now sees the little man who once stood tall behind his protective curtain. Or is it the emperor without clothes whose reign draws to a close?
Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images
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