In January 1980, ABC News and Harris Survey’s released the following headline - Carter Now Far Ahead of Both Reagan and Bush, with the introduction statement: “President Carter so dominates the American political scene now that his margin over Ronald Reagan in a post-Iowa trial heat has risen to an overwhelming 65-31 percent. And against George [HW] Bush, the GOP candidate who finished first in the recent Iowa caucuses, Carter leads by only a slightly lower 62-32 percent.”
A chart of the 1980 polls leading up to the election, recently published by Forbes, offers some additional insights to some of our failed memories.
Fortunately for America, the polling wasn’t reflective of reality. Will history repeat itself? The video posted by Vic Lundquist (here) of Bill O’Reilly’s talking points provides further substance to the argument, and is worthy of watching.
Current polls, in reflection upon 1980, are interesting.
Some comparative statistics, 1980-2012, are equally revealing (see below). The key statistical similarities tell their own story, but when you further juxtapose Jimmy Carter’s philosophical want and solution for bigger government vis-a-vis Ronald Reagan’s return to smaller government, lower taxes and empowerment of private enterprise; and Obama’s Carter-minded approach vis-a-vis Romney’s Reagan-minded approach, the question arises - will history repeat itself? In addition to statistical analytics and philosophical divides, you also have similarities in the incompetence factors of Carter and Obama against the leadership/experience competency of Reagan and Romney.
As if this historical perspective is not enough, compound the analysis with Obama’s oppressive $5,000,000,000,000 of additional US debt (more than all previous US Presidents combined), consecutive trillion dollar deficits to support reprehensible spending, nearly $16,000,000,000,000 in borrowings that exceed our annual GDP, Obamacare taxation, and a fractious divide unmatched in recent history - the argument becomes even more compelling for change.
Even so, it is still July and with historical perspective, the real campaign won’t engage until after Labor Day. Presently, Obama seems to be flailing and spending like a drunken sailor. He is wanting to engage Mitt Romney on every other subject but the economy and his record. Obama’s continued and constant attacks on character, competence, class warfare and experience reflect a campaign without substance, purpose or message. On the other hand Mitt Romney continues to be measured and focused on what matters; remaining resolute in his key message about the economy. After all, by every measure, it is the economy that matters to so many.
This will be a campaign where discipline, character and competence matter. Yes, Mr. Obama’s likability factors are high and people seem to like him for the time being (as they did Carter) - but when push comes to shove and economic pressures are prevailing; when real unemployment and reported unemployment remain at 14.9% and 8.2%, respectively; when home foreclosures remain at all time highs; when poverty indicators remain at all time highs; when median incomes decline by $4,600; when people are just plain tired of being tired and fighting the daily battle for survival; and when consumer confidence is at an all-time low amid uncertainty at an all time high - likability is less consequential to the electorate. This is an election about competence and restoring our Belief in America; that better days are ahead!
I personally take comfort in an historical perspective and even more so in Mitt Romney. A man who has been prepared for this day, and whose capacity to lead America to better days ahead is unparalleled to any who have preceded him in our lifetime. Fortunately our nation has, through its history, seen men and women arise amid uncertainty, trial and tribulation to lead with principle in our nation’s defining moments. This is such a time, and Mitt Romney is such a man!
Follow David Parker on Twitter @dparkersrs