He warned Obama: Stay away from it.
Well, guess what? Carville and Greenberg have just released a new poll, and it’s devastating for Obama. Among independents — the precious, eagerly sought, oh-God-everybody-loves-them independents — Romney leads Obama (this is a poll this week) by 15 points, 53 to 38 in independents. This is remarkable. This is a Stan Greenberg and James Carville poll. “Independents disapprove of Obama’s job performance 56 to 40%. And when looking at intensity, disapproval is greater than two to one, 47 to 20%.”
It is devastating.
This is James Carville’s own poll.
Now, according to exit polling, Obama won a majority of independents in 2008. It was 52 to 44, an eight-point majority in the election of 2000, according to exit polls. “His cratering of support among swing voters reflected in this Carville poll,” and in many others, “is the equivalent of losing more than 5.3 million independent voters from his 2008 total.” This is undoubtedly the kind of polling data they have in the White House, the often-referred-to “internals,” meaning the real stuff.
The candidates have to know the truth.
They do not put out polls to try to affect news or shape opinion.
They have to deal in Realville when it comes to polls. We never see the polls the candidates do. We never do. All we see are the polls from the news networks and other polling organizations. Of course, they have their own agendas. But the candidate polls, or in this case the White House polls? This is as close as we’re ever gonna get to seeing one: The Carville and Greenberg poll. People who live and die, A, with polls; and then live and die, the independent vote, to right now to see Obama down 15 points?
This was before the convention. I got this yesterday. And the convention had not been going on long enough to have been a large factor. Now, here’s why. Here’s why the deficit: “President Obama’s government-centered policies created the chasm that he now faces with independents, and any likability advantage that he holds has been unable to bridge the ideology divide.” So his likability is not making up for the chasm created with independents over big government.
The independents are rejecting big government, government-centric policies, according to a poll from Carville and Greenberg. So I’m sure this is what they’ve got in the White House, and this is why they’re panicked. And it’s why they’ve been panicked for a while, and the “likability” isn’t making up for it. Now, it’s fascinating. Folks, there’s a story that, without me putting these two things together, you might not be able to assemble in the proper context.
Our old buddy Jim Rutenberg at the New York Times, who is one of maybe three people there in the last 24 years who has written fairly of me. That’s why I call him “our old buddy.” (It’s hurt him a little bit. But we stick with it.) “Emotional Ties to Obama May be Central to the Election.” Now, remember what we just heard: Independents prefer Romney by 15 over Obama, from a Stan Greenberg/James Carville poll. The reason: The independents don’t like big government and government-centric policies of Obama, and his likability is not bridging the gap.
Ergo, New York Times: “Through three nights of gauzy videos, sentimental testimonials, and final his own speech to the nation, Mitt Romney worked hard to show he has a heart. But he still needs to tackle the much harder job of convincing those Americans who so emotionally invested their hearts in Obama four years ago that it’s time to accept that his presidency did not work.” Now, the point of Rutenberg’s piece here is the emotional ties to Obama make it hard for people to accept that he is a failure as a president.
That’s their hope.
That’s what they’re clinging to here.
That’s what this means. His presidency is a failure. Everybody it knows. But there was so much hope, and there was so much emotion tied to Obama. So much invested! (Ohhhh, we love the guy and he’s such a fresh face! He’s the first black president. We wanted him to succeed so bad!) And the theory is that the tie, that the strength of that emotional bond is such that not even a failed presidency can break it. But — but! — we go to Carville-Greenberg poll. Uh-oh, contradictory! The emotional tie is not enough to keep the independents from disapproving of Obama by 15 points.
So my take is Greenberg-Carville comes first, they put their information out, this is yesterday. The next day, today, we get this story in the New York Times basically refuting it, that the emotional ties of Obama voters who now acknowledge he’s a failure as a president will make it tough for them to abandon him. And in the Greenberg-Carville poll they already have. Why are you frowning? Am I not making this… (interruption) Good. I thought you were frowning in there ’cause you didn’t understand what I was saying, and I don’t know how much clearer I can make this.
So what’s your question? What are they gonna do to change the emotional tie? No. Keep their people from getting depressed. Keep their people from getting dispirited. Give ‘em something to hold onto. They’re not try to change reality; they’re trying to blunt reality. They’re trying to tell people, “Don’t worry, don’t worry, people still love the guy,” and that’s gonna be enough. That’s the point of the New York Times story even though Carville and Greenberg’s poll says it ain’t even close to enough.