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NY Magazine - Why Obama Supporters Should Not Freak Out

Coming on the heels of a Pew poll that showed Mitt Romney up by 4 points, a new PPP poll conducted for Daily Kos/SEIU in the days after the debate has Romney leading President Obama by 2 points, even despite a sample of 40 percent Democrats to 37 percent Republicans.

This is not going to help calm the nerves of worried Obama-backers like the Daily Beasts's Andrew Sullivan, who wrote a post last night called "Did Obama Just Throw the Entire Election Away?":

Look: I'm trying to rally some morale, but I've never seen a candidate this late in the game, so far ahead, just throw in the towel in the way Obama did last wee ...

A sitting president does not recover from being obliterated on substance, style and likability in the first debate and get much of a chance to come back. He has, at a critical moment, deeply depressed his base and his supporters and independents are flocking to Romney in droves ...

I've never seen a candidate self-destruct for no external reason this late in a campaign before ...

I'm trying to see a silver lining. But when a president self-immolates on live TV, and his opponent shines with lies and smiles, and a record number of people watch, it's hard to see how a president and his party recover.

A little later, Sullivan added in a new post, "This race is now Romney's to lose. Not just because Romney is shameless liar and opportunist. But because Obama just essentially forfeited the election."

Well now. Obviously it's a bit jarring to see the polls, which had shown a fairly stable Obama lead for more than a month, flip nearly overnight. But Sullivan and his fellow Obama supporters need to step back and look at the big picture. Or let Nate Silver do it for them:

[The] exact math is probably not as important as the broader conclusion: that the economy is [in] line with Mr. Obama being a very modest favorite.

In Denver ... Mr. Romney presented himself as an acceptable and competent alternative. Challengers also generally profit from the first debate: in 8 of the 10 election cycles since 1976, the polls moved against the incumbent, and a net gain of two or three percentage points for the challenger is a reasonably typical figure.

At the same time, incumbent presidents just aren’t that easy to defeat. Mr. Obama’s approval ratings are now hovering around 50 percent and don’t seem to have been negatively affected by his performance in Denver ...

In some ways, then, the election might not be quite so unpredictable as it appears. There was reason to believe that Mr. Obama’s numbers would fade some after his convention — and the first debate has quite often been a time when the challenger drew the race closer.

In other words: While Obama clearly shit the bed last Wednesday night, none of this is totally unexpected, and the fundamentals of the race aren't quite as dire as the bounce-driven polls.

Not to mention: There are still two presidential debates left. Just as quickly as the first one shifted the polls one way, the second two can shift the polls back another way. And does anyone expect Obama to be the same passive, unfocused empty chair that was the first time around?

So, take a deep breath, Obama supporters. Stop refreshing the Real Clear Politics polling page every twelve seconds. Get some perspective. Be patient. And step away from the edge.

by Miareply 1610/09/2012

Gallup poll has Obama ahead and the Pew poll was taken before the unemployment data.

Andrew Sullivan is a blowhard, always has been.

This election is not nearly over and two debates are left.

(Lets hope Biden does not get too wiggy this week as well.)

by Miareply 110/09/2012

I think more voters feel safer voting for Obama, and are scared shitless to vote for Romney.

by Miareply 210/09/2012

ryan is the one who should be worried.

by Miareply 310/09/2012

Thank you Mia. I have stopped completely going to realclearpolitics and am relying solely on this thread for the next few days until things get back to normal.

by Miareply 410/09/2012

I wasn't freaking out. I don't think Obama wants to stay in the job.

by Miareply 510/09/2012

Too late!

[bold]Did Obama Just Throw The Entire Election Away?[/bold]

...Seriously: has that kind of swing ever happened this late in a campaign? Has any candidate lost 18 points among women voters in one night ever? And we are told that when Obama left the stage that night, he was feeling good. That's terrifying. On every single issue, Obama has instantly plummeted into near-oblivion....

by Miareply 610/09/2012

Already covered, R6.

by Miareply 710/09/2012

Nate Silver's analysis is much more credible.

He explains why the electoral college vote only moved slightly in Romney's favor.

by Miareply 810/09/2012

Good to hear from you, Mia! thanks for the reality check.

by Miareply 910/09/2012

Milky Loads needs to lay off the meth.

by Miareply 1010/09/2012

Sullivan is losing his shit.

Love him but he's being way too alarmist.

On the other hand, he knows what a Romney presidency will bring so we should all share his terror at that prospect.

But keep calm and carry on.

by Miareply 1110/09/2012

[quote]I wasn't freaking out. I don't think Obama wants to stay in the job.

Freeper meme.

Moving right along....

by Miareply 1210/09/2012

Why aren't Democrats and liberals demanding that Obama and Company make debating the #1 priority right now? Remember, how Repubs publicly scolded Romney last month and told him he had to get his act together and do several things to keep from losing. Where is the Democratic accountability toward Team Obama to ensure that they are not blowing off more debates and have a winning debate preparation plan that is nothing like the plan they had for the first debates? Moreover, why aren't more debates demanding that Obama clear his schedule and make debates his ultimate priority? Repubs know how critical the debates are, that is why Romney started practicing in July and brought in some of the nation's best debate coaches. Dems know Obama stunk last week, but seem to be impotent when it comes to demanding evidence that it will not happen again.

by Miareply 1310/09/2012

r13, are you going to repeat that question on every presidential campaign thread?

by Miareply 1510/09/2012

damn

by Miareply 1610/09/2012
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