The wave for Obama

As he tours Sandy devastation with Chris Christie, swing state polls break for the president

Topics: 2012 Elections, Hurricane Sandy,

The wave for ObamaPresident Obama is greeted by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie upon his arrival in Atlantic City on Wednesday. (Credit: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Weirdly, Mitt Romney was counting on a “wave” of anti-Obama voters to carry him to victory Nov. 6. But the waves have all gone President Obama’s way, and I’m not making a tasteless Sandy joke. With reliable polls in Ohio and Wisconsin Wednesday showing Obama with solid leads there, Romney has almost no path to victory on Tuesday. Polls today also showed him holding smaller leads in the swing states of Virginia, Florida and Nevada, and tied in North Carolina.

It’s still theoretically possible that lingering post-Sandy problems – and they will be massive – could sour voters’ moods or hamper turnout on Tuesday. This race is still tight. But Romney’s inability to close the deal after his Oct. 3 debate surge is looking permanent.

White working class voters in both Ohio and Wisconsin are key to Obama’s strength there, according to the latest polls. That’s why Romney has gone up with more dishonest ads, both about the auto restructuring and welfare. His campaign turned to the welfare lie in August, claiming Obama had “gutted” the program’s work requirements, as polls showed Romney having trouble sealing the deal with working class whites. Campaign advisors told the New York Times anonymously that Romney was going to focus on “cultural” issues – read racial issues – to court those white voters. Romney and Paul Ryan stepped away from the welfare lies after everyone from Bill Clinton to Newt Gingrich said there was no evidence for the claim. But there it is again, in ads going up in Ohio, Wisconsin, Colorado and Florida, as Romney tries to tap into traditional white taxpayer association between welfare and minorities.

Romney’s lies about the auto industry are arguably more brazen and baseless, and they’ve drawn unprecedented rebukes from officials at GM and Chrysler. But so far they’re not working either. Even as worried Ohio Chrysler employees sought reassurance that they’d keep their jobs, polls were showing that Ohio voters believe Obama cares more about them than Romney does. Almost half of white working class voters believe the economy is getting better, which helps account for why Obama is tied among those voters while he trails by up to 30 points with the same demographic in Florida and Virginia, according to the New York Times.

In addition to continuing to lie about Chrysler and welfare, the Romney team is also claiming it’s widening the race, when it’s actually narrowing, by spending on advertising in the blue states of Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. On a conference call today David Axelrod promised to shave his moustache of 40 years if Obama lost any of those states, and while he wouldn’t quite go that far on the question of Virginia, he said he was “confident” the president would carry that swing state, too.

I discount some of Axelrod’s bluster, but it’s undeniable that the Obama team is sounding confident while Romney’s sounds desperate. These polls weren’t timed to pick up a post-Sandy bounce for the president, assuming there is one. As I write, Obama is touring Sandy damage with New Jersey’s Republican governor Chris Christie, once a top Romney surrogate, now partners with the president. The cooperation between Obama and Christie really shouldn’t be remarkable. They need one another. This is the way the country used to work in times of crisis; it’s only GOP extremism that makes the Christie-Obama partnership remarkable.

The criticism by Christie, Chrysler and GM is a welcome sign that Republicans and corporate leaders may learn to cooperate with the president so many of their colleagues disrespect and deride. It also tells me something else: those three titans think Romney is likely to lose, and they don’t need to pay him any deference or worry about working with him in January.


More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>