After the GOP convention last week, Mitt Romney received a small poll bounce — from the sole poll tracking likely voters — that will be gone by the time President Obama speaks at the Democratic Party convention on Thursday night. The president will likely get a small, short-lived poll bounce too. By the ides of September, the race will be where it’s mostly been this summer — essentially tied.
Passion for Mitt Romney will not be the reason he’ll win the presidency, and I think he remains a slight favorite (so says Obama supporter/blogger Andrew Sullivan, too, BTW). This kind of economic environment has not been kind to past presidents. However, the historical significance of President Obama’s election, and the passions he inspires in both his supporters and opponents, make him the biggest factor in the election November.
This race is perpetually tied. It seems that a smaller slice than usual — perhaps anywhere from 5 to 8 percent of voters — are truly undecided. A bigger factor will be the passion — positive and negative — for President Obama. What’s more of a motivator to go to the polls — to re-elect the president or deny him a second term?
Bennion Spencer, a Facebook friend, is a very smart Democratic Party member in Utah. He cited women and Hispanics as voting blocs that the president needs to motivate to the polls in high numbers. For Republicans, I’d say they need a high number of senior citizens, married voters, male voters and about 60 percent-plus of the white vote. A look at the Democratic Party’s convention on Tuesday night signals that Spencer is correct. Hispanics and women, as well as issues involving immigration and abortion rights, were prominent on the agenda. The keynote speaker was a prominent Hispanic mayor, Julian Castro, of San Antonio, Texas. Democrats are hoping that the black vote, which goes about 95 percent for Obama, is enthusiastic to vote.
Elections determined by the passions of party base voters, or simply demographic groups, are not uncommon. In 2004, an unprecedented turnout of base Republicans allowed President George W. Bush to outpoll John Kerry, who had a large vote as well.
The nomination of Romney was fortunate for Republicans. He’s regarded as a smart, moderate conservative leader with business acumen. That’s a plus considering the economy. Republicans can only thank their lucky stars that the party didn’t nominate Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, or Rick Santorum. Had that occurred, President Obama would be now cruising to a second term.