As the 2012 presidential campaigns really start revving their engines and with the party conventions just over a month away, the tactics and strategies are really starting to flesh themselves out. This race is President Obama's to lose, and he is doing his best to make sure that doesn't happen. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is trying to maintain his numbers while watching key demographics slip away.
New polling shows that Obama has a slight lead in the Midwest
. No surprises that Obama also leads in the Northeast and Romney leads in the South. One look at the electoral map for the last several elections would have told you that (for the last two anyway). Even though the midwest doesn't add up to a lot of electoral votes, it can have a huge psychological impact on the swing states as polling data shows Obama to be more "popular". Yes, there are voters that will be influenced to vote for the guy they think will win. Sad but true.
What's working for Obama as well is that certain niches of the voting demographic are "all in" for him. It seems a given that the black vote is his, but the reality is that - like the Left in general - there is some dissatisfaction among a small minority of black voters that Obama hasn't lived up to expectations. It seems unlikely they would vote for Romney, but they may just sit this one out. There are also some black Republicans (a rare breed, to be sure). Nonetheless, the vast majority of blacks who vote will vote for Obama. Romney is trying, though, addressing the NAACP
today to try to explain why he's a better fit for them than Obama. I would love to see the stifled laughter and incredulous looks among the crowd.
Obama is also winning over the Latino vote. It doesn't hurt that Obama is effectively implementing the DREAM Act by non-prosecution of adult children of illegal immigrants, and that Romney supports the widely-reviled AZ immigration law. Joe Biden nailed it yesterday when he said
"When his father was a candidate for president in 1968, his father released 12 years of tax returns because he said, and I quote, 'One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show,' end of quote. That was his father. His son has released only one year of his tax returns, making a lie of the old adage, 'like father, like son.' He wants you to show your papers, but he won't show us his. It’s kind of fascinating. So many questions."
The Obama team is really pushing that financial aspect of Romney
. The revelation of Swiss bank accounts, Caymen Island bank accounts and a "corporation" in the Bahamas, certainly adds an aura of "what ELSE is Romney hiding?" that makes him seem even more out of touch and of questionable character.
The Obama campaign also posted a video on YouTube Tuesday that asked: "How long can Romney keep information on his investments in overseas tax havens secret? And why did he do it in the first place?"
The Obama campaign says its focus on Romney's private finances isn't about his wealth but about whether he is gaming the system and, if so, what it says about what he would do as president to address tax loopholes.
So we know that Romney probably has a majority of the old white person vote. Looking a little closer, however, shows that it parses even smaller than that. Support for the candidates breaks down along marriage lines
. Single voters overwhelming support Obama, and married voters support Romney by about the same percentages. Looking closer, though, it's the women that support Obama in greatest numbers. So much for the Romney "handsome factor".
So how is Romney addressing this? In what seems like a desperate scheme to get the older vote and ride on the coattails of his father, Romney is releasing a set of campaign shwag based on his father's campaign
. There are buttons with Mitt and George:
and shirts with positively groovy
lettering. Is it a good strategy to remind voters that his dad ran for president and didn't win? Does he think stodgy old conservatives are going to wear "hippie" shirts?
If this is a preview of the next 4 months, it may actually be quite entertaining.