The numbers continue to sour for Mitt Romney. The latest poll out, one by the New York Times/CBS/Quinnpiac, paints a picture of a ship taking on heavy water. The poll shows the president ahead in Florida 53% to 44%, in Ohio 53% to 43% and in Pennsylvania 54% to 42%.
The initial reaction of the Romney people to these results is quite simple. They don't believe them. An anonymous staffer told Politico, "There hasn't been any national news, anything that would push these numbers from 3% to 9%. You've got to have something to precipitate that kind of sea change." According to NBC news, Romney's Politcal Director, Rick Beeson told a press contingent, "Public polls are what public polls are. I kind of hope the Obama campaign is basing their campaign on what the public polls say. We don't. We have confidence in our data and our metrics."
So, has Rick Beeson taken a hit of acid, or is he naturally delusional? Probably neither. He knows that those numbers reflect the people in those states who think they are going to be able to vote. He also knows that republican law makers and operatives have been working like beavers whacked out on amphetamines in all three states trying to make sure as many Obama supporters as possible are disenfranchised.
In Ohio precinct voting hours, especially in heavily democratic areas, are being restricted. Florida traditionally has allowed voters to go to the polls on the Sunday before national election day. It has also been a tradition for predominantly black churches to bus their congregations to the polls on that Sunday after services. Florida recently did away with voting on the Sunday prior to election day. And we know what is going on in Pennsylvania where there is a brutish and overt effort to make sure Mr. Romney carries the state by enforcing a photo ID system.
NBC news recently followed a hospital worker as she went through the process of securing that ID. She had to burn a vacation day and spend four hours waiting as the wheels of the Pennsylvania election commission ground away ever so slowly. I don't have any real numbers, but I would hazard to guess that she is the exception. How many low income employees at places like Wal-Mart and McDonalds are going to be able to spend a half day away from work during the week while they wait on the state of Pennsylvania to decide whether they can vote or not? Somehow I think the management of places like Burger King will discourage that sort of thing
No, Rick Beeson isn't living on his own little fantasy island. He just knows how many people in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania his party is going to fuck over. Those are his "metrics."
That is why Obama needs a slam dunk in the debates, the first of which is a week from today. If his core supporters aren't allowed to vote it really won't matter what the polls say now, or even the day before the election.
In the mean time, The National Memo is reporting that the non-partisan, Tax Policy Center is saying it is literally impossible for Mr. Romney's tax plan to achieve its stated goals. The Romney people promptly accused the Tax Policy Center of having a liberal bias, although back in November the Governor's campaign proudly stated that the organization was "an objective third party."
Well no one has ever accused the Romney machine of consistency when it comes to such things. After all this is the same guy who spent a day praising the health care system in Israel while he was visiting there. Israel, of course, has had universal health care since it's inception.
The election would appear to be slipping further and further away from Mr. Romney, but you can never under estimate the depths to which his party will sink either ethically, or legally. These are, after all, the direct descendants of Richard M. Nixon and Ron, the contraman, Reagan.
It ain't over until it is over, someone said. That adage has never been truer than right now.