GOP Struggles with Math

conservatism, elections, Mittens, Republican Party, Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

Yesterday Politico trotted out a polling analysis that says Romney is winning among middle-class families. They don’t define what they mean by “middle class,” but I notice the analysis makes a careful distinction between middle-class voters and middle-class families. Apparently Romney is losing with middle-class voters but winning with middle-class families; like the kids and dog count, I suppose. Or maybe they define “families” as “related white people who live together in the South somewhere.” The whole thing strikes me as an exercise in reassuring themselves they aren’t really losing.

Righties even have adopted what they are calling “unskewed” polling outcomes that show Romney winning handily. On the other hand, Sam Wang of Princeton Election Consortium is giving President Obama a 90 percent win probability. Nate Silver continues to give the President a comfortable lead in probable electoral votes.

Meanwhile, a small army of conservative number-crunchers are striving mightily to figure out a way to make Mitt Romney’s tax-and-deficit promises mathematically possible. So far, they haven’t been able to do it. See also “Checking Rove’s Math.”

Josh Marshall writes about why the GOP can’t, or won’t, adapt.

As recently as a couple weeks ago, the top generals in the Romney camp were stuck on the idea that Obama cannot win with unemployment this high. Can’t. And if evidence suggests otherwise, just give it time.

I’m reminded of this column which Byron York wrote on September 10th …

Mitt Romney and his top aides are running an essentially faith-based campaign. Whatever the polls say at the moment, whatever the pundits say, whatever some nervous Republicans say, Team Romney simply does not believe President Obama can win re-election in today’s terrible economy. The president may appear to be defying gravity now, but he can’t keep it up through Nov. 6.

Whether Romney could have done anything else if his team thought Plan A might not pan out I don’t know. But I think York was on to something here. Maybe not quite arrogance but a deep faith in an unproven hypothesis — enabled by a contemptuous disrespect for their opponent which blinded them to some of his assets as a candidate.

Perhaps they are blinded by his “blah”-ness.

Seriously, I’ve been saying for years that one symptom of whatever cognitive dysfunction is common to righties is a desperate need to believe that everyone but a small fringe of crazy liberals sees the world the way they do. You see something similar in white supremacists, who devoutly believe all other white people are white supremacists also but that a majority won’t admit it because it’s not “PC.” A rightie can no more admit that wingnuttery is not embraced by almost all Americans than the Pope could convert to Sikhism. That’s why, when they lose elections, the only possible (to them) reason must be voter fraud, or else voters were deceived by the Lamestream Media. So, it’s not surprising they simply cannot accept what is happening now in the campaigns.

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  1. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 25, 2012 @9:41 am

    The GOP – a party of Blanche DuBois’:
    “I don’t want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic. I try to give that to people. I do misrepresent things. I don’t tell truths. I tell what ought to be truth.”

    With Reagan as kindly old Mitch.
    And Barack Obama as that savage brute, Stanley.

    Look out, Nooner’s! Stanly Obama’s coming for you, next!

  2. Tom_B  •  Sep 25, 2012 @9:50 am

    Gee, Mittens has done absolutely NOTHING to indicate he would be ANY more successful at turning around the economy than Obama. In fact, the GOP has spent 4 years heaping disdain on stimulus, TARP, and saving Detroit. It’s not like we can discern any signs of inspiration from Mitt’s governorship in MA, or his business record as a corporate raider, either. It would be leave frying pan, embrace fire– with a big helping of hatred for “the 47%”, plus those minorities of all description who DO pay taxes.

  3. maha  •  Sep 25, 2012 @10:09 am

    Mittens has done absolutely NOTHING to indicate he would be ANY more successful at turning around the economy than Obama.

    Yeah, and that’s the crazy part. He doesn’t think he should have to do that. It’s like they consider “Republican” to be the default correct choice, and if a Democrat gets into office and fails, voters will naturally return to the default position.

    It’s like what I wrote yesterday about Latino voters. Obama failed to get the DREAM Act passed, so Latino are supposed to automatically turn to Mitt even though Mitt has very explicitly said he would veto the DREAM Act, plus he has said a lot of other things offensive to Latinos. Voters are like wayward children who run away to meet up with Democrats occasionally, but then they’re supposed to come home to Republicans.

    Seriously; that must be how they think.

  4. Swami  •  Sep 25, 2012 @10:30 am

    It’s mouseketeer time…”When you wish upon a star your dreams come true.”

    More speak it into existence bullshit.. Bible says: “Your confession is your destiny’, ‘according to your faith be it unto you”.

    Norman Vincent Peale…. Anybody?

    Congratulations , President Obama, on your reelection. 🙂 You’ve served America well!

  5. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 25, 2012 @10:31 am

    What’s funny to me, is that Mitt, the best out of the container of mixed nuts who the Republicans put out there for the guests, would have had a much better chance in the general election if he hadn’t had to so out-retard the other retards in their Primaries (with apologies to real retarded people, who don’t willingly make themselves that way for political and personal gain) that he now can’t find the center again if Hansel and Gretel had left French-bread loaves as markers.

  6. joanr16  •  Sep 25, 2012 @11:27 am

    Middle-class families have annual incomes around $250K, right? That would explain it.

  7. goatherd  •  Sep 25, 2012 @12:26 pm

    “Norman Vincent Peale…. Anybody?”

    I always liked the Mort Sahl quip, “I find the apostle Paul appealing, but the apostle Peale appalling.”

  8. Swami  •  Sep 25, 2012 @1:09 pm

    Mitt, the best out of the container of mixed nuts who the Republicans put out there

    Well, sometimes I think the moon colony wasn’t really such a bad idea.

  9. Doug Hughes  •  Sep 25, 2012 @1:24 pm

    Both campaigns are playing the turnout game. The deluge of emails I get from Team Obama always claim the race is neck and neck, quoting selected polls and ignoring the electoral college. The first goal is campaign contributions, but the second goal is to create the impression that MY vote may be critical.

    The flip side for Mitt is to convince conservatives that the election is not over. Once the powers-that-be decide it’s over, the big money will dry up and conservative voters who never liked Mitt (but hate Obama) may stay home.

    The opportunity is down-ticket races. If Obama supporters DO show up and disappointed republicans stay home, a lot of close congressional races can be flipped. You will know this has become a real threat when GOP advertising pleads for GOP voters to show up for the OTHER candidates and issues on the ballot.

  10. Tom_B  •  Sep 25, 2012 @1:42 pm

    “Well, sometimes I think the moon colony wasn’t really such a bad idea.”


    It was visionary. It’s just not as compelling to a war- and Recession- weary public as Newt would have liked.

    If we eventually build it, maybe Sarah Palin will be able to see it from her back window.

  11. justme277  •  Sep 25, 2012 @1:46 pm

    Rove, mittwitt and friends are banking on the fact this worked for little georgie bush and mittwitt..huh! hello ! He believes he is waaaaay better than georgie.I mean come on! Georgie doesnt even have a elevator in his garage. PFFFFFFFT!
    That little punk never will.So it’s just a no brainer..I mean come on!

    What the big time players in the gop know about georgie and what a dip shit he REALLY is would terrify us now if we knew. Those who were forced to be his handlers know , those who were around him know. And how did they figure out this would work? Sadly because of reagan IMHO. I believe that mans illness stole him long before his term was over without us ever even knowing at the time. Anyone with half a brain could look back and see it now, especially those who have seen alzheimers up close.

    So to tell you the truth, I am shocked that it isn’t working too. It could be that I am more jaded that mittwitt but I find that I have adopted the same view of Americans, as a whole, that rove has: Their dipshits.(there is NO other way to explain bush that i can find). They will fall for anything-twice. And look what that stupidity has cost us.It was a good gamble to try it again on their part.

    In as much as I want to believe that georgie taught em all a lesson- I am not that trusting, but it could be the gop over played their hands too soon.It could be this has not worked because it was too soon for people to forget where this got them the last time. I am far from convinced this is a renewed awakening in America but I sure do hope it could be.

    Two little tid bits I want to add…good news: I hear Obama leads in Ohio by double digits in some polls..Hooray!

    Dan senor (from mittwitts campaign) was on Andrea Mitchell right after Obamas speech. He says we should “threaten Iran with military action” – just think about that. He wants us to pull a gun that we don’t really intend to use. Just let that soak in for a few minutes if you can keep your head from exploding.You and I both KNOW if you threaten someone with a weapon you best be ready to use it. And are they THAT stupid to tell them we are coming in advance rather that just doing it? Dan senors entire comments about mittwitts Iran policy tell us all we need to know about why mittwitt is not fit to serve as president. He has not got a clue about how to handle the situation.

  12. Stephen Stralka  •  Sep 25, 2012 @1:50 pm

    The whole thing strikes me as an exercise in reassuring themselves they aren’t really losing.

    Steve Benen has a post today about poll denialism, too. I agree that it’s largely about clinging to comforting illusions, but it also sets them up to try to claim the election was stolen. Obama couldn’t have won! All the polls showed him losing! Add that to all the phony claims of voter fraud, and the true believers are all set to spend the next four years telling anyone who will listen that Obama isn’t really the president, any more than he’s really a US citizen.

    Fortunately, the number of people who are willing to listen will continue to decline.

  13. justme277  •  Sep 25, 2012 @2:08 pm

    btw, you may recall mittwitt thinks middle class is between 200k and 250k

  14. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Sep 25, 2012 @3:39 pm

    You know, this is one of the reasons Obama deserves to be President more than Romney. He plans, he acts, and he has a plan B (and probably a plan C). Hillary Clinton learned this the hard way – by the time she realized she was in a fight, and could lose, Obama had an edge that turned into a huge lead. (And I mean no disrespect for Clinton in saying this – conventional wisdom was that she had it wrapped up. But to fail to learn that Obama will plan, and dig in, and play the long game, after seeing him do it, not just there, but over and over? Wow.)

    Even knowing that, it doesn’t seem like Romney came up with a plan B. Harp on the crappy (but improving) economy, and assume that he’d win because everyone blames Obama for how awful things are.

    Maybe it’s a case of “everyone he knows” is voting Republican.

  15. erinyes  •  Sep 25, 2012 @4:06 pm

    LHW; Right about Team Obama. They are hard-nosed and impressive.
    I guess he got that talent from all that “community organizing” stuff the right is always bitching about.
    Two things I can’t say enough about;Commentors on this blog are impressive (not including my snark), and I can’t wait for the debates.

  16. Swami  •  Sep 25, 2012 @5:09 pm

    erinyes …The debates might be disappointing..Unless the moderators can hit the candidates with questions where you really have to think on your feet. Questions where you can’t prepare and you can’t buffalo the American public by rattling off a bunch of geographical locations and foreign sounding names to appear like their in control of their understanding.
    At best, Mitt is going to have to bullshit his way through, whereas Obama has an air of deliberation about him because he know what he’s talking about and he doesn’t run at the mouth with performance anxiety.

    I’m afraid that Mitt is going to get softballs lobed at him out of pity. Maybe they’ll give him a handicap of sorts.. ‘The trees are just the right height”… Really!

    Bullshitting in the spotlight without props can be rough on an empty suit.

  17. Pat  •  Sep 26, 2012 @12:50 am

    They lie about anything they think will get them a vote so it’s no surprise that they lie about winning itself. The debates next week should be interesting.

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