Reapers Playground MYDD
I probably don’t need to tell many readers here that there’s a new and potentially divisive argument being mooted – that Obama is underachieving, and that ANY democratic candidate would be doing as well as him at this stage, if not better.
So you’ve heard this meme on other sites? It was actually first mooted by none other than Karl Rove on Face the Nation in early August:
With a restive electorate, with an economy that’s sort of chugging around, with a war in the background, at the end of eight years of Republican rule in the White House, Obama should be way ahead.
Well, people can have their motives to agree or disagree with the statement. But let’s not just rely on partisan pundits on the blogosphere. What does a noted polling expert have to say..?
Mark Schaffner at Pollster.com takes this argument head on
The conventional wisdom put forth by political pundits is that Obama should be winning this election by huge margins. The argument is that with a weak economy and an unpopular president, the Democratic nominee should be “crushing” the Republican nominee and the fact that Obama hasn’t had double-digit leads throughout means that there must be something wrong. But how well should the Democrat really be doing in this race? Is Obama really underachieving as much as most people assume?
He then tests out the ‘any dem candidate would do well’ theme with various political science models. The conclusion he comes to?
(Emphasis my own)
Despite the fact that pundits have claimed that Obama is not performing as well as he should be given the economic and political conditions, the models used by political scientists to predict election outcomes–models based on these very conditions–tell a different story. Obama is currently out-pacing the predictions made by some models and lagging only a few percentage points behind others. But his support does not stray more than 4.2% away from any of these predictions. Thus, there isn’t much support here for the notion that Obama is greatly underachieving in this election.
OK. With this out of the way, what’s the next way to attack our winning democratic nominee?