Several polls were published this week to determine who will be elected president eight months from now. They cleared up a lot of confusion. “The Republican party has a big problem. Huge!” writes The New York Times’ liberal columnist Charles Blow in “Obama-mentum.” Blow dissects a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, which begins, “Mitt Romney has retaken a significant lead nationally in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, even as he has fallen further behind Barack Obama in a general election matchup.”
“For the Republicans,” writes Blow, “there is no way to put a positive spin on these trends.”
Well, maybe for that poll.
In “The Vulnerable President,” the Times’ conservative columnist, Ross Douthat, cites other polls – Times/CBS (“President Obama is heading into the general election season on treacherous political ground”) and ABC/Washington Post (“Four bucks a gallon gas is taking its toll”) to dissect the president’s ratings drop: “Obama’s political position is tenuous enough that it doesn’t take all that much bad news – particularly on the economy — for his approval ratings to go negative.”
So take heart, there is a poll to suit everybody’s tastes . . . . and many more on the way.
Are the polls worthless? I think they tell us that a lot of people are unsettled about the future, and they are hoping someone will speak honestly to their concerns – and their hopes – instead of robotically reciting talking points. I believe that is what made Obama a special candidate in 2008. And I think it is heartening news that people want to look through a candidate's carefully manicured image to the person himself.