Leaving aside the fact that Romney doesn’t drink anything stronger than lemonade, Spencer’s gut view has statistical support from the time-tested Gallup Poll. Before the Democratic National Convention, Gallup’s editors observed that Obama’s personal favorability was consistently higher than his job approval rating. The day Gallup issued its report (Sept. 6), Obama’s favorability was 53 percent, compared to an approval rating of 45 percent.
Here’s a hint for every future Republican candidate ever.
If your opponent is calling you an out-of-touch plutocrat racist who kills women, you have carte blanche to go negative.
Here’s another hint for you wanna-be Republican office-holders.
You should probably do a pre-emptive negative campaign on your rival before he gets to slime you first. Yes, I know the press will say you’re a meanie and a racist and your favorite hobby is kicking puppies. They’ll smear you as a latter-day Lee Atwater and every nasty advert you cut will be worse than the Revolving Door/Willie Horton commercial. By the way, they always say all that shit anyway, so going negative is the only way to be sure you’re covering all your bases while not getting punked out like a bitch with the Donkey-Puncher’s own negative campaign tactics.
Here’s yet another hint and it’s the most important one of them all. Because it’s so critical, I’ll just give it to you free of charge.
If the person you’re running against has high personal approval ratings, you know what Job 1 through 10 is? Make that person as unlikable as possible.
I know some of you think likability is overrated. Campaigns should be serious discussions of the pressing national concerns of our time. The candidates and their various personality traits shouldn’t factor much into the equation of who we’re going to pick to be president.
The thing is, not every American is terribly excited about politics. Most citizens are not political junkies. They don’t tune into to the day-to-day partisan fight. Low information voters base a lot of their decisions on their gut feelings about the candidates. Thus, a politician’s likability is almost as important as his communication skills or his ideological positioning.
Check out two recent examples of how personality can save a politician’s bacon.
Bill Clinton had to be dragged kicking and screaming by Newt Gingrich to sign welfare reform. Clinton’s wife tried to take over health care, with politically disastrous results. The President and his party were shellacked in 1994 midterms. Everybody knew that Slick Willy was constantly banging chicks who were not his wife. It was his sunny folksy demeanor, especially compared to Senator Darth Dole, that helped pull him through the 1996.
Look back to 2004. George Bush was fighting two wars, one of which was rapidly going pear-shaped. Every celebrity in the universe vomited red-hot bile at the mere mention of Dubya. Every time homeboy tripped over a syllable the press was ready to declare the President, a Yale and Harvard-educated businessman and governor of one of America’s largest states, a mouth-breathing retard. Yet despite all that, Bush the Younger outcharmed John Kerry–yeah, not the hardest job in the world, but still–and won the election.
Were there other factors in those elections that helped Clinton and Bush win? Of course. For instance, Bubba benefited from having Ross Perot split the conservative popular vote away from Bob Dole. George Bush didn’t have peace, but he had a relatively strong economy working in his favor.
The fact remains. When voters can identify and relate to a candidate, it can mask a multitude of political liabilities.
Barack Obama’s record consisted of five trillion dollars worth of national debt, GDP growth under 2% and a wildly unpopular entitlement program.
But he was hip and cool and he got the joke, so he’s our president.
Sadly, it’s too late to knock down Barack Obama’s personal approval ratings in order to win the 2012 election. That doesn’t mean conservatives and Republicans can’t start now.
Even better, barring the President pulling some kind of Bloomberg Maneuver, he’ll be done in 2016. Here’s how you’ll know if the GOP is serious about winning the next presidential election.
If they try to turn the next Democrat nominee into a smelly piece of shit Occupy Wall Street liberal panty-waist.
When the progressives whine and cry about unfair Republican attack ads, conservatives can just say, “We learned it from watching you, Saul Alinsky!”