Within informed conservative and Republican circles today there are basically two schools of thought. One school of thought has it that the daily tracking polls are fairly accurate and that, if the election were held tomorrow, Mitt Romney would probably win, but only by the slimmest of margins. Those who hold to this theory spend a lot of time cursing their TV sets and tossing and turning at night, unable to come to grips with the notion of how a man with no accomplishments, no real world experience, and with no preparation whatsoever for the presidency, could possibly be running for a second term in the Oval Office and viewed in a positive way by half the voting age population… especially since he is seen as an even greater failure than Jimmy Carter. “Who are those people?” they scream. “Are they complete idiots?” Well…
The other school of thought has it that we are headed for a Romney landslide, something on the order of Bill Clinton’s 379 to 159 Electoral College defeat of Bob Dole in 1996. Those who hold to this theory walk around each day with a strong positive feeling in the pit of their stomachs. They have difficulty suppressing a perpetual smile and when they go to bed each night they sleep like babies.
During the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, the most successful convention in modern times, Republicans were able to showcase some of their new generation of state and national leaders… rising stars such as Sen. Kelly Ayotte, of New Hampshire; Attorney General Pam Bondi, of Florida; Gov. Chris Christie, of New Jersey; Senator-to-be Ted Cruz, of Texas; former Democratic congressman Artur Davis, of Virginia; Gov. Mary Fallin, of Oklahoma; Gov. Luis Fortuño, of Puerto Rico; Gov. Nikki Haley, of South Carolina; Gov. John Kasich, of Ohio; Mayor Mia Love, of Saratoga Springs, Utah; Cong. Connie Mack, of Florida; Gov. Susana Martinez, of New Mexico; Gov. Bob McDonnell, of Virginia; Sen. Rand Paul, of Kentucky; Sen. Rob Portman, of Ohio; former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, of California; Sen. Marco Rubio, of Florida; Cong. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin; Gov. Brian Sandoval, of Nevada; Sen. John Thune, of South Dakota; and Gov. Scott Walker, of Wisconsin.
How could the Democrats even come close to matching that list? Looking back on their convention it is easy to see that, while they stretched it to cover three full days, they would have been wise to limit the convention to a single afternoon and evening. With no record to run on and no new ideas that they could sell to their radical left base… or dare expose to the American people… the only course left open to them was to spend their three days bashing Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and anything and everything else Republican. It was a serious political blunder and with each passing hour they alienated more and more voters.
What it tells us is that, if Adam Shaw is correct in his August 30, 2012 article for the American Thinker, titled “How ‘The Shy Republican’ Could Be Masking a Landslide,” a major landslide may be in the offing. In his article, Shaw describes the undercurrents in the American electorate in which the so-called “Bradley Effect” and the “Shy Tory Effect” could produce an electoral landslide. Coupled with a major shift in the black vote and the Catholic vote, it is increasingly possible that Barack Obama will be the victim of a “quadruple whammy” in November.
The “Bradley Effect” was first noted in the 1982 California gubernatorial contest between Democrat Tom Bradley, the African-American mayor of Los Angeles, and his white opponent, Republican George Deukmejian. A month prior to the election, Deukmejian’s campaign manager speculated that his candidate would receive approximately 5 percent more votes than the polls indicated because some white voters were simply lying to pollsters so as not to appear racially prejudiced. And although his daring prediction caused him to lose his job, the voters ultimately proved him right. On the eve of the election, Bradley enjoyed a comfortable lead in the polls, but when the votes were all counted Deukmejian was the victor.
In the 1983 Chicago mayoral race, African-American congressman Harold Washington eked out a narrow victory over his white Republican opponent, State Representative Bernard Epton. Polls conducted approximately two weeks before the election showed Washington with a comfortable 14-point lead. A third poll conducted just three days before the election confirmed Washington’s 14-point lead. However, when the votes were tallied Washington won by less than 4 points.
The so-called “Bradley Effect” was also evident in the 1988 Democratic presidential primary in Wisconsin where polls showed Rev. Jesse Jackson receiving approximately one-third of the white vote. However, when the votes were counted he received only one-fourth of the white vote, giving Gov. Michael Dukakis the victory. In the 1989 New York mayoral race, African-American Democrat David Dinkins saw an 18-point lead over Republican Rudy Giuliani disappear in the final days of the race. And in the 1989 Virginia gubernatorial race, African-American Democrat Doug Wilder held a 9-point lead over his white Republican opponent on the eve of the election but won by less than one percentage point.
The media-manufactured glow that protected Obama in 2008 is now gone and he is now subject to the “Bradley Effect.” It will be the first “whammy” of the 2012 election.
A similar phenomenon, based on political ideology, developed in Great Britain in 1992. After Margaret Thatcher governed for 13 years as Prime Minister, the Labor Party enjoyed a major lead in the polls, causing the party leader, Neil Kinnock, to proclaim, “We’re all right! We’re all right!” But when all the votes were counted they were not “all right.” Conservative leader John Major was elected prime minister. The difference between the polls and the final outcome was eventually dubbed “The Shy Tory Factor.”
Through the years that Conservative Margaret Thatcher occupied 10 Downing Street, Labor Party leaders maintained a steady drumbeat of criticism, painting the Tories as “nasty and evil, working to destroy mining communities in their war against the miners, gut health care, and take money from the poor to give to the rich.” They sounded very much like liberals and Democrats in our country who falsely charge Republicans with favoring millionaires and billionaires over the poor and the middle class, increasing taxes on the middle class, defunding public education, taking food out of the mouth of children, and throwing senior citizens out of their homes and onto the streets. Yet, there is evidence that major portions of the middle class, including political independents and the so-called “Reagan Democrats” are chomping at the bit to elect anyone but Obama.
They represent what Adam Shaw refers to as the “Shy Republicans,” American cousins of the “Shy Tories,” and they will provide the second anti-Obama “whammy” of the 2012 elections.
The third “whammy” of the 2012 elections will be delivered by the Democrats’ heretofore most reliable constituency, the African-American vote. In a recent column, titled Looking Toward November, I predicted that Obama’s embrace of same-sex marriage would cause him to lose at least 5 percent of the black vote. There is evidence that my estimate was far too conservative.
For example, Obama won North Carolina in 2008 by some 14,000 votes, taking 95 percent of the black vote. But things are different in 2012. According to a recent poll conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) he’s now losing as much as 20 percent of the black vote in that state. One in five black voters in North Carolina say that they will vote for the Romney-Ryan ticket.
A new Washington Post/ABC poll provides additional evidence. It found that the number of African-Americans who believe Obama’s actions have helped the economy has dropped from 77 percent in October 2011 to just over half of those surveyed in more recent polls. In Georgia, a Gallup poll found that 20% of black voters intend to vote for Mitt Romney, while in Michigan a poll of black voters showed Obama receiving the support of just 77 percent of black voters. The remaining 23 percent expressed an intention to vote for the Romney-Ryan ticket.
And finally, the fourth “whammy” of the 2012 elections will be the Roman Catholic vote. After Roman Catholic schools and hospitals were hit with a requirement that they provide free birth control services to employees, in spite of church doctrine to the contrary, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops rebelled. Under the leadership of Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of the New York Diocese, the bishops have organized to oppose the assault on religious freedom by the Obama administration.
Between August 15-19, the American Life League conducted a nationwide survey of 900 Catholic voters. While Obama won the Catholic vote by 54-46% in 2008, only 27 percent of Catholics surveyed support Obama in 2012. The survey showed that only 25 percent of Catholic men and 23 percent of Catholic women over the age of 50 support him. His greatest support among Catholics comes from women under age 50, 31 percent of whom support him.
The inevitable impact of the “Bradley Effect,” the “Shy Republican Effect,” the palpable disenchantment in the black community, and the anger in the Roman Catholic community promise not a “whammy,” not a “double whammy,” and not a “triple whammy,” but a “quadruple whammy” that is bound to produce an Obama defeat of landslide proportions.
In his nominating speech for Obama, Bill Clinton promised Democrats that if they “renewed Obama’s contract” for a second term they would “feel it.” He was right. They will feel it, but they certainly won’t like it.