Obama’s Plan B
July 9, 2012 Leave a comment
With the economy in such precarious shape if Obama’s going to win re-election he’s got to convince people that the election is not just about him, but that it is also about Romney and that Romney is a bad/dangerous choice. There’s some interesting evidence that this approach may very well be working. The New Yorker’s John Cassidy refers to it at Obama’s Plan B:
Plan A was to say that the hard slog of the past four years had been worth it, and that the economy was finally recovering. For an incumbent, this is a pretty standard message: things are getting better—stick with me…
The Obama campaign’s Plan B is based on the assumption that the economy will continue to stutter along without slipping, once again, into an outright slump, which would probably insure a Romney victory. The basic idea is to try to neutralize the economic headwinds by changing the subject as often as possible, and by raising doubts about Romney’s record, both at Bain Capital and as the governor of Massachusetts. “We’ve got to make sure people fully appreciate Mitt Romney is not some safe alternative,” David Plouffe, one of Obama’s senior advisers, told the Times. Assuming the economy doesn’t get any worse, Obama’s strategists believe that they can eke out a narrow victory by mobilizing the same coalition that the campaign relied on in 2008—young people, minorities, women, and highly educated professionals—and by turning enough white working-class voters against Romney to deprive him of the surge in the Midwest that he needs in order to win…
The Obama campaign believes that its negative ads about Bain Capital, which have running in Ohio and other states during recent weeks, are having the desired effect, and that might well be true. In the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of voters in swing states, one in three of them said that seeing or hearing about Romney’s business record made them view him more negatively, and just one in six said that it made them take a more positive view of him.
Now, if the economy takes a real dive, this is all moot and Romney wins period. But in a close election, the fact that Obama’s negative attacks on Romney seem to really resonate, could well be the difference.