Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Campaign Rhythms

Presidential politics continues: Romney, whose reputation as a liar grows internationally (Michael Cohen writes in the Guardian: "But Romney is doing something very different and far more pernicious. Quite simply, the United States has never been witness to a presidential candidate, in modern American history, who lies as frequently, as flagrantly and as brazenly as Mitt Romney,")
is caught in a pretty serious lie about his past--with implications that have something damning for everybody, left, center and far right.  Meanwhile the Obama campaign braces itself for the upcoming unemployment report and also the figures on political contributions for June, which may show the Romney campaign raking in a bunch more.

But except for the swing states where political messaging is already unavoidable, many if not most people aren't paying a lot of attention to the day to day (not to mention the hour to hour, minute to minute, tweet to tweet.)  A lot of people already know who they are voting for in November, and so they can save a lot of time by ignoring the campaign (which is why polls that measure interest in the campaign tell very little.)

President Obama is enjoying an unpredicted bump in the polls, especially in some swing states.  But the really big anti-Obama advertising effort in those states has not yet begun.  We'll see how effective the endlessly repeated Big Lies can be.

Meanwhile many won't be paying much attention until the real show starts at the conventions later in the summer and then in the debates in the fall.  It's probably true that campaigns can be won and lost in the spring, if a candidate is defined.  But that's learnable only after the votes are in.  As is everything else.  Bill Clinton went from unloved third place to a contender at his convention, and then to favorite in the debates.  On the other hand, John Kerry had a good convention and won all three debates against G.W. Bush, but didn't win the large majority required if a Democrat is permitted to win.  So nobody really knows.  But one thing is certain: it's barely July. 

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