Michael Tomasky

09.26.12

The Last Plutocrat the Republicans Will Nominate for a While

Everyone’s buzzing about the Times poll, showing Obama up 10 in Ohio, nine in Florida, and 12 in Pennsylvania, which was a done deal anyway and a waste of the paper’s money and why didn’t they do Colorado. Anyway. If you look beyond those top-line numbers, some of the internals, as they call them, are just awful for Romney.

Here is the full, 17-page poll. Have a look. A lot of people are pointing to the “cares about people like you” question, whose results came out like this: Ohio, Obama 59-38; Pennsy, Obama 60-38; Florida, Obama 57-41.

That’s bad enough but I think another one is worse. This would be “the will X’s policies favor the rich, the middle class, the poor, or everyone equally question.” The four numbers below after each candidate’s name reflects the result in those respective categories in each state, in order.

Ohio on Obama: 8, 28, 25, 31.

Pennsy on Obama: 9, 30, 26, 29.

Florida on Obama: 7, 26, 29, 31.

Ohio on Romney: 58, 9, 1, 29.

Pennsy on Romney: 59, 9, 0, 29.

Florida on Romney: 56, 8, 0, 31.

Those are pretty devastating. They are of course accurate. The respondents are right. Republican policies do favor the rich. I’m glad people recognize it.

Of course I understand that this perception has taken hold less because people have finally come to terms with the truth about supply-side economics than about Romney’s own background and bearing. But still, whatever it takes.

Will the GOP take from this (assuming Romney goes on to lose) that they might change their economic approach a little and try to be more middle-class friendly? Uh, no. They will take from it that they’d better not nominate a plutocrat again. They’ll just try to make sure they find someone who says “sports” instead of “sport” but who endorses the same reactionary policies.

There’s also a new WashPost/ABC poll showing that 54 percent view Romney’s 47 percent remarks negatively, and 32 percent see them favorably. Nate Silver tweeted last night: “Might be a quirk, but our Obama forecast has increased by 7% (80% chance of winning the EC from 73%) since Romney's 47% comments came out.”

If you’re driving somewhere later today and you see a dead tire on the side of the road, you’ll know whose it is. The wheels are officially off.