Romney on the rise
By John Podhoretz @ New York Post (August 23, 2012)
There’s reason to think Mitt Romney is in better condition than the national polls show.
First, one has to consider the effect on Romney of the Obama campaign’s unprecedented barrage against him. Chicago spent an astounding $120 million over the summer, much of it on negative ads targeting Romney personally, and almost all of it in 12 battleground states. To give you a sense of how much spending that is, the McCain campaign in 2008 spent a mere $75 million in the general election against Obama in all 50 states.
Though Romney has certainly been bloodied a bit — we all know how he won’t release a lot of his tax returns — the polling from those states and nationally suggests he’s suffered mere flesh wounds. We won’t really know if the Obama campaign managed to cut deeply enough to cause a lingering infection until the general election campaign is in full swing.
But if the infection doesn’t materialize, that will mean the Obama campaign spent tens and tens of millions for nothing. On June 23, Obama was up in the RCP average by 2.4 points. Yesterday, two months later, 1 point. All that spending, and Romney’s position actually improved.
Nobody could argue that Romney has run a dazzling campaign. Indeed, he didn’t even try. Boston spent the summer husbanding its resources and accreting a massive amount of money to spend once he is formally the candidate of the GOP.
September will begin with Romney holding a gigantic financial advantage — and he will be using it closer to the election, when (assuming it’s well-conceived and useful) such spending will be far more effective than summer ads. Even more important for Romney was his vice-presidential pick. The selection of Paul Ryan has proved to be a spectacular success, and spectacular in unexpected ways.