Andrew Sullivan Is Freaking Out About Obama's Latest Polling Numbers

Andrew SullivanAndrew Sullivan.

Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan is not happy about the latest Pew Research poll, which shows Republican presidential candidate surging 12 points to hold a 49 per cent to 46 per cent lead over President Barack Obama. Here’s what Sullivan had to say about the poll: 

“The Pew poll is devastating, just devastating. Before the debate, Obama had a 51 – 43 lead; now, Romney has a 49 – 45 lead. That’s a simply unprecedented reversal for a candidate in October. Before Obama had leads on every policy issue and personal characteristic; now Romney leads in all of them. Obama’s performance gave Romney a 12 point swing! I repeat: a 12 point swing.

Romney’s favorables are above Obama’s now. Yes, you read that right. Romney’s favorables are higher than Obama’s right now. That gender gap that was Obama’s firewall?”

He continues: 

“Seriously: has that kind of swing ever happened this late in a campaign? Has any candidate lost 18 points among women voters in one night ever? And we are told that when Obama left the stage that night, he was feeling good. That’s terrifying. On every single issue, Obama has instantly plummeted into near-oblivion. He still has some personal advantages over Romney – even though they are all much diminished. Obama still has an edge on Medicare, scores much higher on relating to ordinary people, is ahead on foreign policy, and on being moderate, consistent and honest (only 14 per cent of swing voters believe Romney is honest). But on the core issues of the economy and the deficit, Romney is now kicking the president’s arse.” 

He ends: 

“I’ve never seen a candidate self-destruct for no external reason this late in a campaign before. Gore was better in his first debate – and he threw a solid lead into the trash that night. Even Bush was better in 1984 than Obama last week. Even Reagan’s meandering mess in 1984 was better – and he had approaching Alzheimer’s to blame.”

Sullivan, a moderate conservative-turned-Obama fan, was one of the harshest critics of the President’s debate performance last week, and the Pew numbers bear out his doomsday take on Obama’s onstage collapse. 

But it’s also very possible that Sullivan is overreacting. Pre-debate polls that showed Obama opening up a big lead over his Republican opponent will likely inflated — a fact that even Democrats pointed out at the time — and Romney’s huge post-debate bump is also likely to even out over the next few days. In reality, the Pew poll simply tells us what both campaigns have been telling us from the beginning: This is going to be a very close race. 

Read the rest of Sullivan’s post here > 

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