Skip to comments.Why 2012 will bear a significant resemblance to 1980
Posted on 10/02/2012 11:32:32 AM PDT by The Fop
First off, let me clarify by stating that I don't necessarily expect Romney to win a 40 state blow out like Reagan did in 1980. However, in 1980, no pollster predicted such a big win for Reagan. On election day, the polls either showed a dead heat, or a slight lead for Reagan, and he wound up winning by around 10%. I believe that on election day, 2012, the polls will show either a dead heat, or a slight lead for Obama, and Romney will ultimately win by 3% to 6%. This belief is based on the transformation that the Democrat party made 40 years ago, from the party of the working class to the party of the cultural elites.
The election of 1968 was the last election where the old guard of the Democrat party was still in control. The anti-war hippies had shamed LBJ into not seeking a full 2nd term. Eugene McCarthy and RFK both tried to reach out to the anti-war hippies, but Hubert Humphrey and Edmund Muskie wound up prevailing. During Nixon's first term, the young Left wingers who came out of the hippie/counter culture movement began to assert their power as a new grassroots force within the Democrat party. The nomination of George McGovern showed just how much power they had attained in a short time.
The narrative of the new Democrat party was based on using the social movements of the 1960's as a means of portraying America as a country that is divided between a "good half" of enlightened, tolerant, cultured Americans who embraced these social movements, and a "bad half" of bigoted, ignorant, and backwards Americans who rejected these social movements, and wanted to drag us back to the dark ages. For the past 40 years, the Democrats, and their allies in the media, the entertainment industry, and academia have tried to portray Republicans as bad people with bad intentions who embody all the worst traits of human nature. Such a portrayal eliminates the need to have a serious debate on the issues, because of the built in assumption that any position that Republicans take on any given issue is inspired by dark motives.
One of the main by products of this modern day Democrat party narrative is the belief that all Democrat Presidents are, at the very least, adequate Presidents, simply by virtue of the fact that by winning the Presidency, they prevented an evil Republican from gaining access to the White House. So when Jimmy Carter was running for re-election, in spite of the fact that the economy was doing poorly and America's adversaries were perceiving us as week, Carter was still viewed by both rank and file Democrat voters and the media as the "safe choice", because a) the alternative (Reagan) was way too "scary" for many voters, and b) that by being one of the "good guys", only so much blame could be placed on Carter for events that we were supposed to believe were out of his control.
So Carter was the first President in the era of the modern day Democrats to start out with a baseline support of 45% of voters. Add in a few Independents, and that put him near 50%. Carter's poll numbers remained fairly strong throughout the entire campaign. We are now seeing the same phenomenon playing out with Obama's re-election campaign. We've got a terrible economy, Obama's foreign policy is blowing up in his face at this very moment, yet he is still viewed as the safe choice by rank and file Democrats and the media, and this belief is buttressed by his poll numbers.
Now let's talk about Bill Clinton. Clinton was smart enough to understand that just having a "D" in front of his name did not automatically make him a lock to win re-election. He knew that he had to be a good steward of the economy as well as reaching out to Centrist voters. So when he ran for re-election, rank and file Democrats and the media were full of enthusiasm and confidence. We didn't see that with Carter, and we're not seeing it with Obama either. Instead, we saw/see people convincing themselves that both Carter and Obama made a compelling case for re-election by simply keeping an evil Republican from making a bad four years much, much worse.
The only reason why Obama may fair a bit better than Carter is because a) he's the first Black President, and B) baby boomer and genX members of the media have so much invested in him, as they see him as one of their own. So yes, there will be a bigger push to keep Obama in office than there was for Carter.
But in the end, just like 1980, Independent voters will break late and hard for Romney. They will do this because they don't share the modern day Democrats' "good half/bad half" view of America. And for all of you who are nervous over the fact that the polls for the 2010 midterms did predict big wins for the Republicans, please keep in mind that the "good half/bad half" narrative does not apply nearly as much to State and local races as it does to Presidential races, so Democrat Congressional, Senate, and Gubernatorial candidates don't necessarily enjoy the same automatic 45% baseline support as Democrat Presidential candidate.
So this is my theory and my prediction, and I'm sticking with it!
1980 was my first time to vote. I remember standing in line until almost 10:00 p.m. to vote. Even though we heard in the line that Carter had already conceded, NO ONE got out of line, we stayed to make dang sure.
I had driven almost 200 miles that morning to take my grandmother to vote as my grandfather had just died in August and she hadn’t had a chance to move her precinct from the country to the town she had moved to and 200 miles back for me to vote. Everyone was in good spirits, friendly and didn’t mind the long wait. As long as you were in line by 7:00 it didn’t matter.
This was in Arlington, TX . . . 1980.
Good topic for a closing statement from Romney: “I love this country. I want to be a president for everyone. I am not a divider — rich against poor, black against white, young against old. We all have value. We all deserve representation. But you feel it, don’t you? For the last four years — at least — Washington has been picking winners and losers. There are some groups (and you may be a member of such a group) that just isn’t getting treated fairly by the government. I want to change that. I want to be a president for everyone. We The People deserve fairness, not favoritism. I’m asking for your vote.”
Reagan was a popular man.
Romney is not.
Reagan had principles. Romney has a finger he sticks in the wind.
Were you alive or voting back then? Reagan was portrayed as a scary nut, an imbecilic B movie actor. Popular? Not hardly, not until he turned the economy around during his first term.
2. A generation and a half of Americans have died since Reagan was elected. A generation and a half of new voters educated in government schools have come of age.
3.There are millions of illegal immigrants in the U.S. and some of them will vote.
Romney will win but it will not be by a landslide. There are far more unrepentent Obama lovers than there ever were Carter lovers.
I was in college and I do remember what you are describing.
“Were you alive or voting back then? Reagan was portrayed as a scary nut, an imbecilic B movie actor. Popular? Not hardly, not until he turned the economy around during his first term”
That is what I was thinking!
People love to look back in 20/20 hindsight and just THINK Reagan was riding high the entire election.
At this point in the race it wasn’t even a given that he would come close.
All relevant points, which is why Romney will not win as big as Reagan.
My point was meant to address all those who ask “why isn’t Obama losing by 20 points?”, and “how can Obama be polling this high”.
I think there’s a big dose of buyer’s remorse that will show up on election day that’s not represented in the polls.
“I think theres a big dose of buyers remorse that will show up on election day thats not represented in the polls.”
Combine that with the “Bradley/Wilder Effect”;general outrage;Conservative/Republican intensity; Independent...”I wont’t be fooled twice” and the recession of the Obama base and you have a winning formula.
I completely agree with your assessment. I think Romney will win by 5pts and the libtards will be SHOCKED! They will think OMG we didn’t do enough voter fraud! lol
I was in High School back then, and aside from the political junkies, Mr. Reagan was a lovable old man that many remembered from several B movies.
Yes, very popular, which was exactly why he won easily over Carter. No matter how any other person wishes to spin the reason behind his win over Carter, the primary reason was his average fame from his acting career.
Yes, he was very popular and the voters had no problem pulling the lever for him over the very unpopular Carter.
When Reagan, in the debate,said,”There you go again...” I knew he had won the election. Up to that point I was very doubtful and had pretty much resigned myself to a Carter win.
With that phrase he showed he was totally confident and in charge of the situation. All of a sudden Carter seemed petulant, a nerdy boy. I guess Carter had really always sounded like that but Reagan set it off perfectly with just a few words at an appropriate moment. Reagan made us see the nerdy boy.
I remember it well also -- Reagan was portrayed as scary and dangerous, and Carter (with all his failures) was portrayed as "safe."
Interesting analysis. I think there’s a good chance Romney can win because there doesn’t seem to be an advantage for Dems vs. GOP (GOP looks to have higher enthusiasm), and it doesn’t look like Obama has an advantage among Independents either. But he’s got to get more votes somehow if he’s going to win.
There don’t seem to be as many undecideds as there used to be, which makes blowouts like in the 80’s difficult.
“The only reason why Obama may fair a bit better than Carter is because a) he’s the first Black President, and B) baby boomer and genX members of the media have so much invested in him, as they see him as one of their own. So yes, there will be a bigger push to keep Obama in office than there was for Carter.”
Obama’s Job Approval is much higher than Carter’s was. It’s high enough to give him a shot at winning, but not high enough to guarantee victory. It’s a little lower than Bush’s was in 2004, and Bush only won by about 2%.
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