This guy is a political genius, and the right-wing just can’t stand it when President Obama acts presidential or outmaneuvers them on policies and public opinion. They pilloried him for evidently making gas prices go sky-high, prompting Mitt Romney to blame him for economic pain, then he gets gas prices to plummet by 30¢ at the pump, and magically, the issue goes away.
Obama’s move on immigration was an election year masterstroke. It was a blatant political move meant to shore up the Latino base and it had the intended effect of highlighting the split in the Republican Party between radical fence builders and the more moderate wing that see that demographic fleeing from the GOP. And Romney again has nowhere to go on this issue because, while he might have been sympathetic during his sensible years, he’s since staked out a claim in Santorumville that requires drivers only to make hard right turns.
The president is also beginning to hammer home the differences between his economic plan and Romney’s. It might be true that independent voters see Obama’s policies as hindering economic growth, but it’s still early in the campaign. Once he highlights the effects of Romney’s cut first plan and a more pragmatic vision that includes cuts and investment, those voters will come back in sufficient numbers to win him the election.
And the horse race numbers? Yes, they are close, but Obama is ahead in enough states now to capture 270+ electoral votes. Michigan is not going red and neither are Colorado, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin nor Virginia unless we get terrible economic news over the summer. In fact, the economies in the swing states are outperforming the national economy. That favors the president.
The Supreme Court’s decision later this month will shape the race, but it will also emphasize Romney’s opposition to protections for people with pre-existing conditions and will force him to move farther right on health care. Most Americans do still oppose the individual mandate, but they also need affordable coverage. Obama offers that; Mitt doesn’t.
And there’s one final reason why we know Obama is turning his campaign around: Rush Limbaugh says that the president is panicking. The right must be very nervous.