David Axelrod, President Obama’s political strategist, was interviewed by NPR’s Steve Inskeep this morning:
INSKEEP: What do you think has happened im the states that the president, somewhat unexpectedly in some cases, won in 2008 where he seems to be in deep trouble now, Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia, all states that he won in 2008 and it would be hard to find an analyst who is certain that the president is going to win all 3 of those states again?
AXELROD: Well, look, I think certainty is a hard thing to come by in American politics …
INSKEEP: I think it’d be hard to find an analyst who thinks you have a good shot.
Let’s just look at the numbers here. In 2008, President Obama beat John McCain by 7.2%. Obama is currently leading Mitt Romney in national polls by 4.4%. In Virginia, the latest poll from Mason Dixon on January 18 shows Obama leading Romney 45% to 44%. In North Carolina, a January 8 poll from Democratic-aligned PPP had Obama leading Romney 46% to 45%, while a January 11 poll from GOP-aligned Civitas had Romney leading Obama 48% to 39%. There has been no presidential polling that I can find in Indiana.
Do the “analysts” Steve Inskeep talks to work for the Republican Party? Who else would be telling Inskeep, “Obama’s leading in Virginia? He has no shot!” And the trends are moving briskly in Obama’s favor. Job growth just hit a two-year high. Mitt Romney’s favorability numbers have been tanking incredibly hard for a month now, while President Obama’s approval rating has been improving for five straight months.