Sunday, April 29, 2012

Who Won the Week? (April 22-28)

This week, both Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney attempted to win favor with a key demographic, one that went overwhelmingly for the President in 2008: the youth vote.  On Tuesday afternoon, President Obama held separate college campus rallies in both North Carolina and later Colorado (which both happen to be swing states).  In each speech, Mr. Obama pushed for Congress to keep interest rates from doubling, essentially creating a wedge issue among the GOP. 

Later that evening, the President appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon again pushing hard for issues affecting college-aged student.  After the interview with Fallon, Obama “slow-jammed” the news, which became an instant hit on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Perhaps as sign of relenting to the President’s (popular) position, Mitt Romney decided that he, also, backed the extension of low interest rates, though he had seemingly opposed such a measure just a couple months prior during the heated primary. 

The President wasn’t without criticism for making the interest rates an issue in the campaign and also for, well, campaigning, as it seemed.  The Romney campaign, as well as the national GOP condemned the President for essentially campaigning on the taxpayer’s dime.  Further, Speaker Boehner claimed that the issue of interest rates was a manufactured one for the President’s political advantage.

Either way, Barack Obama seems to have laid a trap for the GOP and Mitt Romney.  If Romney were to back the doubling of rates, he could have been portrayed to the youth and their parents as out-of-touch on matters that mattered most to them.  If Mitt Romney were to agree with the President, that would make it difficult for the Congressional GOP to form opposition and allow the President to claim that he was able to keep interest rates from doubling.  Either way, Obama wins.

The only other significant event of last week came last night with the annual White House Correspondent’s Dinner, at which the President is to basically give a stand-up comedy skit.  The night provides the President with an easy venue to come off appearing down-to-earth and funny. 

Many remember last year’s WHCD when Obama roasted Donald Trump; this year was only different in the recipient.  President Obama was able to poke-fun at Romney’s wealth, his education, and of course, Seamusgate.  The event was not without jokes made about Mr. Obama, but none will survive the news-media cycles like the jibes at Romney.

Now, to polling: The RealClearPolitics average actually has the margin between the two candidates at exactly the same as last week.  While minor changes week to week should be interpreted as just statistical noise, in the media, the lack of change could represent a story on how Obama’s recent momentum has stalled. 

Again, be mindful, as I pointed out in my last post, that polling this far out from the election should not be seen as a predictor, but just as a snapshot in time that has the potential to measure momentum. 

It should be noted that Romney didn’t necessarily have a bad week; the President just had a pretty good week.  Looking forward, it should be noted that this upcoming week mark the one-year anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s death, so it would not be unreasonable to expect to see the President’s poll numbers rise in a reflection of this.  However, it will also be interesting to see if Mr. Obama and his campaign over-politicize the assassination.

Who Won the Week?  President Obama


  1. He won last week too. Republicans can't catch a break...

    Didn't take long for that prediction to come true.