Yahoo! News published a story this week, a joint venture with Esquire magazine, that shared the results of a recent survey the two media outlets commissioned from pollster Gary Langer of Langer Research Associates. The poll queried 1,000 likely voters on a range of topics designed to draw distinctions between sitting President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney. Results will be doled out in the next several weeks leading up the general election, however the first question posed to respondents was pretty straight forward with a rather unsurprising denouement.
“If the election were held today who would you vote for?” The answer? Amongst likely voters, Obama leads by four percentage points, 50 to 46. However the gulf opens much wider when the field is narrowed to voters who are already registered. In that case, Romney trails the POTUS by 11 percent, 52 to 41.
As voter registration postmark deadlines vary from state to state (some states cutoff entries 30 days before the election, while others leave opportunity open until just a couple of days prior), examining the responses of registered balloters becomes more consequential with each passing day. And it would seem that Republican attempts to disenfranchise the young, poor and certain minority groups just aren’t doing enough to stem the tide of momentum working in the President’s favor.
But polls are simply hypotheticals and while this news is encouraging less than two months before the ballot boxes officially open, it remains stupefying that the gulf isn’t much larger. While reading the Yahoo! story, it isn’t unreasonable to wonder if there’s any group that misfit contender Romney hasn’t done his best to alienate.
If you’re unemployed or otherwise struggling to make ends meet, a huge proportion of modern American society, there are the wealthy Romney family’s offshore accounts, dodgy tax returns and pathetic attempts to identify with real world problems to turn you off. If you’re a female, have a look at Romney’s flipflop from a pro-choice moderate to a pro-life intolerant who aligns himself with a Vice-Presidential candidate that opposes abortion in all situations, including cases of rape and incest, as well as instances where an expectant mother’s health is imperiled.
While we’re on the subject of Paul Ryan, are you an elderly American on a fixed income? Well then his plan to convert Medicare into a voucher program that exposes you to the business practices of private insurance companies ought to send you fleeing toward Obama. Are you an immigrant? The GOP can’t deport you fast enough. Person of any color? We didn’t see many of you at the recent Republican National Convention. How about a current or upcoming college student? Team Romney is tired of giving you “handouts” in the way of affordable loans and other financial aid that could guide you toward a 21st century job opportunity. If you’re gay, rest assured that the right wing will never stand up for your right to wed and raise a family. And Mittens’ deplorable handling of the Libyan embassy tragedy yesterday should go a long way toward alienating foreign policy wonks.
In fact all things considered, it’s sort of tough to comprehend how the poll Yahoo!/Esquire numbers don’t skew much father left. 95 percent to five sounds about right if you generously allow that there might just be that many independently wealthy, hawkish white males left in the nation. If Republican leadership did not receive the message in 2008 that they are out of touch with mainstream America, and it’s clear that they didn’t, let this be the year when they finally take themselves out to the shed.