At The American Conservative, which is frequently not conservative in the Fox News sense of the word, Noah Millman sees the post-convention polls heading in the Democrats' direction, in congressional races as well as the presidential race, and he thinks he knows why:
This election is becoming nationalized, and it is becoming nationalized in the context of an across-the-board swing in the direction of the Democrats.I think that's basically true -- but I'm not even sure Republicans believe the public ever truly accepted Obama in the first place. Romney at least thinks the public liked Obama personally, and continues to like him personally, as he said on the secret Boca tape:
The reason, I think, is a simple one. The Republicans Party -- not just the Romney campaign, but the party as a whole -- is running on nothing. They are running on the presumption that the country has already rejected the Democrats, and that therefore it is their turn. They are behaving as if choosing Democratic governance was some kind of "experiment" that didn't work out, and now the American people will, of course, come back to their natural home.
We speak with voters across the country about their perceptions. Those people I told you, the 5 to 6 or 7 percent that we have to bring onto our side, they all voted for Barack Obama four years ago. So, and by the way, when you say to them, "Do you think Barack Obama is a failure?" they overwhelmingly say no. They like him. But when you say, "Are you disappointed in his policies that haven't worked?" they say yes. And because they voted for him, they don't want to be told that they were wrong, that he's a bad guy, that he did bad things, that he's corrupt. Those people that we that have to get, they want to think they did the right thing but he just wasn't up to the task. They love the phrase, "He's in over his head."But I wonder if even Romney believes that anyone ever voted for Obama's agenda. I wonder if he just thinks they voted for his personality, or his blackness, or voted for him exclusively because they didn't like Bush, or because the liberal media brainwashed them.
As for the people who staff the Romney campaign and other GOP campaigns, I don't know what the hell they think. I don't even know if they think Obama won legitimately four years ago -- you know how sleazy and powerful those ACORN people are. On some level, I don't think they consider non-whites or young people or single women to be real Americans anyway, so I think they believe GOP ideas already have the approval of the majority of "real" Americans, and thus any election results that turn out otherwise are fraudulent anyway. (I really wonder how many Republicans think their vote-suppression tactics merely reduce the electorate down to just the people who, in their opinion, should be allowed to vote.)
I think a lot of them think their ideas have been fully embraced by "real Americans," and have been since 1980, and the only reason Democrats ever win is cheating and/or media bias and/or incompetence by individual Republicans (W in '06 and '08, Poppy in '92). That last one will be their explanation if Romney loses. Republicanism loses elections sometimes, but it's never unpopular. By definition!