Let’s just get real about presidential elections in America here for a minute, shall we. Here’s the thing: In each election, no matter who the two parties nominate, 40% of the electorate will vote Republican and 40% will vote Democrat. Either party could nominate a mound of horsesh*t and stick a “D” or an “R” next to its name and 40% of the people will vote for it. Period. That’s just what our politics have come to in America in 2012.
What remains are the 20% — the non-ideologues, the people who don’t subscribe to liberal or conservative orthodoxy. “Moderates” is the popular term for them. “Swing voter” is another. And like it or not, they decide elections. It’s this block of voters who swing elections one way or another every four years. Now here’s the thing — more than actual political beliefs, and almost more than a candidate’s track record, likeability is a big f-ing deal with the 20%.
Which is why watching this video reminded me of how hard it will be for Republicans to beat Obama in the fall, even with the economy in the sh*tter. The guy’s just naturally cool. And the GOP has no one running who comes close to him. Arguably the most likeable guy in the Republican field is Mitt Romney, who still gives off a vibe that alternates between guy who fired your dad to guy who sold you your last mattress at a Labor Day sale, and neither of those guys is very endearing. The prospect of Obama vs. Romney reminds me a lot of 2004 when the Dems nominated the biggest tool they could find, John Kerry, to run against a vulnerable, but likeable guy. And we all know how that turned out.
(Via Obama’s Tumblr)