As Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker faces a recall election in just shy of three weeks, he hovers at around 50 in the polls — and this despite strong attacks from the left. As President Obama faces reelection, he hovers at around 46 percent in the polls, a bill lower if you factor out the surveys that oversample Democrats.
Now, he still leads Mitt Romney when you average the polls, but only two show him near 50% — and of those used a sample more Democratic than the turnout in 2008, a banner Democratic year.
After three years in office and a largely favorable press, fewer than half of the American people want to reelect Barack Obama. No wonder he’s deployed the “kitchen sink” strategy to go after Romney. To win reelection, he needs to count on winning over half the undecided voters. And he can best prevent them from supporting Mr. Romney by making the presumptive nominee out to be a horrible, no good and very bad man — and a bully to boot.
Bear in mind that undecided voters tend to break for the challenger (though in some years, e.g., 1948 and 1976, they broke for the incumbent). Recent polls in Michigan, Oregon and Wisconsin showing the incumbent at 45.1, 47 and 46 respectively, states he carried (again respectively) with 57.33, 56.75 and 56.22 percent of the vote — only one of which has gone Republican since the Reagan landslide of 1984 (Michigan for George H.W. Bush in 1988). It now seems increasingly likely that Romney could win all the states George W. Bush won in 2000 and 2004 and add a few from the Gore and Kerry tally to his own take.
No wonder the Obama team seems worried, very worried.