Pick your mantra: “The numbers don’t lie” or “Lies, damn lies, and statistics.” This is the line in the sand between Camp Obama and the Romney campaign when it comes to polls.
As polling data showing President Obama firmly in control of the 2012 election keeps compounding itself, the media has adopted the narrative that the Romney campaign is circling the drain. Unfortunately no amount of dissing the “liberal media bias” can undo the damage caused by appearing to be a loser a month before the election. When everyone views the candidate as a loser loyal voters become discouraged. Or worse for Romney, donors become discouraged.
But the crack political minds of the Romney campaign have an answer! Two flacks informed the media that they don’t trust the public polls. Good start.
They have internal polls that they trust. Getting better.
But they won’t tell the media what their polls actually say. Aw…never mind.
A secret poll suggests the Romney campaign is in good shape? And no explanation of what separates this poll from the weight of public polling? That’s weak sauce.
Basically a campaign messaging war must be viewed with an “offense-defense” paradigm. When you’re down, you can explain that the polls are wrong (playing defense), but if you can’t articulate a new narrative explaining why you’re really winning and by how much (offense) you haven’t defused the narrative. Defense is never absolute. No matter what you say some doubt remains in the minds of voters and you need to provide some offensive reason (as in “playing offense” not just “offensive” — this is the distinction Todd Akin doesn’t get) to believe you.
If anything your defensive response only adds fuel to the narrative fire that you’ve got nothing.