The Rachel Maddow Show | September 25, 2012
>>> the newest data on the state of the election in two of the swingiest of the swing states . ohio and florida , new data out today. "the washington post " putting out new numbers showing president obama ahead by eight points in iowa and four points in florida . while the swing state map is what everybody is watching the swing states are the most important to keep an eye on because that's where you wrap up the votes that allow you to win the election, there's new national polling now for what it's worth. there's new polling every day. the republican leaning poll is out with their new national numbers today. their national tracking poll putting president obama up by one point nationally. the gallup tracking poll putting president obama up by three points today nationally. that's in big picture perspective of what's going on in the presidential race . for an even bigger picture perspective on those national numbers, i should point out to you that of the last 20 national presidential polls, of the 20 national polls taken in the month of september, every single one of those it 20 polls shows president obama winning nationally. the range varies from one point up to eight points in some other polls. but 20 straight national polls showing president obama ahead. that's what you call a trend. now whether or not that trend is depressing to republicans or whether it fires them up to try to do better for their candidate, honestly the wisdom is that one of the most consequential things that can happen because of polling like thrks one of the the things that polling can cause is that it can have a fatal affect on fundraising. it's interesting. politico.com had a big picture review of the romney campaign struggl struggles. it included this piece ever since they published it. quote, to get a flavor of the challenge before them, one top donor said that after mitt romney spoke at a fundraising breakfast on friday, a will-mitt win poll was taken at a table of ten men who paid to attend that fundraiser. so at their table of ten men, they asked each other, will mitt win? of the ten men, not a single man said yes. of ten active mitt romney supporters who were actively supporting him at that moment with their money, zero said he will win. and they admit to that at the fundraiser. that's not a phenomenon that can last a super long time. you don't get to sit around at $2500 a plate fundraisers talking about how your guy is going to lose. eventually you're going to stop going to those fundraisers. you will stop throwing good money after bad. luckily for the romney campaign, there is a solution to this potential problem that can be caused by polling. this potential fundraising campaign death spiral. there's a way around it. a new argument emerged about the polling that says that mitt romney is losing the race and losing badly in the new polls, yes, but the new argument on the right is that the polls are all wrong. mathematically. even the fox news poll. they are all unfairly skewed to make it look like obama is winning when, in fact, that's not the case. the new argument on the right is that if you reconfigure all of the mainstream polls to unskew if i them to make them be less liberal, they don't look like this anymore with 20 straight polls for obama . instead they look like this. hey, yeah, that's way better. mitt romney is actually winning all of the recent polls that you thought president obama was winning. the guy who did this it neat trick, the unskewing of the polling so mitt romney wins in every one instead of losing in every one, that guy explained his methodology to the folks at buzz feed saying he created this new romney -always-wins polling site , quote, after reading a " washington post " poll that just didn't look right noting that the polling had sampled more democrats than republicans . sampling more democrats than republicans . hm, that sounds like a reasonable argument. everybody might have reason to be suspicious of the polls showing president obama lead iing if, in fact, pollsters are systemically oversampling democrats when doing their polling. that's not what pollsters are doing. they are not going out and looking for too many democrats for their polls in order to fill some quota to get the liberal result they want. pollsters polling the swing states are finding more people calling themselves democrats in those swing states because there are more people calling themselves democrats in the swing states . it's not a biassed look at the states. it's a look at the states that show the states have a democratic bias. that's why president obama is winning there. the electrorates are leaning democratic. just to create a whole new fantasy electorate to replace the real electorate because you don't like what the real electorate seems poised to do. trying to turn the polls themselves into a controversy. i was amazed when this happened. today it moved on from being a source of skrept conservative psychological comfort. it moved out of those corners of the internet to being the official line of the romney campaign itself. mid-afternoon today, the romney campaign started leaking news that they say their internal polling data doesn't really have them losing ohio at all. they say, yes, yes, the polls show them losing ohio , but their internal romney polls show mr. romney specially tied in ohio . at least they show romney inside the margin of error in ohio . but again, they are not releasing this magical internal polling data. they are saying that's what it says. kind of like the summary of mitt romney 's tax returns. if it's true they have internal polling data doing great in ohio , just in the interest of their donors, shouldn't they release those numbers? this isn't a magic thing. this isn't a hypothetical thing. in a real poll, which we can see the data for, we can see not only that it in ohio , president obama is up by eight, we can see why president obama is up by eight in ohio . that " washington post " poll out today has other data in it including the fact that 36% of all ohio voters say they have been contacted by the obama campaign . that contacted by the campaign number is seven points lower in term ls of the romney campaign. the obama campaign is doing it better. they are talking to more voters in ohio . that's making a difference. the hill today reporting that it's not just ohio . the obama campaign has double the number of field staff as the romney campaign and in a number of key swing state , the obama folks have twice the number of field offices. "the l.a. times " looked at the payroll numbers. they find the obama campaign is employing twice the number of staff as the the romney campaign last month at about the same cost. there are twice as many people working on the obama campaign if you exclude the $200,000 the romney campaign paid out in bonuses to its campaign officials last month, the romney 's payroll number was still roughly the same as president obama 's even though president obama had double the number of boots on the ground . fewer romney staff e but they get paid a lot more. there's a reason president obama is ahead in the last 20 national polls. there's a reason he's up by eight in the latest " washington post " poll in ohio . his campaign is doing more and whichever way you skint at the data, president obama is winning his effort at reelection. now is when you see the signs of desperation. there are two kinds of political desperation. there's the aboveground december separation, inventing a whole new polling method whereby your guy wins all the time instead of losing all the time because even fox news is in on the conspiracy to make it look like obama is winning, that's aboveground desperation. at least it's happening in the light of day where everybody can see it. here's what's happening a little below the surface on the right. this is what underground political desperation looks like 41 days before the election when the republican candidate is clearly losing. this is a web ad just been released by a conservative outside group accusing president obama of being in bed with the muslim brotherhood , which by the way, is trying to take over america . the group skponl for this ad says it's part of a $7 million online ad buy. $7 million, we spoke with this group to confirm the number because we couldn't believe it was that high. they assured us. this ad was part of a $7 million online ad buy. that's just in online distribution for this ad and a number of others like it. they will target voters online. whether it turns up on tv remains to be seen. tv ads are not in the works, but they are talking to donors about that possibility. but honestly, we shall die as mar tars, why mr. president? this kind of stuff usually functions better in the shadows than it does in the high-profile settings where it can be scrutinized more widely. another place for underground attacks associated with a lot of money is from our old friend ralph reid. "the new york times" reporting that reid and his faith and freedom coalition is set to pour $12 million into their campaign this year. andy kroll got his hands on what he was spending his money on. it's labeled as a 2012 voter registration confirmation survey. question one. how do you rate barack obama 's overall performance as president so far? here are your choices. excellent, good, fair, poor, abysmal, undecided, or i consider him an enemy of liberty and the values that built our vaet great nation. a couple questions, there's an issue summary that you have to read. it's the statement of facts before you get to answer your question. here's the issue summary. the statement of facts. the anti-american communist dictator hew voe chavez calls barack obama comrade obama and believes president obama is to the left of himself and fidel castro . that's the issue summary. these are the the facts. now the question. when fidel castro hailed the passage of obama care as a miracle, do you think this is because he is honestly concerned with the well-being of americans or is it more likely that cost troe sees obama care as the fastest way to bring socialism to america ? what do you think? how much danger do you think liberty is in as a result of president obama 's policies, actions and agenda for america 's future? it's how much. you have to kwuquantity fie this. it could be all of these. more serious than the threats we faced in world war ii from naz si germany and the japanese because the attack on liberty today is from our own government. that's one choice. or, more serious than the threat we face from the soviet union during the cold war . or all of the above. or serious but not as serious as the threats to liberty listed above. for all the communist pollsters, that's one of the choices. you were asked if you will pledge right now on this survey to vote on november 6th if you are physically able to do so. you have to fill in the bubble saying you're swearing to do it and you have to sign your name there to verify your pledge. and also please send ralph reed some money. will you send your best emergency freedom saving donation right now? ralph reed is going to spend $12 million this election cycle. that's a lot of postage for hilarious polls. i'm sure ralph reed himself is doing well in terms of the cut he's taking for this surveying that he's doing, but $12 million even minus the considerable fee, that's got to be a lot of money. that's a lot of comparing president obama to hitler and please sign here if you understand it. and $7 million on the obama is inviting the muslim brotherhood to destroy america ad campaign ? that's a lot of money, but this is what the campaign is going to start to look like from here on out. when the campaign gets tough, the campaigning gets weird and nasty and weirdly nasty. joining us is a distinguished senior fellow, bob, thank you for being here. a difficult survey, right?
>> that's a great survey.
>> my favorite part is your choices on how abysmal president obama is, his overall performance. after you get to abysmal, there's still lower choices for you. so underground tactics like this. this isn't quite the racist campaign flier under the windshield wiper in the church parking lot , but it's the digital age version of that. how do you know whether or not this stuff is going to work?
>> the the first thing you need to to know about the gop is this is a party that needs professional counselling. they don't believe in evolution, they don't believe the president was born in this country. they don't believe the polls now. so now they are running these weird ads. but they are in fantasy land. they are going back to an era when these kinds of ads could get some traction. but it's the same old thing. it's presenting the candidate, the democratic candidate as the other. they think it's easier now because barack obama is african-american. so they present him as the other, the friend of the muslim brotherhood , the underlying here is that he's black. but the country has changed. it's not the same. so they are out of touch with what's going on in the country. and the second problem they have is the dem strask issue. the country has changed in terms of the makeup of the population. you know, we don't know what's going to happen with this election. it could still go either way . but if the republican party doesn't change its message and strategies and it's whole message, it's doomed because it can no longer function in what the united states has become.
>> that issue about the legitimacy of the president and trying to other rise him, i found myself in reading the right-wing arguments, it's not just stuff from the blog world. it's definitely relatively respected republican pollsters starting to get on board. it made me start to think about let's say the election goes the way the polls say it's going to go. aren't they laying the groundwork to say he stole the lek? that his election is illegitima illegitimate? whether or not you think he's foreign, he couldn't possibly be a legitimate president for a second term.
>> they are never going to acknowledge he's legitimately president. he can serve the full eight years. they are not going to acknowledge he was legitimate. but the question becomes, can it remain viable as a party? and the real problem that the republicans have, i mean the polls come after the fact. the polls are a reflection of what's going on in the united states . the real problem that the republicans have in this campaign is, they have a terrible candidate. mitt romney is not a good candidate. but potentially even bigger problem is that the electorate does not seem to be buying what the republicans are offering. when romney picked ryan as vice president, i said to my wife, i think romney may have lost the election here. the reason i said that was because by picking paul ryan , it opened up that argument of the republican party as extreme and the democrats just pounced on that as you would expect them to do. and the country does not want those extreme aspects of the republican party , those extreme right wing policies. they do realize that's what got us into this trouble both overseas with the war in iraq and also with the economy. and they are not going for it anymore. the republic no longer believes that the way to help middle class and low-income families is to give more money to the rich. so i thought that mitt romney would pivot to the middle. he decided not to do that.
>> i feel like the country republicans people in the middle and on the left want a republican party that's essentially giving a good fight. so we can have a big hashed out discussion about how to fix our problems. i'll be talking more about that later in the show about something that's been left out of the campaign. but i think even the left is rooting for the republican party to get its act together.
>> because we don't want one party. we want two viable parties.
>> we want to benefit from somebody who is right winning a real debate. we're a long way off. thank you for being here.
>>> florida voters, i have something to tell you about your particular role in the election this year. in order to vote this year, you're going to have to read a slim novel of terrifying power. it's a short book, but