GOP Insiders Not Just Playing Rope-A-Dope, Really Believe Polls are Close

-By Warner Todd Huston

One of the pitfalls of listening to the happy talk that many Republicans are indulging about Romney’s sudden momentum is that it could be just that, happy talk not backed up by reality. But is the surge many are reporting for Romney just a rope-a-dope strategy, a last ditch effort to get Romney over the wire? Ramesh Ponnuru says no. They really believe what they are saying.

Of course we Romney supporters don’t want to fall for a mere game of forlorn hope polling. And we are seeing a lot of Republicans citing polls that say that Mitt Romney is quickly closing the gap in this race. Yet many lefty pollsters and their Old Media establishment cohorts are pointing to as many polls that say, no, Obama has this election in the bag. So, who is right? Is this just a game by Republicans who are telling tall tales in a desperate bid to make a last second difference in this election?

Are we about to fall for the worst wool-pulling ever? Or are the Republican pollsters right that the Old Media establishment have this wrong?

Well, we’ll know the answer to that soon, but one thing that National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru wants us to know is that these GOP insiders are not just whistling past the graveyard or employing a cynical strategy to fool their own voters. According to the insiders Ramesh knows, they really do believe that Romney is locked in a neck-and-neck race with Obama.

Yes, they are sincere, says Ponnuru.

“If the liberals are right, then most of the Republican insiders I’ve talked to over the last two weeks are in the flat-earth camp. They don’t seem to be just pretending to have confidence in Romney’s ability to win the election, spinning the rubes to improve the party’s percentage in defeat; they seem to really have confidence: more confidence, in fact, than I remember roughly the same group of people having at this point in 2004. The group I have in mind includes people who are often pessimistic about Republican chances, and mostly people who are outside the Romney campaign. It includes people who read Nate Silver a fair amount and respect him, but disagree with him. Their projections range from a toss-up to a strong Romney win.”

Ponnuru wraps up saying, “I’ve never seen as big a divergence in expectations about a presidential election less than a week away.”

Too true.

All I can say here is that we can rest assured that we aren’t just falling for a rope-a-dope strategy by the GOP. They truly believe that this is an election that is nerve wrackingly close. Because of that, I think we can honestly believe that Mitt Romney has closed this race to a slugfest in the final two weeks of this race.

Finally, remember that pollsters often under estimate Republican results. If the polls are calling it close and with their constant over sampling of Democrats, we may well win this yet.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

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