This one requires a reality check before proceeding. First, a long list of Democratic Party candidates (per ABC on September 4, five for the Senate and eight for the House) -- including many incumbents, chose not to attend the Democratic Convention in Charlotte because (let's get real) they wanted to put distance between themselves, Barack Obama, and Obama's policies (and still do). Candidate absences from the Republican Convention were relatively rare. Second, six of the most recent seven polls listed at Real Clear Politics as of 10 p.m. ET showed Obama leading Mitt Romney nationally by three or fewer points. Third, state polls have turned in a couple of surprises this week showing Obama leading by just two points and one point, respectively in Pennsylvania and Ohio -- despite Ohio's poll giving Democrats a 10-point sample advantage.
It would therefore seem that you must live in a tightly sealed, Obama-loving bubble to believe that it is Mitt Romney's campaign which is "faltering" and that GOP House candidates would therefore try to avoid being seen with him. Politico's Alex Isenstadt lives in such a bubble (bolds are mine):
House GOP contenders embrace faltering Mitt Romney
You might think Mitt Romney’s flailing presidential campaign would send his party’s congressional hopefuls fleeing from the GOP standard-bearer.
But in a curiosity of a bizarre campaign season, the opposite is happening. Few Republican House candidates have thrown Romney overboard — and many are embracing him.
Even as the nominee is forced to explain his politically damaging remarks about the 47 percent of voters who he claimed are dependent on the federal government, Republican prospects, by and large, say identifying with the GOP ticket is their best path to victory.
Republicans in swing districts need a strong turnout from the base on Election Day. And Romney still claims support from loyal GOP voters, despite the endless criticism he’s endured from the press and party sages.
Republican officials, who have spent much of the past week pouring (sic) over Romney’s poll numbers in the most competitive congressional districts, say they have concluded that voters are unlikely to take out their unhappiness with Romney on down-ballot candidates — even if the GOP nominee collapses even further.
- Of course these candidates are embracing Romney. He's the nominee. That's what down-ticket candidates do. The better question is why so many Dems are trying to stake out positions opposed to Obama's -- and in some cases opposed to how they've voted while Obama has been in office.
- Romney should be wearing the "endless criticism" from the press like a badge of honor. "Party sages" who are soiling themselves over Romney's "47%" remarks don't understand that Democrats brought out facts that many voters don't know -- and many don't like. The surreptitious recording released last week arguably helped Romney more than it hurt him, because most Americans, when they are fully aware of its extent, are appalled at the size and scope of the current entitlement state, and how it has grown during Obama's presidency.
- "Collapse"? This is sheer fantasy.
If Alex Eisenstadt was genuinely interested in communicating the truth about candidates avoiding their presidential nominee, he would be keeping score of prominent Democratic absences from recent Obama rallies. But as we all know, he's clearly not interested in that. He's got a meme -- Romney is "faltering and collapsing" -- and he's going to stick to it.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.