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February 22, 2012 / Political Fluency

The Article is Correct, the Headline is 98% Wrong

Nate Silver wrote a very good piece that properly frames the recent bump President Obama has in his approval ratings and his now 60% chance of winning on Intrade.

But the headline is a little misleading when it reads “Why Obama Will Embrace the 99 Percent.”

Yes, the 99 Percent is now an expression from the Occupy Wall Street movement that’s entered the lexicon to denote those that are powerless and/or not rich. Although they never aim at the six-figure earning “Aspirational 14%” that are brilliantly critiqued by The Last Psychiatrist – the best cultural critic in America. And Obama is very smart to appeal to the working class voters that Romney underperforms with compared to his vote percentage in each state.

Obama is not embracing the 99%, he is going for the 50% + 1 strategy that George W. Bush utilized in 2004 to secure re-election – bring out the base and make the alternative unacceptable to the swing voters. Sean Trende has analyzed Obama’s 2008 coalition as a narrower version of Bill Clinton’s coalition in his must-read The Lost Majority. With the economy remaining sluggish, Obama’s path to electoral victory will be narrower still. It is very unlikely Obama will win a state he did not in 2008 and it is very likely he will lose some states he carried in 2008.  

A better headline would have been “Why Obama Will Embrace the Rhetoric Aimed Toward the 99 Percent.”


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