Talking About The Future Is Key For Mitt Romney

From William Kristol at The Weekly Standard:

David Winston's newly released poll, based on a survey taken September 12-14, nicely illustrates the challenges facing—and the opportunities available to—the Romney campaign. The poll (with a reasonable D+2 sample) shows a close race, with Obama up 48-46 percent. But it's worth looking at answers to three of Winston's questions in particular, because they suggest the limitations of the Romney campaign’s referendum-on-the-past-four-years, pretend-Bush-didn't-exist, and stingy–with-the-details-about-the-future approach.

Actually, a huge percentage of the electorate claim that the future is the basis of their vote. Winston asked, "Which is the more important question in deciding for whom to vote--whether you were better off than you were four years ago, or whether you believe things will get better in the future?" By 77-18 percent, voters said the future was more important to them. That number is probably a bit misleading—it's in a way politically correct to say you're voting on the future, and in any case your judgment on the future is obviously related to your judgment on the past. Still, this does suggest that a campaign that explicitly looks backward in its appeal won't play well with voters.

Which means Mitt Romney should probably stop saying, as he did yesterday in Colorado, "The American people cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama, and that's why I am going to become president of the United States!" He should say instead, "Paul Ryan and I have a pro-growth, pro-reform, pro-opportunity agenda for America—and we look forward to having the honor of carrying out that agenda over the next four years."  

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