We live in Virginia, which has been named a battleground state, a crucial source of lots of electoral votes that could go either way. So we denizens of that state–sorry, Commonwealth–are being subject to lots of campaigning.
Every time we turn on the television, say, to watch a ballgame, virtually every commercial break includes an ad for Barack Obama. These are just hammering Mitt Romney and are effectively made. To be sure, some of them are ludicrous, repeating long-refuted charges that even liberal fact-checkers have debunked, such as Mitt Romney being responsible for businesses outsourcing jobs to China. One Obama commercial is all about how Romney will raise your taxes! Not on the basis of anything Romney has proposed but simply because Democrats are saying that “he would have to” raise middle class taxes to pay for his economic plan. Obama attacking Romney for raising taxes! But we don’t see any Romney commercials answering those charges or refuting those claims or taking the Democrats to task for their bogus ads. There are actually relatively few Romney ads at all, and they are mostly bland and unmemorable. The one that sticks out the most is a super-Pac spot that consists mainly of elderly small business owners carping about President Obama in a crotchety but not particularly inspirational way.
What the Romney campaign is doing in Virginia is robo-calls. Last weekend, I got four in one hour. Recorded calls featuring Mike Huckabee or someone else exhorting me to vote for Romney. I hate robo-calls. Even when they are on behalf of someone I might support. They are an intrusion, an interruption of whatever I am doing, an annoyance. Let me ask you: Do you or anyone you know appreciate getting robo-calls? Do any of you bother to so much as listen to them completely? Don’t you hang-up as soon as you realize the call is a recording? Do they make you more likely to vote for the candidate who is subjecting you to these things? I have the sense that every time the robo-calls for Romney go out, thousands and thousands of Virginia voters are turning against him. Which triggers more and more robo-calls for Romney.
An Obama volunteer knocked on our door. He was an elderly gentleman, actually, but quite enthusiastic. He said that he had a grandson who was going to college and that President Obama was making it possible. He said that Obama started the Pell grants. Uh, no, my wife explained. Pell grants started in 1965. We, nearly as old as he was, got Pell grants. But that didn’t phase him. He said Romney would ruin America, and we’ve really got to re-elect Obama.
No Romney volunteer has knocked on our door. Does he even have volunteers? Or just paid workers and party loyalists? I haven’t come across any.
I live in a battleground state, but it seems like only one side is battling.