- - Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The media and liberal pundits had many of us believing Mitt Romney was finished before last week’s debate. Now the polls show the race is tight, but guess what? They still want us to believe Mr. Romney can’t win.

Of course, he won’t be able to win alone. The liberals understand the value of a fired-up grass-roots movement. That’s how they won in 2008, and Mr. Romney can’t win without it. Give the media a couple of days, and they’ll use their phony narrative to try to derail and demotivate conservative grass roots again.

Conservatives, don’t let them. Activists and door-knockers — not candidates alone — win elections, and history shows we can win.

The folks who would like to stick a fork in Mr. Romney want us to forget election history in an attempt to deflect conservatives from turning out the vote. At this point in the general-election campaigns in 1980, 1988, 2000 and 2004, however, the Democratic candidate was winning — in some cases by a huge margin. Do I need to remind you how the Democratic candidates did in those years? We all know how those elections turned out.

Conservatives often rail against bias in the mainstream media, and for good reason. Still, if their candidate has a bad couple of weeks and the polls tighten or flip, they listen to the ludicrous barrage of negative news about their man on the stump.

Folks, that barrage is coming, but conservatives must keep up their confidence level and ramp up their efforts. The Obama machine is beatable, and the Chicago messiah is vulnerable. David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett should be scared.

Remember, John McCain may have lost in an electoral landslide, but he lost the election 45.7 percent to Mr. Obama’s 52.9 percent. We can’t do worse than that. It will only take roughly a 4-point swing from the last election to send Mr. Obama packing.

That is not a heavy lift for a genuinely center-right nation plagued by high unemployment and a stagnant economy.

Here’s why: Mr. Obama’s 2008 vote total of around 70 million votes is his ceiling. He will not receive more popular votes in this election than he did at the peak of his popularity and political power in 2008. People were still buying the “hope and change” thing back then. Mr. Romney’s floor, on the other hand, is Mr. McCain’s roughly 60 million votes. Very few voters who pulled the lever for Mr. McCain in 2008 have suddenly become Obama fans over the past four years. Take the nearly 10 million vote spread from 2008 and start chopping from Mr. Obama’s vote total using the empirical and anecdotal information we have from watching the campaign unfold. This year, expect the numbers of black Americans and young people heading to the polls to drop at least a couple of percentage points each. Turnout is expected to be lower among Democrats generally as well as among other potential demographic groups because of the enthusiasm deficit on the left this election year.

Also, Mr. Obama will get a lower percentage of the vote this time around with the following key demographic groups: independents, Jewish voters, Catholic voters, youth, evangelicals, RINOs (Republicans in name only) and men.

In Ohio (the king of swing states) conservatives already are winning. Mr. Obama beat Mr. McCain there by 4.8 percent in the last election. While the RealClearPolitics average has the president winning by 3 percent, one real indicator — early absentee voting — shows Republicans have narrowed the registration gap in every county in the state. Two of the most populous counties, Franklin and Summit, are on track to narrow the gap of 10 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

All told, Mr. Obama’s numbers are weak and Mr. Romney’s opportunity remains strong. It only takes a 4-point swing. If Mr. Romney can keep articulating a simple message about taxes, jobs, debt, the deficit and the danger of Obamacare — giving specific examples of how he will help American families — he will keep exciting the grass-roots movement and win this election.

People who believe in American values need to get engaged now in talking to their friends, families and neighbors. Knock on a few doors to help defend freedom. Pick up the phone to save America. Head to a Liberty Headquarters or campaign office near you and help turn out the vote. Mr. Romney can’t win alone.

It’s 4 points, folks. We can do it.

Ned Ryun is president and CEO of American Majority Action and sponsor of the national Liberty Headquarters program.

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