You know what Republicans on the ground think when they look at Mitt Romney?
"Please don't blow it." They think President Obama can't win but Mr. Romney can still lose. So they're feeling burly but anxious, hopeful yet spooked.
They see Mr. Obama as surrounded by bad indicators—bad polls, bad economic numbers, scandals. They see a grubbiness in the administration now, a vacuity. When the White House sends out spokesmen to make the case for him on the Sunday morning shows, it's campaign operatives, like David Plouffe and David Axelrod. They more or less spin how he'll win. Where are the heavyweights, the cabinet secretaries, the great men and women of the Democratic Party? Hiding? Unable to make the case? Not trusted to make the case? Or are the political guys the only heavyweights in the administration?
I certainly expect the election to be close -- a replay of '04 and '00 -- but right now 538 has Obama with a better than 60% chance of winning and Intrade's around 54%. So the idea Obama "can't win" is obviously crazy (as is the notion that he's surrounded by "scandals").
But Nooners is right. This is what Republicans think, and what they've been telling themselves for the past four years. Black Jimmy Carter, lightweight, radical, most liberal, extremist, socialist, loser and on and on.
I've asked the same question before, but -- what happens to Republican brains if Obama wins? I know they'll blame the media, but this time there's no ACORN.