(One data point. Congressman John Campbell, a frequent guest on my radio show, polled his district this week. It is Califronia's 45. John McCain carried it by 4.7 points in 2008. Mitt Romney is almost 20 points ahead in this cycle. Campbell reports that this sort of result is showing up across the country.)
The nation is simply finished with a president whose rhetoric has never been matched by his actions, and whose performance has removed Jimmy Carter from the bottom of the rankings of the modern president.
The president of course has his passionate supporters. These are the same people that spent last Tuesdaynight declaring him the winner of his second meeting with Mitt Romney, and Wednesday and Thursday trying to infuse the word "binder" with game-changing significance.
They are the same people who spent Friday denying that "not optimal" was not a big deal.
"Binder" --big deal. "Not optimal" --no deal at all. That's the state of the Obama campaign: A nearly Orwellian effort at making some words matter and others disappear while facts are pushed aside It hasn't worked. It won't work..
Mitt Romney by contrast followed two very strong debate showings with a wonderful set of remarks at the Al Smith dinner, the third time in two weeks that he has reassured those just tuning into the presidential campaign that he will be a steady and reliable force for good in the Oval Office.
Romney was ready for his close up. This is the primary reasion behind his surge.
And what a surge. Romney was up seven points in Thursday's Gallup tracking poll, and even the very partisan Democratic polling firm PPP has Romney ahead in Iowa and New Hampshire on Friday. The president is hdidng from reporters to avoid more Libya questions, and when he hand-picks a safe zone --a comedy show hosted by a huge ally-- he still falls on his face, and not just with the "not optimal" comment but with his doubling down on clsoing Gitmo.
The market shudders, the quesiness about earnings, the goofy jobs data --all this and more is fueling the growing, now urgent sense of a need for a big change. A U-Turn. And Mitt Romney is the beneficiary.
Every motorist who gases up between now and election day (especially those in California) should recall last Monday's debate and the direct question to the president about gas prices which he refused to asnwer.