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Morning Jay: Will October Be a Bad Month For Obama?

6:00 AM, Oct 5, 2012 • By JAY COST
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Second, the mainstream media this month will lack the ability to control the agenda, at least to the same extent that it has during Obama’s term. The modern press is at times sycophantic of the incumbent president and at other times trying to mimic Woodward and Bernstein; it all depends on which party is in office. With a Democratic president cut from the same cloth as they, many journalists have done everything in their power to set the national conversation in ways that favor Obama. But this month, with four debates in four weeks, their ability to focus on trivialities like the “war on women,” Romney’s “bungled” response to the Middle East, his “gaffes,” and so on, will be substantially diminished. The debates are real news – and if the GOP ticket scores clean wins in them, journalists really will have no choice but to admit it.

Third, the GOP fundraising machine is set to be deployed this month. As of August 31, the Romney-Ryan campaign, the Republican National Committee, and the Restore Our Future PAC had a cash-on-hand advantage of some $61 million over Obama-Biden, the Democratic National Committee, and the Priorities USA super PAC. Moreover, this broader GOP organization has outraised its Democratic counterpart in June, July, and August.

And yet the GOP allowed the Democrats to outspend it on television during this period. But that will not be the case in October. At the very least, Republican advertisements will match Democratic ones – and it is quite possible that the GOP will outmatch the Democrats on the airwaves.

So, contrary to the conventional wisdom, Obama enters the month of October with substantial problems. And with just a 3-point lead in the polls, he really cannot afford a bad month.

Jay Cost is a staff writer for THE WEEKLY STANDARD and the author of Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens the American Republic, available now wherever books are sold.   

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