Election 2012

Undecided Voters Assume Romney is Being Deceptive

They know he's lying to them, and yet they're still "undecided"? Ugh.

For Republican strategists wondering why “You didn’t build that” wasn’t enough to push Mitt Romney into a lead while “47 percent” is breaking through, Haley Barbour may have answer for you.

Barbour’s firm Resurgent Republic conducted focus groups of blue collar voters in Ohio and suburban women in Virginia who supported Obama in 2008 but are now undecided. Both are swing demographics that Romney is working to win over in order to flip each state from blue to red.

Their findings? Voters are a lot more willing to believe attacks based around Romney quotes than they are on Obama quotes.

“Whenever we showed direct quotes from President Obama over the last few years, voters consistently say that this is probably taken out of context and they don’t seem to hold that same standard with Governor Romney,” pollster Linda DiVall, who conducted the Virginia focus groups, said in a conference call announcing the findings Monday.

She added that while their reaction struck her as “a little bit unfair,” it was nonetheless “American voters’ right to do that.”

It's my theory that Romney and the Republicans have always included this in their calculus. It's the height of cynicism to assume that voters know you're lying but to push forward with more lies anyway as a means of energizing the base, leaning on a dog-whistle or underscoring the "liberal media fact-checker" myth.