RUSH: The left, folks, is still discombobulated over Obama's debate performance. The cover of The New Yorker is an artist's rendering of the debate setting from behind. Romney at his podium on the right, an empty podium and an empty chair on the left where Obama should have been. Saturday Night Live -- I didn't see it, but I got an on-the-spot report from Mr. Snerdley. Saturday Night Live totally dumped on Obama and dumped on the media upset about Obama, totally made fun of Obama here. Obama had to go to Hollywood. Would somebody explain something to me? California's in the bag for Obama, is it not? California's in the bag. I mean, there's no reason to go out there, spend any money there.
By the same token we're told that Obama raised a record amount of money in September, and furthermore we're told that he might end up being the first billion-dollar candidate. So why go to LA last night? I mean, it's a $25,000-a-plate fundraiser, Wolfgang Puck's new restaurant. Why go? He went out, he assured these Hollywood types, (imitating Obama) "Everything's cool, everything's fine. I know what I'm doing. I can't do it every night like you do. I can't act every day like you do." It's what he told 'em. I got the sound bite coming up. But why even go? They could mail the money in. Are the Hollywood people so important you gotta go meet them personally or they will abandon him? Something weird about it.
By the way, Gallup, which is being sued by the Department of Justice, which means it's under the thumb, under the threat of the government, has Romney with a postdebate bounce of five points. Among registered voters Obama and Romney are tied at 47%. The Politico Battleground poll is out. I've always quoted the Battleground poll to you.
This is Ed Goeas and Celinda Lake. Ed Goeas is the Republican; Celinda Lake is the Democrat. They poll their respective samples, they put 'em together, and end up with the results. Now, in 2008 Obama won the independent vote over McCain by eight points, 52-44. This morning, the new Battleground poll is out. Mitt Romney is up by 16 in independents over President Kardashian. Sixteen points, 51 to 35!
What a difference after debate watched by whatever, 65 million people, that can't be spun by the media, that Obama can't be protected from. By the way, I should point out, too, that 85% of the people in the Battleground poll (which shows Romney up by 16) were sampled and polled before the debate. Now, we are at October the 8th. This is when traditionally the polling starts -- historically, anyway -- becoming a little bit with different from what it has been prior.
This is when the race starts to tighten.
This is when the race starts to be portrayed a little bit more honestly than it has in prior polls, particularly if you go back to last spring and in the summer. Now, this independent result today from the Battleground poll, that's a 24-point swing among independents since 2008. And what is the independent percentage? The independents make up anywhere from 15 to 20% of the electorate; some people say even more.
Now, even with this, even with Romney up by 16 in independents, the Battleground poll still has Obama up 49-48, which I don't pretend to understand. If the independents are 15, 20, 25% of the vote and Obama's still up a point. Gallup, registered voters, has Romney with a five-point debate bounce at 47-47 now. Pre-debate it was Obama 50-45. Now it's 47-47 with another debate coming up. It is taking on a different face now.
There are different reactions taking place. Have you heard all the excuses being made for Obama? Folks, this is funny. It is great. Here are some of the headlines in the liberal media -- I mean, "the media" -- since Obama's debate. From The Atlantic: "Snippy Obama, Whose Heart's Not in It." From The Daily Beast, which is Newsweek, Tina Brown: "Does Obama Even Want to Win the Election?" From The Observer: "Has a Disillusioned Barack Obama Lost the Will to Win?"
Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post: "Is Obama Overrated as a Candidate?" At least that's how he starts. (By the end of Cillizza's piece he pats himself on the back and says: Never mind! Obama is still the best candidate in the history of the world.) Byron York of the Washington Examiner has noted this phenomena and has written about it: "Liberals Fret: Is Obama Bored? Does He Even Want a Second Term?"
You know, he only stays in jobs a maximum of four years. After four years Obama gets bored and wants to move on, they think, so he may just not like the gig. He likes the presidency but he doesn't like the work. He doesn't like people. He doesn't like schmoozing with them; he really didn't care. John Kerry is now being blamed, too. They're dumping on him. Lousy debate partner!
You know why? You know why they say Kerry is to blame?
Because Obama chose Kerry to portray Romney in the debates but Kerry wants to be secretary of state. And because Kerry wants something, it is said that he went soft on Obama in debate rehearsals, because he didn't want to make Obama mad. Now, if we're dealing with somebody that petulant, if we're dealing with somebody that childish and immature -- which might well be the case. But they're asking us to believe a lot here.
"Yeah, Kerry went soft on him in the debate prep 'cause he wants to be secretary of state. He didn't want to make Obama mad." What are we talking about here? We're talking about reelection. We're talking about rehearsing. Romney, on the same note, has Rob Portman, the Republican from Ohio, portraying Obama. And apparently he is just being mean and interrupting.
It's gotten to the point where Romney said, "Get him out of here. I'd rather face Obama than Portman!" The point is they're doing the proper kind of prep. They're telling us that Kerry is taking it easy 'cause he doesn't want to blow his chance to be secretary of state. By the way, in this Battleground poll which shows Obama still up by one even though he's down 16 in independents? The bad news for Obama in the poll is that in most of the swing states polls he's not hitting 50.
Actually I think the worst news about this poll is that 85% of the sample was polled before the debate. (interruption) That's true. Obama doesn't want to prepare for the debates. It's a "drag." He doesn't think he should have to. It's beneath him to even have to debate these issues. He's so above everybody else. It's just beneath him. Plus, he doesn't like Romney much anyway, which is one of the well known but untold stories here.
Okay, gotta take a brief time-out. When we come back, audio sound bites of all the excuse making for Obama and his miserable debate performance.
RUSH: Actually, Rasmussen says that the percentage of votes who identify themselves as independents is 29.2. So almost 30%. This is the latest poll by Rasmussen which was August 1st: 37.6% Republicans, 33.3% Democrat (a margin of plus four), and 49% independent. So if Romney's up 16 points (51-35) among independents, then he's up 16 points among 30% of the electorate. Of course, if all this is right.