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“Devastating, Just Devastating.”

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That’s Andrew Sullivan’s assessment of the latest Pew polling data.

As a “sample skeptic” throughout the fall, I am not suddenly going to start embracing most polls as accurate reflections of the electorate. The direction of particular polls matter, but stick with Gallup and Rasmussen for the best genera idea of where the race actually is, and discount Gallup’s Obama numbers until it switches to a likely voter screen.

There is no mistaking a huge shift to Romney, and one likely to accelerate with the continuing penetration of the scope of the fiasco of last Thursday into the public’s consciousness. The president’s lassitude and his fecklessness are not the sort of things that fade with time, but which rather leave a increasingly corrosive impression that works to connect the various dots of his many failures over the past four years. “Oh yeah,” voters recall, “that’s the guy behind the Stimulus, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, Fast & Furious, Solyndra…”

Not even two excellent debates will do away with the skid marks left by that wipe out. Joe Biden will no doubt do much better than the country expects, and Mitt Romney may stumble himself in two debates. But what last week drove home is that the president is not prepared to be president much less debate, and if that is the case after four years, why would you keep him as your starting quarterback?

Sullivan is right to mirror the panic among the Chicago Gang. The slide will deepen, and many downticket Democrats are going to get caught in the collapse. Thank goodness.

The Washington Post reports that there is no “wave” forming. When you show me the Post story predicting a wave in 2010, and I’ll credit their assessment.

Politico’s Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei have astory out on “the Romney rebellion.” which tells of an alleged family-led shake-up of the Romney team. Perhaps it was this dramatic, or perhaps there was a plan to scale up Romney’s game as the early voting season neared. It desn’t matter. What matters is that when it mattered most –when the biggest audience was watching for the longest time, Romney brought his best game and Obama his worst. Those are the sorts of pressure-filled performances, both good and bad, that set a public’s mind, and once set, it isn’t easily changed.

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