Opening Act: Pew Pew Pew

ROCHESTER, MI - OCTOBER 08: Kid Rock attends the Congressman Paul Ryan Rally With Kid Rock at Oakland University Athletic Center on October 8, 2012 in Rochester, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images)
Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images

The Pew poll, which previously gave Obama a larger lead than any incumbent who’s ever faced re-election, gives Romney the advantage by 4. Cue: Panic.

Michael Hastings writes on a lackadaisical Obama team that failed to truly prep for the debate.

The debate kicked off later that evening. Within the hour, campaign officials watching from their headquarters in Chicago were struggling to understand what was unfolding. They couldn’t quite believe Obama was losing. One campaign staffer, informed 20 minutes in by a journalist that the media in Denver had decided that Romney was winning, responded by saying that Romney was actually appearing “testy.” Another official blamed the press, saying that’s what the media said after the DNC speech, too.

At the same time, Democrats are tied in the North Dakota U.S. Senate race. If everything that looks winnable for them broke their way – and it won’t – Democrats would hold all their seats save Nebraska, pick up Massachusetts, Maine, and Arizona, and exit the election with a 56-44 majority. Again, unlikely. But Senate races are often decoupled from presidential coattails in non-wave years. See 1996, see 1984, see 1972. (Don’t see 2004, where some Democratic retirements in the South teed up gains for the GOP.)

Noam Scheiber demolishes Bob Woodward.

Woodward, like any good Georgetown denizen, is scandalized that Obama gave up on bipartisanship in September of 2011 to browbeat Republicans over more stimulus. “Instead of trying to work with Congress, he would attack,” Woodward huffs. “In speech after speech, he pushed for Congress to take up the bill, hammering particularly on the issue of the payroll tax cuts.” But, of course, all this attacking resulted in pretty much the only big legislative victory of Obama’s second two years. The Republicans crumpled. Obama signed a payroll extension worth over $100 billion in early 2012.

Andrew Sullivan’s panic is really something to behold.

As is The Onion’s actually. When things go south for Democrats, The Onion is ready with some positive reinforcement.

“The best part is, it’s really easy to lie,” said Romney, who added that voicing whatever untruths come into his mind at any given moment is an easy thing to do because all it requires is opening his mouth and talking. “For example, if someone accuses me of having a tax plan that makes no discernable sense, I just lie and say that I do have a tax plan that makes sense. I also say there is a study that backs up my plan. See that? Simple. None of it is remotely true, of course, but now we’re moving on to the next topic because people are usually too afraid to ask me straight up if I’m lying, because that is apparently not something you ask someone who is running for president.”

And this is actually an Obama ad. It really is.