Skip to main content

Election Day Minus FIve: Chaos

Thirty-two years ago, political apathy was so rampant on the campus of my alma mater, Concordia College in River Forest, Illinois (now Concordia University Chicago) that supporters of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and John Anderson had to join forces to promote student political involvement under the organizational title "Voters Organized to Elect SOMEBODY" (V.O.T.E.S.).

That ambivalent moniker sums up the condition of the 2012 race five days out from Election Day. One thing seems certain five days out from what may be the most important presidential election in modern history: either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is going to win.

Well, one other thing: either Obama or Romney is doomed, and totally without hope. In fact, either Obama or  Romney have such an overwhelming advantage in the polling and other dynamics of the race that victory is simply and obviously inevitable.

Gallup will begin polling again today. Rasmussen has continued to show Romney up by a couple of points. The RCP average still shows a tie- but something occurred to me today that offers a more benign explanation (for a Romney supporter such as myself) than a sudden change in momentum for the president's apparent from that fact- an explanation pointed to by the fact that a great many people still see the momentum going Romney's way.

The president's campaign, it should be noted, doesn't.

The explanation is simple: for the last two days, the RCP average hasn't included the storm-suspended Gallup poll, which has been consistently showing a bigger Romney lead than the others. Naturally Romney's average showing has deterriorated; a consistently solid pro-Romney result hasn't been included for the past two days!

There are other reasons not to lose heart- not the least of which being what may be the reversal in voter opinion which will prove decisive on Tuesday. I would have thought this unthinkable before the debates, but voters like Romney personally better than they like President Obama.

I think I've noted before that some commentator or other- I forget who- predicted that given Obama's record, the only way he could possibly be re-elected would be to run a campaign so negative and divisive that he couldn't possibly expect to govern even if he won. I'm afraid that commentator (whoever it was) was right. If POTUS comes out on top next Tuesday, it will be by a whisker- and he can kiss good-bye any delusions that Republicans will suddenly become compliant because the people have spoken. The Obama campaign has been so ugly and so dishonest that if he wins, the gridlock in his second term is guaranteed to make that in his first look like a support group on Quaaludes.

But more to the point, his negative campaign has squandered his most important asset with the voters: his likability. It's not just that his fabled 2008  "cool"is gone; he's developed a serious case of nasty, and the voters don't like it.

But I digress. You will learn nothing from the individual state polls other than that Obama either has a comfortable lead in Ohio, or that Romney is breathing down his neck there- or even leading. Paul Ryan's solid-blue home state of Wisconsin is either in play, or not. President Obama's alleged "electoral fire-wall-" the grouping of large, solid blue states thought to be Romney-proof and having enough electoral votes to theoretically deny Romney the 270 he needs to win- is either holding, or the electoral map is wide open.

Iowa, where this blog is being written, is a swing-state in which Obama has a slight lead, or else a large lead, or else Romney is ahead by a nose, unless it's tied.

Even the pros don't know what to believe. All one can do is to watch the results, give more credence to consensus than to anomaly- and hold on to your hat. 

I do not say that the polls and the commentators can't tell us anything about what's likely to happen, and I still think we'll know by Sunday night. Even Obama supporters- for all their bluster- seem to concede that the independents favor Romney. And remember that the Democratic early-voting effort in Ohio seems to have been a flop, while the Republicans claim to have a ground game there even more formidable than their fabled 2004 effort.

Another thing that should be borne in mind: the polls with the larger samples tend strongly to favor Romney. As the survey linked to in the last sentence shows, all national polls it sampled with 1000 or more respondents favored Romney, while all polls with fewer than 1000 respondents either favored Obama or were tied.

But I could be wrong. This could end up being a wild race that may well by no means be over when we get up next Wednesday morning.

Or Thursday. Or Friday. Or for a lot of mornings to come.


Popular posts from this blog

Jan Chamberlain's rhetoric is too strong. But the stand she has taken is right.

I do not share the religion of Jan Chamberlain. I don't even pray to the same god. But I can't help but admire the integrity of the woman who quit the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rather than sing at Donald Trump's inauguration.

Ms. Chamberlain, like me, voted for Evan McMullin in November. Like me, she holds no brief for Hillary Clinton or her agenda. But she cannot, as she put it, "throw roses at Hitler."

As I've said before, comparing Trump to Hitler strikes me as harsh. I believe that Trump is a power-hungry narcissist who exhibits disturbing signs of psychopathy, like Hitler. Like Hitler, he has stigmatized  defenseless minorities- Muslims and undocumented aliens, rather than Jews- and made them scapegoats for the nation's troubles. Like Hitler, he has ridden a wave of irrational hatred and emotion to power. Like Hitler's, his agenda foreshadows disaster for the nation he has been chosen to lead.

But he's not going to set up death camps for Musli…

Neither Evan McMullin nor his movement are going away

Evan McMullin has devoted most of his post-college life- even to the point of foregoing marriage and a family- to fighting ISIS and al Qaeda and our nation's deadliest enemies as a clandestine officer for the CIA. He has done so at the risk of his life.

He has seen authoritarianism in action close-up. One of his main jobs overseas was to locate and facilitate the elimination of jihadist warlords. Evan McMullin knows authoritarians.

And when he looks at Donald Trump, what he sees is an authoritarian like the ones he fought overseas. He knows Donald Trump. After leaving the CIA he served as policy director for the Republican majority in the United States House of Representatives. He tells about his first encounter with The Donald in that role in this opinion piece he wrote for today's New York Times.

In fact, when Mitt Romney and Tom Coburn and all the others who were recruited to run as a conservative third-party candidate against Trump and Hillary Clinton backed out,  McMulli…

Huzzah! Once again, 45 does something majorly right!

First. he appointed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and now 45 has- at long last- initiated a sensible space policy, with a plan to promote a "rapid and affordable" return to the moon carried out by private enterprise by 2020.  Afterward, it will be onward to Mars and beyond.

This is a great idea for three reasons. First, private enterprise is the future of space exploration, and as far as I know we will be the first spacefaring nation to put most of its eggs in that basket. Second, it's nice to have eggs! Since the Obama administration canceled the Constellation program to develop the Ares booster and the Orion crew vehicle (though it subsequently reinstated the Orion part of the program), the United States has been twiddling its thumbs while China has taken great leaps toward the moon and other countries- including Russia, India, and Japan- have to various degrees intensified their own space programs. It would be both tragic and foolhardy for the nation which first…