Sunday, September 02, 2012

Election Update: I broke down and watched the RNC on its final night, and had watched the previous night, truth be told. I won't comment but to say that this is not a bounce. The polls have shown a discernable shift toward Mr. Romney for weeks now, as he consolidates GOP support. He has the unflagging support of 90 percent of self-indentified Republicans. The media is playing up the remaining swing voters. 'Tis true, if they broke in large quantities (like 2/3 or 4/5) for the president, then he would win. But it's not happening. The electoral votes show the same thing; those states called toss-ups will have to all break for Obama. The opposite is occurring. We are looking at a trouncing in favor of the challenger. It's waiting to happen. The media, who are out of a job and out of a candidate by stating the obvious, will hide this. I'll write this here, because I'm bad luck on OFB, but this is 1980. Obama is Carter in more ways than one!

What you're going to see in the polls within the next 7-10 days is a bump up in support for Romney to between 49-51%. This is going to be the lead he won't give back. If the events on the trail move the needle, they'll simply reinforce the shape of the race. How well they are played determines whether the win is "convincing" or of "landslide" proportions. That's the part I don't know. Only a major foreign policy event that causes a rally around the president (like an attack on the nation) could change the race. I hope you like Mormons.

The voters are not going to telegraph what they are thinking, either. They won't tell pollsters now that they are voting against the first black president. The polls will be subtle enough to mask what is about to occur. The chattering classes will have plenty of fuel for denial, but it will be evident on the day.

As far as subjective indicators ("trail drama") go, they don't shift the race, they reveal momentum. Exceptionalism is such an ingrained American value that it is hardwired right into the race. The campaign that sounds shrill is the loser. It doesn't cause the loss; it shows you which campaign knows intuitively it's been defeated. Obama has sounded shrill since June; they made their big ad push in early summer, and barely held a lead against an unknown Romney, when most people weren't paying attention. It's like going out too fast in a marathon; the steady guy will catch you when you run out of gas.

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