The Punditry About Tomorrow’s Vote Is Absolutely Off The Wall Today
It’s actually pretty entertaining to watch.
A few observations, stream-of-consciousness style…
1. There has never been a campaign operation so openly three-sheets-to-the-wind arrogant as the Obama team. The Axelrods, Plouffes, Cutters, Psakis and LaBolts are full of more bluster than anybody at this level has ever been. These people absolutely refuse to entertain the possibility they could lose this race, at least publicly.
It’s part of a pattern with these people, though. They have believed from the start that the rules of political physics don’t apply to them. No president since FDR has been re-elected with an unemployment rate above 7.8 percent? Doesn’t apply to Obama, because all this is Bush’s fault. Kill four Americans in Benghazi by not giving them security beforehand or backup during the fact? Just shut up about it until after the election and say you’re investigating – when in fact you were in the room when these decisions were made or at least it was your job to be.
And to refuse to admit that you could lose ANY swing states this year, which political pros would almost never do, is something nobody does. You play it close to the vest, you say this stuff is hard, you hedge your bets and say “we’re happy if we win by one electoral vote.” Not these guys – they act like this is going to be some 60-40 race.
If Obama loses, this crew will never work in national politics again. They might as well decamp for Bora Bora, as they’d be the laughingstocks of the nation.
And if things go the way we think they’re going to go, the whole country will look at the spectacle out of Chicago and wonder how we survived four years of the country being run by a team of delusional idiots without more damage.
2. For the Obama team to be correct, moreover, you have to believe that the American electorate is more Democratic than it was even in 2008, when the final numbers showed 39 percent of the voters were Democrats and only 32 percent were Republicans. That was before Obama had a record of producing an economic depression while bowing to every foreign despot in sight and running up $6 trillion in federal debt with nothing to show for it but the Solyndras and Beacon Energys of the world, and that was with John McCain – the worst GOP nominee since Alf Landon in 1936 – running against him.
And yet the polls both nationally and in swing states show a party ID in the sample which mirrors, or at least approximates, the turnout model from 2008. You’ll find party ID’s of at least D+4 in virtually all of those public polls – both nationally, and in swing states.
In none of these polls will you find Obama ahead by more than the skew of the poll sample.
We know that this electorate will not be what it was in 2008. We know this because Rasmussen and Gallup have performed their likely voter screens and found an electorate that is R+1 or R+2. Which is eight or nine points more Republican than all of those D+7 polls.
We also know it because there are hard numbers from early voting, and in none of the states where early voting is most pronounced – Ohio and Iowa being the most prominent of them – is Obama pacing anywhere near where he was four years ago. In Ohio, he’s behind the pace by a larger number than he won by four years ago.
Those are hard numbers. They show that the electorate is not what it was in 2008. And yet the pollsters have operated on the basis of assuming that it is.
Why? For two reasons. First, building a state-by-state likely voter screen is enormously expensive work. The campaigns are spending a million dollars a month to do it. Marist, Quinnipiac, PPP and the rest don’t have those resources, and the media operators who are funding their polls are really just trying to make news with those polls rather than make a living on their accuracy. It doesn’t matter that the poll was right; it’s sufficient for it to generate a number they can write about or talk about on TV.
And the fact that 2008 was an election which had a perfect storm of Democrat party identification makes that cycle’s exit polls perfect – because a D+7 electorate is precisely what the mainstream media wants anyway. It gives them the world they’re looking for, so why not live in 2008 in 2012?
The reason why not becomes apparent, if I’m correct, tomorrow night. Because when election returns show Romney won a race by five or six points that your poll shows him losing by one or two, your credibility starts to take a dump.
The unusual thing here is Rasmussen’s poll. Rasmussen had Romney ahead 49-48 in his final tracking poll today, but he’s not using the turnout model he built for the election in his tracking polls. Perhaps there’s a reason for it, but what it is we can’t explain.
3. The other reason to dismiss the polls showing Obama winning is that the vast majority of them have Romney winning by huge numbers among independents. CNN has a poll out today with a breathtaking D+11 skew – 41 D, 30 R – but has Romney ahead by 59-37 among independents!
Can you imagine an American presidential election in which a candidate can get between 59 and 63 percent of the independent vote and not win the race?
Simply not possible. Even for this magical Obama campaign in which facts, fundamentals and political gravity don’t make a difference, you don’t win national elections with 37 percent of the independent vote.
4. Another reason the Obama campaign’s bluster and the Democrat-skewed poll samples are remarkable is the rally crowds. Obama is drawing three or four thousand people per event, though he did 18,000 in Madison, Wisconsin today (John Kerry did basically the same event there in 2004, with Bruce Springsteen playing then just like he did now, and got 80,000). Romney is getting 25,000 to 30,000 per event when the venues hold those numbers, and he’s turning people away at the doors everywhere.
That’s usually a good indicator of voter intensity and turnout strength. But to listen to the Democrats it’s meaningless. Romney can outdraw Obama all the live long day and it makes no difference.
Well, OK. Another example of how the rules just don’t apply to Obama.
5. Another rule which Obama’s team would have you believe doesn’t apply to them is that the campaign with the more optimistic and positive message is the one which wins. Without question Romney has been significantly more positive in the final analysis than Obama; after all, one of them is talking about voting as “revenge,” while the other is talking about it as “love of country.”
Larry Kudlow, writing at National Review this morning, had a nice take on this…
Parenthetically, in my lifetime, it was Dwight Eisenhower the optimist, Stevenson the pessimist; Kennedy the optimist (“Get America moving again”), Nixon the pessimist; Reagan the quintessential optimist, Carter the pessimist; and going further back in history, FDR the optimist, Hoover and the rest of them the pessimists.
And of course, four years ago, it was Obama the optimist. He was the candidate of hope and change. But he has run such a negative campaign in 2012, right up to the end, that I believe his negativism is translating into pessimism. And that’s not what the beleaguered American people want.
6. Tim Tebow is going to run for something, and soon…
That’s probably enough for now. Our analysis of this race hasn’t changed. Romney will win, he’ll get somewhere in the neighborhood of 52-53 percent of the vote, he’ll get close to or over 300 electoral votes and after the fact it’s going to be very obvious to a lot of people that this was going to happen all along based on the economy, the money Romney spent, traditional electoral math and lots of other factors nobody is admitting.
Maybe we’re wrong. If so, then America isn’t America anymore, and an openly neo-communist president with an atrocious record in virtually every segment of policy, with two major ongoing scandals (Fast And Furious and Benghazi), a lousy economic performance and trillion-dollar deficits gets rewarded with another four years on the basis that to vote against him is racist.
If the country has changed that much, so be it. We don’t think that’s the case. We’re looking forward to a fun night tomorrow and a new beginning for the country thereafter.