Thursday, October 23, 2008

12 Days To Change: What, Me Worry?

I was wrong, today is my designated day to worry. Problem is I can't find anything particularly to worry about.

I could just be a good Democrat, and be gloomy because we might be winning. Roger Simon had a funny piece at Politico about that on Wednesday, which began: The Democrats are poised on the brink of victory. And they cannot stand it. The news is too good. Something has to go wrong."

There was a glimmer of a possibility with the AP poll that asserted the race is suddenly tied again. But then Nate Silver poohed poohed its likely voter method, and Joe Sudbay at Ameriblog claims that 45% of this poll's pool was comprised of evangelicals, whereas the 2004 voter pool was 23%, and is likely to be less than that this year.

It turns out that even yesterday's "bad news" was wrong. Florida early voting is not going to GOPers, as the NY Times said. Nate Silver again: "Among people who have already voted, Democrats lead overwhelmingly. Zogby pegs Barack Obama's advantage at 27 points among people who have already voted. The New York Times details how Democrats are overperforming, sometimes dramatically, in states where early voting is underway. (By the way, the New York Times' data on Florida is wrong, as it includes absentee ballot requests as well as early voters. According to an Open Left diarist, Democrats have a 24-point advantage among those who have actually voted early in Florida)."

But of course it doesn't take a Democrat to realize that this week's Conventional Wisdom could well be forgotten by next week. And this week's is definitely: landslide ahead. Simon Rosenberg wonders if the race is definitively breaking for Obama. George Stephanopolis writes of GOPers in awe of the Obama ground game. USA Today marvels at early voting for Democrats.

It does appear that Obama is at the very least getting a bump in the polls from the Powell endorsement (for instance, up 11 in the WPost/ABC tracker.) McCain might have been gaining a little ground before that. So there is still time for the movement to reverse again. Of course the problem for McCain is he must make up sooooooo much ground. And the opinion polls by election day will mean less, because of all the people who will have already cast their votes.

And McCain-Palin can't endure too many more news days like Wednesday. Virtually all their coverage was negative. Chuck Todd uncharacteristically talked of his impressions of body language (rather than poll numbers) when McPalin sat for an NBC interview, and he saw tension between them, and between Palin and her staff, as well as general exhaustion from their campaign. What I saw in the bit of that interview broadcast so far was the posture of resignation.

This was a day after Palin flubbed a question by a third grader on the role of the vice-president.

And as Politico noted, the only story that had people talking on Wednesday was about the $150,000 the RNC paid for Palin's clothes from fancy department stores, and the $13,000 in costs for makeup. Some of her small town Walmart patriotic real American women were calling into CNN absolutely livid, some GOPers contacted party hq and wanted their campaign contributions back, and Lawrence O'Donnell suggested that this expenditure is probably not even legal.

O'Donnell also said that late deciders tend to break for the person they perceive is winning. Yet another difficulty for my worrying assignment.

Well, there is one thing. This race is going pretty much as I said it would: getting organized, raising money and Obama getting known in the summer, a great speech at the convention, and after the debates the flowering of enthusiasm, building a great big wave to election day. It seems like I got it right--so that does worry me.

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