The election is tomorrow. The entire buildup to this point has been somewhat surreal. The pollsters tell us that the election is too close to call, but that does not conform with reality.
It is easy to distort reality based on predispositions and desires. For that reason, I state mine. I have no interest in Romney winning other than that he is not Obama. I am not a Republican, although I generally believe that their ideas are less bad than those of Democrats. In a real sense, I am what you might call an "equal-opportunity hater" with respect to politics. I don't want to be ruled by either party, or anyone else for that matter.
Why does it seem impossible to call this race? My eyes tell me things either that pollsters cannot see or that people are unwilling to tell them. Here are a few of them:
• The country is stuck in a recession which Obama has made worse. After four years, he has no plan to remedy matters.
• Foreign policy, arguably less understandable to voters, is disintegrating in front of their eyes. Benghazi is exploding all over Obama and is something he is unable to blame on someone else.
• More people are on food stamps and welfare than ever before. People sense that Obama is not displeased with this condition.
• Incomes are falling, and unemployment is not. College graduates cannot get jobs commensurate with their education. Despair is everywhere.
• Net worth is falling, and prices are rising. People's standard of living has declined for four straight years.
• Retirement is no longer an option for large segments of the population.
These are relatively objective measures which people see and feel.
Facts matter, especially to those concerned about the country, their futures, and the futures of their grandchildren. The electorate may not be the brightest, as H.L. Mencken always reminded us. But they do feel pain and do not relish it. Cats who jump on a hot stove are smart enough never to jump on a stove again. That may be the driving motivation in this election.
Even the so-called parasite class (dependents living at the expense of others) understand what is in their best interest. They will vote for whoever promises to extend their benefits. Yet the so-called parasite class is much smaller than the class who receive government assistance. Many are there not by choice, but by circumstance. Some have never been in this position before. They want a job again, where they can have a purpose, a role, and respect. Most who paid into the social insurance programs understand that these programs are not sustainable. They have been offered a choice that allows them to retain their current benefits or to pretend there is no problem. They will vote to protect what they have.
Given these obvious conditions, it doesn't seem that this election should even be close. The country is not that far gone! Arguably, Barack Obama has surpassed Jimmy Carter as the worst president of anyone alive today. Only the Kool-Aid drinkers and the infatuated mainstream media are so far gone as to not understand that.
There is not one person who voted for John McCain last time who will switch and vote for Obama this time. There are many previous Obama supporters who plan to vote for Romney. Republicans who stayed home four years ago rather than vote for McCain are not going to stay home again. Many will vote not because of Romney, but in spite of Romney. They want no more of Obama and his policies.
Crowd comparisons between Romney and Obama reveal Obama as a fad whose time has passed. There is energy and enthusiasm in the Romney campaign. There is anger and pettiness in the Obama campaign. Early voting suggests a tsunami for Romney, at least when compared to the corresponding numbers four years ago. Women are breaking for Romney. States that were never thought to be in play by pollsters suddenly look even or even trending toward Romney. Pennsylvania and Michigan are two examples. Nothing is moving toward Obama. Everything is moving away.
Newspaper endorsements reflect the mood of their readers. The Des Moines Register endorsed Romney. Ditto the NY Daily News and many other papers who routinely endorse Democrats. Ben Shapiro reports:
According to the University of California, Santa Barbara American Presidency Project study of the top 100 newspaper editorial endorsements, Mitt Romney has seen a vast wave of switches from 2008 Obama endorsers. Obama, meanwhile, has seen only one newspaper that endorsed John McCain come around to endorse him. At the same time, many newspapers have also switched from Obama to "no endorsement."
There is not one constituency group that reasonably can be seen increasing its support for Obama. Hardcore Democrat groups are uninspired. Turnout among them will be lower. Obama will win these groups by overwhelming majorities, but the groups will be much smaller this time around. Doug Rosspresented some interesting results that support my contentions. A survey commissioned by the Washington Post is the source of these numbers. Mr. Ross's summary included the following (my emphasis):
Overall, the Post-ABC poll found that 13 percent of 2008 Obama voters have decided to back Mitt Romney.
Survey results are summarized in this table:
Michael Baronehas predicted that Romney will win big (315 electoral votes). I agree with Mr. Barone, although I have no feel for the number of electoral votes.
This survey, Barone, and other obvious signs indicate that there is little doubt as to what will happen tomorrow. Romney is headed for an easy win, a big win.
The media will utilize their Claude Rains defense -- "shocked, shocked" at the "unexpected" outcome. Pundits will blame the results on late-breaking voters all going toward Romney. They will dissect the data in the most profound but useless ways. All of it will be for the purpose of maintaining what little credibility they have left.
Reality has been apparent to anyone willing to look. Even the Obama campaign sensed their problem. In order to win, they had to make their opponent appear worse than their candidate. Their only hope was to portray Mr. Romney as some uncaring, evil monster. That portrait vanished after the first debate. Romney crossed the only threshold that was necessary -- he was a living, breathing human being, not a monster.
And, by the way, he was caring and competent.
This country may be down and its people hurting, but it is not out. People understand that conditions need not be this way and they are about to impose their remediation on Washington. I hope the Romney team is worthy of this support.
Sleep well tonight and look forward to the results rolling in tomorrow evening. I don't think it will be necessary to stay up late to know the outcome. Only hardcore political fanatics will do so.
But don't get too cocky. Rasmussen, whom I think is the best pollster in the lot, has yet to provide definitive numbers.