Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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A Tightening Race?

Some of the polls indicate that it may be. I have always believed that the race is tighter than the polls suggest--for all kinds of reasons. Are people lying to pollsters in order not to appear racist? I think that’s probably true to some degree, but I wouldn’t hang my hat on it or even hope for it. But there’s also this to consider (particularly if we do get a surprise result and people then are too quick to yell "racism!"): Although it’s true that McCain is going to have to have a perfect storm on the electoral map in order to get to the magic number of 270 (which I admit, at this point, looks pretty bleak) speaking more broadly, Obama is going to have to have a perfect storm in turnout (particularly of the young) and a change in historical party affiliations in order to support the numbers he’s been polling. The thing to remember when considering these facts is that it is easy to talk big ("I’m going to vote, even though I’ve never voted before!" and "I’m changing parties because I’m so mad at Bush!") but actually doing what you say--particularly if we get a soul-searching second look at McCain and a serious critique of Obama--will be harder for many of these apparently "energized" voters to do. And I wouldn’t underestimate the importance of voter fatigue. Who isn’t sick of this darn campaign?

Discussions - 14 Comments

I don't see much reason to be optimistic but I've been incredibly suspicious of the polls as well during this election cycle. We all know that none of these polls are "pure"--they include all kinds of projected assumptions about voter turnout, party affiliation, etc. Most of them are frustratingly opaque about these underlying assumptions--one thing I like about Gallup is their transparency on this score. Still, the numbers look bleak on a state by state basis.....

PS I'm sure I'm not the only one to complain about the new posting system here--I can hardly read the "passwords"!!!

Indeed, I liken NLT's new password system as analogous to GOP efforts to suppress the vote. Next we will need photo ID and proof of residency. At least NLT is consistent with its governing ideologies of non-participatory democracy.

I echo again the dislike the passwords I can'tread. But ren, amazingly enough, we still get to hear from you.
I don't think anybody is on top of this turnout thing, much less early voting and all that. Organization, money etc. clearly heavily favor Obama. The thing to watch, I guess, is whether McCain actually starts to close in most of the polls, whatever model is used. Things don't look good to me. Mostly what you hear these days is angry excuses for voting for O.

Mostly what you hear these days is angry excuses for voting for O.

I would suggest giving them another hearing. Perhaps it's more than "anger", "emotionalism", "reaction" and all the other euphemisms for your right and we are emotional. I believe there are good rational reasons for voting for O (and even more for not voting for McCain - simply leaving it blank or going for a long shot). I am patiently waiting for the GOP cheerleader crowd to begin healing-thy-self. One would have thought after 06 (and the failure that was 94-06) it would have begun by now...

P.S. on the posting system, when you can not read the entire words, simply infer the rest - you will almost always be correct.

Prof. Lawler, from my own conservative friends, I mostly get bitter resignation to an Obama victory, rather than any inclination to support Obama himself. If they are angry, it is with McCain's tactics in the campaign. They never much liked McCain but still consider him much better than Obama, who they think is horrible. As for me, I think Obama is a good guy with bad ideas, lots of political talent, and would be a disaster as President.

The reasons for voting for Obama (at least the ones that make any sense), all involve the regeneration of the conservative movement from a stay in the opposition. Why so confident that conservatives will make any better use of the oppurtunities of opposstion than the oppurtunities of power? People looking for the upside of an Obama victory seem to have this certainty that unified and very liberal Democrat governance will produce a sudden and powerful conservative backlash that sends "real" conservatives into power. I am not so sure. FDR proved that economic incompetence can go together with political dominance. But even if conservatives do win election, what makes them think that they will undo the damage of an Obama presidency? Thatcher was as committed a conservative as anyone, but she was unable to reform Britain's socialized medical system Once created, institutions are very difficult to reform or abolish. This is doubly so for Big Government institutions. The real domestic danger of a big Democrat win is that the country's institutions will be so transformed that future conservatives will be stuck managing a much more institutionally statist, elitist, secularist, redistributionist country, than we have now.

On the comments. If the words on Captcha are unclear, I just type in any old nonsense and click on next. Then when I go to the review your comments screen, I click the back button. Eventually, you'll find a pair of words that you can read clearly.

To clarify, when I said that my conservative friends are angry with McCain's campaign tactics, it shouldn't be confused with the standard media narrative that McCain has been too mean and nasty. On the contrary. They generally wish McCain were more agressive. It is more that they are frustrated that McCain can't seem to paint Obama as the radical they are so sure that he is. I don't think that a lack of agression is McCain's problem, but I note that McCain has been much less snide in his references to Obama, than to Romney. Not that greater snideness would be to McCain's benefit.

One can, and should, be "sick of" McCain's weaknesses in this campaign without being "sick of" the campaign itself. Given that these final weeks are our last chance to keep Obama out of the White House, and that we may not get another realistic chance to win for eight years, I would recommend that we savor the little time remaining in this campaign. Those of you who have a little time to put into the Republican effort should make the best of it rather than complain about how boring or lowbrow it is. Plenty of time for that later.

Why so confident that conservatives will make any better use of the opportunities of opposition than the opportunities of power?

I suppose that it needs to be said again & again that GOP governance does NOT = conservative governance (or in this case "power"). If the failure of 94-06 does not reveal that, I can't imagine what will.

Thatcher....was unable to reform Britain's socialized medical system

And what party was responsible the Prescription Drug Giveaway? What party is in bed with Big and Small business, and has the fiscal clout with the public to sell socialized medicine? The GOP.

Anyone know of a political gambling site, where one can bet on future actions of the parties - I think I could make some easy $$$ :)


Re polls tightening: I have a hunch (or theory) that the polls mislead a bit in this respect: they overstate the true BO lead because what they attribute as a national voter margin (say 6%) is in fact concentrated a lot in 3 states that were never in contest (CA, NY, IL). In the remaining states which really are in contest, the margin is therefore smaller. By my back of the envelope calculation, I estimate the real margin in all other states about 1.5-2% less. In other words, if by E-day, there is a 2% lead for BO, Mc may actually be winning in enough states of the 47 remaining. Just a theory, but I don't think any pollster currently tries to "weigh" the states to correct their raw national result.

I suspect you'd all be a lot more tolerant of the new password system if you were the ones who had to sort through and delete all the spam comments (advertising pornography, pharmaceuticals, etc.) that were coming in every day. Believe me, if the Ashbrook folks wanted to shut anyone up there are much easier ways of doing it.

Re Dennis's poll-tightening analysis: Unfortunately, we can turn this the other way: McCain might be increasing his margin in, e.g., Texas (or other solidly red states) or upping his numbers in blue states by his Ayers' focus. That would explain the national poll tightening and not deny Obama gains.

John Moser, anyone who has poked into the NLT archive knows the quantity of spam that hits you guys is amazing and appalling. Pete, the top swirly arrows will get you new words with less effort than your system. On my computer, getting to the preview page takes a long time. If I did not love the conversation on NLT, my exasperation with the site would stifle me. Those of us who write on the back pages prove our dedication with persistence.

I have "broad SUNSET" below. What a pleasing image.

I wonder how many look at the caller ID see opinion poll and think its not worth my time, like I did last night. Nov. 4th is the only poll I want to participate in.

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