Posted on | October 15, 2012 | 22 Comments
“One might have thought that the 2010 mid-term elections . . . would have convinced the Left that they had miscalculated. Instead, they placed their confidence in Obama’s ability to navigate the new environment . . .
“Everything seemed to be proceeding in accordance with those beliefs until Romney dismantled Obama in Wednesday’s debate — a psychological shock that has unhinged the Left, causing them to begin lashing out furiously and rather erratically at anyone who suggests that the dam has broken and that the ‘preference cascade’ may doom Obama to defeat in November.”
— Robert Stacy McCain, Oct. 6
“[I]t is possible to imagine a scenario where Mitt Romney comes into the Oct. 16 debate sitting on a 4-point lead in the national polls with just three weeks to go before Election Day. And if I can envision such a scenario, you know that Democrats must be imagining the same possibility with a sense of Fear and Loathing.”
— Robert Stacy McCain, Oct. 7
As a great man
once repeatedly said, “Don’t get cocky,” but there are good reasons for Republicans to be optimistic with 22 days remaining in the 2012 campaign. Ed Driscoll has previously invoked the phrase “preference cascade” to describe what we may see if Americans wake up to the reality of the SCOAMF’s incompetence. And today Ed Morrissey employs the same phrase:
I don’t think that Obama has lost the election yet, but there is only three weeks to go now. This is when preference cascades begin to materialize, and usually away from the incumbent, who has had nearly four years to make the case for re-election.
Exactly. While defeating an incumbent president is always an against-the-odds project, history would suggest that (a) the debates would be a decisive factor, and (b) the shift toward the challenger wouldn’t happen until fairly late in the campaign.
If this is what we’re seeing now, then Obama’s poll surge in September — on Sept. 29, he led the Real Clear Politics average of national polls by 4.3 points — was in fact a mirage. Whether or not those of us whom Jonathan Chait called “poll denialists” were right about the skewed samples, Obama’s poll lead prior to the first debate was actually an illusion that did not take into account the underlying reality of (a) Obama’s failed policies and (b) his inability to defend those policies when challenged by Romney outside the media filter.
So far, only one poll (Pew) has shown Romney leading by 4 points nationally, and Romney’s biggest RCP lead was 1.3 points on Saturday, but the latest Gallup tracking poll has Mitt leading 49-47, and if Obama doesn’t score a clear win Tuesday, the whole thing may shift toward an outright Romney landslide.
The RCP Electoral College map currently has the race at Obama 201 and Romney 191, with Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Michigan and Pennsylvania in the “toss-up” category. By this point in 2008, John McCain’s campaign was in meltdown mode and had already pulled out of Michigan. For Romney to win any of those four states would almost certainly be decisive: If Mitt wins Michigan he won’t lose Ohio, and if Pennsylvania is even competitive in the final week of the campaign, Romney could win as many as 300 of 538 Electoral College votes.
What will happen in Tuesday’s debate? Both campaigns are “working the refs” with CNN’s Candy Crowley as moderator, Michelle Malkin reminds us of “plant” infestations at town-hall debates and Noel Sheppard quotes Ed Hart: “We will know in the fullness of time.”
Keep watching the slo-mo walkback by Nate Silver, whose Incredible Mystical Forecasting Model™ has now raised Romney’s odds to a precisely calculated 36.7% after having him at 12.9% Oct. 4.
UPDATE: The Insta-Driscol-lanche! Thanks, Ed.
- Oct. 14: ‘Media Credibility Day Is Coming’
- Oct. 11: Benghazi Breakdown: Team Obama, Liberals Now in Full Freak-Out Mode
- Oct. 9: Expect the Unexpected: Why Liberals Suddenly Melted Down After the Debate
- Oct. 8: Liberals Beginning to Realize They’ve Overestimated Obama’s Popularity?