An exchange on the election

Andrew B. writes:

I guess everything will be revealed and clarified by next Wednesday morning. Exciting, isn’t it?

Then we will know who was right.

LA replies:

I found it exciting several weeks ago when Romney started to move up in polls and I began checking out and posting the state-by-state numbers, which was fun.

Now I still feel that the odds are for Obama by two to one or three to one (compared to ten to one which was the way I saw it before the first debate), and I expect the worst, but of course I hope for the best.

At the moment I don’t feel excited. It’s too consequential for that. Maybe the excitement will return on election night when I’m just focusing on the returns and the horse race aspect of things.

By the way, I will not look at TV on election night. I will get my info from the Web. The interest and fun and drama of earlier years of watching election returns on TV has been gone for the last several election cycles, because they don’t give you ongoing returns and numbers, just their final projected results plus their self-important commentary. So I just go on the Web and gather my own numbers.

See my furious reaction to the TV coverage in 2004 and my other analyses of the returns in that thread.

LA continues:

Here’s the thing that fascinates me. The race is a tie according to the polls. So of course I can see the possibility of Romney winning. However, the poll numbers are not my primary index in this matter, but my own intuitions, by which I mean my sense of the shape of things. My sense of the overall shape of events, particularly of the way America keeps moving left, no matter how vile and disastrous the left shows itself to be (e.g. the economy, the deficit, Benghazi, Obama’s open alliance with our jihadist enemies), and of Obama’s extraordinary symbolic importance to the American mind as first nonwhite president, tells me he will not lose.

So, assuming the Republican pundits are correct and Romney is favored to win, the contest in my mind is between that view, which is based on numbers and projections, and my subjective sense of the shape of events. I greatly hope that I am wrong, and if I am wrong, that will be very interesting, as well as wonderful, in that America will have turned out of the White House a man who is universally celebrated (outside the American right) as a world-historical, epoch-making figure.

Andrew B. replies:

I agree with your intuitions and with the odds you are giving. Romney has got a shot, but everything has got to go right for him. It’s happened before. See the 2000 election.

The Romney bounce a few weeks ago was like a delayed convention bounce for him, just like the time of panic on the right in September was simply a reaction to Obama’s convention bounce the the 47 percent tape. The race is essentially back to where it was in the May-August timeframe.

Gallup has noted in the past that convention bounces often reveal the true state of the election because they act to reveal the preferences of soft and marginal voters who otherwise don’t give much thought to what is going on until election day.

Part of the fun and drama of years gone by up until the time of Clinton is that the parties were not as polarized then, so although we were pulling for one side, we could live with the result even if a man like Mondale somehow won. When one side is now evil, its more difficult to enjoy the drama and not be consumed by concern.

When I told my in-laws back at Memorial Day that I was pretty certain Obama would win, I put it to them that it is better to be happy with an unexpected result than disappointed and caught with your pants down over a forseeable but discounted result that you failed to plan against.

- end of initial entry -

Giuliano D. writes:

LA wrote: “By the way, I will not look at TV on election night. I will get my info from the Web.”

Has anyone fully digested yet what a significant medium the Internet has become, what a dramatic revolution in information delivery and distribution?

Gintas writes:

If Obama wins: The search for our St. George continues in the scorching desert of invincible Republican stupidity.

If Romney wins: Now we have to fight liberals from a logistical base in the scorching desert of invincible Republican stupidity. There is a logical possibility that Romney will uncloak himself as a hard-right reactionary, putting the sword to liberalism and routing them all. Logically possible, but not likely. We keep searching for our St. George.

May the Lord save and preserve us! St. George, help us! (It is All Saints Day tomorrow.)

Mark Jaws writes:

I am with you, Don Lorenzo, with your 3-1 odds on Obama. My reasoning has nothing to do with Obama being the first non-white president. I think that novelty has long worn thin—even among blacks. My anxiety is based on something more tangible and more threatening—the human tidal wave of non-white, welfare-dependent immigration which has altered forever the electoral map of America, thus making it possible in the very near future for a Democratic candidate to win with as little as 33% of the white vote.

Thus the real question regarding our future has nothing to do with this election—but what will white conservatives do when the progressive government goes belly-up on our debt and institutes authoritarian measures, resulting in the confiscation of much of our wealth and property.

Ed H. writes:

We are now quibbling about where Romney will find the three or four electoral votes to allow him to squeak by. The GOP is wringing its hands, second guessing every poll, hoping against hope. Where was the GOP establishment when it gave away my home state, California, to the Left without a fight? That’s 55 electoral votes and 25 million popular votes just given away. In 1962 California was 92 percent white. It produced Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, John Wayne, etc. Did any GOPers stop to think that their brand of conservatism was possible only with a white European demographic? While he was posturing during the Cold War, did Ronald Reagan, signer of the 1986 amnesty, ever stop to think that the real socialist threat wasn’t Soviet ICBMs coming in over the North Pole at 17,000 mph but rather 20 million Mexican peasants walking across the southern border pushing baby strollers? As recently as 2010 the GOP allowed the University of California to implement the Dream Act without opposition. University of California is massively dependent on federal grant money. Lawrence Livermore Labs props up the entire system. Did any GOP types think of letting UC know who is calling the shots by demanding that federal grants and contracts be withheld from LLL until UC was in compliance with immigration law? How about sanctuary cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, how long would these places continue as hot beds of Third World socialism if they had to decide between federal highway and the blessing of millions of illegal aliens residing inside the city limits? Sorry, I cannot be too sympathetic with the GOP’s plight at this time. It’s been a long time in the making. They did it to themselves and continue doing it. They have learned nothing.

Andrew B. writes:

Somewhat off-topic, but a hoot to read: RCP’s first attempt at election forecasting, posted on November 6, 2000.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 31, 2012 04:15 PM | Send

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