In every one of my phone calls, e-mails, water cooler chats, assorted chance encounters in parking lots and various retail establishments, and side-by-sides at traffic lights, there is only one question between me and my fellow man in these the past few days, to wit: “So, whaddyathink?”
My tiny brain aches. I cannot reconcile the polls that show President Obama with a slight edge with what I think I know about the 2012 political dynamics. The facts that are shaping the election are almost all bad for Obama — starting with the thrashing the Democrats took in the 2010 midterm elections. Two years later, Obama has no new supporters, and he is certain to get fewer votes than he did in 2008. Granted, he won then by a substantial margin, but Mitt Romney in 2012 is much stronger and much better organized than Senator McCain was in 2008. No part of Obama’s coalition is more motivated this time than they were last time. Obama does not have a meaningful financial advantage for his campaign. Voters who vote with their pocketbook — and that is most voters — favor Romney by a substantial percentage. Independent voters favor Romney. Almost no polls show Obama at 50 percent, which is always a bad sign for the incumbent. And Romney is every bit as personally popular as the president. Everything that can be said to compare and contrast the candidates has been said, more than once.
So how on Earth could Obama get reelected? It's simple; he can't. Except that he might. Did I tell you my brain aches? This is an election different from any I've ever witnessed. The polls suggest one thing, but whatever I've learned about politics thus far suggests something else. With two more days to go, the race is actually still fluid. Things could happen that could affect a few votes, and a few votes could be all that one side or the other needs. This election isn’t resolved, and it isn’t over.
Follow me on Twitter at @edrogersdc for more updates from now until Election Day.