OK. It is a thin reed. It is a thin, narrow, short, puny reed, but it is what Republicans are hanging on to. Did I say it was dry, too?
Anyway, here is what we Republicans are saying to each other: The polls are biased. The polls are wrong. The early voting numbers are worse for President Obama than the media will admit. The early voting numbers are better for Mitt Romney than anyone can describe. Voters are afraid to admit to pollsters that they are for Romney because they will be persecuted as racist. The polls that show a Romney lead are the accurate polls. All polls with Obama below 50 percent mean Obama is a sure loser. Dick Morris says Obama is toast. Presto, Romney wins. Whew.
All that could be made into a Dr. Seuss rhyme, but I'm not that good of a writer. And besides, I'm too worried. I was late to believe that Romney could win. But now I believe! Unfortunately, I have to look past a lot of clutter to see the desirable outcome.
So, will anything happen this weekend to change any minds? No. Will anything happen to encourage or motivate undecided or unlikely voters? Maybe.
Again, perhaps I am just seeing what I want to see, but it appears that Romney is closing with more energy. The anecdotal accounts I get from Republican operatives around the country are full of news of high, enthusiastic turnout for Romney and lackluster, low-octane efforts by the Obama machine.
Romney's taunting of the president for suggesting a new “Department of Business” encourages the president's negative stereotype as being clueless about business, and reports of the slow, anguishing response to Hurricane Sandy are not helping Obama, either. By Monday, the pictures could be horrific, and Obama's early grab for credit for a dramatic federal government response to Sandy could come back to haunt him.
Everything matters, but voters are facing a deluge of ads, news, phone calls and smiling faces on their streets and at their doors. There is no way to know what will supply the final bit of progress that will make the difference. It is beyond the 11th hour — all the campaigns can do is everything and hope for the best.