What will tomorrow's voting finale bring?....
If final appeals by the candidates decide the contest, bet on Mitt Romney's love "vote" over Barack Obama's "revenge" vote (here is Obama's exact quote). Romney's love/revenge ad (:36) is a gem. Peggy Noonan detects a rising swell of support for Romney; he is no longer the anybody-but-O choice. Fred Barnes explains why a tie goes to the challenger in most elections.
Bob Costa at NRO sees three purple states as potentially upstaging Ohio's presumed central role in deciding the outcome. Were Romney to win PA's 20 electoral votes, Ohio's 18 EVs would not be needed; Wisconsin's 10 EVs or Minnesota's 10 could partially offset a GOP loss in Ohio. Wisconsin is, of course, Paul Ryan's home state. In addition, not mentioned by Costa, but a possible Romney-Ryan pickup is Michigan (16 EVs), Romney's home state. Significantly, the most accurate Pennsylvania polling organization, Susquehanna, had Romney ahead 49-45, going into the weekend; in major 2008 & 2010 statewide races (2008 presidential race, 2010 senatorial & gubernatorial races) Susquehanna's polling was within one point of the result.
An ace in the hole for Democrats is, frankly, voter fraud. A February 2012 Pew study showed one in 8 flawed voter-roll names nationwide. Pew's assessment found that the rolls contain 2.8 million names registered in multiple states, and that some 1.8 million dead voters remain on the rolls.
Peggy Noonan recounts "how far Obama has fallen" in public esteem, since his "hope & change" 2008 campaign:
Because he had so much confidence, he thought whatever he did would work. He thought he had "a gift," as he is said to have told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He thought he had a special ability to sway the American people, or so he suggested to House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
But whenever he went over the the heads of the media and Congress and went to the people, in prime-time addresses, it didn't really work. He did not have a magical ability to sway. And—oddly—he didn't seem to notice.
It is one thing to think you're Lebron. Its another thing to keep missing the basket and losing games and still think you're Lebron.
And that really was the problem: He had the confidence without the full capability. And he gathered around him friends and associates who adored him, who were themselves talented but maybe not quite big enough for the game they were in. They understood the Democratic Party, its facts and assumptions. But they weren't America-sized. They didn't get the country so well.
It is a mystery why the president didn't second-guess himself more, doubt himself. Instead he kept going forward as if it were working.
He doesn't do chastened. He didn't do what Bill Clinton learned to do, after he took a drubbing in 1994: change course and prosper.
At NRO, Jonah Goldberg notes and second Obama ace-in-the hole: liberal media bias, via selective use of the feeding frenzy. Mainstream media downplays Benghazigate, whilst having in 2000 served up saturation coverage of G. W. Bush's 1976 drunk driving conviction. Ditto pushing Dan Rather's infamous "fake but accurate" letter in 2004, purporting to show that Bush had shirked National Guard duty. Again, in 2008, the savage assault on GOP VP nominee Sarah Palin's credentials, despite Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's having risibly lesser credentials to serve as president. Worst of all was the absurd multi-year frenzy over CIA desk jockey Valerie Plame. Goldberg attributes these to "groupthink" rather than conspiracy, but the impact is the same, regardless of intent.
Two days before the election, CBS released yet more outtakes from Obama's 9/12 interview with Steve Kroft for "60 Minutes"--aired 9/16. It shows more concealment by CBS, of admissions by the president contradicting his public position; here is the ultimate "smoking gun" video clip.
Tucker Carlson & Neil Munro at the Daily Caller predict that liberal bias hastens the marketplace downfall of mainstream media; in their stead are a new generation of digital online reporters who will subject all politicians to skeptical scrutiny.
Historian James W. Ceaser offers four election outcome scenarios: (a) Vindication, a big Obama win; (b) Hanging On, a narrow "O" win; (c) Reversal, a narrow Romney win, with Ds holding Senate; (d) Game Change, a solid Romney win, with Rs winning Senate. None of these posits a Democratic retaking of the House. Ceaser sees Obama's key objective as preserving his first-term accomplishments, which even a narrow win allows him to do. Romney, he writes, can do well under either of his win scenarios, because his goal is also modest, that of reversing Obama's excess & restoring a more moderate presidency. Neither is a transformational aspiration. In this, Ceaser sees the virtue of conservative moderation.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warns that a Democratic Senate will NOT pass Romney's agenda. Joe Biden's last super-gaffe (Freudian) is a lulu....Bret Stephens sees the winner chastened by the task ahead, and limited in flexibility.
Historian John Steele Gordon fears a "nightmare scenario": "O" ekes out a narrow victory, then Benghazi blows up, The One is impeached by a GOP House but acquitted by the Senate (whether D or R), and takes the oath on January 20 with a fatally tarnished administration.
Politics ace Mike Barone sees a big Romney win, 315-223 EVs. George Will sees a 321-517 Romney win. And the "Redskins Rule"--right in 17 of the last 18 presidential contests, dating back to 1937--augurs a Romney victory.
Bottom Line. Looks like Mitt wins solid, but hardly in the bag. I will follow the over-300 EV predictions, as they strike me about right, and add to that a 6 to 8 point popular vote margin for Mitt.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Conservative Politics