Sunday, November 04, 2012

Pre-Election Sunday

  • In a post yesterday, the question was raised whether New York is really a safe Obama state. The reasoning was that the Democratic vote is concentrated in New York City, where it is likely a lot of people are not going to vote because of the devastation there. There are certainly Democrats upstate, but upstate the GOP is more competitive.
Today, anecdotal evidence arrives that the GOP Super PACs may have the same idea: A Talking Points Memo correspondent writes: "Yesterday I saw multiple airings of ads by Crossroads and Restore our Future in the Buffalo media market. It does contain two PA counties, McKean and Potter, but they are small counties with only about 35,000 and 2-1 Republican enrollment. At the approximately $75,000 cost for 1000 points in the Buffalo market, that is some extremely inefficient spending."
But on further reflection, it just seems too far-fetched to be possible. In 2008 Obama carried New York by more than 2 million votes out of 7.6 million cast. Although the GOP is more competitive upstate, that is mostly in counties that have very small populations. And Staten Island, which was plastered by Hurricane Sandy, was strongly for McCain in the last election. So, it looks like New York is still a safe Obama state.
  • After about 30 years of giving a poly sci major's defense of the Electoral College, I've had enough. This concentration of everything in the swing states is really hurting us as a country.  The last candidate to campaign in every state was Richard Nixon in 1960. Even at the time, his campaign managers were telling him he was nuts. He lost a close election. Since then, it's all been about electoral votes, and I think that's been a major factor in the increasing divisiveness of politics.
  • Romney folks are saying that if he loses, it's because of Hurricane Sandy. At least, that's the excuse they'll be giving all those big check-writers. But you know, they might win. Commentors on the linked story question why the "Christian" right sees God's hand in Hurricane Sandy striking New York "Sodom" City, but not in the storm making it harder for Romney to win. We'll see.
  • Steve Benen has an interesting take on Obama's "Don't boo. Vote. Voting is the best revenge." comment that was referenced here yesterday:
The entire line of attack seems rather sad -- it's more forced than sincere -- but the larger takeaway is that the Romney campaign has spent months chasing after every shiny object that catches their eye.
This campaign is going to be about "the private sector is doing fine"! Wait, scratch that, it's going to be about "you didn't build that"! Oh, actually, on second thought, it's going to be about the "redistribution" quote from 1998! Hold on, now it's going to be about "you can't change Washington from the inside"! On second thought, it's going to be about "not optimal"! No, wait, it's going to be about characterizing developments in the Middle East as "bumps in the road"!
This is precisely why I've compared Team Romney to small children playing soccer, running wildly to wherever they see a bouncing ball, whether it's strategically wise or not. There's certainly nothing wrong with a campaign taking advantage of new opportunities, but haphazardly shifting from one out-of-context sound bite to another is evidence of an unfocused candidate in search of an effective message.
Oops, the Bears game has started.

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