I’ve got to admit, it’s somewhat comical to watch the debate over polls that regularly takes place on Twitter…. [W]hile they’re obsessing over the minute details of often-questionable polling, they’re missing the fundamental story of this election: President Obama is on track to perform at a historically low level among white voters…. Pew… showed Obama winning only 37 percent of likely white voters…. That’s why we’ve heard so much about the vaunted Obama campaign turnout machine. It’s a downright necessity when the campaign needs to mobilize segments of the electorate that, historically, are less likely to show up at the polls….
[T]he Obama turnout machine isn’t quite as valuable in the more homogeneous battleground states--Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire--that make up the president’s firewall…. [I]t’s not just Ohio, Iowa, and Wisconsin that are looking winnable for Romney--it’s the entire swath of competitive Midwestern and Rust Belt states that share demographic similarities, and where Republicans made significant gains during the 2010 midterms. Obama holds a small lead in Ohio thanks to the auto bailout, but the issues driving the electorate in neighboring states are more favorable to Republicans… Minnesota…. Obama is bleeding support from working-class white voters upstate…. Pennsylvania…. The Romney campaign is up with an energy ad attacking Obama on coal and cap-and-trade…. Michigan…. The election isn’t just coming down to Ohio. There’s plenty of evidence that, given Obama’s struggles with white working-class voters, he could face some unexpected headwinds in states that have been in the Democratic column during presidential years since at least 1988…. Romney has a golden opportunity to pull off a Rust Belt surprise on election night.
From the Daily Mail’s Toby Harnden:
Mitt Romney is ahead by a single percentage point in Ohio, according to internal polling data provided to MailOnline by a Republican party source. Internal campaign polling completed last night by campaign pollster Neil Newhouse has Romney three points up in New Hampshire, two points up in Iowa and dead level in Wisconsin and – most startlingly – Pennsylvania.
Mitt’s key to victory: What pollsters aren’t blaring: Rasmussen revealed that for the month of October, its data showed that among likely voters, the electorate is 39 percent Republican and 33 percent Democratic. This comes from a survey of 15,000 people… 15 times the number in a statistically significant poll…. [L]ast week, Gallup — the oldest and most reputable national pollster — released its party ID survey of 9,424 likely voters. And it came out 36 percent Republican, 35 percent Democrat…. [T]wo firms, with huge numbers of likely voters in their surveys, are finding on election eve that there are more Republican than Democratic voters. Why does this matter? Because never in the history of polling, dating back to 1936, have self-identified Republicans outnumbered Democrats on Election Day. Never. Ever….
Why haven’t we heard more about these party-ID numbers?… [O]n the eve of an election, when you ask people if they’re Democrats or Republicans or independents, any real movement is going to be between one of the parties and the independent category. There aren’t going to be many people who call themselves Democrats on Oct. 30 and Republicans on Nov. 6…. [T]hese two surveys provide the best backing for the argument that many polls have simply misunderstood the 2012 electorate and weighted their results incorrectly…. [I]n certain national polls, Rasmussen’s and Gallup’s among them, Romney led Obama yesterday, 49-48. Neither survey uses its pro-GOP party-ID number as a “weight,” but they’re pretty close to an even electorate….
The final POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll of 1,000 likely voters — conducted Sunday and Monday — shows Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama each claiming 47 percent nationally…. Independents break for Romney by 15 points, 47 percent to 32 percent.
The polls showed Romney losing some momentum after Sandy, but this poll — and the Gallup and Rasmussen polls out yesterday — show that Romney seems to have picked up steam again in these last couple of days.
Take the recent NPR poll…. It found Obama’s job approval rating on the economy to be underwater, 47-52. The poll also found Mitt Romney to be more trusted on the economy over Obama, 50 to 46 percent. Poll after poll, I generally see the same thing. Romney has an edge on the economy. That includes most of the state polls…. 75 percent of respondents willing to pick a top issue picked the economy or fiscal issues. I do not know of an election where the electorate was so singularly focused on one set of issues, and the person trusted less on them nevertheless won….
Romney’s lead among independents…. So when I look at 2012…. I see a Romney margin among independents that ranges between 5 and 10 points. Prior to the 1980s, I could see the Democrats overcoming that, but not in 2012….
[T]his is a different approach than the poll mavens will offer. They are taking data at face value, running simulations off it, and generating probability estimates. That is not what this is, and it should not be interpreted as such. I am not willing to take polls at face value anymore. I am more interested in connecting the polls to history and the long-run structure of American politics, and when I do that I see a Romney victory.
Nobody knows anything. Everyone’s guessing. I spent Sunday morning in Washington with journalists and political hands, one of whom said she feels it’s Obama, the rest of whom said they don’t know. I think it’s Romney. I think he’s stealing in “like a thief with good tools,” in Walker Percy’s old words. While everyone is looking at the polls and the storm, Romney’s slipping into the presidency. He’s quietly rising, and he’s been rising for a while…. Among the wisest words spoken this cycle were by John Dickerson of CBS News and Slate, who said, in a conversation the night before the last presidential debate, that he thought maybe the American people were quietly cooking something up, something we don’t know about. I think they are and I think it’s this: a Romney win.
Romney’s crowds are building…. He looks happy and grateful…. All the vibrations are right…. [T]he Republicans have the passion now, the enthusiasm. The Democrats do not. Independents are breaking for Romney…. Is it possible this whole thing is playing out before our eyes and we’re not really noticing because we’re too busy looking at data on paper instead of what’s in front of us? Maybe that’s the real distortion of the polls this year: They left us discounting the world around us.
And there is Obama, out there seeming tired and wan…. He looked like a man who’d just seen some bad internal polling. Romney?… He looked like a president. He looked like someone who’d just seen good internals. Of all people, Obama would know if he is in trouble… he is a finely tuned political instrument…. I suspect both Romney and Obama have a sense of what’s coming, and it’s part of why Romney looks so peaceful and Obama so roiled…
Conservatives have a rare opportunity tomorrow to do something they signally failed to do in the landslide elections of 1972 and 1984: finish the job. Nixon’s victory was vitiated by Watergate and quickly revenged by Woodward and Bernstein, leading to his replacement in 1974 by Jerry Ford, a man who exactly nobody thought was qualified to be president of the United States, probably including Ford himself. Ford led to Jimmy Carter, whose ineptitude and weakness in turn lead to Ronald Reagan, who swept Carter away in 1980 and then smashed Walter Mondale and the Democrats to powder in 1984.
And then, having won a famous victory, conservatives went home and left it to the establishment GOP in the form of another man who never should have been president, George H. W. Bush, to fritter away the fruits of ideological victory and be supplanted by Bill Clinton.
In retrospect, of course, William Jefferson Blythe III was Pericles of Athens compared to Barack Obama, who far more than Clinton has revealed the true face of contemporary American left-liberalism in all its coercive ugliness: a blizzard of executive orders; the deployment of the regulatory agencies that have (in the words of the Declaration of Independence) “sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance”; and the naked Marxist appeals to race and class envy. The most anti-American of American presidents has run the most un-American of campaigns.
And that, by rights, should be it. That it’s not explains the alarm of conservatives whose view of patriotism is that they love their country as it is, not as they wish it might someday be. From Day One of the Obama administration, real conservatives understood the explicit threat of “fundamental change,” whose meaning can now be clearly discerned in Obama’s “revenge” remark; for the Left, “revenge” is precisely what this election is all about. For them and their voting-bloc constituents, it’s payback time: payback for slavery and segregation; payback for poverty; payback for foreign wars; payback for restrictive immigration laws. They’ve long used the goals of the civil-rights movement — which after all was directed precisely against Democrats – and the Vietnam-era “anti-war” movement — which arose in opposition to the foreign policy of the Democrats — as wedges with which to crack the larger social structure and now, so close to realizing the ultimate expression of “critical theory” — that everything about America stinks — they and their media allies are doing their best to swing one last election for Obama.
Mitt Romney is an imperfect standard bearer…. I’ve predicted a Romney victory and even a retake of the Senate, despite the breathtaking tactical stupidity of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, both of whom needlessly wandered into the mine field of social issues (where the media is guaranteed 100 percent arrayed against them) and blew their own feet off. But, should Romney win, he can’t simply assume the vote was a mandate for putting America back to work, and then do his corporate-turnaround thing. If he wins, if his victory is beyond the margin of David Axelrod’s ability to cheat, Mitt needs to understand that a considerable portion of his vote was not only anti-Obama but anti-Obamaism, that it was a repudiation of everything the Marxist Left and its bien-pensant fellow travelers in the media stand for. And, most important, that going forward, it’s a call to substantially reduce their influence on the body politic.
The duel between “progressivism” — which is really just anti-Constitutionalism — and patriotic loyalty to the Republic as founded has been going on for a century. And the record of the “progressives” has been a disgrace, from Woodrow Wilson’s resegregation of the military, through FDR’s corrupt bargain with gangland that helped him secure the Democratic nomination in 1932 over Al Smith, through DNC member Bull Connor’s fire-hosing of civil-rights marchers. A political philosophy that masquerades as compassion and the alleviation of misery instead results in its prolongation, the better to create a permanent underclass of dependent voters (Tammany Hall developed the template more than a century ago), and the modern GOP establishment has signally failed to point that out. But through the miracle of media jiu-jitsu, all these enormities have been rolled off on the GOP, a neat trick that allows Democrats to effectively run against themselves and still blame it on the other guy.
A vote for Romney tomorrow is a vote against all that. It’s not just a vote for president; it’s a vote in favor of reformation of the media and the universities, hotbeds of propaganda and indoctrination, often subsidized by the government, and both in the thrall and in the service of the Frankfurt School “narrative,” of which Barack Obama so clearly approves. It’s a vote for the restoration of standards — the Left calls it “repression” — in our popular culture, for the acknowledgment of the role of religion in public life, for the rollback of the federal leviathan and its constant intrusions into the lives of American citizens.
It’s not enough for the GOP to win tomorrow. It needs to win big, a win so convincing that even the Left won’t be able to explain it away. The definition of victory in war is not a 50.1 percent majority that allows the other side to keep fighting — it’s the battleship Missouri, on whose deck the losing side signs articles of capitulation. The modern Left — the unholy spawn of ’30s gangland and ’60s academic Marxism — must be forced to its knees in surrender.
There’s a honored place in our political system for a leftist party, one that pushes for improvement in areas that need improving, but not one devoted to revolutionary “fundamental change.” A vote for Romney tomorrow is a vote against the socialist elements that seized control of the JFK/Scoop Jackson Democratic party in 1972, and has worked against America’s best interests ever since. A vote for Romney tomorrow is a vote for a restoration of the old Jacksonian — Andrew, that is — Democratic party, a true populist party shorn of its Communist accretions that is every bit as all-American as the other guys. Unless and until this happens, though, the modern donkeys will continue their war on the Constitution, convinced they are on the side of the angels, and taking solace in the late Ted Kennedy’s words, “the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”
It’s up to the electorate tomorrow to show them that the dream is really a nightmare, from which it’s time to awake, that the cause of America always endures, and the work of restoring our founding principles begins anew today.