Waking up to Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire:
Nate Silver now projects President Obama’s margin of victory to be two or three percentage points in the popular vote, approximating the margin that George W. Bush achieved in defeating John Kerry in 2004.
In addition, he gives Obama a 91.6% chance to win the necessary 270 electoral votes for re-election.
John Avlon: “The final polls are out and behind the national horserace is a fascinating dynamic — Mitt Romney is narrowly winning independent voters while President Obama is winning centrist voters by a nearly 20-point margin.”
“This is significant because in past elections independents and centrist voters have been largely synonymous-overlapping cohorts, reflecting the belief of many independents that the two parties are too polarized and disproportionately dominated by their respective special interests. But what I think we’re seeing this year is the extended impact of the tea party – a growth in the number of independent conservatives that has moved the overall independent voting block slightly to the right. In turn, centrist voters are more likely to vote for Obama precisely because of the polarizing impact of the tea party and the intransigence of many conservative congressmen when it came to working in a good faith spirit of principled compromise with the Obama administration.”
OK… I’m off for my morning appointments (gee…how do people get up this early?). – Bill
- FiveThirtyEight: Nov. 5: Late Poll Gains for Obama Leave Romney With Longer Odds (fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com)
- US elections: after the campaign, the hush of polling day descends (guardian.co.uk)
- Centrists Embrace Obama (thedailybeast.com)
I’m talking about a nominee so far to the right that conservative populists get their fondest wish—and the Republican Party is forced to learn from the result. Namely, that there is such a thing as too extreme.
But if someone like Rick Santorum gets the nomination in an upset, the party faithful will get to experience the adrenalin rush of going off a cliff together, like Thelma and Louise—elation followed by an electoral thud.
Giving conservative activists everything they want in a presidential nominee would ultimately be clarifying for the Republican Party. It would break the fever that has afflicted American politics turning fellow citizens against one another. It would restore a sense of balance, recognizing that it is unwise to systemically ignore the 40% of American voters who identify themselves as independent or the 35% who are centrist. After all, a successful political party requires both wings to fly.
There’s nothing like losing 40 states to refocus the mind.
Education is a marvelous thing. Education by Experience can be devastating.