The Ironic Election



It comes down to numbers. And in the final days of this presidential race, from polling data to early voting, they favor Mitt Romney. Karl Rove in the WSJ.

This is what happens when people who don’t know the facts can vote. An after election tweet from a surprised – shocked, really –__fill in the  blank__ completely missing the irony of not knowing that Obama had been leading in the polls for weeks.

….BTW,  one of the more confusing election statistics is the reported 3M conservative voters who did not show up and vote for Romney. I have no idea how to approach understanding this situation. from a couple of emails from an Conservative acquaintance.

Looking at the fantasy map, above, seeing how many states Romney had to win to get the Presidency  I realize – even more – how difficult a time Romney was going to have to win the election. But every strong Conservative I talked to – by email, usually – was surprised by the result. Most were astounded. Stephen Colbert often remarks that Facts have a liberal bias. and that was a bias that the Conservatives refused to see. Romney and Ryan were promoted as numbers guys, promoted as the nation’s saviors  because they were realists. In the end, they were wrong.

They were wrong because they didn’t – or couldn’t – see the actual numbers. They had, along with their fellow Conservatives, lost track of reality.

I have seen this before; in 1966, a Republican actor, Ronald Reagan, ran against two-time governor Pat Brown for governor of California. As the election got close, all the polls showed Reagan leading but my dad, who was a close friend of Brown and one of his biggest fans, thought Brown was going to win in a landslide. In 1966, polls weren’t as accurate as now, but they were accurate enough so that it was obvious to me that Reagan was going to win, but my dad was only looking at the crowds from inside the bubble. This election, the Conservatives were looking at the data from  inside the bubble on a national scale.

That is better, I guess, than Peggy Noonan who thought Romney was going to win because he had more yard signs. Yard signs, it turns out were not the way to predict an election and I would have thought Noonan would know that. But I think that the right was predisposed to ignore all the signals.  Not just the polls but the advantage Obama had in thousands of Obama for America ground volunteers (a Community Organizer, after all, should be pretty good at organizing communities).  Not just the volunteers, but the increasingly large demographic advantage. Not just the volunteers and demographic advantage, but a campaign staff that really knew their stuff. That checked on reality five times a day.

Bleeding heart Liberals are supposed to be unrealistic but the Obama campaign was a hard-headed, tough, ass kicking machine and, very importantly, that is what the soft-hearted Liberals wanted. When Obama did poorly in the first debate, every Liberal I know, complained about it as if it were a personal affront, when Romney did poorly in the second debate, every Conservative I know thought he did great. The Liberals didn’t want to feel good, they wanted to win and, this time around, the Conservatives seemed to just wanted to feel good (they hated Obama so much, I think they thought it would be easy to beat him). Eventually, even Fox’s Megyn Kelly couldn’t take the right’s pundit bullshit anymore, asking Karl Rove if his blather about the number-crunching was just “math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better.”



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