Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ultimate Election Thoughts

Even though work has slowed down for me, I haven't been updating my web log because I've been obsessed with politics. I'm going to go through a serious withdrawal next week.

I'm not alone. The guy in the office next to mine is taking the whole week off next week. When his boss asked him to reconsider, he said no way -- he's not going to get anything done anyway. It's nice to know I have company. I wonder if I'm still going to spend a significant amount of my leisure time tuning in to political discussion. Before the 2000 primaries, I wasn't all that interested in politics. When Dubya hit the scene, I tuned in. I've spent eight years trolling political web sites, often in horror.

My favorite new web site is FiveThirtyEight, which offers statistical probabilities based on recent polls. According to this site, McCain has a 6.3% chance of becoming President. Barack Obama has a 93.7% chance of becoming President. Robert Raleigh has a 0.00% chance. America just isn't ready for a Native American in the White House.

The two states to watch closely in the early polling are Virginia and Pennsylvania. If Obama wins both, it's over.

In both states, the Republicans are pinning their hopes on the fact that a lot of working class white people -- many of them union guys -- are going to refuse to vote for a black man. The Bradley Effect is their greatest hope. So for you right-wingers out there reading this blog, buck up -- there's hope in racism.

By the way, it really bugs me that Jack Murtha was derided by the media and slipped in the polls because he said a lot of rednecks in Western Pennsylvania were too racist to vote for a black man. Anyone who spends any time in rural areas anywhere in the U.S. will hear lots of examples of racist rednecks who refuse to vote for Obama because he's black. Isn't this criticism an example of the political correctness that torments conservatives?

Back in 2004, after Bush defeated Kerry and the Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate, right-wing pundits shared their expertise by giving advice to the DNC. They argued that Democrats need to drop the moon-bat element (, DailyKOS, Michael Moore, etc.), and move further to the right. They said this as if the likes of Howard Dean were looking to The Corner for how to proceed. In reality, the best advice should have been, "Just sit tight and watch what happens when Republicans like George Bush and Tom DeLay run the country without opposition."

Now it looks like the Democrats have a 93% chance of having the same advantage. This has the likes of Rush and Sean terrified. What's going to happen to the country when Democrats take over? They'll politicize the Supreme Court! They'll run up huge budget deficits! They'll make us less safe! You'd think these guys would be more concerned about what just happened to our country than what might happen.


  1. Wow, great find. I love numbers, and fivethirtyeight is full of them.

  2. I just read that the year to year increase in the deficit for the past year was/will be from 160 billion to 420 billion dollars.

    I'm becoming a one-issue voter: Balance the budget.

    Unfortunately, neither candidate is going to do that.


  3. And from earlier posts I thought you were going to be big into football this year? Turns out the bigger game of politics sucked you in.

    While you're having your withdrawals, I'll breathe a sigh of relief that all this campaigning crap is over and look forward to TV sans politi-ads and pundits, roadsides free of signage (legal and illegal alike), and NPR can get back to ALL Things Considered instead of All (emphasis on liberal-leaning) Politics Considered.

    I hope I'm wrong, but when the election dust settles it'll be back to the same old dirty game of politics as usual - make a lot of noise but do very little, fatten some wallets, keep blundering foreign affairs. Ah, I love my political cynicism.