Tuesday, October 9, 2012

No Commentary Required 10/9/12

Polls, polls, and more polls. If you're freaking out about them, here's some interesting news from the latest ABC/WaPo edition.
Night-to-night data indicate a sizable boost for Romney, and drop for Obama, on Thursday night, a day after their first debate, which Romney widely is seen as having won. But both of those trends subsequently subsided in this poll, conducted Thursday through Sunday.

The net effect is slight at best. Romney is now seen favorably by 47 percent of registered voters overall, unfavorably by 51 percent; Obama’s rating is better, 55-44 percent.

Joshua Holland has a little fun with the freak-out (hint: when you're freaking out, it helps to laugh).
As a good liberal, my first instinct upon learning that Mitt Romney is ahead by 4 points in the latest Pew poll was, obviously, to wring my hands.

Then I realized that a 4-point margin in November probably means the Republicans taking the Senate and extending their majority in the House. I don't want to live in Mitt Romney's neo-feudal society, so I got out an exacta-knife and went to slit my wrists.

But then -- just in the knick of time! -- I saw that Romney's post-debate bounce appeared to be receding in the Gallup poll, which once again has Obama up by 5. And just like that, the clouds parted, birds began to sing and I felt like a kid who just found an adorable little puppy under the family Christmas tree.

The moral of the story: It's important to invest a great deal of weight in each new poll because that's what makes elections fun! And it's an especially valuable exercise when the data is very noisy -- like in the days following a big debate.

That's also why focusing on the polling averages -- which are less responsive to short-term shifts driven by the news cycle -- is so boring. You could go an entire election season without a single freakout, and, really, what's the point of that?

The Obama campaign captured one of the more craven aspects of Romney's foreign policy speech yesterday.


During elections, we hear things about Joe Sixpack and Soccer Moms and Nascar voters. Perhaps we should have a new category for Pre-existing Condition voters (between 20-50% the electorate).
Jill Thacker was dying for a cup of coffee when she recently ran into a 7-Eleven convenience store. To her pleasant surprise, the coffee was free -- as long as she would commit to drinking it in either a red Mitt Romney cup or a blue Barack Obama cup.

"Which are you going to choose, Mom?" her son asked.

Which, indeed. A gun-owning, big-government-hating Republican, Thacker's every instinct told her to buy a Romney cup. But Thacker, 56, and her daughter have asthma -- a pre-existing condition -- and with Obama as president they'll be guaranteed the ability to buy insurance.

Thacker stood in the 7-Eleven and stared at the red and blue cups, stymied by the choice they represented...

She thought about her insurance, which covers her only if "I get hit by a bus." It's the only insurance she can afford given her preexisting condition.

She thought about how she's still paying off a $22,000 emergency room bill from last year.

She thought about her 25-year-old daughter, who's on her father's insurance only because of Obamacare.

But she also thought about how, in many fundamental ways, she just doesn't like Obama.

Then she reached for the blue cup with Obama's name on it.

"I really do feel conflicted," she said. "But for me, it's all about health care. It's my number one thing."

And finally, one more picture from President Obama paying homage to Cesar Chavez yesterday. In the comments to my post about this last night, Bill brought up something important to notice. Yesterday was Columbus Day. Chavez was Indigenous. Ponder the significance of that one for a moment.


  1. Mo'nin, Ms. Pants

    THANK YOU!!!

    And, brotha Boo, I'm believing, may well have dropped by as indicated by how he explains things (sounds VERY familiar ;-). He sounds MUCH "mo' bettah" today.

    And, his comment about Sullivan is PRICEless :-).

    By the bye...if I'm not mistaken, Sully is a "Bell Curver". So, I'm always reticent to give him much credence.

    1. I must admit that I got a bit of a laugh out of BooMan talking about the need to look in the mirror ;-)

      Sully is erratic. What he's telling us is that we can't count on him when the chips are down. But then, as you say, given the fact that he's a "bell curver," some folks already knew that.

      Ultimately, the guy just needs to use his obvious intellect to examine his highly emotional responses. A bit of that every now and then would go a long way.

  2. I imagine that one problem here and one reason that you get some real anger from privileged liberals is that the narrative had gotten to the point--witness the right-of-center media writing off Romney's candidacy--of declaring the election over, with Obama in a landslide.

    That is to say, they had gotten the message they could relax again and not give a shite. God knows, I love relaxing and not giving a shite myself. We have a system that demands that once every four years they care--well, every two but we saw what happened last midterm--and the sooner that caring is over the better. It was like some kid has set the clock forward twenty minutes and the unsuspecting teacher let the class out early.

    So the debate meant that it wasn't over, and their lives would continue to be interrupted. A lot is at stake for privileged liberals, because with a Democrat in the White House they get to tell themselves that all's well and they can get back to consuming more than their share. With a Republican in office, shit just gets too real.

  3. Thanks for this post, SP. Long story short: My husband lost 2 jobs with insurance. One at the end of 2003 and the other in 2009. We did COBRA for the 18 month period after the loss of employment. We have been without insurance for 2 years. He now has a great job with a small business. He received insurance after 6 months. I and my 2 daughters do not have coverage through his policy as of yet because the insurance company wants to know medical histories before they give us a premium price. I am a 56 year old woman and an Insulin Dependent Diabetic. I have to wait until 2014 before I can get Affordable Care. We are looking into putting our girls (24 and 15) on his insurance and hoping nothing major happens to me before 2014. I know why President Obama did this early in his First Term...Because of millions of people like me and his Mother. Back to the final 24 hrs. of Voter Reg. GOTV: Here We Come!