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If the legacy media didn’t cover for Obama, CA would be in play

If the legacy media covered President Obama instead of covering for him, California would be in play in tomorrow’s contest.  Our media simply fail to report so many stories which might tarnish the image of the Democratic incumbent.  Just today, one day before the election, numerous conservative bloggers have noted, in the words of one such blogress, “CBS has just released new footage of Obama declining [on September 12] to call the [Benghazi] attack terrorism when pressed, saying it’s ‘it’s too early to tell’“.

They should have released that clip a lot earlier; it would have given credence to the claim Mitt Romney made in the second debate, a claim that Candy Crowley, the moderator, challenged.

It’s not just Benghazi.  It’s Obama’s telling his supporters that “voting is the best revenge.”  And the media not making that front page news.  It’s the failure to cover Hurricane Sandy like they covered Hurricane Katrina.  It’s their failure to cover the Fast & Furious gunrunning scandal.

They may yet help push Obama across the finish line tomorrow, but at the cost of their own credibility.  Distrust in media has reached an all-time high.  Earlier today in the Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel called political reporters the real “the loser in this election cycle“:

Reporters who push Obama for actual answers, meanwhile, find themselves scorned by their peers — as we discovered the hard way when our White House reporter dared ask Obama an unapproved question during a presidential statement in the Rose Garden. Months later, longtime Newsweek correspondent Jonathan Alter confronted us on the street and became apoplectic, literally yelling and shaking and drawing a crowd, over the exchange. His complaint: our reporter was “rude” to Obama.

Yep. Good reporters occasionally are impolite, especially to people in power who refuse to answer legitimate questions about their own policies. We don’t hire for table manners. We hire for persistence and toughness and the ability to spot a story among the fluff. We’re traditional that way. It’s the legacy media that have changed. (more…)

Do “‘objective’” political facts strain the soul out of politics? Do those “‘subjective’ values”, those “gut hunches” matter more?

Is your soul weary of all these polls?” asks Ann Althouse in a blog post this afternoon, “Do you somehow know something in your subjective, intuitive guts that is never measured in Mr. Silver’s algorithm?”  She seems to be among a small, but perhaps growing consensus of bloggers and pundits to wonder if their “gut hunch” may be a more reliable predictor of tomorrow’s outcome than the polls.

She quotes G.K. Chesteron to suggest that by emphasizing “‘objective’ political facts”, we strain “the soul and significance of politics.”

And perhaps that’s one reason I’m such a fan of Peggy Noonan.  That Athena of pundtiry.  This morning, she asked questions in a similar vein to those Althouse asked:

Who knows what to make of the weighting of the polls and the assumptions as to who will vote? Who knows the depth and breadth of each party’s turnout efforts? 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.

(Just read the whole thing.)  Peggy took account of things not as clear cut as polling data, of yard signs and enthusiasm. She talked about how confident Romney looks on the campaign trail — and about the crowds he draws.  And how his supporters react to his appearance.

By contrast, she finds that Obama seems ” tired and wan, showing up through sheer self discipline.”

Other observers have offered similar reactions.

As the candidates hit the campaign’s home stretch, Romney does seem more upbeat, more optimistic than Obama.  And that could make all the difference.

Not that anybody asked…

I’m no prognosticator by any means, and I have no history in being correct about electoral politics.

That said, a couple months ago I turned to my partner as we were watching the Republican National Convention and said that I felt it was possible that Mitt Romney could win a decisive victory tomorrow.

This statement wasn’t made on the basis of any polling (the governor was in no way close at the time) nor by any sort of momentum, having been over a month before the decisive debates.

I projected the possibility of a sweeping (although not necessarily a landslide) election based on the striking difference in visions for America offered by the two candidates:

I could clearly see that President Obama was offering (much as anybody who was honestly paying attention in 2008 could see then too) a vision of America where we all were successful and/or productive and enjoyed our liberties by the grace of a benevolent central government. Individual liberties and incentive were downplayed to make way for the far more anodyne (-sounding) ideas of “fairness” and “equality” (of outcomes, of course)…all administered from that same national spigot.

Governor Romney, on the other hand, was clearly signaling the rebirth of what I’ve called A New Independence Movement.

This striking difference between the two visions (aside from any sort of personal attacks, or the slips and slides that have happened since) to me made it clear that this could be an election that says a lot about our Country and its character…if the candidates were honest about their goals and clear in their visions (and, of course, if the press didn’t continue its role of whitewashing the president’s actual vision).

I’ll have more to write about this, including a personal note about how this race and concomitant personal events have changed my perspective in a big way in another post coming soon. But for now, I’ll just say that it still seems the case that Mitt Romney could very well see a big win tomorrow. It’s not exactly a prediction, but I stand by what I said back then. I’ll leave it to Bruce and much smarter others to count the electoral votes and make the specific predictions, but I do believe Mitt Romney will win tomorrow and it will be decisive and good for our Nation.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HHQ)

Successful former Virginia Democratic Governor calls Romney “credible candidate . . .

. . . that many Virginians tell me they would feel fairly comfortable with in the Oval Office.

Democrats counted on using ad hominem attacks to make Romney seem too unworthy and too unsteady to be the country’s chief executive because of the rough nominating process. But that has not been 100 percent effective.

So said, former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, “who backed Democrat Barack Obama for president in 2008, did not endorse Obama or Republican Mitt Romney in an opinion column released days before the election.

Wilder won the 1989 Virginia gubernatorial election by a hair’s breadth, defeating Republican moderate J. Marshall Coleman by fewer than 7,000 votes out of nearly 1.8 million cast.  He went on to impress Virginians (including yours truly, then a citizen of the commonwealth) by his fiscal discipline, holding the line on state spending.

Indeed, when he briefly ran for the U.S. Senate in 1994, he won the backing of many prominent Northern Virginia libertarians, including Cato’s Ed Crane.

(H/t Jim Hoft.)

On Congress’s failure to recognize same-sex civil unions

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:00 pm - November 5, 2012.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,Random Thoughts

Three years ago, on the same day, voters in Maine approved a citizens’ veto of a state law recognizing same-sex marriage and voters in Washington State rejected an initiative to overturn its law recognizing same-sex domestic partnerships.  That is, one state rejected same-sex marriage; another approved same-sex civil unions.

I wondered at the time if a consensus were emerging in the country, favoring state recognition of same-sex unions, but not calling them “marriages.”  In four states tomorrow, Maine, yet again, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington State, voters will have a chance to weigh in on state recognition of gay marriage, with the Old Line State most likely to be the first state to reject an initiative barring state recognition of same-sex marriage.

It does seem that residents of coastal states are inching closer to favoring state recognition of gay marriage, with Americans in the middle of the country, increasingly open to civll unions, even in the most conservative of states.  A recent poll found that while “72 percent of Utah voters oppose gay marriage . . , 71 percent now favor some form of legal recognition, compared to 62 percent nationally“.  More voters in Mormon Utah favoring civil unions than in the nation at large?!?

Despite this emerging consensus for civil unions, Congress has failed to bring up any legislation to recognize such relationships.  The failure, I believe, stems from the sad fact that each party fears offending one of its key interest groups.  If Democrats were to push for civll unions, they would offend gay groups beholden to “marriage equality.”  If Republicans were to do the same, they’d upset social conservatives who oppose any federal (or state for that matter) recognition of same-sex unions. (more…)

Bruce’s Final Electoral Map Prediction

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 11:02 am - November 5, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

First, let me note that this is my personal PREDICTION….and not our Decision Desk’s Projection Map for Election Night.

When I last did my final prediction, I had Romney at 301. After digesting a number of pieces of information over the weekend, I’ve added The White Whale (PA) to my prediction map.

20121105-110201.jpg

So here it is, for all to mock on Wednesday if I’m wrong. And if I’m wrong, I’m gonna be wrong BIG!

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

Out-of-touch Obama

Michael Barone believes that Mitt Romney will defeat Barack Obama in tomorrow’s election because “Fundamentals usually prevail in American elections.”  He cites polls showing independents breaking for Romney and indications of increased Republican enthusiasm.

Another fundamental which favors the challenger is the issues.  Polls have consistently shown that Americans favor a small government performing fewer services to a larger one doing more.  Simply put, Americans thinks government is doing too much.

Last night, I caught a bit of Obama’s speech at the University of Cincinnati.  In the segment they showed on CNN, he offered two concrete proposals, one to hire 100,000 teachers and the other to raise taxes on the rich.  He did indeed pay lip service to cutting spending, but none of the budgets he proposed as president served to cut government spending — or even limit its growth (save for national security).

By and large, Americans believe the engines of economic growth lie in the private not the public sector.  “Mr. Obama’s single greatest flaw as President“, concluded the editors of the Wall Street Journal, “is that for whatever reason—early career in academia, his core beliefs—he thinks economic growth can be ordered up by central planners. Tax more here, spend more there, regulate this or subsidize that, and prosperity will follow.”

And that notion is out of touch with the prevailing sentiment among American voters whom, by a 53-40 margin, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC poll, registered voters believed that “government programs do more to interfere with people’s lives than to improve them.

Obama is not even considering proposals to curtail — or even contain — government programs.  And his only major accomplishments as president include increasing the size and scope of the federal government.  No wonder he “hasn’t even tried to campaign on” them.

How big is Romney’s advantage among independents?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:22 am - November 5, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Today, we saw a plethora of polls released, nearly all showing the same thing, the presidential race as a dead heat.  It’s not just a turnout game.  Or is it?

Republicans are convinced Romney is going to win.  Democrats certain Obama will be elected to a second term.  Jim Hoft is offering regular Romney landslide watches.  Democratic prognosticators are fine-tuning the likelihood of an Obama victory.  Over at the National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru commented that he’d “never seen as big a divergence in expectations about a presidential election less than a week away.

So, where do we stand?

At the gym, I looked up to see Wolf Blitzer teasing us about a new CNN poll; I had expected bad news for Mitt Romney, given that network’s surveys tendency to oversample Democrats.  But, it showed the race a dead heat, with both candidates tied at 49.

I wondered if that might be good news for Republicans, assuming it oversample Democrats —  and vowed to look at the internals when I got home.  Fortunately, Jim Hoft and Joel Pollak had already done that.  Both found that the survey showed an electorate 3 percent more Democratic than in 2008. Independents broke for Romney by over 20 points.

Does he really have a lead that big?  The Pew poll only showed him with an edge of 3 points among independents.

In the end, this race will boil down to the independent voters.  They seem to be breaking for Romney, but Hurricane Sandy may have helped Obama improve his standing with them.

UPDATE:  Three recent polls show Romney with double-digit leads among independent voters.  (Via Guy Benson.)

UP=UPDATE:  Observing that, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Obama gained ground with independents, Josh Jordan crunched the numbers of recent polls and found:

Over the last few days the independents have been returning back to Romney, however, indicating that the final vote Tuesday might revert back to polling from the days just before Sandy made landfall. Rasmussen has seen Romney’s lead with independents jump from three points to fifteen. The Washington Post tracking poll moved from a tie with independents on Saturday to a three-point lead for Romney on Sunday. (more…)