A favorable jobs report four days before the election is good news for President Obama. Unemployment remains under eight percent.
Even before that, Nate Silver of the 538 blog, the guru of poll analysis, showed the president has more than an 80 percent chance of winning the election.
The news of the day—and watching the campaign swings these days–adds fuel to my argument that the president has never been in as much trouble as most news outlets have been telling us. My guess is that even after his poor performance in the first debate, President Obama has been in pretty good shape for re-election.
Political reporting focuses on the horse race, rarely on issues. The race narrative gets boring unless you sell the idea of a close finish.
The story about Romney and momentum is mostly a narrative created by Romney’s handlers then swallowed up by the news, then regurgitated by the campaign once more. If nothing else, the closed circuit narrative makes it easier for Romney to hop on and off his plane every day with a dream of winning.
Romney’s key attribute—“I’m not Obama”—plays to his constituency but isn’t enough to win. I think a majority of the electorate—in terms of popular vote and certainly in terms of electoral vote–sees through Romney’s shape-shifting candidacy.
One part of the final sprint will be dirty tricks, anything Karl Rove and company have left in their bag.
Voter suppression, voter turnout, intimidation. Still, likely the tricks won’t be enough to propel Romney to victory.
Here are some questions I’d like to ask (or some news person should ask) Mitt Romney, assuming he’s ever available to talk to the
“liberal establishment” mainstream media.
–Do you think voter fraud is a problem in the United States?
–How many cases of voter fraud have been committed in the last ten years?
–Is is a coincidence that swing states with Republican-dominated legislatures are leading the drive for voter ID cards?
–Are you telling the truth?
Fact is that there is no voter fraud problem in the United States.
What there is instead is a cynical Republican scam to suppress voting, abetted of course by Fox News, which has a Voter Fraud Unit reporting about the non-existent problem.
A report by the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law says the problem does not exist:
* Fraud by individual voters is both irrational and extremely rare.
* Many vivid anecdotes of purported voter fraud have been proven false or do not demonstrate fraud.
* Voter fraud is often conflated with other forms of election misconduct.
* Raising the unsubstantiated specter of mass voter fraud suits a particular policy agenda.
* Claims of voter fraud should be carefully tested before they become the basis for action.
Here’s a link to the full report: http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/policy_brief_on_the_truth_about_voter_fraud/
Jon Stewart had a perfect take on the story, closing with a great line: “Next up, leashes for unicorns.”
It isn’t a joke of course. Florida, among the voter ID states, showed what it could do in suppressing the vote in 2000. The Republican-controlled state wrongly purged people from the rolls, claiming they were ineligible as felons, hindered access in some cases to election booths in likely Democratic-voting minority areas — and of course fought off a recount, with an assist from the U.S. Supreme Court. A member of the dissenting vote on the Supreme Court likened the 2000 election to a coup.
They are at it again, it is systematic and no accident. It’s an outrage.