A sneek peak at the conventional wisdom six weeks from today

Things are looking good.

(CBS News) With less than six weeks until Election Day, President Obama has opened up significant leads over Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida, according to a new Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll of likely voters.

Unlike Nancy Pelosi, I’m not making any definitive statements, and I still maintain that nothing is settled and that Romney can win this election, but as of right now, it seems very likely that Barack Obama will be reelected in November.

inuyesta has been crowing (privately) that his electoral prediction (332 EV for Obama) is looking a lot more likely than my my own (303 EV for Obama, which is inuyesta’s prediction minus Florida). In fact, according to Nate Silver, it is now more likely that Obama will win all of inuyesta’s states plus North Carolina and receive 347 EV than the chances of my prediction of 303 being correct.

It has gotten dire enough for Republicans that they have started to grasp onto wildly implausible conspiracy theories to explain the polling. Make sure you have no liquids in your mouth and visit this site: unskewedpolls.com. There you will learn that all the pollsters (including FOX News) are (deliberately?) skewing the sampling from their polling and that this results in the leads for Obama that we are seeing. The analyst there has helpfully applied his own turnout models to these polls and publishes the “real” numbers: Romney is currently leading by 7.8 points in the unskewed average of polls. Swell.

It’s not really surprising that a site like this would exist. There will always be people who try to point to media conspiracies to explain uncomfortable realities. What is kind of shocking is that unskewedpolls has started to get a lot of attention due to (often indirect) mentions by Republican strategists on TV. Bay Buchanan is the last pundit I’ve seen (because I hate my brain) to push this theory, just this morning. The first rule of epistemic closure is that you don’t talk about epistemic closure.

You can usually tell a candidate is losing or worried if he says something like, “the only poll that matters is on election day.” That’s pretty much shorthand for “we’re screwed.” I’m not sure how to even interpret what it means when supporters start talking about conspiracy theories among pollsters. Whatever it means, I don’t think it means Romney is winning.

So, assuming that things hold up, and President Obama wins in November, here is my prediction for what the conventional wisdom will be on November 7th. This next paragraph is a quote… from the future:

President Obama won a narrow victory over Mitt Romney yesterday with 52% of the popular vote and 332 electoral votes. While the mood in Chicago is understandably celebratory, officials in the White House are likely more relieved than elated. The president becomes the first president since FDR in 1940 to be reelected with a smaller share of the popular and electoral vote than in his initial election. Some critics argue that this confirms that the public remains deeply skeptical of the president’s agenda, and that his victory clearly falls short of a mandate. “The president squeaked by, barely,” said [random GOP staffer/Steve Schmidt/Lanny Effing Davis/Mark Halperin/Evan Bayh]. “These results are more evidence that he needs to move to the center if he wants to effectively govern.”

You see, while George Bush claimed a mandate for his 50.7% and 286 EV in 2004, bragging that he had earned political capital and declaring his intention to spend it, our so-called liberal media will never stop claiming that America is a center-right nation and that the only acceptable policy strategy for any Democratic president should be to always move to the center.

Oh, yeah: 41 days to go. Get to work.

Author: Wiesman

Husband, father, video game developer, liberal, and perpetual Underdog.


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