Because I have been growing steadily more optimistic about Election 2012 since Governor Romney demolished President Obama in debate #1, many of my listeners and blog and Twitter followers have been emailing me dire warnings about the “reality” of the Chicago machine, the statistical precision of Nate Silver, the InTrade quote and various other arguments as to why I ought to dampen down my belief that the momentum behind Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan is large and growing.
The Gallup Tracking Poll –at 6 for Romney and there for three days– doesn’t calm them as they warn it has a “tight screen” on likely voters and is notoriously jumpy. (Thus is everyone an expert on polling this year when even the “experts” cannot figure out what is going on, which is reason enough to trust the biggest brand in the game.) Even Karl Rove’s noting that this Gallup number is almost exactly the spread of 2008 at this time, but then with the president on top and Senator McCain this far down doesn’t still their worries.
There’s another debate coming of course, as well as the ever-present prospect of an “October Surprise.” Many are worried about rumors of a lightning strike from, of all people, Gloria Allred, and a deeply compromised MSM carrying as much water as is needed to drown Team Romney in the equivalent of George W. Bush’s DUI.
Anything can happen, but it is increasingly unlikely for two reasons.
First, the country is in very bad shape. The difficulties are enormous, and no one who fills up a tank of gas or watches even a bit of news doubts it. This situation compels the independents and even many Democrats, perhaps privately in the latter case, to pull the lever for Romney.
Second, Mitt Romney is a very good man, and the past two weeks have put that reality on display for everyone who cares to notice to see.
A very good man, and the country wants that right now. They want to trust that someone with great skills also has the great character necessary to ask the country to do hard and complicated things, and the intelligence to choose among many competing proposals on how best to chart a course back to prosperity and security.
The country has been in very difficult situations before –1932, 1941, 1962, 1963, 1974, 1980, 2001 and 2008 to name just eight from the past 80 years.
In some of those cases, as with Pearl Harbor, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of JFK, Watergate and 9/11, the country has no choice but to follow the president it had.
In the other three instances, it got to choose the leader for the crisis from between an incumbent and a challenger, and in each case it chose to change, picking FDR over Hoover, Reagan over Carter and Obama over McCain, who represented an extension of W.
We do not double down on failure, and President Obama has failed.
This then is the source of my confidence, confirmed by the Gallup numbers and a dozen other data points large and small. (The decisive moves of Florida, North Carolina and Virginia are the electoral equivalent of an avalanche alert in the Rockies or a red flag on the lifeguard station at the shore.)
“But, but, but…Romney could blow it!”
The advantage of having written a book about the former Massachusetts governor and of having done so from no preconceived idea of his abilities or his merits but because my publisher and I thought it would be an interesting book and he would be an interesting subject is that I have actually studied his life in detail, and did so before anyone thought he’d be two weeks from winning the presidency.
A second advantage comes from having written a book about the truly awful record in office of President Obama.
Bottom line 1: Mitt Romney doesn’t choke, and there is no scandal in his background. Not even a chance of one.
Bottom line 2: Barack Obama has failed miserably and in every category of governance. There is no defending his record, and no reason to believe he will change either his ideas or their outcomes.
Most voters now know these things even if they don’t articulate them in this fashion. That’s the reality two weeks before the voting, and it isn’t going to change in a fortnight.
Sure, the Allreds of the world could show up with some poor person who has been dragooned into saying something the media reports as a torpedo aimed at midships, but it won’t be real and it will not hit its target.
When the country finally got to see Romney on the stage with Obama, it glimpsed what the country saw in 1980 when Ronald Reagan took Jimmy Carter apart: The prospect of a turn-around led by a very skilled, very confident and –to repeat– a very, very good man.
This explains the panic in Chicago and the president’s clumsy maneuvers last week and suggest more stunts are on the way Monday night.
No matter. 70 million people saw he first debate live, and nearly as many saw the second. People talk. They text and Tweet.
They are already voting for change and there isn’t any real likelihood of that trend changing. The Romney/Ryan rally in Daytona Beaach Friday night ended in a huge fireworks display and an enormous crowd pumped up as only winning can do.
People sense the change coming, and they are very, very eager for it to arrive, and the prosperity it will herald.