Turnout!

by

First, two reading assignments, this and this. Yeah, go read them now. I’ll be here when you get back.

I’ve done the whole statistical problems thing, so I’m not going there again, other than to say that everything I have said still stands. You can’t have a poll whose internals show McCain gaining in every demographic group, yet shows an aggregate gain for Obama. Polls that show diametrically opposed trends over time are not possible, obviously, unless the polls are seriously wrong. Never trust polls that won’t release their internals. Etc.

Instead, I’ll say this. I think the whole blogosphere is on some bad drugs. In article after article, you see bloggers lament how in the tank the media are for Obama (pretty undeniable unless you’ve been living under a rock — when Dan Rather, Bob Kerrey, and the frakking Russians comment on it, it’s pretty hard to deny — in fact, when the Russians note that your press has become Pravda, there’s a serious problem), then turn around and proclaim Obama the winner, and doom and gloom and desperation and what are we going to dooooooooo?, based on the same media and the polls they run. Hello? Does anyone else see a problem here? Am I the only sane blogger left?

Based on what I see in the real world, in my case, central and western Pennsylvania, and based on other reports from the real world, I suspect that on November 4, we’re going to see something nobody in the media has mentioned: A massive Republican turnout (have you noticed nobody has mentioned it as a possibility, and wondered why?) If that happens, then the election could turn out very differently from what the media have been proclaiming over the last six months.

Here’s another thing the media don’t mention. Remember when the media started reporting large numbers of Republicans changing their registration? That was just a couple of weeks after Rush started Operation Chaos to keep Hillary in the primaries. Sure, it could be a coincidence, but I doubt it. Those Limbaugh listeners, now registered as Democrats, aren’t going to be voting for Obama.

Murtha could be the best thing that’s happened since Joe the Plumber. He’s honked off a lot of his constituents by calling them racists (Rendell didn’t lose anything when he did the same thing because he can’t run again), and according to the most recently published Susquehanna poll, Murtha only leads Bill Russell by 4 points, with a MOE of 4.9 (insert disclaimers and warnings about state polls here). It usually works the other way around, but Russell may have coattails and raise the turnout and the McCain vote in the 5th district, possibly even across the state, since Murtha’s incredibly stupid statements were in every Pennsylvania paper right on the front page. The 5th is irrational. Very conservative, but a Democrat stronghold (because of Murtha and all that pork), so it’s hard to predict.

And I’m not focusing on Pennsylvania only because I live here. Pennsylvania is 21 electoral votes, and yes, McCain is still campaigning hard here. McCain and Palin are going to be right here in State College Tuesday. That’s the last of three Pennsylvania rallies they’re doing that day (and it will be my fourth rally). If McCain’s internal polls told him Obama was way ahead here, he’d be campaigning somewhere else.

Then there’s signs, which have mostly sprouted up over the last couple of months. To see more than a sprinkling of Obama signs here, you have to drive all the way to State College Borough, where campus is. Centre County is a sea of McCain signs, with a few Obama signs thrown in here and there. Blair County next door (Altoona) is the same. If voter turnout is what it usually is, McCain can carry Pennsylvania if he carries the two Philly bedroom counties Hillary carried in the primaries, and Westmoreland or Washington County, outside Pittsburgh. Drive from here all the way to Pittsburgh, and it’s again a sea of McCain signs. And Obama’s not going to pay bribes in Philly to get voters to the polls. Rendell is howling about it, saying voters won’t turn out unless they’re paid (funny, in Indiana, we’d call that bribery, but in Philly, they don’t. That’s why everybody else in the Keystone State calls it Filthadelphia.)

If there is a massive Republican turnout, he can carry Pennsylvania with less. McCain has Indiana’s 11 electoral votes; media hype notwithstanding, there isn’t a chance in hell that Indiana will go Obama. No way, no how, not in any alternate universe. Virginia? Again, if there’s massive GOP turnout, write it off for Obama there. Ohio may be in the tank for Obama, with the atty gen they have there, and all of the crap she’s pulling. But that’s not going to happen here. It may not there, despite all of the “new registrations.” It all depends on turnout; remember, all of those dead people have to actually vote. Those are the big three swing states. Turnout, turnout, turnout.

I’m working the polls. I don’t anticipate much funny stuff here, at least not here here. This is a pretty conservative township. If the poll is clogged with voters, you can pretty much bet McCain will carry the township (we don’t have that many liberal Democrats here). If, on the other hand, voting is light, I’ll be very anxious. I’m working five hours in the morning, then five hours in the afternoon, so I’ll be watching the local news between, to see what kind of turnout they get in the 5th. If they get a big GOP turnout, Murtha’s toast, and McCain will get a boost.

It’s all about turnout, turnout, turnout. Forget polls and forget all of the Inevitable Fearless Leader nonsense. Vote. And make sure every human being you know votes, too. Because if we turn out and vote, we can turn the media on their heads.

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