All the signs look good:
As of Sunday night, Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight gives President Obama an 85.5 percent chance to stay in The White House. Princeton Professor Sam Wang gives the president a better chance: 98 percent. The president has yet to trail in Ohio in any legitimate poll (sorry, Rasmussen) for months and leads in Florida in a few of the latest polls. Obama is even ahead in nearly every national poll despite trailing for most of October.
Even some Republicans, like Matt Lattimer, who worked for Newt Gingrich’s campaign, wrote that the entire right-wing punditry have deluded themselves into thinking the Romney has a chance:
What is propelling Team Romney and their cheerleaders in the media appears to be wishful thinking, not empirical evidence.
With all this data, I should feel like this election is game, set, match. But I don’t.
It’s not because Obama is a “weak” candidate, as Michael Medved suggested in an asinine column, “Why the Long Face, Democrats?”
Not even the Romney campaign’s decision to start airing ads and having rallies in Pennsylvania and Michigan is making me nervous. These are signs of desperation and suggests that Romney & Co. are preparing to lose in Ohio, Nevada, and, possibly, Florida and Virginia and need to find a new pathway to victory.
I am worried because 12 years ago, an election was stolen and the political run-up to this one has some similarities.
I’m OK with Al Gore defeating President Bush in the popular vote, but losing in the electoral college–that’s the U.S. electoral system. And the Republicans didn’t really “steal” the election when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was too late to start a recount. That election was stolen when Florida Gov. Jeb Bush had purged tens of thousands of voters who should have been able to cast ballots and, statistically (most would have been from Democratic constituencies) at least, would have reversed the outcome of the entire election since Gore lost Florida by only 537 votes.
Voter suppression is happening again.
Earlier this election season, Florida representatives purged eligible voters from the rolls. The Florida secretary of state tried to cut early voting hours. So did Ohio. The Buckeye State and Pennsylvania have tried to implement Draconian voter I.D. laws that would prevent mostly Democrat voters from casting ballots. At least 14 other states have attempted to suppress turnout with new laws meant to prevent the mythical voter fraud.
Just this Friday, Ohio Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted issued a declaration which could invalidate some provisional ballots. In Florida on Sunday, early voters needed a court order to cast their ballots because the Republican secretary of state had ordered polling places closed despite long lines of waiting voters Saturday night. The longest lines were primarily at “polling sites in urban areas and locations most convenient to college students, senior citizens and minority voters.” All of which are Democratic constituencies.
The Republican strategy for winning an election is clear. Republicans who rule in several states are enacting the 21st Century’s versions of Jim Crow’s literacy tests and grandfather clauses: Voter ID laws and voter roll purges. These voter suppression laws create low turnout, especially among minorities and college students, and have been the driving force behind Republican efforts to rig elections for more than a decade.
These measures also seem to be the only way Romney wins.
However, for Romney to win, with state polls as they are, the GOP must undertake a gigantic conspiracy. There has to be massive voter suppression and other funny business (like losing boxes of ballots) in multiple states with no one whistle-blowing. I can’t see that happening…
Still, you never know.