On Being Wrong. Very Wrong, Indeed.

I posted a version of this on Facebook, but since some of you don’t have access to my Facebook page, it’s probably necessary to post it here, too.

No question, I stuck my neck out pretty far on this one, and I was miserably, hopelessly wrong. Dick Morris-level wrong. I genuinely believed everything I wrote, and I know of no other way to back down from my mistakes accept to admit them freely and take the lumps that go with them.

I’m going to unplug for a few days. I shall be avoiding television, talk radio, and the Internet. I’ll be listening to Christmas music. Expect no further blog posts until next week at the earliest. Anything I would write would be depressing and whiny, and I don’t think that’s helpful to anyone. Of course, I will return eventually and try to be less wrong in the future.

I’m certainly not pleased with the election results, and I think they augur grim things ahead, but I do not think the country will collapse. I don’t agree with him, but I do respect Barack Obama, and I congratulate my lefty friends. I’ll give you plenty of time to revel in your victory and check back in with you when I reenter the world.

Doubt Not; Fear Not

No fewer than five people approached me at church yesterday, looking for good news and reassurance. Can Romney still win? Yes, of course. Will Romney win? Yes, of course. Nobody asked me the question I’ve been asking myself for quite some time: can Obama win?

Very, very doubtful.

But yes, he can still win. He’s losing independents by as much as 22 points, as indicated by today’s CNN poll; he’s battling for states that should’ve been sewn up for him months ago, and he’s an incumbent well under 50% the day before the election. He’s panicked and peevish while his opponent is calm and confident. Paul Ryan can draw a crowd of over 6,000 in deep blue Minnesota, but the sitting vice president can only get 1,100 folks to come hear him in Wisconsin. And Mitt Romney’s crowd of 30,000+ in PA yesterday has to be sending a few shivers up Obama’s spine.

Candidates in his position lose far more often than not, but could lightning strike and we wake up Wednesday morning with the harsh reality of four more years of this failed presidency darkening the horizon?

Yes. Unlikely, but possible.

That’s probably why I’m repeatedly asked by those on the other side what I’m going to do if Obama wins. The answer is that I’m not going to like it, and I’ll have to make good on a couple of stupid bets I’ve made on Facebook. PJG is going to make me a new profile pic in which I announce that he is right about everything, and I, myself, am limburger cheese. And I’ve promised another friend that if Romney doesn’t get at least 300 electoral votes, I’m going to reregister as a Democrat. (What I didn’t tell him when I made the bet is that the prospect of being a registered Democrat doesn’t scare me all that much and might even be sort of fun. I’m not a big fan of the Utah GOP, and this state, frankly, could use more Mormon Democrats.)

There’s a radio station in Salt Lake City that has already started playing all Christmas music all the time. Bummed out after the 2008 elections, I tuned out the Internet and talk radio and all other reminders of the electoral debacle and listened to that station exclusively for two days. I then felt much better and got on with my life. Should Obama managed to squeak this thing out, I presume I will probably take the same prescription this time around.

Christmas music, you see, is a clear reminder that God is in charge.

Ultimately, that’s the only perspective that matters. The will of the Lord is not about to be thwarted by something as petty as an election. It’s those who don’t believe there is a Lord that will be devastated when their guy loses, because it’s impossible for them to see anything bigger than the here and now. Faith is what keeps you from collapsing along with a failed candidate.

Of course, faith is also why I’m more confident about Romney’s victory than I’ve been about any election that I can remember. Along with my faith in God, I have faith that America recognizes that this president is a failure, and that there are brighter days ahead. I have faith in the reality that elections usually break one way or the other, and in tight races, they generally break against unpopular incumbents. I have faith in the reality that the nail-biter that was 2000 is an exception, and that the winner of the popular vote – i.e. Romney – will have no trouble seeing that win translate into a decisive electoral college victory.

Still, if that faith isn’t enough for you to hang your hat on, then perhaps I can steer you to the websites that have more concrete info. For intelligent and confident Romney cheerleading backed up with hard facts, I recommend Hugh Hewitt’s blog. If you still cower in fear of Nate Silver’s infallible genius, perhaps this or this solid evidence of Silver’s manifestly fallible flaws might be helpful. Watch as David Axelrod offers no rebuttal to the information showing Romney wiping out the entirety of Obama’s 2008 margin of victory in 2012 early voting. Read the specifics of the GOP ground game that is being executed with more efficiency and enthusiasm than any GOTV effort in history. Or just watch the final speeches by both candidates. Which one thinks he’s winning?

If hard facts aren’t your thing and superstition helps you, then know that every Republican who has ever run for president on November 6 has won the election. Also the Redskins lost their football game on the Sunday before the election, which means the party out of power wins the election, which has been what happened 17 out of 18 of the last elections. Also, I’m pretty sure that I saw Romney’s face burned into my toast this morning, which is a good sign too, right?

My final prediction – Romney wins early and wins big, taking swing states NC, VA, FL, OH, NH, and PA, while coming up short in IA, NV, and MI. Minnesota could surprise, but I think we’re looking at a Romney electoral victory of 308 to 230, with a popular vote of Romney 52%, Obama 47%, and third-party losers at 1%.

And when I’m more right than Nate Silver is,  I have faith that the New York Times won’t notice. I also have faith that I’ll be too busy watching and listening to the weeping and wailing of lefty pundits to spend any time on Christmas music. Ultimately, I have faith that God is in charge, and that precludes panic either way.

“Look unto me in every thought; doubt not; fear not.”
– Doctrine and Covenants 6:36

Pre-Election Spine Update

As we head into the final weekend…

The Obama pre-gloaters who went silent after their first debate debacle are now starting to get comfortable in mocking me some more. Turns out Obama, you may have heard, is going to win after all. Today he holds a commanding 47.4% to 47.3% national lead against Romney in the RealClearPolitics average of all polls. Our old buddy Nate Silver, whose predictions are more reliable than actual election results according to lefties, is making wagers with MSNBC hacks that Obama’s got an 8-10 chance of being reelected. Swing state polls which show Romney winning independents handily still show Obama winning by anywhere from 2 to 3 points in some of these states, because, according to the pollsters, more Democrats are going to turn out this time than when Obama was the 2008 Messiah.

And all this is enough to get Republicans to “go wobbly,” to use Mrs. Thatcher’s phrase. After all, Chris Christie said nice things about Obama, doncha know, and Obama got his picture taken hugging people who were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Even Romney landslide advocate Dick Morris noticed “sudden danger signs” which mainly consist of the fact that Rasmussen’s polls dropped from 49-47 Romney to 48-48 today. And, to add insult to injury, Mrs. Cornell saw a glowing report about Obama’s response to Sandy that led her to come downstairs and solemnly announce, “It’s over. Obama wins.” And then, just a few minutes ago, my brother-in-law texted me and said, “what’s the good news on the election?”

Folks, it’s all good news. There’s a lot of it. And it doesn’t require too much spine to accept it, although spine would certainly help.

Let’s step back from the polls, please, and focus on actual votes. Because people are actually voting, and according to credible sources that are not typically Romney cheerleaders, they’re voting for Romney far more than anybody, including Romney partisans, could have anticipated. Read Karl Rove as he breaks it down state-by-state. Experts presume Romney will win the votes cast on Election Day, but Obama was supposed to swamp the Republicans in early voting to make up the difference.  He’s not. He’s nowhere close. So regardless of what the polls say, he’s got to seriously overperform on Election Day, matching or exceeding his 2008 numbers, to pull this out. There isn’t anyone who genuinely believes that’s going to happen.

“But Stallion! But Stallion! He looks so presidential in responding to Sandy!”

He does? Certainly he got the photo op in early, and with a popular Republican governor to boot. But as days go by and the unalleviated suffering in New York and New Jersey intensifies, how will people respond as they read more stories about New Yorkers defecating in the halls of their apartment buildings? The federal response, it seems to me, hasn’t been all that stellar. Lack of food, water, gas, transportation, and other basic necessities doesn’t really speak well for Obama’s capacities as Mr. Fix-It. Another photo op in the midst of that kind of degradation will look opportunistic.

The narrative out of Sandy is nothing but misery. I don’t see how that’s helpful to Obama at all.

But, still, if actual voting numbers and common sense aren’t enough, then let me go anecdotal on you. Which candidate is speaking with confidence, passion and optimism? Which one sounds panicked, angry, petulant? A candidate’s behavior tells you exactly where they think they are in the race. Romney calls for change; Obama calls for “revenge.” The Vengeance Candidate doesn’t sound like a winner to me.

Today, Romney drew a crowd of 6,000 people in Milwaukee, a city in a state that we were told was bluer than blue just one month ago. In contrast, President Obama could only draw 2,600 people to his rally in Green Bay the day before, a number even the New York Times called “not impressive.” Check out this picture  taken before a Romney rally in Virginia. 
This happened on the same day Vice President Bident spoke to an Iowa crowd of a paltry 475 people.

If that doesn’t give you a little more spine, what will?

Romney is going in to blue states in a big way and outspending Obama in Pennsylvania by 6-1, in a state where one prominent Tea Party media outlet notes that “there is a tangible sense–seen in Romney yard signs on the expansive lawns of homes in the well-heeled suburbs, and heard in the excited voices of Republican mothers who make phone calls to voters in their spare time–that the race is tilting toward Mr. Romney.”

Oh, wait. That’s not a Tea Party group. That’s a report from the New York Times.

Spine, people!

If all that isn’t enough, if the polls are still keeping you up at night, if the RCP average .1% Obama lead still seems insurmountable, then consider this. If the race really is that close, and the contest stands at 47.4% to 47.3%, those are still Romney landslide numbers. Why? Because they add up to 94.7%, which means that 5.3% are unaccounted for. If you generously lop off 1.3% of the undecideds as dips who will throw their vote away on some loser third party candidate, that leaves 4% of people who are going to vote, who have lived through the Obama presidential debacle of the past four years, and still can’t bring themselves to vote for Mr. O. Where do you think those votes are going? (Hint: if history is any guide, they’re going 8 to 1 against the incumbent.)

Romney’s going to win this. It’s blindingly obvious. Not only am I weary of those who think Obama’s still going to come out on top, I’m also weary of those who say weaselly things like “Romney can still pull this thing out.” At this point, I’m wondering how it is Obama can pull this thing out. Romney is conducting himself like a winner, and actual votes suggest he’s on his way to being a winner. Obama’s is flailing like a desperate man who knows that a colossal humiliation is only four days away.

One final note. This final observation is completely unscientific. It has no objective, external evidence to support it, either statistical or anecdotal. It is entirely personal, but, to my way of thinking, it’s the best evidence I’ve got.

I’ve worked in politics for a good deal of my adult life. I’ve worked on winning campaigns; I’ve worked on losing campaigns. I’ve seen my candidate come from behind when they had no chance and win it all; I’ve seen my incumbent candidate, who everyone thinks is a prohibitive favorite, go down in flames. I’ve run for office myself and lost by six votes.

I know what it feels like to win, and I know what it feels like to lose. And in every case, I’ve known whether my guy was going to cross the finish line first or come up short long before the race was over, and I’ve been right every time.

Romney wins this thing. Handily.

Spine.