42 Days to Go: Don’t Panic

by Ryan on September 23, 2008

in Anything Else,Election 2008,Politics

Just six weeks until either the McCainiacs win the day or we become an Obama Nation! (shudder) 

After the Palin bounce, I haven’t been too too concerned about the daily polls or the subtle trends since everything’s so close.  I’ll pay more attention next Tuesday — after three full polling days after Friday’s first Presidential debate.

But, as the late Bri’ish author and satirist Douglas Adams would caution in large friendly letters: DON’T PANIC.  He’d also have a thing or two to say about the number 42 as well…

Being such a day I thought it would be a good time to take stock of a few things I’ll be keeping an eye on until Election Day, and a chance to get on the record making early (and probably meaningless) predictions and addressing some concerns.  I’m not panicking yet, (I have no reason to at the moment) but it is in my nature to worry a bit (as close as the polls are, how often is McCain ever ahead by a decent amount?):

** I’m not picking the race — it’s way to early for that and it’s before the debates, which will probably matter this year.  I’d rather McCain win obviously, but it wouldn’t be an informed and intellectually honest a prediction at this point.  

** However, I’ll pay closer attention to the state-by-state polls.  Both parties realize that in recent history Presidential elections are about winning states, so national numbers only have so much local impact.  After the four total debates (3 Prez, 1 Veep) we’ll begin to see the trends as the undecideds figure it out a week or two before the election.

** Simply, Virginia is a must win.  We’ll find out early on Election Night who wins this prize.  If Obama wins VA, we’re done.  Here’s my logic:  if the people of Virginia don’t support McCain and are overwhelmed by the larger, more liberal suburban vote, then how can we expect other states to swing our way to tip the 2000/2004 battleground in our favor?  Leave every other state the same, minus swing-state Colorado, Iowa, or Nevada, and we’ll probably lose.  And forget about the Upper Midwest in that scenario.  It’s all ghastly arithmetic and probable trends.  Obama could hit nearly 300 Electoral Votes.

** If we pull off Pennsylvania, it’s over as well.  The kind of popular swing needed to get the conservative Pittsburgh suburbs to overwhelm the big cities in PA would indicate that Obama has no chance to win nationally either in my opinion.  I predict that if PA goes our way, so will one of the Upper Midwest, Nevada, Colorado, and Virginia.  McCain could hit over 300 Electoral Votes.

** Lastly, somehow I just don’t see the election being as tight as 2000/2004.  I think the undecideds will have a consensus that will drive a number of states in our direction or theirs. 

We’ll see. Forty-two days and counting!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris September 23, 2008 at 6:08 pm

I’m feeling pretty confident about our chances, yet I believe that there will be a big October surprise…Biden will “step aside for the good of the party” and SWMNBN will step in on her white horse, er…broomstick, to attempt to save the day. Ever since Biden made the statement that SWMNBN would make a better Veep, it got me thinking. And apparently today, it has been in the news. He has also been making reckless, crazy statements (what Democrat statements aren’t those things) that have not been in line with Obama. He’ll eventually cross the line of the drive-bys and ‘have to step aside.’ Despite this possibility, it won’t be a dealbreaker for McCain/Palin. We had the Sarah Palin lovefest in the beginning (which for a Democrat is saying nothing) but now, SWMNBN is preparing for it as her decision to pull back from attending the anti-Islamofascist Iran rally today in NYC, along with the Democrat threat to look into the tax-exempt status of the organizing group.

On VA, I am confident McCain will hold it. True there is the Democrat vote in NoVA (Arlington/Fairfax/Loudoun/Prince William) but the rest of the state will hold strong. My cousin had attended the recent Palin rally in Fairfax City and he said the energy there was electric and they had attracted many spectators. If that kind of energy is in Fairfax Co, that’s a good sign.

On a somewhat related note, I attended a Presidential Election Alumni seminar at my Alma Mater, a small Northeast, Liberal Arts College. While the majority of the PSCI profs I’ve had have been fair-minded, this past weekend, they were to the level of unhinged. When it came time for questions, my hand went up…my questions were as follows: “In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen the scurrilous, personal and below the belt attacks on Sarah Palin by people and groups that claim to support women. Why is there the double standard and do you think they are attacking so fiercely because they are afraid that her success can change voting demographics and patterns for 20 years to come?” We first had some groans and reactions of shock from the decidedly liberal audience, but after further prodding to answer the question, they for the most part came to the conclusion that her time and impression on the public stage will pass quickly…there we have it. Unhinged.


Ryan September 23, 2008 at 9:20 pm

The first major decision a President makes is ultimately one he makes before entering office — that of his Veep. If Obama dumps his Veep for SWMNBN as many believe he will (I think it’s a trial balloon), it’ll prove that in yet another arena, Obama is not ready to lead.

I also hope you’re right about VA!


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