FROM THE EDITORIAL DESK
By David Beilstein
IF you type the phrase “baring unforeseen events” into the search window of Crede, ut Intelligas, you will see it comes up — oh, more than a handful of times in connection to the presidential election. I used it, announcing Mitt Romney would be the next president of the United States baring unforeseen events.
Let me be clear. I still think Mitt Romney clears 285 electoral votes at least — attaining the presidency, and sending President Barry Obama packing into retirement.
But I’m not as sure as I was a week ago, a year ago, etc. I’m confident, but I’m not confidently arrogant.
Hurricane Sandy was that unforeseen event. Sandy’s storm winds and rain and destruction winnowed Mitt Romney’s momentum, giving President Obama a bounce from the end of last week to Saturday, throwing tomorrow’s election day into electoral uncertainty.
Says the punditry, says other talking heads.
However, there are strong indications Romney’s momentum has returned. The last two major polls, Rasmussen and Gallup, have Romney up with a slight edge, but down from the six-point edge he had pre-Sandy.
A challenger up six points would have snatched the Electoral College and popular vote without difficulty, defeating Obama comfortably.
Some will call this an excuse. Hedging bets! But I made no bets. And Hurricane Sandy was not a figment of my imagination. A hurricane of Sandy’s magnitude qualifies as an October Surprise and unforeseen event of galactic dimensions rolled into one.
I cannot predict the weather patterns of the future. I’m Imago Dei, not omnipotent. But I can analysis the numbers and the macro view of this election from a human perspective, thus a fallible one. This does not mean it is not an informed view, however.
Let us begin.
The impact of Sandy though large, did not lift Obama’s flagging dingy past Romney’s shoreline.
That is significant. It occurs to me, however much Obama desires to huff and puff and blow down the challenger’s chalet, the majority voter is not buying it and favors change. That’s why Romney is ahead — even if by small margins. In baseball, ties go to the runner. In elections, ties, slim leads, go to the challenger.
Romney successfully tied Barack Obama to the anemia of the economy. That is what people will be voting on and 60% of Americans are not happy with it. Given independents have swung toward Romney, heavily, it seems inconceivable Obama will be reelected.
Independents have picked Romney by double-digits in most polls. In normal circumstances, especially in incumbent elections, that means the incumbent loses.
One looks at the candidates. Obama, roiled, his crowds shallow, is far below the energy that propelled him into the White House in 2008. That energy, those crowds are at Romney’s back.
Tens of thousands of them.
Likewise, in these tighter-than-tight polls, the internals are inconsistent with the overall poll numbers — and those internals are favouring Romney by a wide margin.
Each poll (and punditry analysis) is determined to give Democrats the same turnout models as 2008 — where Obama was hoisted onto the victory platform. But early voting shows this to be a large dream.
Obama has 260,000 less votes in Ohio in early voting now then he did back in 2008 against Sen. John McCain. Ohio is the crown jewel. Romney wins Ohio — it is over (assuming Romney wins McCain’s electoral map, which he is ahead in).
The Red Skins, dammit, lost their home game.
If Obama’s depressed early voting tallies do not mean anything, I do not know what to say. Certainly, I would not lie about what I think is happening. That does not help anyone — especially the creditability of Crede, ut Intelligas.
Of one thing I am confident. We will know what we are looking at early tomorrow, I’m sure. If Romney wins Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and New Hampshire, by comfortable margins, it will be over quickly.
If Romney loses Ohio — he can still win, but the election goes into nail biter suspense for those who want to see Obama’s presidency ended. If Romney scores Pennsylvania, win or lose Ohio, the election is almost over at that moment.
We shall see. There will be many faces pressed to the screens of their televisions.
Of that I’m confident — and I am sure.