This is not a year when head-to-head election polls are going to be particularly accurate, so please stop being so nervous about the polls, and concentrate on getting every human being you know to get out to a damn polling place to vote!
I don’t care what the polls say; this is the Democrats’ year, and the Republicans aren’t even going to be close enough to steal it.
How can I say that? How can I look at the polls, many of which show Obama and McCain neck and neck, and say that Obama and Congressional Democrats are going to rout Republicans?
Because the stars are aligned for it, for one thing. Let me show you what I mean…
There is one truism in politics; the electorate really does decide the election, and every sign the electorate gives points to an overwhelming return to Democratic rule. If you don’t believe me, then will you believe the Republican Party? Even the GOP knows it’s going to lose this year, and lose bad. Look closely at what they’re doing, and you can see how desperate they are. They ran the worst assortment of candidates imaginable for president this year, and the nomination went to a guy who pretty much won by default; they are not supporting their candidates with as much money as usual, in part because they’re not getting much money, but also because they’re conserving resources for later.
And that is one of the factors in this; one I’ll get to in a minute.
In order to believe this election is as close as many of the polls say it is, you have to ignore the following;
- The number of people who think the country is on the wrong track was in the 80% range for almost two years beforeeconomic meltdown.
- The president, and titular head of the Republican Party is now sporting a disapproval rating of 70%, and that has been all but steady for almost three years.
- At least two-thirds of the public wants us out of Iraq.
- Approximately 60% of the country blames Republicans for the economic mess.
- Even more blame Republicans for breaking the government, to the point that it is no longer able to respond to emergencies.
- The "generic" Democrat-Republican polls have been running in the Democrats’ favor for more than two years, without a break.
- The number of voters in Democratic primaries were more than double the number of voters in Republican primaries, even before McCain won by default.
The head-to-head polls just don’t make sense this year, and they haven’t for some time. I don’t know what the cause is, exactly. A lot probably has to do with the over-dependence on telephones at a time when the entire country is switching to wireless phones, and ditching the landlines. It might also be the economy. Face it; under Republican rule, a lot more Americans are having to take a lot more jobs and working a lot more hours, just to make ends meet, so fewer people are home to take the call.
But the signs are all around us. The Republicans realized a couple of years ago that they had backed themselves into a corner. For far too long, they have depended on the same white, extremist constituency for their "base," and they are rapidly becoming an even more significant minority than they were before. They are in the process of jettisoning the right wing, much as the Democrats did back in the 1960s, and it will be a painful, but necessary, transition.
We progressives have our opening, but this is only the beginning. We have to get more involved in the process, and work our asses off to make sure Barack Obama, and every Democratic Congressional candidate gets as many votes as possible. Forget the angst over voting machines, forget the angst over Republican dirty tricks and negativity; it’s time to just get the voters to the polls. if we can be the difference, then we will have the ears of a president who is more likely to listen to us than any president in many years, and we’ll have the ears of a Congress that will be ready and willing to reverse the trends of the last 30 years.
This election is ours, if we want it. But we have to want it.