Friday, October 31, 2008

Choose your own adventure!

There are precious few days left until the election, as you might know if, like me, you were in Prospect Park on Sunday afternoon, basking in sunlight and in *not* thinking about the election for a moment, and you got a call on your cell phone from an Obama volunteer. The media is crazier than Ashley Todd these days -- screaming, running in circles, and flapping its hands. This is only right. I have, however, listened carefully to the mad ramblings and separated them out into three discernible narratives for the endgame. Take your pick.

#1) It's Obama in a Blowout. State polls throughout October have shown Obama with a clear lead. Right now, CNN gives him 291 electoral votes, gives him 364 (down from 375 yesterday), and everyone's best friend Nate gives him precisely 364.5. Even right-leaning RCP and nonpartisan Pollster acknowledge that in this case reality has a strong liberal bias. How strong? 311.

This storyline is supported by well-respected, neutral pundits like Charlie Cook as well as the most recent Gallup tracking poll, which decided, for Halloween, to get dressed up as Obama's best numbers ever:
Thursday night's interviews are the first conducted entirely after Obama's widely viewed 30-minute prime-time campaign ad, which ran on several television networks Wednesday evening. ... Obama's favorable position among traditional likely voters in the latest polling is partially reflective of his strong position among all registered voters. However, at other times when Obama has led McCain by 11-points among registered voters, his likely voter advantage has been lower than it is now, in the five- to seven-point range. Thus, Obama's improved likely voter standing also reflects a higher turnout propensity for his supporters than what Gallup has seen at earlier times this month.
Also Obama won some crucial cookie-poll in Ohio.

But if you're wrinkling your nose at that storyline, don't despair. Santa has a storyline in his bag of gifts for you:

#2: McCain is Making a Comeback! True, this tonic is primarily being peddled by the McCain campaign itself and has been gently debunked by experts. Still, anything is possible, as the media in general and John Dickerson specifically reminds us.

Could it be true? Of course! Secret racists, undecideds, complacent Barry-lovers, blacks and young people who don't actually turn up, Jews in Florida getting spooked by Obama's latest suspect affiliation (that man will hang out with anyone!), or some other October surprise could tilt the race back to the GOP. Never count your chickens, chickens.

#3: Death! That's right, somebody DIES. I don't have any fancy links for you on this one, since it's mostly the narrative constantly running through my own head. These effigies don't help, either.

But tonight is halloween and I'm dressed as a mini Joan Holloway -- in an orange retro wig, an animal print scarf, a dress, a pen necklace, a purse, and a cigarette case -- and, in keeping with the character, I'm going to try to focus on the important things at a party tonight: power, sex, and sarcasm. Let's see how I do!

No comments: