Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Everyone Chill Out

I know I missed a busy week politically, but I just got back from an amazing trip to Paris and Normandy.  Being a history major, it was nice to finally see several of the places I had spent so long reading about.

Anyway, the big political news of the weekend was Romney's debate "victory".  Now that 've seen it, yes, Obama lost on style while Romney enthusiastically and convincingly endorsed policy positions that he had completely opposed the week before.  Since the last debate's audience was a national one, I suppose Romney was smart to suddenly take a centrist position.  In hindsight, the Obama campaign should have expected it, considering Romney always tells his current audience what they want to hear, but the complete about-face was surprising even for Romney.  Instead of tacking to the center, he sprinted to it.

The real question is, will it matter?  Andrew Sullivan is in full despair mode and ready to admit defeat while the rest of the media jumped on the narrative that the debate is a game changer, but I'm skeptical that one poor debate performance can throw an entire election, especially when the electoral college is so strongly in Obama's favor and the number of undecideds are so low.  Besides, George W. Bush was an atrocious debater and he (arguably) won two terms.

Looking at the big picture, the BLS released improved unemployment numbers, which certainly helps Obama.  The usual suspects screamed conspiracy, but things are getting better, if slowly.  The first post-debate polls have been coming out, and depite a huge reversal in Pew's numbers, most show a modest bounce for Romney that has improved his chance of victory to only 25.2 percent in Nate Silver's model.

So to the Obama supporters out there who are in a panic, maybe it's time to take a step back from the horse race and not read any election news for a few days.  Never forget, the media's going to make this one look close until the very end, because that's where the money is. 

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