On Polls: "Relax don't do it / When you want to go to it." @ AMERICAN DIGEST:
I have never seen a better assessment than this of the meaninglessness of pre-election political polling and the talking heads and anchors - including of Fox News - who try to persuade us what they signify. The essay includes this interesting datum:
Michael Medved makes the point no POTUS has ever been reelected to a second term unless his support increased over the support he had in his first election. That's to say, every POTUS reelected gets more votes the second time than the first time or they lose. There is no second term exception in US history. Does anyone think Obama has more support from college kids, black voters, working class voters now than during the Hopeandchange Hurricane of 2008? This doesn't decide who will be the winner in November but it should settle some fears.I reply: Does anyone really think that Obama will get more votes this time than last? I am not claiming some sort of historical determinism is in play here; Obama could be the first incumbent reelected with fewer votes than before. But think through two questions:
1. How likely is it that Obama will receive more votes in 2012 than in 2008?
2. If he does not, where will those "lost" votes go?
My answers are that the first question's answer is "highly unlikely." And the second's answer is obvious - they will go either to Romney of will remain uncast. So it is not historical determinism at play here. It is mathematical determinism. Lost votes simply cannot accrue to the incumbent's advantage.
Obama may lose the election because of former supporters people who simply stay home. How ironic that his reelection could fail because of people essentially voting "present."
In 2008, Obama garnered a huge number of votes based on nothing that he had done, but what people wanted him to portend. Even Obama admitted that he was a blank slate onto whom people significantly projected their desires. The very nothingness of his being - no political record and a highly fictionalized personal story related in two mainly ghostwritten biographies - led easily to a cult of personality enabling his victory.
Obama is trying to revive the cult of personality this time. But it's not working.