"Can't Win" - Richard Thompson
- Last night I mused on the amazing hackery of right wingers, the way that they could shamelessly declare Romney the victor in a debate in which he clearly struggled. (See Drum on this theme as well.) Today I am struck by the overwheening optimism they seem to be feeling about their electoral prospects, which again, contrasts so markedly with the hand-wringing that characterizes so many on the liberal side of the aisle. I have to think that anyone trying to observe objectively the current state of the polls would, if offered a choice, pick Obama's hand as the one you want to play. It's by no means a sure thing, but the paths to victory and the possibility of overperformance (due to likely voter screens) clearly give Obama an advantage at the moment. What is strange is that there really is no recent history to suggest that Republicans should feel this sense of confidence. They have lost the popular vote in four of the last five presidential elections during which the Democratic candidates have polled a combined twenty million more votes than their Republican challengers. The Republicans have not cracked 300 electoral votes since 1988, while the Democrats have done so three times, with Gore and Kerry hitting 266 and 251 respectively in their losing efforts. In other words, Democrats have shown a far superior national coalition over the last twenty years in presidential elections than the GOP. And yet, the wingers crow and we worry. Interesting.
- Another thing that would really have me despairing were I a Republican is the fact that there appears to be almost zero chance of them taking control of the Senate, something I would have given you better than even odds on at the start of this year. And now, Richard Mourdock, the Todd Akin of Hoosierland, has stepped in it on rape and abortion. He has explained his opposition to a rape exception for abortion to his belief that "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” One shakes one's head. Ruefully. It is actually beginning to appear that if all goes optimally well, the Democrats may actually add a seat or two to their Senate majority. If so, it would be an astonishing turnaround, aided immeasurably by the fact that the Republican Party is filled with insane people.
What say you?