The other day, the Czar opined a bit on the poll numbers seem stagnant. Other media outlets are similarly realizing that the poll numbers might not have much to do with what either Obama or Romney are saying.
Other outlets are openly questioning whether the poll numbers mean very much. There are perhaps three dozen links the Czar would recommend you read about whybut he knows you wont because (a) your time is valuable and (b) you know were going to summarize it all for you, right?
Basically, many polls are using registered voters instead of likely voters. Because voter turnout is usually a small percentage of total voters, using registered voters often skews the poll in different directions. Also, most poll analysts are seeing fundamental problems with oversampling in this election. There are also strong suspicions of people lying to pollstersnot a whole lot, but a couple of percentage pointswho announce support for Barack Obama but will likely and secretly vote for Mitt Romney because they need a job more than they need to look popular.
Earlier today, Borepatch hit on something that we were going to mention a couple of days ago. Borepatch mentioned that the main stream media is actually harming Obama by trying to inflate his popularity. Indeed, there is good evidence that the glowing appraisals the media offer are fueling Axelrod Inc.s over-confidence, and that this is encouraging the Obama campaign to make bold claims that stoke the medias fires. As a result, the two are in a feedback loop that long ago divorced them from critical assessments.
But what the Czar wanted to mention was something else. There is a strange fever out there the Czar has never seen before.
Starting two years ago, the Czar began to notice people in restaurants kvetching about the President. Not in whispers, but in loud who-cares-who-hears rants about the President. Sure, we were used to this at shooting ranges, Cub Scout events, NASCAR, and other right-wing fansites. But restaurants? Strange that someone would be so bold.
But it has happened dozens of times, from two sweet old ladies fearful that Obamacare would destroy their federal medical benefits, to a restaurant manager that came over to the table at which Mandarin and the Czar lunched to complain bitterly about how Obamas regulations were killing his ability to make a profit to the guys at another table at another eatery growling about the administrations incompetence. Nothese people had no idea who the Czar was; they just didnt care who heard.
Priests and bishops are openly talking about politics in their sermonsthat Catholics, for one, have a moral duty to vote Republican. Even though the Church stayed largely quiet about politics for generations, the openly pro-infanticide Obama administration with its blatant condemnation of Catholic beliefs changed everything. The message is clear: if youre a Catholic and you vote for Obama, you may be betraying your faith. Wow.
lllinois is often seen as a Democratic Eden; Chicago even more so. Actually, you could wander all over Illinois and never see a donkey logo…until you come to Chicago, Rockford, Peoria, Springfield, Joliet, or Champaign. But now, all around those heavily Democratic communities are Ryan and Romney signs, as if the collar communities are trying to build a fence. Did you know that the long-blue suburbs of Chicago are largely pulling for Romney? He enjoys a wide lead in the polls. Even within Chicago itself, Romney has double-digit support! Unfortunately, if you add up all the Obama votes remaining in those cities, there is little doubt he will win Illinois. But Romney will get plenty of Illinois electoral votes.
Like GorT, the Czar has attended some conferences and speeches lately that were ostensibly unrelated to politics. And the speakers keep coming back to the same topic: Obama has done incredible harm to this country and he doesnt know it or doesnt care. No, that isnt the Czars interpretationvarious speakers are stepping up and declaring that President Obama must not be re-elected. In all cases, they say this before mixed audiences: and the result is invariably spontaneous applause.
During the Chicago teachers strike, the Czar found himself in an elevator with a red-shirted striker. Another passenger asked how things were going. He advised her that if she is fed up with this, she should vote for Romney. This produced a gasp from some people; the teacher replied that while CPS teachers are to remain politically neutral when asked, he said hes voting for Romney because this sort of overt abuse has to stop. As he exited the elevator, the teacher told the woman he wasnt kidding. Even he thinks things have gotten out of hand.
Two days ago, the Czar was speaking with a 32-year-old recent Polish immigrant who works as a physical therapist. Having just met, the two of us were speaking about how much the Polish language has changed in just one generation when she suddenly blurted out:
It scares me how much this country is going to socialized medicine. I came from socialized medicine; I saw it and lived in it. You do not want this. And no matter what Obama calls it or how he says it is different, it is not. American peoples have to know that the Communists said exactly the same things about how we would like it. And Obama is doing exactly the same things they did, whether or not he knows it. But the end is always the same. Scary. He needs to go.
Now what would prompt a woman with a limited American political experience to suddenly deliver that plea to us? Fear. Experienced fear, at that. She was like a small kid who blurts out a terrible secret to a total stranger because it became overwhelming.
The reason, of course, is that America has had it to a remarkable degree. The polls, which show the two men tied and never far enough from each other to inspire confidence, do not capture the disgust people have with our President. Other polls do show it: how is that 47% of the country appears to support the President, but more than two-thirds think he is doing a pathetic job? Or that three-quarters think our country is headed for disaster? Or that almost two-thirds believe that Americans need to get off the dole?
The polls say the election will be close. But those that predict a Romney victory seem to have much better evidence. Whatever: the point is that everywhere we go, we are seeing open, blatant defiance of the Obama philosophy. People are tired, angry, and worn-down by this President, and while most Americans evidently think hes probably not a bad guy personally, they realize hes made things terribly, terribly worse.
Look around. You might also be shocked at how many people are lining up against him. And in all sorts of surprising places.