These troubled and fearful thoughts from the Guardian‘s Jonathan Freedland about how things seem to be turning in the polling are on my mind also, although I was somewhat placated by Gail Collinsanalysis in yesterday’s N.Y. Times. Make that slightly.
“More troubling was the ABC News-Washington Post survey which found McCain ahead among white women by 53% to 41%,” Freedland notes. “Two weeks ago, Obama had a 15% lead among women. There is only one explanation for that turnaround, and it was not McCain’s tranquillizer of a convention speech: Obama’s lead has been crushed by the Palin bounce.”
I have one thoughtful but foolish hope in my head right now. If the pro-Obama youth vote comes out in huge numbers, the current dire expectations created by likely voter polls (i.e., a reading of mostly-older voters who voted in ’04 or ’00) will be forgotten. The pollsters always say that you can’t call much less measure the under-25s because many if not most of them don’t have land lines. There could be this whole uncharted opinion-base out there that pollsters aren’t even calibrating.
Except the realist in my chest knows deep down that the under-25 Generation of Shame is probably going to stay home in sufficient numbers so that their greatest potential impact may not be felt. It would be glorious, of course, if this turned out not to be true, but those two American Teen costars — Colin Clemens and Jake Tusing, both about 20 — bummed me out to no end when they said they wouldn’t be voting this November and that they couldn’t care less.
The only antidote I can think of is that last night I asked Lovely Still director Nik Fakler, who lives in Omaha, if he and his friends are voting, and he said “of course!” I told him what Clemens and Tusing had said and he smiled, threw his head back and went, “Oh, God!”
Another Encouraging Note: MSNBC’s First Read guys wrote this morning that “in the past 12 hours, we now have new polls for seven battleground states. CNN/Time has Obama up in the blue states of Michigan (49%-45%) and New Hampshire (51%-45%), while McCain is up in the red states of Missouri (50%-45%) and Virginia (50%-46%). And Quinnipiac finds Obama ahead in Ohio (49%-44%) and Pennsylvania (48%-45%), and McCain in front in Florida (50%-43%). Indeed, with the exception of Ohio — and that is BIG exception — these polls suggest that the current map looks a lot like it did in ’04.”