We’re hearing a lot of last-ditch delusion from the right in the closing days of the campaign. Most of it, of course, is just whistling past the graveyard. But whether these people believe their own bullshit or not, they present themselves to the world as ostensibly knowledgeable and clear-headed political thinkers. So, just for the record, let’s note what prominent right-wingers are saying, not about ideological issues or personal preferences, but about basic factual questions such as who is ahead in the polls, and who is going to win the election, now less than 48 hours before the voting booths open. Let’s keep this in mind when these people try to sell us their nonsense over the coming 8 years:
American Thinker (10/25):
Signs Point to a McCain Victory
Despite there being an entire cottage industry devoted to exposing the liberal bias of the mainstream media, Republicans and conservatives continue to allow themselves to be unduly influenced, and even demoralized, by what they read and hear in the big city newspapers and on network television. . . .
Well, there is another story out there that the MSM refuses to address. A huge story. One that could, and I think will, significantly affect the outcome of this race. I’m referring to the widespread phenomenon of registered Democrats openly supporting John McCain. . . .
[T]here are real signs pointing to a McCain victory this year, whether or not the mainstream media wants to acknowledge them.
Rush Limbaugh (10/31):
Talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh says that Sen. John McCain will score a stunning upset over Sen. Barack Obama and win the presidency on Nov. 4. . . .
Limbaugh’s response: “No, I don’t see [an Obama win,] Nigel. I think [Obama has] been dead in the water since the primaries. He is going to need to be up 10 to 12 points to win by 3 or 4.” . . .
“My gut hadn’t been giving me any indication on this race, but it started talking to me last night,” he told listeners. “Barack is headed back to Iowa. That should be a lock; it’s a dead heat.
“Florida, Ohio, and Nevada look like pretty good McCain certainties here. Obama still has to run ads in California.”
[NB: This comes at a time when "538" is predicting Obama win probabilities in OH and NV of 76% and 79%, respectively.]
Donald Douglas, Wake Up America (10/18):
Trial-Heat Election Model Predicts 52.7% McCain Victory
[Based on a complex meta-analysis of poll results and a statistical prediction model incorporating economic factors,] given uncertain market trends (up-and-down again stock rallies), the potential effect on the polls from John McCain’s improved debate performance, and the unknown impact of party mobilization and youth turnout on election day, this race is going down to the wire as a potentially 50-50 election. Given this analysis, the GOP ticket is performing much better than would be expected . . . .
[NB: This is while "538" is running a 10,000-iteration Monte Carlo simulation that gives an Obama victory 94% of the time (and has been over 90% for Obama for months), and some guy from Franklin & Marshall College has a 50 million-iteration simulation that gives a 99.98% probability for Obama. Intrade currently offers (the equivalent of) 89:11 for Obama; the University of Iowa market has it at 85:14.]
Dick Morris (who really ought to know better) and Eileen McGann (10/30):
Hope for McCain: Polls Say He’s Closing the Gap
Iraq isn’t the only place where the surge seems to be working. John McCain’s gains over the last five days are remaking the political landscape as Election Day approaches. The double-digit leads Barack Obama held last week have evaporated, as all three of the top tracking polls (the most current and reliable measurements out there) show McCain hot on Obama’s heels. . . .
So we approach Election Day with the possibility of a rerun of 2000 plainly before us. McCain has closed to a point where the race will likely be very, very close – and we’ll have to stay up very, very late on Election Night.
[NB: This comes at a time when "538" and "Real Clear Politics" are predicting 333 and 353 Electoral College votes for Obama, respectively. Allahpundit also points out that polls close in all likely "battleground" states by 10:00pm EST - 9:00pm for all but IA, NV and MT, which aren't really battlegrounds. ]
Kathryn Jean Lopez (10/31):
48-47 for McCain
The latest Zogby, via Drudge. This is still competitive. Thank goodness …
[NB: "538" and "Real Clear Politics" have the overall multi-poll national average at 52/47 and 52/44, respectively - their closest figures for some time. Also, here is what John Zogby himself says about his own final poll (11/2):
"Obama has consolidated his lead over McCain. His single day lead today was back to 52%-42%. He leads by 10 among independents and has solidified his base. He leads among Hispanics by38 points, African Americans by 88, 18-24 year olds by 36, 18-29 year olds by 25, 25-34 year olds by 16, women by 8, and men by 3. He has a 17 point lead among those who have already voted, 22 by those who have registered to vote in the past 6 months, Moderates by 34, Catholics by 10. He even receives 21% support among Conservatives.
"So what happened to give McCain a one-point lead in the one-day polling on Friday? It was a day of consolidation for him, too. He had been losing support among key groups and began to regain some of his own base. He now leads by 21 points among NASCAR fans, 9 among investors, 6 among voters in armed forces households, and 2 among voters over 65 years old."
"Remember, as I said yesterday, one day does not make a trend. This is a three-day rolling average and no changes have been tectonic. A special note to blogger friends: calm it down. Lay off the cable television noise and look at your baseball cards in your spare time. It is better for your (and everyone else's) health."]
Lisa Schiffren (10/31):
It seems pretty possible that there will be more than one state in contention for a while. This time the GOP is prepared in many places to contest the kind of election fraud that the Democrats have been known to run against us — and each other.
Jonah Goldberg (10/30):
[A]s someone who always predicts that liberal prophecies of a tidal wave of youth votes will not pan out — and I’ve always been right — I’m still betting that the Obama Youth corps will not be as impressive as the left hopes.
[NB: Gallup currently shows Obama leading by 29% among under-30 voters - compared to a 22% advantage for Democrats in the 2006 mid-term election results, and a 9% advantage for Kerry in 2004.]
American Sentinel (self-described “traditionalist” “McCain Democrat) (9/24):
Polls Debunk Obama Voter Myths
Obamapologia is pretty much mythical. There is no un-polled reservoir of Obama voters . . . ready to jump out from the shadows on election day. The race really is close – - and may well be decided by the same factors that carried the day for the Republican ticket in the last two elections.
Melissa Clouthier (oh . . . excuse me . . . “Dr.” Melissa Clouther) at Right Wing News (10/28):
McCain Will Win
When John McCain wins, won’t the world, Democrats and even establishment Republicans be shocked? I still say that McCain will win.
Dan Perrin at RedState (10/28):
The Seven Reasons McCain-Palin Are a Lock to Win
There are seven serious, historic, demographic and other wise culturally compelling reasons Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin will win the election on November 4, 2008 – a date of defeat that will sear itself into the Democratic Party’s collective consciousness. ["reasons" follow]
Geoff Metcalf at NewsMax (10/20):
McCain Will Win
Obama will lose to McCain, and it will be close — very close. Unless ACORN and co-conspirators are successful in implementing massive voter fraud, John McCain will win. . . .
Ultimately, John McCain will defeat Barack Obama . . . because a majority of likely American voters don’t believe or trust Obama.
D.J. Drummond at Wizbang (10/21):
Gallup and New Coke
The polls are wrong this year, very wrong. I have been saying this for months, and I have backed up my claim with both statistical and anecdotal support. The claims I have made have inspired some, caused others to laugh in derision, and brought others to test their assumptions and revisit the hard data. Along the way, there have been a lot of questions about how and why the polls could be wrong. [NB: The answer? Almost all polling organizations are headquartered in heavily Democratic towns, and therefore they write skewed poll questions. Really.]
And from further back this summer, there are these high-minded theoretical analyses:
James Pinkerton of Fox News (8/6):
The Simplest Explanation for Why McCain Will Win This November
Is McCain destined to win a lonely victory at the political pinnacle, while other Republicans sink further into minority status in lesser competitions? The answer, to be blunt about it, is probably “yes.”
One obvious reason is the fact that McCain is doing well; he has thrown Barack Obama onto the defensive, and he is now ahead in the latest polls. [NB: Look, nobody forced him to make election predictions based on polls taken 3 months in advance.] . . .
Now to the second reason: Americans like divided government. . . .
Democrats hoped that their triumphant 2006 election would be just an overture to an ever bigger win in 2008, but, as we have seen, that doesn’t seem to be shaping up. If the voters don’t want Republicans to have all the power in DC, maybe they don’t want Democrats to have all the power, either.
Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator (8/19):
OK. I’ll walk out on a limb.
This election has already been decided. It’s over. The winner is John McCain. . . .
First, The Dark Knight broke movie records with first day earnings of over $66 million. . . .
Second. . . . Rush Limbaugh has celebrated his 20th year as the host of his nationally syndicated number one radio show, signing an 8-year contract for a reported $400 million. . . .
[W]ithout question, the research shows again and again that whether the subject is picking cars, coffee or presidents, people respond with their instincts. When this fact of life is overlaid with culture — in the case of voters for president of the United States, American culture — the result is easy to see.
While other cultures put a premium on thinking (the French) or order (the Germans), Americans want our presidents to respond just as we do in our culture — with their gut. An American presidential candidate, [advertising guru] Rapaille says, “doesn’t need to be extremely reptilian, only more reptilian than his opponent is.” In particular, and he says this in terms of a cultural observation as opposed to a subjective condemnation, Americans are not culturally disposed to thinking. We prefer, as the Nike commercial has long said, to “just do it.” We are a culture of action, of rebellion, of instinct. When Europeans or American liberals deride a George W. Bush or a Reagan as a “cowboy,” they think they are hurling an insult. Yet most Americans see cowboys as heroes, so the insult effectively backfires. When it comes to choosing between two candidates for president, we gravitate instinctively to the one perceived as more “reptilian.” Rapaille puts it this way: “We don’t want our presidents to think too much.” . . .
COMPETING IMAGES of McCain as the man of action and Obama as the egghead thinker are slowly sinking in with the American electorate of 2008. The same electorate that has rewarded Batman and Rush with millions of viewers, listeners and dollars. The same electorate that gets up every single day in this country and looks in the mirror to see their own personal hero or heroine, their own version of Batman or Rush, someone who is fighting with everything they have in their reptilian brain to survive and thrive.
[NB: He's serious.]
As if that weren’t enough, the New York Post invited a couple of pet wingers to take a flyer at “looking back” at Obama’s first term from the perspective of 2012. Granted, they were Jonah Goldberg and Ralph Peters, but, still, that’s what passes for mainstream conservative thinking these days. What did they – apparently seriously – come up with?
Discussions with leaders within the Democratic Party, including prominent former members of the Obama administration, give a kaleidoscopic picture of missed opportunities, wrong turns and embarrassing blunders. . . .
[N]othing prepared the country for some of former Vice President Biden’s comments while in office. Early on, when he told the Russian foreign minister he’d “rather punch a nun in the throat” than cooperate on an Iranian nuclear deal, the Obama administration knew they had a problem on their hands.
. . . [H]e accused the Dalai Lama of issuing a “brain fart,” he phoned Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts at home and called him a “[re]tard in short pants,” and of course the several stories – clearly leaked by aides to the president – of Mr. Biden sitting in the president’s chair in the Oval Office and being more than reluctant to get out when asked to do so by the president.
The last straw was Biden’s complaint, emphatically offered at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, that he would have more influence over foreign policy if he were black. . . . Biden shouted “I am not joking!” two dozens times in speech that lasted less than 10 minutes. . . .
Ultimately, the embarrassment became too much and Mr. Biden became the first vice president to resign from office since Spiro Agnew. . . .
[T]he Congressional Progressive Caucus . . . colloquially known as the “big swinging caucus” after an unfortunate joke by then-Republican Minority Leader John Boehner after a scandal involving Rep. Barney Frank (see side story), pushed Barack Obama on a wide array of fronts: they demanded very large cuts in the military budget, a sweeping government expansion into the role of healthcare, and in a move that experts agree caused the Wall Street Panic of 2010, they persuaded Mr. Obama to make the government’s partial ownership of the remaining “Big Five” banks permanent. Representatives Frank and Charlie Rangel argued that the stakes, bought by the Bush treasury department, in the banks provided, in Frank’s words, a “once in a lifetime opportunity to inject some social justice into the capitalist system.” Or as Senator Jesse Jackson Jr. said, “if we’ve got them by the b – - – s already, why let go?
Americans also don’t like it when White House press secretary Keith Olbermann tells them that complaining about higher taxes is “racist.”
So now we know one thing: in four years, Republicans will still be fearfully obsessed with gay and black sexuality, and completely unable to tell the difference between people they don’t like and policies they don’t like. In other words . . . nothing will change. But what about the international scene?
President Obama was the first world leader to welcome Jewish refugees after Iran’s nuclear destruction of Israel’s major cities (his only caveat – a fair one – was the refusal to accept Zionist military officers and their families, in light of Israel’s excessive retaliation). . . .
[H]e overruled the obstructionist advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and ordered our military to cross the border into Pakistan in force. The subsequent debacle, as Pakistan cut off supply routes to Afghanistan and threatened a nuclear response, was entirely the fault of our generals on the ground, not of the administration. Fortunately, President Obama’s willingness to talk to our enemies rescued the situation. After laying down their arms, our troops were allowed to evacuate Pakistan and Afghanistan in peace. . . .
Our relations with the Muslim world have rarely, if ever, been better. The current $320 per barrel price of oil allows long-oppressed states to develop themselves . . . .
Ah, yes: Obama will cause nuclear war in two countries, succumb to nuclear blackmail in a third, surrender militarily to the dictator George Bush helped into power, and personally guarantee the destruction of Afghanistan, “Kurdistan”, and Iraq, as the price of oil increases to more than 3 times the highest value it has ever reached in over 150 years. All from the failure to start or maintain wars in at least 3 countries that haven’t attacked us, while ignoring the one that is harboring Osama bin Laden.
Remember: this is how their minds work. These are the predictions they make when the facts are available to them for direct inspection. Limbaugh says Nevada “looks like [a] pretty good McCain certaint[y]” when Obama is outpolling him there 4:1. Dick Morris says the election will be decided “very, very late” when all the states McCain has to win will be done polling before Law & Order comes on. Jonah Goldberg predicts a close race for McCain because the youth turnout will not be heavier than usual – while completely ignoring the fact that Obama is polling 10% more than any recent Democrat in that group regardless of turnout. They can’t make simple declarative statements about obvious facts without sounding like morons. When they actually try to think about anything the results look like a Marx Brothers movie (Goldberg plays the Margaret Dumont role).
We’ll see the results of these predictions (all but the last two – but do keep your eyes peeled for the coming Iran/Israel nuclear war) Tuesday night, before 10:00 pm. But remember that when these clowns – or any of their ideological fellow-travelers – try to tell you anything about anything from now on. They’re suffering from an inherent cognitive disadvantage: they’re conservatives. Their minds simply don’t work right.
Never believe anything they say. Trust me – you’ll see why the day after tomorrow.
UPDATE: Too delicious to pass up: “Vox Day”, an immensely stupid right-wing Christian who makes misogyny and general asshattedness his profession, and who possesses a haircut that, by itself, should make it legal to punch him in the head on sight, chose to post this less than 24 hours before the polls open:
[B]ased on my observations [and some pet theory of electoral dynamics that he cooked up], I am forced to conclude that despite the way things superficially appear, John McCain will win the election. The two key states to watch are New Hampshire and Virginia, with a particular emphasis on Virginia. If either of them go for McCain, you can safely conclude that it’s over in the GOP’s favor.
[NB: 538, whom he quotes, is currently putting the Obama victory probabilities for
HNNH and VA at 99% and 93%, respectively. Remember: this is how their minds work.]