To my East Coast peeps: In between charging your cell phones on the neighbor’s generator and driving around looking for gas lines, I know many of you have been wondering, “what’s Kirk’s take on how Sandy affects the election?”
In all seriousness, the election Tuesday will be far more consequential than any mere hurricane. Sandy gives Obama a chance to look presidential, which he has been taking advantage of, as he should. It may take people’s minds off the economy in the closing days, which tends to help Obama. It also takes attention off of the administration’s missteps regarding Benghazi, although the mainstream media is largely ignoring that story anyway. But in the end I think the storm will be a non-factor, or perhaps help Obama slightly. I can’t see any way Sandy helps Romney, but would welcome any ideas to the contrary in the comments.
The hardest-hit states appear to be New York, Connecticut and my beloved New Jersey. I’m quite confident in predicting that Romney will get precisely zero electoral votes from those states, which is part of why I don’t think Sandy helps Obama much.
I think it’s going to be a very close election — I just hope it’s not TOO close. The Florida recount saga of 2000 was a national tragedy, and I would say that even if it had gone the other way. (In fact, I voted for Mr. Gore, before becoming a 9-11 Republican.)
The respected and vaguely left-leaning uber-pollster Nate Silver gives Obama an 84% chance of winning, but is careful to explain that it’s not a lopsided race, he’s going on the basis of consistent small margins in battleground-state polls. He says “For Romney to Win, State Polls Must Be Statistically Biased” — and then he also carefully explains how such bias could exist without malfeasance on anybody’s part.
Right-leaning commentator Kathleen Parker runs through a variety of factors and concludes,
Combining all the above in some sort of meta-analysis, facing East while balancing on one foot and slicing carrots on the diagonal, you have to figure Obama will be our president for another four years. Then again, people are unpredictable.
I also like Parker’s closing words:
As for the two fine men vying for this impossible job, each should remember that no mandate comes with this victory. The winner of the pie-eating contest gets more pie.
The Web Goddess and I are without power at home, and I’m writing this in the dining room of a left-leaning friend, so I need to get it posted before my friend realizes what I’m doing. (We are safe and dry, and our minor roof damage has already been repaired at a cost less than our deductible.)
If anybody is counting blog endorsements, count me as favoring Romney. I think he has a better chance of prevailing than Silver’s analysis would suggest, but that’s just a gut feeling. Ohio is key: if it gets called for either candidate early, that guy wins. We’ll know in a few days — I hope.