The Nut: While no staffer will tell you its over yet, we are no fool: its over! Like a turtled box turtle, John McCain is on his back, helplessly flailing in a desperate attempt to right himself before a predator swoops down to swipe up a tasty snack. And like any other turtled tortoise, it is going to take a great outside force to upend his plight and restore his chances for survival. The work isn’t completely done, so pitch in like many artists around New Mexico did in their own unique way. Early voting has started in New Mexico and the County Clerk says my ballot is in the mail . . . let’s party!
Crayon or Magic Marker?
The writing on the wall has overtaken the canvass and we’re going to need a bigger wall (not along the border, settle down) if we have to write McCain and team “crap, this isn’t working either” another message. Surely, they have observed the clear signs from . . . North Carolina and Virginia that have swung out of his reach and will not just support President Obama, but also switch a senate seat to the Democrats side with Kay Hagen from NC and Mark Warner from Virginia. . . . or maybe they’ve taken notice that once unthinkable West Virginia is in play despite the Campaign for Change’s own worries that the state wasn’t progressive enough to elect a man with such a dark complexion. . . . maybe they figured out the game was over a couple weeks ago and signaled their concession by pulling out all efforts in Michigan. Take your pick of which state and what day, but one or the other had to have tipped off the former member of the Keating 5, the 21-year Senator that has called his wife worse things than bigots have called President-elect Obama.
Is that not direct enough proof for you? Ok, who has ever heard of a bookie paying out before the game ends? http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081016/od_uk_nm/oukoe_uk_bookmaker_obama_odd
So what’s left to do?
A lot more than planning the big Election Night party and post-Election Night cheap excuse for why you were so late to work that morning. Polls don’t vote (nor do yard signs according to many disgruntled Obama staffers) and as all of the Democratic candidates reminded John Edwards during the primary, polls are great, but election results are real (ethmm, 2004 . . . national result with that guy on the ticket, NC result . . . not in favor of Edwards). Go turn out the votes!
Go turn yourself out and don’t waste the gas on driving just yourself to an early voting location. (click on Voter Info) ** New Mexico guarantees you at least two hours away from work to get that ballot in the box, so make the most of it. The sooner you vote, the sooner the calls will stop. That’s a guarantee. The campaigns get updated lists from the County Clerk on a regular basis and once your name is listed as “already voted” they will leave you alone.
Go knock on doors and take advantage of the fact that you’re enjoying an Indian Summer in New Mexico and not the bitter beginning of winter in states further north. Go recruit your friends and take them early to the linked locations around Albuquerque. (click on Voter Info) **Disclaimer: Yes, the early voting locations list is provided by the Democratic party’s website . . .because they County Clerk doesn’t have her act together and the link to her listing is broken.
Or better yet, get creative like many artists around Albuquerque did and show your support in your own unique way. Maybe your explanation of Obama’s health care plan doesn’t sound as good as your guitar, ok, work with it like Bekah Wiggins did and raise a little money for Obama:
This picture was from the event Art for Change, which gathered numerous artists from five different states to offer their own personal creations to raise money for Obama’s New Mexican Campaign for Change. In addition to pulling in nearly $4,000 of cash, the event registered a few new voters and recruited many new supporters to do the real work of the election – turning supporters into voters. Hannah Macpherson and Bekah Wiggins came up with the idea and put it into action utilizing their circles of friends. The Obama campaign wasn’t involved in any of the planning until they graciously accepted the money that was raised. Hannah and Bekah will be beating down the doors to find everyone that hasn’t cast their ballot yet and they’d love to have you join them.
There is still plenty of fun-filled speculation left, though. The biggest question Barack Out With My Cock Out faces is if a symbolic Bible Belt will remain intact across the electoral map. In 2000 and 2004 it was strong and wide, ready for the most excessive of New Mexican belt buckles, but in the last 4 years the belt has withered down so thin, only the trendiest hipster doofus might sport it. For the visually inclined, Realclearpolitics.com provides a great chart of where things stand. When you do the math on how Obama is running at least double the amount of advertising of McCain’s campaign and then add in the fact that Obama’s supporters are twice as enthusiastic about his candidacy as McCain’s (in fairness, the Obama Nation is much younger, more agile and generally more active than McCain’s geriatrics) you start to see the where the election is going.
Now get another plate, we’ve got more things to add. Add in the ties McCain has to Mr. Unpopular AKA President Bush and his proud support of the President’s policies “over 90% of the time” ‘. . . more than most of his Republican colleagues.’ Add to it his statement that he just doesn’t know so much about the economy. On top of that, add the fact that the majority of the battle of this election is not being fought in the swing states, but in the states that were surely expected to support the Republican nominee.
The big question that remains about the election is whether there will be an unabridged belt wrapping across our nation from North Dakota down to Georgia. Barack Out With My Cock Out has studied fivethirtyeight.com, realclearpolitics.com, politico.com and countless other sources for far too long to have any uncertainty in stating that the belt will survive without the blue connecting New Mexico to Maine, but with a shocking surprise in Kansas or South Dakota that goes out the window. It won’t reach from Canada to the Atlantic, but it will get to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Bradley effect and other unfounded notions
Much has been made about the issue of the accuracy of polling and how each poll represents the forthcoming actions of the voters. Every poll has a margin of error for a reason – they just aren’t perfect. We’ll skip the Stat 101 lecture and brush gently on the issues the pollsters face. Finding a perfect representation of the overall population is impossible because you don’t know what that overall population looks like. Not everyone will or is able to vote so pollsters attempt to determine how to represent the portion of people that will participate in the election. A “likely voter universe” is as easy to identify as a Chupacabra or a Poltergeist. But one issue we are confident they are not facing is whether race will skew the polling results in comparison to the electoral results.
A quick stop in History class teaches us that the Bradley Effect derives its name from former Mayor of Los Angeles Tom Bradley and his failed candidacy for the Governorship of California. Bradley was a black politician that was leading in the polls going into Election Day only to end up losing. Many people attributed the divergence in polling numbers and the result to the presumption that people being interviewed for the poll were ashamed to admit they would be voting for the white guy rather than the black man. This theory has had few opportunities to be tested since Bradley’s 1982 defeat. Some fear pollsters over-compensate for racial tensions. Some worry they poll the wrong portions of the population that would have these sentiments. Some fear just the mention of this idea might encourage others to mislead pollsters. Some people go on with their lives. After a painful winter experience in Iowa, Barack Out With My Cock Out knows that people love to mislead pollsters, but does not worry about this throwing the election. The Bradley Effect, if it does exist is said to only account for up to a 5 point shift. So if you look around the nation and award Obama all of the states where he hold at least a 6 point lead, he still wins 277 electoral votes (calculated from realclearpolitics.com’s poll averages – a conservative-leaning site). Let’s say NM Sec. of State Mary Herrera screws up everything in New Mexico and gives away the state’s votes to McCain, . . . Obama still wins with 2 extra votes.
We’re looking at the numbers of young voters that might finally turn out en masse to support the Democratic nominee. We’re looking at the portions of the population that pollsters may not be accurately accounting for in their samples to swing this election far past any Bradley Effect or worse.
We’re also thinking of all of the friends we have that may let a distasteful remark here and there that are still voting for Obama. The most fascinating aspect of Obama’s candidacy is not that he is going to become the first black President, but that he is earning the support of people that otherwise would have nothing to do with people of a different race of your own. More and more voters stuck in the ante bellum days of our republic are coming out in sincere support of Obama. Think about it. Think about all of your friends and those that have used an ugly joke or a slur you’d never imagine uttering in front of a member of that minority group and think about how many of them still have friends of the minority groups they take so much joy in belittling. Racism is not dead, but it has evolved into a very odd form where people hold their views internally, but still behave in a mature manner when face to face in the real world. The world isn’t perfect yet – as evidenced by McCain’s un-ending attempts to convince voters Obama is a Islamic terrorist in order to gain ground in the race – but it is improving and racism has no chance to derail Obama’s victory train.
390-148 and . . . ?
You saw it here first. Two weeks out and that’s the way it’s going to be. Barack Out With My Cock out came to this number by looking at all battlegrounds and acknowledging the superior ground effort, the superior expenditures on advertising and the general shift in the opinions of the country put these states in President-elect Obama’s column. Now the real guessing game is which state that is supposed to be outside of any reach of Obama will also fall his way. Georgia was our choice, but Arkansas, West Virginia, North Dakota, Montana and even Mississippi are all vying to be the surprise of Election Night.
The more important question is if the Democrats will achieve a cloture-proof majority in the Senate (look it up). As good as this wave we’re riding is, we aren’t holding our breath. The one flaw of fivethirtyeight.com is that it consistently states that the Democrats must pick up nine seats to achieve this very important legislative advantage. However, we cannot hold any faith that the turncoat Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) would abed such ruthless legislating after spending the last year on the campaign trail with Sen. McCain. Maybe it could happen in 2010, but not this year. But we’re dying to be proven incorrect.
To quickly count seat by seat, it appears the Udall boys are ready to roll and will pick up the seats in New Mexico and Colorado (Tom and Mark, respectively). In Oregon, moderate Republican Gordon Smith can’t say enough nice things about Obama to save his seat from being claimed by Jeff Merkley. Virginia has the safest of safe seats for a Dem to win and Mark Warner is doing just that. Jeanne Shaheen will upend Sen. John Sununu’s career in Maine. Kay Hagen will claim what could have been the second senate seat for the Democrats in North Carolina if John Edwards had run for reelection in 2004 (maybe. according to insiders, Edwards probably would have lost his reelection had he at least attempted to hold the seat). Mayor of Anchorage Mark Begich is relieving 40-year Senator Ted Stevens just in time for Stevens to head to jail for the free home makeover he received from lobbyists (way to blame your wife! You’re the man!). And the most laughable of races takes place in Minnesota – those guys just can’t get enough of celebrities and are on track to send Al Franken to Washington because he’s good enough, he’s smart enough, and damnit, people kinda like him.
So that’s eight seats they’ll add. NOW your complaints that the Dem’s aren’t ending the war in Iraq fast enough are valid. Previously, they were unfounded since the Dems did not have a majority in the Senate on that issue because Lieberman just loves dumping $10bil a month into a mission President Bush stated was already accomplished.
The Gut Feeling
At the end of the day, it comes down to the little things. And at the end of the day, Barack Out With My Cock Out wants a President that can stroke a jumper from 15 feet like Larry Bird, not a dying bird. The next update will contain the official voting guide for New Mexicans with encouragement to residents of other states for important contests. As soon as the lazy Mary Herrera-wannabe County Clerk gets me my mail-in ballot, its on. Hey Maggie, put a staffer on dropping my ballot into the mail and get the rest of the team working on fixing your website.