Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Election Day Scenarios. What's Yours?

By Alan Caruba

Predicting Election Day outcomes this far in advance is a fool’s game, but it’s fun to play around with possible scenarios.

Barring some explosive revelation about Barack Hussein Obama or John McCain, the outlines of likely outcomes are fairly visible. I am, however, always reminded of former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards who once said, “The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.”

If money is the mother’s milk of politics than Obama has a huge, current 3-to-1 lead over McCain and that imbalance is likely to remain. Obama has, from the beginning of his campaign, proved to be a money-raising machine. McCain’s problem is that he is a Republican at a time when a lot of Republicans are so sick of their party that they are reluctant to contribute to his campaign no matter how much they want him to defeat Obama.

So one scenario is a huge blow-out for Obama and the Democrats. The “change” he has been advocating would increase the Democrat’s control over Congress and put him in the Oval Office. The downside of this is that he may well be the least prepared person for the job since Andrew Johnson replaced Lincoln.

A second scenario is that the next election, like so many before it in recent election cycles, proves to be agonizingly close as Republicans, waking from their stupor, turn out in sufficient numbers to defeat Obama with lots of help from the independents. McCain may be old, but one third of the population is old too. And they vote! The kids that are all worked up over “change” and “hope” are going to be too busy playing video games and text messaging to vote.

A third scenario is that America’s famed racism rears its ugly head and Obama gets blown away as white voters turn out in droves to make sure he does not get any closer to the White House than an invitation to tea. Ironically, Hispanic voters are quite likely to vote against him as well. There is no love lost between Hispanic-Americans and Afro-Americans. When asked to identify themselves racially, Hispanics put a check mark in the “white” box.

A fourth scenario put forth by World Net Daily is that it will be an election where large numbers of voters simply stay home. The theory is that disaffected supporters of Hillary Clinton will not want to cast a vote for Obama after having their hopes of a woman president dashed. How many Republicans, unhappy with their candidate, decide not to vote is too difficult to say, but it remains a possibility, though a dim one. Republicans are patriots at heart and not likely to abandon their party or their nation. Many are already convinced Obama is a Communist.

Given that many Democrats swoon whenever they see Obama, their vote is assured, though some may, as in the days of Reagan, cross over to McCain because they are blue-color, evangelicals, gun-owners, or for comparable reasons. This is entirely likely. It also returns us to the second scenario of a very tight win for McCain.

For myself, I see a potential loss by McCain because I think he will be unwilling to engage in a truly horrid campaign of inuendo, smears, racism, or other unpleasantries. He was defeated by George W. Bush in the primaries that led to Bush’s first term by such tactics and I suspect that he does not want to be remembered for engaging in anything like them, even if it costs him the election. This speaks to his character and his military heritage.

That said, plenty of others will gladly do the dirty work for him. The 527 groups that will air their commercials are likely to be far more interesting than those of the candidates. In that respect, the soft atmospherics of the commercials to “re-introduce” both candidates strike me as obvious and unconvincing.

One thing is already evident and that is the appalling amount of pandering that both candidates have already begun to demonstrate. This portends months of flip-flops on various issues. Obama’s rejection of public financing is just the beginning.

I have a friend who believes, as I do, that if McCain would climb down off his little Green environmental cloud and declare he is for drilling here, i.e. ANWR and in States known to have oil reserves, and drilling now, the election would be his. Neither of us think he’s smart enough to do that.

One suspects that both candidate’s will be counting on the short memories of voters and, possibly, a great deal of voter fatigue by the time Election Day rolls around. It is likely that a lot of voters will not make up their mind until within 24 hours of the polls opening. We have evolved into a nation suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder.

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