From Tuesday until Saturday I watched as Florida slowly completed its tally of the Presidential vote. On Wednesday morning, President Obama led former Governor Romney by .54 percent, just barely enough to avoid a mandatory recount (.50 percent). By Saturday midday the president led his challenger by .88 percent (and had broken through to an absolute majority--50.1 percent--of the total vote cast), or almost twice the margin needed to avoid the mandatory recount.
At this point a recount seems unlikely, since it matters little how big the electoral college margin is. So, the president swept all eight of the 'toss-up' states.
That says something about how bad polling can be when somebody puts a thumb on the scale (whether that somebody is the Romney campaign desperately trying to confirm a path to victory or the media, desperately wanting to report a close contest). And it says something that both Nate Silver and the Princeton Election Consortium were giving the good stuff anyway for free (with no social disease mambo jambo) to anyone willing to strip and dip in the data.
But it also says something about the president's re-election campaign.
He won all but two of the states he carried in 2008. And 2008 had a couple of special elements--the ya-ya factor of the first ever election of an African American president and the repudiation of the Bush Cheney regime. This time around, the first element was gone, and, let's face it, Obama was the guy facing repudiation.
Despite the, er, best efforts of Team Romney, the country wasn't ready to repudiate the Democrats.
And, for something to think about, not only did the country not repudiate the president, not only did the country increase the Democratic majority in the Senate, but across the country a majority of voters voted for Democratic candidates in the House of Representatives. The only reason the Republicans control it is the odious practice of gerrymandering, at which they excel.
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