I’m just throwing it out there. I think John McCain may still win this thing and if so this may go down as the “Refuse to Respond” election.
It’s not just a hunch. Here are my three main reasons.
1) I believe that polls are largely overestimating the number of Democrats over Republicans who are going to vote in this election. Many of the polls are being weighted with a 6-10 percent advantage for Democrats in this election, which would be unprecedented. Pollsters are supposed to base their polls on past activity but it seems in this case they’re basing their numbers on the excitement they see in the media and Obama’s press releases. So the pollsters think it’s possible due to the overwhelming excitement surrounding Obama that the youth (who never vote) will finally show up in massive numbers. Now, the early voting numbers don’t bear this out but we’ll see.
Palin has energized the base in a way that pollsters haven’t caught onto yet. You’d think that her rallies with 20,000 people in small towns would clue them in but the pollsters are too busy calling her a drag on the ticket. I think that because of Palin and a very legitimate fear of Obama, Republicans are going to vote in strong numbers.
2) In many of the polls there are still a great swath of “undecideds” who I suspect will break overwhelmingly for McCain. Look, after $600 million in advertising and glorious and unquestioning media coverage for The One, if you’re not for Obama yet, I don’t think you’re going to get there over the weekend. If you’ve resisted HIM so far I don’t see you pulling the lever on election day.
3) And then you have this internal McCain memo from The Atlantic:
We have merged all of our interviews over the last three plus weeks to identify undecided and respondents who “refuse to respond” on the ballot question. This can be as high as one out of ten voters, but is generally about eight percent (8%) of the electorate in battleground states.
These voters might generally be non-voters in most cycles. But, in this cycle, 61% describe their interest in the election as a 10. This is higher than the last track among ALL voters in 1996 and 2000.
These voters are older, downscale, more rural, and are certainly economically stressed. They are quite negative about the direction of country and seek change. They voted for Bush over Kerry by a margin of 47% to 24% and this partisan advantage is a critical element to understanding our capacity to “get” these voters.
They have significant hesitations about Senator Obama’s experience and judgment.
Given an Obama TV media barrage we have not witnessed since the last candidate to run without public financing, Richard Nixon in 1972, and the daily drumbeat about Obama’s chances, given their demographics, it is my sense these voters WILL vote in this election and WILL break decisively in our direction.
These undecided/refuse to respond voters breaking decisively against Senator Obama mirrors the pattern of the last two months of the Democrat primary season.
When they do break, I believe they will add a net three plus points to our margins.
Does anybody think that people who are for Obama are refusing to respond? If what I’m saying is true then you could possibly have a swing of 6-7 percent on election day between the refuse to responds and the “undecideds” breaking for McCain as well as Republicans showing up in greater numbers than pollsters suspect.
So, in short, get out and vote. That’s the only poll that counts.