Voting is underway in swing states Iowa and Ohio. Most of the rest of the swing states will start voting between October 18 – 27. In 2008, early voting in four swing states accounted for more than 50% of the total vote in those states.
Nate Silver, the highly regarded pollster for the New York Times, has Obama an 85% favorite on the eve of the first debate. That's up six percentage points in the last week.
The President has been doing his debate prep, and light campaigning in Nevada (a swing state), and will campaign in Denver and Madison, Wisconsin on Thursday. He'll get a big enthusiastic crowd in Madison, which should help with the post-debate spin. The Wisconsin stop will be his second in less than two weeks, indicating the state's increased importance in the President's electoral calculus.
After returning to Washington, he has events in Virginia and Ohio on Friday, and back in Ohio the following Tuesday. The President has made twice as many trips to Ohio as Romney, and has twice as many field officers. He's got a better organization and the tail-wind of an unemployment rate in the state better than the national average.
It's apparent that the President would like to put Ohio and Iowa out of reach for Romney in the early-voting period, which would force Mitt to reach for longshot states like Pennsylvania, which was made increasingly problematic by the voter ID law in that state, which has been vacated.
All this has not gone down well with the agitated right, which makes a home with Sean Hannity on Fox five nights a week. The point of view being pushed by Hannity and friends is that the polls are not to be believed, and that the media is biased in favor of Obama.
The right thinks that the polls are wrong, because they over-sample from groups who voted for Obama in 2008 … young people, women, minorities, Union households. The right argues that those groups will not turn out in the same numbers as they did in 2008, because the enthusiasm for President Obama is not at the same high level that it was then.
I disagree. The right underestimates its ability to motivate the left. Does anybody think that the birthier controversy and the efforts to delegitimize the President from opening day went unnoticed in the African American community. Is it reasonable to assume that Republican-sponsored legislation requiring women to undergo unnecessary and unwanted procedures before an abortion will not cause a reaction. How about the vilification of the Union movement by Scott Walker in Wisconsin, or the Romney 47% tape, or the voter ID laws in Republican-controlled states.
The people who were for Obama in 2008 will be there in similar numbers this time … maybe more so.
The right has been whining about media bias since Nixon. The charge does not pass the laugh test.
If you are the anchor of a cable TV show in the time slot between 7 – 10pm, you make between $2 and $20 million per year. Most of the occupants of those anchor chairs are white men. The people who serve as the CEOs of the companies that own these media outlets are white men who make $20 – $100 million per year.
So the right will have us believe that very rich white men reporting to exceedingly over-the-top rich white men constitute an obvious Democratic demographic that is skewing the news to ensure President Obama's re-election.
Like I said, it doesn't pass the laugh test.
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