I have been telling people for sometime that I believe Romney will win in a landslide. I suppose if I don’t post this before the election, I won’t get any props for making the right prediction.
I was spurred on by Andrew Sullivan’s complaints that Obama threw the election at the debate. Look, I understand that’s the narrative, but that’s not really the correct account. The ‘neck and neck’ polls over the last few months do not tell the truth. Romney’s victory was assured in November 2010, not a debate in 2012.
All those people who were outraged at Obamacare and the Democrat pillaging of the treasury that led to the Republican landslide in 2010 are still outraged. What people fail to understand is that conservatives are not like liberals. ‘Taking it to the streets’ is not their highest expression of democracy. Conservatives don’t feel like they need to put it in people’s face all the time. If they do take it to the streets–or ‘listening sessions’–you can bet that they are very, very, very upset about something.
Protest rallies packed with liberals chanting “this is what democracy looks like” are a dime a dozen. And yet, in liberal Wisconsin, not only was Scott Walker elected in 2010, but he survived the recall. In liberal Wisconsin, the conservative judge, David Prosser, won election in April of 2011, immediately following the Winter of Rage.
Why? How has this happened? Because the Dems of 2008 with Captain Obama leading the way in his glorious cape went too far. They went so far that even people who normally wanted no part in politics woke up one morning and said, “Holy crap. If I don’t do something here, these people are going to own me.” These people are still awake. They just aren’t the sort to riot in the streets. Nothing has fundamentally changed since 2010. The same avalanche that engulfed hundreds of Dems in that and subsequent elections is still coming down.
So what did happen at the debate? I think you have to bear in mind how unhappy conservatives are with the Romney pick. Indeed, many of the people who participated in the 2010 Dem smackdown are not happy with the Romney pick. There is a general lack of enthusiasm for him among conservatives, just as there had been for McCain. ‘Moderates’ on the other hand, while not particularly bothered by the Romney pick, weren’t entirely sure that Romney could hold his own. What both camps weren’t sure of was whether or not Romney had the ‘stuff.’
The debate showed that Romney was more than up to the task. This was the hump for conservatives and moderates alike. It had nothing to do with Obama’s performance. Indeed, I suspect that had Obama done better, this would have highlighted Romney’s competency even more. To put a finer point on it: all these people were going to vote for Romney anyway but they didn’t see much reason to get excited. They didn’t particularly care to register support for Romney in polls and what not. Now they have deemed that the Romney-wagon is safe to hitch themselves to.
The debate revealed nothing about Obama that attentive people have seen in him for the last four years: He is an ’empty suit.’ He is an ’empty chair.’ The debate only revealed something about Romney, but it only uncovered and crystallized anti-Obama sentiment that had been lying quietly beneath the surface for 2-4 years.
Romney in a landslide.
Full disclosure: As a conservative, I am disgusted with the Romney pick and still don’t know that I’ll vote for him. I’ve been telling people that if they want to see America go off the fiscal cliff in 3 years, vote for Obama… if you want to see it go off the fiscal cliff in 6 years, vote for Romney. But I suppose buying 3 years is better than nothing.