Not everyone is a politics geek like me. I understand that. And though this election season has been extremely invigorating for the people of my clan, I can’t help but notice on many social networking sites that the overwhelming majority of Americans are totally over this election cycle. So, let’s recap where we stand going into Election Day. Then, we’ll vote, watch the results and let the chips fall where they may.
From the Polls
So, there is speculation all over the place about who will lose and who will be the victor. Some polls say Romney is in the lead. Some say President Obama is ahead. Others call the race dead even. And many believe tomorrow’s big event will be a nail-biter. Why does this matter? Well it doesn’t really. With Hurricane Sandy stealing the election, most polls can’t possibly reach all the northeastern folks affected by the storm. And, many people are so disillusioned the negativity of the campaigns that they successfully pressed the mute button on all things political for at least the last three months.
Additionally, looking deeper into the polling methodology, we often see that the samples used are not statistically representative of who will actually vote on Election Day. You know how they always say “likely voters” were polled? Well, sometimes that’s a stretch. What about all of the people who don’t have landlines or work in the evenings when most pollsters make cold calls? I’d say there are at least two major voting blocs in the country to which the pollsters have little access: young people and middle class workers. In essence, trusting polls requires a lot more leg work than just believing what they say. And, the polls conducted at this point in the election have a very small likelihood of being vetted thoroughly.
To add, sample bias is often an intentional issue. These polling groups, often linked to info-tainment firms, have a lot to gain by politicizing the vote. Therefore, it would suffice to say, I am not totally convinced.
From the Pundits
Almost every single (reputable) pundit has called the election for the incumbent. Many have said it will be a landslide. And, given their command of political history, I would see little reason to think otherwise. But, upon further inspection, one might find that these pundits are connected to parties, candidates, campaigns, super PACs, and a host of other implicit political groups. Therefore, one cannot be entirely confident that any of this conjecture actually means anything.
Also, we’ve already seen hints at a counter argument for a potential President Obama win. Republican strategist, most known for his contributions to the George W. Bush’s Administration, Karl Rove, came out to comment on how Hurricane Sandy might have pushed voters toward the President. Though this is neither here nor there where the final vote is concerned, it adds to the cloud of rhetoric surrounding today’s monumental event. This is yet another issue to turn off already disenchanted voters.
From the Candidates
Governor Mitt Romney ended his campaign in New Hampshire. At this time, Ann Romney took a subtle jab at President Obama by noting that the America we all love may be in “danger” while Romney reflected on the campaign and its humble origins. The scene received little press but was a neat closing note for a campaign riddled with factual issues. For the most part, Romney has received significantly less press in the past week since Hurricane Sandy touched down (so maybe Rove makes a good point?). But, the candidate punctuated the end of his campaign respectfully.
In similar fashion, President Obama and the First Lady ended their dueling campaign with teary eyes and reflective platitudes in Iowa. And evening filled with emotion was capped off with an expression of admiration for a devoted Obama supporter. Many were touched by the President’s words and open expression of sentiment. And, he truly seemed touched by the monumental task of a potential second term. Overall, both candidates closed out their campaigns on relatively high notes with little animus between the camps.
Where Do We Stand?
When is election night not exciting? This one will be no different. Every major station will be airing coverage, most will be starting special coverage as early as 2:00 pm on the west coast. If you were one of those cynical bystanders waiting for the election to end, as luck has it, you’ll be out of your misery tomorrow evening.
But, whether you’ve soldiered through the debates, ignored all the commentary, un-friended some people with opposing political views, or simply tuned out all things political this election season, you still have a part to play. You must get out and vote. You don’t have to care who wins the presidency to care about your civic duty. The election is pretty much over anyway. But don’t let all the loud mouths drown out your voice (that includes mine). Happy Election Day!
To find you polling place, see here.
To learn more about elections in your state, see here.