Hey now, hey now – don’t dream it’s over

Posted by: ST on October 10, 2008 at 6:51 pm

Jay Cost at RCP’s Horserace blog has some sobering news about McCain’s and Obama’s respective RCP averages, and how in actuality in those numbers there hasn’t been much of a change over the course of the last week. McCain, he argues, can’t get any traction going against Obama because the more unsettling news is reported about the economy, the stock market, and the financial crisis, the more people will turn to the opposition party – no matter the nominee:

So long as the newspapers and the televisions are full of stories about contraction, which as you can see dominated every day this week here in Pittsburgh, John McCain’s poll position will be weak. That’s all there is to it. Conservatives can criticize McCain for not doing this, that or the other; liberals can praise Obama for doing this, that, or the other. But the fact remains that, as of today, the state of the race is pretty simple: this was an even-steven contest until the markets started to sputter and people started really worrying about the economy. Now Obama’s up 6 points.

This is infuriating conservatives. If you peruse the conservative blogs or listen to talk radio – you can almost feel their anger. There’s plenty of blame to go around, they argue. And of course they’re right – both parties are to blame – but it doesn’t matter.

The average voter doesn’t understand the intricacies of economic policy. Heck, when you think about it, nobody really understands the economy. So, voters often rely on simple yet sensible metrics to make political decisions about the economy. One of them has been more or less operative since the election of 1840: if the economy tanks during a Republican administration, vote Democrat. If it tanks during a Democratic administration, vote Republican. Applying this rule to 2008, we get the following. McCain, because he is of the incumbent party, gets the political harm. Obama, because he is of the out party, gets the political benefit. That’s all there is to it.

This rule might not be just, but remember justice is a matter of law. This is a matter of politics, a space where the law does not exist. This rule might not make for the best choice every time, but in the long run it does have some beneficial effects. Above all, it makes the party in charge work hard for growth, which is what the country really wants.

Does that mean this race is over? No. If the bad news dissipates and some good news manages to creep back into the papers and onto the television, McCain’s position should improve at least a bit. But that means that his fortunes are out of his control (the same goes for Obama). A retooled message might help him at the margin, but to change things he’s first going to need some better headlines.

Couple with that the fact that McCain’s drop in tracking numbers directly coincides with the implosion of the stock market. Before that, Mc was enjoying the momentum wave alongside Gov. Palin, and looked poised to possibly defy the odds in the “year of the Democrat.” But the sour economic/financial news put them at a disadvantage, primarily because McCain is a member of the Republican party, which just happens to be the same party the unpopular president who we see almost every day is a member of, too.

It’s not over, of course – but the odds aren’t good right now. Between the daily bad domestic news and a media that is deeply in the tank for Obama, not to mention the problems sometimes the McCain campaign brings on itself, overcoming the obstacles is going to be difficult. Nevertheless, as I’ve said before, don’t stop fighting. Liberals have already started passing around the champagne glasses and are hoping conservatives just give up. Let’s continue to demonstrate that we won’t.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

6 Responses to “Hey now, hey now – don’t dream it’s over”

Comments

  1. Jeanie says:

    Maybe I need to go outside, and play, but I can’t help but feel it was planned this way. Paranoid, I know….but ever since reading the story of Reid dropping the hint to reporters about a big name insurance company going down….I just smell a Reid/Pelosi political strategy in all of this. Yes…in my opinion, they are just that stupid, desperate, and manipulative, to tank the economy, to insure a democrat in the White House.

  2. Victor Davis Hanson, who should be required reading for conservatives of every stripe, offers some reasons to be hopeful: Not Over Yet.

    Chin up, and all that. :d

  3. Joe says:

    “It’s not over, of course – but the odds aren’t good right now.”

    I would prefer to frame that as “the odds aren’t good right now, but it’s not over.” Not a single vote has been counted yet. This election, as it stands now, has indeed turned on a dime, and it can turn again. Outside forces have had a huge impact, but, absent that, McCain/Palin have to keep hammering away at Obama and hope the media, amd then the electorate, will take notice. I was hoping that today’s report in the Washington Times would have some impact, but so far it has been ignored by the rest of the MSM (gasp!).

    In 1948, it wasn’t outside forces, but a fighting spirit that carried Truman to victory against all odds. Sarah Palin clearly has that spirit. I’m not sure about McCain.

  4. Severian says:

    People are amazingly stupid and ill informed. Oooh, economy bad, must be the fault of whatever party is in the President’s chair. No matter that the president has precious little control over anything outside of war and foreign policy, never mind that budgets are written by Congress, etc. People must have slept thru Civics class in school, or more likely they were taught by clueless leftists.

    Voting for Obama over McCain on the economy is like being aghast that the current president patted his secretary on the bottom, and voting for Jack the Ripper because of it.

  5. BeachBabe NC says:

    Just got this email.. I dont know how true it is.. I havent found anything on fox about it, but I did want to share it just in case!!

    SEAN HANNITY, OF HANNITY & COLMES~ FOX NEWS, IS GOING TO AIR A VERY

    IMPORTANT DOCUMENTARY ABOUT BARACK OBAMA, SUNDAY NIGHT AT 9:00 PM. HE

    STATED ON THE AIR THIS EVENING THAT NO ONE IN THE NEWS MEDIA WAS WILLING

    TO DO THIS.

    HANNITY IS GOING BACK TO OBAMA’S EARLIER DAYS, SHOWING EVEN THEN HIS TIES

    TO RADICAL PROFESSORS, FRIENDS, SPIRITUAL ADVISERS, Etc., HE STATED THIS

    EVENING THAT HE WILL SHOW IN DETAIL HIS TIES TO REV. WRIGHT FOR 20+ YRS (which we

    All know) HOW HE WAS PARTICIPATING WITH THIS MAN, AND NOT FOR THE REASONS HE

    STATES! HE HAS UNCOVERED MORE OF OBAMA’S RADICAL LEADERS AND WE WILL SEE

    THINGS THAT NO ONE IN THE MEDIA IS WILLING TO PUT OUT THERE. THIS WILL

    BE A NIGHT THAT YOU WILL KNOW MORE ABOUT OBAMA THAN EVER BEFORE. HANNITY IS

    VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT THIS PROGRAM AND ASKED THAT EVERYONE PLEASE, PLEASE

    WATCH~~SUNDAY NIGHT, 9 PM.

    HANNITY IS DETERMINED THIS INFORMATION BE PUT OUT THERE BECAUSE AS

    AMERICAN’S, WE STILL DO NOT KNOW ABOUT OBAMA!! WAKE UP AMERICA!! THIS

    IS SERIOUS,EVERYONE. I KNOW MOST OF YOU WATCH FOX NEWS, AND YOU KNOW WHO

    YOU ARE VOTING FOR, BUT IF YOU CAN, PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO EVERYONE YOU

    KNOW. THIS IS CRITICAL FOR OUR COUNTRY. MY PRAYER IS THAT WE, ALONG

    WITH SEAN HANNITY, WILL REACH SOMEONE/ANYONE BEFORE NOV. 4th.

    WE MUST NOT GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!

  6. Lorica says:

    Along with that Beachbabe is Farrakhan telling his people that Barry is THEE Messiah, and that his people must listen to what THEE Messiah says. Kind of like what John the Baptist said about Jesus. It was very disgusting.

    I am with Sev. Our present economic woes are the fault of this Congress. Their do nothing waste the people’s money and time on stupid withdrawal dates and impeachment hearings as the country goes to hell in a handbasket should not be forgotten.

    I was talking to my Brother last night and a guy he works with inherited an oil well from his Dad. I guess this thing had been capped for many years, but with oil prices as high as they had been he decided that there was more money to be made by uncapping it than taking Conoco’s money to leave it capped. Presently he is only getting about 20 barrels a day, but even at 80.00 a barrel that is a considerable sum. Anyway word is that alot of the people in down state IL have been uncapping wells and pumping oil because the price is so high. Hopefully they will continue to do it. – Lorica