Sunday, November 4, 2012

Observations on the 2012 Election

The election is almost here, proven by the fact that all my favorite people from Alex Wagner to Rachel Maddow to Krystal Ball are all working on a Sunday night. I suppose if I want to act like I know anything at all about politics I must offer my prediction and not wait till the votes are finally counted. Saying I told you so just wouldn't be as much fun if I didn't tell you so in the first place so here is my pick for winner of the 2012 Presidential election.

I'm that rare person who is sometimes accused of being overly cynical but at other times, times usually involving politics, accused of being overly optimistic. That being said I think Tuesday President Obama will win re-election and will win by a margin not as close as the national polls are showing.

You might tell me to look at those polls again but the thing is I don't think late national polls mean as much as they once did for one simple reason. By the time polls open Tuesday more than 29 million people will have already voted, a record any way you look at it. You can ignore that if you want but another problem with national polls is that they are national in the first place. In some southern states Romney is ahead by twenty or thirty points which throws off the national averages yet doesn't effect the final electoral count in the least, Mississippi still has six electoral votes and California has fifty-five in the only poll that matters.

Another reason I don't believe the polls involves women. President Obama is way ahead among single women, younger women, and single mothers yet Romney is ahead among married women of all ages. Are married women and single women that different? I really don't think so, unless they are voting for Romney just because their husbands are voting for Romney but I'm not going there, I don't have the time for ignorance on that level. Another possible reason, and slightly more understandable, is that they don't want their husbands to know who they are voting for.

As always I may be wrong, one way or the other we'll all know together in about forty-eight hours.

Sunday Observations 11.4

As I write this it is only 40 hours till election day ....

It has been one hell of a week so I don't have much this Sunday but I did have one thing I wanted to pass on. Congresswoman and Chair of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wassermann Schultz is one of my favorite politicians for a number of reasons not the least of which is that she is a cancer survivor. I was catching up on some reading this week and read an article on her in the October issue of Vogue.

"Her seemingly inexorable rise was interrupted in 2007, when she found a lump in her breast while doing a self-exam in the shower. The cancer was at an early stage, but because of a history of cancer in her family, she was advised to undergo genetic testing for the BRCA mutation. "When the tests came back I realized there were too many people in the room for them to be negative," she says. With her BRCA2 mutation the odds were as high as 80 percent that she would eventually develop ovarian cancer, with a similarly high risk of her breast cancer recurring. She opted to have the most aggressive preventative treatment possible: surgical removal of her ovaries and a double mastectomy."

It goes on to describe how the hardest part for her was keeping the news from her kids until she knew she would be fine and from her colleagues because she didn't want any special treatment. During the 2008 presidential election she campaigned for now President Obama even as she underwent seven operations. I wish I could link to the full article, it's very good, but it isn't online anywhere. Wasserman Schultz is now one of the leading candidates to replace Nancy Pelosi as House Minority Leader if she steps down after the election.