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Susan Estrich
12 Feb 2016
Why We Do It This Way

Who in the world, one of my friends asked, could ever have come up with such a ridiculous way to nominate a president? … Read More.

10 Feb 2016
Why Women Should Be for Hillary

There is one reason young women should support Hillary Clinton for president. It happens to be, in my … Read More.

5 Feb 2016
Donald Trump: Sore Loser

It was the shortest speech anyone can remember him giving. He was clearly in a state of disbelief. How could … Read More.

Keep Worrying


My Democratic friends want to know when they can stop worrying.

The answer is soon, but not too soon. Say around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4. And I mean 8 p.m. Pacific time.

Barack Obama is ahead right now. Comfortably ahead. Yes, if you look through every single poll, you can find some outliers — the ones that have the race as close as one or two points, along with the ones that have the gap approaching the teens.

The rule of thumb on polls, like scores in figure skating, is that if you want the truth, throw out the highest and the lowest and believe what's left. If you do that now, you'll see a race that is not at one and not at 12, but somewhere around five or six. Make no mistake: Five or six is not a close race. If it's five or six, McCain gets clobbered, no one stays up late, and the Democrats end up with the White House, the House and the Senate, a mandate and a ton of expectations.

There are, however, two problems with getting out the cigars now on the basis of any such expectations.

The first is those Founding Fathers of ours. Presidential races are not determined by the national horse race, even as measured by the actual votes on Election Day. They are determined by the results in the 50 states, calculated in the primaries under what we would call the "winner take all" rule and in the general election by what we just recognize as the weirdness of the Electoral College.

Margins don't matter. There's no rule of proportionate representation. Jesse Jackson never got ahold of the Constitution. You win New York by a little or a lot, and you still get the same number of electoral votes for doing so; ditto for Illinois and Texas and wherever. So while the national numbers do describe the race as a whole, that's not how the adding gets done, or how the winning and losing gets accomplished.

In presidential campaigns, what matters is not whether it's one or 12, or five or six, but who wins Ohio, Virginia, Indiana and Florida.

The current electoral map is looking very blue.

According to the latest estimates from, Obama/Biden is holding on to almost twice as many electoral votes as McCain/Palin (306-157), with only 75 toss-up votes. McCain could win every toss-up state and it still wouldn't be enough. Put another way, he needs all his leaners, all the toss-ups (Florida, North Carolina, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and North Dakota), plus 38 of the 47 electoral votes from the Obama-leaners (Ohio, Virginia, and New Mexico or Colorado) to pull this off.

Possible? Sure, anything's possible. Likely? No. Not likely.

The second problem is that the only thing in politics that's almost as bad as being sure you're going to lose is being sure you're going to win. People who are sure they're going to lose can end up feeling dispirited and do the unthinkable: not make their calls, do the last-minute door knocking and, most important of all, vote. They can be put off by the futility of it all, not to mention by low (or high) temperatures, rains or lines. The irony, of course, is that the same thing can happen to people who are too sure that their side is going to win.

These next two weeks could be a wonderful time to be a Democrat. It doesn't get any better than going into the final days with a strong candidate and a solid lead. It should be fun. It should be energizing. It should be exciting.

Democrats have every reason to work, knowing that there is an excellent chance that their work will pay off in victory. That's the reason to keep pushing, to keep at it, to not leave anything to chance. Because chance is the way Democrats could lose, not win.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



9 Comments | Post Comment
It is sad that in this election the blatant arrogance of cheating by the Obama Campaign is brought to light and no on seems to care about this. I like how in Ohio the Democratic judge gives a nod to continue cheating. Socialism started a while again in our media that is run by the far left who want to control this country and we allowed this to happen. I hear people talking about preparing if Obama wins. They plan on taking all money out of the market and plan on paying off all debt prior to Jan. Some have made job changes because their spouse has been warned they will lose their job if Obama wins. Banks are talking about not lending any money in the next few years I know this because Ilooked into a loan. This election has made more people worried and discouraged then the polls show that is for sure. Medical people are looking elsewhere because they see socialized medicine as a disaster and they will lost their jobs. So where is the good change everyone is talking about??? I see Russia gaining strength and allies with those who can cut our oil and leave us defenseless!!! Putin is giving support to Iran and Chavez!! GAINING STRENGTH and what are we going to do about it. We are the joke of the world and this country will lose strength with Obama. Susan write an article and please write and article on how Obama is going to change this country and don't give B== S== give facts. I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN BUT ASHAMED OF WHAT OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM HAS BECOME!!!!!!!
Comment: #1
Posted by: Kathaleen McCausland
Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:47 AM
I can hardly wait until the House, Senate and the Executive Branch are all run by liberals. I'm sure all our problems will be instantly swept away, under the carpet by the adoring media. Life will great. We will all be well taken care of. Oh joy!
Comment: #2
Posted by: April
Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:48 PM
I woke up this AM with the spiritual awakening. I am a recovering alcoholic and is considered disabled. Instead of working all my life I could have collected social security, had section 8 housing and had free medical insurance (medicaid). Well IF Obama is elected I will have my second chance I will quit my job and receive a tax break for not working and not paying taxes. My health insurance will be payed by the tax payer (national medicaid) and the people working very hard for their money will give me some so I can live. I have been stupid all my life to work hard and worry about paying my bills. When I go to the restaurant again instead of tipping the waiter or waitress I will give the tip to the homeless on the street. Why give it to the waiter or waitress since they work hard and have money. I will give it to the person who does not have any money and choose not to work.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Kathaleen McCausland
Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:55 AM
My dear Ms. Estrich, Do you honestly believe in your heart of hearts that a complete Democrat control of this country is what you really think is best for the country? I think you are too intelligent and honest with yourself to believe that. If you truly love your country as much as I do, you will know that that is the beginning of the end for a once great system of government. Not to push religion into the mix, but I do believe that God is in control of the whole mishuggenah. Maybe it is His will. If so, I will trust that He has good and suffiicient reasons for this whole situation.
I would welcome your reply,
Virginia Buddie Harchol
Comment: #4
Posted by: Virginia
Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:30 PM
Regarding Susan's article in the AZ Republic today, regarding McCanin's campaign exit strategy, I am insulted that anyone would print this a week prior to a national election.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Janet
Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:49 AM
Well Susan, maybe your wish for a liberal to be President is about to be true. A liberal New Mexico paper has already printed the headlines in their bi-monthly paper that Obama has won the election. As stated before I am an Independent and I chose to vote for McCain after listening to the 2001 Obama tape speaking on the Warren Court ruling and the Constitution. Senator Obama has a distorted view of the Constitution as it speaks about what the government cannot do to us the people and he thinks it is about what the government can do for us. Big government and massive spending programs is not what the Constitution is about but, it seems to be the way the Democrat Party has turned it thoughts ever since LBJ for which we are still paying. What I gather from Senator Obamas remarks about "reparation" is that he thought the Warren Court should have awarded money to all the blacks who were brought to this country as slave originally. This he spells out as action to be taken by the Executive and Legislative branches of government and he is quite clear on the subject. As I have native Indian blood in my veins I can only say that if he proposes this to happen while he is President then all native Indians and Hispanic who were forced off their lands by the settlers must also be paid "reparations" or America will be facing a new Civil War. If you don't think this is possible just take a look at the gangs which are Hispanic or Black.

This message of "wealth redistribution is another reason I cannot see as it takes from the people who work to create wealth and punishes them for doing this work - look for a few million small businesses to disappear if he is elected and for larger companies to flee America making it a total importing economy.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Gene44
Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:01 AM
Re: Janet
I agree with you 100%. As for when the Democratic party can stop worring, it will be four years from now if Obama is elected. This country will be taken down a dark path that we hasn't been seen in our lifetime.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Focus08
Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:16 PM
We will not let the liberal press call any election pre-maturely. We will fight up to the last minute for our courageous candidate John McCain.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Focus08
Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:22 PM
I am so proud of all of you for standing up for common sense logical views and not letting these liberal left so called journalists like Ms. Estrich get away with some of her arrogant predictions. Obama and the Democrats are playing with a sleeping giant.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Focus08
Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:27 PM
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