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Susan Estrich
8 Oct 2014
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Lady Luck

Comment

There is a lot about this election season that's easy to explain.

Mitt Romney won the first debate by a lot, and President Obama won the second and third, but by smaller margins. Romney's victory meant more because it established that he was a credible candidate, which is a threshold a challenger can't fail to meet.

The race is close because — unless you're in the middle of a war — it's always the economy.

If the economy were better, Obama would have this race nailed. As I used to say about some of my (losing) candidates, they had no problem that two points of unemployment couldn't solve. If unemployment were two points lower, the fat lady would be singing.

There's not a lot of enthusiasm out there. I ran into a woman on the day of the last debate — a politically savvy, usually engaged Democrat — and she said to me, "Aren't you sick of the whole thing?" Actually, I'm not. Actually, as a former Hillary supporter, I think the president has done more to keep his promises than I expected. I'm a lot less disappointed than the people who convinced themselves four years ago that Obama could walk on water, much less do it in the swamp that is Washington, D.C., figuratively and literally.

The absence of enthusiasm on the Democratic side is not much different from what I'm seeing on the Republican side. Some Republicans tell me Romney is actually a better candidate than they thought he'd be, which is another way of saying he's not as bad as they feared he'd be. I expect that if he wins, conservatives will be all over him from Day One for not being conservative enough. Some already are.

So what will decide this election?

Probably Ohio.

The ground game. Field operations and GOTV don't mean much when you have a five-point lead — or are losing by five points. A point or two is the difference they generally make.

Right now, a point or two probably decides the election.

A spike of news, good or bad, between now and the election, either personal (remember that last-minute drunk driving story that dropped on Bush) or economic. It's a little late, and a little obvious, for either side to manufacture an October surprise, but it's still October.

What will the candidates do in the final days? Visit the same six or seven states they've been visiting. Probably go positive while the Super-PACs go negative. Obama will try to hold his lead among women and cut Romney's among men. Reverse for Romney.

What about these polls that are all over the place? Which ones should you believe? The ones in the middle tend to be the most reliable.

Which campaign did the better job? The one that wins. Those folks will be credited with pulling off a close race. The ones who lose will be second-guessed and will second-guess themselves until the cows come home, because any small thing done differently might have changed the outcome. Losing a landslide is in many ways easier.

Will this election produce a mandate? No. You don't get a mandate when you win by a point or two. Obama isn't likely to get his tax increase on the wealthy. Romney isn't likely to get a big increase in defense spending. Unemployment will probably keep inching down no matter who wins, and whoever does will take credit.

But it still matters. It matters in terms of who is on the Supreme Court, environmental regulations, accessibility to health care and a host of other issues, most of which haven't received the attention they deserve during this campaign.

Many of the people who will decide this election may have been watching baseball or football during the debates while the rest of us rooted for the candidate to whom we're already firmly committed. But the election matters more.

As for who will win it, don't count out the one factor no one can predict or control: plain old luck. If it's Lady Luck, it will be Obama.

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

COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM



Comments

14 Comments | Post Comment
If Obama did more that you expected to keep his promises, than you have the bar set so low its in the ocean. No one hold politicians accountable for their promises. They can just promise whatever will get them votes, and change agendas when they get in. Also, during the debates they can just lie their tails off and look good in the moment. They'll get fact checked sure, but by the time they do people don't care anymore. This whole political system rewards lying and promise breaking.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:35 PM
" it [who wins the election] matters in terms of who is on the Supreme Court, environmental regulations, accessibility to health care and a host of other issues, most of which haven't received the attention they deserve during this campaign" One of the very few things that Estrich has said, with which agreement may be expressed.

If the America hating lying sack of sh*t obama gets back in because of the terminally stupid like Lipka and other brain dead liberals, then say good bye to America, there will be at least two more lying, deceiving, unqualified constitution hating liberal activists like Sotomayor and Kagen appoined to the bench, the EPA will run amok, jobs will be lost, more Islamists like Hilary's Muslim Brotherhood aide Abedin will be appointed to positions of power and have access to security decisions and the economy will be absolutely destroyed for generations. All of that is certain.

Comment: #2
Posted by: joseph wright
Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:52 PM
Well, I see it's the same non-informative pablum from Susan. Reading her columns has become boring and a waste of time. The same eight or ten people make the same points to Susan. I grant that each of us loyal readers/commenters often lead with our biases against Obama and the leftist agenda. But many of us have taken the time and effort to provide reasonable responses to Susan - and she never, absolutely never, replies or incorporates any of our thoughts in her articles. She does not even indicate whether she has read our commentary or not. Clearly, she is either so steeped in her ideology that she cannot see any other perspective or, and I actually believe this to be more true, Susan is just mailing in her simplistic analysis in exchange for a paycheck -- and she does nothing more.
I was giving Susan one more chance to write an article that contained insight not available elsewhere instead of middle of the road, self-evident boilerplate that could come from a high school civics student (unless it was one more of her many essays of her loss of family and friends). In this time of incredible opportunity to participate in analysis of an election that is clearly a choice between two significantly different approaches to government, Susan's wearisome repetetition of her shallow analysis has guaranteed that her name and number will be kept in the robocall rolodex of every liberal author but no one of any responsibility in a campaign will ever put her number on speed dial. She is just too banal to bother with.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Lesley Barnard
Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:16 PM
It is now a proven fact that Obama is a liar, a deceiver, a coward and a failure in his primary duty which is to protect America and its citizens. The truth is out via State Dept and Embassy e mails that the liar in chief knew within two hours of the event that the Benghazi attack was a pre planned Islamist militant attack. He did nothing to protect those brave Americans who were savagely murdered. In fact he threw them under the bus so as to protect his election mantra that al Qaeda was on the run.

Obama is truly the Islamist enemy within. Wake up people!!!
Comment: #4
Posted by: joseph wright
Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:24 AM
It is now a proven fact that Obama is a liar, a deceiver, a coward and a failure in his primary duty which is to protect America and its citizens. The truth is out via State Dept and Embassy e mails that the liar in chief knew within two hours of the event that the Benghazi attack was a pre planned Islamist militant attack. He did nothing to protect those brave Americans who were savagely murdered. In fact he threw them under the bus so as to protect his election mantra that al Qaeda was on the run.

Obama is truly the Islamist enemy within. Wake up people!!!
Comment: #5
Posted by: joseph wright
Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:28 AM
Hey, At least we don't have to read about Ms. Estrich alleged rape so she can garner sympathy for her position while tolerating the abject bullying on her web column.

Dennis
Comment: #6
Posted by: Dennis
Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:49 AM
If Susan's column appears in many different places, I doubt she would read the comments from here, especailly with some being so long and ranty. I've had some of my comments brought up by some writers in their columns, but only on the conservative side.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:23 AM
FIRST debate Romney = BULLy in a China Shop
SECOND debate Romney = DEER caught in the headlights
THIRD debate Romney = Chameleon

Hard to believe that Romney now has fully caved in to Obama's foreign policy decisions. Every conservative who watched that third debate had to be cringing at every word out of Romney's mouth. He was farther left than Obama. .... Reading the Right-wing pundits and columnists cry about Romney's performance brings the question, What did you expect from a guy this unprincipled. ?????
Comment: #8
Posted by: robert lipka
Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:02 AM
Re: robert lipka
It's so obvious your're not a strategy guy and only blinded by your President's lies and deceptions. Too bad for you.
Don't fret, life will get better in the next 4 years.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Oldtimer
Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:03 AM
People claim Obama "won" the second and third debates, but being better than his first disastrous debate, doesn't amount to victory. Biden's embarrasing performance should be a key aspect for considering Obama unqualified for his office. About the only purpose Biden serves is absolute security protection for Obama. No one would risk letting Biden become president.
Comment: #10
Posted by: pb1222
Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:16 AM
Re: Oldtimer
Lipka has demonstrated time and again that he has extreme difficulty in progressing or developing or accomplishing an ability to distinguish fact from obama's fiction, truth from obama's lies, or light from obama's darkness and by definition so far as those matters are concerned, is retarded.
Comment: #11
Posted by: joseph wright
Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:05 PM
Biden was physically in Ohio yesterday but thought he was in Iowa. So Sad!!!!
Comment: #12
Posted by: Oldtimer
Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:39 AM
Re: Oldtimer

Sad that we have a bona fide retard as VP? Sad that we have a bona fide lunatic a heartbeat away ? Or just sad that senility has set in ?
Comment: #13
Posted by: joseph wright
Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:50 PM
Re: joseph wright
All of the above!
Comment: #14
Posted by: Oldtimer
Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:52 AM
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