Archive for November 5th, 2012

Election Notes

This should appear the Monday before “the Tuesday after the first Monday of November.” after the first .

That weird wording is the official Election Day. “The Tuesday after the first Monday in November.” I have no idea how they came up with that, but it is one of the random trivia one enjoys.

I cannot remember a presidential election when my guess, when I had one, wasn’t accurate. I especially remember case like the 1988 election when even National Review had given up on Bush and I said Bush would win the whole time.

The reason my accuracy at this is odd is because I took no interest in presidential elections.

When it comes to planning strategy in election campaigns, the more senior an advisor is, the sooner his job is over. By the time John Ashbrook was murdered in April of 1982 I had already done about all my work for his 1982 campaign for the Senate which was still over six months away.Photobucket

Please note I said: “the more senior THE ADVISOR…” Strategic advisers are a separate set from the ranks of people who conduct the campaign. In Hollywood terms, an advisor is more like a script writer. The basic script usually has to be there before the producer can sell the idea and then hire a director.

Most people only think of rank in terms of campaign manager and on down to those conducting the campaign. That’s all most people have heard of.

Which is exactly as it should be. It critical for the people at the head of the active campaign to be known. The advisors, unless they are known as Big Time Campaign Advisors, only need to be known inside a small circle.

I may have been partially responsible for Ashbrook’s murder, because he was scaring Metzenbaum to death in the polling. It was therefore critical that he die before he became the official Republican candidate. And I know damned well that in the circle of people who knew who the advisors were, my strategy was well known to be a major reason for Metzenbaum’s problem.

When the polls showed the real situation, everybody knew my job in the strategy was done. Bumping me off wouldn’t do it.

So this is practical stuff.

So my interest in presidential elections was always minimal. By the campaign’s start my job was long since done.

But I also believe that my accuracy in predicting the election outcome was related to my disinterest in the November election. During the months where the professional commentators were discussing it every day, I was a person who was not obsessed with the day to day stuff.

While National Review was actually declaring their man, Bush senior, would lose, I was not caught up in their despair. The Democrats had once more nominated a Massachusetts liberal, like the Minnesota one they nominated in 2004. He would lose, whatever the latest polls said.

My ignorance of the details of the campaign and of day-to-day polling actually put me more in the voters’ category. The voter doesn’t really follow any of this stuff either.

I have assumed this time that Obama would win. There is a big outcry about Romney coming in fast. But a neck and neck election is what those selling election coverage are going to promote.

There is also the absentee vote. This used to consist of people living outside the US. But this year there is an emphasis on getting out the over 65 age vote. We are allowed to vote early. If I were trying to sell campaign coverage, which is every reporters job, I could make the heavily pro-Romney aged voter phenomenon into something presaging a possible Romney landslide.

So I make one solid prediction. I am either right or wrong. If you are a professional commentator you can cover your naked backside, as NR did in 1988 and at other times, simply by letting your earlier predictions fall into the Memory Hole.

Nobody remembers what a professional commentator predicted, because none of them would be fool enough to make a flat prediction the day before Election Day.

But they have to be avoid being dead wrong. I don’t. My readers have seen me dead wrong many, many times.

A prophet sells certainty. A pro sells probabilities, and my probabilities made me a professional.

I don’t mind being dead wrong among friends.

So I thank Obama will win because the information that has filtered down to me is that the old folks are voting early whereas the usual idea of an early absentee vote did not include them, and because the media has a vested interest in the “too close to call“ stuff..

A campaign advisor who can’t afford to be dead wrong should get out of politics and into some more honest profession, like pornography or drugs.