The Fat Lady Hasn’t Sung Yet, But You Can Hear Her Warming up at the Mike

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Gallup today was Romney 51-Obama 45.  Polls come and polls go, but this one is significant for several reasons:

1.  50% and up-It is the first time that Romney has gone above 50% in the Gallup tracker.

2.  Surge Not a Bounce Initially it was thought that Romney got a bounce from the first debate.  Bounces fade.  What this poll demonstrates is that Romney for the past two weeks has been enjoying a surge.

3.  Incumbent Forty Blues-It is electoral death normally for an incumbent to be under 50% in a Presidential race this late in the election season, due to the fact that most undecided voters break for the challenger.  Obama in the mid-forties is looking at a ceiling for his support well under 50%.

4.   October Winner-The candidate ahead in mid-October has almost always gone on to win.  The only exception I can think of is Reagan in 1980, and Democrat blather to the contrary Obama isn’t Reagan.

5.  One More Debate-The events that can have a major impact on the election are running out.  Just one more debate and that is on foreign policy, probably not the President’s favorite subject in these Benghazi haunted days.

6.  Mitt the Known Quantity-Obama spent over two hundred million dollars to define Romney negatively.  The first debate shattered that negative image and the rise of Romney in the polls indicates that he has established himself as an acceptable alternative to Obama.

7.  Gallup the Gold Standard- Although not having the charism of infallibility, Gallup has a pretty good record over many decades.  That Romney has such a high lead in Gallup probably indicates that Romney is in very good shape.

8.  Big Push-The Romney campaign and their allies saved much of their ad money for a final surge, ceding ad dominance to the Democrats for months.  Now the swing states are being deluged with Romney ads.  (One of the good things about the ending of any Presidential race is the freeing of the air waves from political ads for a time!)  Romney was able to move votes with this tactic in the primaries, and I suspect this tactic will gain him two to three points in most states, building upon the lead he currently enjoys.

9.  Morale-Polls do have an impact upon the morale of the supporters of a candidate.  Polls showing a favored candidate ahead raise morale and low polls depress morale.

10. Preference Cascade-I think a preference cascade is what we are seeing now.  Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds, defined the phrase preference cascade a decade ago:

Such regimes have little legitimacy, but they spend a lot of effort making sure that citizens don’t realize the extent to which their fellow-citizens dislike the regime. If the secret police and the censors are doing their job, 99% of the populace can hate the regime and be ready to revolt against it – but no revolt will occur because no one realizes that everyone else feels the same way.

This works until something breaks the spell, and the discontented realize that their feelings are widely shared, at which point the collapse of the regime may seem very sudden to outside observers – or even to the citizens themselves. Claims after the fact that many people who seemed like loyal apparatchiks really loathed the regime are often self-serving, of course. But they’re also often true: Even if one loathes the regime, few people have the force of will to stage one-man revolutions, and when preferences are sufficiently falsified, each dissident may feel that he or she is the only one, or at least part of a minority too small to make any difference.

With his mainstream media allies Obama attempted to build a Potemkin Village in this country where people could be gulled into disbelieving their eyes as they helplessly witnessed what a disaster the Obama administration has been.  The first debate, as the polls indicate, shattered that spell.

Update:  Gallup today, October 18, has the race at 52-45 in Romney’s favor.  It is beginning to look like if there is a second debate bounce it is coming Romney’s way.

More to explorer

PopeWatch: Extraordinary

From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:     Addressing the crisis of dwindling

The Bringer of Peace

  Something for the weekend.  The hundredth anniversary of the armistice ending World War seems to call for Holst’s Venus:  The Bringer


  1. What’s shocking is that 45% of respondents still support that dull and illogical failure.

    Oh! The fruits of public, unionized education . . .

  2. A fair summary although for #4 it should be noted that Carter and Reagan had yet to debate by Oct 15. Also I believe poll averages (as opposed to Gallup) had the race even or Reagan up by a point by this time.

  3. Potemkin village

    Had to check Wikipedia to find its meaning – initially thought it was some Cherokee or other North American Indian saying 😉
    Must remember to use in appropriate………………………

  4. “A fair summary although for #4 it should be noted that Carter and Reagan had yet to debate by Oct 15. Also I believe poll averages (as opposed to Gallup) had the race even or Reagan up by a point by this time.”

    Both correct Rozin. Additionally the presence of a third party candidate John Anderson was skewing the results to a certain extent in the polls.

  5. “initially thought it was some Cherokee or other North American Indian saying”

    “Potemkin” does have an Indian sound to it Don, although the Russians were welcome to the actual Prince Grigory. My Cherokee ancestors had enough problems back in the Eighteenth Century without being saddled with a cast off lover of the Tsarina!

  6. I do not think the notion of ‘preference cascade’ applies here. The social psychology of fashion might have insights into the phenomenon that is Obama, particularly among the young. It does seem that asserted political opinions have taken on more and more of an element of a statement of identity, and not merely among the young. Look at (say) Charles Fried’s remarks on Sarah Palin and ask yourself if his stated concerns make any sense placed in historical context.

  7. Politics as fashion statement is definitely part of the Obama appeal Art. The bitter hatred that Palin aroused demonstrated that we are definitely looking at emotions in play that go far deeper than mere politics. The Media, most of it, is heavily invested in this on the port side of our politics. Ace at Ace of Spades has a good post on this and the preference cascade:

    “A preference cascade occurs when a substantial number of people are falsifying their preferences — not just in public declarations, but also, more importantly, to themselves. They accept a Narrative promoted by a ubiquitous taste-maker that sets the terms of discussion and also attaches either a social credit to preferences in line with its own, or a social demerit to preferences contrary to its preferences.

    Swamped by this ubiquitous, always chattering, always nagging Narrative — pushed by the media, of course — many people succumb to the bandwagon effect, and begin not so much accepting the Narrative as surrendering it to it.

    Humans have a strong inclination to prefer the path of least resistance. And if you think about it, that’s a pretty smart play. Humans generally take the easiest path when they’re walking — they don’t go wildly out of their way to find hills to climb. If there’s a nice, easy, level paved road, they take it.

    And that’s not crazy or “weak.” That’s just common sense.

    The media is a superhighway of spin determined to make voting Democratic the path of least resistance for a majority of American voters.

    At any rate, the preference cascade theory suggests that people will continue falsifying their preferences, overwhelmed by the reinforcement of what the media is saying (and thereby, what most of their social contacts are saying), until and unless something occurs to powerfully jolt the Narrative. When that happens, people feel a license to question the media’s preferences which they have surrendered to, and ultimately reject these media preferences in favor of their own, real preferences.

    So that’s what I kept forgetting. I kept talking about the Preference Cascade just happening.

    But they don’t “just happen.” There is an event which triggers the cascade. Like shaking a beaker of supersaturated salts will suddenly cause a precipitate to fall. But you need that shake. Otherwise, the liquid remains as it was.

    Without the jolt, people will simply continuing doing what they’d done before — surrendering to an easy Narrative, accepting the path of least resistance, as defined by their Media Narrative Manufacturers.

    So there was, I think, a preference cascade potential. But that potential only became real during the debate.”

  8. What’s shocking is that 45% of respondents still support that dull and illogical failure.

    Look on the bright side– that’s only about 4% of the population, if the “only 9% contacted respond” stat is right.

    (Yes, yes, I know O has more support than that. I just wonder how many other folks like me have looked at all the other supposedly secret political surveys and petitions have been made public…with folks’ home addresses…by know criminal activists that view disagreement as an attack.)

  9. T Shaw is correct to be concerned at Obama’s residual level of support. My own subjective assessment is that every percentage point over 40% means a 10% less chance the country will survive in its Constitutional form. However, it is not simply ignorance. Everyone associated with the non-defense govt or state and local govt is voting their self interest. Also union job households are voting self interest. Then there are the folks who survive off the government, also self interest. Although one might argue that the Left’s policies hurt the whole country the Govt has a very great capacity to build a cocoon around such people all the way down. The trajectory of the UK is a real warning since their culture was fairly similar to our own (i.e. less absolutist than other European countries)

  10. I don’t doubt the possibility that we’re seeing a preference cascade to some extent, as people who have been looking for permission to vote against President Obama finally found it in the first debate. But there’s also a sense of shock among voters after that debate that can’t be discounted. People had no idea that Obama could be that bad. The analogy I keep thinking of is a manager on the way to a conference on the pitcher’s mound. This guy just doesn’t have a strike left in him. We’ve got to get a new pitcher in there. Nothing personal.

    Of course, the argument against Obama is a lot more solid than that. I can’t think of a reason anyone would vote for him. But a lot of the erosion of support is based on this sudden (for some people) feeling that this guy isn’t cut out for the job. And that ties into the topic of residual support. I don’t think we’re seeing a change in people’s underlying political views. I hope I’m wrong, but I think a lot of people who voted for him last time and may vote for Romney this time really haven’t been won over.

  11. This website is hilarious. People calling themselves Catholic who support a party which uses war and might again against Iran. No true man of faith can support a war which has no basis.

  12. It may have escaped your notice Chris, but the nutcases that run Iran have made no secret of what they will do once they achieve nuclear weapons. Additionally both political parties are pledged to use military force if necessary to stop that. In fact, the Obama administration has used covert action against the Iranian nuclear program as well as imposing sanctions.

  13. “In fact, the Obama administration has used covert action against the Iranian nuclear program as well as imposing sanctions.”

    Not to get off topic or anything, but I just can’t help myself………..

    it is said that the STUXNET virus which infected the Siemens programmable logic controllers for the gas diffusion centrifuges used to enrich the content of fissile uranium-235 within Iran’s uranium supply was a covert creation and deployment done by Israeli and US cyber warfare specialists with the full approval of Barack Hussein Obama. The virus resulted in severe maloperation of many centrifuges, resulting in significant time delays for repairs and replacements that pushed back Iran’s quest to fuel a nuclear weapon by years. I, of course, have no first hand knowledge of this.

    Now here is the point: natural uranium is 99.3% non-fissile but fertile U-238, and 0.7% U-235. To be used in a typical light water moderated, light water cooled nuclear reactor in order to generate electrical power, the content of U-235 must be enriched to between 3 and 5% to overcome the macroscopic corss-section that the hydrogen in water has for absorbing thermal neutrons and shutting down the chain reaction. Iran, however, is proceeding well beyond the 5% level needed for power production fuel. Indeed, Iran is going beyond the 20% needed for research reactors that produce medical isotopes like Technetium-99. Its goal clearly is 90+% which is what is required to fuel a nuclear weapon.

    Now in the 1920s and 30s fools disbelieved Hitler’s advocacy to subject the Jews to genocide, yet these same fools believed him when he said he would stop at conquering Austria and Checkoslovakia. It took a world war to stop him. Today fools disbelieve the Iranian President when he says that he wants to shove Israel into the Mediterranean, yet these same fools believe him when he says that Iran is enriching U-235 just for peaceful purposes. It is simply not logical, and even Barack Hussein Obama – the majority of whose policies I detest and loathe with every fabric of my being – realizes that it is not logical.

    The mad Ayatollahs whose rabble rousing resulted in the American hostage crisis in Iran in the late 1970s when Jimmy Carter was President are the same kinds of people still in charge in Iran. They are evil. The Iranian people are not evil. The Ayatollahs will use nuclear weapons against Israel once they get to 90+% enrichment of U-235.

    By the way, why is no one saying anything about Iran’s efforts to acquire heavy water (i.e., deuterium)? With a heavy water reactor, natural uranium can be used as fuel because, while the scattering cross-section of deuterium is not as good for thermalizing neutrons as hydrogen is, its absorbtion cross-section is much lower and that makes such a reactor ideal for generating Plutonium-239 via neutron capture in U-238 which goes to U-239 which beta minus decays to Np-239 which in turn beta minus decays into fissile Pu-239. Why do some people believe that this is still a peaceful effort? Iran is going in two directions: gaseous diffusion of U-235 which is in all the news media, and possibly breeding Pu-239 about which everyone is silent. Fission weapons can and do use both isotopes.

    Yes, we should and must use military force (as a last resort) to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. And yes, while Israel is an undeclared nuclear weapons power, there is a significant difference between the kind of government that Israel has (as evidenced by its restraint) and the mad Islamic fanatical clerics running Iran.

  14. Thanks for being brief, Chris.

    There is no justice in the Obama regime and it is, in fact, organized brigandage.

    Obama did not immediately end both the Afghan and Iraq wars on January 20, 2009.

    And, last Summer he (without Congressional consent) used hundreds US fighter bombers in unjust attacks (bombing and strafing) to murder of Ghaddafi and his people.

    And, how many murders by aerial drone did Obama commit?

    And, he immediately closed Gitmo . . .

    And, the economy is crushed because of his we-hate-rich-people, misguided policies.

    No true man of Faith can support abortion, unjust wars, government enforced artificial contraception, class hate, racist hate, sodomy, . . . i.e., Obama.

    Chris, What name do they use for the planet on which you exist?

  15. This is why I hate election years: it’s always polls this and deuterium cross-section that….

    Just teasing, Paul. It’s great to read an online expert who actually knows what he’s talking about.

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