Musings on Campaign 2012
We Americans have entered the stretch run for this presidential election cycle.
The dye has been cast. The candidates from President down to the local school board have all made their pitches. The messages won’t change between now and election day. Most citizens have made up their minds. Millions of voters have already cast their votes.
All of us want the horrible ads to stop.
In all likelihood, our next president is already determined in the hearts and minds of citizens. It isn’t going to change now.
Mitt Romney has made a heroic late campaign lunge toward the presidency. It couldn’t be closer.
The debates have made the difference for Romney. For all-important undecided voters in the swing states, it was probably their first opportunity to see who Mitt Romney really is.
They were the best debates between two presidential candidates in this writer’s memory.
Today, I’m having a feeling of déjá vu left over from the 2010 mid-term elections. I followed that one very closely.
In 2010, there were only whispers in the mainstream media of the incredible Republican landslide about to unfold. They started with less than two weeks to go. And even then few anticipated how enormous the Republican victory would be.
I didn’t fully understand it myself until more than a month afterward when I attended an election political postmortem at the local Democratic County Headquarters.
Everyone, of course, already knew Republicans won the U.S. House by a wide margin and we had a new Speaker of the House. We knew the Democrat’s lead in the U.S. Senate was whittle down to a sliver.
What I learned at county headquarters that night is in State legislatures there was an astonishing 625 seat shift from Democrat to Republican hands nationally.
You could feel the stunned silence in the room as attendees heard it fall from the state Democratic chairperson’s mouth. Then they buzzed on what to do about it.
There is a big difference between 2010 and 2012. Most notably, U.S. Congressional Representative and U.S. Senate seats are not as hotly contested as in 2010. There are notable exceptions in a few states, of course, but not many.
The presidential campaign is focused exclusively on the swing states. Swing state voters must feel they are in attack ad purgatory. Everyone else is blissfully spared.
You don’t hear as much about the Tea Party Movement this year, but I can assure you they are very busy little bees out there. The mainstream media always has and always will marginalize them, but I follow their activities. They were re-energized by the Supreme Court Obamacare decision.
It is possible that Republicans could pull off another miracle upset in 2012. The déjá vu feeling is there.
After all the billions of dollars are spent… After all the hundreds or even thousands of hateful attack ads are shown 10s of thousands of times… After all the arguments and counter arguments and after all the heated household discussions, here is what I think…
Nothing will change.
We will have the same balance in the legislative and executive branches of federal government that we have right now.
The question for me is, will our leaders mindset change? That is what we desperately need more than anything else, no matter who is elected.