Perception vs. Reality

 

Here’s a headline you probably weren’t expecting: “Most Expect GOP Victory In November”. It goes with this week’s poll by Associated Press-GfK, which included the following stats:

  • 55% of likely voters are now assuming Republicans will take over the Senate, an 8-point gain from September.
  • 25% of Democrats think it’s going to happen, a 7-point gain in the past month.
  • 47% of likely voters favor a Republican-controlled Congress versus 39% who want Democrats in charge. A month ago, it was an even divide.
  • 44% of women prefer Republicans, versus 42% for Democrats. A month ago, women favored Democrats by a 47%-40% edge.

It’s a reverse from the 2012 campaign, when most voters expected President Obama to win a second term and Mitt Romney’s supporters were more pessimistic than those on the Democratic side.

Other examples of perception being in line with election reality:

  1. In 2008, 52% of voters expected Obama to win a first term, compared to only 41% for John McCain (Obama would win, 52.9%-45.7%).
  2. In 2004, despite John Kerry’s getting off to a good start in the first of the three presidential debates, 60% of independents still believed George W. Bush would be re-elected (exit polls showed the candidates splitting the independent vote).

There may be a simple explanation to much of this: media narrative.

Two years ago, in the final weeks of the campaign the predominant story lines were Romney’s struggles on the campaign trail (i.e., the 47% remark) and the GOP’s uphill climb in capturing 270 electoral votes.

The predominant story lines in 2014: (a) Obama’s unpopularity; (b) Democrats on the defensive, trying to prevent a GOP Senate takeover by resorting to such tactical maneuvers as shunning the President; (c) whether Republicans once again can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

On top of that, name the last time this year — or 2013, for that matter — that Obama “won” the weekly news cycle. Instead, each week seems to bring with it a set of troubles foreign, domestic, or both.

Meanwhile, here’s some more fuel to feed the manifest destiny fire:

  1. Wall Street is expecting a good night for Republicans — keep an eye on the trading of defense stocks and medical-device makers, two potential winners in a GOP Senate.
  2. Polls point to a GOP turnout advantage — per a survey released this week by Fox News, 45% of Republicans described themselves as “extremely” interested in the election, versus only 30% of Democrats.
  3. Some media outlets already are trying to spin a good GOP election as damaged goods — for example, this New Yorker piece on why “an empty victory beckons” for Republicans.

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There are 6 comments.

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  1. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Key statistic:  1.5%.  The margin of fraud.

    Generally vote fraud can only shift an election by a fraction of one percent. If the difference between candidates is greater than 1.5% the side stuffing the ballot box abandons the attempt.  If the difference is less than 1.5% there is a chance (small) it can be swung by vote fraud.  If it is less than 0.5%, it is open season on vote fraud.

    Seawriter

    • #1
  2. wmartin Member
    wmartin
    @

    The fact that so many of these Senate races are just  hanging by a thread shows the continuing toxicity of the Republican party.

    • #2
  3. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I’m betting on the Republicans winning hugely.

    • #3
  4. chorton65@comcast.net Member
    chorton65@comcast.net
    @GoldwatersRevenge

    This is good news for the Republicans but akin to the good news for the stargazers on the Titanic . Mark Steyn penned an insightful article this week in which he stated that it matters little who is elected because the culture has changed. The liberal professors, journalists, Hollywood and politicians have moved the culture unalterably to the left during the past five decades and no one election will change that. When most Americans look favorably at European social democracies then a Republican Congress will do little to change that. Only when conservatives can convince the American people that socialism has forever been a failed philosophy will there be a positive change in America. I fear that I will not see that in my lifetime.

    • #4
  5. CuriousKevmo Member
    CuriousKevmo
    @CuriousKevmo

    Charles Horton:This is good news for the Republicans but akin to the good news for the stargazers on the Titanic . Mark Steyn penned an insightful article this week in which he stated that it matters little who is elected because the culture has changed. The liberal professors, journalists, Hollywood and politicians have moved the culture unalterably to the left during the past five decades and no one election will change that. When most Americans look favorably at European social democracies then a Republican Congress will do little to change that. Only when conservatives can convince the American people that socialism has forever been a failed philosophy will there be a positive change in America. I fear that I will not see that in my lifetime.

    Sad but very true I’m afraid

    • #5
  6. Black Prince Member
    Black Prince
    @BlackPrince

    MarciN:I’m betting on the Republicans winning hugely.

    I’m not. And even if they do manage to win, it will not make any difference in reversing the country’s downward spiral.

    • #6

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