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Now twitching with every twitch of the polls

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Rick Horowitz
October 30, 2008

You know who you are.


You’re the ones who can’t get this election out of your heads. You’re the ones who, in this final push to Nov. 4, have the TV and the radio on nonstop. Who barely have time to watch the TV, or listen to the radio because you’re also living on your computer, bouncing back and forth from this Web site to that one for the latest news, for the latest numbers.

Politico.


Pollster.


FiveThirtyEight.


Real Clear Politics.


You’re deep into political junkiehood, friend. You’re desperate for another data fix—a sudden hiccup in the polls, or even a microshift. You need to know everything. How every crucial demographic group is moving. How every critical state is moving—is it solid for one of the candidates? Or only leaning? Or even—oh, the tension of it all!—a toss-up?


I say “You know who you are.”


I mean, of course, “I know who I am.” I’m as strung out as the rest of you.


Then there’s New Hampshire.


New Hampshire is trying to send us completely around the bend.


Maybe you noticed: A week ago Friday—on Oct. 24—Real Clear Politics moves New Hampshire, and its four electoral votes, from “Solid Obama” to “Leaning Obama.” (The start of a trend to McCain?)


Then on Sunday, the 26th, Real Clear Politics moves New Hampshire from “Leaning Obama” back to “Solid Obama.” (A counter-trend to Obama?)


Then on Monday, the 27th, from “Solid Obama” back to “Leaning Obama.”


And on Tuesday, the 28th, from “Leaning Obama” back to “Solid Obama.”


Are they toying with us? Are they having a good old Granite State giggle at our expense, imagining our faces each time we see their little piece of the electoral map turn a different shade of blue? Mission accomplished!


Or—second possibility: Is New Hampshire so accustomed to grabbing the spotlight at the start of the campaign season that they’ve decided they had to come up with some way to keep us watching them at the very end, too? Shifting from one category to another every few hours is certainly a way to do it. Strikes me as a little—self-centered, if you want to know the truth. I mean, doesn’t Indiana deserve a national glance once in a while? Or Montana? Or Nevada? Or a Carolina?

I’m just saying.


Of course, there’s always the chance that I’ve misread New Hampshire’s intentions completely. That it’s not some kind of practical joke. That it’s not even some desperate play for attention.


Maybe it’s just some guy in a loft in Lower Gilmanton who can’t make up his mind.


It’s possible, isn’t it? Maybe all of New Hampshire is teetering right on the tipping point between what the pollsters consider “solid” for a candidate and what they consider merely “leaning.” Maybe New Hampshire is teetering so precisely on that knife-edge of commitment that this one guy’s tiny little vote is all it takes to push the entire state in one direction or the other.


Scary, isn’t it?


I just hope this guy—whoever he is, wherever he is—can really focus over the next couple of days. I just hope he can make a decision and stick with it, so the map can calm down a little, and so can the rest of us.


He’d better get going, though—there isn’t much time left.


Any day now, they start polling for 2012.


Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at rickhoro@execpc.com.

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