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It's been tweleve years and a day since this classic was published:

Since Labor Day, the media have released about 20 polls on the presidential race. Three show a dead heat, one shows George W. Bush leading by a single percentage point, and the rest show Al Gore leading by one to 10 points. In the latest polls, Gore leads by an average of five points. It's fashionable at this stage to caution that "anything can happen," that Bush is "retooling," and that the numbers can turn in Bush's favor just as easily as they turned against him. But they can't.
(source: "Why Bush is Toast" by William Saletan. Slate Magazine, September 14, 2000.)

Do I think that Romney is going to eke out an electoral college win with help of a friendly judiciary while losing the popular vote?  

No. Nor do I think that Obama is in the same soft position that Al Gore was in.

But do I think that there is a huge risk of complacency? Yes.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Stick a Fork in Him (9+ / 0-)

    Some say:  Romney is toast.

    Some say:  You can stick a fork in him.

    Warning:  Wait until he pops out of the toaster on November 6th.

  •  Agree. (6+ / 0-)

    The cockiness around here is really worrisome.

    Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

    by Bush Bites on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 07:09:58 AM PDT

    •  saying we're winning, (7+ / 0-)

      to get people fired up, isn't at all worrisome to me.

      And, as far as I can see, this diary is a straw man.  Anyone here who says we've already won, is being countered heavily.

      "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and me?" - Don Van Vliet

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 07:28:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It doesn't matter, one way or the other. (as long (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        as we don't actually get complacent and forget to vote.)
        I don't think people are going to be satisfied just with a narrow victory for Obama.
        I think everyone learned from 2010.
        We don't just need for Obama to win, we need to get the House back and hold the Senate.
        We really, for the good of the nation, need to beat the gop badly. Brutally.
        We really need to give Obama a mandate to act.

        I think just about everyone understands this, and some people are still nervous until the deed is done, and other people are enjoying the success so far. The voters are coming around, the narrative is changing, the media is doing a better job, and it seems like, from the Convention, that Obama and the Dems get it. They sounded like Dems again.

        So, it's a fairly balanced attitude. I'm with the "don't let up, don't get complacent" crowd, though.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 08:11:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Front page this diary! (9+ / 0-)

    This is "news we can use," something we all should be aware of and really take to heart and act on.

    Victory isn't ours until the election is over.  It may be over late on Tuesday night, or it might not be over for weeks if it goes into the courts (and we go into the streets to make noise!).   But either way, the fight is ON until that point.

    No complacency.

    Take nothing for granted.

    Never underestimate the enemy's ability to fight dirty, break the law, hack the vote, disenfranchise "colored people," or any other damn thing.  

    This is the election that more than one right-winger has said could break the whole Tea Party / right-winger Republican thing for once and for all.  This is the election where a real victory for us really means defeat for them.




    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 07:11:04 AM PDT

  •  Yeah we can't get complacent but Gore made some (16+ / 0-)

    big mistakes and there were factors then that don't exist.

    1) They pulled out of Ohio and then were surprised they came that close in the polls. What kind of idiotic campaign didn't think Ohio would be close? This was their biggest mistake because they made the election a 1 state election.

    2) There was a much larger number of "both parties are the same" progressives then. Ralph Nader didn't just cost Gore Florida he also cost him New Hampshire.

    3) Gore didn't perform very well in the debates and Lieberman was a disaster in his. As much as I thought it was cool to pick the 1st Jewish VP and I was excited for the diversity it showcased. Either Sen. Nelson (D-FL) or the recently retired Sen Glenn (D-Ohio) would have been better picks. I thought Glenn with his Ohio and Florida (astronaut) connection would have been best (even at his age) and Nelson would have won Gore Florida.

    4) Democrats were much worse at playing/refereeing the Press back then. Bush was a master, and the Press just like him.

    5) Gore never pressure Greenspan to cut interest rates before the election. Bush pressured Greenspan to not cut  them with lots of stories about how "Greenspan cost Bush 1 the presidency" and how an interest rate cut before the election would "imperil the independence of the Fed".  Instead of a few 1/4 point cuts leading up to the election we got a massive (at the time) 3/4 cut right after the election. Gore was responsible Bush played to win.

    6) Elian Gonzalez cost Gore enough Cuban Americans to lose Florida.

    Obama's campaign is much better, it's at least the equal if not superior to Bill Clinton's. Clinton was the superior campaigner, Obama's campaign itself is superior.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 07:16:54 AM PDT

    •  This would make a good diary! (5+ / 0-)

      I think the best way to take the current lead in the polls is to say, "Great! Let's press even harder for a landslide with coat tails, and take back the house with a good margin."

      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 07:36:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also let's give Bush some credit did 2 things well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      codairem, Cedwyn

      1) Find something your opponent needs but is vulnerable on. Bush was the first Republican who really went after Appalachian Democrats. People forget how big a shock it was for Bush to win West Virginia in 2000! Also Gore was too complacent in Tennessee. Harold Ford (someone I know from college but no longer like) told Gore than Tennessee was slipping away from him in the summer and that he needed to hold some large rallies there to shore up his home state. He didn't do this until the fall when Bush had pulled even. Obama going after Virginia is the flipside of Bush going after West Virginia.

      2) Find a constituency your opponent needs but you can show result with. Bush cut Democrats lead with Hispanics this won him states in both 2000 and 2008 he could have lost.  Obama winning over blue collar manufacturing workers in the Midwest is the flipside of this.

      -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

      by dopper0189 on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 07:38:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  differences between 2000 and 2008 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      petesmom, Cedwyn, dopper0189

      are interesting to discuss.... I'd especially like to see what Nate SIlver's model yields if you plug in the data for the 2000 election through September 15 2000... (I guess it'd be a tie....)

      I just want some people to realize that polls are fluid and these things can and do change --- sometimes for the worst.

      But we can affect how things turn out (at least at the margins).

    •  Except that Gore won the popular vote (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      codairem, janmtairy, semctydem

      and would have won Florida had the votes been counted with a focus on intent of the voter.
         The GOP won the election through control of the election system in Fl, which will be the case in several states this time around.

    •  Live and learn, unless you're a Republican. (0+ / 0-)

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 08:12:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Gore should have stopped in NH (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, alain2112, dopper0189

      on the last day before the election...I'll believe it until I die that if he did that, he would have carried NH and made Florida a moot point

  •  pgm - thanks for the reminder (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hey338Too, Sue B

    The general view here is way overconfident. I think the President is the clear favorite but this will be decided on who does the best job of GOTV.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 07:21:52 AM PDT

  •  Mitt Romney is still (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic, tcdup, BenderRodriguez, Sue B, Cedwyn

    the same white bread he ever was.

    Let's MAKE him toast!!

    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 07:26:54 AM PDT

  •  what a rye story. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Farkletoo, Wee Mama, janmtairy

    It slices so naturally.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 07:28:24 AM PDT

  •  Yes. The GOP's reality distortion engine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B

    has been working full-blast this week. The GOP have recovered from their initial shock at Romney's insane statements about the President, and have been getting traction with even more insane claims that Romney was right. The fact that they have to lie, distort, and deflect like mad does not deter them from the work they need to do.

    Look at this morning's numbers: If anything, Obama has lost ground since Tuesday. Granted, the amount that he's lost is far too small to be statistically significant. But Romney should have lost more ground this week. He really should be toast by now, yet he's still hanging in there.

    We must not be complacent. This won't be over until the votes are counted and the Supreme Court sits on its hands.

    Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

    by Nowhere Man on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 07:31:31 AM PDT

  •  Please explain... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dewstino me how Daily Kos affects the mood swing of approx. 150 million voters.

    Let's say most of the people registered to Daily Kos "got complacent."

    That's what?  .0001% of all voters that have gotten complacent?

    What makes you think Daily Kos is the hive mind of 150 million voters?

    The arrogant is astounding.

    This reminds me of 2010, when Daily Kos decided the 2010 elections were going to be saved.

    Suddenly everybody on Daily Kos was "energized" for the 2010 elections.

    What happened?  The .0001% on Daily Kos made 0 difference.  In 2010, a Republican tsumani swept the nation.

    Sp what I am saying is this.  If you post on Daily Kos, & get complacent, who gives a shit.

    You are part of the .0001% sitting on the couch smoking a doobie.

    When it comes to affecting the mood swing of the voting collective, you are statistically insignificant, if not statistically meaningless.

    You people's perceived self-importance in how all this works is borderline narcissistic.

    FOX News = where David Axelrod spends his every Sunday morning legitimizing the illegitimate.

    by wyvern on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 07:35:50 AM PDT

    •  I didn't say DKOS has much effect on 100m voters (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sue B, Theodore J Pickle

      ... just that the attitude on display in some (not all) diaries/comments could lead to complacency along the lines of "we don't need to hustle, we've got this in the bag"

      It's more about a few thousand would be volunteers and contributors on DKos than 100million voters at large.

    •  Wrong Population (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sue B

      I thought folks were talking about that small section of the population that actively supports, works for, and contributes to democratic candidates.

      The DKos crowd is not so many zeros to the right of the decimal point when you compare to the correct population.

    •  the 0.0001% (0+ / 0-)

      0.0001% is a part-per-million.

      are there only 300-500 people smoking a doobie on the couch in the US of A on this fine early autumn Saturday?

      The estimate seems a bit low to me.

      However, I am sure that I am not one of them.

    •  This race could conceivably hinge on a few (0+ / 0-)

      thousand voters in one or two swing districts.
      Turnout and the enthusiasm of volunteers makes a difference.
      DKos is statiscally small, but it doesn't exist in a vacuum.
      There's a little thing called human communication, and DKos has a lot of folks here who know a thing or two about leveraging a small voice.
      In order to do that, they have to have others get off their butt and join in.
      This is how a dedicated minority in the religious right have managed to wield more power than they should be able to muster. Persistence. enthusiasm. zeal.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 08:19:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'll nevah forget William Saletan's fateful post. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I kept hanging onto it and in fact, in some ways he was right.  Gore did win the popular vote and won FL with an asterisk.

    Nevertheless, I've tipped and recommended because though I like confidence, I don't like overconfidence or hubris.  

    We need to stay positive but determined to keep the crushing pressure ON!!

  •  Great post but there are distinctions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First while the polling in September showed Gore way ahead it was a convention aberration.  I think the polling before that clearly indicated an electorate not totally focused as well as a race which could go either way.  After that in poll after poll after poll, Bush was ahead.  The electorate got more focused.

    This year, in poll after poll, Obama is ahead.  That's different from 2000.  We are ahead.  Just a matter of whether we can keep it.  Also, while we could point to a lot of polls which show Romney ahead, I've discounted them as political hack jobs.  That's a little troubling as I could be filtering out news I don't like, but then again it is Rasmussen.  

    At the end of the day, I believe polling is not absolute but it can tell us something.  In 2000, it told us there was a close race which eventually solidified behind Bush.

    This year it is saying Obama is up.  Could change, no doubt.  But if the numbers keep staying good, it looks word and worse for Romney.

  •  There are a few differences (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itskevin, dpinzow, fou

    1.  There is a bright line of choice between the two parties.  In 2000, both parties were trying to blur the differences.

    2. Bush's ceiling in voting at that point was higher than Romney has ever managed.  (he broke into high 40s during primaries, and was leading Gore in early Sep.  If Romney pushes to 50% like Bush did in early Oct, I'll buy the premise of this article)

    3. Bush's base actually LIKED him.  They were voting FOR him, not AGAINST Gore. (Although to be fair, both candidates had good favorable/unfavorable compared to both candidates today, and Romney's base HATES Obama)

    4.  Third party candidates took more from Gore than from Bush.  This dynamic seems likely to go the other way this time around.

    5. Congressional republicans actually did stuff in congress.  Yes they wasted a huge effort on the impeachment, but it wasn't a "do nothing" congress.


    On the flipside, the media is much more right wing than in 2000 and there will be essentially unlimited cash to spend.

    •  6. Barack Obama has Bill Clinton AND Obama (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fou, mellowinman

      embraces Bill Clinton.

      Notice: This Comment © 2012 ROGNM

      by ROGNM on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 08:49:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good point. He's not running from Clinton (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        like Gore did.  Also, let's not forget Gore won the national vote in the election.

        Still, we have to get out the vote.

        Have you googled Romney today?

        by fou on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 09:24:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I wish I could recommend this a thousand times (0+ / 0-)

        Al Gore made a HUGE mistake in running away from the Big Dog.

        The best politician of the 20th Century, and I don't want him at my campaign stops?

        Plus, we hadn't had eight years of George W. Bush at the time.

        Plus, Al Gore isn't good on camera.  Barack Obama is.

        Al Gore and John Kerry were TERRIBLE candidates, and they still didn't do that badly.  Replace either of them with Obama, and we win.  Replace either of them with Hillary, and we win.

        Replace either of them with Bill...

        You get the idea.

        We are the change we have been waiting for.

        by mellowinman on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 12:59:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  what's Bob Shrum doing these days? (0+ / 0-)

    this diary and topic got me to wondering....

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