I’m a conservative, and while John McCain isn’t my dream candidate, I’ll take him over Obama any day. I’m not one of those I’ll-take-my-ball-and-go-home voters who just won’t vote if my favorite isn’t in the race. What’s more, I’m old enough to understand that the republic will survive four, or even eight years of Obama as president. It will even survive Obama and a Democrat-majority congress.
But there’s a lot of folks this time around who might go off the deep end if Obama doesn’t win. People have really invested in him as a person, not as a politician. Some of that glow is fading, a bit, but it’s still pretty strong. These folks are true believers, and if they don’t get their dreams fulfilled, they’re going to be very, very upset.
Yes, there was a lot of passion in 2000, and 2004 also. But that was passion against Bush, not passion for Kerry or Gore. Let’s face it; Gore is an annoying, lecturing bore, with a large streak of hypocrisy. Kerry is an opportunistic dilletante. No one really loves either of them as politicians; they were Not Bush, and that was enough.
But a lot of folks are FOR Obama, not against McCain. You can see it in the fundraising. Obama’s handlers are very good at promoting the Chosen One image, and that image resonates with his supporters. You talk to them, and they simply can’t imagine anyone not voting for him.
It’s going to be a fairly close election; even Minnesota, which three months ago was a Strong Obama state, is now rated a tossup. Barring some sort of major mistake by either candidate, it’s going to be a furious fall, as the two campaign planes zip back and forth along a line from Virginia to Minnesota, with a side trip to Colorado and New Mexico now and then. Undecided voter’s doorbells are going to be rung again and again, as both sides fight for those precious few votes.
Chances are, there won’t be a to-the-wire standoff like Florida in 2000. But it might come down to a few thousand votes in Ohio, or Michigan, or New Mexico. If it does, and Obama doesn’t win, there are going to be lots of charges of fraud. Never mind that the Democrats wrote the book on voter fraud (don’t believe me? look at the history). People will be in the mood to believe anything. And people who are angry, people who believe they have been cheated of hope, change, whatever–those people will be seething.
November could be very ugly.
Personally, I hope that whoever wins, wins by enough that recounts and court battles aren’t needed.