Just a few thoughts three days before D-Day.
– Does Barack Obama regret his decision to take Sasha trick-or-treating yesterday (which actually ate up his whole day because he campaigned in the relatively safe Iowa and the relatively unimportant Indiana to stay close to Chicago)? Or his campaign’s decision to throw resources into Arizona pretty much for no other reason than to show up McCain?
– Does it disenfranchise an entire generation of Democrat-leaning voters who will likely never want to vote again after working so hard and getting their hopes up so high? How badly would the participation of black voters drop in the next election? How long would it take Democrats to rebuild a coalition like that again?
– Does FiveThirtyEight go out of business? After all, Nate Silver currently has McCain at a 2.8% chance to win the election. 2.8% isn’t zero percent, but if McCain wins, he’s gonna have a lot of splainin’ to do. In fact, with no polls to crunch from now till the 2010 midterms, he’d probably have to spend the next year and a half laying out to his readers exactly what went wrong. And it would be hard to get that credibility back. It would no longer be “the website FiveThirtyEight,” but instead ”the website FiveThirtyEight, who despite a lot of fancy number crunching, famously got the 2008 election wrong.”
– Does Obama run in 2012? Obviously, a lot of people would blame his loss on race. With pretty much everything that matters overwhelmingly favoring Democrats this year, there wouldn’t be too many other explanations. With that said, how long would it be before either major party, Democrat or Republican, nominates another non-white person for president? Would Hillary have a lock on 2012 or at that point would Democrats be hesistant to nominate a woman as well?
– Does the way Republicans essentially snuck Sarah Palin into the White House change the rules of transparency in future elections? Why should any candidate release health records or give press conferences if Palin never got punished by voters for not doing those things? Does Andrew Sullivan’s head explode?
– Does the enormous disparity between the final polls and early voting numbers (which both overwhelmingly favor Obama) and the ultimate election result undermine America’s confidence in its democratic process? Would the stories of electronic voting machine malfunctions and discarded voter registrations balloon into a nationwide conspiracy hunt?
– Do I get up and go to work the next day? Does anyone?