November 6th this year is election day but doesn't have the pithy Shakespearean warning, "beware the Ides of March." Rather it would be a warning for ante diem VIII Idus November, eight days before the Ides.
I have a standard rant here and at Left Ahead on this election being about reality v. fantasy. Amazingly, it could go either way and I'm sure at least 40% of voters will go for fantasy despite history and mounds of evidence.
Consider the biggest perils to Obama/Dems:
- Passivity. Polls are plain. Obama/Biden would do great with those who do not intend to vote. If the Dems can motivate unlikely voters to get to the polls, that would translate into a landslide.
- Youth Apathy. Unlike four years ago, first-time and second-time young voters do not feel ownership and excitement this time. The viral joy in the Patrick and Obama campaigning with new media/social media is largely absent. That two-year window of magic closed. Social media are less political, more dispersed, and have more of an emphasis on social this go-round. Obama's crew has not made much of an effort to recruit and leverage the declining political-blogger world and doesn't have time now even if they wanted.
- The Disinterested Self-interested. Key constituents may still make the difference for Obama, but the campaign has to get its act together. Women, Latinos, middle and lower class voters are among the many groups the GOP in general and Romney/Ryan in particular have insulted and whom they would actively harm. The votes are there for the taking, but Dems seem to be relying on voters to pay a modicum of attention to the bad guys' messages — never a wise strategy.
- Fnord. In addition to Romney and Ryan, their surrogates and PACs openly, baldly, illogically lie, ascribing all manner of positions and acts to Obama. Those who want to find an excuse disguised as a reason to vote Republican cling to the misinformation and disinformation, no matter how often and in how many sources they are discredited. The Dems have to get real about ridiculing and puncturing the GOP balloons of deceit.
- Purchased Democracy. In the first major election after Citizens United, SuperPACs decidedly will be factors. Fortunately for Dems, few people get their news and opinion from TV and radio only; the dispersion of info flow will dilute some of the impact of lies and smears. Unfortunately for Dems, we don't know yet whether Americans who do vote will be angrier about floods of ads trying to buy the election or will be susceptible to their messages.
- Stolen Democracy. In numerous states, what can only be accurately described as a GOP conspiracy, the tactics of voter suppression will decidedly reduce turnout and eligible voters. This will hurt Dems the most by disenfranchising the poor, rural elderly and communities of color. Judges seem laissez-faire when asked to stop these shameless ploys. The U.S. DOJ has done little and only a whiplash of voters will counter the effects of this.