Horse Race or Horse Puckey? The Facts Tell Us Where to Place Our Bets

Originally posted on Huffington Post.

In spite of the media’s desperate attempt to convince you otherwise and thereby maintain the breathless “horse race” that they hope will keep your eyeballs glued to the TV and your computer tuned to the latest polls… Obama is well ahead in many ways that no one is discussing and everyone should know.


There are some very fun facts that our hand-wringing overwrought punditry have barely touched upon. I know that many of you are busy trying to figure out how many times Mitt Romney blinked during the course of Monday night's debate and scratching your head over his sweaty incoherent performance as the newly devout prince of peace, but let's take a mental break from that maddening experience and take a look at some of those facts.

Let's begin with Ohio, since that is the state with which everyone who is anyone in opinions is exalting to the mythic "the key state in this election... everything hinges on it!!!" status. Wring hands! Worry! Ohio!!! Why oh why oh? Ohio!!! We must all be very very worried about our O in Ohio!!! Or may not.

Fact: Obama leads among those who have already voted according to the latest public polls from CBS/Quinnipiac (Obama 54, Romney 39), PPP (Obama 66, Romney 34), SurveyUSA (Obama 57, Romney 38) and Rasmussen (Obama 63, Romney 34). Those are some pretty jazzy numbers and they are not predictive, but rather after the fact! This is how folks who have voted are voting.

These numbers are buoyed by the fact that the number of ballots cast in the precincts that Obama won minus the number cast in precincts where John McCain won is up by a gain of 7,284 as of today.

See aren't facts fun? I am starting to love numbers and I have always been a words girl. Admittedly, words failed Monday night as I sat agape listening to the staggering amount of hot air coming out of Romney's mouth. Syria is Iran's path to the sea? Obama went on an apology tour? Ridiculous. I would rather contemplate the value of "magic underwear" than try to sort out the magical 12 million jobs that a handful of billionaires are going to create if we promise not to tax them. Lord help us! This whole foreign policy thing is important. As in fate of the free world important, but Willard is not worried. He's got John Bolton to sort it all out for him.

Mitt is white. That is his story and he is sticking to it. No need for pesky facts or truth on the trail. Just have a good box of hair dye and be a white guy. That is the only plan that he has stuck with and God help us some folks are falling for it. But not as many as you are being led to think.

OK, let's move on to Iowa. A significant state which stunned the punditry in 2008 by voting overwhelmingly for the black guy with the funny name, giving him tremendous momentum in the primary.

Iowa: Obama leads among those who have already voted according to the latest public polls from NBC/WSJ (Obama 67, Romney 32) and PPP (Obama 64, Romney 35). Our advantage in number of ballots cast is up 22 percent from this same point in 2008.

Sweet! Now to be clear these numbers are based on precinct turnout as voters in Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin do not register with a party when they register to vote, but they are a very good barometer of what is happening on the ground.

In Nevada, where early voting started Tuesday, we have reversed the Republican advantage in absentee ballot requests. They led by 7,923 in 2008. We have a small lead now and as of today we are plus 307. In Virginia more ballots have been requested as well as cast in precincts where Obama won. In North Carolina? Same story... in votes cast we are up by 25 percent. Yowza!!! This holds true in Wisconsin as well. Obama leads 64-35 among those who have voted early or plan to vote early (NBC/WSJ).

Feeling better yet? Strong enough to handle a few more facts? Let's go to Florida where the facts are always a little shaky but the signs are very good indeed.

Florida: The Republicans have traditionally held a huge advantage in vote-by-mail requests. We have cut that by 85 percent. In early ballots cast they are down by 22 percent. Governor Rick Scott has managed to cut early voting down to one week from three, because that is where Democrats have the advantage. There will be less time, but there is no reason to believe there will be less enthusiasm from our base there.

Another important thing to think about is that Obama has a huge lead among Latinos and this could really turn the tide this election season. Many many Latinos are not thrilled with Mitt Romney's plan to make people's lives so miserable that they would happily "self-deport". These folks are rather fond of their families and a tactic like that would inevitably break many apart. They are in fact not having any of it and 70 percent are leaning toward Obama. Gosh Golly as the Mittster would say!

So buck up Democrats! I would like to remind you that in 2008 we worried, we wrung our hands, we secretly harbored fears about the "Bradley affect." We were running our first black candidate for the highest office in the land and we fretted about it for good honest reasons. We have seen some ugly things hurled at our guy in the last four years. Racism is alive and kicking in America and most certainly in the Republican campaign, but it is not winning. We have an amazing candidate and a good damned story to tell about how we are turning this country around. We can, should and will prevail in the home stretch.

So let's please ignore the "horse race" histrionics and get out there armed with some real facts, because we seem to be the only party that still cares about them. Let's put boots on the ground, make calls and give as much as we can spare to keep this race going our way.

It is for a host of reasons... ours to win.

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