Omens, Portents, and Trying to Take Deep Breaths

It isn’t just because someone kicked the crap out of my Obama yard sign while I was out on Halloween night. It’s not only because the Obama campaign announced that 20 months of blood, sweat, and tears on their part would end…in Jacksonville (could there be a worse bad omen?). It’s not even the poll in my local paper on Thursday that showed McCain beating Obama here by 63 percent to Obama’s 31.

I think the reason there’s a lead weight in my stomach, and the bellies of other Democrats in my town, is all the McCain/Palin signs and bumper stickers. They’ve been sprouting like mushrooms after a spring rain, in direct proportion to Obama’s poll gains. And even though I know many of them are bogus — like the one that says, “Another Democrat for McCain” placed in front of the Republican campaign headquarters — each one makes me feel like someone moved a dark cloud over my head and held it there.

There’s a lead weight in my stomach. McCain/Palin signs and bumper stickers have been sprouting like mushrooms after a spring rain, in direct proportion to Obama’s poll gains

I’m worried, worried mainly that we are in for an unpleasant surprise on Tuesday night. All the polls show Obama with a comfortable lead over McCain (except the ones taken in Northeast Florida of course). But the problem with all the polls is their weighting systems. In case you don’t usually follow these things, the way it works is that more Democrats than Republicans are asked who they’re voting for. Pollsters are doing this, they say, because there are more registered and/or likely Democratic voters. Let Rasmussen explain it:

As we have noted many times, there is a disagreement within the polling industry as to whether or not polling firms should “weight” or adjust their sample to reflect a specific mix of Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters.

Rasmussen Reports does weight our sample to a set of partisan targets and bases those targets on surveys conducted in preceding months. Entering the month of June, our targets for the month were set so that the sample would include 9.44% more Democrats than Republicans.

Did you catch that last part? Nearly 10 percent more Democrats were asked if they were voting for Obama or McCain than were Republicans. And most polls — with weighting — give Obama only a five-point lead right now.

And yes, I understand that almost all the undecideds would have to make their minds up for McCain for him to have a chance but…I think he has that chance. Again, you’re talking to someone who lives in a place where some people still have their “W ’04” bumper stickers proudly in place.

Please folks, if you support Obama, let nothing stand in your way on Tuesday to keep you from casting your vote. Do not for one second think he’ll be O.K. without you. He won’t.

Is it Wednesday yet?

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