Feature

The Democrats’ odd pessimism

How can such a strong lead look so bad?

“The Democrats are poised on the brink of victory,” said Roger Simon in Politico, “and they cannot stand it.” Pollsters and pundits are all but calling the race for Barack Obama; their party has a considerable financial advantage; and John McCain is giving up on states that President Bush won in 2004. So why the gloom? They can’t quite believe that Team McCain is “as hapless as it looks.”

Alright, it’s “not fully rational,” said Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian. But looking at recent history, you can’t blame Democrats for their pessimism. Young voters could still get complacent and stay home. Older white voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania could abandon the black candidate. We won’t believe in a President Obama until Nov. 5, if then.

The Democrats’ belief in “Republican efficiency” is “almost touching,” said Tucker Carlson in The Daily Beast, but “totally unwarranted.” There’s no GOP “master plan for victory, no October Surprise” in the works. Republicans “know the race is over.” If Democrats can’t figure out why they'll win—why it’s not still 2004—good luck figuring out how to govern.

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