Wednesday, October 24, 2012

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Coming To A Conclusion

The national elections of 2012 are approaching their final campaign days.
Most American voters have made up their minds. In these final hours,
particularly in the presidential race, a great deal of propaganda and
misinformation often appears to affect undecided and wavering voters.
The presidential debates are finished. Political advertisements have filled
the airwaves in a few selected "battleground" states. In the majority of
states, those with a predictable inclination to vote Republican or Democratic,
there are almost no advertisements, few rallies, and almost no personal
appearances of the presidential and vice presidential candidates. In the final
days of this year's campaign, the candidates will appear in only a a handful
of states.

There are important races for U.S. house and U.S. senate throughout the
nation as well. After the ten-year redistricting, there are some particularly
torrid U.S. house races, sometimes pitting two incumbents against each other.
Control of the U.S house does not seem to be at stake this cycle (Republicans
seem likely to maintain control), but control of the U.S senate is undecided,
even this close to election day. It is also not clear if 2012, as it was in 2006,
2008 and 2010, will be a "wave" election bringing a decisive victory in
congressional races for one party or another, or if most races will be decided
on local issues and the quality of the individual candidates.

As I have often pointed out, the major and most credible polls become more
and more accurate as election day approaches. No serious polling organization
wants to appear ridiculous the day after the election because their poll numbers
were so far off the actual results. But this cycle, more than most in memory,
there is a plethora of polls of varying quality and credibility, many of them paid
for by one party or another, one candidate or another, or one special interest
of another.  These polls have little interest in credibility after the election;
they are paid to produce a reaction. Let the voter beware of these polls!

As I have pointed out in this space many times in the past year, every cycle
has its surprises. It will be no different this year. Some outcomes will change
dramatically in a few days. Some presumptions will be shattered.

This is an unusual national election cycle because U.S. voters have been
presented with an unusually stark choice in the direction of the nation ahead.
Through all the verbal smokescreens, unsupportable statistics, vague promises
and rhetorical tricks, American voters must sort it all out as best as they can,
and make their choices. Those choices will have consequences. This time,
I think, the consequences will be very critical.

Very, very critical to where the United States will go next.


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Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry Casselman.  All rights reserved.

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