The nation is supposed to vote, once and for all, on Tuesday, November 6th. Ohio, very much in play but looking just now like a Blue State-2012, has seen more than one-third of its registered voter pool cast its ballots already. Eighteen electoral votes come with Ohio, so this is a big deal. According to exit polling (or its second cousin, the morning after call poll), President Obama is ahead 60% to 30% in the early voting, meaning Mr. Romney needs 67% of the remaining voter bloc in order to win Ohio.
The electoral math also favors Mr. Obama. Various polls have Mr. Romney ahead 49% to 48% in the national popular vote but almost no one has him ahead in the Electoral College.
So, with evidence of an Obama squeaker mounting, why does one (that one being me) feel a growing suspicion the election will not actually be resolved, at least in presidential circles, by early next Wednesday morning? I have three reasons, like all good preachers, who always have three points per sermon. In order, they are Money, Rancor and Massive Ego.
This has been the most expensive election in American history. Something near $1.5 billion will have been spent by the two campaigns and the Super-PACs and non-profits. I submit, respectfully, that no one is going to spend a half billion dollars (spending is nearly even between the two candidates, for all the talk of Romney and Rove and their PACs), only to let the Great Unwashed tell him he must forego his illusory internal mandate.
And, there is some intense rancor here. The two camps and the two men involve actually appear to dislike one another. There is less than the usual smiling and nodding and respectful talk between the two. Their body language during the debates was not indifferent or deferential. I really think these two fellows dislike one another.
And, then, there is the Massive Ego equation. No shrinking violet runs for President, at least, not for long. These two fellows, however, may take the cake. In the first debate, for instance, Mr. Obama seemed absolutely irked he had to ask for votes. This has always irked me about Mr. Obama, the feeling he had to be persuaded to run in the first place, his condescension about preferring the hallowed halls of the Senate, ad infinitum, Mr. Obama wanted to be president, or he would not be in the Oval Office. An “easy campaign’ takes years and billions; none of it comes by accident of fate.
I know, I know, I know. None of my previous arguments explain Joe Biden, but there are exceptions to all rules.
So, what do I think will happen?
We will vote, millions of us. And the votes will all be tallied. And the results will be announced.
And it will not end there, not this time.
Tomorrow, I will try to find time to talk about what might happen from here.