Just wanted to share two things I read in the hope that they lighten the mood just a bit:
From E. J. Dionne,
I was talking with an old friend who is with one of the nonpartisan polling outfits (and who also happens to be a very good and fair-minded pollster). We were discussing the large shifts in some of the polls on the presidential election and the feedback he receives whenever he puts out new numbers that make one side or the other unhappy. He offered an observation so priceless that it needs to be widely shared.And one "trip down memory lane" from Steve Benen:
“When you give conservatives bad news in your polls, they want to kill you,” he said. “When you give liberals bad news in your polls, they want to kill themselves.”
I am protecting his identity because I don’t want him to get any additional phone calls. I would only add: Buck up, liberals!
But there's a strong case to be made that 2012 looks quite a bit like 2004 -- an incumbent president with a tepid approval rating, facing an electorate open to change and a motivated opposition, takes on a wealthy Massachusetts challenger his party settled on, somewhat grudgingly, after an awkward primary process.Now, I leave it to the psychologists among you to explain the differences.....
And with that in mind, just for kicks, take a moment to consider some of the polling that came out around eight years ago at this time.
In late September, shortly before the first debate, a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found George W. Bush leading John Kerry by eight points. A week later, shortly after their initial debate, the same pollster found the president's lead had quickly evaporated and the two were tied.
And a week after that, a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted exactly eight years ago today and tomorrow, showed Kerry inching past the incumbent president, taking a narrow lead among likely voters, 49% to 48%.
To be sure, it was just one pollster of many, but it was a major national survey showing a nine-point swing to the challenger over the course of about two weeks.
It wasn't long, of course, before the poll swung back, and Bush went on to win a narrow victory. But I covered that race pretty closely, and I don't remember Republicans looking for the nearest window to jump out of eight years ago this week, which only helps reinforce my larger suspicion that the left and right tend to deal with discouraging news in different ways.