Do hurricanes vote?

A monster storm is about to hit the East. From what I understand, Hurricane Sandy is on a path to the Mid-Atlantic and New England, while a huge cold front is coming down from Canada, and something weird is coming in from the West. When they all converge, the result will be, according to some crazy person who comes up with bizarre names, a Frankenstorm.

Notice the path? It’s affecting North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Swing states. So, TPM and others are taking a look at the storm and guessing how it will affect the presidential election.

“It depends on where it hits and how much, it’s just impossible to say in advance,” Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, told TPM. “If Obama were directing the snowstorm it would be in the Shenandoah valley and Southwest Virginia as they want as low a turnout as possible in those rural areas. If Romney were directing the snowstorm, it would go right down the corridor from Northern Virginia into Richmond, which is where Obama’s votes come from.”…

Ohio is another place to watch. Heavy snow could make things more difficult in the many smaller counties where Romney is expected to dominate, but if it hits the more Democratic northwest corner of the state that could have an outsize impact on early voting. Speaking of early voting, it can’t hurt that Democrats already have a big lead banked before whatever weather heads their way….

Finally, the storm could have an impact on the final round of public opinion polls as well, making it hard to get accurate data in swing states facing severe weather conditions. Phone line and power outages could make it hard to call voters in certain areas, for example, or throw off the usual daily routines that pollsters rely on to reach respondents. Tom Jensen of Democratic pollster PPP, which plans on running about 20 more surveys before election day, told TPM they’re worried about the potential impact from Sandy.

I will be so happy when this election is over. Then we can worry about things like how many people a major storm is going to wipe out when we’re not distracted by how it’s going to affect voter turnout.

Dirty Harry Reid

So Harry Reid pulls something out of thin air (Mitt Romney hasn’t paid taxes in 10 years), admits he’s probably making it up, and the people who gave us ,,,

1) Obama’s a Muslim
2) Obama’s a socialist
3) Obama’s birth certificate isn’t real
4) Obama pals around with terrorists
5) Obama’s plotting to take away your guns
6) Obama’s college transcript is phony
7) Obama is organizing concentration camps
8) Obama was born in Kenya

… those people have the nerve to get upset that someone is making something up about their candidate? And the best part is that Mitt Romney, who isn’t releasing his tax returns, is saying that Harry Reid has to prove his allegations by getting Mitt Romney’s tax returns and releasing them?

In the words of Dirty Harry, “Go ahead. Make my day.”

Four more (GOP) years?

This is disheartening. It comes from Mark Thoma at Economist’s View, and no one who reads that blog would confuse him for a GOP spokesman. He’s essentially noting that in the course of the Obama presidency, the Republicans have done pretty well in steering the country in their direction, and asks why would they want to screw that up?

So long as Republicans can block more effective policy, and so long as the president acquiesces and doesn’t blame Republicans for obstructionism, etc., Republicans can win this war. That socialist, Keynesian (or is it Kenyan?) president tried it his way, and it failed!

If a Republican takes the presidency, that blame will fall on them. Sure, it’s possible that the economy will take off over the next four years, but more realistically it’s looking like more of the same sluggishness, a slow, agonizing, “are we there yet,” recovery that won’t be helped at all by the deficit reduction that lies ahead (thanks to one of those wonderful compromises by the administration). Who wants to preside over that? Instead, why not put up some weak candidates, very, very weak, and give the win to Obama? He’s already done a lot of their work for them, why not let him take the lead in dismantling social welfare in the name of deficit reduction (e.g. Obama has often cited Social Security as a target).

I realize that Republicans really do want to win, they hate having Obama in power, but from their perspective would it really be so bad if they lost?