Breathe In, Breathe Out

It’s time to declare a national moratorium on Obama supporters watching poll numbers. Seriously: Nothing would do more to improve the nation’s collective mental health, right about now, than a mass tune-out of Nate Silver, Real Clear Politics, and every other outlet that spews and compiles and analyzes the data Obamians have taken to following with a maniacal and hysteria-inducing obsessiveness since last Wednesday's Worst Debate in the History of Mankind. 

To lead the boycott, we’d like to nominate poor dear Andrew Sullivan, the president’s most devout conservative admirer. Nobody has a more desperate need to step away from the mounting evidence that Mitt Romney’s post-debate chances of winning are much improved. Yesterday, when the notably reliable pollsters at Pew released a post-debate survey showing Romney leading by four points among likely voters, Sullivan had a good old-fashioned conniption fit on his blog, The Dish, concluding that "Obama has instantly plummeted into near-oblivion."

Sullivan sounded a tad unhinged, but he was verbalizing the cresting panic of many (if not most) Obama fans, who are alternately venting their spleens at the president (too "arrogant" to prepare properly, Sullivan fumed) and dashing to the doctor for a megadose of Prozac. As the Prospect’s Steve Erickson wrote this morning, “In a fashion typically frenzied when it comes to politics, the consensus has fed on itself and gotten worse by the moment, helped along in no small part by people who claim to be the president’s partisans. Some of the most bitter language I’ve heard about Obama in five years has been muttered in the last five days by Obama supporters, who you would think might have ire left over for a Republican nominee as audacious as Governor Mitt Romney was in flatly denying what he’s been campaigning on for months.”

Here’s some advice for our hyperventilating friends: Go cold turkey on the polling data for a few days. Read Jamelle Bouie’s analysis of the Pew numbers, which points out that most of the survey’s responses came last Thursday and Friday, and that the “Romney bounce” started to lessen over the weekend. Pay heed to Paul Waldman, who offers additional reasons that “liberals can feel free to stop rending their garments.” Check out Ken Layne’s hilarious and insightful post on Sullivan’s blog stylings at The Awl. And if you simply can’t kick your poll-watching habit without booking a week in rehab, force yourself to look only at the polling averages, which are considerably less frightful. Inhale, exhale. You’ll feel better. We promise. 

So They Say

“Big, yellow, a menace to our economy. Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about, it’s Sesame Street.”

—From the Obama campaign’s Big Bird ad 

Daily Meme: Freaks and Geeks

  • Before the debate last Wednesday, Pew had Obama leading 51-43. In the aftermath, it's Romney, 49-45. 
  • When conservatives are faced with polls that put their candidate in a precarious situation, they insist that the polls are wrong.
  • Obama supporters, on the other hand, start freaking out and predicting the end of days.
  • Conservatives thought the other side's "sky is falling" reaction was just the funniest thing—quickly forgetting their similar, recurring poll meltdowns from the past few months.
  • Nate Silver, a veritable Dumbledore of the polls, was most displeased by the hullabaloo.
  • And when you take a step back, it's true: The polls have been pretty stable.
  • Political scientist Matt Dickinson’s sober take? "The race, as of today, stands almost exactly where I have been arguing it has stood for the last two months. Obama is ahead, but by the slimmest of margins."

What We're Writing

  • Patrick Caldwell interviews Jennifer Granholm about prepping Joe Biden for the 2008 VP debate. 
  • Abby Rapoport reports on the electoral insanity in Ohio. 

What We're Reading

Poll of the Day

Today we are observing the liberal boycott of polling data.

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