Sunday, May 18, 2008

Obama Fever - Unforeseen Consequences

I did not fully realize the import of the stories of Republicans’ anxiousness over their recent defeat in Mississippi until I read the opinions and statistics in Frank Rich’s column this morning. I still believe as I predicted in this year’s predictions that – baring any unforeseen political catastrophes – McCain will win the general elections.

However, what I did not anticipate was the effect of so much voter turn out locally. Even though record numbers of voters are going to the polls for the national election, local and state elections may receive the biggest impact. And if the numbers quoted in Mr. Rich’s column are indicative of what is to come, Democrats stand to make rather respective gains in Congress and state houses.

I left the following comment at Frank Rich’s NYTimes site:

“Wouldn’t it be funny if in the general election the white majority in the South and in cities in the North insured McCain’s victory, while a record black turnout for Obama – although insufficient for him – nonetheless overwhelmed local elections in favor of Democrats, decisively shifting the balance of power in Congress. Would that be funny, or what?”

Maybe I got it all wrong. Maybe this ground swell for Obama is genuine and much more significant than I (and many others) realized. I’m cynical and think the worse of how Americans will react to just about anything.

However, with in this cynicism, unforeseen consequences abound -- it's part and parcel. Local elections going decidedly in favor of Democrats while losing the national elections would be a prime example – and that it was not anticipated is the clincher.
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