Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Conventional Wisdom

The presidential race might seem over for some, but it ain't over by a long shot. It's a race of wait and see.

Conventional Wisdom

Conventional wisdom says the national party conventions did little to alter the landscape of this year’s election; and that appears to be the case.

Mostly what we learned from Tampa and Charlotte was that Clint Eastwood is capable of stealing a show and Barack Obama remains capable of delivering a speech.

Most recent polls show a slight bump for the president.

Rasmussen and Gallup tracking polls, for example, say Obama’s now up 4 or 5 points.

But the realclearpolitics.com Website shows the average of recent polling has the president up less than 2 points.

Point is we’re still looking at a tight contest.

And we could be for a long time, meaning even after Election Day.

Pending court rulings, including in Pennsylvania, on new voter ID laws could and appeals to existing and future rulings in key states could lead to post-election litigation.

The New York Times on Monday notes that voting requirement changes in Ohio and Florida, for example, could – even if settled before the election – end up in appeals that could delay the final election outcome in a close race.

Just what the divided nation needs, eh?

Meanwhile, the first of three scheduled debates is only three weeks away. That takes place in Denver Oct. 3 on domestic policy and is to be moderated by Jim Lehrer of PBS.

I know lots of Democrats believe that Obama’s convention speech showed the nation he deserves a second term, and lots more believe that the first the debate will seal the deal.

And maybe that’s right.

But the national attention span is short and easily turned by momentary events large and small. Any x-factor related to the economy or the Afghan war or who knows what can change the game.

Anyone who says Obama cannot be reelected and/or anyone who claims Romney can’t win election is expressing more personal wishful thinking than any kind of wisdom.

This was and remains a race reliant on, you know, wait and see.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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