Saw all the polls showing McCain up? Had a big gulp when Gallup showed McCain way up? Relax. Jonah Goldberg helpfully reminds us why McCain is going to lose in the end.
Every presidential candidate since 1960 has gotten a "bump" or "bounce" . . . except George McGovern . . . . After the 1980 convention, Jimmy Carter erased Reagan's healthy lead, gaining 7 points while Reagan lost 6. So, during this week twenty years ago the race stood at 39% for Reagan, 38% for Carter, and 14% for John Anderson. . . .
Now here's the really important thing to keep in mind: Jimmy Carter was a loser . . . And guess what? He lost, for that is what losers do. Indeed he lost by a bigger margin -- 50.75% to 41.02% -- than the amount by which he was trailing before his bounce.
Your friend and mine Jonah was talking about Al Gore, of course, not John McCain, but his analysis shouldn't be any different today.
Oh yeah, and here's the magic of Palin explained:
Then, of course, there was 1996. Bob Dole got the second-biggest bounce in memory. (The highest was Bill Clinton's in 1992.) The Dole bounce was explained in the press as the result of the Kemp pick, in much the same way Gore's choice of Lieberman is cited as lifting the ticket. Dole lost by 9 points, and -- except for about ten days after that year's Democratic convention -- pretty much everyone would have predicted the loss.
I know some will object on the basis that Al Gore actually won in 2000. Yes, he did, but Miami also won the 2003 National Championship game, except for that phantom pass interference call/Supreme Court decision. That bad call allowed Bush to wreck the nation like Willie McGahee's knee. The country may have gotten embroiled in war and suffered financial ruin at the hands of that idiot, but at least we never had to play for Buffalo. Putting the closeness of the 2000 election aside, you have to remember that Gore had the burden of laboring under succeeding one of the most popular presidents in United States history. McCain doesn't have that problem. It won't be that close.
So don't be despondent. Whether despondent or confident now, the real question is a practical one. How many hours are you going to put into knocking on doors, registering voters, and making phone calls to share your story of why you support Barack Obama between now and the election? It's more efficient than spending four years bitching about John McCain's fuck ups and sighing when some McCain voter says "Damn! I had no idea they'd really ban abortion and nuke Iran!"
Let's win this thing. Thanks Jonah!
Update: Jonah Goldberg replies. Very much a non-refutation refutation. If he sticks to his underlying premises as he says he does, it's hard to figure out why he thought Gore would lose then if he doesn't think that McCain will lose now. Anyway, thanks Jonah, I don't know who Bart Motes is either.