September 21, 2004

What If the Polls Are Wrong?

Al Hunt's got a recent article running under the headline "What If the Polls Are Wrong?" and laying out all the reasons for Democrats not to despair. Essentially, he's counting on a massive influx of new voters to turn the tide for Kerry. There may be some of that. But bad polls may be hiding a Republican trend as well. The key is how ashamed are 9/11 Democrats and Independents of their newfound Republican beliefs?

That 9/11 is going to change voting patterns was a given in 2001 but you don't here much about it in 2004 during the first presidential election since that disastrous day. How many 9/11 Democrats are out there is simply not known, for the simple reason that the Democrat party has worked, and worked hard and long, for defectors to feel ashamed. Voting for the GOP is not just a difference of opinion for core Democrats, it's a betrayal, a vote for evil, for grandma starvers, church burners, a vote for the lynch mob. But some number of people who have internalized all that political/cultural baggage are still going to go into the privacy of the voting booth and vote GOP because there's a war on and the Democrat party is too full of deluded appeasers who are going to get people killed, people who are close to home.

The nightmare scenario for Democrats is that they're going to be true to themselves in the voting booth but won't tell the truth to a pollster. The ground could be shifting under their feet and, because of the internal shame culture that the Democrat party has formed over long years of effort, they'll never know it until election eve, 2004 and possibly for some time beyond.

Posted by TMLutas at September 21, 2004 10:18 AM