Who Wins Tuesday – Turnout is Fair Play


Commentary by

Jay B Gaskill


We have never lived in a pure democracy.

Just stop and contemplate a system in which 100% voting is mandatory, and there are no checks and balances against a runaway temporary majority that decides to end some essential freedoms.  That is hardly an unprecedented scenario in modern world history.  Even Hitler managed a majority…once.  This sort of thing reminds us is our constitution cannot be amended by a simple vote of the Congress.

We live in a republic in which the levers of executive and legislative power potentially are in the control of an absolute majority of all voters, but actually are in the hands of those voters who are sufficiently concerned at any particular juncture in history to get involved. The indifferent ones are self-disenfranchised. We might term this state of affairs, an oligarchy of the concerned.

After the Sandy Event on the East Coast and some presidential-looking photo ops, the POTUS polls have tightened up to within the margin of error.   There are no adequate polling models for what is about to take place on Tuesday.  Center-right turnout was depressed in 2008, while the enthusiastic left turned out hordes of voters who had never before graced a polling place.  So what about Tuesday?  There are persuasive indications that the reverse will take place.

Yes, this election may be a close thing, but two elements, operating in concert, still suggest a Romney victory in the popular vote on Tuesday, to wit: (1) This is a referendum on the Obama presidency; (2) The center-right is awakened and motivated as in no election before Nixon-McGovern in 1972.

Sunday’s Rasmussen Poll (less volatile and traditionally more predictive than the others) puts presidential race in a dead heat – outcome unpredictable.[1] But Rasmussen’s weighting model (which is based on a more realistic turnout average than the other polls) has not yet added-in the greatly enhanced center-right turnout (GOP, independents and conservative Democrats) that the Gallup organization recently detected.  If this turnout differential proves to be the real deal, it will exceed the center-right turnout levels in any of the last four presidential races.

If it is real, this will be the hidden surge that swamps the incumbent. And if it happens (sorry, this author’s crystal ball is out of service), we will surely hear complaints that the longed-for left-inspired turnout was somehow suppressed.  That and the inevitable allegations of unfairness simply will not be true.  Suppressed? Depressed would be a better term.  After all, turnout is fair play.

At the risk of sounding like Peggy Noonan or Camille Paglia, appearances do matter.  Romney looks confident and ready to lead, while Obama looks petulant and ready to cry.  Paglia, a liberal, recently made this telling observation: “Romney is an affable, successful businessman whose skills seem well-suited to this particular moment of economic crisis. Hence I want to use my vote[2] to make a statement about my unhappiness with the Democratic Party and the direction it has taken.”


Copyright © 2012 by Jay B Gaskill, Attorney at law

As always, forwards, links and pull quotes are welcome and encouraged. For everything else, please contact the author via e-mail law@jaygaskill.com.

[1] Sunday, November 04, 2012 The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows the race tied with President Obama and Mitt Romney each attracting support from 49% of voters nationwide. One percent (1%) prefers some other candidate, and another one percent (1%) remains undecided.


[2] No, she hasn’t gone conservative. Ms. Paglia is voting Green.

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