Sunday, October 7, 2012
I may be just one man living in a Blue State (and living in the Bluest part of one of the Bluest States in America), but that doens't mean I can't offer some pertinent 2012 campaign anecdotes:
One of great bits of presidential campaign conventional wisdom is that people don't start to focus heavily on the presidential campaign until October when the debates begin. I hadn't heard much campaign talk here in the Bay Area...until last Wednesday when suddenly everyone was buzzing about Romney & Obama.
In fact, I heard two guys at the gym spend 20 minutes talking about the merits and demerits of Obamacare (get a room). Their conclusion: sure health care is expensive, but WTF do we need some crazy 2000 page law to deal with that?
The stationary store near my office is selling a box of mints with Obama's face on them. The mints are called "Disappoint-Mints." Ouch.
In 1992 & '96, the official progressive position was that there was no difference between the parties; so if you voted for Bush or Dole, you got the same pitying look as someone who voted for Clinton. (this "no difference b/w the parties" business always results in Dem victories, btw, so it's best to ignore it.)
In 2000 & 2004, if you dared to announce that you were voting Republican, you had to be prepared to take an undeserved rhetorical beating. Some folks literally could not abide such a thing.
In 2008, we Republicans would gather in quiet rooms with the shades drawn and shake our heads ruefully over our fate, the unerring genius of the American voter being of the "unappreciated" variety that year.
(of ourse, there were the loudmouth Republicans who voted for Obama due to disgust with TARP and/or the Crash of '08. Smoove move geniuses, electing a leftist because you were upset over government spending. If you were that righteously angry, you should have voted for Bob Barr.)
In 2012, people will walk up to you unsolicited and declare their intent to vote for Romney-Ryan. I'd say the great Democrat Social Enforcement Mechanism has broken down this year.
Been seeing a lot of openly displayed (hubba-hubba) Romney-Ryan bumberstickers, attached to cars and everything. I've also seen a lot of handmade Romney signs, some with elaborate messages and mini-essays, in car windows. People want to get their message out.
A friend who just spent six months in Michigan caring for her father reported that people in her dad's ostensibly Democratic town were not shy in voicing their anger at the government.
I don't want to oversell this. Obama is going to carry California. Diane Feinstein's going back to the Senate. Jackie Spier is going to continue to represent my District (although her campaign is leaning heavily on her holding the Pentagon accountable for rapes in the military. You go, girl). But, there is a discernable anti-Dem buzz that I haven't previously experienced in California presidential politicking.