Thursday, October 26, 2006

Powerline over-reaches?

A little review of recent history:

- On October 6th I asked if the Democrats had jumped the shark.
- Last week there were inklings of a shift in the winds as the Foley scandal burned itself out.
- That trend continues this week as poll after poll is released showing improving odds for Republicans.

Minnesota bloggers have caught the fever. Over at Kennedy vs. The Machine there’s news of a tracking poll, tidings of great joy (though unrevealed) for Kennedy supporters. Powerline agrees, stating that the Klobuchar lead has been cut in half in the most recent internal poll.

Count me as skeptical. Not that I don’t wish for the 2006 GOP version of Miracle on Ice, but I tend to be a Doubting Thomas at moments like this; I’ll have to see some evidence with my own eyes that there’s been a fundamental shift in the electorate’s equation.

Powerline’s John Hinderaker uncharacteristically overplays the hand:

One more thought: yesterday was the fourth anniversary of the Wellstone plane crash that, together with his subsequent funeral, was one of the decisive events in the 2002 campaign. Recall how much changed after that tragic accident, which happened just eleven days before the election. We are now twelve days out from November 7. Momentum is flowing in the right direction, and there is plenty of time for Mark and other Republican candidates to close gaps and cement leads.

Except for one thing…Mondale was defeated in 2002 by his party’s unbelievable show of bad taste and lack of grace. There hasn’t been any equal to the ‘funeralconventionrally’ moment that would radically change the course of Minnesota’s Senate election.

I am more than willing to be wrong. I am ready to learn. In that same Powerline post a reference is made to John Podhoretz and “…the difference between that he calls ‘Mainstream Media Time’ and ‘Blog Time’," that the electorate’s focus is moving at the rate of the internet, not the snails pace of the old media.

Podhoretz may be on to something; should Kennedy pull this race out and win, it will point to a paradigm shift much more profound than can be blamed on mere bad prognosticating. Rather, that the Minnesota electorate has gone through a radical change in how it plods through the process, and every future candidate had better learn from it.

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