Posted by | September 10, 2012 15:46 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

First let me start with the necessary qualifiers.  There is a long way to go before Election Day and the result is still very much in doubt.  However, nearly all objective sources now point to President Obama as the favorite in November.  But for three years, Republicans have been told that his defeat was an inevitability, and that he stole his ten-million vote victory in 2008.  With Republicans questioning the polls, it raises a natural question, as posed by Ed Kilgore:

…what continues to amaze me is the palpable fear and loathing of Republicans towards any adverse public opinion findings, which seem to reflect a sort of self-hypnosis wherein admitting the possibility of an Obama victory will somehow affect the results. Sure, there are some Democrats who think Obama’s going to run away with it all, but not that many; most seem to expect a cliff-hanger, and those who don’t are pretty much keeping their over-confidence to themselves. With a few honorable exceptions (e.g., Sean Trende), though, Team Mitt and its echo-chamber are acting as though defeat is almost literally impossible. It makes you wonder if they’ll be willing to accept defeat on November 6, if it happens. I’m afraid some will be out there the next day, still spinning madly, and that, of course, will be a recipe for a contested election, either in the courts (if it’s very close) or among conservative activists who will be eager to believe Obama has stolen the presidency again!

Functioning democracy depends to some degree on civil discourse.  Are things going to be civil if Obama wins re-election?

By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.