Nervous Democrats Fear the Worst

It is not easy to be a Democrat in America. They lost seven of the last ten presidential elections. Can it go wrong again? Mitchell Bard is afraid it might. “Forgive me,” writes the filmmaker and publicist on the website of the Huffington Post. “You have to forgive me. As a 41-year-old Democrat, I’ve seen too much to ever be confident.”

There seems to be no single reason for doubt for the Democrats. Everything is going well – Obama is way ahead in most polls, on average at 69 percent. Even more important, everything indicates that the large Republican states such as Florida Ohio and Michigan will vote for Obama. A huge victory is likely, the more because the Democrats have, with just a few days to go, more money to spend. Obama is also the favorite of the bookmakers who give him an 87% chance of victory. And still there is that gnawing feeling with many Democrats. They fear that it will go wrong again as almost always.

The daily paper, The New York Times, asked a psychotherapist this weekend in liberal Manhattan if many of her patients talk about the fear that Obama will lose. “Oh, only about 90 percent of them,” remarked the psychologist impassively. The painful defeats in the past have convinced the Democrats that the Republicans play the game much better. The ultimate example was in 2000 when the Republicans won the legal battle over a recount in Florida. Four years ago the Republicans succeeded to make John Kerry look like a wimp. Full of disbelief the Democrats saw another election lost.

Although a new stunt by the Republicans looks very unlikely, the polls are a constant source of nervousness. Are they correct? In one study Obama is ahead thirteen percent, in the other the margin is ‘only’ five percent.

Another source of uncertainty with the liberal Americans is Obama’s ‘unique candidacy’. Never before has an African-American been in this position. Will the people that are saying that they are going to vote for him actually do that? The same question was asked when the first catholic candidate, John F. Kennedy, was running for president in 1960. This turned out to be groundless and the opinion makers expect it to be the same for Obama. Sudden shifts on election day are not to be expected.

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