In and Out of the DC Bubble

Ben Domenech wrote yesterday about how the GOP grassroots, especially the much-distrusted rubes of the Tea Party, are rallying hard to Romney while GOP elites are pushing the panic button and going all Eyore on us.  (I especially like Ben’s phrase “professional concern troll David Frum.”)  I’m catching a plane shortly to return to the Left Coast after two days in DC, and I was indeed surprised at the mood of folks I talked with.  Domenech is right.  I expected that the “insiders” and pros I know in DC, who measure the twists and turns of political campaigns with micrometers in real time, would have a sanguine view of things, and attach the correct discount to the anomalous polls and high volatility this race displays. Instead what I mostly heard was unremitting gloom.

But look folks–there’s no way Obama is leading in North Carolina, as is reported this morning.  And if this indicative of a systematic bias or problem with the polls, then everyone should take a deep breath and calm down for a couple of weeks.

One reason it is good to get out of the Beltway bubble is that you really do appreciate how much of a bubble it is when you sit in a bar or pizza parlor somewhere out in Real America, and someone you know pops up on CNN, and no one pays much attention.  Or when they do, they shrug their shoulders and go back to their conversation about substitute chefs refs.  No one says, “Oh, quiet–David Gergen is coming on!”  The pool of undecided voters may not be very large, but I suspect turnout is a large question mark this year, and that there are still a lot of people who are still just starting to pay attention–if they ever pay much attention.  These are people who have real lives.


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