The clock ticks down

October 26, 2012 

Election Day is almost here. Hallelujah and praise the Lord, it is almost over.

Think how tired you are of this election season and imagine people stuck in swing states. Those people get bombarded by national political commercials in every commercial break. Their phones ring constantly and there are constant knocks at their doors.

Some in the area have gotten push polls. David Cooke, running for district attorney, felt the need to smear his opponent, Greg Winters, with a series of questions implying Winters treats some better than others, is weak on crime, etc. Given the length of time Cooke has worked in the Houston County District Attorney’s Office and his relative lack of progress moving up the ladder there, I suspect he is desperate for a way out. Desperation makes candidates do things they otherwise would not do.

This is a pitiful end of the campaign for Cooke. Bothering people at home with a poll Cooke insists was objective when it clearly was not -- a poll designed to question Winters’ integrity with false accusations then ask people who they wanted to vote for -- is what candidates do when they are behind. I should hope Cooke, given his willingness to get that far down in the mud, stops holding himself out as a church deacon on the campaign trail. Candidates should leave God and church out of character assassinations.

President Obama, feeling desperate, has referred to Mitt Romney in an interview with Rolling Stone as a “bullsh***er.” The map is shrinking for Obama as it expands for Romney. It is still Obama’s race to lose. He just seems intent on doing that.

The Obama campaign has pulled out of North Carolina. The campaign is losing Florida, Colorado and even Virginia, which I did not think was possible. Romney has drawn to parity in Iowa and New Hampshire. This leaves both campaigns fighting over Ohio, which Joe Biden mistakenly referred to as Iowa just two days ago.

In major suburban Ohio counties in 2008, the Obama campaign had a 14 percent lead in early voting. This year, Romney has a 1 percent lead in those same counties with Obama having a 6 percent lead overall in Ohio early voting. With undecideds breaking significantly for the challenger in most every presidential election, the Obama campaign must do better than that to win Ohio.

Romney has opened up a double digit lead among independent voters across the polls, has a massive lead among men, and has narrowed Obama’s lead with women to under 5 percent. While Romney and Ryan are running on the economy, unemployment and the mess Obama has made of the Middle East, the president is running on Big Bird and abortion. Those are not the issues a candidate runs on when pursuing independents.

At this late date, the Obama camp is making a calculation it must give up independents and turn out its base as much as possible. If this is a base election, Obama might just win. But it is a dangerous gamble for him to take.

Back here in Georgia, we know the GOP will win the state. We do not know if they will get a super majority in the Legislature. We also do not know if the charter school amendment will pass. Through all the bluster and hype, charter school opponents try to hide one fact -- charter schools do better with less money. Everyone should vote yes on Amendment 1.

Regardless of how you vote, we can all be glad it is almost over.

Erick Erickson is a CNN contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.

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