These are the most crucial four days in the entire rest of the campaign! Some insider type I was reading revealed that now the strategists for each camp start to relax, knowing they’ve done all they can do. It’s up to the GOTV crews now! If that’s true, the strategists are idiots. Maybe they’ve made all their ad buys. But there’s still plenty of time left for result-altering events and actions and reactions. It was about this point 12 years ago that George W. Bush’s old DUI arrest came to light, producing what was in essence a tied election. The current race seems about as close–and the voters’** ability to process last-minute news has probably increased. In 2004, Jay Cost notes, Kerry was slightly ahead in key states.
Any number of things could now tip the balance one way or another: The October unemployment numbers, due in a few hours. The Sandy story, which seems to be taking an ominous turn–i.e. social breakdown— in a way that could hurt President Obama, or at least tarnish his new bipartisan sheen. One candidate’s closing statements might strike a chord. The press could decide to make a bigger deal of Benghazi. Joe Biden could dig deeper into his gaffe bag. The coveted kausfiles endorsement is scheduled to appear. A butterfly will flap its wings. You can’t even rule out another DUI-level bombshell. (I don’t know what that would be.) There isn’t time for one more momentum shift. There’s time for at least two.
A top, key, well-placed, influential Romney aide told me months ago he thought the race would be decided in the last 72 hours. That’s still 24 hours away! A long time.
** –Assuming they haven’t already voted. Even in battleground states, three-quarters of likely voters fall into that category.