“What’s welling up in America’s ruling Democrats is not yet a full-throated scream of desperation,” observes commentator Neil Macdonald, who is Canadian and therefore a neutral observer. “But as Samuel Johnson famously remarked, the prospect of being hanged in a fortnight concentrates the mind wonderfully.”
True, as Macdonald says, “for the most part, Barack Obama’s supporters are still clutching the cloak.” Mitt Romney is only slightly ahead in most national polls, Obama clings to a slender lead in Ohio (though Josh Jordan argues at National Review Online that those polls seem to overrepresent Obama supporters who say they’ve already voted), and the New York Times’s Nate Silver is still 1,000% (OK, 71%) behind Obama.
“Losing campaigns have a certain feel to them,” observes the Times’s Ross Douthat in a blog post. “They go negative hard, try out new messaging very late in the game, hype issues that only their core supporters are focused on, and try to turn non-gaffes and minor slip-ups by their opponents into massive, election-turning scandals.” Though Douthat concludes his post with a bizarre and convoluted caveat that amounts to an acknowledgment that there is a nontrivial chance of an Obama victory.