The Plural of Anecdotes

by Ramesh Ponnuru

As I suppose everyone reading the Corner knows, the liberal conceit of the moment is that Obama is not only almost guaranteed to win reelection but that anyone who doubts this fact is a flat-earther. (For a good statement of the contrary view, see Baseball Crank among others.)

If the liberals are right, then most of the Republican insiders I’ve talked to over the last two weeks are in the flat-earth camp. They don’t seem to be just pretending to have confidence in Romney’s ability to win the election, spinning the rubes to improve the party’s percentage in defeat; they seem to really have confidence: more confidence, in fact, than I remember roughly the same group of people having at this point in 2004. The group I have in mind includes people who are often pessimistic about Republican chances, and mostly people who are outside the Romney campaign. It includes people who read Nate Silver a fair amount and respect him, but disagree with him. Their projections range from a toss-up to a strong Romney win.

Democrats and the press generally seem confident they are going to win next week, too. I’ve never seen as big a divergence in expectations about a presidential election less than a week away.