My mentor “Obi-Wan Kenobi” is still chewing things over, and an update will appear on site sometime tomorrow, probably the morning. He’s particularly interested in the question of whether the latest round of advertising, the Obama infomercial etc., affects polling or whether it affects voting, and if they diverge, how much.
He also noted something I did not know – that in 1980, Ronald Reagan did a half-hour of television on all three major networks. But he did it on Monday night, right before the election:
On election eve, calling on all his skill in the medium he uses best, Reagan delivered a superbly moving half-hour TV speech. He called a roll of patriotic heroes from John Wayne to the three astronauts killed in a launch-pad accident, asked the voters “Are you happier today than when Mr. Carter became President?” and said, in relation to the U.S. role in the world, “at last the sleeping giant stirs and is filled with resolve—a resolve that we will win together our struggle for world peace.” It was the kind of speech hardly another living politician would have been able to bring off, but Reagan did magnificently—and not least because it was evident it is what he profoundly believes about America and its rightful world role.
(I wonder what happened to Monday Night Football? Or did it start at 9 p.m. Eastern, and Reagan kicked off at 8 p.m.?)
Anyway, coupled with this observation, I wonder if Obama would have been wiser to make his half-hour pitch on Monday night. It looks like there’s a small bump for Obama in a few of the tracking polls; I wonder if the infomercial worked, and created an interruption of the tightening of the tracking polls we saw earlier in the week…