Friday, October 24, 2008

If Obama Loses

Obama has been steadily ahead of McCain now for a while, with polls all pointing to him winning the White House. When asked who is going to win, about 60 percent predict Obama. Expectations, oh the power of expectations.

But what if McCain wins?

A UK article suggests police around the U.S. are planning for this. Friggin scary. Says one cop who will have his people on standby: "We always try to prepare for the worst."

Why am I going on about this? Because perception is everything. We know that those on the losing side of a close election tend to be a little more down on democracy and the fairness of the vote, but what if they really really really are sure their preferred candidate is going to win and all the polls have told them their candidate is going to win and all the pundits have said, yeah, your guy is going to win. And then your candidate doesn't win.

Oops. Bad karma. Hanging chads. Riots?

It's a recipe for electoral disaster should McCain pull it out. All the numbers say Obama will win, even if there is a Bradley Effect. It's hard to argue with the numbers. But if Ohio and Florida and a few other places screw up the voting -- and McCain wins -- there could be some ugliness.

Honestly we'd be better off if the race tightens now and people go into Election Day with it being neck-and-neck. That way, whoever wins, at least both sides would have a little less of an expectation effect. Otherwise it might indeed get ugly.

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