Answer – probably. Like progressives all over the web, I'm stopping myself from getting too happy. No one wants to jinx the overwhelming tide of good news for Obama by premature counting of chickens. Despite increasingly frequent use of words like "landslide," "bloodbath," and "earthquake election," the media are simultaneously scrambling to run how-McCain-could-still-win stories.
But deep down, no one – including conservatives – seems to really believe that there is any question left – barring the equivalent of the kind of cataclysm that almost never happens – except how big Obama's victory will be. It now appears that the only genuinely exciting question left in the national races is whether the Dems will achieve a 60-vote majority in the Senate (meaning that a party line vote can block a filibuster), a truly stunning feat that still seems unlikely.
The bigger question is how the why behind the landslide will affect the future. The Obama wave, possibly a tsunami, is not happening because all those folks who voted for Bush, the other Bush, and Reagan have suddenly adopted the mindset of from each according to his means, to each according to his needs. Conversion isn't the game here; Americans are looking for a way to express how fed up and even frightened they are from the Bush regime. Bush loved to posture as the "bring it on" president, but he now seems more aptly characterized as a multi-dimensional failure – from Iraq to Katrina to a desperate bail-out when the economy tanked. In other words, this is an anti-Bush, not a pro-Obama wave. The frat boy hour is over; we need an adult back in charge.
The ballot issues that I've been following are much harder to get a handle on, because – except for CA – there isn't much press coverage. The most heartening surprise is that a University of Arkansas poll shows the effort to amend the Arkansas constitution to block adoption by gay parents losing, with 55% opposed, only 38% in favor.That really does seem too good to be true.
On the marriage-related referenda, the news is cautiously optimistic. The California contest over Prop 8 is still too close to call, although the highly regarded Public Policy Institute of California poll shows the pro-equality side ahead by 8 points.Total pro and con fundraising has hit a staggering $60 million, in close to equal amounts for each side. Meanwhile, Florida's effort to amend its constitution to enshrine the already existing DoMA statute has majority support, but polls show it at a level that falls just short of the 60% needed for passage. So that vote, too, could go either way.
The homestretch is also prime time for smears and generally despicable conduct. Exhibit A – Elizabeth Dole, trying to pull out her re-election race against Dem challenger Kay Hagan, has dragged out the gay marriage canard in NC: