Obama supporters are savoring good poll numbers right now. We're also laughing at the "unskewed polls" movement, which argues that all the poll results favorable to Obama are the result of oversampling of Democrats motivated by liberal media bias; this movement has many prominent supporters on the right, and its arguments are taken at least somewhat seriously by seemingly respectable conservatives.
On the other hand, there's the concern Zandar expressed in my comments:
Steve, we know this whole THE POLLS ARE SKEWED nonsense is Step 1 to de-legitimizing Obama's second term, right?I think there's a lot of truth to that, with a couple of caveats.
Step 2 is after Obama wins, the "conspiracy" is PROOF HE STOLE THE ELECTION and stuff.
Step 3 from the playbook is WE MUST IMPEACH of course. And if the media doesn't at that point play along with the "Well, the President's critics may have a point" they're in the tank for Obama....
If the election is close, I think there's going to be a lot of shouting about Democratic voter fraud. If it isn't, I think there'll be some shouting, but it'll mostly be heard in the fever swamps -- voter-fraud allegations won't be taken mainstream; there won't be serious attempts to contest any states' results.
Which doesn't mean Republicans will acknowledge the results as legitimate.
See, they don't have to allege actual funny business in the voting to say that Obama should have lost. They can also say that Obama would have lost if the media hadn't been in the tank for him. Then they don't have to scour the nation for allegedly dead voters and allegedly dubious vote totals. And the margin of victory doesn't matter -- Obama could win by 8 or 9 points and keep Romney to under 200 electoral votes and they can still say the results aren't legit, because the public was brainwashed.
Consider this open letter from Brent Bozell of the Media Research Council, and co-signed by the likes of Laura Ingraham, Gary Bauer, Ed Meese, and Congressman Louis Gohmert:
This election year, so much of the broadcast networks, their cable counterparts, and the major establishment print media are out of control with a deliberate and unmistakable leftist agenda. To put it bluntly: you are rigging this election and taking sides in order to pre-determine the outcome. In the quarter century since the Media Research Center was established to document liberal media bias, there has never been a more brazen and complete attempt by the liberal so-called "news" media to decide the outcome of an election....So that's how the right is going to keep the crazy base angry; that's an argument even "respectable" right-wingers can peddle.
And toward what end? Support for impeachment? Maybe, maybe not. Short of that, the right can try to turn Obama's second term into a rerun of his first: all GOP stonewalling all the time, backed up by angry base-heads marching in the streets, perhaps under the Tea Party banner yet again.
That, I think, is what we're seeing the groundwork for. The right is starting early. I'm not sure it will be taken seriously this time, but it will be seriously attempted.
The right will never yield. The right must be decisively rebuffed.