Glenn Reynolds says that the 2012 election has the possibility to be a “ground glass” election for conservatives:
Last week, I noticed this blog comment: “Romney was not my first, second, or third choice, but I will crawl over ground glass to vote for him.”
A lot of Republicans — and, judging from polls, a lot of independents — feel this way. If there are enough of them, Romney will win, and win big.
He then asks if the signs for such an election are really there, and then spends the rest of his column answering that conservatives are probably that desperate to see Romney in the White House.
In 2008, it was the Democrats who had the “ground class” demographic. Excited about the possibility of making history by casting their vote for the first black president, Democrats pretty much dashed and danced over that glass.
Would the outcome have been the same, though, if conservatives hadn’t been dispirited by McCain and independent hadn’t had a surfeit of the Bush years plus serious MSM-induced fear of Sarah Palin? After all, if both sides are willing to crawl over ground glass, you’re pretty much at a stalemate. This year doesn’t seem to be a stalemate year. Instead, the energy that powered an Obama victory seems to have burned itself out.
A good indicator of the apathy amongst those who aren’t diehard Dems is an article in the Marin IJ examining ennui amongst Marin’s extremely well-indoctrinated young people:
When it comes to her top election issue — Israel and the threat of a nuclear Iran — San Rafael High School senior Yael Zoken doesn’t see much difference between President Barack Obama and his opponent, Mitt Romney.
Sir Francis Drake High School senior Anna Jones likes Obama but is disappointed in his lack of major climate change initiatives.
And her classmate, Nathan Harms, said rising debt has persuaded him to consider Romney even though he believes the Republican has been “fairly inarticulate about his plan.”
“In this instance I’d go with the devil I don’t know as opposed to the devil I do know,” Harms said.
As Marin’s newest voters prepare to cast their first ballots Tuesday, they are struggling like their peers around the country to muster the same excitement felt by young people in 2008. Four years ago, many rallied around Obama amid anger at the war in Iraq, a message of hope and change and a sense of history that came with electing the first black president. In the 2012 campaign, issues such as taxes and the economy have proven less electrifying.
If Obama has lost the youth vote — because he failed to deliver on the change he promised and then left them jobless to boot — he’s lost a significant part of the statistical advantage he had over McCain in 2008. In 2008, youthful voters couldn’t get to the polls fast enough. This year, it’s questionable whether they’ll be able to look up from their iPhones and androids long enough even to notice that an election is going in. And while I think people should take their civil rights seriously and vote (“use it or lose it”), having a liberal-leaning youth demographic revert to its ordinary disinterest is good for serious candidates and not so good for the hip, faddish ones.