Are some of our more gullible press colleagues already falling for Mr. Rove's 'bandwagon theory' antics?
I'm afraid it may be so.
If you look at The Note today, the lede is all about the growing realization that the polls are all moving for Bush. This can be seen in the national polls, it seems, and also in the mounting confidence from the Bush camp. Even Democrats are beginning to concede the point, it seems.
Only, if you look down into the text down in The Note itself none of this is born out. And that makes sense when you consider that the national polls show no Bush movement whatsoever. At best for Bush, the national polls seem static. And as I've noted below there are at least some signs of movement to Kerry.
(I will note that there's another public poll coming out later today with a 48%-45% likely voter margin for Bush. But we'll have to see how that stacks up against the various other public polls that will be coming out over the next 36 hours. Meanwhile, Ed Kilgore's got some more sage thoughts on the Rove band-wagon gambit.)
As for the Bush team's budding confidence, please. I've already referred back a few times this season to the second post I ever did on this site, almost exactly four years ago, on November 12th, 2000. That was when this site was just a tiny white strip of text against a vast blue background and not the media collosus it is now, with whippersnapper MBAs and quarterly reports and boards of directors and what not.
Back then I noted how in 2000 the Bush campaign spent the last week or so confidently predicting a popular vote margin of 6% or 7%. And to drive home the point they spent the last couple days making stops in California and New Jersey.
There was never any chance that Bush would win those states. And there were very good chances he'd lose or come close to losing several states essential to victory, as the final results showed. The entire point of making those trips was to scam the press and create an aura of inevitability that would shape press coverage and depress morale among Democrats. The perception would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. They clearly saw that as the best use of their resources in the final days.
It's so much a part of their election and governing mentality that I wrote a whole article on it.
That's exactly what they're going to try to do this time.
Don't fall for it.