Will an angry electorate hand the election to Obama?

I sense a very angry electorate, but not a particularly nihilistic one.  They know they have been kept in the dark and been fed a diet of compost about the anointed one -- and about a lot of other things.  Also I used to participate in several focus groups a year, though never one about politics.  Hence I tend to distrust them.  It suspect is too easy for one loudmouth to hijack the group and get it saying all kinds of crazy things.  

I think Obama may once again be overplaying his hand.  He's been bombarding cable TV with his tax and health care ads.  While those two ads might have proven effective in front of a focus group, I suspect their saturation coverage has a boomerang potential.  An awful lot of people watch channels like Animal Planet, Bravo, Versus, H&G, the Food Network, because they consider such channels a safe haven from the political fray.  For the last month now each of these channels seems to be carrying the same Obama ad several times each hour.  I suspect that when a good many viewers now hear "I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message "for the tenth time that day many of them think to themselves "Well I don't approve of you messing up my favorite channel your lousy ads!"    I'm sure those who run Obama's campaign think their message is reaching voters they might not otherwise reach, but it seems to me that annoying people by campaigning at an inappropriate time and place is not a net vote-winner.   

I took yesterday off and it did wonders for me.  Instead of turning on my computer and reading all the latest political news, I hopped in my car and took a 375 mile drive through the splendors of autumn color in Appalachia in three states.  I was not alone, either.  The parking lot atop the breathtakingly lovely Roan Mountain on the North Carolina Tennessee border was full.   I encountered a midday traffic jam in the resort town of Banner Elk and a major dinner time snarl up in Boone.  At sunset along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Grandfather Mountain I saw cars from a great many states parked in the overlook.   

I came away from this trip with three observations.  First, the glum news from Wall Street did not seem to be stopping people or all ages from eating out, shopping or just taking a long drive because it was a glorious sunny fall day.   Second, gas prices have fallen so fast that there was as much as a 80 cents per gallon difference between the small stations far into the mountains that get a delivery maybe once every two weeks and the big stations at major road junctions close to the population centers of Asheville, NC and Johnson City, TN.  When I filled up on the way out, I paid $3.09 per gallon.  When I filled up again in the evening at a station not 15 miles away from where I had purchased gas in the morning,  the price was only $2.79 per gallon.  This rapid fall is no doubt easing a bit of the economic sting from the market's troubles.  Third, while I saw plenty of evidence there is an election on in the form of lawn signs at every road junction, I'd be hard pressed to name the parties involved from those signs. None of the candidates advertised a political affiliation.   

I found this unusual. Candidates for county commissioner, state legislator and the like often show party affiliation on signage, especially if one party has a tradition of controlling a particular area.  I had earlier found it interesting that in my own county, which the Democrats have controlled for decades, the Democrat running for an open seat on a county board did not identify himself as a Democrat on his signs.  This appears to be a trend.  As I scanned hundreds of signs, I saw exactly one that advertised party affiliation.  On Jeb Stuart Highway (US 58) just outside the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area  in Southwest Virginia I saw a Democrats for Change lawn sign urging people to vote for Obama and Mark Warner.  

This suggests to me that while the media has been concentrating on the damage done to the Republican brand, candidates for local office fear that the Democrat brand has also been damaged by the antics of the Democrat Congress and the presidential primaries. 
I sense a very angry electorate, but not a particularly nihilistic one.  They know they have been kept in the dark and been fed a diet of compost about the anointed one -- and about a lot of other things.  Also I used to participate in several focus groups a year, though never one about politics.  Hence I tend to distrust them.  It suspect is too easy for one loudmouth to hijack the group and get it saying all kinds of crazy things.  

I think Obama may once again be overplaying his hand.  He's been bombarding cable TV with his tax and health care ads.  While those two ads might have proven effective in front of a focus group, I suspect their saturation coverage has a boomerang potential.  An awful lot of people watch channels like Animal Planet, Bravo, Versus, H&G, the Food Network, because they consider such channels a safe haven from the political fray.  For the last month now each of these channels seems to be carrying the same Obama ad several times each hour.  I suspect that when a good many viewers now hear "I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message "for the tenth time that day many of them think to themselves "Well I don't approve of you messing up my favorite channel your lousy ads!"    I'm sure those who run Obama's campaign think their message is reaching voters they might not otherwise reach, but it seems to me that annoying people by campaigning at an inappropriate time and place is not a net vote-winner.   

I took yesterday off and it did wonders for me.  Instead of turning on my computer and reading all the latest political news, I hopped in my car and took a 375 mile drive through the splendors of autumn color in Appalachia in three states.  I was not alone, either.  The parking lot atop the breathtakingly lovely Roan Mountain on the North Carolina Tennessee border was full.   I encountered a midday traffic jam in the resort town of Banner Elk and a major dinner time snarl up in Boone.  At sunset along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Grandfather Mountain I saw cars from a great many states parked in the overlook.   

I came away from this trip with three observations.  First, the glum news from Wall Street did not seem to be stopping people or all ages from eating out, shopping or just taking a long drive because it was a glorious sunny fall day.   Second, gas prices have fallen so fast that there was as much as a 80 cents per gallon difference between the small stations far into the mountains that get a delivery maybe once every two weeks and the big stations at major road junctions close to the population centers of Asheville, NC and Johnson City, TN.  When I filled up on the way out, I paid $3.09 per gallon.  When I filled up again in the evening at a station not 15 miles away from where I had purchased gas in the morning,  the price was only $2.79 per gallon.  This rapid fall is no doubt easing a bit of the economic sting from the market's troubles.  Third, while I saw plenty of evidence there is an election on in the form of lawn signs at every road junction, I'd be hard pressed to name the parties involved from those signs. None of the candidates advertised a political affiliation.   

I found this unusual. Candidates for county commissioner, state legislator and the like often show party affiliation on signage, especially if one party has a tradition of controlling a particular area.  I had earlier found it interesting that in my own county, which the Democrats have controlled for decades, the Democrat running for an open seat on a county board did not identify himself as a Democrat on his signs.  This appears to be a trend.  As I scanned hundreds of signs, I saw exactly one that advertised party affiliation.  On Jeb Stuart Highway (US 58) just outside the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area  in Southwest Virginia I saw a Democrats for Change lawn sign urging people to vote for Obama and Mark Warner.  

This suggests to me that while the media has been concentrating on the damage done to the Republican brand, candidates for local office fear that the Democrat brand has also been damaged by the antics of the Democrat Congress and the presidential primaries.