It All Comes Down to Today (Most Likely Tomorrow)

It All Comes Down to Today (Most Likely Tomorrow)

It All Comes Down to Today (Most Likely Tomorrow)

This is it, gang… Election Day. 

If you’re like me, you’ve about had enough of this campaign season, the ads, the name-calling, the mudslinging, the polls, and the robo-calls (I’ve heard from former NY Governor Pataki, NJ Governor Chris Christie, among others; however, I’m still waiting to hear from the “Pimp with a Limp”).

By most accounts, this election will be close, perhaps a reflection of the deep divisions that exist in our nation today.  While I won’t pick the winner, I will predict that we won’t know the outcome of the election until the wee hours of Wednesday morning (some might say that’s like betting that rain falls down).

I’ve been intrigued by the communications aspects of the election and have written about the style and substance of our candidates on a number of occasions.  Let’s take a look at a few more that have occurred over the past week… 

The Hurricane Factor.  In the early aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, President Obama clearly benefited.  He demonstrated leadership and bipartisanship in touring the storm-ravaged state ofNew Jersey with Governor Chris Christie, a Republican.  However, I’m not sure if the goodwill generated by the President’s actions will last given the potential backlash caused by voter frustration resulting from the slow pace of the recovery.

Do Newspaper Endorsements Matter?  Much has been made of newspapers switching sides in this election as a number of previous Obama supporters endorsed Governor Mitt Romney.  At one point in our history, newspaper publishers were viewed as “king makers” and held positions of influence.  Is that still the case?  Their influence may be on the wane given the declines in readership.  Also, I believe that newspapers may reflect the attitudes and concerns of their readership in endorsing candidates.

Does the Man Make the Campaign or Vice Versa?  At the end of the Republican primaries, Governor Romney was the last man standing.  At best, he enjoyed lukewarm support among the party faithful.  What happened?  The electorate got a firsthand look at Mr. Romney via the debates and he made the case for being a viable alternative, which energized his supporters.  In addition he improved dramatically in terms of the likeability factor (this in the face of the Obama Team’s campaign to “demonize” him).  Having been through a brutalizing primary season, Mr. Romney was well prepared for the rigors of national campaigning.

Is Voting the Best Revenge?  I always thought that living well was the best revenge; however, the President told supporters at a rally, “Don’t boo, vote, you know, voting is the best revenge.” Governor Romney quickly made the statement a line in his stump speech, by asking “the American people to vote for love of country.”   My guess is that this episode has done little for either candidate as they’re preaching to their respective choirs.

“You Take the High Road…” Rather than resort to name-calling, it appears that the Romney Team has taken the high road and continues to focus his message on the economy, job creation and energy independence. For his part, the President was using the term “Romneysia” for a bit.  Again, we’ll have to wait to see how effective this approach will be.

What Happens in Benghazi… Most likely will have no impact on this election.  This election is all about the economy and Americans have been known to vote with their wallets and pocketbooks.  Job creation, lower taxes, and less governmental regulation are the primary issues.  One candidate has a record while the other doesn’t.

Kid Rock vs. The Boss.  Do celebrity endorsements matter?  I’m not sure.  I believe they help in galvanizing one’s supporters and generate a bit of excitement on the campaign trail.  Both camps appear to have made good use of star power.

Regardless of your party affiliation, I’m sure that you will be glad to see an end to this election season; however, our nation is clearly fractured and needs to be united. President Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  While the context in which that line was originally delivered was different, I think the sentiment can be applied to our nation today.