Politics: I'm starting to get nervous about how confident I'm starting to get

Published by: Dan Calabrese on Thursday October 25th, 2012

Dan Calabrese

By DAN CALABRESE - Pre-victory jitters?

Romney is leading nationally in the RCP average. He's leading in the swing state polls. He's killing it among independents. He's tied in Ohio. And most importantly, the momentum is all in Romney's direction.

I understand the Nate Silvers of the world are still acting like this race is Obama's to lose, and the lefties will cling like grim death to that thinking until the moment Obama concedes on Election Night. But we can all see how the trend is going. We all know that an incumbent who can't break 50 percent - let alone hang onto the lead - is in huge trouble. We all know it's almost impossible for the incumbent to get re-elected when the economy is this bad.

So I just realized today that I really, truly think Romney is going to win. Not that I ever bought the media nonsense, prior to the first debate, about how Obama had it in the bag. That never made any sense. The economy was too awful. Romney had too much money he hadn't spent. I never felt like an Obama win was a foregone conclusion, but there's a difference between thinking your guy has a shot and actually expecting your guy to win.

Some time in the past couple of days, I passed that threshold and I'm now anticipating a celebratory election night.

And that's making me nervous as hell. Even when every factor seems to be in your favor, there's always something that can go wrong. The media might find a way to pull it out for Obama. The October jobs report might be inexplicably good. Romney might stun everyone and drop an F-bomb, or answer a question about rape. I don't know. It all seems highly unlikely. But being this confident plays on the nerves.

Let me explain some of my own twisted psychosis.

I am a Minnesota Vikings fan, and I've been waiting since 1977 for another Super Bowl appearance. In the 2009 NFC Championship Game, the score was tied and the Vikings were at the Saints' 34-yard-line with under a minute to go. A few more yards would have been helpful, but even from there, kicker Ryan Longwell could surely hit a 51-yard field goal indoors. The Vikings were on their way to the Super Bowl. I was sure of it.

But then . . . for the first time in my life, I saw an official throw a flag and call a team for "12 men in the huddle." I didn't even know that penalty existed. Crap. Now we were looking at a 56-yard field goal. We needed some more yards. Quarterback Brett Favre rolled to his right, under pressure, threw across his body . . . intercepted!

I swear I physically felt the sensation of being kicked in the gut. The Saints took over, killed the regulation clock and won the toss to start overtime. The Vikings never got the ball back, and the Saints kicked a field goal on the opening OT drive to win the game and earn the Super Bowl berth.

I'll leave aside any discussion of the whole bounty thing that occurred in that game. My point is, I'm much too familiar with the feeling of being sure you've got something in hand, only to see it snatched away. Is that why my confidence about the election is making me nervous? Because I'm a Vikings fan and I've got myself wired that way?

Because as promising as this looks right now, I don't know if I can take another kick in the gut like I would feel if I have to watch Obama stand up there on Election Night and claim a re-election victory. 

Being this confident is quite the burden.