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AARON BLAKE: This poll is a warning sign for Democrats.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll, as Mike DeBonis and Emily Guskin report, presents a pretty mixed bag for Democrats. It shows that registered voters say they want Democrats to control Congress to be a check on Trump by a 52-38 percent margin, but it also shows Democrats are — rather remarkably — less enthusiastic about voting than Republicans are. While 65 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning adults say they are “almost certain to vote,” just 57 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning adults say the same.

The question from there is which is more predictive of what lies ahead. And the answer won’t necessarily make Democrats feel better.

Great, kid — don’t get cocky.

DON’T GET COCKY, GOP: Michael Walsh on The Coming GOP Electoral Health Care Disaster.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Best-Run States Are Low-Tax Republican, Worst-Run Are High-Tax Democratic, Study Finds.

There were several changes in the rankings from last year. Florida moved from sixth place to first, while Alaska dropped from first place last year to 17th this year, driven mainly by the fall in oil prices. Idaho moved into the top 10.

At the bottom of the heap, Louisiana and West Virginia both dropped down in the 10-worst list, while Hawaii greatly improved, going from 45th place last year 27th this year. Connecticut, Maine and New York also climbed out of the bottom 10 list. But New Jersey fell to dead last from last year’s 48th place.

The report also includes rankings for each individual measure of fiscal solvency, in addition to the overall ranking. Some states do well on some measures, and bad on others. New Jersey, for example, is last on long-run solvency and second to last on budget solvency, but ranks 24 on service-level solvency.

Nearly bankrupt Illinois is in the bottom in all but one of the five individual measures — service-level solvency.

The Mercatus report doesn’t include data on the states’ political leanings or tax burdens, but the implication is clear.

Great study — don’t get cocky.

GREAT SPECIAL ELECTION, NOW DON’T GET COCKY: Republicans Undefeated–& They Haven’t Even Cut Taxes Yet.

James Freeman:

Mr. Ossoff’s campaign seems to have enraged some voters, while others were not as enraged at Mr. Trump as you might think from consuming national news. Perhaps answering Mr. Bruni’s question of whether anti-Trump passion is largely theatrical—and also explaining the challenge facing Democrats— Josh Kraushaar writes in the National Journal:

Here’s why their math is more daunting today. Democrats need to net 24 House seats next year to gain a majority. Georgia-06 is the 28th-most-Democratic district that Republicans hold (based on Hillary Clinton’s vote percentage in 2016). For Nancy Pelosi to become speaker again, Democrats would need to nearly run the table in more-favorable districts—or pick off seats in places even more forgiving of Trump. It’s possible, but a little less likely given Tuesday night’s results.

One Democratic operative tracking House races said the generic ballot is around 6-7 points in their favor. To regain a House majority, it needs to be closer to a double-digit advantage by next November.

The big tell that the race wasn’t as favorable for Democrats as the early conventional wisdom was when Ossoff’s paid messaging never mentioned Trump, and barely mentioned the GOP’s health care efforts—despite the uproar against both in Washington. Democrats saw polling, confirmed by good shoe-leather reporting, that the district’s skepticism of Trump was not nearly as red-hot as most people expected based on cable news coverage.

This column has noted previously that voters seem to approve of Mr. Trump’s agenda—particularly his focus on American economic revival—much more than they approve of Mr. Trump. This suggests that many voters see his well-documented flaws as worthy of serious consideration, but not a grave threat to the republic.

If there’s a grave threat to the Republic, it comes from those using misdirection, lies, and even violence to overturn the results a free and fair election.

GREAT WIN KID — BUT DON’T GET COCKY: A Reality Check about What Handel’s Win Means.

COCKY OR CONFIDENT? Democrat Jon Ossoff declines a 6th District debate on CNN.

SO GIANFORTE WON BIG, AND THAT KIND OF HURTS THE NARRATIVE OF AN ANTI-TRUMP “WAVE” BUILDING:

Republicans shouldn’t get cocky, because special elections don’t mean much. But this is the third time the Democrats have made a big deal about a special election and failed. My own guess: The press is so unpopular that Gianforte’s bodyslam helped him more than hurt him with voters. That should inspire introspection with the press, as Kurt Schlichter says, but it won’t.

Predicted response: “Yeah, I’m in the Media — Screw You.”

Related: Loesch: Americans Are Tired of Being Manipulated & Lied to by Mainstream Media.

And on Facebook, Roger Kimball comments: “Was the Montana election a referendum on Trump? Only if the Dem won. He lost.” So true.

BUT THE GOP SHOULDN’T GET COCKY: How Democrats overplayed their hand with Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s special congressional election.

One event to watch will be this coming weekend’s Georgia’s sixth congressional district Republican Party convention. If the Republican family starts coming together fairly quickly, this will bode well for Handel in the run-off.

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Gray or Moody will start knocking on doors and raising money on behalf of Handel, but in talking to political operatives, most are saying that Gray and Moody supporters will eventually fall in line and cast their vote for Handel.

Handel says that Republicans in the district know that, “…There is too much at stake” for Republicans to remain divided. She is right, but more importantly Republicans outnumber Democrats by a healthy margin. According to the Cook Partisan Voting Index, which rates how much a congressional district leans Republican or Democratic, this suburban Atlanta district has a PVI score of R+8. That’s sizable no matter how you slice it.

In short, the dynamics for a special election run-off in a non-presidential year in a safe Republican district between a Democrat and a Republican favors Republicans. It’s that simple, no matter how hard Daily Kos would have us believe.

Ultimately, what will doom Democrats is all of the attention that they generated for this special election they really had no business winning. Ossoff is a weak candidate that is hardly an electric, dynamic or natural retail politician. He was, is and will continue to be a vessel for progressive dissatisfaction that still cannot believe that Hillary Clinton lost and Donald Trump is president.

That election drove a lot of Democrats (and some Republicans) more-or-less literally crazy. They’ll do better once they become sane, if they ever do.

OF ALL THE PROBLEMS TO HAVE: F-35 Needs More Potent Adversary Services.

The F-35 Lightning II strike fighter is easily able to counter the adversary services aircraft thrown at it in numbers, said an official of an adversary services contractor, who added that the industry is facing challenges in coming up with a realistic threat aircraft for training for high-end combat.

“Nothing gets close to these things [the F-35s]” said Jeffrey Parker, a former Air Force fighter pilot and chief executive of ATAC LLC, a Textron company that provides opposing aircraft for U.S. fighter squadrons and electronic threat simulation against Navy strike groups. “I’ve flown against the [Marine] F-35Bs down at [Marine Corps Air Station] Beaufort [S.C.] It’s an impressive airplane. Even in the hands of students, it’s a very capable fighter.”

Great plane, kid — now don’t get cocky.

GROVER NORQUIST: This Week Guaranteed Trump’s Re-election, GOP Gains in 2018 and 2020.

Remember the date of March 13, 2017. It was the day President Trump was guaranteed his re-election and Republican congressional gains in 2018 and 2020.

It’s not complicated. Follow along.

The Congressional Budget Office released its study of Trump and Paul Ryan’s plan to repeal Obamacare and begin to reform our healthcare system. It had many numbers. Only two mattered: taxes and spending.

CBO announced that the repeal bill reduces taxes by almost $900 billion and reduces federal spending by $1.2 trillion over the next decade. This reduces deficit spending by $300 billion over the next 10 years. Thus the CBO, as official umpire, announced that the GOP Obamacare repeal plan may be enacted through “reconciliation,” the process that requires a simple majority in the House and only 51 votes in the Senate. No filibuster allowed.

Perhaps equally important, the $300 billion in deficit reduction gives Republicans a great deal of wiggle room to amend their basic plan to win votes in the House and Senate to win those 218 congressmen and 51 senators. Tax cuts can be added into the mix. Thanks to the CBO score and the underlying power of the legislation, Obamacare repeal will now pass. The path is clear.

Yes, Democrats tried to focus on the CBO’s guestimate as to how many Americans would choose to buy Obamacare insurance without the threat of fines and taxes. Answer: very few. This speaks to how unattractive Obamacare insurance products were and are.

True, but there are no guarantees in politics. Don’t get cocky, kid.

KURT SCHLICHTER: Democrats Seek To Escape Their Whirlpool Of Failure And Fail At That Too. Don’t get cocky, kid. But yeah.

SO MUCH LOSING, THEY’RE GONNA GET TIRED OF LOSING: WaPo: Can Democrats get used to all the losing that lies ahead?

President Trump has promised so much winning that people will get tired of it.

But for Democrats, the question is whether they can stomach the amount of losing they’re in store for.

Despite the party base digging in for fights on Cabinet nominations and Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation, they’ve come up empty. And it’s looking more and more like the fight just may not be in Senate Democrats — or at least, not to the extent the base is looking for. . . .

Democrats have a weak hand in Washington — even weaker than the one Republicans had when they were in the minority and after Democrats partly dismantled the filibuster in 2013. And as I’ve written, an unprecedented Supreme Court filibuster against a clearly qualified and likable nominee would just give Republicans a good excuse to do away with the rest of the filibuster. This would only further weaken Democrats’ ability to stop Trump, stripping them of their last real lever of power.

And even worse for Democrats is that the path back to congressional majorities isn’t apparent, no matter what they do today. Despite Trump’s historically bad image for a new president, the 2018 electoral map is a daunting one for Democrats, with very few good opportunities to win the three Senate seats they need and plenty of tough seats to defend. The GOP also retains its big advantage on the House map, which would require a huge Democratic wave to sweep Republicans out of power.

It’s so daunting that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the much-heralded political mind behind Democrats’ successful campaign to win the House majority a decade ago, says the idea of retaking majorities in 2018 is pie in the sky.

“It took us a long time to get this low; it ain’t gonna happen in 2018,” Emanuel said Monday at Stanford University. “Take a chill pill, man. You’ve got to be in this for the long haul.”

Well, I can’t tell you how many “permanent majorities” I’ve seen crumble in my lifetime. But yeah, the Dems are in a bad position. They shouldn’t get too crazy, and the GOP shouldn’t get too cocky. Because things always turn around eventually.

DON’T GET COCKY: Democrats May Be On The Verge Of Becoming A ‘Permanent Minority’ Party.

No seriously, the cockiness, eschew it, as the Professor likes to warn during times of maximum gloating. Ask Zell Miller how his identical prediction in 2004 played out in November of 2006 and 2008 – and the following year, how James Carville’s equally Nostradamus-like prediction in 2009 that “Democrats Will Rule Washington for 40 Years” – worked out.

GEORGE KORDA: If Trump’s Not Listening To His Critics, It Shouldn’t Be A Surprise.

When he spoke in his inaugural address of American “carnage,” directing that comment at both parties, it could be argued the political leadership class brought such a hammering on itself. Many class members advance their causes by claiming everything in America is “broken.”

We’re told that we have a broken political system; a broken tax system; a broken justice system; a broken national infrastructure; a broken educational system; a broken health care system; broken inner cities; a broken financial system; a broken welfare system; with still other pieces of broken America scattered across the national landscape.

Politicians use such language when they’re trying to get something they want or to one-up the other party. Trump’s “carnage” description used Washington’s own words against it and there’s no reason to expect Washington to like it.

And Washington doesn’t! Plus: “During the campaign Trump was told that if he kept saying what he was saying, doing what he was doing, and acting as he was acting, he couldn’t be elected president. But there he was on Jan. 20, taking the oath of office. Now, he’s told he has to act differently or he won’t be a successful president. If Trump isn’t listening, no one should be surprised.”

One caveat for Trump: With political figures, it’s usually the very traits that help them rise that trip them up once they reach the top. So don’t get too cocky.

JOHN FUND: Why Conservatives Are (Mostly) Cheering the Trump Transition: And why some, such as Heritage Foundation scholars, are downright giddy.

Read the whole thing, but let’s just broaden our view a bit to look at what Trump has done so far:

(1) Killed off dynastic politics, at least for now. If Hillary had won, 4 of the last 5 presidents would have come from two families. That’s not healthy.

(2) Kept Hillary out of the White House. She’s amazingly crooked even by DC standards, and amazingly inept even by DC standards as well. Debacles galore have been prevented by keeping her out. Plus, a Clinton presidency would have allowed the completion of the Obama Administration’s weaponization of the federal government and possibly ensured one-party rule for decades. And at the very least, it would have allowed the sorry gang that Obama and Clinton brought in (go read the Podesta emails!) to bore in for four to eight more years.

Those two reasons were reason enough to back Trump. But now let’s look at what’s happened since election night:

(3) The Mattis appointment. In one swoop, a big start toward fixing the military that Obama turned from warriors into social-justice warriors. Plus, a big blow to PC culture in general.

(4) The Carrier deal. Sure, everybody hates it — except for the voters. But it’s a promise kept, and one that makes American working-class folks feel like, finally, somebody cares. And it’s rich to see people who didn’t bat an eye at Solyndra going ballistic about $7 million over 10 years.

(5) Crushing the media’s sense of self-importance: They thought they were going to hand this election to Hillary. Now they’re realizing just how few people like or trust them, while Trump bypasses them using Twitter and YouTube. As I’ve said before, in the post-World War II era, the press has enjoyed certain institutional privileges based on two assumptions: (1) That it’s very powerful; and (2) That it will exercise that power responsibly, for the most part. Both assumptions have been proven false in this election cycle. Like many of the postwar institutional accommodations, this one will be renegotiated under Trump. It’s past time. After getting spanked in 2004 over RatherGate, the press realized with Katrina that if they all converged on the same lies they could still move the needle. Now they can’t.

(6) China. Obama’s foreign policy has been disastrous. Trump has served notice to China that we’re not abandoning our allies on the Pacific Rim. That will be noticed elsewhere, too.

(7) The transition. It was supposed to be “chaos,” but it’s been smooth and obviously well-planned. This bodes well and, among those willing to pay attention beyond SNL sketches, is changing minds.

Don’t get cocky, because he could still blow it and the press will be looking for anything they can use to destroy him, as they do with every Republican president. But for a guy less than 4 weeks out from the election, he’s doing awfully well.

EVERYBODY GETS COCKY WHEN THEY WIN A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, AND THEY’RE ALWAYS WRONG. NOBODY HAS A “PERMANENT MAJORITY.” Why the GOP shouldn’t get too cocky after winning in November.

In 2017, Republicans will control an overwhelming majority of governorships and state houses, along with the White House and Congress. Even though Republicans were defending more seats and Democratic nominee Clinton vastly outspent Donald Trump, the Grand Old Party is firmly in control of all levers of political power.

Moreover, expect President-elect Donald Trump to nominate a replacement to the vacant seat left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, which could also shift the balance of power on the Supreme Court in favor of conservatives.

However, though the GOP is firmly planted in the catbird seat, it would be prudent not to overreach or interpret the Nov. 8 victories as a mandate to move the country further right.

Trump’s unorthodox campaign gave him a shocking Electoral College victory, also helping vulnerable House and Senate Republicans survive spirited challenges.

Yet, look closely at the numbers behind the triumph, and danger could be lurking for the GOP.

Trump received a smaller percentage of the overall vote total than 2012 GOP nominee nominee Mitt Romney. In fact, when the final numbers are tallied, Clinton will finish with an approximate 2 million ballot advantage in the popular vote.

Additionally, while Trump was able to smash through Clinton’s “blue wall” of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — an impressive feat not accomplished by a Republican since 1984 — his closer-than-expected victories in traditional red states like Arizona, Georgia and Texas suggest a GOP expansion of the electoral map could be tougher than expected in future White House races.

My take: Trump was a celebrity candidate. The regular turnout/voting rules don’t apply to celebrity candidates. They do apply to regular candidates.

RISE OF THE MACHINES: Trump will win the election and is more popular than Obama in 2008, AI system finds. “An artificial intelligence (AI) system that correctly predicted the last three U.S. presidential elections puts Republican nominee Donald Trump ahead of Democrat rival Hillary Clinton in the race to the White House. MogIA was developed by Sanjiv Rai, the founder of Indian start-up Genic.ai. It takes in 20 million data points from public platforms including Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in the U.S. and then analyzes the information to create predictions. The AI system was created in 2004, so it has been getting smarter all the time. It had already correctly predicted the results of the Democrat and Republican Primaries.”

Hmm. Make of this what you will. It’s 2016, and nobody should get cocky.

BLOOMBERG POLLSTER: “This race may come down to the independent vote. Right now, they tilt for Trump. By a narrow margin, they opted for Obama over Romney in 2012.” And: “A mere 7 days ago, Bloomberg Politics had Clinton with a 9 point lead.”

Plus, Bob Wright on media bias against Trump: “Well, my concern is that they are so ham-handed about it — they’re so obvious about it — that it won’t work.”

It’s 2016, man. Nobody should be cocky.

Related: Dishonest media 101: ‘Your bias is showing.’

DON SURBER THINKS REPUBLICANS WORRY TOO MUCH: “Trump just beat the best Republican field since Reagan ran alone in 1984. And now he is up against the worst Democratic presidential nominee since Mike Dukakis. Hillary is so low energy that she makes Jeb Bush look like he’s on speed.”

Don’t get cocky, kid.

SHOCKER: Guess Who is Pro-Gun? Survey of College Professors Shows Surprising Views on Gun Ownership.

This is what winning a cultural war looks like. But don’t get cocky!

VLAD, GET OFF THOSE GIRLY-MAN WEIGHT MACHINES AND TRY READING MARK RIPPETOE INSTEAD. THEN YOU’LL LOOK LIKE A REAL MAN. Putin launches a new arms race: Action man Vlad’s latest photo stunt shows him and Russian PM Medvedev pumping iron in the gym.

Of course, when your competition looks like this, it’s easy to put on airs, so don’t get cocky, Vlad.

IN RESPONSE TO MY POST ON THE COLLEGE BOARD’S AP HISTORY CHANGES, Stanley Kurtz emails that people shouldn’t get cocky:

It’s true that the College Board has been thrown back on its heels by this battle, but it’s way too early to declare victory. The changes to the APUSH framework are largely cosmetic. The textbooks and course syllabi have all been conformed to the controversial 2014 framework. There are no immediate plans to make changes to the guts of the course based on the revised framework. Even if there were, little would change because most of what’s happened is removal of biased phrasing, not the addition of major new directions.

The College Board is trying to deflect criticism and hold off possible business competition, without truly changing its U.S. history course. The only lasting and reliable solution is the creation of a company advised by top traditionalist historians that can compete with the College Board. Only that can restore choice to states and local school districts. Relying on the good faith of the College Board will not work. You can see this in the brand new AP European history framework, which shares all the biases of the original APUSH framework, very much including hostility to capitalism. You can find my take on the 2015 APUSH changes here, and links within that piece to further responses to the APUSH changes.

Eternal vigilance and all that.

WINNER TAKE WHAT? “Ever wonder why no interesting center-left Democrats aren’t challenging an increasingly vulnerable Hillary Clinton? There aren’t any. Nobody. No one,” Noemie Emery writes in the Washington Examiner:

For several cycles, the GOP starting gates will be filled with fresh horses, while the Democrats have, at least for the moment, a collection of aging and battle-worn nags.

Ever wonder why no interesting center-left Democrats aren’t challenging an increasingly vulnerable Hillary Clinton? There aren’t any. Nobody. No one.

As Britain and France were bled white by their World War I battles, the Democrats were drained by a series of midterm debacles in which those in swing states were punished by voters, and all but the bluest of blue were cut down. On the altar of healthcare, Democrats sacrificed the fruit of two cycles of party-expansion, the picking of people who could win in red states and red districts, to bolster the party’s breadth and appeal.

Now, these Democrats were told by liberal bloggers that it was their duty to lay down their political lives for this unpopular measure that most of their voters despised. As a result, Clinton’s most viable challengers are a 75-year-old socialist from deep-blue Vermont, and the colorless former governor of very blue Maryland, who was so weak he could not help to elect his lieutenant governor, who lost to only the second Republican governor in a very long time. The Democrats’ bench is not merely weak, it is non-existent. And that is Obamacare’s work.

As Moe Lane adds in his post linking to Emery’s column, “I suspect that we have at least one last hurrah lurking down there in the crevices of the Grand Old Party, and that the folks over on the Other Side are telling themselves the exact same damned stories to boost their morale that I was telling myself in 2007. And we all know how that ended, huh?”

Still though, to borrow from one of the Insta-Professor’s recurring leitmotifs, this is not the time for the younger members of the right to embrace an overly arrogant or smugly self-assured pose.

DAVID DRUCKER: “Round one in the battle of anti-Establishment Republican presidential candidates goes to Sen. Ted Cruz.”

Related: Hillary Slipping Against . . . Entire Republican Field. “In head-to-head matchups, every Republican candidate effectively ties her in Colorado and almost all Republicans effectively tie her in Iowa.”

Plus: “Hillary Clinton’s favorable rating from the American public currently stands at 48%, which is similar to her 50% reading last month, but is down from 55% last summer and from 59% a year ago… Not only is this Clinton’s weakest favorable rating of the past year, but it is the lowest since 2008 when she was competing in that year’s Democratic primary elections.”

Don’t get cocky, kids.

Also: Journalistic white-knighting and Rand Paul interviews: “Cillizza appears to see his female colleagues as the weaker sex in desperate need of his macho mansplanatory wonkery.”

YEAH, DON’T GET COCKY KIDS. OBAMA HAD STORIES LIKE THIS AFTER 2012. Inside Conservatives’ 7 Million-Strong ‘Digital Army.’

The digital army sprung to life with a click of a mouse in a nondescript office park in Alexandria. Less than 10 miles away, at the White House, the phones began to light up. One call came into the switchboard and then another. Thousands of people flooded the phone lines.

It was early August 2014, and the callers were conservatives lambasting President Obama for promising what they described as “executive amnesty.” The deluge of angry activists was not the work of a heavily coordinated national campaign, a pricey phone-banking operation, or really an exhaustive effort of any kind.

It resulted from a single post on Facebook.

The volume of calls was so high that, within hours, the White House complained it was a “security issue,” according to an email from the phone vendor hired to connect callers to the switchboard. More than 9,000 calls had been made before they pulled the plug. At the headquarters of ForAmerica, the conservative group that had launched the telephone broadside, the White House’s reaction was seen more as victory than defeat.

“We got our point across,” said David Bozell, ForAmerica’s executive director.

In the last four years, ForAmerica has quietly amassed what it likes to call a “digital army” on Facebook—a force that that now numbers more than 7 million. The group’s spectacular growth can be explained in part by the paid acquisition of its members through targeted advertising. But thanks to a daily stream of savvy and snackable red-meat messaging, these mercenaries have become loyal conservative digital soldiers whose engagement is attracting new recruits. These days, a routine post on ForAmerica’s page reaches more than 2 million people, achieves more than 100,000 “likes,” and has tens of thousands of people repost and comment.

Who’ll be ahead in 2016?

DON SURBER: The first 2016 Electoral College Map looks bad for Democrats.

I am not saying that the 31 states where Republicans control the legislature will definitely go Republican in the 2016 presidential race. But if they do, that’s 314 Electoral College votes. You need only 270 to win. . . . The carnage this year should demoralize Democrats, particularly Hillary Clinton, who has the misfortune of being the Democratic front runner for 2016. George McGovern and Fritz Mondale feel her pain.

Hillary Clinton was about as effective as Pat Nixon on the campaign trail. Her candidates lost 12 of the 13 tight Senate races she campaigned in. Even the Jacksonville Jaguars have a better winning record this year. She’s old and it shows. Her ideas have atrophied. She has been a fixture in Washington for 22, always causing some controversy, always blaming others, always cackling. One reason Democratic Party bosses backed her opponent in the 2008 nomination process was that he was No Drama Obama.

She’s 67 and has had only one executive position in her live. And she blew that gig in Benghazi.

Of course, she heads a bench of balsa wood. Behind her is “young Hillary” — Elizabeth Warren, 65. Then there is the “conservative Democrat,” Martin O’Malley, 51, governor of Maryland. He doesn’t want the government’s boot on your throat; he wants to put its ballet slipper there. He pushed for cheap college tuition for illegal aliens. Democrats are about to learn that “immigration reform” is as big a loser as gun control and global warming.

Andrew Cuomo, 56, may be the most intriguing in the Democratic bunch. He cut a deal with Republicans to get re-elected in exchange for Republicans taking control of the state Senate. After Obama, Democrats may go for a guy who cuts deals, no matter how far below the table they go. Oh and you political virgins out there need to understand, Republicans got the better end of the deal.

But like his father before him, Cuomo doesn’t need the presidency. He has all he needs in Albany.

Besides, who needs the noise?

The bottom line is no matter who the Democrats nominate, he or she faces an Electoral College map that is stacked against Democrats. The Solid South now stretches to Wisconsin.

Read the whole thing. But don’t get cocky, kid.

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Democrats Sink to Pre–Great Depression Levels in State Legislatures. Obama thought he’d be the next FDR. Instead. . . .

Related: The Emerging Republican Supermajority. Don’t get cocky, kid. And listen to what your voters are saying. Obama didn’t do that.

HARRY REID ON THE ROPES: He may not even be minority leader after Tuesday. Don’t get cocky, kid.

NICE NUMBERS, KID. DON’T GET COCKY. Colorado Early Voting Swamps Udall.

NICE POLL KID. DON’T GET COCKY: Poll: Midterm momentum belongs to GOP.

Republicans enter the final week of the midterm campaign holding higher ground than the Democrats, aided by public dissatisfaction with President Obama’s leadership, with the overall direction of the country and with the federal government’s ability to deal with major problems, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Driving attitudes is a pervasive sense of a country in trouble. Overwhelming majorities say the country is badly off-track and give the economy negative ratings. Economic expectations are little better today than they were at this time four years ago.

Six in 10 say they cannot trust the government in Washington to do what is right — the same as a year ago in the aftermath of the government shutdown and the botched rollout of the federal Web site for the Affordable Care Act.

With multiple crises confronting the country — including the spread of Ebola in West Africa and cases here at home, as well as threats from Islamic State militants — a majority now says the government’s ability to deal with big problems has declined in the past few years. Among those who say this, more — by 3 to 1 — blame Obama and the Democrats rather than Republicans in Congress.

Well, that’s who’s been in charge for the past 6 years. And the GOP hasn’t controlled Congress since 2006.

NICE POLLS, KID. DON’T GET COCKY. Things are looking better and better for Republicans in Colorado.

The survey of 500 likely Colorado voters shows that 46 percent prefer Gardner, while only 39 percent say they’re going to go for Udall.

“The findings in the state, which President Obama carried in 2008 and 2012, signal an electorate that seems to be tipping toward the GOP. The poll … comes as voting centers opened this week in Colorado and thousands of the state’s distinctive mail-in ballots have been cast,” USA Today reported.

The poll also had good news for GOP members of the Centennial State’s House delegation, especially vulnerable Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo. “Those surveyed now support the Republican candidate for Congress in their district over the Democrat by 51%-39%, doubling the GOP’s advantage in September on the so-called generic congressional ballot and well outside the poll’s margin of error,” the report added.

The survey reveals that many voters in the Centennial State have turned on Udall for supposedly running an ugly and negative campaign.

“Supposedly?” But remember, you have to beat the margin of fraud.

NICE POLLS, KID. DON’T GET COCKY. Republicans remain poised to take Senate. “Overall, the poll has the GOP taking the Senate at 51-49, but the close races suggest that they could get as many as 52 or 53 seats.”

NICE POLLS, KID. DON’T GET COCKY: WaPo: Republican takeover of Senate appears more and more assured.

NATIONAL JOURNAL: The Odds Of A GOP Wave Are Increasing. Don’t get cocky kids.

INSTAVISION: Michael Barone On The Democrats’ Poor 2014 Prospects. But don’t get cocky, Republicans. Plus, is Andrew Cuomo in more trouble than he knows? And a truly horrifying conclusion.

INSTABARONE072414

MICKEY KAUS: Notes On Cantormageddon. “The main issue in the race was immigration. It’s what Brat emphasized, and what his supporters in the right wing media (Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Mark Levin) emphasized. It’s the charge Cantor defended against—by conceding the issue and posing as a staunch amnesty opponent. . . . More generally, you’ll hear that Cantor’s loss kills the possibility of amnesty this term. But amnesty was already dead. It’s been killed about 6 times. It’s a zombie. Maybe the 7th will do the job. But don’t expect the lobbyists who back it to give up. If they give up, their corporate clients might rethink their quest for an inexpensive immigrant work force and stop paying them. Mark Zuckerberg’s ex-roommate might have to look for a job.”

My take: Cantor got cocky. Don’t get cocky.

CHANGE: USA Today/ Pew Poll shows biggest advantage for Republicans in 2 decades.

Nice poll numbers, kid. Don’t get cocky, to coin an Insta-phrase.

SHELLACKING II: THE SEQUEL: From Matthew Continetti at the Washington Free Beacon, along with a giant “don’t get cocky, kid”-style warning at the conclusion.

CHANGE: Senate GOP Buoyant About Return To Majority Status.

Politics was at the forefront of Republicans senators’ minds at their annual retreat on Wednesday.

After hearing from a congressional handicapper and conservative observers at the Library of Congress, there’s growing optimism among GOP lawmakers that their odds of becoming the majority party are on the rise.

GOP strategists have been touting the party’s chances of picking up the six seats they need to take back the Senate for months. But some once-burned veteran senators are skeptical of bold internal predictions, after they saw their caucus shrink two seats in 2012.

“I feel very good about it. However, this time two years ago, I felt good about it, too” said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.). “Anything can come along and totally change things.”

Senate Republicans note their position looked much worse only a few months ago in the midst of the government shutdown, when the party’s approval rating dropped to a record low.

But hearing Wednesday from Stuart Rothenberg, editor of The Rothenberg Political Report and a respected handicapper, that they are slightly favored to win control of the upper chamber boosted their confidence.

Don’t get cocky, kids.

SALENA ZITO: ‘6-year itch’ could fortify GOP grip in the U.S. House. Don’t get cocky, kid.

REPUBLICANS USED TO LAG DEMS ON THE GENERIC CONGRESSIONAL BALLOT. NOW THE GOP IS WAY AHEAD. “Whoa! 2 months ago the Dems were up by 8 and now they are down by 5? That’s a 13-point change in the spread. . . . Get ready for the anti-Obama Democrats. What will they look like? Perhaps they’ll grind away at him from the left on issues like the NSA surveillance and drone warfare. They could say Obamacare was devised as a sop to Republicans who outrageously avoided all responsibility for it when it failed, and single-payer was always the only good answer, and it’s where we must go now.”

Good luck with that. But don’t get cocky, GOP. You could still blow it. You excel at that. . . .

MICHAEL BARONE: Obamacare’s rocky rollout improves Republicans’ 2014 outlook. But don’t get cocky, kids.

CHANGE: Charlie Cook: This is one of the most dramatic shifts in a generic congressional ballot I’ve ever seen. But don’t get cocky: “Republicans should not allow their present advantage in the generic ballot to spur them to purchase food and beer for a victory party, the 2014 mid-terms are a long time away and there is much that can happen.”

Related: X Marks The Spot.

WAPO: The Insiders: For Democrats, dark days ahead. “Meanwhile, this is the administration that felt compelled to affirmatively announce twice on camera in the past week that they are ‘not stupid.'” Don’t get cocky, Republicans.

DON’T GET COCKY: Senate Democrats’ 2014 hopes keep getting dimmer.

GROUND GAME: Paul Caron reports from Ohio: “Wife and I voted in Ohio when polls opened at 6:30 a.m. Campaign worker was there handing out Republican sample ballot. No one was there handing out Democratic sample ballot.”

UPDATE: Craig Hildreth reports from St. Louis: “29 minutes after the polls opened at 6:00 AM and the line is fifty people deep. The good news is I don’t see any broken glass.” Well, that’s a comfort.

And reader Daniel Richwine writes: “I live in a high percentage minority area in New jersey. Normally it takes me 5 minutes to vote. 4 years ago it took 1 and a half hours. Last governors race, 5 minutes. This time it took about 15.”

Reader Charles Gallo writes: “Never before seen a line to vote at 6:30am here on Queens NYC.”

And reader Steve Gregg writes from Vienna, in Northern Virginia: “There are three hundred or more voters here. Another fifty joined the line since I took this photo a minute ago. The line snakes out of the gym, down the hall, down another hall, around the corner, into another gym. I’ve been voting here for ten years and this line has about a hundred more voters than the biggest line I’ve ever seen.” Let’s hope they’re broken-glass voters. Here’s the pic he sent:

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Tom Kazazes sent this from Greenwich, CT at 5:45: “This is my third cycle voting at this location and I have never seen a line like this 15 minutes before voting commences. Meaning, who knows, just different than in past in a state which is a ‘lock’ for Obama.” Maybe somebody forgot to turn the key.

And reader Mike Collins writes: “Hello from Arlington VA, where our choice for local races is usually between a Dem and a Green. Anecdote from this morning: in 2008, my wife and I arrived at the polls at 5:30AM and were around 250th in line. Today we arrived at 5:50 and were around 40th in line. Take it for what it’s worth, but I think it’s a hopeful sign re: enthusiasm.”

Meanwhile, Jeff Carter reports from Chicago: “At Instapundit, they show lines in several places. In Chicago at my polling place there wasn’t a long line. I waited five minutes.”

And reader Jacques Vilar sends: “I was in line at my polling place (Gainesville, VA) – at 5:30am with 30 people in line. At 5:45, there were near 100. By the time the doors opened at 6:00, at least 200 people in line. By the time I voted and walked to my car, at least 500 people were in line.”

And Jim Gordon emails: “Here in White House, Tn in Sumner County, 70+ people Were in line before the doors opened at 7. Although this area’s ‘Redness’ is given, I find it encouraging that voters have come out this wet, cold morning to have their say.”

Plus, from reader Jon Prichard: “I’m hoping for ‘breaking dawn’ over twilight today. I always appreciate your ‘Don’t get cocky!’ admonition, but today is the time to go out and get it done, with confidence and high spirits. So I hope to pass along this message: ‘Today, don’t rest easy in the comfort of your echo chamber. Venture into the breach and be a megaphone!’ Thanks for the greatest blog in the world!” Thank me by voting.

Another Chicago voter, Sarah Fredricks, writes: “In my Chicago suburb, there was a line in 2008 when we arrived at 6:30 and it took about 30 minutes to vote. Today, no line and it would have taken 5 minutes, but there was a problem with the voting machine accepting ballots. The poll workers were professional and corrected the matter in a few minutes. There has not been the enthusiasm in Illinois this election cycle, very few Obama signs.”

And reader Doug Deal from Georgia reports “extremely long lines” in his precinct: “I decided to go to the polls first thing today and arrived at 7:05 AM, 5 minutes after they opened. I counted and I was about 120th in line. . . . the people in front of me did have a bit of a certain broken glass look to them. It is a fairly Republican precinct and it looks like that even in a non tossup state the GOP is turning out.”

Pittsburgh reader Roland Hess emails: “Voting in suburban Pittsburgh was easy. Decent line. Our precinct usually goes R, so that says not a lot. Was very disappointed in the lack of broken glass on the bridge between the parking lot and the polls though. It was too easy. After the last four years, I felt like I at least deserved a soundtrack, some slow-mo and a bit of drama as I pulled the lever. While watching election returns I make a point to drink whatever my preferred candidate drinks. So what do I drink tonight? Milk?”

It’s Tullamore Dew for me all the way. Loyalty has its limits.

Reader Mark Ludolph writes: “Reporting from a redish area in Blue Illinois. Longest wait I have ever encountered – an hour+. Not a single close race on the ballot, but huge turnout. Can’t imagine many Obama voters here.”

And reader Eric McErlain emails from Northern Virginia: “Got on line at 6:12, didn’t get out of polling place till almost 7.”

Plus, from Pitsburgh: “Take it for what it’s worth, but there was no line this morning at 8 in East Liberty, a heavily democratic area of Pittsburgh (probably 90+%). Four years ago, there was a 30+ minute line to vote there. Please don’t add my name if you print this, as I work there.” Perhaps one day America can have politics without fear. Easier if Obama loses, I suspect . . . .

ANOTHER UPDATE: David Kirkham emails: “Lines are 1 to 1 1/2 hours here in Utah. I have never waited anywhere close to that long. I think the entire state is going to vote for Romney. I predict Romney has very long coat tails in Utah which will help Mia Love unseat Matheson. It will be a tough day for Democrats in Utah (and, I hope, across the USA).”

Jim Ryals writes from Mandeville, Louisiana: “For the first time since we moved to Louisiana we had to stand in line to vote. The volunteers, most of whom have been doing this for years, said they’ve never seen anything like it. One person told me that normally, they would open up at 6 and get their first voter in about 7:15 or so. Today, people were line up into the parking lot when they opened. They got another wave at 7:30 that had people lined up out the doors. This is the most conservative parish in a red state, but if this is any indication, there is big, big momentum for Mitt.”

The redder the area, the longer the lines, it seems. But not always. A reader sends this from deep in the heart of machine-controlled St. Louis where turnout is heavy:

Here in the (heavily-Democrat, machine-controlled) City of St. Louis, the polling places are JAM-PACKED. All that reporting about Obama voters being discouraged and not showing up turns out to be hooey here. Republicans need to show up today and fight them back! Though, reports are that (conservative) St. Louis County polling places are also packed. I suspect many are there to vote in the Senate race, which is VERY heated in Missouri thanks to that idiot Todd Akin. If Obama manages to win Missouri, I think you can thank Todd Akin for that. He gave lackluster Claire all the ammunition she needed to get her base fired up and enthusiastic. Even my incredibly conservative rural family (evangelical Christians all) are waffling on voting for Akin because of the embarrassment of it all.

The other issue many people are citing re: their enthusiasm today? Marriage equality. It’s not on the ballot in Missouri, but nobody believes that Republicans won’t continue to work on oppressing gays; and a vote for Romney is a vote for social cons. (My sample may be skewed because I have so many gay friends, most of whom will disown me if they find out that I cast my Romney vote today.) If the GOP expects support in the future, if they expect to make ANY inroads into the under-35 crowd, they have got to get on board the marriage equality wagon, stop worrying about what everyone is doing in the privacy of their own homes, and just get the government out of the way so the economy can work. But of course, I’m pretty libertarian so I would say that.

If you publish this, don’t use my name because I’m a government employee and I need to keep sucking the taxpayer teat for a few more years, til my law school loans are paid off!

Praying for a Romney victory and a Republican Congress,

Well, we’ll see soon enough.

Meanwhile, reader Dan Koblosh sends this from Redondo Beach, California, one of Los Angeles’ redder areas: “Long line waiting for polling place to open. Can’t wait to vote for Romney and against Gov Moonbeam’s (Brown) tax hikes.”

Here’s a pic he includes:

And from Colorado, Mike Weatherford writes:

Just a bit of anecdotal data on voter turnout here in Colorado Springs, CO. My wife and I voted when we dropped off our youngest child at school, also the polling place. We were number 51 and 53 to vote. There was a line of at least fifteen people down the hall. The last time I voted, I voted at 4:30PM, and was number 120-something. Our district is mostly older families that have lived in the same neighborhood for 20-30 years, and are mostly staunch Republicans or Independents. I expect the number of voters in our district to reach the 200 mark, something I haven’t seen since Clinton won re-election.

Stay tuned. And reader Bob Sanders emails: “Longest line I’ve ever seen, Forward Township, Butler County. North of Pittsburgh. As I was casting my vote I overheard the man across from me talking with the Assistant who was helping him, ‘I don’t give a damn about the instructions, I’m voting straight Republican this time. Where do I click?'”

From reader Matthew Teague, who doesn’t give a location:

Today at the polls I met a “ground glass” voter.

He was in his early 50’s, and as he stood in line he was asking the election workers what documents he needed to vote. He said he hadn’t voted “since they started requiring all this annoying paperwork”. I asked him why he had let such a low hurdle trip him up, and his response is one I will never forget: “I didn’t really have a reason to vote before, everything was going fine and there was no reason to change it… until now”.

I’m hoping for a lot of this. reader Brad Scheidt sends this Oklahoma report:

Voting in South Tulsa County, Oklahoma is like nothing I’ve ever seen – ever. Waits over an hour, limited parking, lines out the door and down the sidewalk, etc. This is an area that will go Romney 3-1 easily. Can you say “enthusiasm”?

Like I said. Diana Sherlock writes: “Am in Studio City/North Hollywood area and never seen lines like this – around the bldg.” I assume that’s an Obama area, though I don’t really know. Jerry Pournelle lives around there. . . .

From Berks County, Pennsylvania, reader Eric Shelton reports:

At 7 am this morning there was already a 65 minute line in 25 degree weather. In 08 this County went 8.5% for Obama, given the number of Republican voters in line and Indys/Dems who freely admitted they were switching their vote this time, Berks isn’t looking good for the Prez.

People seem impressed with Mitt’s intelligence and kindness.

As they should be. From Manhattan, reader Meryl Levavi contrasts government with the private sector:

I went to vote at 9:15 this morning at the polling place on West 70th Street. The lines were moderately long. It took me 35 minutes to vote. A few blocks from Lincoln Center and Zabars the process was amazingly inefficient. Instead of posting a sample ballot or having someone walk the line with instructions the poll workers explained the ballot to each person individually. If I were on a line that length at the Trade Joe’s on 72nd Street and Broadway I would have my groceries packed and be out the door in 10 minutes.

Well, NYC isn’t looking especially efficient lately.

From southern New Hampshire, Nathaniel Jensen reports: “I just voted in Amherst – a staunch republican town of 10,000 in southern NH. Massive turnout at the high school unlike anything I’ve ever seen on election day. I take this to be a very good sign for Romney. May God and the people save our country!”

From Colorado, John Walker emails: “I voted this morning in southwest Weld County, Colorado (a heavily Republican county). I got there at 7:12 and waited 40 minutes to vote. The line was longer when I left than when I went in.”

From Arizona: “Orangewood precinct in NW central Phoenix volunteers told me that *already* more have voted by 10:30 am that voted in either the primary or the last general election.”

John Torbett writes from Santa Monica: “I just voted at my polling place in the Peoples’ Republic of Santa Monica and it took me about 45 minutes to get through the line. In 2004 and 2008, I only had to wait about 5 minutes. The 50 something, gray haired hippie in front of me in line asked how to ‘write in’ a candidate. I don’t know what it means since Obama is supposed to win California by 15% and in my precinct Roseanne Barr will probably get more votes than Romney, but the turnout was heavier than I have ever seen it here.”

THERE’S THAT 13%: Slate Also Has Defectors.  To whom it may concern, even with same turnout, 13% hands the election to Mitt.  But this is no time to get cocky.  GO OUT AND WORK.  Then vote.  And work to get out the vote when you’re NOT voting.

 

ROMNEY PENNSYLVANIA RALLY DRAWS 30,000:  Great pics and tweets at Breitbart.com.  HUGE crowd.  Fox carried it live.  Mittmentum. But don’t get cocky.  Just vote.

 

ROMNEY UP BY 1 in DEEP BLUE MINNESOTA:  According to an American Future Fund poll, Romney is up 46-45 in . . . Minnesota.  He has a 13 point advantage with Independents.  When it rains, it pours.

UPDATE: A reader emails: “My GF is a DFL party major donor in St. Paul…..they are pissing themselves…… For the love of God don’t use my name, she’s hot, but communicate the feeling……..” Well, make of that what you will. We’ll know soon enough. Meanwhile, don’t get cocky!

THEY DON’T SEE IT COMING:  This Politico story is almost funny–they are scratching their progressive heads, wondering why early voting numbers are relatively even.   In their words:

Republicans claim that although Democrats are leading in early voting in most battleground states, they are simply “cannibalizing” or diluting their Election Day turnout by turning out voters who would otherwise come out on Election Day.

Senior Obama officials aggressively refute this by pointing to the number of first-time voters they have registered in battleground states. In Florida and Colorado, for example, they have registered an overwhelming number of new Latino voters, who tend to vote Democratic. (In Florida, Democrats say the bulk of the new Latino voters are Puerto Ricans, who are more likely to vote Democratic than are Cuban-Americans). In those states, the campaign has used Spanish-speaking volunteers to return repeatedly to the voters it has registered until they have mailed in their ballots or gone to the polls.

In addition, in hotly contested Ohio — where voters don’t register by party affiliation and where 1.2 million people have already voted — Obama officials point out that of the newly registered voters, 83 percent are either women, young voters or minorities — which they believe works to Obama’s advantage.

What they don’t see coming–or are choosing not to see–is the absolutely massive, crawl-over-broken-glass turnout for Romney (and against Obama) on Tuesday.

But again:  Don’t get cocky– just VOTE.

BIG TIME MITTMENTUM: SUSQUEHANNA POLL SHOWS ROMNEY UP BY 4 IN PENNSYLVANIA:  Whoa.  If this is accurate– and Susquehanna is Pennsylvania’s best, most accurate pollster– the race is OVER.   Romney 49%, Obama 45%.

But for all the superstitious readers out there (including me):  Don’t get cocky!!!!

MICHAEL BARONE CALLS IT FOR ROMNEY: You heard the snap call at the end of his appearance last week on Hannity; he goes into specifics this afternoon at the Washington Examiner:

Bottom line: Romney 315, Obama 223. That sounds high for Romney. But he could drop Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and still win the election. Fundamentals.

Plus this, from Ace, via the Washington Post: “Whoah: 13% of Obama’s 2008 Voters Are Defecting to Romney; 3% Undecided.”

The WaPo also believes that the GOP may add to its 2010 house gains. If that prediction plays out, Ed Morrissey writes, “we’d be looking at a 2010 midterm model … and a lot of pollsters will have egg on their faces on Wednesday.”

Speaking of which, there’s one enormous caveat to all of the above predictions: Dick Morris still thinks Romney can win.

UPDATE: Don Surber asks, “Where’s Michael Barone’s ‘don’t get cocky, kid?'”

What — doesn’t the Dick Morris addendum count?

I keed — I keed. But I think the Chicago Boyz have the right attitude going into the weekend.

GREAT ARTISTIC DECISION, KID — BUT DON’T GET COCKY: George Lucas Just Saved Star Wars by Firing George Lucas.

OPTIMISM: Dick Morris: Here Comes The Landslide.

Peter Ingemi: Ride Right Through Them, They’re Demoralized As Hell!

Michael Graham: My Prediction: Mitt Wins!

Me: It’s nice to see some confidence compared with last summer, but don’t get cocky, kids.

EVEN MORE MITTMENTUM:  N.H. NASHUA TELEGRAPH ENDORSES ROMNEY:  Add New Hampshire’s largest newspaper to the growing list of papers that endorsed Obama in 2008 but are abandoning him in droves now.  The editors stated:

So the basic question facing The Telegraph editorial board when it met last week came down to this: Did the former Illinois senator do enough to live up to those admittedly high expectations to warrant a second term?

After several hours of spirited debate, not unlike conversations taking place in kitchens and living rooms across America, we reached a consensus that he had not. Perhaps more importantly, when we identified the key challenges facing the nation – jobs, the economy and the national debt – we concluded he was not the best candidate to meet them.

That person is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and we hereby endorse him to become the 45th president of the United States.

But don’t get cocky, y’all.

DON’T GET COCKY: Rasmussen: Romney Projected To Win 279+ Electoral Votes.

No, really, don’t. Especially when, as Jim Geraghty writes, ‘I’m Sandy, and I’m Here to Eat This Week’s News Cycles.’

 

DON’T GET COCKY, KID: Bob Krumm: Does Ohio Really Matter? “The bottom line is that if Mitt Romney’s popular vote margin is large enough, no matter what happens in Ohio, some other state is going to play Belgium to Obama’s Maginot Line.”

Really, don’t get cocky. It’s all about showing up. Save the crowing until the showing’s done. Which doesn’t mean I don’t hope he’s right.

UPDATE: Reader Russ Meyer writes: “I’m glad the polls look good for Romney, but please ask people to remember that we all thought the Obamacare decision would go the right way as well, and we were then crushed when it didn’t. Things look great, but we can’t get cocky.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Chris Lynch writes: “When the post election postmortem is done I think the numbers will show that in state after state many more Democrats will have voted for the federal offices of Senator or Congressman than voted for the Democrat at the top of the ticket. These folks may not vote for Mitt Romney but by not voting for Barack Obama they will be widening the gap which will be the difference between a slim victory and a landslide. The fiscal policies and the shame of what happened at Benghazi may keep even the most strident Democrat from voting for Obama.” Well, we’ll know soon.

PREDICTION: “Barring some dramatic change in the final ten days or so, Mitt Romney will win the popular vote in the 2012 presidential election,” Jim Geraghty writes — with this additional don’t get cocky-related caveat:

Now, as Al Gore will tell you, a popular-vote win and a couple of bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. But it’s also relatively rare for a candidate to win the popular vote and lose the Electoral College. And if Obama is running a few percentage points behind his 2008 levels of support in red states and blue states . . . just how much can advertising and get-out-the-vote efforts stem that tide in the purple states?

Perhaps that explains this imagery from the Obama camp. They were channeling Putin yesterday; has Team Obama moved on to Mao? Forward!

(It also dovetails perfectly with the subhead of the essay by Matthew Continetti we linked to a few moments ago: “How sarcasm and insult took over the Democratic Party.”)

DON’T GET COCKY, KIDS: Today’s Fun With Polls: Gallup Party ID. “Basically, Republican vs Democrat is about +1 Republican; include leaners and that’s +3 Republican.

HEH: “I expect the last gasp of the Obama Campaign will involve Joe Biden in a code pink ladypart costume.” But don’t get cocky, kids.

SEE, THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET COCKY.

DON’T GET COCKY, KIDS: Gallup Tracking: Romney 50, Obama 47.

POLIPUNDIT: Could This Be A Wave Election? “Here, in ultra-liberal King County, Obama signs are nowhere to be seen. You do see the occasional Romney sign. But back in 2008, you’d think this was the headquarters of the Cult of Obama.”

I’m hearing that from a lot of places. But don’t get cocky, kid. It all depends on showing up.

DON’T GET COCKY, KIDS: Romney Has Best Gallup Tracking Poll Numbers Since 1968. “Mitt Romney continues to out-poll every winning presidential challenger since 1968.”

ACTUALLY, I THINK THAT’S JUST BILL CLINTON’S “SEX PANTHER” COLOGNE: Don’t Get Cocky, But Do Note The Aroma Of Fear Wafting From The Left.

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Polls: Romney Moves Up in Florida, Obama Down a Bit in Ohio.

Related: Ohio: GOP Voters Flock To Early Ballots.

But don’t get cocky.

CHANGE: The audience completely failed to cheer or applaud when Jon Stewart announced that Obama was the guest on “The Daily Show.”

UPDATE: Compare this report from Salena Zito: More than half of the people attending Paul Ryan event in Pittsburgh are women, many of them young adults.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader T.J. Linzy writes:

I’m a US citizen that has lived in Europe for 24 years. I just moved back to the USA (Nevada). I am a long time reader of Instapundit. (I like the new multi-blogger format too). . . I just wanted to say thanks and to ask you to double down on your “Don’t get cocky, Kid” remarks. Every other post would be fine with me.

I am hopeful of a Romney win, but also fearful of the echo chamber that led many of us to a serious letdown on the SCOTUS decision on Obamacare.

For the first time ever in my life, I have signed up to do calls for a campaign. The Romney/Ryan has an easy sign up procedure and a very helpful video and instruction page.

For CA residents who know their vote will not carry CA for Romney, there is also program to help in Nevada.

Every little bit helps. Please feel free to use my name.

Indeed it does.

HUGH HEWITT: President Obama’s Closing Act: An Epic Collapse.

The president of course has his passionate supporters. These are the same people that spent last Tuesdaynight declaring him the winner of his second meeting with Mitt Romney, and Wednesday and Thursday trying to infuse the word “binder” with game-changing significance.

They are the same people who spent Friday denying that “not optimal” was not a big deal.

“Binder” –big deal. “Not optimal” –no deal at all. That’s the state of the Obama campaign: A nearly Orwellian effort at making some words matter and others disappear while facts are pushed aside It hasn’t worked. It won’t work..

Mitt Romney by contrast followed two very strong debate showings with a wonderful set of remarks at the Al Smith dinner, the third time in two weeks that he has reassured those just tuning into the presidential campaign that he will be a steady and reliable force for good in the Oval Office.

Romney was ready for his close up. This is the primary reasion behind his surge.

Related: How Romney’s Polling:

According to the latest Gallup survey, Mitt Romney is polling 52% of likely voters. At this point in the race he is ahead of:

Where Jimmy Carter was in 1976 (47%)

Where Ronald Reagan was in 1980 (39% — Carter was six points up)

Where George H.W. Bush was in 1988 (50%)

Where Bill Clinton was in 1992 (40%)

Where George W. Bush was in 2000 (48%)

Where Barack Obama was in 2008 (49%)

Nice polling, kid. Don’t get cocky. It only matters if people show up.

DON’T GET COCKY, KID: New Poll Shows Romney Ahead By 4 in Pennsylvania. “Every other Pennsylvania poll shows Obama ahead, though by a narrowing margin.”

MICHAEL BARONE: Firewall In Ruins? Don’t get cocky, kid. It all depends on who shows up.

CHANGE: Romney Now On Track. “Mitt Romney leads President Obama in national polls, and the president is approaching his all-time low in the RealClearPolitics average. Romney leads in some key swing states (e.g., Florida, Colorado and North Carolina) and has largely erased the deficit in others (Ohio, Virginia, Nevada). His approval rating (the likability rating so many liberals have obsessed about) is in positive territory; the gap between the two candidates’ approval ratings has all but disappeared.” Don’t get cocky, kid.

LOOK BACK IN MAGMA: Evidence that Democrats are in “Last Days of Pompeii” mode.

Great metaphor, kid — but, as our Insta-host is wont to say, don’t get cocky.

GOOD ADVICE: Andrew Klavan: “Don’t Get Cocky.”

INSTAVISION: I TALK WITH ANDREW MALCOLM about last week’s debates, tomorrow’s VP debates, and why the GOP shouldn’t get cocky just yet.

THE HILL: Romney Surges Past Obama In Second Poll. “Mitt Romney has overtaken President Obama in a Public Policy Polling survey released on Tuesday. Romney won 49 percent support from likely voters in the poll, compared to 47 percent for Obama. It’s the first time all year Romney has led in the poll, which was conducted on behalf of the liberal Daily Kos website and the Service Employees International Union. Obama led 49-45 percent in the group’s previous poll, conducted before last week’s debate.”

UPDATE: Romney Ahead in Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio. And pulling close in Pennsylvania.

Also: Obama loses 
lead on key 
voter issues: economy, national security. “The left, as I suggested, may soon (if not before the election, than certainly after if he loses) reach the point in which Obama is trashed to save liberalism. It is not, the left tells us, the Keynesian record of failure that was to blame for the debate wipeout; rather it was Obama’s cruddy performance. It’s not that liberalism lacks a reform agenda that is both feasible and politically popular, you see. No, the problem was that Obama didn’t shout ‘Liar!’ loudly enough. Given a choice between casting off their false idol and giving up the cult of liberalism, there is no competition. Liberals will have no compunction about dumping Obama.”

MORE: IowaHawk: White House Scientists Struggle to Contain Outbreak of Scrutonium. “Engaged a relentless battle against time and fatigue, a select group of message scientists assembled by the White House’s Center for Narrative Control say they will take “all steps necessary” to contain a recent outbreak of scrutonium, a deadly poll-eating supervirus that attacks the immuno-hope system, leaving victims vulnerable to material facts.”

Related: Obama cultists’ crack-up.

Also: Washington Post Joins “Poll Truthers.” “Exit Question: Is this sample Pew’s attempt to correct itself pre-election or will we see a new poll just before the day re-skewed to try and create the Obama comeback?”

STILL MORE: Fine, enjoy the meltdown — but don’t get cocky!

But reader William Miller emails: “I ran the Chicago Marathon this past weekend, which went through several different neighborhoods in and around downtown Chicago. I did not see one pro-Obama sign. I did see a few Romney signs though. I know it wasn’t a political event, but I assumed that I would be overwhelmed by all of the Obama supporters that the press has been telling me about especially on his home turf.”

Maybe he just isn’t cool any more, and people are embarrassed? Kind of like Jimmy Carter, at the end.

MORE STILL: Reader Carey Cline writes:

I live in an intown Atlanta neighborhood that is very near Emory University, the CDC and a large conservative Jewish synagogue. So my yard is a little island of conservatism in a vast sea of liberal moonbats.

In 2008 every yard (except mine) it seemed had the requisite Obama yard sign. A yeti would have been an easier find than a McCain/Palin sign or sticker.

This morning on my way to work I counted six Romney/Ryan signs….If Obama is losing my neighborhood….oh you know the rest….

Well, don’t get cocky, kids.

SEVERAL READERS EMAIL: “Nice debate. Don’t get cocky kid.”

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD ON AFGHANISTAN: “Because these failures happened on President Obama’s watch, the mainstream press isn’t particularly interested in relentless, non-stop scrutiny of the unpleasant news. If George W. Bush were president now, and had ordered the surge and was responsible for the strategic decisions taken and not taken in Afghanistan over the last four years, the mainstream press would be rubbing our noses in his miserable failures and inexcusable blunders 24/7. The New York Times and the Washington Post would be treating us to pictures of every fallen soldier. The PBS Newshour would feature nightly post-mortems on ‘America’s failed strategies in the Afghan War’ and every arm-chair strategist in America would be filling the op-ed pages with the brilliant 20/20 hindsight ideas that our pathetic, clueless, failed president was too dumb and too cocky to have had.”

STANLEY KURTZ TO REPUBLICANS: Don’t Get Cocky.

PAUL RAHE: Another Straw In the Wind:

A few days ago, I drew attention to a Gallup poll indicating that, for the first time in the last twenty years, Americans thought better of the Republican Party than of the Democrats. Later that same day, I pointed to a Pew Foundation poll reaffirming the drift towards the Republicans. Today, I came across further evidence pointing even more emphatically at the same conclusion.

For ten years now, Rasmussen has been studying partisan trends. Its latest survey indicates that, for the first time in that period, more Americans self-identify as Republicans than as Democrats. To be precise, 37.6% now think of themselves as Republicans — more than in September, 2004 — and only 33.3% self-identify as Democrats. What makes this especially interesting is that two years ago — on the eve of the Republican blowout in the 2010 midterm elections — 35% self-identified as Democrats and only 33.8% self-identified as Republicans.

It is a grave error to suppose that everyone in this country has made up his mind. Things are in motion. The Republicans have an argument and a plan, and the Democrats — thanks to the wisdom of Barack Obama — have nothing to offer.

InTrade still has Obama ahead, but I’m not sure why information like this doesn’t have a bigger impact. Anyway, don’t get cocky . . .

ED DRISCOLL WANTS TO BELIEVE, but warns don’t get cocky.

HMM: Study: Economic Data Predict Big Romney Win. “A University of Colorado analysis that has correctly predicted every presidential election since 1980 based on state-by-state factors forecasts that Mitt Romney will unseat incumbent Barack Obama to become the new president in November’s general election, according to a release.”

Don’t get cocky, kids.

MICKEY KAUS TO DEMOCRATS ON AKIN: Don’t Get Cocky!

UPDATE: AP poll narrows Obama lead to one point, 47/46. In a heavily Democrat-weighted sample.

Plus: WaPo/ABC Poll Shows Ryan Gaining Momentum.

And: Nate Silver: Romney Showing Improved Results In Swing-State Polls.

Have you noticed that whenever the Dems go on a war-on-women kick, the media says they’re doing well but the polls move in the other direction?

BOUNCE: Swing state poll: After picking Ryan, Romney now leads in Ohio, Virginia — and Florida.

Well. . . .

GERALD SEIB: Romney’s Ryan Pick Ensures Different Kind of Race. “The Ryan pick wasn’t the safest one Mr. Romney could have made—not by a long shot. But as the author of the budget plan that most clearly delineates the view of limited government that most Republicans hold, and with more specificity and crystalline explanation than most can muster, Mr. Ryan best guarantees the country will get the kind of philosophical debate worthy of a presidential campaign.”

Meanwhile, reader John Borchers sends this cautionary image:

UPDATE: John Fund: Smart Democrats Should Be Worried.

IT’S ROMNEY-RYAN 2012. “Ryan puts the national debt front and center in the election, on par with or maybe even ahead of jobs. This is a winner of an issue, it’s what motivated people in 2010, and it will cause huge turnout.”

Related #GiveUSRyan — the hashtag that changed history.

Also: “Why @PaulRyanVP rattles Obama: he is a direct, crisp intellectual challenge to the entitlement state.”

UPDATE: Byron York: Romney Goes Bold.

Here’s a bunch of Paul Ryan video. Here’s one:

And on the day Ryan was picked, it’s worth pointing out that we’ve gone 1200 days now without a budget.

And here’s more on Paul Ryan from Investors’ Business Daily.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Jim Geraghty: 2010-2012: When Wisconsin Took Over America’s Politics.

Matt Lewis: 5 notable points about Paul Ryan’s selection as Romney’s running mate.

Also, thoughts from Ira Stoll.

And Roger Kimball writes: The comeback team (or why Romney will win by a landslide).

The man who has added more than $5 trillion to the federal debt, who is running an annual deficit of some $1.4 trillion, who has burdened American business with a nightmare of stifling regulations, who has squandered hundreds of billions of dollars on failed “green” energy initiatives and non-stimulating “stimulus” packages, who has insinuated government into the private sector in blundering unproductive and fiscally ruinous ways and foisted on an unwilling public the horror of ObamaCare—that chap is going down and going down in a landslide.

Nice veep choice, kid. Don’t get cocky.

MORE: Liz Peek: Ryan Choice Good for the Country and Good for Romney.

MORE STILL: The racist attacks have already started: Liberals point out that Paul Ryan is a white guy.

Meanwhile, reader John Perkins writes: “How long will it be before the MSM writes a snarky article about Romney and Ryan being like two young Mormon missionaries coming to your door. I mean, can Maureen Dowd even resist?” Well, if anyone uses this now, I’m charging them with plagiarizing John Perkins.

Also: Roger Simon: Romney’s Gutsy Choice.

Plus: Jennifer Rubin: How Ryan Got The Job. “Romney is above all else a problem-solver, a doer and a fixer. Ryan, likewise, is a policy maven who has since 2007 been trying to advance budget, tax and health-care reforms, moving the Republican Party to become the champion of market-based reform. Ryan is a smart man, certainly the smartest in Congress, with an eye for detail and a facility with numbers. Romney prizes brains, precision and the ability to wield numbers. Ryan uses a scalpel, not a sledge hammer in skewering his opposition; Romney likewise uses piles of data to slay his competitors (as he did in the Florida and Arizona GOP primary debates). Ryan is personally and professionally disciplined, a straight arrow with a gee-whiz brand of optimism. Romney is as well. . . . The left will be effusive about the opportunity to renew Mediscare. But the Ryan team has been fighting that fight for some time and is perfectly willing to engage President Obama, who has heckled but not lead on entitlement reform. Who better than Ryan to take on the president while Romney sails above the fray?”

And: Steve Hayward: “Ryan wants to have an adult conversation with America about the looming insolvency of the welfare state, and he has a serious plan to fix it. . . . I suspect Ryan is one of the few Republicans Obama genuinely fears; after all, Ryan schooled Obama in Obama’s faux-‘health care summit’ early last year. (Obama does not look pleased in the video.) David Brooks reports, by the way, that Obama never picks up the phone to try to talk with Ryan.
Ryan is not simply fearless about the issues, he also gets the larger picture, and can talk about the larger picture.”

PAUL RAHE IS predicting a landslide.

UPDATE: Reader Will Hackett writes:

Paul Rahe definitely posts some interesting commentary in his “Landslide on the Horizon” article on the variables that Mitt Romney must focus on in order to achieve victory this November. However, any time I read these articles, I find myself repeating one of your favorite mantras… ”Don’t get cocky, kid.”

Indeed.

NICE MODEL, KID. NOW DON’T GET COCKY. Economic forecasting model predicts Obama will lose in near-landslide.

PLAYING DEFENSE ON SMALL BUSINESS: Obama’s “I am not a witch” ad. I don’t believe him. He clearly weighs the same as a duck. “Apparently, Obama’s standing on the economy has so fallen so low that the argument for his reelection is now reduced to ‘I don’t hate business. Honest.'”

UPDATE: Gov. Bobby Jindal:

President Obama is in New Orleans today. One wonders if, during his visit to the Crescent City, he will repeat the now infamous claim that “If you have a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Given the firestorm that erupted after that claim, it’s doubtful he will do so.

But we should not forget his words. President Obama’s comments were not a one-off gaffe. Instead, they define his administration.

Indeed.

MORE: Team Romney aggressively courting small business in swing states this week.

Plus, Ann Althouse reviews Obama’s ad: “Apparently, he’s gotten the message that nastily attacking Romney isn’t working. Here’s his new ad, in which he actually seems kind of like Romney . . . . Snuck in there is the old Obama theme: tax the rich. It’s camouflaged within a lot of Romneyesque pro-capitalism talk. I think the Obama people have decided that lefty edge is a loser. Americans will chose capitalism over socialism if you make it stark. So he’s repackaging himself as moderate.” It worked in 2008, but he had a less visible track record then.

MORE STILL: Useful advice from reader Mark Throneberry: “DONT GET COCKY! DONT GET COCKY! DONT GET COCKY!”

DAN RIEHL: Priceless: WaPo blames constitutional law instructor Obama for possible ObamaCare Failure. “We can’t know for certain how the Court may rule on health care this week. But watching Washington as usual play out driven by a sense of doom is still something of a hoot. If it does go down and Obama fails to win re-election, he won’t have any positive legacy at all in the end.”

Perhaps if Obama had ever written any scholarly articles on the Commerce Clause, he’d have had a better understanding. But then, he never wrote any scholarly articles on anything. As former Obama colleague Richard Epstein said: “I like Obama but I reject the suggestion that he is an intellectual. He is an activist merely mimicking the mannerisms of an intellectual.”

UPDATE: Reader Dean Cheng writes:

As you regularly warn, “Don’t get cocky kid.”

So, everyone THINKS that the Supremes will overturn Obamacare, at least in part, and perhaps in whole.

But what if that doesn’t happen? What if, by a 5-4 decision, the Supremes decide that Obamacare is Constitutional? Shoot, what if they decide that Obama is right, and it would be politically too hard to overturn the thing? Not that they would necessarily phrase it that way in their decision, of course.

I’m not suggesting that SCOTUS will uphold Obamacare, only to hold off on the schadenfreude and celebrating and end-zone spiking until after the Supreme Court has actually RULED on the thing, AND overturned it?

Good point. Don’t get cocky, kid. Though the lefties’ pre-decisional flailing is too amusing to ignore entirely.

THE HILL: Democrats’ Hopes For Recapturing House Dim.

Related: Generic Congressional Ballot: Republicans 45%, Democrats 38%. Nice poll, kid. Don’t get cocky.

DAN NADEN: We’ve Got The Narrative, Now Don’t Get Cocky.

BRYAN PRESTON: Five Things Mitt Romney and the Republicans Are Doing Right.

Nice blogging, kid. Don’t get cocky.

ANDREW MALCOLM: Obama’s 2008 base is cracking: Gallup.

President Obama today is — what else? — fundraising again.

But while he’s out, Gallup released a seriously ominous poll for the Democrat’s chances of keeping his extended family in the White House for four more years.

Gallup finds a deep crack in Obama support emerging among whites, still statistically by far the largest group of voters. His support among several white subgroups is down 5% now among registered voters from what it was just before the 2008 election, when he easily defeated John McCain.

These sub-sets of non-Hispanic whites include young registered voters between 18 and 29, which provided him a huge margin four years ago, well-educated women and non-religious whites, among others. Other research has shown huge percentages of Obama’s money donors from 2008 withholding their money this time.

Obama’s support among registered voters today is 46%, five points below what it was nearly four years ago. Whites’ support is down slightly more, six points, from 44% to 38%.

Obama’s support among blacks, while still overwhelming, has also dipped four points from 91% to 87%.

So is it up anywhere?

UPDATE: Related thoughts: “One out of five Black Americans in a state where the president won 95% of the Black vote the last time around have explicitly told strangers they will not support the first black president for re-election and they have expressed that decision in a public poll.”

Good observation, kid. Don’t get cocky.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Jeff Dobbs is deeply troubled:

Yike.

I now am casting a leery eye on my North Carolina neighbors and co-workers and fellow congregants. People I pass on the street, persons in vehicles driving next to me. In the supermarket, at the movies, in restaurants, at the mall. And Lord knows the bars. Especially in the bars.

If it hadn’t been pounded so relentlessly in the media for four years now I wouldn’t believe it.

I still have trouble believing it. These people kept it so well hidden up to this point. It’s frightening.

But I know the media would never lie to me, so the only available conclusion is that 1 in 5 black North Carolinians oppose Obama because they’re racists, straight up.

A chilling realization.

SAN DIEGO PASSES PENSION REFORM by a wide margin.

Likewise in San Jose.

UPDATE: David Harsanyi: Not just Wisconsin: California portends bad news for public-sector unions.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Ride Right Through Them, They’re Demoralized as Hell. “I’m watching Morning Joe and I see Chuck Todd making excuses for the democrats and watching Mika go on about the exit polls supporting Obama’s strength in Wisconsin. . . . Watching the exercise of denial reminds me of the very first time I used the phrase: January 20th 2010.”

Further thoughts here: “I can’t help but be pleased to see the Democrats so deep in denial, but I suggest that it has really been the right and conservatives who have been in denial the most over the past year. In our case, however, it’s been denial of our successes.” Don’t get cocky, kid.

On the other hand, a journalist-reader who asks anonymity writes: “Over at memeorandum.com the AP, NYT and WaPo heds all say ‘Walker survives’ … I dunno, 53-46 sounds more like ‘Walker spanks.'”

FOX CALLS WISCONSIN WINS FOR GOV. WALKER, LT. GOV. KLEEFISCH.

UPDATE: CNN calls it for Walker.

ANOTHER UPDATE: NBC calls it for Walker. Larry O’Donnell is blaming it all on Citizens United. I suppose that’ll be tomorrow’s excuse. But the truth is, the unions brought all their big guns and it wasn’t enough. I guess you just can’t get good goons these days. And remember, this is just the latest in a series of defeats:

When the street protests didn’t work out, the public employee unions decided to make a “nonpartisan” judicial election a referendum over Wisconsin’s anti-union legislation.

The Service Employees International Union and other labor groups went all in on the election, but still lost. A pointless recount failed even to narrow the margin significantly.

Bottom line: All the might of the public employee unions wasn’t even able to swing a nonpartisan, off-year, judicial election. Can you say “paper tiger”?

Yes, we can.

MORE: Fireworks at Prof. Jacobson’s place.

And reader Christopher Mazur writes: “Today is the first day of November.”

STILL MORE: Governor Walker’s Victory Spells Doom For Public Sector Unions.

Don’t get cocky, kid.

On the other hand, this is another Tea Party I-Told-You-So.

MORE STILL: Wisconsin: Stalingrad of the Left?

Well, Russ Feingold said it’s not over till we win, which is kinda like the German position in Stalingrad. . . . But comparing one’s opponents to Hitler is right out. Right, Russ? Oh, never mind. . . .

THE LAST WORD: Bwahahahahaha! “Republicans also appear to have taken all four senate seats by massive margins.”

JOEL GEHRKE: Middle-class leans Romney in make or break moment. Don’t get cocky, kid.

DON’T GET COCKY, KID: Intrade Has Walker’s Chances over 90%; NY Times in Panic Mode.

No, really, don’t get cocky. If you’re in Wisconsin, vote tomorrow.

4000 TEA PARTIERS RALLY in Caledonia, Wisconsin. Plus, a report from Milwaukee.

Just don’t get cocky.

WISCONSIN: “Walker leads Barrett 52% to 45% in new Marquette Law School poll.” Plus: “So on main issues that fired the protests last year, the people clearly support Walker.”

Don’t get cocky, kid.

DON’T GET COCKY, KID.