The 2012 presidential election is less than four months away. You’d expect there to be building excitement among voters as the campaigns criss-cross the country, holding rallies and sounding their campaign themes.
The campaigns are, in fact, holding those rallies and running their ads and trotting out their reliable talking heads, but their doesn’t seem to be much building excitement, or even much movement. President Obama and Mitt Romney are stuck in the same place they’ve been for a month or more — in a dead heat.
Pundits and reporters covering the campaigns are talking about the election, but it doesn’t seem like many other people out here in the heartland are focused on politics. It’s as if everyone wants to take a breather, complain about the ongoing heat wave, go to a state fair or two . . . and then think about the upcoming vote later. It’s not that people don’t care, it’s just that most people don’t want to think about politics, 24 hours a day. How many of us have switched the radio from a news station to a music station, for a while at least, so we don’t have to hear the campaigns’ talking points, again, during our daily commutes?
I feel like this is the period of dead calm before a storm. The water is glassy and placid, the boats are holding their positions, but the storm is coming. When the dead calm breaks, I wonder if this won’t be an election where the voters decide, seemingly en masse, to go one way or another, and take a race that now appears to be a dead heat and turn it into a rout.