A PPP Poll this week puts something I've been privately fretting about on public display:
The election may be three weeks away but voters on both sides of the partisan divide are already prepared to blame voter fraud if their candidate loses.
-In Ohio 62% of Republicans think Democrats will engage in voter fraud to make sure that Barack Obama wins. 50% of the Democrats think that the GOP will engage in voter fraud to ensure a Romney victory.
If it's a close election it's safe to say it's going to get ugly.
The report on the poll mentions two other states- Florida and North Carolina- where results were similar. (You can read the full results here.)
Ever since Bush v Gore and the hanging chad fiasco of 2000, I've been worrying about the creation of a new political reality in which every presidential election is kicked up to the Supreme Court by the losing party. Watching the fanatical, evangelical fervor of Obama's followers in 2008, I was convinced there would be another Supreme Court battle if Obama lost. When Obama took office and the ardor of his base began to cool, I'd hoped that the threat was over. Now it looks as if the threat still exists.
If each side seriously believes the other capable of cheating, we could be looking at another election decided by the Supreme Court. (To say nothing of possible civil unrest.)
What a wonderful way to destroy the electoral process! Let's just forget the voting booth and go the full Banana Republic, shall we? Presidents can pack the court instead of campaigning and watching judges get assassinated can become a national pastime.
Take it away, Manny!