Fifteen days before the general election, the conventional wisdom is that the Democrats will regain the House of Representatives, and maybe the Senate. Oddly, Messrs. Bush and Rove appear unconcerned; which could be spin, or there could be something up their sleeve. I'm betting on the sleeve.
So I will make a prediction here, in the fond hope that I am wrong.
One possibility is that Rove & Co. still have a genuine October Surprise up their sleeve, something that will frighten and distract the electorate some time within the next seven days, late enough so that reasoned analysis will not be able to gain a foothold in time for the election. A preemptive strike on Iran was my early thought, and I still don't rule it out. The North Korea crisis seems to have been prematurely defused by the evil machinations of Kim Jong Il, who had the audacity to depart from the script and apologize for making trouble lately. Why can't the bad guy ever be as unreasonable as we make him out to be?
But geopolitical events are too unreliable, so here's what my gut tells me:
On Election Night, the election will be stolen, right from under our noses. Ohio 2004, which stole the general election for the president largely using electronic voting machines manufactured by Diebold, Inc., was a dry run for the real thing: the simultaneous theft of multiple congressional elections by undetectable electronic vote-tally flipping. Polls will show Democrats winning big until late in the evening, but official results will curiously show all the polls to be, suddenly and inexplicaby, unreliable — just as happened with exit polls in Ohio in 2004. It's a bold move that can work in America precisely because none of us really can make ourselves believe that such a thing could happen in America. We'd rather mistrust the voters, the pollsters, our own eyes, than the integrity of the electoral process. The rotten corpse of democracy will lie in the street, and we'll pretend not to notice the smell.
That's my prediction. I do hope to God I'm wrong. For the record, in case I'm not wrong, you heard it here.