As I’ve noted many times before, it doesn’t take much to send us liberals into a panic attack. Over the past couple months, as the economy slowly improved and the Republican primary became a parody of itself, we became increasingly confident about Obama’s re-election prospects. Some of us even began making comparisons to the snoozefest that was the 1996 presidential election. But both The Times and the Washington Post have released discouraging poll numbers over the last couple days and now Obama supporters are wringing their hands together and asking themselves what it all means. Are voters pissed about high gas prices? Are they reacting to all the talk of war with Iran? Are they tired of the President bursting into song?
I don’t pretend to know the answers, but I’m not hitting the panic button just yet. Two data points don’t make a trend and there are bound to be any number of peaks and troughs for Obama between now and Election Day. While I’d be happy to see him coast to a second term, my operating assumption remains that this will be a close election. If the liberal blogosphere continues to hyperventilate whenever the poll numbers drift south, I’m going to have to trim my Google Reader subscriptions until all that remains is Ars Technica and Fleshbot.