Why is Obama so confident?
A lot of pundits are asking that question these days. New York Magazine’s Jon Chait set forth a nice summary of varying hypotheses in a blog post Tuesday.
Most of the arguments are really just speculation about the motivations behind various candidate moves. For example, it may well be, as Chait suggests, that Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his running mate because he felt he needed to shake up the race.
On the other hand, one could just as easily speculate that Romney was confident of victory (pre-convention undecideds do, after all, tend to break toward the challenger), that he wanted a vice president who knew the entitlement issue well, since that reform would likely consume most of a Romney administration’s first term.
Or it could be that Romney’s camp knows people vote for president, not vice president, and that he simply chose the running mate he liked the most. This is, after all, the explanation set forth by Team Romney, and we don’t have any particular reason to disregard it.
Regardless, I do want to focus on Chait’s proposed explanation for the Obama campaign’s supposed confidence, because it is an increasingly common critique of the polls: