The homemade sign for Mitt Romney in the yard of a well-manicured but modest home in Leadville, Colo., forlornly signals the fracture of another onetime supporter of Barack Obama.
If Romney wins the presidency on Tuesday, the national media, the Washington establishment and the bulk of academia will have missed something huge that happened in “flyover” America under their watch.
It is a story that few have told.
It reminds one of the famous quip by New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael following Richard Nixon’s landslide 1972 victory: “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon.”
Two years after suffering a historic shellacking in the 2010 midterm election, Democrats astonishingly have ignored Main Street Americans’ unhappiness.
That 2010 ejection from the U.S. House, and from state legislatures and governors’ offices across the country, didn’t happen inside the Washington Beltway world.
It didn’t reflect the Democrats’ or the media’s conventional wisdom or voter-turnout models. So it just wasn’t part of their reality.
In Democrats’ minds, it was never a question of “How did we lose Main Street?” Instead, it was the fault of the “tea party” or of crazy right-wing Republicans.
Yet in interview after interview — in Colorado, along Nebraska’s plains, in small Iowa towns or Wisconsin shops, outside closed Ohio steel plants and elsewhere — many Democrats have told me they are furious with the president. Not in a frothing-at-the-mouth or racist way, as many elites suggest. They just have legitimate concerns affecting their lives.
Never once have Main Street Americans heard Washington elites ponder, “What did we Democrats do to lose the confidence of so many voters?”
On Tuesday we get to send a message to Obama and the Democrats:
“CAN YOU HEAR US NOW?“