Ramesh Ponnuru and James Fallows are on the same page today. Ponnuru:
If the liberals are right, then most of the Republican insiders I’ve talked to over the last two weeks are in the flat-earth camp. They don’t seem to be just pretending to have confidence in Romney’s ability to win the election, spinning the rubes to improve the party’s percentage in defeat; they seem to really have confidence: more confidence, in fact, than I remember roughly the same group of people having at this point in 2004. …
Democrats and the press generally seem confident they are going to win next week, too. I’ve never seen as big a divergence in expectations about a presidential election less than a week away.
[T]he evidence convinces me that, beyond the spin and the lunacy and the media’s interest in keeping any race “close,” a lot of Republicans really believe that Romney is about to win. …
[T]he up-versus-down difference on how things are trending and who holds the lead seems to be a case of the “separate fact universes” problem that affects other parts of our policy extending to our grasp of electoral reality. Some fraction of the population is going to have the “How can that be? No one I know… ” reaction on election day. … the perceptions of separate reality have reached a new level.
In an election about the outcome of which I will not hazard a prediction, this co-observation is the least surprising thing about this election cycle. What else should we expect when everything is now a front in the culture war — foreign policy; the economy; and of course all of the policy flashpoints that fell under the old rubric of culture war? Our metareaction to hurricanes is culture war. The way we look evaluate polling data is culture war.
Maybe this comes down to the heat of a hard-fought race. But I tend to doubt it.