If Not for the Hurricane

There is a theory filtering out that it isn't Barack Obama who will win tomorrow, but Hurricane Sandy. Nate Silver puts this theory in context:

If I had told you in January that Mr. Obama's approval rating would have risen close to 50 percent by November, and that the unemployment rate would have dropped below 8 percent, you likely would have inferred that Mr. Obama was a favorite for re-election, with or without a hurricane and what was judged to be a strong response to it.
But here is the beauty of believing any magic. There will always be some means of explaining an inconvenient reality. Got walloped at the polls in 2008? Don't fret. It is well known fact that being black in America accrues untold advantage. About to get smashed off again in 2012? Worry not, for no man can tame the storm. Finding your position against abortion injured by the cries of rape survivors? Lose not a whit a sleep. All real rape victims are well acquainted with the "Shut That Whole Thing Down" feat.

See how it works? When you believe in magic, you can never be wrong. You can only be misinterpreted. You can never be defeated. You can only be undone by divine might of nature itself. And you never have to apologize. It wasn't you. It was magic.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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