Watching the election returns Tuesday evening wasn’t fun, but it was satisfying. As polls closed in each battleground state, Romney would often take an early lead, Obama would pass him by the time 50% of the vote was counted and hold steady to pick up electoral votes.
After the process was repeated a few times, I began to think the experience was much like watching NFL in the early ’70s when the good teams would win by grinding out more 14 play, 75 yard, eight minute drives that resulted in field goals than their opponents. As each battleground state (save for North Carolina) became blue on the big chart, there was a sense of inevitability not dissimilar to a team winning 23-13 and controlling the ball for 38 minutes of the game. The process was as if each state was a drive that began in the shadow of the goal posts, yet a first down here, and a third down conversion there, and sooner or later we’re even in the vote count.
There was a methodical-nessl to it all that made me think, as each battleground state began tilting blue, of Larry Csonka or Mark Van Eeghen or John Riggins was bulling over left guard for four yards and another–another!–first down.
Well, they said Obama had a good ground game. Indeed, they were masters of the three yards and a cloud of dust approach to electoral politics.