My Creators Syndicate column illustrates how a couple of key issues--Iraq and energy--seem to be working differently in the presidential election from what just about everyone expected a few weeks or months ago. The success of the surge strategy in Iraq and the sudden appearance of $4 gas have undermined narratives that seemed to be working strongly for Barack Obama and the Democrats.
There does seem to have been a big shift of public opinion on oil drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This seems to be one case where opinion doesn't move proportionately in line with an external development (gasoline prices) but moves discontinuously, with a sharp shift once a psychologically critical point is reached ($4). Newt Gingrich has now gotten more than 1 million signatures on his online "drill now" petition. And pollster John Zogby reports, in a press release.
By Michael Barone