Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- According to the latest Wall Street
Journal/NBC News poll, 55 percent of registered voters say the
outcome of this election will make “a great deal of difference”
in their lives. That’s a 10 percentage point increase over the
2004 election, and more than double the percentage of voters who
felt that way about the elections of 1996 or 1992. The stakes
this year are higher -- and most voters know it.
That’s not always the case. In fact, any given presidential
election is usually less consequential than the competing
campaigns suggest. Candidates have every incentive to promise
you the sun, moon and stars, and so they do. But no sooner does
the winner adjust his chair in the Oval Office than the White
House budget director tells him they can only afford the moon
and a few stars. Then the moon gets taken out by a filibuster,
and the rule-writing process makes it so hard to get a star that
pretty much no one ever does. And that’s a good-case scenario.
The Moon, Stars and Sun Act may never even make it out of the
House Ways and Means Committee.