How can you tell an election is going well for Chris Matthews?  The country suddenly becomes a beacon of light and hope.  How can you tell an election is going badly for Chris Matthews? We’ve suddenly become a bunch of racists.  I’m pretty sure that his post-debate analysis tells you more than the polls which direction this election is going:

Liberal pundit Chris Matthews explained Mitt Romney’s support among conservatives, despite the candidate shifting toward the center on a number of issues, as a product of “racial hatred.”

Speaking after Thursday night’s debate on MSNBC, Matthews accused Romney of “pulling back” from many of the foreign policy positions he had taken during the primary. When host Rachel Maddow wondered why Romney might be “reversing himself” from his stated positions during the primary and whether that could dampen his support among his conservative base, Matthews dismissed such a possibility.

“I think they hate Obama. They want him out of the White House more than they want to destroy al Qaeda. Their No. 1 enemy in the world right now, on the right, is their hatred, hatred for Obama. And we can go into that about the white working class in the South and looking at these numbers we’re getting the last couple days about racial hatred in many cases … this isn’t about being a better president, they want to get rid of this president,” he said.

I’m certain that this is what makes Matthews feel more comfortable about an election that clearly is being lost by Barack Obama.  It’s not about median household income dropping faster during the Obamanomics recover (4.8%) than during the recession (2.5%).  It’s not about having the lowest civilian population participation rate in the last 31 years (63.5%, down from 65.7% at the beginning of the recovery).  It’s not about 1.3% GDP growth.  It’s not about skyrocketing deficits and budget proposals so ridiculous that no one in Obama’s own party would vote for them.  No, Matthews can’t bring himself to it’s about America rejecting the President who delivered this economic performance not because of his failures, but because of the color of his skin — even though the same electorate made him President despite a lack of experience over a long-known and long-serving politician four years ago.

That says nothing about America.  It says everything about Chris Matthews.