Romney’s crowds are building—28,000 in Morrisville, Pa., last night; 30,000 in West Chester, Ohio, Friday It isn’t only a triumph of advance planning: People came, they got through security and waited for hours in the cold. His rallies look like rallies now, not enactments. In some new way he’s caught his stride. He looks happy and grateful. His closing speech has been positive, future-looking, sweetly patriotic. His closing ads are sharp—the one about what’s going on at the rallies is moving.

All the vibrations are right A person who is helping him who is not a longtime Romneyite told me, yesterday: “I joined because I was anti Obama—I’m a patriot, I’ll join up But now I am pro-Romney.” Why? “I’ve spent time with him and I care about him and admire him. He’s a genuinely good man.” Looking at the crowds on TV, hearing them chant “Three more days” and “Two more days”—it feels like a lot of Republicans have gone from anti-Obama to pro-Romney.

Something old is roaring back. One of the Romney campaign’s surrogates, who appeared at a rally with him the other night, spoke of the intensity and joy of the crowd “I worked the rope line, people wouldn’t let go of my hand.” It startled him. A former political figure who’s been in Ohio told me this morning something is moving with evangelicals, other church-going Protestants and religious Catholics. He said what’s happening with them is quiet, unreported and spreading: They really want Romney now, they’ll go out and vote, the election has taken on a new importance to them.

I suspect both Romney and Obama have a sense of what’s coming, and it’s part of why Romney looks so peaceful and Obama so roiled.

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Mitt Romney’s record, to put it gently, has not always been that of a National Review conservative. The more we have learned about the health-care plan he got enacted in Massachusetts, the less wise we consider it. During his campaign he has too often been unimaginative or vague on health care, federal spending, and taxes. Yet he has also stood, riskily, for a necessary reform of entitlements. He has vowed to be a reliable ally of pro-lifers and judicial conservatives. Without indicating any desire to go to war with Iran, he has treated its nuclear ambitions, and the increased power their realization would gain it, with an appropriate alarm (and we trust Tehran would read his election as a negative development). He has made it clear that in cutting spending he would be mindful that the national defense is the federal government’s foremost responsibility. In choosing Paul Ryan as his prospective vice president he has shown far better judgment than Obama, whose own pick weekly demonstrates that the categories of buffoon and demagogue are not mutually exclusive.

In this election we are proud to stand with Mitt Romney over the vain collectivist in the White House, and we hope the voters will make the same decision.

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Many (including myself) have been critical of the Romney campaign for not being aggressive enough in laying out a domestic policy vision and an agenda for getting us beyond the collapsing liberal welfare state. But the most important plank of such an agenda—the domestic policy challenge that matters most if we are to avert a fiscal catastrophe and replace liberal statism with conservative dynamism—is the challenge of Medicare reform. And on that front, Romney has shown more courage than any Republican presidential nominee in the history of the liberal welfare state—not only proposing a significant reform, but proposing just the right reform, and doing so despite countless warnings about the political risk. And he didn’t just propose it, but he pressed the Medicare issue when it mattered, and seems to have essentially defused the political risk while helping make a market-based reform of Medicare the consensus Republican position. This has been, to put it mildly, no small feat…

Mitt Romney has shown that he deserves to win this election. He deserves to win not just for being a better choice than his opponent, but also for giving us some reason to believe that he may really be up to some of the daunting challenges confronting whoever will be president in the coming years. No leader can do everything he should, and no presidency can be devoid of countless failures, embarrassments, and missed opportunities. The question is whether a leader is basically focused on the right priorities, and whether a president gets the big things right. The Romney campaign has suggested that Mitt Romney could well be up to doing that. And in the process of running a campaign that suggests this, he has also shown himself to be a decent, serious person with a high-minded sense of what it is to run for office. His opponent has not. No one could mistake him for the messiah, but Romney could be a pretty good chief executive for the federal government. And that’s saying a lot.

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Against all odds, Romney is feeling like a winner.

Even as polls show him trailing, albeit narrowly, in most battleground states, Romney has seen the final chapter of his 20-year quest for the presidency take on a cinematic quality. He’s speaking, for the first time, to huge, zealous crowds. His rhetoric has gotten loftier, and his voice often takes on the tone of a true believer as he declares that his campaign “has become a movement.”

“This is exciting,” the candidate exclaimed at one point. “Isn’t this exciting?”

“To a lot of us who are exhausted just because we have long days like this, you know, we feed off his energy,” Madden said. “Right now, I think he’s just in a really great place and he’s enjoying this.”

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I’m going to make my predictions on this race based on more than just the polls. Over the past few months there have been many indicators that this race is going to be drastically different from the one we saw in 2008 — Romney’s crowd sizes, volunteer efforts, fundraising efforts, and a change in the Obama campaign from presenting the candidate as an uplifting symbol of hope to presenting him as a beleaguered president trying to claw his way to reelection.

First, I believe Romney will squeeze out a popular-vote win of about two percentage points: 50.5 to 48.5 (I’m assuming about 1 percent of the vote will go third party). This margin will be enough for Romney to win the Electoral College. Just last week, I would have predicted a slightly larger victory, but Hurricane Sandy cut a little bit of the edge Romney had by providing Obama with one last chance to leverage the advantage of the incumbency…

My final Electoral College prediction is 295 for Romney to 243 for Obama. We’ll find out in two days how close I am, but if Republicans come out Tuesday like the party-identification polls from Gallup and Rasmussen have predicted, I feel confident that Romney is going to shock the conventional wisdom set by the media and be announced as the next president of the United States.

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“My sense about this is fairly simple,” Hume said. “We’re looking at a national race, which is, for all intents and purposes, tied. We are looking at a set of state polls in the battleground states that suggests President Obama is leading — he is leading in most of these polls. And most reporters would look at that and say, ‘Well, if that’s the case, it looks like President Obama is going to win.’ And that is what a lot of people think. That is kind of the conventional wisdom.”

“However, a number of those polls have a remarkably large number of Democrats in the sample — more Democrats, in some cases, than turned out by percentage on Election Day four years ago, which was a big year for the Democrats,” Hume continued. “They don’t expect to have as big a year. So, those polls are troubling. Now, it would be unprecedented for this many polls reflecting a similar outcome to be wrong, which is why I think people are reluctant to draw that conclusion. But there’s something wrong here.”

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It’s not enough for the GOP to win tomorrow. It needs to win big, a win so convincing that even the Left won’t be able to explain it away. The definition of victory in war is not a 50.1 percent majority that allows the other side to keep fighting — it’s the battleship Missouri, on whose deck the losing side signs articles of capitulation. The modern Left — the unholy spawn of ’30s gangland and ’60s academic Marxism — must be forced to its knees in surrender.

There’s a honored place in our political system for a leftist party, one that pushes for improvement in areas that need improving, but not one devoted to revolutionary “fundamental change.” A vote for Romney tomorrow is a vote against the socialist elements that seized control of the JFK/Scoop Jackson Democratic party in 1972, and has worked against America’s best interests ever since. A vote for Romney tomorrow is a vote for a restoration of the old Jacksonian — Andrew, that is — Democratic party, a true populist party shorn of its Communist accretions that is every bit as all-American as the other guys. Unless and until this happens, though, the modern donkeys will continue their war on the Constitution, convinced they are on the side of the angels, and taking solace in the late Ted Kennedy’s words, “the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”

It’s up to the electorate tomorrow to show them that the dream is really a nightmare, from which it’s time to awake, that the cause of America always endures, and the work of restoring our founding principles begins anew today.

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Via Daily Rushbo.

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