Make no mistake about it: Democrats are panicking. Karen Tumulty in the Washington Post is the latest example in the media. But they’re all writing stories now that Democrats are waking up in the morning now and for the first time confronting the real possibility — in fact, some are even calling it a likelihood — that Obama could lose. And they’re contemplating this for the first time. They’ve never, ever — up ’til now, up ’til last week — thought it possible Obama could lose.

Well, Obama’s down two points in North Carolina. Obama only won that state by 12,000 votes. Some of the polling data out of North Carolina has Obama down significantly among black voters. Now, let me give you a caveat: I’m nervous citing polling data in June about an election in November. And even Obama himself is doing his Alfred E. Neuman impression. He says, “Oh, I’m not worried. Most people aren’t even paying attention now,” and he may be right about that. I’m not so sure, though.

As destructive as his policies have been — as miserable as people are, as hopeless as the situation looks — I think more people are paying attention than would be normally at this time in an election year. Normally, the mass population starts tuning in after Labor Day, starts building up during the conventions. I think we’re ahead of that. The Tea Party’s evidence of it. These people were never involved in politics before, and started getting involved three years ago. I think more and more people are paying more and more attention.

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