I don’t want to beat this to death, but I’m really struck this week by the premature excitement of Republicans based on a random poll or two, which is now extending into anticipatory schadenfreude, as they happily imagine Democrats agonizing over Obama’s impending defeat.

At the risk of spoiling their fun, I’d commend conservatives to a quick reading of the latest Gallup finding on who Americans think is going to win the presidential election. 81% of Democrats, 58% of independents, and even 24% of Republicans, think Obama’s going to win. The percentage of Democrats who think Romney will win–the presumed subject of all this gloating over Obama supporters giving up all hope after the soul-crushing experience of reading a CBS/Times poll–is at 12%.

To be clear, none of this matters in terms of the actual outcome of the election, particularly this far out when decisions to vote or not to vote haven’t been made. But Republicans are really wasting their time if they spend much of it fantasizing over the alleged despair of their opponents.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.