While I don’t like to count the chickens before they hatch, the Romney campaign’s level of desperation and flopsweat is telling.

Headline #1: Romney, Business Allies Finish With Strong Argument: Vote With Us, Or You’re Fired.

Romney himself urged conservative business leaders this June to “make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections.”

Before the Supreme Court’s 5-4 Citizens United decision, it would have been illegal for a boss to tell an employee that “their job and their future” was on the ballot on Election Day. But the court now considers such electoral pressure an expression of free speech.

“Nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business, because I think that will figure into their election decision, their voting decision,” Romney told the business owners associated with the National Federation of Independent Business, a political organization closely aligned to the Republican Party.

This bullying tactic by the GOP and its backers is nothing new. The horror of Citizens United and “corporations are people” result is what makes this brazen act grotesque. But again, it’s because this party simply cannot run on its ideas — and believes it cannot win on them. Gaming the system is all they have left.

Headline #2: Romney Skips Presidential Youth Debate.

In an epic show of confidence, Mittens bags an event that no nominee has skipped out on since 1996. The President’s video response has been up at the org’s web site, with no response from the Romney camp.

The non-partisan civic- and youth-engagement organization has allowed younger Americans across the country

to ask the questions that matter to them to the presidential candidates. Indeed some of the questions — including one on youth unemployment — appear to be teed up for Romney to answer, but he declined to participate according to the group.

The organization’s statement is below:

In June both President Obama and Gov. Romney were invited in the hope they would both take this opportunity to address millions of young people about the issues that are most important to them. Unfortunately, despite our efforts over a four-month period, Gov. Romney declined participation. He is the first and only candidate in our 16-year history to decide not to answer the questions young Americans chose as most important through the Presidential Youth Debate. With Millennials being the nation’s largest potential voting bloc, we’re still very much hoping Gov. Romney might change his mind and provide his responses via video or even as text anytime before Nov. 6th, so young Americans can cast an even more informed ballot in the Election.

Headline #3: Romney Campaign, Karl Rove Framing Hurricane Sandy For Possible Election Day Defeat.

So, if Mittens goes down to defeat on Tuesday, here’s the pre-fab excuse for the bellyflop – not because the GOP candidate is a compulsive (and easy to prove) liar with has no feasible, realistic plan to offer the country as an alternative to the guy already in the big chair.

Romney’s allies also began to point prematurely at the timing of Sandy. Republican strategist Karl Rove called the storm the “October Surprise” and argued it had been disadvantageous toward Romney in an interview with The Washington Post on Friday.

“If you hadn’t had the storm, there would have been more of a chance for the [Mitt] Romney campaign to talk about the deficit, the debt, the economy,” Rove said. “There was a stutter in the campaign. When you have attention drawn away to somewhere else, to something else, it is not to his [Romney's] advantage.”

…Putting all campaigning aside, Christie repeatedly commended Obama’s outreach and support in a rare show of bipartisanship — the kind the president has been promising to pursue if he wins a second term. Earlier on Saturday, Politico reported that the Romney campaign was frustrated by Christie’s recent show of affection for Obama, another sign that they felt their candidate had been placed in a losing position on account of the storm.

One can only imagine the cursing and swearing at the mere sight or mention of Christie in GOP quarters this week — “frustration” has to be an understatement. I was waiting for Fox News to declare that the NJ governor had been replaced by a pod person.

What I refuse to believe is that the GOP, Rove and the right-wing talking heads will simply blame the storm — they will want someone’s head for losing an election they thought they had in the bag.

But they still have funny business at the polls in key states to hold out hope for – everyone get your posteriors out and VOTE. (All those races downticket matter!)