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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

2012 GENERAL ELECTION PREDICTION, 28 DAYS TO THE ELECTION



Here at Michael’s Rant, we will be offering predictions on the following: the Presidential Race, Senate, key US House Races, and any other important elections taking place in 2012.

The Presidential race predictions will come out every Tuesday and Friday until the final one will be released on 6 November 2012 at 12:00 PM CT. Other races will come out as more polling data comes out and we get closer to Election Day 2012.

With this first prediction on the Presidential Election, I have decided to indicate which states I feel that could decide the election and a more detailed description of the race. We are at the stage in the election where voting has begun in a few states and we have better polling data to make a better conclusion.

Let’s go to the map!





The probability of a state trending towards one candidate to another is from Nate Silver’s blog. I am also looking at other sources such as Real Clear Politics, the Huffington Post, 270towin.com, Intrade, Talking Points Memo Poll Tracker, Public Policy Polling, Gallup, and whatever I see come across my Facebook/Watts News Network feed.

The best way to look at the Electoral College map is to divide the toss ups into four categories: Eastern Four, Trending Blue, Western Two, and Ideal.

EASTERN FOUR

The Eastern Four is self explanatory. These are four state located mainly in the Eastern Time Zone.

EASTERN FOUR
EVs
538 odds Obama win %
Poll Tracker
Real Clear
Florida
29
46.2
Obama +0.6
Romney +0.7
Ohio
18
72.0
Obama +1.9
Obama +0.7
North Carolina
15
19.7
Romney +2.1
Romney +3.0
Virginia
13
58.1
Obama +2.4
Obama +0.3

First, Florida…



Enough said.

This has been America’s bellwether since 1996. The candidate that won Florida has won the Presidential Election in the last four contests. In 2000, the difference of 537 votes in that state resulted in Florida giving its electoral votes, which was 25 at the time, to George W. Bush and made him President in the fourth closest election in US History.

An observation about the demographics of this state is that the further South you go, the further North you are and vice versa. The Miami Metro area is made up of transplants from the Northeast and the northern half and Panhandle of Florida closely resembles Alabama and Georgia. There was a similar observation about Florida’s demographics during the Republican Primary as Romney won in the more populous areas while Gingrich won in the rural areas.

The dividing line between the two regions of Florida: Interstate 4 running from Tampa, through Orlando, and ending in Daytona Beach.

Expect both candidates to make frequent appearances in this state and political ads to run in the Tampa, Orlando, and Miami area television markets. In addition, both candidates will make appeals towards the large Hispanic community. In 2008, then-Senator Obama won the state’s Hispanic vote 57-42. In the 2010 Senate Election, Hispanics went for Marco Rubio by a 10 point margin. Whoever can court this group in Florida (and nationally) will win the election.

State politics in Ohio have recently entered the national consciousness. To counter the long lines that possibly turned many voters away and gave George W. Bush a second term as president in the 2004 election, Ohio expanded early voting hours. The result was higher turnout results, especially in the African-American community, and an Ohio victory for Obama.


In 2010, many state governments, especially Ohio, voted in more Republicans at the state level. That has led to the state changing their voting laws. In Ohio every county board of elections is made up of four people: two Democrats and two Republicans. In the counties that McCain won in 2008, the board unanimously agreed to expand voting laws. However, in the counties that Obama won in 2008, the vote was split 2-2. In the event of a tie, it is broken by the Secretary of State.

The Ohio Secretary of State is Jon A. Husted and he is a Republican.

Want to take a guess where he voted on expanding voting hours in places like Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland?

For a while it looked like Ohio was going to have a patchwork of voting hours where if you live in County A you had normal voting hours, but if you lived in County B your voting hours were reduced.

So, possibly in an act of compromise, the Secretary of State said: we’re reducing early voting hours across the state and no early voting the Sunday before the election.

The Court System, however, said: Nope, you can’t do that.

For now it appears that Ohio’s voting laws are intact, but don’t be surprised of the tactics that Republicans at the state level will deploy to keep the vote down. This is one of the many states that Mitt Romney needs to carry.

In fact, no Republican has ever won the White House without carrying Ohio. This goes back to 1856 when a Republican candidate was on the ballot for President.

I have seen Obama’s odds of carrying the Buckeye State moving upward to 84.2% per Nate Silver. It’s probably because of the Obama administration’s efforts to revive manufacturing in that state is having an effect on its economy. The probability that the state provides the decisive electoral vote is 43.1%, which is the combination of chances of Virginia, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Florida being the deciding state.

Up next is Virginia and North Carolina with 13 and 15 electoral votes respectively. These states were part of the Obama 2008 Campaign strategy of expanding the map: go in places where a Democratic Nominee for President hasn’t won in several cycles.

North Carolina went for a Democratic Presidential candidate for the first time since 1976; for Virginia, you have to go back to Lyndon Johnson’s landslide victory in 1964.

It is believed that Virginia and North Carolina are not so much in the South but viewed to be more like the Mid-Atlantic in terms of demographics. The sudden swing from going for George W. Bush in 2004 by an 8-point margin to going for Barack Obama in 2008 by almost that same margin was almost unexpected.

Could these states be part of a new victory path for Democrats by heading south? It remains to be seen in part because of the strength of the Republican Party in the south.

Virginia might have a better chance of going blue in 2012 than North Carolina because a fairly recent Washington Post poll shows an 8 point advantage for Obama in the Old Dominion State. Plus it is an easily accessible state from DC for Obama to campaign in. Another factor is the impact of third party candidates. Virgil Goode represented VA-5  from 1997-2009 first as a Democrat, then Independent, and finally as a Republican. He is now running for President on the Constitution Party ticket. Polls show that when Goode is included, Obama wins the state with a more comfortable margin. There are reports that the Romney campaign is challenging his access to the ballot in key states like these because of the potential of Goode taking potential votes away from Romney.

Women’s issues are in view in this election… especially in Virginia with Governor Bob McDonnell signing a controversial bill that requires a woman seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound via a vaginal probe. There seems to be a trend in this election of unpopular Republican policies implemented at the state level playing a factor in national politics. Per Talking Points Memo Poll Tracker, Obama leads Romney by 7.5 points among women voters.

Last time I checked, 50% of potential voters are women…

Segue here for a minute; the other race to watch is for the US Senate. Jim Webb, elected in 2006, is retiring. The candidates are Tim Kaine, former Governor and DNC Chair. The Republicans in Virginia chose their candidate by primary election in George Allen, another former Governor and US Senator from Virginia serving from 2001-07.

Hmmm… George Allen, that name sounds familiar… his father was coach of the “Over the Hill Gang” Redskins in the 1970s… his brother is the current GM of the Redskins… maybe I type into youtube to find out more…


Anyways…

The Democratic Party held their convention in Charlotte, NC. While I saw some awesome shots and some of my friends there, I am not as optimistic of North Carolina going blue. It has gotten better to where TPM is classifying the Tar Heel State as a Tossup, but if Obama wants to keep this state in November his re-election team in North Carolina has to get out the vote.

Like Virginia, Social Issues are at the forefront in North Carolina. President Obama came out against an amendment that banned same-sex marriage in that state and then announced his support for Marriage Equality.



TRENDING BLUE

TRENDING BLUE
EVs
538 odds Obama win %
Poll Tracker
Real Clear
Pennsylvania
20
93.1
Obama +4.4
Obama +6.0
Michigan
16
95.7
Obama +6.9
Obama +6.0
Wisconsin
10
81.2
Obama +8.5
Obama +6.6
Iowa
6
65.6
Obama +2.4
Obama +3.2
New Hampshire
4
80.0
Obama +10
Obama +6.0

Why is there no Trending Red category?! It’s some kind of liberal conspiracy plot!!!

My criteria for a Trending State (again, using Nate Silver’s figures) is a state that is greater than 50.0% and less than or equal to 80.0% (50.0% < x ≤ 80.0%). It’s a very broad category, I know, but for simplicity this is my criteria.

There is only one state that is classified as Trending Red and that is North Carolina (again, we talked about North Carolina in the Eastern Four category, remember).

As you go further down the list of least likely Obama states (or most likely Romney states, depending on your point of view), Montana is next with a 1 out of 8 chance Obama wins the state. Missouri, which barely went for McCain in 2008, gives Obama an 5.0% chance of win. Of the states likely to go to Romney in 2012, 21 states have a 90% or higher chance.

Indiana, which went for Obama in 2008, has a 97.4% chance of going for Romney this cycle. That probably why it’s safe to assume Obama will lose at least one state he won in 2008 in this upcoming election.

I am certain there are many reasons why there are so many Trending Blue states vs. Trending Red states. It probably has to do with party strength at the state level, other state politics, demographics, and other issues. I’ll save that for another time and place.

So… Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is defined as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in the middle.

Republicans have had electoral successes in gubernatorial, US House, and US Senate races over the last 20 years. When it comes to Presidential races… Republicans have been on a 5 game losing streak in that category.

And they are looking to change that.

Republicans nominated Romney because he resonates so well with working class voters and he has promised to revive the state’s unstable manufacturing base.

Pennsylvania Republicans in the state legislature introduced Voter ID for this purpose:


That’s the real reason why Republicans are pushing for Voter ID laws across the country.

Not only so that Romney will win, but also suppress the vote to keep “certain people who might be Democrats” (code for: minorities, college students, anyone under 35), make it difficult to obtain the paperwork so that people don’t bother, and to discourage voting so that turnout is low that continues to increase the cynicism in our political system.

For now, Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law has been haulted, but it would not shock me if there are other tricks up their sleeves.

Another state that I have in this category is Michigan, the state that Mitt Romney’s father George was governor was in the 1960s. Polling before the conventions showed that Michigan was a toss-up, but it has since rescinded to Likely Obama in recent weeks.

Perhaps it was this reminder to the voters of this NY Times article that Mr. Romney wrote in November 2008 titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” that has caused the state to remain to Obama’s column.

Recent polling in Wisconsin is showing that Obama has an advantage in those states. So much for the “Favorite Son” factor with the pick of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

One of the questions that arose with the selection of Paul Ryan as Vice President is this: How many statewide elections has Ryan participated in? Zero. He was elected to the US House out of WI-1 in 1998. It’s a rather safe Republican district in a Democratic leaning state.

Speaking of the “Favorite Son” factor, let’s talk about the state that Mr. Romney was governor of: Massachusetts. There is no chance in hell that Romney will win this state. And it appears that his popularity as governor was greatly inflated.

The best chance Romney has of winning a New England state is New Hampshire and even those chances are fading.

Even though 270towin.com and Talking Points Memo Poll Tracker has previously shown the state listed as a tossup, Nate Silver gives Obama an 80.0% chance of winning. Despite its leanings towards Democratic candidates in the last two Presidential elections, in the last two GOP Presidential Primary races the state selected the eventual nominee of the party.

Do I think that New Hampshire will go for Romney? Well anything is possible, but the definitive answer is no. As I stated before, it is hodgepodge of political contrasts. I think it will go for Obama as the modern incarnation of the Republican Party is becoming more driven by rigid ideology.

And I think that is one of the reasons why there are so many more Trending Blue States than there are Trending Red States: the rightward direction of the modern incarnation of the Republican Party is distasteful to Independents and the remaining Liberals and Moderates remaining in the Republican Party.


WESTERN TWO

WESTERN TWO
EVs
538 odds Obama win %
Poll Tracker
Real Clear
Colorado
9
53.4
Romney +1.3
Romney +0.5
Nevada
6
75.2
Obama +1.1
Obama +3.5

Colorado is a land of contrasts. You have the very liberal capital city of Denver where Governor Hickenlooper was the mayor of the city and nearby University of Colorado at Boulder. The city has seen a boom in the medical marijuana industry. Travel south on I-25 and you end up in Colorado Springs home of the conservative organization Focus on the Family.

Nevada has one of the largest Mormon populations outside of Utah and home to Sheldon Aldelson, the billionaire casino magnate who is a Mitt Romney supporter. Like Florida, Nevada went through the brunt of the housing and then economic crisis that took place after 2007.

Even though these states have their differences, they are similar in these aspects. First, they have large Latino populations. Obama has a 40 point lead over Romney among Latinos.

Second, and this is a big one, is the lack of Republican Party organizational structure in Colorado and Nevada. In Chuck Todd’s book How Barack Obama Won, the author highlighted that the Republican Party in the Centennial State is a mess based on observations up to 2008. It was part of the reason why Colorado flipped from red in 2004 to blue in 2008.

Chuck Todd provides some foreshadowing of events to come by stating, “that the pressure to move right is high because of the social conservative powerhouses that reside in Colorado Springs.” Though the rightward move of the Republicans came from the Tea Party and various AstroTurf organizations, Colorado’s GOP saw little success in the major statewide races that took place in November 2010. Former Representative and xenophobe Tom Tancredo ran on the Constitution Party ticket for Governor while Ken Bucks’ “No Abortion Period” stance is what kept Michael Bennett a US Senator and that chamber in Democratic control.

In 2010, The Rachel Maddow Show took the show on the road to see what impact the Tea Party had on key US Senate races and get a local understanding of the races that the Beltway media might miss. One of those races was Nevada and the challenge that Senator Harry Reid was facing in his re-election bid. Many political observers were saying that the incumbent Senator Harry Reid would lose this race and they were right to make that assumption because he was down in the polls and a lot of outside money was pouring into his opponent’s coffers.

Three factors kept Harry Reid in the US Senate: Sharron Angle, large Hispanic turnout, and this observation by Jon Ralston of the Las Vegas Sun put it while being interviewed by Rachel Maddow:

MADDOW: What’s the Sharron Angle turnout infrastructure, if the Republican Party isn’t all that here, what is she -- what is she relying on for turning out votes?

JON RALSTON, LAS VEGAS SUN: Karl Rove.

MADDOW: What?

RALSTON: American Crossroads announced a few weeks ago that they were going to dump a bunch of money into Nevada to help them with get out the vote. And so they have poured some money, my understanding, into the Nevada Republican Party which essentially is a shell corporation. There’s nothing there.

MADDOW: Can you really fly in a get out the vote infrastructure?  Doesn’t it have to be based here? Doesn’t it have to be organic?

RALSTON: I think not only does it have to be organic to be effective, but it can’t be done in just a few weeks.

The reason why the Republican Party is almost non-existent in Nevada traces back to John Ensign. In 2009 it was discovered that as Senator, Mr. Ensign had an extramarital affair. What was damming about it was that Mr. Ensign covered up the affair by paying his lover’s husband off and giving him a lobbying job. Mr. Ensign finally resigned from the US Senate in May 2011 because the scandal would have sunk his political career further.

In 2010 was the competitive US Senate race for Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid’s seat. It wasn’t the only memorable race in Nevada. In the Republican Primary leading up to that race, you had Sue Lowden….


Yup, Politico called it one of the worst campaigns of 2010.

Want to know who she lost to in that race?

Sharron Angle


And again the lack of Republican Party organizational structure in Nevada showed up during the caucuses in February. The billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson helped prop up Newt Gingrich’s failing campaign and after that campaign ended, Adelson became a monetary supporter of Mitt Romney. Adelson was able to get the state party to arrange a special caucus in Clark County (county of Las Vegas) after the scheduled time for Jews that observe the Saturday Sabbath (Adelson himself is Jewish and in addition to his casino business, he owns a newspaper in Israel).

Were there political reasons why Adelson was able to get a change? A cynical person would say perhaps. Adelson was not shy about who he supported in the Republican Primary anyways.

Instead of that caucus being filled with Gingrich supporters, it was crashed by Ron Paul delegates. Even though the Texas congressman finished third statewide, Paul’s finish as the top vote getter in the Adelson Caucus was enough to claim second place in Clark County and 8 delegates statewide.

Colorado and Nevada might look like Battlegrounds from a National perspective, but down at the statewide level it is trending for Obama.


IDEAL

IDEAL
EVs
538 odds Obama win %
Poll Tracker
Real Clear
Georgia
16
0.7
Romney +15
Romney +13.3
Arizona
11
2.3
Romney +7.4
Romney +7.6
Indiana
11
2.6
Leans Romney
Romney +12.3
Missouri
10
5.0
Romney +4.0
Romney +5.2
Montana
3
5.4
Romney +7.7
Romney +10.3

These states are in the ideal category. As shown in the chart in the 538 odds column, Montana and Missouri are the best shot for an Obama win with at least a 5% chance. These states are long shots, but I think it is worth discussing them. Under the right conditions such a record shattering voter turnout from one voting demographic group, key down ballot races that excite voters, or another big Romney blunder that causes Republicans to stay home en masse, they could be swing states.

From what I have seen with the Obama campaign in 2012, it’s more of a defensive position than the offensive position it took when they expanded the map in 2008. Could we see another expansion of the map in 2012? Perhaps. The current Nate Silver odds of Obama winning at least one state he failed to carry in 2008 is close to 20%.

Put to you this way: if I was a gambling man and had $1,000 to spend, I’d put $500 on Obama to win the Electoral College. I’d drop $300 in a pair of three-state teasers of Florida-Virginia-Ohio and Iowa-Colorado-Nevada going for Obama.

$160 would go towards which candidate will cover the spread in certain states. For example in North Carolina, Obama to be within margin of error of Romney (Typical margin of error is +/- 3%). And then whatever money I had left over, I would put $20 each on Arizona and Missouri going for Obama. Again, the odds are long on those states going for Obama but I’d get a payout of about $200 each.

And who among us has played the lottery when it reached some astronomically high figure? Put a dollar down to win $500 million is pretty good return. And if you lose, you knew what the odds were and well, it was only a dollar.

The Show Me State is showing us a lot of crazy lately. Representative Todd Aikn (R MO-2) went on a Sunday talk show and uttered this Neanderthal statement:

“Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

And you could see the Senate race turn from a likely Republican to a lean Democratic…

We’ll save the observations on Senator Clair McCaskill’s re-election chances for another day. This is about Obama’s chances in Missouri.

Missouri was America’s bellwether as the state with one of the longest streaks going for the winning Presidential candidate from 1960-2004. In 2008, the streak ended but just barely as Senator John McCain won with a 0.13% vote margin.

It was listed as a tossup in 2008, but in 2012 it is looking like it will appear in Mitt Romney’s column. The four-year trend from tossup to red has to do with that the Affordible Health Care Act was unpopular among Missouri residents. Senator McCaskill pushed for it knowing that her own re-election chances might be jeopardized. Before Rep. Akin’s comments it looked like Missouri was going to lose; now it has narrowed the Republican’s path to majority in the US Senate.

But maybe victory in Missouri will not be as easy as Romney may think it is.

Rep. Akin’s comments not only changed the Senate race in Missouri, but also had national consequences as voters were reminded of the Republican Party’s views on Women.

Part of the reason why Obama is leading nationally is again he has the support of Women voters. Quinnipiac shows Obama leading 56-38 among Women.

I expect that McCaskill will get a very large percentage of Obama’s voters. The rest of those voters are going to come from people that are going to vote for Mitt Romney. The vote splitting potential where one vote goes for Romney for President and then the other goes for McCaskill for US Senate is very likely in Missouri.

Polls show Romney leads 49.9-45.2. I expect 90% of those that vote for Obama will vote for McCaskill where she is leading 47.4-40.1. According to my math, 13% of Romney voters could vote for McCaskill. It could be possible that a potential Romney voter could cast their ballot for McCaskill, but then remember that the reason why they are voting for McCaskill is because of what Todd Akin said.

Again…. Where does the Republican Party stand when it comes to Women’s Issues?

For Obama to win Missouri, he would need about 70% of Romney voters for McCaskill to change their minds and become Obama voters for McCaskill. This is a difficult task given that the number of voters that remain undecided is getting smaller by the day and it is getting less likely that people are going to change their minds of who they are voting for as we get closer to Election Day.

Montana is like Missouri in that they have a competitive Senate race in 2012 and a track record of voting for Democrats in statewide elections. Governor Brian Schweitzer was elected in November 2004 (Bush won Montana by 25 points) and re-elected in November 2008 (McCain won by 2.2 points). He gained some popularity in April 2011 for his creative veto signature by vetoing bills with a cattle brand. Governor Schweitzer is leading for energy independence in Montana and the creation of a single-payer health care system in his state.

Montana has a slight independent streak when it comes to voting, but the one reason why Obama will not win the state: the influence and power that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has.

Three out of four voters in Montana in 2008 were firearm owners and went for McCain 57-40. The NRA sent out literature claiming that Obama will take your guns. Governor Schweitzer repudiated that falsehood with Obama “ain’t ever going to take your gun away.”

Leading up to 2012, the NRA is sending out literature that says the reason why Obama was lax on guns in his first term is because he is just waiting until his second term to attack.

(eye roll)….

That is just another conspiracy theory that the NRA is peddling in order to conjure up unnecessary and irrational fear in order to drive up sales of firearms.

Moving on…

Georgia might be a battleground down the road. It might also be an example in missed opportunities. In 2008, McCain won the state by 5 points. The race was tightening up as Election Day drew near, but the Obama campaign made a decision to not challenge Georgia. Yeah, Georgia currently has 16 electoral votes which is more than North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa, but would it have been worth it to compete in a state that has little chance of flipping versus competing in a state (like Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia) that has a greater impact on the electoral math?

It would have been a calculated risk to challenge Georgia. You may win Georgia but in return you may lose a key battle ground state because you are concentrating your resources (specifically people and money) in this effort to flip a fairly reliable red state in to the blue column.

Would have an Obama appearance in Atlanta put Georgia as a last second battleground? Obama regularly appearing in Indiana, Colorado, and Virginia definitely helped. An appearance in Georgia might have caused a bounce in Democratic turnout, but I don’t think it would have flipped the state. In part it had to do with maximizing turnout of Black voters. In 2008, Black voters nationally supported Obama 95-4. In Georgia it was 98-2. It is looking like Obama will carry the Black vote again. A National Journal poll conducted from 27-30 September among Black voters showed Obama winning 98-0. Yes, Mitt Romney got ZERO support in that poll.

Georgia could become a battleground someday because at least 2 out of 5 voters that came out to vote in 2008 were college educated. In 2008, Obama carried 20 out of 23 states that had college educated voters at 44% or higher. However, it is hindered by the least number of voters that identify themselves as Liberal and in part that has to do with rise of the coalition of the Republican Party with the Tea Party that strengthened the Republican Party’s hold in the South.

Another state that could be a battleground down the road is Arizona. This could be a trial run for a bigger prize down the road (Texas). In 2008, Senator McCain won the state by 8.5 points. Again, the favorite son factor was in play. Had there not been a candidate from Arizona, I am willing to bet that the Obama Campaign would have made it a goal to make the state competitive.

Arizona has a mixture of an emerging Latino population, far-right politicians that craft draconian policies, and a highly competitive Senate race due to the retirement of Senator John “not-intended-to-be-a-factual-statement” Kyl. Again, I could see some crossover support from Romney supporters for former Surgeon General Richard Carmona but I cannot see it equating to an Obama victory in the state. 2016 is a maybe, but John McCain could run for re-election in the US Senate that year. For now Arizona is in a wait-and-see situation.

One more state that I want to talk about: Indiana. This state surprised me (and others) in 2008 as it went blue for the first time in a long time. Obama did make regular stops in this state last time, but I am not hearing anything about him visiting the Hoosier State.

I think part of the reason why Indiana turned blue in the last Presidential Election was due to the hotly contested Democratic Primary between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. This time around, there was no Democratic Primary, instead we had the sideshow that was the Republican Primary. Nate Silver’s odds of Obama winning the state are low and that is part of the reason why the odds of Obama losing at least one state he carried in 2008 is greater than 95%.

Indiana might be the reddest state among the rust belt states, but it is not a southern state where there are high concentrations of Evangelical Christians. If 2016 produces another highly competitive Democratic Primary, maybe Indiana is in play.

CONCLUSION

Here is my opening prediction.


ELECTION 2012
EVs
Obama
332
Romney
206



It appears that the polls are tightening due to Romney’s performance (or Obama’s lack of performance, depending on your point of view) in the first debate. If there is one thing that is to Obama’s advantage, it is time. Already people in several swing states have already begun voting. Also, Mr. Romney is again, Mr. Romney. He is the stereotypical politician who will say anything just to get elected and as noted, he is trailing badly in several key demographics that are needed to win the presidency.

Even though the national polls are showing a close race, the thing to look at is individual states. Right now, Obama is leading in three of the four states designated the Eastern Four which gives the incumbent a total of 297 electoral votes.

It appears that Obama has lost all the momentum he had coming out of the convention with that first debate. He can regain it again with a strong Biden performance in the Vice-Presidential debate on Thursday Night followed by a better performance in the upcoming Presidential Debate on 16 October at Hofstra University in New York.

This thing is not over yet. There are still a lot of twists and turns before Election Day.

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