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US Politics

Nov 6, 2012

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If you’re a Crikey subscriber, you can observe my reading of the situation here, which concludes thus:

I don’t see any reason to bet against the view shared by FiveThirtyEight and the RealClearPolitics state polling averages: that Obama will win the electoral college 303 to 235, carrying Ohio, Virginia, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada, while falling short in Florida and North Carolina.

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1468 comments

1,468 thoughts on “Presidential election minus one day

  1. Carey Moore

    Nothing I really can say, at the moment regarding the thread’s intent. 303-235 to Obama is what I picked too.

    Interestingly, Nate Silver’s probabilities are now more optimistic than mine. Ironically, he is being accused of all kinds of things by RW hacks… nevertheless, if he is proven right, he will have infinite gloating rights. If proven wrong, he’ll probably need to find a new server for his blog.

    Either way, I find it extremely hard to see Romney pulling a win from here. All of his avenues of victory are being closed off by polls. Qualitatively, Obama has looked like a president during Sandy and not really had anything go wrong for him in the last stretch.

    If Romney wins from here, it really will be one of those once-in-a-lifetime miracle wins nobody foresaw…

  2. Socrates

    I realsie there will be many predictions here and so I will give mine – Obama narrowly in an already polarised contest where remaining undecideds must be few.

    Say Obama by 30 = 298 Obama to 240 Romney for me.

    With the nauseating amount of Super PAC money burying any meaningful policy debate in this election though, I don’t care as much about the result as some here might. I am more interested in the substance: who should win?

    Here my views are not flattering. Romney lacks awareness, competence, and honesty. He is not fit to lead; McCain would have been a better candidate.

    So Obama wins by default. But IMO that is the only way he has won. He has not been very good. Talk about blockages in Congress are true, but sidestep the unpleasant facts that in almost all of the government decision making within his control (judiciary etc) he has been weak. He could have called their bluff on the fillibuster threats when he had a majority in both houses (the “nuclear option”), but didn’t. In the end the democrats wanted to keep their own option to fillibuster in future too.

    Obama has let a generation of the USA’s greatest ever corporate criminals walk away without paying most of what they stole back, let alone go to jail. He has been no Clinton at restarting their economy either. So there has been little quid pro quo in return for the bailouts. Even Bush Snr was tougher on the 1980s corporate criminals post the S&L crisis, than Obama has been on Wall Street. America today is a weaker nation than it was in 2008.

    He speaks well, but hasn’t fought for much till the last 18 months. By then it was too late for over 12 million US unemployed. Their unemployed outnumber our entire workforce.

    IMO Obama will go down as the weakest US president since Carter. Plus the luckiest two term one. In 2008 he got the Bush legacy. In 2012 he got Romney. Gore and Hillary Clinton must inwardly scream with frustration.

    Obama hasn’t been evil or disastrous in the way Dubbya Bush was. But he faced a crisis, and hasn’t delivered.

  3. Von Kirsdarke

    (From the other thread)

    Whew, how does the USA manage to have so many elections on the same day?

    Not only is there the President, House and Senate elections, but there’s a bunch of State elections too, and these are always overshadowed by the Federal ones. Which is a bit unfortunate as the US State laws usually mean more for the individual citizen.

    Speaking of which, does anyone know if they can vote for the President, House, Senate, Governor, State House and State Senate in the same place (just getting different ballot papers like they do here)? Or do they have to drive around town to different voting booths?

    I found this site handy for the predictions of the state legislatures: http://www.governing.com/blogs/politics/gov-latest-chamber-by-chamber-analysis-2012-state-legislative-elections.html

    According to this, the Democrats are likely to lose their hold in Arkansas, but might gain Colorado.

  4. Carey Moore

    [Speaking of which, does anyone know if they can vote for the President, House, Senate, Governor, State House and State Senate in the same place (just getting different ballot papers like they do here)? Or do they have to drive around town to different voting booths?]

    Depends on the state but it can always be done at the same booth. Many states have the one ballot and some states (with electronic voting) allow you to select a straight party vote (i.e. if you select “Democratic” you automatically vote for every Democrat running for any office you can vote for.) The major downside to this system (besides giving your votes to some party candidates you may not want) is that it automatically abstains from any non-partisan race on your ballot.

    Interestingly, I recall an Australian (possibly Whitlam) who wanted all Australian state government elections to be held on the same day (cannot remember whether it was in synch with federal elections or not)

  5. Work To Rule

    303 was my my pick as well – again with Obama failing to carry Florida and NC.

    It seems more likely that the drift back to Obama, in the last week, will pick up Florida than Mitt making gains in the other direction.

    Maybe the GOP will end up regretting their efforts to suppress early voting in Florida.

  6. ShowsOn

    [He could have called their bluff on the fillibuster threats when he had a majority in both houses (the “nuclear option”), but didn’t. In the end the democrats wanted to keep their own option to fillibuster in future too.]
    Well you just wait. Harry Reid has said the filibuster rule will be changed when the new Senate takes over next year.

  7. Carey Moore

    From my post in #1

    [Ironically,]

    That was supposed to read “interestingly”, I do not use “ironically” like that…

  8. guytaur

    “@SamFeistCNN: The first projection: CNN Projects that no candiate wins Dixville Notch, NH! Obama 5 votes, Romney 5 votes. #CNNElection”

  9. Carey Moore

    Except in 2008, Dixville Notch has always gone Republican. A tie there may not be a good sign for Governor Romney…

  10. Work To Rule

    Twitter is alight with extrapolations on the Dixville Notch result – good grief – we’ve got nearly a whole day before we get more substantive results

  11. Paddy O

    I think Florida’s a roughie- firming all the time. What does that do the the math assuming he wins the 303.

  12. Aristotle

    Estimated win probabilities are as follows:

    Nate Silver Obama 92% Romney 8%

    Betfair Obama 79% Romney 21%

    Intrade Obama 68% Romney 32%

    An interesting spread.

  13. guytaur

    “@APCampaign: Residents of 2 NH villages cast first election votes; Obama wins a race, he and Romney tie one. http://t.co/tVdTB2cT #Election2012”

  14. Work To Rule

    Nate Silver is on the Colbert Report tonight – have not seen it yet – but I suspect he’s going to call it for Obama.

  15. Aristotle

    Paddy O,

    While Nate Silver has shifted Florida to be marginally in favour of Obama, on Betfair it is currently Romney 61% Obama 39%, it’s been about 60/40 for a while.

  16. Diogenes

    Dixville Notch a tie.

    Obama won last time. The swing is on in NH!!

    Although I don’t recall Hart’s Location being as strong last time.

    Perhaps there is no swing at all.

    BTW the headline for this thread is wrong.

    It’s D Day already, not minus one.

  17. Space Kidette

    Aristotle,

    But doesn’t betfair simply reflect where the money has been laid?

  18. Paddy O

    And those evil Repugs are trying their best to discourage Dem voters with the poor voting accessibility. How many votes does Florida have?

  19. Aristotle

    SK,

    Betfair is a punters’ exchange and so it reflects the ‘market’s’ opinion of the probability of the outcome of an event via the prices.

    So, yes, the weight of money is the determining factor. It’s the same with bookmakers, although a bookmaker might have an opinion for or against an outcome and so have some influence over the price, but the market forces will usually outweigh this.

  20. Diogenes

    I’m keeping a tab of pundits predicting a Romney landslide.

    So far we have Dick Morris, Michael Barone and George Will in that elite group.

    Karl Rove and Peggy Noonan predict a Romney win but narrowly.

  21. Space Kidette

    Aristotle,

    It will be interesting to see who is ‘on the money’.

  22. Paddy O

    I’ve played with the NYT graphic and am going for Obama 332 Romney 206. After my Melbourne Cup win I have itchy Palms. Great toy can we have one for Australia William?

    http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/electoral-map

  23. Fran Barlow

    I tend to agree. Obama came in in November 2008 with a powerful hand but set his sights very low indeed. He didn’t hold the Repugs to account for the mess they made and failed to push progressive reform. He needed to change the conversation but instead left the Tea Party to play the populist cards. He was and is a huge disappointment, perhaps more so because he seemed to promise a complete break with the Bush era. Instead, he went for “bipartisanship” and continuity.

    Romney of course is a brazen and compulsive liar who can stare down a camera and lie even about his previous lies knowing they are all on youtube without even an Abbott “shit happens” moment. That he can do that makes him extremely dangerous and it would be quite wrong if he were to win. Obama may be a shill, but he’s at least no worse than all of his predecessors.

    That moment at the GOP convention when Romney turned climate change into a punchline — a kind of vermilion rope for corralling the venal, the ignorant and the unhinged to his side and stood there with an expression at once wan, supercilious and condescending really also said something telling.

    Playing populist on local jobs is par for the course, but here’s a liar who thinks a possibly catastrophic reverals in civilised life on the planet is something to joke about. He probably fancies his god will elevate him to heaven before his hair is mussed. Who but a psychopath could pull that off?

  24. Aristotle

    They’re only probabilities.

    Even Nate Silver’s 8% for Romney is a real chance.

    In odds speak, it’s 11/1, which means Romney has 1 chance in 12 of winning. Or, in other words, if the election were held 12 times, Obama would win 11 and Romney once.

  25. Aristotle

    Comment #26 was in response to Space Kidette at #22.

    This is an interesting piece on the US election:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/06/opinion/the-real-loser-truth.html?hp

  26. citizen

    It’s convenient to think of the US presidential elections being held on Melbourne Cup day every leap year. However I remember reading a while ago that the vote is on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Wikipedia (hopefully accurately) describes how this came about.

    So in theory the Cup/election nexus is broken every 28 years?

  27. deflationite

    I still think Romney will win despite Nate now giving Obama a 92% chance of winning (basically saying no contest).

    I will be happy to be wrong but I see it in very simple terms.

    Obama will not be able to garner the same vote he did in 2008.

    There are many reasons for this, the state of the economy and the fact that he has not been good enough for some democrats.

    On the other side I expect the repugs to do a little better. Romney is not the conservative demon many on the progressive side like to portray. He is in fact a middle of the road republican and not in the nutter faction (which is why the nutters did not want him).

    Many people have had a good look at him now and do realise he is middle of the road.

    He also has a lot more money than McCain and a better strategy.

    So overall I think Obama will do a little worse and Romney will do a little better than McCain.

    Which makes it very close.

    I expect the undecided vote to break Romney’s way and get him over the line.

  28. Diogenes

    Aristotle

    As has been commented on earlier, we have reached the era of post-truth politics.

  29. Carey Moore

    I suppose many of us bludgers have decided to allocated RDOs to tomorrow, much to the relief of bosses who are expecting them for today 😉

  30. Diogenes

    Deflationite

    The polls would have to be about 3% biased to Obama across the board for that to happen.

    History shows that polls don’t favour Dem or Repug.

    There would have to be a huge new systemic error in the polls. I’m not saying that’s impossible but its highly unlikely.

  31. deflationite

    [Diogenes

    Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Deflationite

    The polls would have to be about 3% biased to Obama across the board for that to happen.

    History shows that polls don’t favour Dem or Repug.

    There would have to be a huge new systemic error in the polls. I’m not saying that’s impossible but its highly unlikely.
    ]

    I think the repugs actually have a good argument that Democrats are being oversampled in many polls based on 2008 turnout models.

  32. Diogenes

    They use “likely voters” to try and correct for that. It’s worked in other years.

  33. Carey Moore

    At this point, it’s really chicken entrail reading. But, right now, all signs lead to an Obama victory.

    Yes, Romney can pull an upset but it will truly be a big upset!

  34. deflationite

    [Diogenes

    Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    They use “likely voters” to try and correct for that. It’s worked in other years.
    ]

    Like I said, happy to be wrong.

    But I remember so many presidential campaigns in the past where I expected the democrat to do well (based on polling) and they had fallen well short. 2008 was the exception not the norm for american politics for my experience.

  35. deflationite

    I like Nate. But I do not think he is the messiah.

    This article could still be correct and at the same time his 2012 prediction could be completely wrong.

    Stats are great, I live by them on many measures, but they are not the be all and end all.

  36. Diogenes

    It’s certainly possible for Romney to win but its unlikely.

    I tipped very conservatively with Obama winning with 281.

  37. mimhoff

    For what it’s worth I picked Romney in Florida and 303-235 overall for Obama too.

    I saw this interesting prediction linked on Twitter. Based on Nate’s margins, it’s a simulation on how long it will take for each state to be called.

    http://www.the-numbers.com/interactive/newsStory.php?newsID=7747

    In 2008 it was all over when the polls closed in California. This year we’re going to have to wait a long time for the swing states to report in.

  38. Diogenes

    Mimhoff

    If they call FL, NC, VA or OH for Obama, its all over.

  39. poroti

    Carey Moore

    [Nothing I really can say, at the moment regarding the thread’s intent. 303-235 to Obama is what I picked too.]

    Trundling around the Huffpost maps 303 is what I added up to as well.

  40. Carey Moore

    [Mimhoff

    If they call FL, NC, VA or OH for Obama, its all over.]

    Pretty much.

    At this point, a Romney win will be considered a miracle win!

  41. mari

    My friends in USA say 302 to 304 to Obama, so heres hoping

  42. guytaur

    @mashable: What’s Wrong With Ohio Voting Machine Software? http://t.co/4LFgFYAD

  43. guytaur

    @william7424: Nov. 5: Late Poll Gains for Obama Leave Romney With Longer Odds http://t.co/ZKqWX6Dq #alp #auspol

  44. William Bowe

    It appears the Republican early voting lead in Colorado has edged down to 2% from 3% a few days ago, which in relative terms suggests Obama is ahead overall by 3% rather than 2%.

  45. sprocket_

    My pet theory is that Superstorm Sandy has tipped Obama into a comfortable victory.

    Hurricane prone States like Virginia and especially Florida are trending away from Republican, with the clear contrast of Obama behaving like a serious President should, versus the golf playing Bush Jr. And Romney saying he would close FEMA and give it the states to run, on top of making jokes about Climate Change were pure karma.

  46. lefty e

    If international observers were monitoring, I doubt some of these rces would be declred free and fair. You should really think about that, USA:

    Florida:
    [long queues, with some people waiting more than seven hours to vote, and the curtailing of early voting by the Republican-controlled state legislature in circumstances that appear to make it more difficult to cast ballots in areas where the Democrats are strong, have already prompted a lawsuit.]

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/05/florida-eve-us-presidential-election?intcmp=239

  47. sprocket_

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/06/2012-senate-polls-democrats_n_2080906.html?utm_hp_ref=@pollster

    With the Presidency apparently sewn up, the real action will be the Senate race where the Dems might hold on to the majority against all odds.

    And holding the line, or improving in the Reps would give some moral Mo to Obama.

    This may (hoping here) develop into the high water mark of the Tea Party, where it is likely that they will never convince the majority of Americans of their flawed cause.

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