Sunday, September 30, 2012

Obama vs Romney: Oct 1 Update

As of today, we're looking at a runaway slam-dunk for President Obama over Mitt Romney by an electoral vote of 348-190.

Romney's verbal gaffes and inability to connect with average Americans has seriously hurt any chances he had to pick off important swing states. In fact, it would be fair to say that the election is being lost by Romney more than it is being won by Obama: we expect many normally-Republican voters to just sit this one out in disgust. 

Ironically, it was Obama who feared a stay-at-home electorate earlier in the campaign, as progressive democrats grew increasingly disappointed by the President's military and environmental policies.  But Romney's penchant for embracing wealthy voters in overt and naïve ways - exacerbated by his wife's general cluelessness - has seen his poll numbers slide in almost every region of the nation.

In fact, President Obama is not polling appreciably better anywhere than he did last election, or than in the last few months; rather, Romney voters have begun to desert him and have decided to stay home, vote for a third party candidate, or remain undecided.

In key swing states -  Florida, Ohio, Virginia, New Hampshire, and North Carolina - Obama has clearly pulled ahead.  States viewed by some in the media as 'swing,' such as Colorado and Wisconsin, were never really in doubt at all and are solidly in the Blue column.

In this month's edition, we also move a few more electoral votes to the Democrats: Iowa, which we had felt confident would go red, is now blue again; and Nebraska - which divides its votes based on Congressional Districts - is likely to give one vote to Obama, in spite of the Republican's successful gerrymandering of Omaha during last years' redistricting.

And, we make note of three more states that are within the pollster's margins of error, but which should be reliably red: Georgia, Montana, and Arizona. We are keeping these in the Republican column for now, but if Romney continues to make these out-of-touch gaffes during the October debates, and if Obama finds a bit more mojo, the Republicans could be looking at losing even these previously safe red states.

I also am going to go out on a limb to make another prediction:  overall turnout will be low.  Many Americans remain unenthusiastic about both candidates. While some (including yours truly) will cast their vote for a third party candidate, many will stay home.  The election will be determined by degrees of disappointment, rather than degrees of enthusiasm.

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