Monday, November 05, 2012

Election prediction

A number of months back I predicted Barack Obama would win the presidency pretty easily. That might not have been the smartest thing I've ever written because anything can happen in politics, including the president taking a nap during the first debate in Denver.

Still, I stick by my prediction. I think President Obama gets a second term once all the votes are counted tomorrow. I wouldn't be shocked if he lost the popular vote, mind you. Turnout is going to be low in New York and New Jersey because of the hurricane, Florida appears to determined to make itself into an electoral punchline again and there are rumours turnout in California could be low because the president is up by as much as 20 per cent over Romney in some polls.

Oh, and by the way, while I really do try and see both sides of an argument, Romney would be a disaster as a president. And I still maintain my argument that President Obama has done a remarkable job given the challenges. Not a perfect one. There are things that could have been done better. But I think he's done a good enough job to get another four years. With no reelection to worry about, hopefully he'll take a few more chances on the environment and energy policy.

Having said that, I think I should make my prediction over how many electoral votes he gets. Now, each candidate has certain states locked in. They are:

Obama: Washington, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Illinois, Hawaii, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland, Washington DC.

Romney: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, Indiana.

So that leaves the toss-up states. And this is where pundits start going on about how tight it is. Except in most cases it seems like those states have also made up their minds. Of the remaining battleground states, I'd break it down like this:

Obama: Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, New Hampshire, Virginia, Florida
Romney: North Carolina

So if that happens, the final electoral college total would be Obama - 332, Romney - 206

Not as big as 2008, but still not bad a margin of victory. I could be wrong on a couple of those, particularly Colorado, Virginia and Florida, but I don't think so. A lot of people have been making a big deal about the impact of Hurricane Sandy, about how Obama looked presidential and having the Republican governor of New Jersey standing by his side saying nice things helped him. Which may well be true. But I think Romney's comments about reducing FEMA to the point of giving disaster and emergency relief to private companies gave people in some key states - like Virginia and Florida - some pause.

Aside from it being a mostly dumbass idea, both of those states regularly suffer emergency situations. It doesn't require much digging back into history to find occasions where FEMA was needed to help with hurricanes. Even in mid-west states such as Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa - which were close up until this week - FEMA has played a large roll helping after tornadoes.

So yes, there will be drama tomorrow night, like who controls the Senate and the House. I'm really hoping Michele Bachman, as loathsome a human being that walks the earth, loses her House seat. But I predict the drama over who wins the presidency will be over relatively early in the evening.

Last Five
1. Dead leaves the dirty ground - White Stripes
2. Monday morning - Death Cab for Cutie
3. Square one - Coldplay
4. My Oklahoma home (live) - Bruce Springsteen*
5. Foot shooter - Frightened Rabbit

1 comment:

John, Perth AU said...

Now what, Nostradamus?