Is this election really too close to call? Not if you listen to many pundits, prognosticators and political analysts in the media these days. They all think it is going to be a blowout. The problem is many think it will be Obama winning by a landslide and many others thinking it will Romney winning by a landslide. I can’t remember a major election where opinion was so divided so close to the election. A lot of people who have called this race are going “All In”, one way or another that declaring that either Obama or Romney will win easily.
Those calling for a decisive Obama victory include Nate Silver, author of The New York Times 538 political blog, former Dem campaign manager Bob Shrum, CNBC’s Jim Cramer .
Those calling for a Romney blowout include former campaign manager Dick Morris, talk show host Rush Limbaugh, political analyst Michael Barrone and two Political Science professors (Kenneth Bickers and Michael Berry) from the University of Colorado.
I am particularly interested to see how the professors do. Their election forecasting model, which uses economic data from each state to predict how each state will vote (good econ data favors the incumbent and vice versa), has correctly picked presidential winners, both Republican and Democrat, since 1980.
Obviously, all these people can’t be right.
I think one of the following three scenarios will unfold:
1) Obama wins by a narrow margin. Obama holds all the traditional Blue states and takes just enough of the Swing states to put him over the 276 electoral votes he needs to win.
2) Romney wins by a narrow margin. Romney wins the Red states he needs, plus most of the Swing states and one or two Blue states that were considered safe for the Democrats.
3) Romney wins by a landslide. Romney runs the table on the Swing states and takes a number of other big states that would normally be considered safe for Democrats, such as PA, MN and OR.
I am indeed a little biased, I will admit that I want Romney to win and of the three scenario’s I outlined above I think #2 is most likely, although I will gladly take #3 also. However, will I be shocked if Obama wins? Not at all. If Obama wins by a landslide, with 300 plus electoral votes I will be very surprised because I just think he is going to lose too many independents this time around to make a landslide for him possible. However, Obama is the incumbent and that makes him difficult to defeat, even though his first term has not met the expectations of even many of his supporters. The vast majority of the main stream media have been pro-Obama/ anti-Romney and that gives Obama a significant edge. Without the support of MSM Obama would no chance in my opinion, but he does have it and that give him a big advantage.
POST ELECTION REVIEW
Barack Obama 303 Electoral Votes* 60,788,910 Popular Votes
Mitt Romney 206 Electoral Votes 57,894,038 Popular Votes
*Not including Florida (EV’s for Florida still being determined).
Well, I was obviously wrong about the outcome of the presidential race, although in my defense I would point out that I did think that there was a distinct possibly that Obama could win (see my post above).
I did not think Obama would win by a landslide, but he did win over 300 electoral votes, which can reasonably be called a landslide. However, Romney fared much better in the popular vote count, losing by only 3 million votes. That relatively small difference is frustrating. This race was winnable for Romney in my opinion. Romney lost a few states by very small margins, such as Ohio (lost by 1.9%) or Virgina (lost by 3.0%). A few other states were lost by 6 percent or less.
I haven’t come to totally firm conclusions about Obama’s victory because I’m still looking at voting data and reading post election postmortems from a variety of different sources. However, my initial reaction to the race’s outcome would include the following:
In retrospect, I think Romney should have more aggressively attacked Obama’s positions on major issues and his qualifications. Romney and his team seemed to rely too much attacking on the poor performance of the economy during Obama’s 1st term.
I also think Romney’s campaign was too slow to respond to some Obama campaign’s attacks on Romney and when they did the defense was often less then vigorous (Such as the attacks on Romney’s former company Bain Capital).
Unfortunately, I think Obama’s campaign team was more aggressive and effective. I can’t say I admire them, but they obviously figured out how exploit Romney’s weak points and craft a strategy that delivered the states they needed to win.