November 6, 2012 2 Comments
It’s finally election day. It seems like this election has gone on forever. In some ways it has, the first Republican debate was 18 months ago. Since then we’ve the GOP love everyone in our primary but Romney, our unloved candidate win the nomination and a terrific first debate performance. We’ve discussed polls, wars on women, the economy and a convenience store chain called Wawa. Now we get to go vote and put this madness behind us once and for all. That we’ll be entering a new madness beginning tomorrow, regardless of who wins, matters not today.
Most of the national polls are near ties, even the ones with ridiculous D+11 samples such as the CNN poll released yesterday. But of course we don’t elect a President based on the popular vote, we elect him based on elections in 50 individual states. In those polls Obama is up in nearly all of the swing states. He’s up in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and Minnesota. He’s even up in Virginia. The only swing states Romney has a lead in are Florida and North Carolina.
There are two ways to look at the polls. The pollsters believe that the electorate is more likely to look like 2008 than Republicans would like. Nationally the 2008 campaign was 38% Democrat and 31% Republican or D+7. The 2010 election was even at 35% for each party. Each state had its own split between Democrats and Republicans in each election. For example in 2008 Ohio was D+8 while in 2010 it was R+1. Most of the swing state polls have been closer to the 2008 electorate than the 2010 electorate. Admittedly some of the media polls have been wildly more pro-Democrat this year than the wave election of 2008. So there is some reason to question the accuracy of some of the polls.
The Republicans allegedly have their own set of polling which shows them ahead in nearly all the swing states. Presumably that polling either has a sample that is even or perhaps R+1 or R+2. In order to get there the GOP pollsters are assuming that enthusiasm will drive more Republicans to the election and that the electorate is more likely to look like 2010. There are others who think the GOP could win a tsunami election, where our voters simply aren’t getting polled and the result tonight will be surprisingly Republican.
Michael Barrone believes Romney will win 323 electoral votes. Glenn Beck agrees and thinks the nation is entering the Third Great Awakening, which would be odd considering Romney is a Mormon cultist. In order to get to 323 electoral votes for Romney you have to assume that not as many Democrats will show up to vote and more Republicans will show. The latter is likely true. Republicans hated John McCain and many didn’t vote for him including yours truly. This time around Romney may not be loved but most Republicans who refused to vote for McCain will begrudgingly vote for Romney.
But we also have to assume the Democrats don’t show up in force like they did in 2008. While there is some anecdotal evidence that they aren’t as enthused with Obama anymore, to ever question the Democrats get out the vote efforts is fatal in a campaign. Obama will get his people to the polls, there’s no question about it. The question is whether Republicans can get more of their people out and whether independents can make up the difference in the final tally.
Unfortunately for Romney and the Republicans there aren’t enough of us to beat Obama. It will be closer than 2008. Romney will win Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, all Obama states in 2008. He will pull out a win in Colorado. That brings his electoral vote count to 257. Unfortunately Romney isn’t going to win Ohio, Obama’s ground game is to strong there. Pennsylvania is a pipe dream for the Republicans, it’s a sign of desperation that Romney is campaigning there. Wisconsin will be won by Obama, though it will be much closer than 2008. Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada will all go Obama.
Obama is going to win today 281-257. The GOP rank and file will have to ask ourselves whether we should ever trust an establishment moderate with our nomination. In fact, we should ask ourselves if the GOP should even remain as a party if it can’t beat a President as bad and ineffective as Obama. I hope I’m wrong in my prediction, for the sake of the country I hope I’m wrong. But all of the polls will have to be wrong to the point of being wrong to a fault. They’re so consistent, even when we discount the wildly inaccurate D+11 polls in Ohio there’s a D+4 (which is reasonable there) showing Obama winning. We’ll now have to deal with a second Obama administration.