Election 2012

2012 Election Fundamentals: Incumbency, the Ground Game and Ohio

What's Ohio got to do with it?

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oh hi o!

A week out from the election, everyone seems to be a pundit with a conventional wisdom about election fundamentals. My elderly neighbor, a long time Democrat, asked me today who I thought would win the election. I guessed Mitt Romney, telling him the odds are longer for him so it's the gutsier prediction to get right. Nevertheless, we both agreed Obama's the favorite, however slightly. My neighbor gave three reasons for an Obama advantage, mostly right.

The first is incumbency: presidents tend to get re-elected. While three presidents (Bush, Carter and Ford) lost general elections in the last fifty years, the last incumbent president to have been elected to the office, not beaten an incumbent himself and not faced a serious third party challenge to still lose his re-election bid was Herbert Hoover in 1932.

The second is the ground game. While enthusiasm for Mitt Romney's grown significantly since the first debate, the Obama campaign still has one of the most formidable ground operations in recent memory. It could net the president at least two percentage points on election day and is credited for bringing states like North Carolina, Indiana and Virginia into Obama's column in 2008. My neighbor jokingly called them "shock troops," and Democrats, at least, are trumpeting early voting turnout as a favorable sign for them.

The third reason my neighbor gave was Ohio. Ohio has certainly been the closest thing to center stage in this presidential election campaign. No one state voting differently in 2008 would've swung the election, but 2004 hinged on the results in the Buckeye state. John Kerry shared stories about voting irregularities with Hamid Karzai when the Afghan president was threatened by a run-off. The conventional wisdom seems to say 2012 will rest on Ohio too, but I'm not sure how important Ohio will be in a race with as many battle ground states as even conservative estimates indicate (five or six) and both candidates about the same amount of states less one or two away from 270.

Here's an electoral map where Romney wins Ohio (and Virginia and Florida) and still loses the election:

272-266

Here's one where he loses Ohio and wins the election (no Republican has done that):

273-265

For fun, here's what a tie vote that would trigger a contingent election in the Congress that Romney would likely win might look like:

game over

Bonus fun, here's how Gary Johnson winning a few electoral votes could prevent either from getting a majority and also lead to a contingent election, where the House would vote by state delegation from among the three candidates for president:

a compromise candidate in the contingent election?

You can make your own electoral maps via RealClearPolitics.

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  1. the last incumbent president to have been elected to the office, not beaten an incumbent himself and not faced a serious third party challenge to still lose was Herbert Hoover in 1932.

    Yeah, after the start of the Great Depression. No parallels here.

  2. What the hell is a “ground game”? Is that anything like busing homeless and shut-ins to the polls?

    1. It refers to digging up corpses from the ground on Halloween to prepare them to vote.

      1. The Chicago politician’s favorite pastime!

    2. Buying smokes for bums and picking them up off the ground to drive them/carry them to the polling place.

    3. that and voter contacts. preferably in person.

    4. Reason staff (read Matt’s marching orders) confused Obama’s win in 2008 as being the result of some magical “ground game” that they are completely unable to quantify or qualify…not he fact that he was the first black nominee of a major party or the fact that Bush was universally reviled or that fact that McCain was a terrible campaigner or the fact that the economy was in free fall and Obama was a member of the opposing party.

      1. * 106 : various internet bullshit.

        1. the Obama campaign still has one of the most formidable ground operations in recent memory.

          This would be the same “ground game” that has been pushing hard for democrats to vote early.

          http://www.breitbart.com/Big-G…..-advantage

          Gallup yesterday that shows Romney leading Obama in the early vote by a full seven points, 52-45%.

          1. I have a feeling we are going to learn two things on election day; Nate Silver is an idiot, and most of the people who gamble on Intrade are retards.

            1. most of the people who gamble on Intrade are retards.

              and the remaining “some” are members of the Illuminati…of course we will never truly know that let alone find that out.

            2. Nate Silver is pretty smart. And if Romney wins, I am teaching my kids to bunt and steal.

          2. Somalis getting bused to the polls here in OH.

            http://www.humanevents.com/201…..d-in-ohio/

            Although Huff-n-puff disputes.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..50768.html

            1. “Somalis getting bused to the polls here in OH.”

              I hate this town..

      2. Like the Repulbicans can’t call people on election day and bus old people into vote. Who knows what will happen. But any side that is claiming “ground game” and “electoral college” is probably the one losing.

    5. Marshawn Lynch?

      1. This is a place for serious discussion. GET OUT OF HERE.

        1. Maybe you should look in the mirror. In the Mirror Universe.

          1. If you had a PHD, you wouldn’t say such stupid things.

            1. Go back to your tractor pull, John, and take FoE with you. I make more money than you anyway.

              1. Fuck you I like tractor pulls. And you couldn’t afford my tractor anyway.

                1. Is it a diamond-encrusted tractor?

                  1. It has got one of them Allison V12 airplane engines and hydrolic suspension.

                    1. Did you nickname it “Braxton Bragg?”

                  2. You would find my 1954 Ford 650 tractor a formidable enemy.

              2. I thought this whole thing started because you don’t make more money than people.

                I’m starting to feel like I might be the only one here who hasn’t actually been to a tractor pull.

                1. That is right. And it doesn’t count if you go to be ironic Nicole.

                2. You probably are. If you decide to change that, don’t forget your favorite Lynyrd Skynyrd shirt.

                3. Don’t try to understand it, nicole. I sure don’t. And I’m pretty sure I make more money than you. Look, I’ve studied weird internet insults, extensively, and I know these things.

                  1. Duh, I’m sure you do, since as a woman I only make 70 cents on the dollar or something.

                    But don’t worry, your insurance premiums will pay for my free birth control until they pay for my free child-birthin’.

                    1. Warty’s just pissed he don’t got no boobs of his own.

                      Don’t mind him.

                4. I’ve never been, nicole. But I have been to a demolition derby, which is 5000X cooler than a tractor pull.

                  1. I’ve never been, nicole. But I have been to a demolition derby, which is 5000X cooler than a tractor pull.

                    I’ve never been to either, but I can’t imagine a universe where this is not true.

                    I did know an insurance underwriter in Little Rock who liked them, and she was pretty sharp. So I can verify at least one person at the pull was smarter than MNG.

                5. Try to say something substantive for once, nicole.

                6. I’ve never been to a tractor pull, either.

                  1. Cosmotarians, unite!

                    Demolition derby does seem more badass though.

                    1. My dream is to one day attend the greatest possible sporting event known to man: the prison rodeo.

                    2. I bet you uncultured fucks have never been to a rodeo where they have monkeys riding dogs, have you?

      2. I thought your damn fag Seahawks had an actual defense, so I sat Stafford on my FF team. Good thing my team won anyway, or I would taunt you a second time.

        1. I thought so too, them being #1 in the league and all. To be honest, it was an excellent low throw that was basically impossible to stop, so Stafford deserves credit for that. AND THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MARSHAWN LYNCH ANYWAY.

          1. You’re right, Marshawn Lynch is offensive.

    6. Basically. In addition to what Joe M says about the corpses. Just because someone’s dead doesn’t mean they’ve lost the right to vote.

      The dems have traditionally been better than the reps in this regard.

    7. Walking around moey

  3. Unemployment is above 8% and he leads in the poll.

    Romney is the favorite.

  4. Obligatory xkcd.

    The “No candidate has ever…” business has always struck me as more of a framing device for a story than an actual metric.

    1. That’s another great xkcd.

  5. Am I the only person to realize the brilliant Obama decided to spell O-I-H-O along with those three other guys?

    1. I noticed that too. I hope it’s just that they’re idiots, not that the picture was mirrored.

      1. Where’s the mole?

      2. Actually, based on the (from the left) second and fourth guy, they could actually be spelling O-I-H-I, O-A-H-A, or O-I-TOUCHDOWN-O.

        1. Maybe he’s lamenting the sad loss of Touchdown Jesus.

          1. It was destroyed by a lightning strike and subsequent fire on June 15, 2010.

            A lightning fire, huh? You mind telling us where you were the night of June 15, 2010? I don’t recall any thunderstorms in the area.

            1. i was busy training for the olympics and then i was out partying with groupies…cops get lots of groupies ,you know

              hth

        2. They were trying to spell “OAHU” as a joke about his birth certificate.

      3. Either way, it appears that you have two Is in Ohio. So they either can’t spell or the guy on the right of the pic is not making a proper O. Also, the guy on the left appears to be a rather sweaty Obama-bot.

      4. None of them has a shirt pocket, but note which wrist the President’s watch is on. The picture is true.

        1. How do you know he’s not a lefty, smart guy?

          1. Actually, he is a lefty.

            1. SEE?!? SEE?!?

              1. It matters not. He wears his watch on his left wrist.

        2. Google Images confirms. O-triangle-H-triangle had better punish Obama for renaming it.

    2. The pic might be reversed.

    3. It looks more like OIHA, OAHA, or OIHI to me. Maybe he was in Hawaii.

    4. Nope, first thing I noticed. Maybe he thinks OHIO is Hebrew or something.

    5. You may be one of the few people to NOT realize that the photo was reversed, so that in real life Obama was the second from the left.

      Fucking picture developing and publishing, how does it work?

      1. Not so. This was published here in OH when it first happened to loads of guffaws. Yes they got it wrong. Maybe Omaba was reading off his teleprompter in a mirror.

        See, I can do it too.

        1. Just look at the way the shirts are buttoned – the overlapping part is on the subjects’ left side. The buttons show the shirts are male-buttoned. If it were reversed the shirts would look like women’s shirts.

          Maybe none of you guys has ever undressed a woman….

  6. If the polls are any indication, Romney wins the popular vote and still loses the election.

    1. That’s what I’ve been predicting for the last couple weeks.

    2. Which’ll mean we can start rioting and bitching about how that’s impossible, and that rigging the election was what did it? You know, the way Democrats did when Bush won.

      The electoral college, how the fuck does it work?

      1. Nope, that can only happen if Obama loses. I just don’t see a bunch of white collar crackers out in the street burning stuff and saying how they are going to assasinate dat mudderfucker Obama cause he goan take away da EBT card. Nope, don’t see it. If Obama wins, it’s business as usual.

    3. I’d be very surprised if that happened. If it were likely we’d be hearing a lot more about the Electoral College and how important it is to representative democracy and blah blah blah.

      I’ve seen more talk about how racist Americans are, which tells me that many people think Obama is headed for a fall.

      Ground game is important in politics, but motivation is what gets people to the polls. We’ve had our historic black president; how motivated are those people who voted in 2008 (against a staggeringly weak candidate) to send him back? How motivated are those opposed to a second Obama term?

      Those are hard questions to answer before the polls actually give us the answer, thus we get all these stories about reading the tea leaves in Ohio.

      1. Everybody knows Poles are unionized Democrats, so I guess Obama’s going to win.

      2. I’ve seen more talk about how racist Americans are, which tells me that many people think Obama is headed for a fall.

        That’s just bet-hedging. I still think we’re looking at a Romney win in the popular vote and Obama winning the EC. The only reason there aren’t more articles alluding to your first paragraph is because it’s too close to call in too many toss-up states.

        1. I don’t think the popular vote will be close enough to produce that. The thing is that the swing states don’t deviate from the popular vote that much. That is why they are swing states. To get another 2000, they will have be within a percentage point or at most two. And I don’t see that happening. Those swing states will fall Romney.

          1. The thing is that the swing states don’t deviate from the popular vote that much. That is why they are swing states.

            They are swing states because they are close, not because they are representative samples of the national average of voters. Indiana was a swing state last time around, but not this time.

            If Obama runs up the vote in places like Manhattan or Chicago, and Romney in places like Utah and Oklahoma, that doesn’t affect how people in Ohio will vote.

    1. Who the fuck does this Romney think he is? Has that food been examined by the FDA? How does he know what’s in that food? He could be giving out food with too much sodium, for Christs sake! Does he even have the proper permits?

      1. i don’t recall where i saw it, but there was complaints that the food was purchased from wal-mart — and only for a photo-op.

        1. Peak Retard may not exist, but damn, that’s pretty close to it.

        2. Well, there you have it. Better for the poor and homeless to starve than for food to be purchased from that evil Walmart. I mean, who of us haven’t been in a Walmart and witnessed the repression of the slave labor that they retain? You know, those poor folks standing around doing nothing and that if you ask the simplest question about a product, just stare at you with the expression of a milk cow? Well, that’s all a front, at night after store hours, they put them back in chains and beat them while they work all night, without pay of course.

      2. The Red Cross doesn’t want food and clothes, however generous the sentiment behind the Romney campaign buying $5000 worth of food in order to make for a better photo op.

        1. You do realize the Red Cross is not the only organization that does disaster relief?

          1. And that Red Cross is not a government entity with legal authority to order anybody to do anything? Servile bastard.

      3. What an asshole! How dare he act like he cares about helping people out after a natural disaster! Doesn’t he realize that’s what we have TOP. MEN. (aka FEMA) for? /sarc

    2. That should put an end to the myth that MSNBC is an DNC shill factory. It makes even me feel a little bad that I’m not voting for Mittens.

      1. Actually between shit like this and the stupid fucking Obama ads that have been saturating CO lately, I’m actually having a hard time staying true to my conviction to vote for Gary Johnson. Thank God I’ve already filled out my mail in ballot, or else by next Tuesday I would probably end up voting for Mittens just as my own private middle finger to Obama and all his fluffers out there.

        1. Too late for me, I already voted for Gary Johnson. But I appreciate Loki’s sentiment.

  7. Here is another dynamic to look at, where are they campaigning and running ads? When was the last time Obama went to North Carolina or Indiana? Meanwhile both campaigns are taking out ads in Minnesota and Oregon. That doesnt’ strike me as very good for Obama.

    1. I think camp O has shifted into “avoid embarrassment mode.” I just don’t see the Dem talking point that Romney is making a last ditch effort to eke out a win by turning blue states.

    2. Well, maybe–it’s also just as likely that Romney’s looking to spend money in leaners just to force Obama to do the same. Since Mittens has more money to burn, it’s not a bad strategy if he’s trying to keep Obama from dumping everything he has into Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado. Ad time is going to be getting expensive the next few days.

      1. We only have the freedom to do that if you think Virginia and Colorado are in the bag. You don’t see Obama doing the same to Romney in say Missouri or Indiana do you?

        1. Like I said, he doesn’t have as much money to burn as Romney does. Targeting leaners is a good strategy only in that it forces Obama to dump campaign cash needed in more important toss-ups to other venues in order to prevent any possible voter bleed-off that could make it too close to call.

          O’s up by 5% or better in OR and MN, and barring some really damaging November surprise or unexpected turnout ratio, that’s typically too much for an opposing candidate to overcome in the final week. What it can do, however, is get more popular votes and provide a bigger margin should the winner take the EC as well.

          Look at Montana in 2008–there wasn’t a hope in hell of Obama winning that state, but he made several visits during the campaign and got the Team Red margin down to 2.2% when it had been 20%+ during the Bush elections. I’d imagine Romney’s got the same strategy–if he CAN flip it, great, but if not, you force your opponent to counter you in a “safe” state and distract him from more important battlegrounds.

    3. Romney is doing a head fake/hail Mary in states like Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Oregon. Why? Because Obama is probably going to win Ohio and quite possibly Virginia (and Florida is a total toss up). Indiana was a surprise last time and Obama won’t get it this time and hardly needs it. North Carolina is trending in Obama’s favor, though.

      I get that you look at reality not dispassionately and objectively, but skew whatever facts or probabilities necessary, via conspiracy theories, to believe in the outcome you want. Will you just promise not to bitch and moan when the election turns out pretty close to what all the models out there are predicting (as they have been doing regularly in recent years with increasingly sophisticated modeling)?

      1. Because Obama is probably going to win Ohio and quite possibly Virginia (and Florida is a total toss up). Indiana was a surprise last time and Obama won’t get it this time and hardly needs it. North Carolina is trending in Obama’s favor, though.

        Romney’s currently up in VA, by 1.3% in FL, and 3.8% in NC, and Iowa’s trending down. Sure, it looks like Obama will probably take Ohio (it’s now above 2%) but these claims are just wishcasting.

      2. I have no intention of bitching about which statist wins. I’ve already voted for Johnson.

        I would, unlike you, not be surprised if most of the election MODELS turn out to significantly deviate from objective reality enough to incorrectly predict an Obama win.

  8. It’s like 2010 never happened (yeah, I know presidential elections are different than congressional).

    1. Anything short of an electorate that looks like 08 and Obama is toast.

      1. What is that even supposed to mean? Obama’s 2008 landslide or Romney wins? Why?

        1. It means John thinks that enough Obama voters from 2008 will either stay home or switch to Romney (or Johnson) to swing enough 2008 Blue states to the Red column to result in a Romney win.

          A bit of hyperbole on his part — somewhat Redder 2008 turnout could still be an Obama win — but that’s John for you.

          Are you that obtuse that you couldn’t decipher that?

          1. But clearly there is a large spectrum between the 2008 turnout and Obama losing this election–he had a landslide that year. John said something that makes no sense. If I seem obtuse it’s only because I’m not acknowledging that “that’s John for you.”

            1. 2008 wasn’t neck and neck, but neither was it a landslide. Landslide was Reagan – Carter in 1980.

          2. It means John thinks

            No it means John has read Dick Morris:

            http://thehill.com/opinion/col…..-landslide

            Is he right?

            No idea…but i have to say it is better analysis then the “ground game” bullshit from the above article.

  9. http://www.thesmokinggun.com/d…..kid-687452

    It is the Hangover’s world. We just live in it.

    1. In response, Webb allegedly pointed his taser at the boy and said, “Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police.” The 44-year-old cop then fired his Taser X26 model.

      you reason bigorati need to CALM DONW and WAIT for the investigation

      hth

      1. I wonder if that cop is a powerlifter.

    2. Well, if youtube and popular culture have taught us anything it’s that tasers are not dangerous at all, and they’re really just slightly more powerful than a joy buzzer, and infinitely funnier to use on people.

      1. …especially young children.

  10. At the end of the day it just may come down to Romney not being able to overcome the serious trashing of his business record that Gingrich (and the other GOP candidates) gave him during the primary debates.
    Galt forbid they go at it in a gentlemanly fashion ala Johnson and
    Lee Wrights.

  11. Honestly I’m hoping for a 269-269 tie. Regardless of who ends up winning the presidency through the house the butthurt and salty ham tears emanating from the other side for the next four years will be sweet. Not to mention that we’ll most likely get to be treated to a Romney/ Biden presidency since the house picks the president and the senate the v.p. That will be hilarious. I’m pictureing the white house divided into 2 halves by a white line down the middle. Hilarity ensues.

    1. We should be so lucky.

    2. Will it involve dance-offs to Wiz Khalifa tracks?

      1. Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow
        Black and Yellow

        Now that’s what I call songwriting!

        1. Got a call from my jeweler, this just in Bitches love me ’cause I’m fuckin’ with their best friends Not a lesbian, but she a freak though This ain’t for one night, I’m shinin’ all week, ho

          Read more: WIZ KHALIFA – BLACK AND YELLOW LYRICS

    3. The Senate has turned around. Chances are the Republicans will take the Senate. A tie would be the end of Obama and would produce a ton of Dem butthutt.

      1. Wishful thinking, John. Not going to happen, but it would be nice to see the O helpless and in total misery for the next 4 years, while the GOP pounds the shit out of him from one side and his own progressive minions from the other side.

        If Romney wins, I might also get a vacation from work until all the fires are out in the city.

      2. If Romney is really +5 in VA, i think Allen wins. if not, i think there will be enough split tickets to get Kaine in. Same thing with Mack in FL.

        1. They don’t need those. They will take Montana, Nebraska, and South Dakota and hold Mass. And I bet Akin wins in Missouri and Thompson does in Wisconsin. That is five take aways and a majority. And that is assuming they don’t win in PA or Connecticut, both races are within the margin of error.

          Do the math on this. Anything short of a D+5 turnout is total disaster for the Dems. That is going to affect races all the way down the ballot.

          1. John’s patently partisan wishful thinking sure does add a lot of content to these discussions.

            1. Dude only a few comments up you were saying Florida was a toss up.

              I think more then john is practicing wishful thinking.

              1. Florida is more of a toss-up than Ohio.

            2. How does it differ from your patently partisan wishful thinking?

              1. I don’t believe any facts about the probabilities of the outcome of this race that aren’t substantiated by sophisticated poll analysis such as is offered by Nate Silver and others. That the facts point to an Obama win isn’t my fault.

                1. sophisticated poll analysis such as is offered by Nate Silver and others

                  You mean like Rasmussen? Which has a record on these things?

                  Rather then Nate…who I have never heard of and was probably under the voting age last election.

      3. I’m not convinced the Republicans will be able to pick up enough seats to take the senate back. They’ll widdle away the Dem’s lead, but probably not get a majority.

    4. That would be awesome just for the post-election fireworks but it’s not going to happen. And Ohio’s going to be a pain in the ass because, barring an unexpected blowout or Obamney squeaking to 270 without it, they’ll need to take several days to count up and verify all the provisional ballots.

      1. That would be awesome just for the post-election fireworks but it’s not going to happen.

        A guy can still dream, right?

  12. I am no fan of Obama, but one thing I know for sure. If Romneys lips are moving, he’s lying.

    http://www.io-anon.tk

  13. If Romney ends up with less than a very clear victory, say below 300 EC votes, you can rest assured the Dems will attempt to tie up every state they can. They learned in 2000 that bitching and moaning may not change the election, but it fires up their base and provides continuing drama for the MSM, which is already on their side (regardless of the ultimate, correct outcome).

    A close loss by Omaba will produce lots of rioting and possibly some violence. I’m not sure a clear Romney win would lessen the riots.

    1. I will cheer if the number of people who vote for third party candidates is larger than the difference between the two major party candidates. When bargaining in any marketplace the buyer has only as much leverage as his willingness to walk away. Were I willing to vote for any evil monster the GOP nominates my leverage in the election would be zero. My grandfather used to say he would vote for a snake if the Democrats nominated him. With Clinton he had that opportunity and changed his mind on that subject.

    2. A close loss by Omaba will produce lots of rioting and possibly some violence. I’m not sure a clear Romney win would lessen the riots.

      No, it won’t.
      Democrats just aren’t that enthusiastic about him anymore.

  14. Romney will not lose Ohio. Wayyyy too many yard signs outside former Obama Households. I live in one of the most liberal parts of this state and trust me, Romney signs outnumber signs 2 to 1. It will be 50-46 Romney, with 4 or so percent going to Johnson.

  15. I still think Romney will win.

    – The economy still sucks, and has for four years. The last President to get reelected with unemployment this high was FDR, and Obama is no FDR.

    – The polls are too weighted toward Democrats, basing that on ’08 results, and not on party ID in ’10 or right now, when GOP self-identification is way up.

    – The polls are very questionable in days of cell phones and increasing distrust of the media. I suspect the @90% of people who don’t talk to pollsters lean Republican/conservative. State polls are often done on the cheap with small samples.

    – Obama has really, really pissed off many groups: business owners, Catholics, the military, etc. etc. It’s just a feeling, but this feels more like ’94 and ’10 than ’08: a groundswell of people pissed off at a Democrat. (Note that Clinton won in ’96 because he tacked to the center and Dole was a poor candidate.) Republicans, led by millions of Tea Party types, are going to be broken-glass voters who have been waiting for this election for years.

    – I am convinced there is a Bradley effect: people don’t want to be seen as racist, so Obama gets some verbal support he won’t get in the voting booths.

    1. I still think Obama wins. Based purely on the electoral college statistics.

      But I do admit that here in N. Virginia (which is supposed to be the liberal part), Romney signs outnumber Obama signs by about 7 to 1.

      Maybe Romney’s spending a lot of money on signs.

  16. (continued)

    – Romney is a decent candidate and campaigner.

    – Romney has momentum, and as pointed out above, he is campaigning in states considered “safe” for Obama not long ago, while Obama is clearly playing defense.

    – The Obama campaign is acting like a losing campaign: mean-spirited, small-ball stuff, last-minute message changes, generally seeming to flail around. They bet everything on painting Romney as a demonic figure, and the first debate blew that out of the water, as well as showing a weak, confused Obama. (Some people think he was either on drugs or withdrawing from them.)

    – A possible late surprise if more stuff comes out about Benghazi.

    – The Obama magic is gone. Democrats are clearly dispirited. Even in San Francisco, Obama 2012 bumper stickers and signs are rare. They are nearly outnumbered by the few leftover 2008 stickers. In 2008, they were almost as common as license plates. Window signs were everywhere, and I don’t think I’ve seen one this time. A few weeks ago there was a flashmob/dance for Obama in downtown SF on a Sunday afternoon. Perhaps some of the small crowd (@40 people) came there for it, but only about 15 danced, and only about 250 people watched the YouTube video. Even some Hollywood types are publicly breaking ranks and publicly supporting Romney.

    – Vast numbers of independents and others voted for Obama in 2008 out of disgust with Bush and the GOP, or as a sign they wanted to give a black guy a chance, but he’s blown it.

    1. They are nearly outnumbered by the few leftover 2008 stickers.

      In 2008 Obama had a primary to win. He actually campaigned in San Fran then.

      No need to campaign in San Fran in 2012…

  17. State polls are often done on the cheap with small samples.

    Should point out that state polls have more ad-hock pollsters rather then the big names like Gallop and Rasmussen dominating them.

    If you look at the ad-hock national pollsters they tend to lean Obama.

    So simply by the big names being underrepresented in state polls the real clear politics averages tilt in the direction of Obama.

    Then again maybe the ad-hock polls are right and the big name polls are wrong.

  18. “Mostly right”

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