Tuesday, November 6, 2012

If Am Wrong, I Am Wrong About America

There are people making predictions about today's Presidential election that are going to be very right or very, very wrong.

I have looked at a variety of polls.  I have looked at past elections.  I even watched the NFL games yesterday because somebody said they have been an election indicator in the past.  Supposedly if the Washington Redskins lose at home in the last game before the election it spells doom for the incumbent.  I guess if President Obama loses he can blame it on Robert Griffin III. Wouldn't you know it is another guy from Texas.

I am throwing all of that stuff out the window.  I am making my prediction based on one belief.  I refuse to believe that we still do not have a majority of people left in America who believe in America. People who don't vote on revenge.  People who still care more about the country than themselves.  People who still believe in the United States of America rather than the Divided States of America. People who still believe that we remain the last real hope for the world.

My prediction is based on the two factors that I have written out before-- Turnover + Turnout.  I believe there have to be a significant number of Americans who voted for Obama in 2008 that will not do it again.  I estimate that turnover has to be at least one voter in every ten.  Some voters who voted for McCain will switch to Obama but it will be far fewer than those that turn on Obama.

There will also be significantly higher turnout by Republican-inclined voters compared to 2008.  There will not be a seven point Democrat edge at the polls as there was the last time.   I would expect it to be no more than a couple points advantage.  It might even reach parity like 2004 and 2000.

The combination of these two factors will put every state that Obama won by less than 10% in 2008 within reach of Governor Romney.  He will win almost all of them.  He will be very close in several other states that Obama won in 2008 with margins of more than 10%.  I am not projecting these as wins but he could pull a surprise win if Republican turnout matches 2004 and 2000 when the R/D split was even.

Here is my prediction of states that Romney will win.  The margin in which Obama won each state in 2008 is show in parentheses.

All states that John McCain won in 2008                                      179

Nebraska First Congressional District (1.19%)                                 1

Indiana  (1.04%)                                                                              11
North Carolina  (.32%)                                                                    15

Florida  (2.82%)                                                                               29          

Virginia  (6.29%)                                                                             13

Ohio  (4.59%)                                                                                  18

Colorado  (8.95%)                                                                             9

Pennsylvania   (10.35%)                                                                  20

Total                                                                                              295

States that Romney could win with big R turnout.

Iowa  (9.54%)                                                                                    6

New Hampshire (9.65%)                                                                   4

Wisconsin (13.90%)                                                                         10

Minnesota  (10.24%)                                                                        10

Michigan (16.47%)                                                                           16

A couple comments on the reasons for a few of the states in the winners column.

My home state and clearly what many believe is the most important state on election night.  The fact that Obama won Ohio by less than five points in 2008 should make it an easier target than Virginia and Colorado on my turnover and turnout theory.  Early voting this year in Ohio is no near as favorable for Obama as it was in 2008.  I think the coal issue will hurt Obama in Eastern Ohio.  Declining population in Cuyahoga County also does not help Obama.  Romney has blanketed the state with ads on tv and radio the last two weeks.  It seems that it has been at least a 5:1 margin in my experience.  Republican energy is very high.  It was not there at all four years ago. All of this has to be able to make up five points.

This should not be on my list as a Romney win as it is just outside my 10% margin turnover and turnout threshold.  However, I had thought for months that Obama could be beaten in Pennsylvania since I saw the undervote numbers in the Democratic primary. An undervote occurs when a voter fails to register a vote for an office when there is only one candidate on the ballot.  This usually occurs when the voter is unfamiliar with the candidate (not the case with Obama) or they simply have some opposition to the candidate.  Not voting is the only way to register disapproval when there is no one else on the ballot.  In many counties in Pennsylvania in the Democratic primary Obama had undervotes of 30% or higher.  A 10% undervote is usually cause for concern.  Even in urban Allegheny County, Obama's undervote was  23.2%.  The coal vote also will help Romney.  No early voting here as well so Romney's late ad spend could make the difference.  If he can make inroads in the Philly suburbs to offset Philadelphia's big Democrat vote I think Romney will surprise here.

A couple comments on the states just outside the winner's circle for Romney.

By my 10% turnover and turnout rule it should be a winner.  However, Obama seems to be doing better in this state with early voting than in other states.  I will trade Pennsylvania for Iowa and another state to be named later. Iowa also has same day registration.  Too much opportunity for Obama campaign shenanigans.

New Hampshire
The other state that is within my 10% threshold but this is the other state to be named later in my Pennsylvania trade.  I like the trade. New Hampshire also has same day registration.  Do I need to say it again?  Too much opportunity for shenanigans.

The Scott Walker election and subsequent recall win provides optimism.  However, that 13.9% margin from 2008 looks like it is a little steep to overcome.  However, Kerry won by only .4% in 2004 and Gore by .2% in 2000.  A big R turnout could turn the state.

It looks like an attractive target with the 10.24% Obama margin in 2008-lower than Pennsylvania's margin.  However, I have a hard time trusting voters in a state who previously elected Jesse Ventura as their Governor and Al Franken a U.S. Senator to make a sound choice in 2012.

The Real Clear Politics poll average has this as a +4% margin for Obama right now.  That is a 12.5% drop for Obama since 2008.  However, Romney must make up 16.5%.  It simply looks like too steep a climb for him.  However, I think this does show why most states within the 10% margin threshold should turn to Romney.

FINAL POPULAR VOTE   Romney 50.5%   Obama 48.3%    Other 1.2%

If I am wrong it is because I am wrong about America.  If I am wrong about America then we have much greater problems than who is the President over the next four years.  May God help us if that is where we find ourselves on Wednesday morning.

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