Saturday, November 03, 2012

Race for the White House

3 Days Until Election Day

So, here we are. It could very well be that next Saturday, I will have to post saying that we just do not know yet who was elected President, but most likely this is the final edition of Race for the White House. This project of mine began back on January 1, 2011, when I endorsed the then potential Presidential candidacy of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Clearly, I am all in when it comes to this election. I believe that this coming Tuesday will either be one of the greatest days in American history or one if it's worst. Whatever the result, approximately half the country will be very upset, and while I do not expect their to be mass civil unrest (in either blue areas or red areas), the person who does win this election is going to have a hard, and maybe even impossible task of trying to unite the country behind them. Whatever the result, there will be calls of fraud or thievery, but most likely those will just be unproven allegations from people upset about the outcome. As a people, we will all have to abide by the outcome.

I certainly do not know for sure who is going to win the election for President, and that is why this is a hard post to do and while after a long election cycle of ups and downs and a busy day of campaign activity today, I cannot expect to be at all eloquent in wrapping this all up. I do not think anybody smart enough to consider the entire lay of the land really knows who is going to win. In that regard, this election is much like 2000 and 2004, which turned out well for Republicans, when all was said and done. The weekend before the 2008 Presidential election I knew that we were going to lose and the weekend before the 2010 midterm elections, I knew I was going to have a lot to be happy about. This year? I only know I will either be extremely relieved and exuberant or I will be pretty disappointed and upset.

This is a battle of head vs. heart for me and years from now, I want to be able to read this and know that I was being honest with myself, as well as whatever small group of people may also have come across this post online back in November 2012.

My head tells me that Mitt Romney might very well win this election, based on all sorts of things I have read regarding political science theory as it relates to this election and Republican claims of how the early voting is actually favoring us, etc. etc.  When all that is taken into account, it makes perfect sense to me that the Mittster will become President-Elect on Tuesday.

On the other hand, I tend by nature to be pretty pessimistic about uncertain events that I care very deeply about. Whether it's a cultural thing, the way I was raised, or just my personality, I fight against pessimism and doubt, and feel like I have been disappointed far too often by things I have hoped for; often in the world of sports. With that in mind, my heart almost tells me to expect an Obama reelection on Tuesday. If I am being totally honest, that may very well happen and I am at least somewhat prepared for it.

However, that is not what I am prepared to predict. Simply put, I am choosing to Believe in America, and trust that judgment of the American people and G-d's will wins in the end.  Even if I do not like the result, I will have to still believe that, but as Republicans, we have come too far and are too close to give in now. I am predicting victory for Willard Mitt Romney. After all, the last time a Presidential election was uncertain, back in 2004, I do not think a single Democrat was predicting a loss. If they were willing to go down with the ship, then so am I, but I think my prediction is one that combines the head and the heart.

Honestly, there were times yesterday morning, that I expected I would have to post that against every wish I have, I now believed Obama was probably going to win. Since last week, so much has seemingly gone in favor of Obama and against Romney.

I said last Saturday that Hurricane Sandy could have an impact on this election that would be impossible to determine. It certainly was a catastrophic event for many people, especially in New York and New Jersey, and we all need to be mindful that those people are facing short-term challenges far more serious than that of an overly obsessed political junkie freaking out over every late poll or what might happen on Election Day.

Indeed, there may be some serious concerns about how the federal government, and state and local entities are truly dealing with this humanitarian crisis on the East Coast, but it is hard to deny that it came at a politically opportune time for Barack Obama, who played the role of President, as any President would in this situation.

One thing is for certain and that is after the situation in New Jersey gets back to normal, Republican Governor Chris Christie may have a lot to answer for to political people. While Christie was once one of Mitt Romney's most ardent surrogates on the trail, he has seemed go to out of his way this past week to praise Obama and his storm response, while dismissively stating that he was not even thinking about the Presidential race anymore.

To be clear, I am not saying Christie should have played politics with the hurricane. He and Obama both had a job to do and they should have done it professionally. I am certainly not saying that Christie should have invented any false criticism of Obama in regards to all this, but he has seemed to go way out of the way of doing what was necessary in order to praise a man in the final days of a close campaign, that he was once publicly devoted to beating. Republicans are wondering just what might be going on in Christie's head or behind the scenes, to cause him to be acting in a way that seems to have some deliberation behind it. While it may remain to be seen just how many swing voters in Ohio for instance are going to vote based on Gov. Christie saying Obama did a good job in helping New Jersey, the over the top praise on behalf of the Garden State Governor for Obama has seemed to  help the incumbent come across as one who works well with the other party, when in actuality, his record of doing so in regards to all other aspects of government is exactly the opposite.

More than that, the storm Sandy eroded any momentum that Mitt Romney was perceived as having. It made it clear that increasing questions about the Benghazi scandal would not be part of the final days of the campaign and it just made everything appear a little less clear when it came to the polls. Gallup, which had shown a significant national lead for Romney has not updated their numbers for nearly a week now. I know for sure that Republicans like myself, miss the daily morale booster. Some other polls, wisely or not, have continued to poll, in spite of the hurricane, and whomever might not be sampled, and are continuing to show a virtual dead heat nationally. Rasmussen Reports, which had shown Romney ahead by 50-46 not too long ago, has had the race at 48-48 the past couple of days. That should be a very troubling number for an incumbent President, but Republicans are not happy with the tightening, whether it is due to a Sandy "bounce" or just statistical noise.  The job numbers released yesterday, showing unemployment going back up to 7.9 percent are not expected to be clear cut enough to help or hurt either party much. Even before those numbers came out, it may just very well be that the election outcome is already locked in and it's just about who shows up to vote at this point.

The state polls continue to be a mixed bag for both candidates. Most of them show at least a small Obama lead, which is why the media and Democrats overwhelmingly believe that Obama will win. I am convinced that many of them do not think it will be even close. With this attitude prevalent throughout the media, it is perhaps not a surprise that a majority of Americas are expecting an Obama victory on Tuesday.

Nonetheless, almost all Republican partisans still expect a Romney victory. Clearly, one of these groups of people are going to be wrong. All things considered, I am far more cautious of predicting a Romney victory than most of my fellow GOP die-hards. Many key state polls continue to show virtual dead heats in several battleground states. Republicans clearly hope that per tradition, the late breaking undecideds vote for a challenger, but more than that, there continue to be what we believe to be structural problems with the polls, in which Democrats are being sampled by far larger numbers than they may be likely to vote, as well as murkiness regarding how to accurately poll those who say they already voted early, and who are claiming to have voted heavily for Obama, while at the same time, Romney appears to be solidly ahead among those who claim they will vote on Election Day.

If these public polls have flaws, even just minor ones, Romney is more likely to win than even I expect, and we can have a whole lot to discuss in regards to the future of polling. If one believes, as I do, that the polls are not quite capturing the intensity advantage that Republicans have this year, then one has to be at least willing to say that the Presidential race is a true tossup.

As the day progressed yesterday, I became less gloomy, and a large part of that was the projection of political analyst Michael Barone, that despite the supposed infallible predictions of left-wing numbers guru Nate Silver, or the InTrade markets, or even the RealClearPolitics averages, the fundamentals of the race favored a Romney victory. Barone even thinks Romney is going to win easily, capturing over 300 Electoral Votes.

To me that is huge, while I am personally not willing to be quite as bullish as Barone. I consider him to be perhaps the smartest political analyst in the country though. He may personally be a Republican, but Barone knows his stuff, and can cite facts and figures about every county in the country. He is a calm, rationale pundit who I do not think would be willing to risk his reputation just to spin people or try to boost up demoralized GOP junkies like myself. So, I am left with the hope and the faith that Michael Barone is just as smart as I believe he is, with the luxury of knowing he can even be wrong on a couple of states he has going to Romney. I also trust the political mind of Karl Rove, who is maintaining that Romney will win, though by perhaps a somewhat smaller margin than Barone is saying. As for Dick Morris, the longtime strategist and now commentator who has been predicting a Romney landslide (though giving himself a bit of an out yesterday)? Well, I never know what to believe when it comes to him.

So, let's formally predict what will happen everywhere. In 2004, I correctly predicted 49 out of 50 states, only missing the very close, and possibly stolen win for John Kerry in Wisconsin. In 2008, I called 46 out of 50 states correctly, being overly generous to John McCain, who I predicted would be defeated on some swing states. With that in mind, I know that I may very well once again be too positive for my party in calling these states, where this time, there is may be no margin for error.

Obama is safe in the District of Columbia, Hawai'i, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, California, Delaware, Washington, and the first Congressional District of Maine.

Romney is safe in Wyoming, Oklahoma, Utah, Idaho, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Kansas, Mississippi, West Virginia, Texas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Georgia, South Carolina, Montana, and Nebraka, including the first and third Congressional districts.

Barring an absolute landslide defeat, Obama is likely to also hold the State of Maine, Connecticut, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, and New Mexico.

Barring an absolute landslide defeat, Romney is likely to hold Arizona and Missouri and flip the formerly blue territory of Indiana and the second Congressional district of Nebraska.

Leaning Obama will be the second district of Maine, Minnesota, Michigan, and Nevada.

Leaning Romney will be North Carolina.

That leaves us with the Tossups, where the election will be decided. Every single one of these states could go a different way, thus leaving the potential for a large Electoral win for either candidate, but this is what I see happening-

Colorado- Romney
Florida- Romney
Iowa- Obama
New Hampshire- Obama
Ohio- Romney
Pennsylvania- Obama
Virginia- Romney
Wisconsin- Obama

Four and four. As tight as tight can be.

Now, it is up to the American people. Whatever happens, I will always be proud to have been an early supporter of Mitt Romney. I think the rhetoric on the campaign trail yesterday sums it all up. Obama told his voters to vote for "revenge." Romney then went before a crowd of nearly 30,000 people in Ohio and asked Americans to not vote for revenge but for "love of country."

That really says it all. I do not think Barack Obama or his supporters are evil, but their record, their mindset of "revenge" and their ideology are dangerously wrong for both America and the world. This election is important and crucial to our future as a nation. Because we believe in America and because we have voted or will vote for love of country, tens of millions of Americans will do as I have and will vote for Mitt Romney. As the Governor has been saying on the campaign trail, "clear eyes and full hearts can't lose."

G-d Bless America and G-d Bless the Grand Old Party. Win or lose on Tuesday, both will still be worth fighting for.

Romney 50 percent, Obama 49 percent.

More importantly; Romney 275 Electoral Votes, Obama 263 Electoral Votes, and America gets a new President.