2012 Presidential Election
If you’re pulling for Mitt Romney, you can’t be excited with what exit polls reported. Sure, exit polls aren’t definitive, but they do provide an indicator of what to expect. Based on what we’re seeing, the 2012 electorate is roughly the same as 2008, especially in swing states. This is an ominous sign for Romney’s campaign.
Currently, Romney is trailing President Barack Obama in Ohio, which is a must win. He’s ahead in Virginia, but the northern part of the state hadn’t reported at last look. Exit polls show each of these states to be very close, but Ohio may be too far gone for Romney, which means that the night could end early.
Here’s the Electoral College as of 9 PM. Polls have close in Florida, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, but no projections have been made.
Looking at some of the Senate races, Richard Mourdock is trailing Rep. Joe Donnelly in the Indiana race. Josh Mandel is down to Sen. Sherrod Brown in Ohio by a hefty margin. Sen. Scott Brown is losing in Massachusetts, though it’s still early. George Allen is currently leading Tim Kaine in Virginia. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) was projected to win re-election.
Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust be men of unexceptionable characters. The public cannot be too curious concerning the character of public men. ~ Samuel Adams
And so it comes down to this. As you read this, Americans from all walks of life are entering voting booths across the nation to cast their vote for the man who will serve as our next president; less than a day before we determine the trajectory of our national destiny for generations to come. Will we re-elect Obama, and place that final nail in the coffin of the great experiment in self-government that began 236 years ago when Thomas Jefferson enshrined in the Declaration of Independence the concept that we are each sovereign beings, children of the God who created us, endowed with certain unalienable rights by the very virtue of our birth? A man who believes we are merely tiny cogs in the great gears of the collectivist state? Or will we correct that grievous error, and elect a man who understands that the highest power we are accountable to is not the federal government, but our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
No matter who wins Tuesday, we lose. That could easily sum up the 2012 presidential election. Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney have any sort of plan to solve the problems facing us; neither has any path towards entitlement reform (Romney sort of does, but I doubt he would ever implement it); both are warmongering morons; and both will continue to grow and enlarge the state.
If there isn’t going to be much change in actual policy, then there might be a sea change in our two major parties’ attitudes and behaviors. What follows is highly speculative, but since there are pundits out there predicting we will elect a Smashing Meteor of Death this year, that’s probably just fine. I do think, one way or another, that in the years following this election both parties will undergo deep changes. This election will definitely not be a realigning election, but the fallout just might.
First, let’s review the reasons for why each party’s standardbearer might lose this election.
If Romney loses, it will come down to these reasons:
He is an empty suit running an entirely empty campaign. Rather than articulate any clear deviation from Obama’s course, he has only said that Obama has done a terrible job and then put forth not details, not plans, but vague corporate marketing speak that does nothing. Voters will decide to go with The Devil They KnowTM and ignore this just-as-bad challenger.
This is the dude who came up with the blueprint of Obamacare—what all Republicans hate. So…duh.
While other polls show Iowa and Wisconsin out of Mitt Romney’s reach, new polling from Rasmussen in both states show a tightening race with just four days left to go until voters head to the polls.
A week ago, the candidates were tied at 48% apiece. The president led by two earlier in the month, while Romney posted a three-point lead in September. Prior to the latest findings, Romney’s support in Iowa has fallen in the narrow range of 46% to 48% in surveys since June, while Obama’s support has ranged from 44% to 49%.
Forty-two percent (42%) of likely Iowa voters have already voted. The president leads 56% to 39% among these voters.
In line with voters nationally, Iowa voters trust Romney more by seven points – 51% to 44% - when it comes to handling the economy but trust the candidates equally in the area of national security.
Yesterday wasn’t a good day for Mitt Romney’s campaign. Polls conducted CBS, The New York Times, and Quinnipiac showing his campaign trailing in three must-win, swing states, meaning that an Electoral College victory remains out of reach. Others have noted that the polls don’t make much sense because — in Virginia, for example — Romney leads among independents by such a wide margin.
Ed Morrissey also points out that enthusiasm is on the side of Republicans in the CBS/NYT/Qunnipiac poll, which he says spells bad news for Obama. With enthusiasm on their side and signs pointing to voter turnout being down this year, Republicans could squeek out an expected victory. But with the campaigns concentrating on their ground games in states like Ohio and Virginia, it’s hard to see how voter turnout won’t be up at least in those states.
“Who should libertarians vote for in the election?” is a question that has been asked time and time again over the last few months. Most of the pressure on libertarians is coming from Republicans, who insist that Romney is entitled to our support.
Several contributors have weighed in on those particular arguments here at United Liberty. Doug Mataconis and Tom Knighton have both explained that the “libertarian case” for Romney is quite thin. Brian Lehman has repelled many of the arguments put forward by Republicans trying to appeal to libertarians.
Jennifer Knight laid a case for Romney from a libertarian perspective, explaining economic issues “MUST be straightened out before we can get back to the drawing table and create the government and society we desire.” And Chris Barron, co-founder of GOProud and a contributor here at United Liberty, has explained why he is backing Romney.
It seems like a forgone conclusion that he will overwhelming win libertarian voters, but is there really a “libertarian case” for Romney? Or even President Obama, for that matter? And what about Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s nominee? While they don’t answer the question outright, leaving it for readers to decide, Reason has published three separate pieces presenting the “libertarian case” for Romney, Obama, and Johnson.
Taking up Romney’s case is Robert Poole:
Despite Obama’s nearly 5-point advantage in Pennsylvania, which a Republican hasn’t won since 1988, Mitt Romney’s campaign has purchased ad time in the state, hoping to pick its 20 electoral votes off on Tuesday:
Mitt Romney will soon run campaign advertisements on Pennsylvania television, a Republican source told CNN on Tuesday. The Romney campaign later released an energy-themed ad which specifically mentions Pennsylvania. Romney’s campaign plans to go up next week in Philadelphia on Monday and Tuesday - Election Day, the source said, adding that the buy could be expanded.
The Philadelphia suburbs are key counties and could determine who wins the state. They are home to middle-income and affluent voters who are conservative on fiscal issues but liberal on social issues, including abortion and gun control.
The ad, which can be viewed below, opens with footage from 2008 of then-candidate Obama explaining his views on coal, which is a big industry in Pennsylvania. Obama said, “If someboday wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.” A narrator explains that Obama “kept that promise, and Pennsylvania coal paid the price,” as graphic flashes on the screen noting that 22 coal plants in the state will either close or be forced to convert.
The ad then turns to debate footage featuring Romney and Obama, who is looking down, as the Republican nominee explains that “people in the coal industry feel like its getting crushed by your policies”:
With the remnants of Hurricane Sandy wreaking havoc across the northeast, there has been talk of postponing Tuesday’s election in affected states. If such steps do happen to be taken, they couldn’t be done at by executive fiat, but rather the individual states that are in a state of emergency, assuming their constitutions give either the governor, chief election official, or election board authority to do so.
Congress could, theoretically, change the statutory provision (3 USC §1) that sets the presidential election date as the “Tuesday next after the first Monday in November,” making it uniform across the country. However, this doesn’t seem to be any stomach for it nor is it realistic with Congress currently out of session and six days to go until election day.
Suspending an election isn’t exactly unheard of. On September 11, 2001, the day the World Trade Center buildings were targeted by terrorists, a state judge took such an extraordinary action to suspend New York City’s primaries. They were rescheduled two weeks later.
But that’s a just a city election — granted New York is America’s largest city. Writing at the National Journal, Billy House explains that postponing a presidential election across several states may be too difficult and polarizing a task:
Independent voters are the key to this presidential election. There is little doubt about that. Mitt Romney is already doing well in swing states with these crucial voting bloc, and, as Chris Cillizza recently explained at the Washington Post, may ride them to victory over President Barack Obama:
In the last three releases of the tracking poll conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News, Obama has trailed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney among independent voters by between 16 and 20 percentage points.
That’s a striking reversal from 2008, when Obama won independent voters, who made up 29 percent of the electorate, by eight points over Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
So, what gives? Why is Obama — at least according to the Post-ABC data — having so much trouble with independents?
The answer lies in the fact that most independents are not, well, independent. Of all the likely voters who called themselves independents in nine days of the Post-ABC tracking poll, fully three-quarters (75 percent) — said they tend to lean toward one party or the other. (The remainder are known as “pure” independents.)
And it’s among those shadow partisans that Obama is struggling. Ninety-two percent of Republican-leaning independents said they plan to support Romney, while 84 percent of Democratic-leaning independents are backing Obama.
With eight days to go until election day, both campaigns are hitting swing states hard to get every last vote. Polls in Colorado are showing a tilt back toward President Obama, but Romney is gaining ground in Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
In this look at the Electoral College, you can see that President Obama has increased his lead over Romney to 290-248. Last week, Romney trailed 281-257, with the change, as noted above, coming from Colorado:
While Romney is showing gain in some swing states, his campaign has been put in precarious position because, with the current Electoral College outlook, even if they pickup just Ohio, they’re still short of the 270 needed to win. Now, if they pickup Ohio plus any one of the other swing state, he wins.
There is still a path to victory without Ohio. Romney could win Colorado, Iowa, and Wisconsin and win, 273-265. But as has been explained before, no Republican has ever won the election without taking Ohio.
Here is a look at polls from five swing states. Included off to the side, you’ll find the party split from the 2008 exit polls, which will give you an idea of how each pollster is measuring the state. All polls are provided via Real Clear Politics.
Colorado (2008 D/R/I: 30/31/39)