October 31, 2014

Don’t Buy the Hype

With less than 2 weeks to go until Election Day, media talking heads are saying the presidential race is “very close” or “tied.” From a national poll perspective, such statements are true. But from the electoral college perspective (which of course is the only one that matters), they are blatantly false.

While Romney certainly could pull the upset, despite media reports to the contrary, Obama is a heavy favorite to win re-election. Consider: Electoral Map The electoral map strongly favors Obama. He already has in the bank many more electoral votes than Romney. As far as the battleground states, with the lone exception of North Carolina, Obama has led or been tied in every one since early summer. He currently leads in Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Winning these 7 states give Obama 281 electoral votes, 11 more than he needs to win. In fact, he could afford to lose New Hampshire and either Iowa or Nevada and still win re-election with 271.

Furthermore, Obama is tied in Colorado, Florida and Virginia — losing any one of these 3 states would be fatal for Romney. Even in North Carolina, Obama trails only slightly. If he wins there, it’s a near-2008 blowout.

Romney’s Momentum Stopped

The Romney campaign obviously wants to create a winning self-fulfilling prophecy. Romney clearly won the first debate with Obama, significantly closed the gap and got back in the game. Had Romney lost that debate, the race would have been over. However, Obama won the next 2 debates. The Romney camp keeps babbling about momentum they lost lost long ago. By definition, polls are snapshots of the RECENT PAST, not the PRESENT.

Media Bias

The media has an incentive to say the race is close because it’s exciting. It means higher TV ratings and readership. The media also can be lazy. It’s easier to report on one meaningless national poll than on several state polls where the race will be decided.

Obama’s Ground Game Romney backers claim that they’ve learned from 2008 and have a much better ground game. They probably do — but that’s because the McCain campaign’s ground game stunk.

But even the most optimistic Republicans admit that Obama’s operation is formidable. Most neutral observers think Obama’s ground game is superior than Romney’s, it’s only the degree that’s in question. Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia are frequently cited as the states where Obama has the biggest advantage in this department.

Early Voting

Related to the ground game is the early voting already taking place in many battleground states. Every day in states where polls are open and Obama is leading means that he is winning, because he’s banking votes that Romney will have to make up on Election Day. By all accounts early voting is going very well for Obama, including in the most critical state of Ohio.

Colin Powell

Obama just scored the biggest endorsement of the election season with Colin Powell. Powell, although he endorsed Obama in 2008, would have surprised few had he remained neutral or endorsed fellow Republican Mitt Romney. While there are only a tiny sliver of undecided voters left, and endorsements may not sway that many, you can bet that Romney would have given one of his dancing horses to get Powell’s backing.

Richard Mourdock

Just when Republicans thought Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin was in the rearview mirror, along came Richard Mourdock to reinforce the perception (or reality) that Republicans are at war with women’s rights. You would think that after Akin, any Republican running for U.S. Senate, particularly in a tight race, would avoid using the four-letter R word. Oops. Romney, who not only endorsed Mourdock but cut a TV commercial for him, half-heartedly distanced himself from Mourdock and refused to ask that the TV spot be pulled. The timing couldn’t be worse for Romney.

Again, it’s not over until it’s over, but anyone discouraged about Obama’s chances shouldn’t be. Barring some huge late October or early November surprise, or serious voter suppression and/or fraud, Obama is on the path to victory. But he still needs your vote, your donations and your volunteering in a swing state.

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