Thursday, November 1, 2012

Unknown Election Factors

With the election nearing, people are now trying to come up with random factors that could swing the outcome. Here are a couple. . .

Layoffs: Some are wondering if a slightly falling unemployment rate will help Obama. Nope. The official unemployment number isn’t really what matters to people. What matters is how secure they feel personally about their jobs. In that regard, there are 23 million unemployed or underemployed individuals. Not only are those people without jobs, but their presence in the labor force makes others vulnerable to being replaced by lower cost workers and makes it harder for employed persons to find new jobs. That’s called job insecurity.

Moreover, the situation is about to get worse. Because of the military cuts in the last budget deal, defense contractors are issuing pink slips to their workers in massive numbers. Further, a series of mass layoffs appear to be underway, such as UBS laying off 10,000 people. That will scare people across the country.

Paybacks: Obama has thrown several people under the bus in the past few months to save his rear, and they seem intent on paying him back now. Leaks from the intelligence community cast doubt on Obama’s attempts to shift blame on Libya by claiming they failed to warn him. The intelligence community let it be known that they did warn Obama and he ignored them. Obama also tried to claim there was no request for additional security in Libya. That made Hillary look bad. “Friends of Hillary” have now put out a story claiming that Hillary did request additional security, but her request was shot down. It’s not clear if Americans care about Libya, but these leaks suggest that some people inside the administration think they can hurt Obama with this.

Minority Turnout: For Obama to win Colorado, he will require heavy Hispanic turnout. For him to win Ohio and Pennsylvania will require heavy black turnout. Neither is a given in this election. Polling has found a lack of enthusiasm for Obama within both groups. Will they turn out? We don’t know. We do know that youth turnout will be way down and that is bad for Obama. This is a true wildcard which can decide the race.

Jews in Ohio?: Yes, there are around 120,000 Jews in the Cleveland area who typically vote Democratic. But if Romney can pull away parts of the Jewish vote, they can make a big difference in a key state which is expected to be very, very tight.

Same Day Registration: Colorado, Wisconsin and New Hampshire all allow voters to register and vote on the same day. In 2008, Obama used this to get tons of new voters to turn out on election day, adding about 2% to his totals in those states. His team is hoping to do the same and add 3-4% to his total this time. However, there is no reason to believe that there is the same level of enthusiasm for Obama now as there was in 2008, and it seems unlikely that he can inspire the unregistered to suddenly turn out. Without those voters, the polls show likely and registered voters leaning toward Romney.

Chrysler: Obama seems intent on hanging his hat on the Detroit bailout. And lucky him, Chrysler just announced that its profits surged 80% over last year. All is good, right? Well, no. Fiat, owner of Chrysler, announced that they are considering shifting Jeep production to China and Italy – although now that Romney used this in an ad, they are trying to backpedal. Still, the damage is done. To paraphrase a line that Obama kept using against Romney: “Obama’s Detroit bailout saved jobs. . . in Italy.” This could do significant harm to Obama’s rustbelt strategy, particularly in Ohio where Jeeps are currently made.

Hurricane Sandy: No one knows how the hurricane will affect this election. On the one hand, it does give Obama a chance to appear presidential. On the other hand, I doubt that will help because that’s his job and doing his job won’t really get him any sort of bonus points. That said, Obama could spend the last couple days before the election running around promising FEMA money to all of these voters. But then, these are blue states so it can’t really change the outcome.

There is also a question of voter turnout. If the storm is destructive enough, large parts of the solid-blue Northeast may find record low turnout because voters will either be away or unable to get to the polls. That shifts the election to the diehards, which could well produce some Republican surprises.

Show Me The Money!: Romney has a cash advantage in excess of $50 million right now, which gives him the ability to reach states like Minnesota, which are opening up as competitive. Can money win campaigns? I doubt it.

Silver State Mormons: Nevada remains close, though it seems to be trending toward Romney now. The key demographic helping Obama are unions and Hispanics. They could decide the state. BUT, there is another group few are considering – Mormons. Nevada is packed with Mormons and if they turn out in large numbers, Romney will win Nevada. Stay tuned.

Anything I missed?

5 Days and counting....

71 comments:

LL said...

My sense is that the trend is moving in Romney's direction. There is a common sense feeling that people get from Romney's free market approach that Obama doesn't give them. I don't think that's just me projecting, either. Many are uneasy with the economy and they want a better life. Obama just wants to keep power and that doesn't resonate with a lot of people. Maybe enough to hand Romney the win?

Patriot said...

Andrew......There will NEVER be another 2008 election...that of having the 1st black American of either party on the presidential ballot. As you point out, a lot of the new voters, cross-over voters and independents voted for the concept of Obama in 2008. This year, they will not as he now has a record and the historic election is done with.

Not only has this fool screwed up domestic policy, his vaunted foreign policy prowess has been exposed for the leftist lunacy it has always been.

So, it's not about him anymore...it's about America and its place in the world. We've seen the results of his leftist policies, now let's get back to the real world.

Tennessee Jed said...

well, one other factor B.O. supporters are hoping for is the "cheater" factor. In Ohio, there are machines that register a vote for the prez even if you press Romney. In Pennsylvania, the Philly machine usually asks the state Democratic Committee chair "how many do you need?" then delivers just enough.

As an aside, if you will forgive me one quick off topic for the youngsters. Amazon is running a 1 day gold box special for the Blu-Ray complete series of "Firefly." starring Nathan Fillion (t.v.'s Richard Castle) I've heard many of you mention enjoying the series so I just thought I mention it in case anybody is interested.

Anthony said...

Most people are unhappy with the state of the economy under Obama and Romney comes across as a safe pair of hands. Still, the election is frighteningly close, so turnout will be key.

On the lighter side of the news, the GOP is backing Akin again. Not a surprise. He's a buffoon, but a conservative one and such men (nods towards Hank 'island tipper' Johnson) can win in the right districts. Also, enough candidates have spouted off on rape that Akin no longer stands out like he used to.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I know you didn't miss anything. The only thing that might make a difference is a New Jersey Democrat Senator has a complaint from a Dominican prostitute. She claims he paid $100 when he promised $500. Several really bad jokes come to mind.

It might make a difference in the Senate.

T-Rav said...

Interesting, Jed. I may have to make an investment in that. As an aside, I just started watching "Castle" a few weeks ago and it's actually pretty good.

obiwan2009 said...

Hey Joel, the Senator reminds me of another nearby representative who had some issues, and shares a name with a hot dog, and why did he have to go all the way to the Dominican Republic to find the Hooker, when he could have gone to Nevada, somewhere outside Las Vegas, then gone to the casinos afterwards? Last time I heard, he could have found legal brothels in Nevada.

All right, I will admit, that's a really bad joke.

tryanmax said...

I've come across several articles claiming that Romney is expanding the map out of desperation, not momentum. It's all supported with cyclical reasoning, however. "Anything Romney does is desperate. Romney expanded the map, therefore expanding the map is desperate, which proves how desperate Romney is." I even read one assertion (I think by an Obama staffer) that Romney's entrance into MN is evidence of how well Obama is doing. WHA???

Joel Farnham said...

obiwan2009,

I was so hoping no one would go there. ;-) At least this time Bill wasn't involved.

tryanmax,

This is typical and to be expected. Everything Obama does is high-minded and statesman-like. Everything Romney does is low-brow and appeals to the baser instincts. At least that is what the media/democrats prefer us to believe.



Tennessee Jed said...

new poll shows Illinois is in play. wow!!!

Tennessee Jed said...

I can't remember-- was it Senator Menendez who once said "when the wheels come up, the ring comes off" ?

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, yeah, Romney's so desperate he's forcing Obama to defend his home turf. If he wins in a landslide on Tuesday? Also desperation. He had no choice, you see.

Tennessee Jed said...

T-Rav: Castle is a guilty pleasure. It follows the kind of cases Ellery Queen made famous back in the day. My fantasy now is a smoking gun leak on Libya that helps lead to 1) A Republican landslide of epic proportions on Tuesday followed by a resignation in disgrace of both Bam and Biden, turning control over to Beihner for the lame duck session and preventing any late session liberal high-jinks.

BevfromNYC said...

Rasmussen has Romney/Obama at 49/47%. That's down from 51/47. But then again, I may not be able to vote on Tuesday anyway!! No one has mentioned how we are going to get to the polls. But then again, the NY Marathon is still on for Sunday...

T-Rav said...

I really wonder how the hurricane/superstorm/whatever they're calling it now is going to affect things. I'm especially curious about Pennsylvania. Unless I'm mistaken, the eastern part of the state (which is more Democratic) took more of a beating, which means it could see lower turnout on Tuesday than the more Republican western half. If it's really close in the state, that could tip it.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, All the indications to me are that Romney has about a 5% lead and that's where things seem to have stopped... and they aren't moving in either direction.

I think what you said is key, Obama has offered nothing that gives people a feeling that things will change if he is re-elected. His "5 point plan" is nothing more than "what we already tried once." He really needed a big new idea, and he never put one forward.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, That's a great way to put it: 2008 was about him. It was about electing a new guy who seemed to offer a new direction... a direction which could have made the Democrats the "natural party" of America. A man promised to change race relations for ever. A man who promised to make the US hip and liked and respected.

He flopped.

Now this election is about a return to America... policy. What kind of America do we want. And Obama fails in that because he's not offering anything more than Mondale, Dukakis, Gore or Kerry.

Tennessee Jed said...

As long as the Democratic ward bosses in Philly can get to the ballots in the trunks of their cars, Pennsylvania will be a tough nut to crack. They can probably send out their Black Panther buddies to go get them and to make certain no annoying "poll watchers" interfere.

Anthony said...

The allegation from a couple professionals that the Menendez employed their services once upon a time won't hurt him if it stays 'he said, she said' and he continues to deny it, but if there is a slow leak of evidence and/or victims/partners (nods towards Weiner and Cain) that might disgrace/humiliate him enough so that he resigns.

*Shrugs* Of course, he is single, which complicates things (I can't think of the last time the American public got angry about the sex life of a single, straight guy).

Tennessee Jed said...

BTW, the Newsweek cover certainly can't be helpful to B.O.T.U.S.

Tennessee Jed said...

Anthony - good point. I didn't know he was single. That should pretty much make it a non-story unless he gets caught with a young boy or staffer or something.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I'm never sure if I should put any credence into cheating or how much it can really change elections. I think it's more a factor of making the election seem illegitimate rather than being illegitimate.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Don't forget also that the Senate is so close that they sadly can't afford to lose a single seat at this point.

I agree that the election appears frighteningly close. I don't know if it really is or of that's just how it looks, but it still shouldn't be this close. Of course, I was biting my nails when Reagan was running for re-election too because polls showed him losing.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I doubt it. He's a liberal and it's New Jersey. He could probably kill someone and not get tossed out. Democrats don't toss out their own for cheating prostitutes.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I've heard good things about Castle, but sadly my TV schedule is full up to the point of bursting.

rlaWTX said...

TOTUS: 5 Days & Counting is an awesome feeling

Castle: it's a fun show; drifts left like most TV shows, but not usually political.

Politics and Prostitutes: ummm, isn't there an established joke there already?
Although it does say something about our culture that we expect such a story to have no influence or response...

T-Rav said...

I'm still at a loss as to how Obama appearing presidential and stuff during and after the storm is supposed to give him a momentum boost. I mean, has anyone seen him on TV much, period? All I've seen is coverage of the devastation. Obama's made a few appearances, but there's nothing "game-changing" about them. Besides, the story is still the economy. This doesn't compute for me. Anyone wanna explain it for me?

AndrewPrice said...

obiwan, You know the only problem with Mr. Weiner was that he put nearly naked photos on twitter. As a Democrat, you can do what you want, just don't leave evidence that can be shown to the public.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's pretty amazing spin! LOL! I know they were trying to claim last week that Romney was expanding the map because he wanted to trick Obama into wasting his money. I guess "out of desperation" is the next level of spin.

The truth is that time and money are too precious to waste in a campaign and Romney would not be spending in BLUE states if he didn't think they were getting dangerously purple. I don't think he'll win Minnesota, but he could win the surrounding states and the fact Obama is blowing through money in placed like PA trying to defend himself is proof that Obama is the one in trouble.

So much for the Obama firewall!

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Well said. That's exactly how the media works. They simply assume that everything Obama does is "presidential" and proves his value, whereas everything Romney does is out of desperation and proves that he's failing. That's called spin. Strangely, however, they actually believe the spin!

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Wow! Illinois is in play? This really feels like a rout, doesn't it?

T-Rav said...

Per Rasmussen, Romney remains tied in Wisconsin, is up one point in Iowa, remains up by three in Colorado.

Incidentally, one "random factor" that could work against us a bit in Wisconsin? The school year. There were no students at the enormous U. of W. in June for the Walker recall vote, whereas now it's the middle of the semester, and if you don't think the Dems are registering as many of them as possible, well--they are. How much difference it makes depends on how close the race is.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Naturally, Romney will need to win by a landslide, because he ran such a horrible campaign and his ideas are so bad that he couldn't win any other way... don't you see? ;)

T-Rav said...

Huh? Who's saying Illinois is in play?

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, My dream scenario is Obama goes on television and announces that he will tax and spend us to prosperity and the following morning Romney gains 15% in the polls.

Sadly, that won't happen. But a blogger can dream, right?

Tennessee Jed said...

yes you can!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, NYC has to have its priorities. LOL!

My guess is that what you are seeing in Rasmussen's poll is statistical error or a temporary storm handling bump, but I doubt it has any meaning. Nothing has happened to change the momentum.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, It is very possible that the hurricane will depress turnout significantly throughout the northeast -- including eastern PA. That could help Romney win PA and could help our candidates like Scott Brown and Linda McMahon depending on what gets flooded/loses power and how determined people are to vote.

This could turn out to be very interesting. Maybe we can claim that even God hates Obama?

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Jed! I thought I could too! :)

Tennessee Jed said...

the Illinois thing came from the daily caller. It's a bit of a stretch, but here is the link:

http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/20/shock-poll-obama-could-lose-illinois/

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I don't put a lot of value into prostitution stories. They only bring down married men whose wives go public with their anger or fundamentalists who have been preaching against sex.

If he's single, then this will be written off as him being frugal for cheating the woman.

AndrewPrice said...

fyi, I'll be back in a bit. I have some errands I need to run.

tryanmax said...

Rush has pointed out something that slipped by me: that the Evangelical vote has been all but ignored since shortly after the primaries. The narrative was written right then that the Evangelicals would never vote for a Mormon and hasn't been revisited since. I agree with Rush that Evangelicals either vote Republican or sit out. What's not entirely clear is that they will sit this one out.

Rush's reasoning is that Evangelicals come out over abortion and fiscal responsibility. Romney is promising the latter in spades. Also, Evangelicals actively avoid pollsters. Anecdotally, I know both cases to be true. Plus, Obama is about as pro-abortion as politicians come, so it may be possible to get Evangelical turnout over that, too.

It still remains to be seen, but taking account of the online Evangelical hangouts that I troll from time-to-time, I must observe that the tone has shifted from "We can't vote for either guy" to "We need to pray for guidance." That means they've already decided against inaction and now just need to find a "sign from God" to justify it.

You know those toasters that burn cartoon characters onto the bread? I need a couple million of those that do Jesus and Romney shaking hands and a little help sneaking them into people's houses.

Joel Farnham said...

tryanmax,

Here in Tennessee, I don't think it is that much of a problem. Hard core Evangelicals are having a problem. Run of the mill types, like my in-laws have no problem voting for a Mormon.

T-Rav said...

I don't understand the people who have a problem voting for a Mormon. Let me put it this way: I can see being talked into believing that Mormons aren't Christians. I'm not saying they aren't, only that I can understand how someone would reach that position. Okay. But if the choice is between a non-Christian who is still pretty close to orthodox Christianity and a non-Christian who you think is either a Muslim or an atheist, isn't it obvious who you should vote for--or at least vote against? Even given the hard-core folks' assumptions, I don't understand how you reach the conclusion to stay home.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I haven't seen the cover.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, It does seem like there should be a joke there!

Yep, 5 days... makes me happy. :)

TJ said...

I'm an Evangelical and I have no problem whatsoever in voting for Romney. Unfortunately, there are several in my church that will vote for Obama - not because Romney is a Mormon, but because they are Democrats.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I think the MSM/Democratic Party is hoping that people will see Obama looking out over the destruction and demonstrating that "he cares for people." And then he'll give some speech about the power of government help these people and we'll all swoon.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I don't think the students will make a difference because they don't turn out in normal elections and they are really not enthusiastic in this election at all.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, LOL! That would be awesome if you could sneak toasters like that into homes across the country! :)

I'm frankly stunned how any evangelical could possible be undecided. This is basically a choice between a man who wants to actively do everything they oppose versus someone who may or may not be on their side. That's an easy one. It's stupid to say, "I want guaranteed perfection or I won't vote."

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, That's my sense too, that the hard-core types are the ones with issues and the rest are using their brains.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, The problem is that some people honestly believe that politics is an extension of religion and they think they are voting for the spiritual leader of the country. So if the choice is between two heretics, you abstain so that your vengeful God doesn't smote your ass for mixing with the infidels.

AndrewPrice said...

TJ, I don't think the problem is "Evangelicals," I think it's flaky Evangelicals -- the folks who are borderline cultists. I've met a lot of those people at political events and they are truly messed up.

tryanmax said...

Part of the question in all this is, who exactly does the media mean when they use the term "Evangelicals"? Most Protestants consider themselves Evangelicals, but I don't think they are really being included as most Protestants (as a rule) don't mix their religion and their politics. I think when the media ignorantly tosses the "Evangelical" label around, they really mean the Charismatics. Thoughts?

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think there has been an intentional blurring of the lines by both the media and the Religious Right.

The Religious Right wants power within the Republican Party. You get power by speaking for lots of people. Thus, Religious Right leaders have tried to claim anyone on the conservative side who is religious. Thus, they claim "Evangelicals" as a group, even though clearly not all Evangelicals fall into that category. In this way, the massively overstate the number of followers they claim to control and they get more influence.

The MSM is happy to run with this because it lets them paint the Republican Party as a party of Todd Akins, even though Akin is the fringe, and that makes it hard for the Republicans to pull in moderates.

To find a realistic definition of who these "Evangelicals" are, I would think you are looking at Charismatics or really hard-core fundamentalists who genuinely believe that Satan is out there, in politics, waiting to take over the country. I don't know if these people are from a particular denomination or have just made one up, but the ones I've met really do fear witchcraft, really do think that schools should teach only "what's in the Bible," and really do think that stopping sin is the government's primary function. They also do typically dismiss all other denominations as either cults or not-Christians.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I understand that. But even a cursory reading of the Bible would contradict that. I mean, half the Old Testament prophets were serving as advisers to infidels at some point. And my grandfather, who doesn't even consider Catholics to be Christians, much less Mormons, is a lock to vote for Romney. Either hard-core evangelicals are a) not reading their Bibles very carefully or b) really will be voting for Romney in large numbers, and it's not being reported.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, and even if it's both, that's okay.

For my part, I think of political "Evangelicals" as the "Jesus-crowd" that I first encountered in my HS days. Andrew's description is fairly apt. I guess it's one of those things where, if you know who they are, you know, but if you don't know, then you don't and you can be fooled. It sounds like most of us here are in the know. ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, i would say that they are not reading their Bibles very closely. The Bible is very clear that you should look to your own sins first and foremost. It frowns on being judgmental and tells you to leave judgment up to God, and it really frowns upon hate. Yet, some of these people are utterly crawling with hate and they focus all their efforts on others without a thought given to themselves. My guess is that Jesus would be intensely unhappy with those people if he came back.

Jesus Christ said...

Andrew, you're absolutely right! Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?" Then I will tell them plainly, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!"

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think that's right, you kind of have to meet these people to really believe they exist. They are everything the stereotype claims they are and more -- like a toothless West Virginia hillbilly. And I think most people unfortunately think "politically conservative church goer" when they hear "Religious Right" or "Evangelical," but it's really not that.... it's sooooo much more.

One of them actually told me once that I was going to Hell because I owned a television. LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Dear Sockpuppet JC, I don't get into who gets to go where when they die, I think that's above my pay grade. All I can say is that the world is better off when everyone looks to their own behavior rather than trying to control their neighbors.

T-Rav said...

For the record, that was not my sockpuppet.





*although it's true*

tryanmax said...

At least sockpuppet JC is quoting himself accurately.

AndrewPrice said...

Yeah, wasn't me either. I tend to avoid sockpuppetting religious figures.

CrispyRice said...

Just wanted to add that Bill Cunningham (a talk radio guy from Cincinnati whom I quite enjoy) was on Hannity briefly this afternoon and gave 5 rousing reasons why Romney is going to win Ohio. I didn't make notes, but they included the facts that OH really isn't as "swingy" as people make out. Really, they run deep red, with the exception of O and Clinton. Also, early voter turnout is down something like 40% compared to last time -- nearly all Dems who haven't shown up. And finally, they're really pissed about O trying to kill coal and natural gas.

It was an excellent blurb and very encouraging, LOL.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I hope you're right. To me, it's just too hard to tell because so much will depend on turnout.

Tennessee Jed said...

Crispy, I happen to hear Cunningham on Hannity. He was very convincing, and definitely raised my spirits, and had a lot of good data to back up his predictions. But, Andrew, you are correct as well. This is a close race, and we are now down to turnout. I want to believe that the election will look more like 2010 than 2008. I want to believe the enthusiasm gap, I want to believe that the mainstream pollsters continue to oversample democrats, and the confidence of Morris, and others will prevail. But the only poll that matters is ballots cast. The reality is, we are going to have to sweat it out next week. Everything seems to be swinging our way.

One guy, a Democrat pundit (I forget which one) admitted the three most likely outcomes are: 1) Republican landslide, 2) Republican squeaker 3) Democrat squeaker. That certainly leans our way, but number three is the nightmare scenario, and still within the realm of possibility.

Anthony said...

I early voted yesterday (on a related note, I read a report that another big but less big storm is supposed to hit the East Coast on election day) and was in line for 3 and a half hours.

I'm impressed no one left the line and everyone stayed friendly (lots of political talk by some of the people in line, but the talkers were all were on the same page) given how long the wait was and how half of it was outside on a cold, rainy day (some of the people who voted before us told us they had waited five hours to vote).

The guy behind me was a garrulous veteran/retired mayor (Democratic of course) who was conservative in some senses (said he's voting against question 6 because he'd rather be morally correct than politically correct which is an awesome line) but didn't think much of the Republican Party, the Koch brothers (I think its hilarious that both sides imagine the other dances to the strings of billionaires) and Karl Rove. Perhaps encouragingly, Romney barely came up.

Extrapolating voting enthusiasm from a voting booth is like measuring the religiousness of a country by visiting a church, but it will be interesting to see who turns out this election. We all need to do our part.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That actually sounds very encouraging if they think the choices range from huge Republican victory to Democratic squeaker. That suggest that the odds are small (nonsqueaker) Republican victory.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, The last time I voted in Virginia (years ago... 2000) I stood in line for 6 hours and everyone stayed in line and was very friendly -- despite the wait. They were just flooded with people.

In Colorado, I do it all by mail and I have already voted. :)

I always find it hilarious that leftists honestly believe that the Republicans are a party of rich billionaires and somehow the Democrats are the party of the poor and the working man. It's total garbage, but they truly believe this... despite all the evidence to the contrary.

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