Election Night Madness #2

November 6, 2012

So I’m here with my friends Christine and Heather doing some internet chatting and assorted noshing. Waiting for significant states to come in. At the moment, though, it’s 65-56 Obama.

8:48
And apparently, according to Christine, Jesus is in the chili.

8:50
88-79, Romney. Well, I called GA all by myself. And I feel confident.

8:55
Oh. Look. Rednecks are going for Romney. Is Obama Black or something?

9:12
PA in. Obama. Keith says Game fucking over.

Ok I’m abandoning this.

Election Night Madness #1

November 6, 2012

So here we are. The day of days. My mother swears the Republic will fail if Obama is elected, so, you know…. There’s that.

I’m dicking around for a bit for the next 24 minutes until polls close in KY, VT, VA (good luck on knowing those results until 10:00 at the earliest), GA, IN, and SC. That’ll be 3 for Obama, 44 for Romney, and 13 unknown.

And I’m avoiding drinking.

Sort of.

6:47
kos reporting that last Romney internal had Obama up 5 in Ohio. That’s bad news for Romney.

6:55
And who’d have thunk those Pennsylvania ID laws might cause problems.

7:04
Here we go. KY and VT called: total is now Obama 3, Romney 8.

7:10
So ok. This guy is going to do a Hail Mary with his pundit career and hope for the best. But what the heck, Dick Morris is still working.

7:28
And now Indiana for Romney: Obama 3, Romney 19. Go Mitt Go! Hoosiers and Wildcats love you!

7:31
A Pause for travel to a nail-biting party, then I’m back with Madness #2.

Below is my rationalization for predicting the electoral outcome for each of the current 9 battleground states, followed by my overall predictions for winner and electoral count.

Note: I take my predictions from reading and pondering statisticians/aggregators at Huffpost/Pollster, TPM/Polltracker, 538 blog, Real Clear Politics, and a couple of others from time to time; from reading punditry and opinion (with a permanently raised eyebrow and many grains of salt); and from reading closely as many polls that provide breakdowns and crosstabs as I can get my hands on. Update: And from examining voting trends in the last three presidential elections, from examining demographic changes since the last election, and from noting reapportionment since the 2010 census.

Ohio (18 EV)–This battleground has been consistently 2-3 points ahead in the aggregate, and the trendlines have continued up toward 50, with Obama at 49.3% to Romney’s 46.1. Romney would have to take 3/4 of undecideds to win the contest. Possible but unlikely. The auto bailout, Romney’s recent comments fibs about Chrysler moving jobs to China that have been busted by Chrysler, GM, and three major Ohio newspapers, the huge gap with women and minority voters, early voting totals, and the intensity of the Democratic ground game will prevent Romney from winning the state. Assertions that Republicans have a higher intensity level in Ohio this cycle are founded on the voices of unicorns in fairy dreams.

Florida (29 EV)–The lead Romney developed after the first debate in early October has been effectively erased to place the state in genuine toss-up category. Both candidates poll in the high 40’s, within one tenth of a point of one another in the aggregates. Obama trails significantly with white men here, and the traditionally Republican parts of the state are redder than ever this cycle. This is a turnout issue, especially in Orange, Hillsborough, Palm Beach and Broward counties, and all along the I-4 corridor between Daytona Beach and Tampa (with Orlando smack in the center). Romney looks to pull this out, though as in every other battleground state save NC, trendlines are moving upward for Obama. This could go either way, but at the moment I’m giving it to Romney.

North Carolina (15 EV)–The situation here is similar to that in Ohio, but in reverse. The aggregates have Romney at 48.8% of the vote. Obama would have to take around 2/3 of the undecideds. That said, early voting has favored those registered with the Democratic party. Still, I expect Romney to win the state by 2 points or more.

New Hampshire (4 EV)–Mitt Romney has spent a good deal of time there of late, in an effort to forge a path to 270 (without Ohio) through Colorado, Wisconsin, Nevada, and the southern states. I’m convinced that Wisconsin and Nevada are in the President’s pocket, so the point seems moot. The clearest path to a tie goes through New Hampshire as well, but that requires Romney to lose Ohio while winning Iowa Virginia, Colorado, and Nevada. That’s highly unlikely, and two statisticians put the chances of that at less than half a percent. At any rate, it’s a close state, but not Florida or Colorado close. Could go either way, but given its geographical location and favorable trendline, I’m giving this to Obama.

Colorado (9 EV)–Here’s another genuine toss-up. Obama is polling ahead, but only by about 1.5 points in the aggregate. The trendline (I know this is getting repetitive) favors the president, who stands at 48.1% and rising. Given the strength of Obama in Denver, Boulder, and surrounding Jefferson, Larrimer, Arapahoe, and Adams counties (and the Democratic trends in western states New Mexico and Nevada) I give this to the President.

Virgina (13 EV)–Here’s the third tossup (alongside Florida and Colorado). Aggregates have the candidates a little over a point apart, but again, the trendlines have Obama rising and Romney fading. But just a little. The best poll for Governor Romney came on Oct. 26, giving him a 6 point lead. This is a Roanoke college poll. There might be a house effect here: Roanoke is the hub of Romney power in the state, with every county to the south, west, and north up the Shenandoah Valley voting strongly for him. Northern horse country between Charlottesville and the DC suburbs will favor the challenger as well. In other words, Romney will run up the vote in most of the rural counties, excepting a few notable but sparsely populated areas. Obama is strong in NOVA (Loudon, Prince William, Fairfax, and Arlington counties, and the city of Alexandria); Richmond; and urban Tidewater (Norfolk and Newport News). Turnout is the issue, and it seems to me that Obama will win a close one on strong NOVA turnout.

Iowa (6 EV)-This state now seems safe Obama territory, with aggregate polling for the President in the low 49’s. Early voting, which has been going on since September, has substantially favored those who are registered Democratic, as it did in 2008. Eastern Iowa (including DeMoines) favors the President, nearly to 2008 levels, and favorability with women voters is through the roof.

Nevada (6 EV)-This is a state that hasn’t recovered from the recession, so according to that rubric, it should be a solid win for Romney. But it won’t be. Most aggregate polling models have the President at or within tenths of a point of 50%. Why? A huge advantage in Clark County (the most populous, the one with Las Vegas) is one reason, but there are a couple of other reasons. Demographics are changing rapidly here. The Latino vote is growing here, as is Latino GOTV. Indeed, many analysts inside the state call the 2012 Democratic GOTV the strongest they’ve seen. Obama is beating the dickens out of Romney on the ground. And with women voters, but that should come as no surprise. This is a safe bet for Obama.

Wisconsin (10 EV)-In the aggregates, Obama is above 50%, and Romney is 3.5 points behind. So, in addition to winning all of the undecideds, most polling data and the five four statisticians/aggregators I read closely would ALL have to be wrong. Conspiracies don’t interest me, nor does insanity. The strength of public and private sector unions, the proximity to Ohio and Michigan (which have profited from the auto bailout), the strong women’s vote, and leftover Democratic rage from the Walker recall fueling turnout should make this at least a four point Obama win. (And they make cheese!)

Michigan (16 EV) and Pennsylvania (20 EV) haven’t been battleground states since August. They are safe Obama territory. The Nebraska 2nd congressional district (Douglas county/Omaha) went for Obama in 2008, giving him one additional electoral vote. There has been precious little polling there, and it isn’t being contested. I see it as safe Romney this time around.

My prediction: President Obama will win reelection with an electoral count of 303-235. He also will win the popular vote by a 1.5-2 point margin. I could see the President winning Florida as well, which would move the electoral score to 332-206. If instead of a gradual fade in trendlines over the weekend, the wheels come completely off the wagon for the Romney campaign, North Carolina could be an Obama pickup, changing the total to 347-191. But I don’t expect that to happen.

Third Presidential Debate 6

October 22, 2012

I’m going to do a little post-game, but first a look at comments here and around the net.

Back in a flash.

10:41
Told ya: I give you the Horses and Bayonets Tumblr.

10:48Looks like the words “strong” and “offense” are popping up all over about the prez’s performance.

OK. A few words. What’s taken away is perception. I just did a quick cruise of the major news sites on the net, and none list Romney as a clear winner. Several list Obama as the winner. A few say it was about even. It all depends on what soundbites are played, and I suspect that “horses and bayonets” is going to get tons of airplay. And that the meme of this debate will be that the President schooled Governor Romney. What effect that has on the electoral map? Well, as you know, that’s my real interest, so look for polling updates soon!

I’m out. Thanks for following.

Third Presidential Debate 5

October 22, 2012

Well, Mitt Romney just brought up exporting jobs to China. I’m baffled. Because. Oh, let’s just wait.

10:22
And….there it is. Obama just pegged him for shipping jobs overseas. “But I’ve made a different bet on American workers.”

10:24
Both men are doing well at keeping answers somewhat concise.

10:25
Wow. Obama ate his Weaties. With beer, not milk. Runner’s breakfast. Lots of carbs. Just called Romney out three times in a row.

10:26
The good Governor is all over the map.

10:28
As we draw to a close, I have this reading: Obama specific on foreign policy, Romney not.

10:29
Romney word salad. And he loves teachers. But something. And he loves teachers. And so does Bob Schieffer.

10:30
Closing statements.
Obama: Romney want to take us back to the early 2000’s. I want us to build this country. And energy. And by taxing rich people. Strong military. And go kill people. But fourth “nation building here at home.” DRINK!

Romney: I’m optimistic. I want to see growing peace. Real leadership. Principles of peace. People in this country confident. Two paths: with president, heading toward Greece; mine, magic ponies. Jobs. America is gonna come back. Bipartisan focus? Really? He’s not running in the primaries any more. “This nation is the hope of the earth.” What? Torch. Strong Leadership. Lead. Hope of the earth, again.

Continued in Third Presidential Debate 6

Third Presidential Debate 4

October 22, 2012

Hey! Bob Schieffer just prevented one of these guys from running him over. Shut him down. Go Press! DRINK!

10:07
Afghanistan. Romney’s answer isn’t great. But how could it be? The war is a colossal mess.

10:09
Third time the president has turned from nation building abroad to nation building at home.

10:10
Obama is at his worst when telling stories from the campaign trail. People he’s met, etc.

10:11
Obama is looking directly at Romney while he’s talking. Didn’t do that in debate #1.

10:12
Drones! I’m going to buy Schieffer a drink.
But he needs to call the President on that shit.

10:14
I’m sorry, but the Governor sounds like I do when I’m bullshitting an answer in front of a class. It’s not bad, just repetitive and obvious. I have way too many students who call me on that, by the way.

10:16
Greatest future threat. Obama: terrorist networks. But now let me talk about China. (To be fair, Schieffer mentioned China first.) Obama sounds defensive on China.

10:18
Greatest future threat. Romney: nuclear Iran. But let’s talk about China. China wants economy to work. We can be a partner. Who is this on stage? Didn’t he spend the last upteen months screaming about BAD CHINA? Am I misremembering?

Continued in Third Presidential Debate 5

Third Presidential Debate 3

October 22, 2012

We’re still kinda on foreign policy, and Obama makes some good points about what else we have to look at….cyber threats, etc.

I call bullshit on Romney’s navy comments. And the airforce ones. This is deceptive nonsense. And on the number he offers for the military spending cuts. Which don’t exist.

9:44
Holy f-ing shit! Obama: On the subject of having less ships in the Navy–we have fewer horses and bayonets, too. We have these things called Aircraft Carriers. There’s the money quote.

9:47
Israel and Iran. Here we go. Obama’s answer is strong and clear.

9:49
Romney: 1. We’ve got Israel’s back. 2. Iran with nukes is a threat. 3. Our mission in Iran is to persuade Iran peacefully. 4. He’s agreeing with the President. 5. Something about oil. 6. Secondly (he’s not on second) Ack-mad-in-ee-ghad is a war criminal. 7. Military option is last resort, thus agreeing with the president.

9:52
Obama is channeling the Big Dog a little bit by explaining clearly. At least to me. But he needs to cut it shorter.

9:54
Romney: I think that Iran sees weakness. Because magic.

9:56
Romney mentioned The Apology Tour! Drink!
And of course, Obama called him on that baloney. Why did Romney bring that up. He had to know the President was prepped for that one.

9:59
He won’t leave the Apology Tour alone!
Obama just mentioned his tour of the world while campaigning in 2008.
Will Obama talk about Romney’s summer tour?
Oh, I want him to. But I think he’s evoking it instead.

10:02
Romney sees lots of things in the world that are bad. Because magic. He doesn’t see our influence increasing, but not. Because magic. He can see all. And all sez that Obama bad.

10:03
Oh dear. It’s like Obama prepared for months for his doctoral prelims and got the exact questions he prepped for.

Continued in Third Presidential Debate 4

Third Presidential Debate 2

October 22, 2012

Obama has prepped for Libya, so whether Romney wants to talk about it or not, Obama is a-gonna talk about it.

And, I think he’s going to compare Libyan intervention to proposed intervention in Syria. And….yep.

9:24
Romney doesn’t want military intervention, but wants American leadership (not militarily) to bring together parties and to organize them though they are disparate and need a council (which Obama already said they’d started) but they need to be armed. A lot.

9:24
Rights of women! Second mention! DRINK!

9:26
Obama is doing a good job of connecting the aspirations of those in Egypt to those here in the USA. And is offering a nice explanation of the situation in Egypt. And then he turns it to a thing about economics at home.

9:28
Romney: “We want a peaceful planet.” Does anyone believe that? Anyone? War makes more MONEY.

9:29
Romney word salad!

9:32
New topic. America’s role in the world.
Romney: we must be strong over there, over here, with a strong military. (The notion that our military isn’t strong is absurd.) Stand for principles, and for our allies.
Obama: America remains the best country (or something like that). Gives a list of our current cool alliances. Then… he heads home too.

Both of them are turning as often as they can to talk about economic issues at home.

9:33
OK. Obama just hooked Romney to Bush and Cheney. Let’s see if he keeps it going.

9:35
Hey! Romney just mentioned Latin America (and dissed all of this paying attention to China…ok). Wonder why he mentioned Latin America? Anyone?

9:37
Obama is doing education now. Because Math and Science in the US is foreign policy. Somehow. I don’t like his education policy, generally, but this is a good answer. To a question that really wasn’t asked. And now he hooks it back to the world.

9:40
Now Obama is calling bullshit on Romney, but he’ll have to interrupt better than that. Romney is the king of the Gish Gallop.

Continued in Third Presidential Debate 3

Third Presidential Debate 1

October 22, 2012

And Bob Schieffer sits, waiting patiently. That looks like a pretty small table. Could get personal. At least there could be flying spittle.

8:59
I’m opening the wine. Broquel Malbec, 2008.

9:02
Good evening…here we go with Bob Schieffer. Audience has a “vow of silence.” How weirdly stated is that?

9:03
Romney, red tie; Obama, blue tie.

9:05
After an intro about the Cuban Missile Crisis…. (boggle), here we go right off the bat with the Libya thing. Romney’s first up. God, his comment about being funny was astonishingly unfunny.

9:06
Romney is doing a tour of the middle east (and other stuff close by). I mean, a bunch of countries. Trying to show a comprehensive knowledge. Mentions Osama bin Laden, but “we can’t kill our way out of this.”

9:08
Wow. Romney pretty much ignored Libya. Now the President is going back to it. It really struck me that Romney was trying to show a wide-ranging knowledge of the region with his answer. My guess is that it worked. Obama’s answer is a bit thicker, but it looks like he’s headed for a point.

9:10
Romney’s strategy is “to get the bad guys.” He’ll wear that tomorrow. But he’s focusing on helping the “muslim world” fight extremism. With economic support, it sounds like.

9:12
Wow. Romney has completely revamped his approach toward foreign policy, focusing on Mali, Egypt…. Obama is coming back with listing Romney’s flip-flops on foreign policy. Just called Romney “wrong and restless.”

9:13
Romney is playing the kind card! “Attacking me is not a strategy.”

9:15
Now we’re bickering. Obama is about to call him a liar. There was a line: “One thing I’ve learned as commander in chief-you’ve got to be clear.”

9:16
Obama mentions the need to deal with women’s rights in the middle east. First pander to a voting block! Drink!

9:19
Syria. Syria is syrious. They’re both syrious about it. Obama is on point. Romney sounds prepped for this.

Continued in Third Presidential Debate 2

Foreign policy is the subject of tonight’s debate. The moderator is Bob Schieffer of CBS News. Late yesterday, he released his topic list:

  • America’s role in the world
  • Our Longest war – Afghanistan
  • Red Lines – Israel and Iran
  • The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – I
  • The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – II
  • The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World

Let’s see, so really we have the following: a free-for-all on America and how great it is + Libya BS, the middle east, followed by the middle east, then more the middle east (with terrorists), and yet more middle east (terrorists optional), then China, whom we hate but ship our jobs to anyway.

That’s not a very big world, is it? What’s missing? Oh, anything from Africa except one country on the Mediterranean where a diplomat was killed; global warming; Europe Union; South America; global warming; outsourcing; Canada; Mexico; EU financial crisis; global warming; North Korea; India; nuclear proliferation in places other than Iran; the rise in sea levels; the disappearing Arctic Ice Cap; and global warming.

8:43
There are plenty of lists of “what to look for” out there. Here’s a good one.

8:47
Huffington Post has a headline for the debate that reads “Livin’ La Vida Boca.” Wow, that’s lame. I mean, I know it’s in Boca Raton, but really? REALLY?

8:57
Time for just a little comment on the state of the electoral race. The states to watch at this point are Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia. They’re all close. I’ve heard interesting things about GOTV efforts in both Iowa and North Carolina. Apparently, the ground game for the Democratic Party in those states is better organized than in 2008. In both states, both Republicans and Democrats are early voting in record numbers.

And we’re about ready to start.