Mitt Romney will easily win the Presidency of the USA.
For Australians unfamiliar with the USA voting system the evidence I believe is overwhelming and clear.
I recently was honoured to be present at a private briefing on the state of the Republican campaign in the USA by the RNC’s leading research and polling experts. The details are confidential but the overall realities of changes in the political landscape for President Obama are clear.
A few salient facts :
The American presidential election model is based on a system requiring a majority of electoral college votes which are distributed by winning each state.
Barack Obama won an overwhelming majority of these states and votes in 2008. 365 Obama – 173 McCain.
Seemingly everything went his way.
This time however, the voters as evidenced by the polls (when you look past the often misleading headline number), and changes in the real world of the American political and voting system will work massively against Obama’s re-election.
For the purposes of this analysis “issues” will not be looked at as they are very subjective … but rather actual changes in the political landscape / voting system etc. that will almost certainly dramatically change the result.
Firstly … there has been a change to the number of votes that will decide the presidency in each state. Every 10 years following the USA census, the electoral college votes available to each of the 50 US states is changed up or down to account for population changes between the states. This time around major Obama strongholds such as Illinois, New York and New Jersey have lost influence … while likely Romney strongholds such as Texas, Utah, Georgia, Arizona and Sth Carolina have gained them. While each individual change may only be a vote or a few votes (Texas gained 4) in the larger scheme of things … it is the overall cumulative change that helps Romney ( the likely or possible switch away of some states from President Obama (Florida for example) will only accentuate this effect, the baseline from last election is a misleading one.)
Secondly … ‘Polling’, the USA voting system is voluntary so that there are 2 hurdles a candidate must overcome.
1) To get someone to actually get out and vote, &
2) To get them to vote for them.
In the USA polling uses models from previous elections when determining the likely distribution of voters for each election.
How do they make sure they are not over sampling one party or the other? Answer : use the distribution patterns from the last similar election as a guide.The problem here is that in 2008 there were a huge number of one off voters caught up in the hope and change 1st black president “historic” election. Besides the fact that a repeat of the 1st Black President effect is logically impossible, there is also significant evidence that the 2008 enthusiasm has diminished greatly.
Counting on this to happen again will tend to skew the results of polls enormously towards Obama when the reality (as any common sense analysis would confirm) is certain to be different. But without any historic real world alternative model to work from, understandably the 2008 Presidential election turn out model is used despite almost fatal flaws within it.
Those pollsters who attempt to measure the “voting intensity gap” … between committed / devoted voters for Obama and Romney show huge double digit differences in the number of highly motivated voters in favour of Romney, i.e. those most likely to actually vote in 2012. If this is no longer a hope and change Obama love fest as in 2008, this intensity gap will have a significant effect on the actual voting results (helping Romney).
Disturbingly it appears that many of the polling firms themselves have changed their assumptions and sampling to help erroneous projections of support for Obama.
Following criticism by the Obama team that the results of the Gallup polls were starting to turn against Obama after his disastrous 1st debate performance … Gallup significantly changed it’s methodology (to favour Obama) in the last month of the election. This is with one month to go (I believe ) both unprecedented and highly suspicious.(UPDATE : while Gallop has indeed increased the possible ratio of probable Obama voters in it’s sampling … Not wanting to be embarrassingly wide of the final result they have acknowledged the voter intensity problem and changed from registered voters to likely voters. this has enormously changed the end results in favour of Romney … which was of course my point )
Two other major changes have occurred since 2008 that I also believe will significantly affect the mechanics of the result towards Romney.
Firstly : Campaign finance law changes – The Citizens United ruling supporting free speech by the US Supreme Court in January 2010 has significantly altered the ability to raise campaign financing and therefore the campaign outlook to those of 2008 … these obviously have already had a big change on the process already … I am yet to hear any comments …ANYWHERE … that suggest that this change (the emergence of so called Super PACs) has helped the Democrats.
Secondly : The TEA Party. The most significant and important factor that will change the dynamic of this election is the existence and grass roots involvement ( an historic weakness for the Republican Party) of the tens of millions strong Tea Party movement.
Started in 2009 (and therefore unable to effect the 2008 elections)…the effect of the Tea Party and it’s grass roots operation can be gauged by the results of the most recent 2010 Congressional elections. Though relatively disorganised and inexperienced the result was the largest change in a mid term election towards the Republicans since 1938. Despite the countervailing effect of institutional Democratic strongholds such as Chicago, New York, Las Vegas and Maddison …where ‘voting irregularities’ (unlike Australia and most of the civilised world there is no voter ID requirement, the Democrats have fiercely fought to stop this reform so unknown numbers of dead and phantom people vote Democrat) have skewed results. The fact that where fraud was easiest to practically perpetrate the Democrats did best … and where it was hardest they did worst. The effect conversely of the TEA Party outside these dens of Democrat controls was truly historic….
In a presidential election even widespread voter fraud in some cities can be overcome by tens of millions of Tea Party activists across the nation. Obviously based on the actual results in 2010 (the most recent and therefore most applicable nationwide voting guide) the effect of the Tea Party in get out the vote efforts is likely to be far greater than the 2008 model when of course they did not exist (another of those logical impossibility issues).
I suggest that issues and economic problems for the Obama presidency will only highlight the basic political landscape realities working for Gov. Romney and against President Obama this election.
I suggest it will not even be close!
2 POSSIBLE SCENARIOS … BEST CASE AND LIKELY CASE .
1) BEST CASE … FINAL CALCULATION OF THE RESULT :
ROMNEY/RYAN 354 - OBAMA /BIDEN 184
2) LIKELY CASE … FINAL CALCULATION OF THE RESULT :
ROMNEY/RYAN 337 - OBAMA /BIDEN 201
AS THE ELECTION DAY GOT CLOSER I REVISED THE BEST POSSIBLE NUMBER AS I WAS BEING TOO LIMITED TO REFLECT A POSSIBLE EVEN LIKELY ROMNEY BLOW-OUT!