The real election nears! (Plus poll update)

22:37, Oct 24 2012

Okay, so interest in the whole poll thing dipped in week two. But I told you I would keep it open for three weeks, and you guys can win a sweet prize.

So if you haven't responded yet, please do: who would you vote for in the upcoming American presidential election, and why?

Results after week two are only marginally different from how they were after week one.

Barack Obama, (D) 82.7 %

Mitt Romney, (R) 11.6 %

Jill Stein, (G) 3.8 %


Gary Johnson, (L) 1.9 %

As a lot of you still had some interesting things to say about the election last week, I thought I'd use this update as a little placeholder again to spur some chat.

And as it's an extra for experts Voyages post, no one can snipe at me about it being boringly political and such.

The election is 13 days away and the scores are way tied. On an aggregate of 15 or so major national polls, some have Romney up, some have Obama up, but they each shake out at a tie.

Pollster, one of the two poll aggregation sites I follow each day, noted yesterday that there has not been more than two-tenths of a point separating the two candidates in an average of national polls, for the past two weeks. (The other site I follow each day is Nate Silver's 538 blog, which is amazing.)

This is a tie game, in over time, and everyone involved is exhausted, including me.

I want to make an election prediction here, and I strongly encourage you to follow suit.

I think Barack Obama is going to win the election, 288 Electoral College votes to 250.

If this happens, I give Romney a one in five chance of still winning the popular vote; the much ballyhooed Gallup poll that has Romney up by six points, has Romney up by 22 points in the south, and Obama up between 4 and 6 points everywhere in every other region of the country.

While I accept that this election can, and may, be won by either candidate, I think that my prediction has validity because:

State by state polls still favour Obama in sum, and that is how American elections are decided. He has never trailed in the key battlegrounds: Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada, Pennyslvania and New Hampshire. Obama and Romney are deadlocked in Colorado and Virginia. Romney has had a small lead in Florida for a couple of weeks, and North Carolina seems to be looking more like a safe Romney state.

I don't think that Romney has "momentum" currently, as much as the race is in the same holding pattern it has been for two weeks since Romney erased Obama's lead in the wake of the first debate. People are surprised it is as close as it is. They know all they can know (much more than they want to know) and I think the election will take place in a political climate identical to today. There are no extreme changes coming, just a continued stalemate. 

I think Ohio, Nevada, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Iowa and Wisconsin deliver Obama the election, and Colorado breaks his way for good measure. I think Romney wins Florida, Virginia and North Carolina and they each split the popular vote.

This election seems to me to be more and more like 2004 each day. In the days leading up to that election the John Kerry hype hung thick in the air. The election was a tie. The gap was closing. Bush was scared. I really thought Kerry was about to become the next president of the USA. Some polls showed Kerry out in front. But Bush won, by about the same margin Obama will. Bush's victory said more about the power of incumbency and fear of the unknown than it did Bush, I think.

Because let's face it, whether or not he wins, Romney is no Reagan, and he's no Clinton, the last two presidents who knocked their predecessors out of office after one term. Reagan and Clinton absolutely trounced Carter and Bush I, respectively in 1976 and 1992. Romney hasn't captured the American imagination in a way I think you need to, to close a general election against an incumbent. 

But let's face it, what the hell do I know, huh?

The only certainty to follow this election is that America is headed for even rougher political waters. Neither candidate will win a decisive victory. Either way, we're looking at four more years of slow progress and bitter division.


Just let this election finish, okay? I can't bring myself to read a newspaper these days.

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