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2012 Presidential Election Predictions

James Joyner (Obama 290, Romney 248):

Michael Barone issues a bold prediction: “Romney beats Obama, handily.” A lot of Republican pundits are saying that, of course, but none whose opinion I hold in anywhere near the same regard. While Barone doesn’t pretend to be an objective analyst—he’s a Republican partisan and makes no bones about it—he’s no Dick Morris. While his prediction is no doubt colored by his preferences, he’s no hack. So, what’s his thinking?

Fundamentals usually prevail in American elections. That’s bad news for Barack Obama. True, Americans want to think well of their presidents and many think it would be bad if Americans were perceived as rejecting the first black president.

But it’s also true that most voters oppose Obama’s major policies and consider unsatisfactory the very sluggish economic recovery — Friday’s jobs report showed an unemployment uptick.

Also, both national and target state polls show that independents, voters who don’t identify themselves as Democrats or Republicans, break for Romney.

As such, he thinks almost all of the swing states will ultimately break for the challenger: Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.   Only Minnesota , Nevada, Oregon, and Michigan  stay in Obama’s column, if Barone is right. That would be a whopping 315 to 223 win for Romney. Barone acknowledges, “That sounds high for Romney.” But, he points out, Romney “could drop Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and still win the election. Fundamentals.”

On the other side of the ledger, we have Nate Silver, whose analysis as of Saturday morning has the race at 305 to 233 in the other direction. He has no narrative; he offers only math.

[T]he argument we’re making is exceedingly simple. Here it is:

Obama’s ahead in Ohio.

A somewhat-more-complicated version:

Mr. Obama is leading in the polls of Ohio and other states that would suffice for him to win 270 electoral votes, and by a margin that has historically translated into victory a fairly high percentage of the time.

Alas, while my heart (or, at least, my vote) is with Barone on this one, my head’s with Silver. As unlikely as it may seem for an incumbent president to get re-elected when the economy is in such bad shape, public confidence in the future is so low, and the public has more confidence in the challenger than the incumbent to fix the economy, all of the reputable polling shows that’s what’s likely to happen. So, while there’s a case to be made for a wave election that reverses all of the gains Obama made in 2008 and takes us back to 2004, there’s just no evidence for it.

Yes, Mitt Romney enjoyed a huge surge after the first debate. But that just turned the race from a likely Obama landslide into one where Romney was likely to carry the swing states that are most historically Republican. It’s even conceivable—if not particularly likely—that Romney will eke out a popular vote win but nonetheless lose the election. The bottom line, though, is that it’s almost impossible for Romney to get to 270 without Ohio and I have zero reason to think that he’s going to take Ohio.

Here’s what the RealClearPolitics average looks like at the state level:

The only states that are particularly close—remember, this is a poll of polls, so the 3 point “margin of error” doesn’t apply here—are Florida, Virginia, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Colorado.  At 2.6 points, it’s possible Obama could lose Ohio; there’s no reason to bet that way, though.

My home state of Virginia is the closest, with Romney holding a whisker thin 0.3 point lead. Given that the state has voted Republican in every presidential election in forever except for the 2008 perfect storm, I’m going to give it to Romney. [UPDATE (11/5): Virginia Now Leans Obama]

Similarly, I think Obama’s 1.8 point lead in New Hampshire likely to hold up given that it almost always goes Democratic.

While North Carolina remains a technical toss-up, I’ve never thought Obama would take it again. I’m giving it to Romney.

I’ve always thought of Iowa as a solid Red state. But it’s gone Democratic two of the last three presidential cycles and Bush just barely won it in 2004. Obama’s 2 point lead holds.

Colorado looks to be the safest bet for a Romney pickup of a state leaning toward Obama. The president’s lead is a measly one point and Bush took it twice, comfortably. But I’m betting the other way. Colorado just doesn’t fit in with a Republican Party that’s dominated by the evangelical South; it’s a libertarian state but of the Oregon sort, not the Arizona sort.

If I’m right, then, the final map will look like this (I initially gave Romney a Maine elector on a hunch; but there’s no polling data to support that and Maine has never actually split):

This gives Obama a pretty comfortable 20 Elector win. If Romney somehow won Ohio and the race otherwise turned out this way, Obama would still win 272 to 266. If, on the other hand, the race went exactly as I predicted but Virginia stayed in Obama’s column (much more likely, incidentally, than Romney taking Ohio) Obama would win 303 to 235.

Doug Mataconis (Obama 303, Romney 235):

I agree with most of the picks that James has made here, so I’m  not going to go into too much detail discussing the states we agree about. I agree that Obama will likely win Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Iowa based both on the polls themselves and on the fact that there are peculiarities in each of these states that make things a tough go for Romney to say the least. In Ohio, it’s the auto bailout and the fact that the Obama campaign and the supporting SuperPACs spent the summer running anti-Romney, anti-Bain ads that clearly have had an impact on Governor Romney’s likability with Ohio voters. In Nevada, it’s the Latino vote and the fact that Democrats seem to have a strong presence in Clark County, which accounts for the largest part of the state’s population. In Iowa, it’s the Democratic edge in early voting. The one state that surprises me on this list is New Hampshire. I had expected Romney to do better there based on his ties to the state but that doesn’t seem to be helping, All of these problems add up to the same extremely narrow path to victory that I have been writing about here since the late Spring. Even though he’s surged in the national polls, Romney has not been able to break through in the state level polling and, unless you believe all those polls are wrong, they don’t paint a pretty picture for Romney.

The one state we disagree on is the state we both live in, Virginia. The Old Dominion is so close at this point that you could essentially flip a coin and be just as likely to get the correct result, but, for me, this still feels like a state more likely to go for Barack Obama on Tuesday than Mitt Romney. Notwithstanding the Republican surge in the post-2008 statewide and Congressional elections, it seems clear to me that the President still maintains a strong level of support in the population centers of the state and, assuming his campaign can get those people to the poll, I think they’ll push him over the top. Obama For America has been organizing here for the better part of a year, and they have more field offices than Romney does. I think they’ll be able to pull it off, but it’s going to be a lot closer than 20008.

So, here’s my Electoral College Map:

That’s a final Electoral College margin of 303-235.

Steven Taylor (Obama 290, Romney 248):

I am afraid I have to be boring and post the same map as James did above:

To add a little spice, however, I am going to have to say that while I used to consider Michael Barone a serious analyst, especially given his work with the Almanac of American Politics, I have to say that I think he has swerved into hacky territory in recent years.    He strikes me as a writer who has been captured by the fact that he writes and comments for clearly partisan outlets and he knows where his bread is buttered.  Maybe, too, if one is surrounded by folks with a particular point of view that one can’t help but to start to see the world through that lens.  But I digress…

Back to the map:  initially I was going to give Colorado to Romney but in re-looking at the polls, they have been far more Obama-favoring than Romney-favoring, even if the favoring has been via a small margin.  The other states I have some uncertainty about are New Hampshire (but I think the steady polling trend coupled with history keep the state blue) and Virginia.  I think that there is a decent chance Obama wins Virginia, but since I have to pick one or the other, I think Romney has the better odds.

All of the swing state predictions are, of course, based on probabilities.  Many partisans and/or just the generally hopeful like to see small margins in polls and then point to MOE and call such races even.  While it is true that close races may be incorrectly giving the lead to a particular candidate, I would note that when a given candidate has a lead in a poll, even if it is within the MOE, the probability is that the candidate does, in fact, have the lead.  As Carl Bialik noted in the WSJ back in 2007:

when a candidate is in the lead in a properly conducted poll, there is a greater than 50% chance that the candidate leads in the broader population. How much greater than 50% depends on the size of the lead and the size of the sampling margin of error.

Further, when poll after poll shows a small lead for a given candidate, this further increases the odds that that lead is real (indeed, this is part of the point of Nate Silver’s models and per-state predictions).  It is unlikely that, for example, Ohio is going to go Romney because while many polls are close, if not in the MOE, Romney has lead in only a handful of polls over time, and usually only in polls that are known to be biased in the GOP direction (e.g., Rasmussen and Gravis Marketing).   So, not only are the probabilities such that Obama is truly ahead in these polls, but that these results have been replicated in poll after poll increases that probability.  As the cliche goes, the only poll that matters is the one taken on election day, but it does seem that the probabilities in key states, as well as the number of states in question, mean that Obama is the favorite to win the election.

In terms of the popular vote, I am going predict Obama 50%, Romney 49% and Johnson will get less than 1%.

Dodd (Romney 282, Obama 256):

I will be the contrarian. While straining to avoid wishcasting, my projection is based on a simple bit of analysis: The two competing views of the makeup of the electorate that effectively cancel each other out to make the RCP Average a virtual tie cannot both be right. For the state polls to be right (especially in Ohio), Obama must generate a Democratic turnout advantage that meets or exceeds 2008.

That is extremely implausible. Independents have swung significantly to Romney, by double digits in some states. Romney voter enthusiasm is clearly higher than Obama’s coalition. And Romney is doing a little bit better that Obama on crossover votes. Either Obama is sitting on an historic turnout advantage that’s somehow hidden from every means of detecting it other than the sample weights of small sample size polls with incredibly loose Likely Voter screens or he’s not.

As such, I see Romney taking this thing by a small margin. It’s within the realm of possibility for Romney to win one more “battleground” state but I can’t figure out which one it would be (I don’t see him taking Pennsylvania–though if he does, it will be an early night). Were I forced to guess, I’d say Wisconsin is the next to flip given the last couple of years of its politics. I indulged the hunch and gave Romney the 1 EV in Maine that James backed away from but I won’t be surprised if that doesn’t actually happen.

Popular Vote (irrelevant though it is and should be): Romney 51-Obama 48.5.

Dave Schuler (Obama 280, Romney 258):

Of the toss-up states Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania will be carried by Obama; Iowa, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, and Florida will be carried by Romney.

In the popular vote anything can happen. Romney might have a slight majority; Obama might have a slight majority. I seriously doubt that Obama will exceed his 2008 majority.

Obama will take commanding percentages of black and Hispanic voters and a majority of women but I suspect that Democrats will be disappointed with the percentage of eligible black and Hispanic voters who turn out to vote. A larger percentage of Hispanic voters actually turnout out in 2010 than turned out in 2008. I do not expect that to recur this time around but I think it’s the demographically most interesting aspect of the 2012 election. Romney will carry a majority of white men and, possibly, a majority of white women.

There’s one aspect of this election of which I believe we should remain aware. Most of us including myself who predict an Obama victory are also predicting a number of highly unusual events in American politics. We are predicting that a sitting president is re-elected with an unemployment rate above 7% and not trending downwards and we are predicting that a sitting president will be re-elected with fewer electoral votes than he first secured to be elected. That strongly suggests that this election will be one for the record books whatever the outcome.

________________

Others:

Dan Drezner: Obama 294, Romney 244 [map]

Radley Balko: Obama 290, Romney 248

Jamelle Bouie: Obama 303, Romney 235

Donald Sensing: Romney 274, Obama 264 (low); Romney 322, Obama 216 (high)

Bernard Finel: Obama 297, Romney 241 [map]

Daniel Larison: Obama 281, Romney 257

Dan Nexon: Obama 303, Romney 235

Ryan Lizza: Obama 303, Romney 235

Daniel McCarthy: Obama 294, Romney 244 [map]

Stephen Green: Obama 270, Romney 268

Bob Krumm: Romney 295, Obama 243

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Davebo says:

    Alas, while my heart’s with Barone on this one

    So your heart loves a blatant liar? You may need a transplant.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 27 Thumb down 23

  2. Argon says:

    Pundits perform no better than a coin toss. One wonders why we listen… probably because we want to be entertained rather than informed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  3. john personna says:

    John Personna (Obama 1, Romney 0):

    As in, for most of us electoral breakdown just doesn’t matter. It only matters to future campaigns, and their strategies. That’s inside baseball to them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  4. john personna says:

    I suspect this run-on sentence was designed to bury the central question:

    As unlikely as it may seem for an incumbent president to get re-elected when the economy is in such bad shape, public confidence in the future is so low, and the public has more confidence in the challenger than the incumbent to fix the economy, all of the reputable polling shows that’s what’s likely to happen.

    For what it’s worth:

    Ohioans trust Obama over Romney on both the economy (52/46) and foreign policy (54/44)

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  5. john personna says:

    BTW, I’m considering this UDACITY course: Introduction to Statistics

    I figure I know some of it, but will be surprised by a lot as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. Geek, Esq. says:

    I hate to be a conformist, but I see it as Obama 281, Romney 235, with two authentic, too close to calls in VA and CO. If I had to settle on a final number, I’d go with Obama getting both due to superior ground game (Romney’s is better than McCain’s but at best it’s Bush’s 2000 machine, which is stale technology).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  7. Argon says:

    @john personna:
    John, you’ve won yourself two internets with that catch. Romney, the purported ace businessman has been utterly unconvincing with his ‘trust me, it all adds up’ secret plan. That’s the big story.

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  8. Geek, Esq. says:

    @Davebo:

    Uncalled for. Barone is engaged in wishful thinking, not lying. JJ wishes that were true, but he’s pretty clear that data trumps wishes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  9. al-Ameda says:

    To add a little spice, however, I am going to have to say that while I used to consider Michael Barone a serious analyst, especially given his work with the Almanac of American Politics, I have to say that I think he has swerved into hacky territory in recent years.

    I used to like Barone too, before he decided that being analytical and thoughtful was liberal.

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  10. James Joyner says:

    @john personna: The commas keep that from being a run-on sentence. Most of the polls I’ve seen give Romney a slight edge on the economy and/or job creation. ABC/Washington Post and AP particularly stuck in my mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  11. James in LA says:

    Doug, if Obama wins Colorado twice does that mean he gets 18 EVs?

    My take is 2012 is the year the digital age fundamentally undermines our perceptions of the electoral process. The old Hunch Politicians such as Scarborough will not be able to compete with the Nate Silvers of the future. Those under 40 do not organize information in the same way, and they do it far quicker than their ancestors of even a few years. The divide is stark and getting wider by the hour, at the speed of Moore’s Law.

    The Age of Newspapers is over, and most pols after this election will STILL have been born and raised in this era. Trusting their judgement via seniority is no longer an option. It has to be tested against an accepted, shared reality. The future will belong to those who do not run away from truth, not when your B.S. can now be thoroughly debunked in 3.5 seconds from the palm of my hand from anywhere on the planet. And, I was raised from birth to do so.

    For my money, the greatest challenge is taking back the powers given to the executive, actual threats to our freedoms such as the patriot act, indefinite detentions, and warrantless data-mining, though the latter will be less effective as secure meshnets arise. Debt is a financial problem that can be cured by people of good will coming together to fund a payment plan. It pales in comparison as a real problem.

    Add climate change, and the New President is going to be very busy!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  12. Geek, Esq. says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    I would add that Obama winning FL would be a merely minor surprise that would be perfectly consistent with polling. Much less surprising than Obama losing any of the 281 everyone seems to agree on.

    Slightly off-topic, but if Obama wins a fairly decisive electoral college victory, the Republicans will have to have a major shake up. Especially as the Latino population ages and thus accelerates its percentage of the electorate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  13. ptfe says:

    For the record, I’m going Obama 299-Romney 239, with Obama losing NH and winning VA. Really, it’s because there’s limited New Hampshire polling, and I’ll give it to Romney to make him feel better about riding his car elevator into the sunset.

    But, yeah, jp is right: the reality is Obama 1-Romney 0, and that’s all that’s going to matter on Nov 7. (FFS, I hope it’s Nov 7.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  14. James Joyner says:

    @James in LA: Scarborough is a late-40s politician with a law degree; Silver is a 30-something stats geek with an economics degree. I think their training, not their ages, are the difference.

    Beyond that, they simply play different roles. Scarborough is a conservative Southern Republican trying to explain that viewpoint to MSNBC’s audience while being amiable and entertaining. I think he’s fantastically good at that. Silver, likewise, is fantastically good at something completely different: trying to bring the rigor of SABRmetrics to political journalism.

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  15. Geek, Esq. says:

    @James in LA:

    One thing that could slow that would be the GOP making a serious play for minorities, which would make demographics less outcome determinative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. Anderson says:

    JJ and Steven have the same map I predicted a week or so ago. Fools think alike!

    Coincidentally or not, we all 3 match up with the RCP no-tossups map.

    I suspect CO polls understate the Hispanic vote, which will break hugely for Obama and help push him over the top. However, Doug may well be right to see VA breaking for Obama as well. It’s interesting Doug and JJ are both on the ground there and disagree … emblematic perhaps of how split the state is!

    … But seriously: “he thinks almost all of the swing states will ultimately break for the challenger: Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin”??? That’s not a hack? What is it, then?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  17. jan says:

    I’m going to have a prediction with almost the same numbers as James, except for different candidates.

    I think Romney wins:

    1) CO — because he is trending there in early voting. I also recall the huge R turn-out in Red Rock recently, where one man drove 500 miles, to only be turned away because it’s capacity had already been filled. Anecdotal stories, are basically pictorial/personal snapshots, similar to how polling are statistical/scientific ones looking at the same event.

    2) WI — Paul Ryan is very popular in this state, along with Gov Walker. Even though the polling has shown Obama ahead, I’m betting on the strong ground game Walker left in place from the recent recall, and having a ‘favorite son’ on the ticket to pulling this state out for the R’s.

    3) OH — has historically been a ‘red’ state, and is considered inherently very conservative in it’s middle class values. There is a core constituency here who dislike and distrust Obama’s energy polices, along with his attack on religion through the HHS regs. You also have Delphi workers losing their pensions who don’t view Obama favorably as well. Lastly, there is a talk show host, Cunningham, who seems to know the state like the back of his hand. Only three months ago he was calling it for Obama. But, as of this last week, he has seen an enormous public shifting over to Romney, and now adamantly thinks it will go for the R’s. He especially says all the rural towns and villages, who have been either under-polled or not polled at all, are going to cast votes for Romney, in mass, rather than for Obama.

    4) Iowa — has had numerous newspaper endorsements for Romney, including the largest one in the state. A while back there was a crop picture of Romney’s face and name artistically done in a field, taken from an overhead shot. It was impressive. I think the farmer who took the time to do this will not be disappointed next Tuesday. Also, although, early voting shows a slight lead for Obama, it is down from the numbers logged in 4 years ago, while R enthusiasm is up. It is largely this palpable enthusiasm factor on the R side, which makes me believe that Romney will win on the 6th, despite the polling showing he won’t.

    All in all my figures add up to Romney = 291, and Obama = 247.

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  18. Anderson says:

    Jon Chait nails Barone (and Jan, for that matter).

    It’s best to read Barone’s state-by-state breakdown in the voice of the eighties-era Saturday Night Live Bears fans sketch.

    … Notice how none of Jan’s theories rely on polling, because the polling Just. Ain’t. There.

    Good luck finding another second job after the election, Jan. Maybe you can post off-topic comments about how Tide gets your whites so much whiter!

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  19. James in LA says:

    @James Joyner: Beyond that, they simply play different roles.

    In the past, yes. Hasn’t worked out for Joe & Co. so well this time around. And it will be even less relevant to our politics in the future. It’s the “role playing” that is so transparent in the digital age, and the tolerance of it will be declining. The “ick” factor comes through loud and clear. Mourdock and Aiken could have scuttled around in the cracks behind the back benches in a previous era.

    Not in 2012.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  20. @jan:

    Well….

    2) WI — Paul Ryan is very popular in this state, along with Gov Walker. Even though the polling has shown Obama ahead, I’m betting on the strong ground game Walker left in place from the recent recall, and having a ‘favorite son’ on the ticket to pulling this state out for the R’s.

    The problem is: VP nominees don’t help as much as conventional wisdom dictates. The last (and maybe only) example of a VP nominee tilting a state is LBJ in 1960. Obama is up +5.4 in the RCP average and Romney has not led in that average going back to the start of the year. Giving WI to Romney is based on hope, not data.

    In re: Ohio, I am not sure what this means:

    is considered inherently very conservative in it’s middle class values.

    The reason I note this is because, historically, a lot of middle class voters vote Democratic. One could also certainly argue that Obama is at least as appealing to the middle class as is Romney, who is clearly of the upper class and whose policies are oriented towards said upper class.

    In re: Iowa, while I do think Romney has a chance, newspaper endorsement aren’t going to be the reason.

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  21. @Anderson:

    Coincidentally or not, we all 3 match up with the RCP no-tossups map.

    I didn’t notice that, but it stands to reason: we are all using roughly the same logic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. James in LA says:

    @Geek, Esq.: I think we will be waiting a generation yet for that plan to emerge. Maybe two. The seeds of it have not yet been sown.

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  23. Jr says:

    Obama-303
    Romney-235

    Obama wins 7 out of 9 swings states, Romney wins FL and NC. This has been my prediction since the start and I am sticking with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

  24. @James in LA:

    It’s the “role playing” that is so transparent in the digital age, and the tolerance of it will be declining.

    I would like to hope that you are right, but I fear that the role playing will increase and that large numbers of people will simply watch/read the person playing the role they like the best.

    I am more and more coming to grips with the fact that most people don’t want actual news (i.e., information and data) or competent analysis, but rather simply want to hear what they want to hear (and presented in an entertaining fashion).

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  25. My prediction: Ohio, Virginia, and Florida all end up going to the same person. That could be either Romney or Obama, but they’re all going to break the same direction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  26. wr says:

    @Anderson: ” Notice how none of Jan’s theories rely on polling, because the polling Just. Ain’t. There.”

    But she explains that by telling us that personal anecdotes are the same as polling data. For example, the fact that more than 10,000 people showed up to see Romney at Red Rocks, leading to many being turned away, means that more than 50% of Colorado’s five million plus citizens will vote R.

    You see, in Jan-world, the fact that there might be as many as 20,000 people sufficiently devoted to a candidate to go to his rally is proof that the entire state is gaga for him. This is why Britney Spears was elected president in 2000.

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  27. Mr. Replica says:

    You also have Delphi workers losing their pensions who don’t view Obama favorably as well.

    Ethics Complaint Filed Against Mitt Romney for Failing to Disclose Big Auto Rescue Profit – UAW and Other Unions, Good Government Groups Call On U.S. Office of Government Ethics to Investigate

    The groups believe that Romney’s undisclosed stock holdings create serious conflicts of interest. They point to the auto loans as a key example. The Nation recently reported that the Romney family personally profited by at least $15.3 million from the auto loans of 2009. Yet Romney’s June 1, 2012, Public Financial Disclosure Report to the Office of Government Ethics did not reveal this windfall because he did not disclose the underlying holdings of his private equity and limited partnership funds.

    Romney profited from his family’s investment in Delphi Corp. at the expense of the Delphi workers. Other unreported investments that could create conflicts of interest include controversial holdings in Sensata and Global-Tech.

    Considering Romney pissed all over himself thanks to his Jeep debacle, and Ohioans pretty much know about this business concerning the Romney family profiting off of Delphi workers losing their jobs…I think Romney is probably a lot worse off than Obama is.

    As far as the blind trust thing…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGxbF2ksr5Y

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  28. Geek, Esq. says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The single stat that should obliterate this silliness of Romney winning WI:

    Despite Walker’s impressive showing and the GOP-friendly electorate, exit polls showed Obama leading Romney among recall voters by 7%, 52-45. Although the large contingent of Obama-Walker voters seems to have surprised at least a few analysts, the exit poll was highly consistent with pre-election polling. According to the Washington Post, 59% of Obama-Walker voters were independent and 52% considered themselves moderate.

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/plank/103904/electionate-live-blogs-the-wisconsin-recall

    We saw the GOP ground game working at its best for the Walker recall, they got exactly the result they wanted, and that electorate was still decisively pro-Obama without OFA’s participation.

    And, the same pollsters that called that election for Walker by a safe margin are calling it for Obama.

    But, Dick Morris has the real poll numbers.

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  29. john personna says:

    @James Joyner:

    Your first link says:

    Slightly more Americans trust Barack Obama than Mitt Romney on the issue of job creation, a new poll from Rasmussen shows. Forty-seven percent of those polled said they trust Obama more on job creation, compared to 45 percent who say they trust Romney more.

    The other cites only for Women.

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  30. john personna says:

    (A slight and momentary peak for Romney on the economy is not at all the same as a contender with wide dominance on the same.)

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  31. In all American history, no incumbent president running for reelection has ever succeeded except by getting more total votes the second time than he got in the first.

    Obama could be the first exception, of course. But does anyone – including Jarrett and Axelrod – truly expect Obama will get more total votes this year than in 2008?

    In a Nov. 2 article entitled, “Obama’s Defectors,” the WaPo reported that Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll interviews done over two weeks found that only 84 percent of likely voters who voted for Obama in 2008 say they will vote for him this year, 13 percent say they are voting for Romney and 3 percent are backing others or haven’t made up their mind yet.

    Obama got 53 percent of the total votes cast in 2008. If – and a big if, I admit – there are the same number of total votes cast this year as in 2008, then the arithmetic is simple: 84 percent of 2008′s votes for Obama leaves him with 45 percent of the votes this year.

    As we have been told ad nauseum, a candidate can lose the popular vote and win the electoral vote. If the margin in the popular vote is a point or less the math works very simply for it, maybe for a little more than a point. But folks, no candidate who gets 45 percent of the popular vote is going to win enough states to get to 270.

    Of course, the WaPo-ABC polling could be out to lunch – but so could every poll that Joyner, et. al, cite above and there is no reason to think that the Post-ABC poll is more wrong than any others.

    I make no prediction myself except that I do not think Obama will win.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 17

  32. James in LA says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: but I fear that the role playing will increase and that large numbers of people will simply watch/read the person playing the role they like the best..

    This is part of what has changed. In the digital age, information is no longer organized by who says it at the narrow time of day when you are allowed to hear it. Nor are editors any longer immune to having their own record scrutinized down to the last comma. Information is chiefly organized by topic, and this makes the role-play game much less effective.

    It actually makes your job easier, as you are free to slice through the personalities and unfounded hopes and ugly name-calling to get to the truth. In the past, you had to hob-nob with too many irrelevant people just to get a crumb. In 2012, you move through information with the freedom of breathing.

    Shorter: since Conkrike, who CARES who said it? Verify, and maybe trust will be earned.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  33. anjin-san says:

    In re: Ohio, I am not sure what this means:

    is considered inherently very conservative in it’s middle class values.

    It’s basically a dog whistle for “Conservatives believe in hard work and they love their country and their families. Liberals don’t”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  34. David M says:

    I’m sticking with my prediction of Obama 303 / Romney 235, which seems to be a popular map. Obama just has more and easier ways to reach 270 than Romney.

    @Donald Sensing:

    You’re arguing a single poll is more meaningful than the polling aggregators. That doesn’t seem like a good bet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  35. Just Me says:

    I think it is going to be close. I still think Obama has the edge, but I think he has squandered a lot of that edge in the last month.

    I won’t go into who wins how many electoral votes, but my guess is that Romney wins NH. I also think Romney wins Virginia and Florida. I think Obama keeps Ohio and Iowa and I think PA will still be blue (while I do think Romney is doing much better than McCain in PA, I just don’t see PA truly being in play).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  36. anjin-san says:

    I think he has squandered a lot of that edge in the last month.

    Based on what? Obama had two very bad weeks in October, followed by two very good weeks. Most of the ground he lost after the Denver debate has been recovered.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  37. C. Clavin says:

    As Bill Maher said; the comedians win, America loses.
    Romney with 275 EVs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  38. Console says:

    About the “fundamentals.” That’s one of those things that I keep seeing get thrown around but that never comes with any factual backing. Given history and fundamentals, a narrow Obama lead is what is expected, according to Nate Silver:

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/08/after-conventions-follow-the-bouncing-poll-numbers/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  39. PJ says:

    @Donald Sensing:

    In all American history, no incumbent president running for reelection has ever succeeded except by getting more total votes the second time than he got in the first.

    There’s a recent xkcd cartoon for you.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  40. michael reynolds says:

    @Donald Sensing:

    Regarding the “no president ever…” thing, I refer you to XKCD.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  41. michael reynolds says:

    @PJ:
    Hah! Great minds…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  42. wr says:

    I predict a split decision. Obama will win the popular and electoral college vote in the real world. But in Rightie world — the one in which Jan and JKB and Tsar and the Teapartiers live — Romney will have won in a landslide that is being covered up by the MSM and the New Black Panther Party.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 2

  43. michael reynolds says:

    I’m with James. But it’s not much fun when you have all this data. I liked it better when we had one outdated poll and our guts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  44. Anderson says:

    “This is why Britney Spears was elected president in 2000.”

    Would’ve done less harm.

    “In all American history, no incumbent president running for reelection has ever succeeded except by getting more total votes the second time than he got in the first.”

    I thought xkcd killed that meme. Silly anyway. Wilson got more in 1916 because it wasn’t a 3-way race. Etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  45. Modulo Myself says:

    @michael reynolds:

    And good old President Dewey!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  46. @James in LA:

    It actually makes your job easier, as you are free to slice through the personalities and unfounded hopes and ugly name-calling to get to the truth. In the past, you had to hob-nob with too many irrelevant people just to get a crumb. In 2012, you move through information with the freedom of breathing.

    Yes, but it also makes it far easier to find people who confirm what they want to hear. Witness the whole unSkewed polling routine.

    I agree that if one wants the information is a readily there. I just question the degree to which most people actually want said truth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  47. Ben says:

    I’m going with Obama 299 to Romney 239. Romney picks up FL, NC and NH, Obama gets VA, PA, OH, IA, CO, NV and WI.

    Obama gets just a shade over 50% of the popular vote, Romney 48.5 and Stein and Johnson split the remaining 1.5%

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  48. @Donald Sensing:

    In all American history, no incumbent president running for reelection has ever succeeded except by getting more total votes the second time than he got in the first.

    All well and good, but that really doesn’t matter, yes?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  49. john personna says:

    Related:

    The Long-Run Harm of ‘Putting Ideology Ahead of Reality’

    It is kind of laughable when people respond to statistics by hating the statististician, but it gets much worse. Let’s not forget that the Senate Republicans just buried some research for much the same reasons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  50. Geek, Esq. says:

    @Donald Sensing:

    Perhaps you are unaware of this development, but President Obama’s opponent in 2012 is Governor Romney, not Senator Obama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  51. PJ says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    All well and good, but that really doesn’t matter, yes?

    Sure it does, that’s why the same person has won every year. He doesn’t age and he always get the same number of votes.

    Also, Donald Sensing forgot this:
    Every election year that the San Francisco Giants wins the World Series, the Democrats loses badly in November.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  52. michael reynolds says:

    In Florida I suspect it will come down to how effectively Republicans keep citizens from voting. Both there and in Ohio we see exactly why Republicans are unfit to govern.

    I know Doug has taken a lot of sh!t for refusing to back Obama or Romney. But he at least is voting his conscience. I don’t believe any thinking person can vote the conscience for Mitt Romney. He is the most thoroughly dishonest candidate I’ve seen at the presidential level in my lifetime. Nixon lied more in the White House, but nowhere near this much on the campaign trail.

    But it’s nice that James comes out of his closet on this. He supports a serial liar, the world’s undisputed flip-flop champion; who won’t show his tax returns; who does his banking outside the country; who was a serving official in a church that was explicitly racist until 1978 and remains virulently anti-gay; who would harm our military by forcing gay soldiers to quit; who benefits from widespread, ongoing, deliberate race-baiting; who encourages the suppression of votes; who rejects and ridicules science; who dismisses 47% of the American population as leeches; whose ‘economic plan’ is an absurd fantasy; who would increase military spending in the face of no real-world threat and huge deficits; who would outlaw abortion; who would reject equal pay for women, and who is quite likely to start a disastrous war with Iran.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 4

  53. @PJ:

    The Giants have never won a World Series in a Presidential Election year before 2012

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  54. michael reynolds says:

    Or shorter version. James Joyner to gay war vets: fwck you, I want a tax cut.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  55. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: You only say that because you haven’t unskewed the baseball stats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  56. jan says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Giving WI to Romney is based on hope, not data.

    I agree, because as you say, the data is showing otherwise.

    However, there have been so many different statistical models, weighting of samples, voter screens, and general processing of this election — both from the R and D perspective — calling out numbers for this election. Then you have cell phones vs land line usage, the small percentage of those who actually will answer their phones (10% vs 90 % that won’t), as well those deliberately giving pollsters incorrect answers, adding into the variables making it even more difficult to accurately calculate what is really happening on the ground.

    Consequently, what I have heard, from more than one polling pundit, is that after this election there will have to be some serious review by pollsters on how to conduct future polls, given the technological and cultural changes that keep evolving.

    The anecdotal contributions are chided around here as not being serious date. I want to inform those people that they are not given as data, only as examples of what people are personally feeling about the candidates. This is similar to Obama talking about a woman he met on the stump, her POV, to illustrate a much larger point. That is similar to how I use voter stories, to indicate how I am seeing a larger voter mood that might lead to a trend that was missed on a polling questionnaire.

    The reason I note this is because, historically, a lot of middle class voters vote Democratic. One could also certainly argue that Obama is at least as appealing to the middle class as is Romney, who is clearly of the upper class and whose policies are oriented towards said upper class.

    Here I think your ideology is tainting reality. All along you and yours have considered Romney to be the candidate of the ‘rich,’ when, to others, he seems to appeal to what is called the ‘values voter.’ This fits into the profile of blue-collar, hard-working, middle to upper-middle class, small business, semi-to highly religious, family-oriented, rural, suburban, more self-reliant, small government kind of voter. I watched Romney’s latest rally at West Chester Ohio last night, and it was a gathering of all ages and classes — people who cheered the Romney line to go out and vote because of ‘love for country,’ rather than ‘revenge,’ which obama had earlier invoked.

    As far as who Obama appeals to. His demographical appeal is to rich liberals, Hollywood celebrities, higher level academia types, youth, racial minorities, corporate heads who support those who are likely to win, single women, union members, and special interest groups.

    Basically, I think you are gauging the populace wrong by applying your own model for whom you think is the typical democratic voter. What I and many others are seeing is something very different.

    But, we’ll see on Tuesday….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  57. john personna says:

    @michael reynolds:

    James knows Prince Mitt for who he really is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  58. James in LA says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Witness the whole unSkewed polling routine.

    Yes, thoroughly excruciating. And a piece of the whole, the part of the story under the general heading of Denial, and its effects on voters in 2012. Not even the site from which content originates matters any more as news aggregators gain traction. Pulse, for example. I originally found OTB via the memorandum. Look into Pulse; TPM is one site that is part of it.

    As for wanting it, this is another aspect that has changed. In the connected age, it is difficult for me to obtain only what I want while ignoring everything else. The mind wanders. I am apt to encounter points of view from all over the map, not just the carefully-crafted ones you get even with cable TV channel surfing.

    This all serves to change the patterns of decision-making. It remains to be seen how well this is implemented in our politics, but it seems like a natural way out of the red/blue childish nonsense. The next generation of social media will include direct participation in politics for sure. Virtual caucuses and such, and much more targeting down to the side of your head on which the part of your hair falls. That data will come from Google Whigs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  59. michael reynolds says:

    @jan:

    As far as who Obama appeals to. His demographical appeal is to rich liberals, Hollywood celebrities, higher level academia types, youth, racial minorities, corporate heads who support those who are likely to win, single women, union members, and special interest groups.

    Yeah, that’s about , what, 30% of the population? I wonder where he gets the rest of his votes?

    By the way, hate to break this to you, but “racial minorities” and “single women” and “union members” are big components of the hard-working middle class. But of course like Romney you can’t quite fit a black or brown face into your vision of a hard-working middle class, can you?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 4

  60. michael reynolds says:

    @john personna:

    I don’t think anyone knows Mitt Romney for who he really is because I don’t think he’s “really” anyone. He’s an emptiness in a suit.

    By the way, if Romney loses, his name will never be heard again in Republican circles. He’ll be a ghost. My guess is the party will hurl itself at the feet of Marco Rubio and a year from now Republicans won’t even remember Romney ever existed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

  61. john personna says:

    @jan:

    Rather than seven meandering paragraphs, you could try some concise data. While Romney does have minority support among low income families, his strengths are the rich and the old.

    Obama’s the young and the poor, despite “rich liberal” bogeymen.

    (I guess a rich Hollywood liberal is doubly scary, like a vampire who is also a werewolf.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  62. @James in LA:

    As for wanting it, this is another aspect that has changed. In the connected age, it is difficult for me to obtain only what I want while ignoring everything else.

    I don’t know. I have friends (educated ones who are quite plugged in) who clearly get almost all their information from sources that tickle their ideological preferences. I see it in my students as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  63. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Yes, and that’s why I used election year and not Presidential election year! :)

    —————————

    About Donald Sensing’s argument:

    In all American history, no incumbent president running for reelection has ever succeeded except by getting more total votes the second time than he got in the first.

    It’s “more total votes the second time than he got in the first”. Why? Because FDR did it twice, he got fewer votes the third time than he got the second time, and then again he got fewer votes the fourth time than the got the third time.

    Also, It’s total votes, not total elector votes (which are the votes that actually matter), nor is percentage of votes or percentage of elector votes (which would adjust for population growth and states being admitted to the Union). Guess why…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  64. john personna says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I was going for a Prince Charming allusion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  65. @jan:

    I agree, because as you say, the data is showing otherwise.

    So, unless there are solid reasons that the data are wrong, I would suggest going with the data. Anything else is just distraction, denial, and hope.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  66. anjin-san says:

    Mark Halperin: “Don’t kill me for the obvious, but the near absence of racial diversity in the Romney crowds is teased out further by the contrast with the rainbow the President draws. It is more striking than I have ever experienced it in any presidential campaign I have covered.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  67. george says:

    @Argon:

    Pundits perform no better than a coin toss. One wonders why we listen… probably because we want to be entertained rather than informed.

    Well, its like arguing about who’s going to win the Superbowl – as you say, entertainment. There might be people who change their vote depending upon who’s predicted to win, or more likely, people who will bother to vote or not depending upon who’s predicted to win, but my suspicion is that you’re better off underestimating your chances in that case (ie get your complacent voters out).

    I suppose further out from the election, it also helps with fund raising, but this close to the vote I wouldn’t think that plays into it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  68. Jr says:

    @anjin-san: White People suck……I thought we all knew that by now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  69. anjin-san says:

    @ Jan

    more self-reliant

    Perhaps you could name a few of the ways that you are more self-reliant that the Democrats on this thread…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  70. anjin-san says:

    @ Jr

    Well, I am white, and I don’t suck…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  71. Jr says:

    @anjin-san: As am I……but lets be honest there.

    There is no reason why White working class Americans should be voting for Mitt Romney…..no reason what so ever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  72. Mikey says:

    @James in LA:

    As for wanting it, this is another aspect that has changed. In the connected age, it is difficult for me to obtain only what I want while ignoring everything else. The mind wanders. I am apt to encounter points of view from all over the map, not just the carefully-crafted ones you get even with cable TV channel surfing.

    That may be your experience, but many people live entirely inside their filter bubble. Their information age experience is, both intentionally and unintentionally, very narrowly tailored, and they rarely deviate. I know people who simply never leave FoxNews.com (or, worse still, WorldNetDaily). I also know people who simply never leave Daily Kos and ThinkProgress.

    America’s ideological divides are becoming sharper and deeper because so many people spend so much time reinforcing their existing positions and engaging in motivated reasoning. Fewer and fewer people seem interested in real discussion, and fewer still actively seek to have their positions challenged. And the extreme customization-of-experience possible via the internet is only making this worse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  73. Mikey says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I have friends (educated ones who are quite plugged in) who clearly get almost all their information from sources that tickle their ideological preferences. I see it in my students as well.

    What is Motivated Reasoning? How does it Work?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  74. James Joyner says:

    @Anderson:

    It’s interesting Doug and JJ are both on the ground there and disagree … emblematic perhaps of how split the state is!

    I don’t know about Doug but I’m forecasting Virginia exactly the same as I am the other 49 states: based on the polls. I don’t have any real sense of the pulse here and, frankly, Northern Virginia is not a great place to get it. I have zero confidence in the outcome here, either of the presidential race or the Senate contest, both of which are coin flips in the RealClearPolitics aggregate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  75. anjin-san says:

    There is no reason why White working class Americans should be voting for Mitt Romney…..no reason what so ever.

    No argument there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  76. Mikey says:

    @James Joyner:

    I don’t have any real sense of the pulse here and, frankly, Northern Virginia is not a great place to get it.

    No kidding–not least because “Northern Virginia” is no more monolithic than the rest of the state. Political preferences in Alexandria are a whole lot different from Leesburg, and Woodbridge from Fairfax. It’s more liberal up here, sure, but it’s hard to say what’s going to happen because there’s still so much variation.

    I went around a neighborhood in Fairfax County this morning with my son’s Cub Scout den, putting out bags for food donations. Walking down the streets there are plenty of candidate yard signs, but it looked pretty much like this: “Romney/Obama/Romney/Obama/Romney/Obama…” just alternating from one house to the next .

    Although if the size of the signs is any indication of the potential outcome, Romney has it sewn up. Some of the Romney/Ryan signs were damn near as big as billboards.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  77. Anderson says:

    One reason VA is close is that lots of voters outside the NE are skeptical of a Mormon millionaire. It’s funny how we’ve tended to think GOP social issues have erased class issues. Not everywhere!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  78. Ron Beasley says:

    I’m thinking Obama -290, Romney – 248 the most likely outcome although Virginia is a draw. Florida might surprise as well.
    I think Romney’s biggest problem is Romney. He comes off as insincere – when he says I’m glad to be here in ______, I doubt that anyone believes him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  79. Jr says:

    @James Joyner: Yeah…….VA seems impossible to figure out. I gave it to Obama since recent polling seems to show the state in his favor….but I wouldn’t be shocked if Mitt wins there by a hare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  80. wr says:

    @jan: There is no one who does not say that this race will be close. That means each candidate has tens of millions of people voting for him. So the fact that you can see great enthusiasm in the crowds for your guy is meaningless — no one doubts there are tens of millions of people rooting for him. Heck, McCain and Palin (particularly Palin) used to have giant crowds of truly excited voters coming to their rallies. You might remember what happened in that election.

    This is why your mood-check version of predicting the outcome is so silly. If the president had to win unanimously, then a stadium full of Romney supporters would be a bad thing for him. But he doesn’t. So who cares?

    By the way, you say at Romney appeals to “all ages and classes,” and then say that Obama voters are students, corporate heads, single women, minorities, union members and several other groups… which kind of sounds like “all ages and classes” to me. Why is this good when they like Romney and somehow suspicious when they like the other guy?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  81. James in LA says:

    @Mikey: That may be your experience, but many people live entirely inside their filter bubble.

    Without doubt or debate, this is true. And, while such entrenchment may be fashionable now, it is merely an iteration away from the old media, the one in which the old methods of control are tried and mostly failed in the digital world. E.g. “paywalls,” which rely on a brand, not content, which can be gotten anywhere. Visiting one news site instead of news aggregators. SIngle-site entrenchment is a fad.

    Consider:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/02/summly-nick-daloisio_n_2065796.html?utm_hp_ref=technology

    And this is just one sample of the direction information is taking, away from mouthpieces who would distort it. Another technology that is coming is meshnets, which will make traditional ISPs obsolete. I also mentioned Pulse earlier, for Android and iPhone. This is the future of news.

    The same forces that are about to lose this election need the populace to continue to wear the Rapture Goggles. While their world may be coming to an end, mine certainly isn’t. Nor is Nick Daloisio’s.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  82. Janis Gore says:

    Well, if Obama is voted out, I think he should be named FEMA director. He’s been at the top of his game the past several days. Very inspiring. That’s what community organizers are good for.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  83. C. Clavin says:

    Jesus-god…it took Jan all of :15 to repeat the “Revenge” distortion. Has that woman ever had an independent thought???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  84. C. Clavin says:

    Hey Jan…what is it about pathological liars that turns you on so much???? First Palin, now Romney? Does honesty mean nothing to you at all??? I mean…this revenge thing you are parroting is a blatant distortion of what was said. Romney’s campaign has been the most mendacious in our lifetimes. And yet you are damp with excitement at voting for this liar. How do you rationalize that??? Seriously…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  85. Todd says:

    The longer the night of November 6th goes on, the (potentially) worse it is for President Obama. If we get to the point where the winner of Colorado or Nevada actually matters, it might be time to consider that 18% chance that all the polling data was “wrong”. On the flip (and more probable) side, it’s not inconceivable that the election could be essentially over pretty early in the night if Florida is called for Obama. Wouldn’t it be ironic, if after all the attention given to Ohio, it ends up being no more important (in the big scheme of things) to the final outcome than Texas or California?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  86. Geek, Esq. says:

    @Mikey:

    If yard sign size were determinative, President Ron Paul would be seeking re-election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  87. Mikey says:

    @James in LA: That’s all awesome stuff–I really like Pulse, it’s on my smartphone and Kindle. It would be nice to have Summly for Android.

    Sadly, I’m not as optimistic as you. While I agree that single-site entrenchment is not going to last, the customization available even in the aggregators like Pulse make it possible to go from having one site that supports all your views to a dozen, and that could make things even worse…”Wow, there isn’t just one place that agrees with me, there are 20!” Ugh.

    People naturally seek to reinforce their positions. No doubt there’s an advantage to not being prone to tossing long-arrived-at worldviews aside without any thought. But I don’t think in 100 years we’ll be any further advanced from the ideological divides and retrenchments we see today.

    I could be wrong, though–if there’s anything I’ve learned in the last 20 years, it’s that things can change in a blink, and that those changes will be pushed by methods that arise just as suddenly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  88. Mikey says:

    @Geek, Esq.: That made me bust out laughing! I often run by a house with a Ron Paul sign out front that’s so large it almost obscures the house itself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  89. michael reynolds says:

    Just for Jan: the first troubling sign I’ve seen recently for Democrats: leaving ballots on the table.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  90. Franklin says:

    @James Joyner: I like both Scarborough and Silver, too, to be honest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  91. Moosebreath says:

    I’m sticking by my result in the other thread:

    Obama 332, Romney 206 (Obama adding Florida from the states in Doug’s results). Popular vote Obama 51-48.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  92. James in LA says:

    Obama repeats 2008, less IN and NC.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  93. Moosebreath says:

    @James in LA

    So you think he’ll still win the 1 EV from Nebraska?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  94. Stonetools says:

    Doug’s map. I did my part today to put Virginia in Obama’s column.

    A friend of mine from Maryland says early voting is crazy there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  95. Laurence Bachmann says:

    Republicans have been banking on the 1980 race narrative–everything breaks their candidate’s way in the end. And until 10 days ago it was actually happening. But anyone who doesn’t see that romney has stalled out is kidding themselves. Obama’s got the mojo and the candidate with it in the last 5 days wins.

    Obama 313. And Romney will be lucky to hold FL.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  96. mari says:

    bonjour

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  97. grumpy realist says:

    If Jan really believed what she claimed about Romney’s inevitable win, she’d be betting in Intrade, not hanging out here….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  98. Chad says:

    What is sad is that half of the population would even consider voting Republican, given that

    1: They have done nothing but lie and obstruct for the last four years

    2: The failed Bush tax cuts put the nail in the coffin of the argument that tax cuts cause growth

    3: On non-economic policies, the Republican party is chock-full of semi-racist, science-denying, misogynist trolls who live in their mom’s basement and think the only thing holding them back from reaching the top is some government regulation or some handout to a blackie somewhere. As soon as they cool down, they get back to their WoW raid and spend the next ten hours drooling at the screen.

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  99. Janis Gore says:

    @john personna: That course interests me, too, john.

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  100. john personna says:

    @Janis Gore:

    I’d start “statistics” right now, but I’m in two MOOCs and a third is supposed to be firing up. The last one (a MOOC about MOOCs) seems weird though. They keep sending me partial info. Either they are really disorganized or I am impatient.

    Another good one:

    Think Again: How to Reason and Argue

    Maybe I mentioned that one before. It starts Nov 26th.

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  101. Janis Gore says:

    Hmmm. Thanks!

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  102. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I don’t believe any thinking person can vote the conscience for Mitt Romney. He is the most thoroughly dishonest candidate I’ve seen at the presidential level in my lifetime. Nixon lied more in the White House, but nowhere near this much on the campaign trail.

    Those of us who were there, remember Nixon’s “secret plan” to end the war in Vietnam, 4 years later and 20,000 more troops killed, the “secret plan” came to light.

    Romney is the most dishonest national politician I’ve seen since Nixon and no one else comes to mind.

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  103. mattb says:

    Another sign that Obama is the favorite is that none of the usual Republican/Conservative posters beyond Jan have been brave enough to post a prediction here (kudos to Jan for at least contributing a prediction).

    If they really thought Romney was going to win we would have heard from Jenos, JKB, Manning, or Eric by now don’t you think? Especially since we know from comments on other threads that some of them have recently visited the site.

    As far as predictions, here’s mine: I’m going with the RCP no toss-up map from earlier in the week: 281 to 257 for Obama (giving Romney Florida, Virginia, and Colorado). Obama might get one of those three states, but given recent polling cycles and looking at the electoral history of those states, I don’t think he’ll get two or all three of them.

    I expect Obama to squeak out a popular vote win, with less than a 2% gap.

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  104. Tim says:

    It’s amazing how many times a person like Romney can flip flop and lie, talk about not caring about 47% of Americans straight from the horses mouth and still people die hard stand behind him .No wonder our country is in such bad shape!!!!!! I have spent years serving this country and I have never voted. I’m 30 and I guarantee I will put my vote in this year to help keep an individual like that out of the whitehouse. Wake up people

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  105. Tim says:

    @Jr: Your a joke typical uneducated fool who brings race into politics as usuall. Show your face idiot!!!!!

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  106. Tim says:

    Reason why Obama can’t get half the things done he promised is because everything he submits gets veto or rejected cause they can’t agree and just want him out and not re elected. Why can’t race be left out of politics? Let’s not forget the horrible economy he inherited by the bush administration. How about you watch every video dishonest old Mitt has been in. The list is almost never ending.

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  107. jeff dis says:

    Romney will win by a landside, the surprise of the night will be when he takes NJ.I will make it not seem as shocking when he takes MN. He will win 347 to 191. The only battleground state Obama will win will be Michigan. It will be a bad morning for MSNBC,

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  108. Jen says:

    I think Obama is going to win NH. While not everyone watches the local politics of a state, I think that is coming into play here. The veto proof Republican majority in the NH House and Senate came in under a “jobs, jobs, jobs” mantra and proceeded to push a lot of social issues, like repealing the gay marriage law that the majority (roughly 2/3rds of the voting population) said they were fine with, along with a lot of abortion legislation and some nuttier stuff, like proposals to repeal the minimum wage. A lot of folks here, myself included, are tired of the reactionary stuff and will be voting based on that. If you want an idea of what we’ve been dealing with here, listen to the second half of this week’s This American Life. It’s all about how NH went from having a fairly moderate and congenial state assembly to an incredibly divisive one.

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  109. Rob in CT says:

    Something like this:

    Obama 290, Romney 248

    is my expectation. I’m not a betting man, so I’m not making some bold prediction. I think O will win, and it will be fairly close. Senate stays D, House stays R. Status quo.

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  110. Craig says:

    @michael reynolds: @Geek, Esq.: Obama will not be winning Florida. Or Virginia. You people are goofy.

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  111. Dan Nexon says:

    @James Joyner: thanks for the link.

    One reason for the confusion is that you are relying exclusively on RCP averages, but those averages have changed since your post. VA now has Obama up by a smidgin. Whether that’s because they update more slowly than, for example, TPM, or because they “lean right” in their aggregation and selection techniques, I’m not sure.

    In general, recent evidence bears out the claim that the composition of independents is different such that “Romney is winning independents” doesn’t mean what some think it means IIRC, Kerry won independents but still lost, and recent polling suggests that we are indeed in #bizarro 2004.

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  112. James Joyner says:

    @Dan Nexon: Yep, I noted that in a post yesterday. It went from a 0.7 point Romney lead to a 0.3 point Obama lead. I honestly think Rasmussen skews their numbers all year and then does real polling for the last poll so that they can claim that they’re accurate.

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