Obama’s Goose is Cooked

Monday, October 29th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections

As we noted last week, there is some confusion in the polling data that is creating a bimodal projection as to who will ultimately win the election.  The national polls seem to show Romney with a steady lead, and with Obama failing to break 47% as an incumbent.  On the other hand, a number of state polls show the race tied or Obama slightly ahead in the key battleground states.

However, when you examine the party breakdown of the polls, they are really reflecting the same reality.  There is almost a linear correlation between the level of Obama’s support and the size of the Democrat advantage in the given sample (duh?).  Most of the national polls show a reasonable D/R split (not overwhelmingly optimistic, but somewhere between 2004 and 2008 turnout), while most of the state polls that show Obama ahead have a sample that is more advantageous to Democrats than 2008!  Does anyone really believe that the turnout will be worse for us than 2008 when the enthusiasm level is completely reversed from 4 years ago?

The one common theme from all the polls is that Romney is winning Independents and other key swing constituencies that are needed to win.  Some polls have him winning them by historic margins.  As such, the only way Obama can win is if the D/R split is more favorable for him than 2008.  And that is exactly what PPP and others are predicting.  However, if he performs only slightly worse than 2008 in terms of D vs. R turnout, there is no way he can win, given the strong support for Romney among Independents.

Take a look at this chart put together by Josh Jordan of National Review, and tell me how Obama can win.  (note that some of this is a day or two outdated, but the overall picture remains the same):

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A Wide Electoral/Popular Vote Split Won’t Happen

Friday, October 26th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections

There is an emerging narrative percolating throughout the political world; the prospect that Romney could win the popular vote but lose the Electoral College.  The theory is predicated on the seemingly contradictory data between state and national polls.  National polls seem to show Romney with a consistent 2-4% lead, while state polls show the candidates tied or Obama slightly ahead in Ohio, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

Some analysts are attempting to harmonize the state and national polls by theorizing that Romney’s national lead is driven by historic gains among whites in red states and a strong showing in Pennsylvania and Michigan.  They suggest that ultimately the Electoral College boils down to Ohio (or Wisconsin, if Romney loses Ohio), a state where Obama’s much-vaunted ground game and oversaturation of ads could flip the state and the entire election to Obama.

This analysis is dead wrong.  Either the state polls are correct, and this is a dog fight, or the national polls are correct, and this is a Romney win.  The both cannot reflect reality.

It’s not just that the national polls show Romney ahead by 3%; it’s that 3 respected, yet diverse, national polls converged yesterday on the exact same number in one day – Romney 50% Obama 47% (today Gallup is Romney +5 and ABC/WaPost is Romney +1).  So Romney is at 50% and the incumbent is at 47% (how ironic!) with undecided voters likely to break against him in an election defined by the stagnating economy.  But it’s more than that.  The Washington Post poll has Romney leading by 19-20 among Independents; Rasmussen shows him with a 17-point lead.  Romney is now crushing Obama on the economy and even leading in favorability.  It is almost impossible to lose the Electoral College under normal circumstances when leading by more than 1% nationally.  It’s certainly impossible to lose when polling this well in all the internals.

In order for Romney to win by such margins in the popular vote, yet lose the Electoral College, he would have to outperform Bush in a number of non-swing-states, though he is unlikely to do so.

The math doesn’t add up.

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Freedom’s Slate

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections

We’re in homestretch of this election season, and everyone who yearns for liberty, limited government, and free markets is making a robust effort to push Romney over the top.  However, we must not lose sight of some important congressional races.  Here are a number of candidates who are not just better than their opponents; they are actually true conservatives.  They also need our help in the closing days of the campaign.

If you are looking to spend your money on people who share your values and who need the money (yet have a decent chance of winning), these are your choices.  Some are more reliably conservative than others, but all of them provide strong contrasts to their opponents, and have at least an outside-to-even shot of winning:

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Romney Must Assail Obama on Arab Spring

Monday, October 22nd, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Foreign Policy

We’ve noted a number of times this year that many Republicans, including the likes of John McCain and Lindsey Graham, have muddled the distinction between the two parties on foreign policy by expressing more pro-Arab Spring sentiments than Obama.  Romney must provide voters with a clear contrast on foreign policy and show how Obama’s support for the Arab Spring and the intervention in Libya has strengthened Al Qaeda and Iran.

According to the latest Pew poll, Romney would be standing on solid ground in doing so:

  • Only 25% of respondents feel that the Arab Spring will lead to lasting improvements in those countries.  57% think it won’t.
  • Only 14% think these changes will be good for our national security, while 36% think that Arab Spring will be bad for the U.S.
  • And here’s the kicker: voters feel by a 54%-30% margin that it’s better to have stable governments in the Middle East even if there is less democracy.

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The Current Electoral College State of Play

Monday, October 22nd, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections

Two weeks before Election Day, all signs point to this being a very tight election.  Romney clearly seized the momentum with his debate win two weeks ago – one which Obama failed to stop with his stronger performance last week.  Most national polls show Romney with a 2-3 point lead; however, the state polls show an even tighter race.

One thing has not changed in terms of the Electoral College; the election will still boil down to Ohio, Ohio, Ohio.  However, there is one major development over the past two weeks that has strengthened Romney’s hand in the Electoral College.  The national surge in support for Romney has created such strong momentum in Florida, Virginia, and Colorado – both in the top line numbers and internal numbers – that it’s hard to see him losing any of those states.

So who cares?  Well, once we allow for the assumption that Romney wins those three states, it is absolutely impossible – not just improbable – for Obama to win the election without Ohio.  Even if he were to run the table in the rest of the battleground states (NH, IA, NV, and WI), he would still come up short.  Take a look at how that would work.

Perforce, Obama cannot win without Ohio.

On the other hand, although it is still unlikely that Romney will win without Ohio, he is beginning to open up a legitimate alternative to 270.  Many polls show Romney leading in New Hampshire, a reflection of his surge in support from white voters.  Moreover, he has the momentum in Wisconsin and Iowa.  Unfortunately, he appears to have stalled out in Nevada, polling about 2-3 points behind Obama.  Any realistic alternative to 270 bypassing Ohio must include a victory in Wisconsin.  Once he wins Wisconsin (from his base of 257), he has 267 votes, and needs to win either N.H.

or Iowa.

Of course, this is predicated on the assumption that Obama keeps Nevada, which is a likely result in the event that he wins Wisconsin and Iowa.

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Handicapping Races for Control of State Legislatures

Friday, October 19th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections

As we’ve noted earlier, there is a lot at stake this November outside of Washington.  Throughout Obama’s tenure, Republican-led state governments have been critical in fighting against his administrative power grabs and violations of the spirit of federalism.  That is why it’s so important that we control as many branches of state government as possible.

Earlier today, we posted a quick overview of the state of play for the governors’ races.  Here is a brief overview of the races for control of state legislative chambers.

In 2010, Republican enjoyed their most auspicious gains, not in Washington, but in state legislative races.  They won over 720 seats, flipping 20 legislative chambers.  At present, there are 98 state legislative chambers with partisan orientations (Nebraska has a unicameral, non-partisan chamber, although they are unofficially majority Republican); Republicans control 59, Democrats control 36, and 3 chambers are tied.  The breakdown is as follows: Senate- 28R/19D/2T House- 31R/17D/1T.

Despite the large gains of 2010, Republicans are not overexposed, and they have a chance to extend their gains and net some more chambers.  It’s an arduous task to handicap control of state legislatures because they hinge on the outcome of multiple races, but my best estimate shows 14 chambers in play; 9 D, 4R, and 1 tied in Oregon.  The slanted playing field provides us with an ample opportunity to pick up more seats.

Here are the GOP pickup opportunities:

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Obama Needs Ohio More Than Romney

Monday, October 15th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections

The media has been pushing an indelible narrative concerning the electoral math of the political map.  They’ve asserted that Romney cannot win the election without Ohio.  However, the reality is that Obama is the one who cannot win without Ohio.

To be clear, in all likelihood, the one who wins Ohio’s 18 electoral votes will win the election.  Ohio is probably the state that is most directly in the center of the 538 electoral map, traversing the magical 270 mark.  However, to the extent that one candidate can win without Ohio, it is more likely to be Mitt Romney, thanks in large part to his surge in some of the eastern battleground states.

Unless the trajectory of the race changes, Romney is on his way to winning Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia.  Once we allow for that assumption, it is absolutely impossible for Obama to win without Ohio.  Take a look at Obama’s map below:

As you can see, we give Romney FL, NC, and VA, and we place Ohio on the side.  In such a scenario, even if Obama completely runs the table on every outstanding battleground state except for New Hampshire – NV, CO, IA, WIS – he comes up at 268, just short of a majority.  Only the 4 electoral votes from NH along with everything else will get him over the top.  Remember that Colorado and Iowa have been trending towards Romney, especially as the voter registration numbers favor Republicans this cycle.  Recent polls have shown Romney ahead or tied in New Hampshire; tied or just behind in Nevada, and a few points behind in Wisconsin.  With the current dynamic of the race, it’s highly improbable that he would run the table in those states.  Even if he does, it’s still game over without Ohio.

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Politico/Battleground Poll: Romney Closes Likability Gap

Monday, October 15th, 2012 and is filed under Elections, News

With the economy enduring a record period of stagnation and with Obama’s approval rating underwater, his reelection bid was always an uphill climb.  However, he had one factor working in his favor – one which was accentuated by Obama’s effective negative TV campaign barrage.  He was much more likable as a person than Mitt Romney.  Now, after Romney’s knockout punch at the debate, not only has he surged to a two-point lead in the latest poll of 10 battleground states, his likability numbers have gone up:

POLITICO considers the 10 competitive battlegrounds to be Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Obama’s enduring personal popularity has been a key reason for his political resiliency. But Obama and Romney are now essentially tied on likability: 53 percent of those surveyed have a positive impression of Obama personally, and 45 percent do not. The same number view both Romney and Obama strongly favorably as view them strongly unfavorably.

The Obama campaign outspent Romney on TV through the summer in an effort to define the challenger as a heartless corporate raider. The president’s super PAC, Priorities USA Action, even tried to link a woman’s death to Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital in one memorable attack ad that Romney hotly disputed.

To make matters worse for Obama, the enthusiasm gap might lead to him underperforming his poll numbers:

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Mason-Dixon: Florida Voters Think Obama Will Damage Medicare

Friday, October 12th, 2012 and is filed under News

Everyone is buzzing about the new Mason-Dixon poll which shows Romney leading Obama 51-44 in Florida.  But here’s the real takeaway from the poll, which happened to have had a D+4 sample (more than 2008 turnout).

Whose plans are more likely to do more long-term harm to Medicare? Obama 54 percent, Romney 40 percent.

It seems that Obama’s decision to defend the death panel at last week’s debate was not a wise choice.

Preparing for the Next Battle

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Foreign Policy

One of the more surprising and uncanny elements of this campaign season is the degree to which tea partiers are supporting Mitt Romney.  Despite the constant impugning from RINOs who accuse us of being intransigent ideologues, we have actually shown a pragmatic disposition in offering our full support for Mitt Romney.  Unlike the RINOs, we genuinely sense the impending disaster that will ensue following Obama’s reelection.  We intuitively understand that we must support the one man who can rid us of Obama, irrespective of that man’s ideological vices.

However, even as we work indefatigably to get out the vote for Mitt Romney, we must concurrently prepare for the next battle – the battle that will commence the day after the election.  We must be prepared to fight a president from our own party when necessary.

Every time Romney exhibits a fighting spirit in his rudderless campaign, as he did during the debate last week, he tends to follow that performance with an encore of milquetoast liberal positions.  That’s why we must be prepared to fight him from day one on his liberal policy positions.

Consider several positions Romney has taken on some policy issues over the past week.

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