Obama or Nobama?
“So, what is going to happen on Tuesday?” ‘Tight’ – that is what comes to mind when contemplating the upcoming election. Romney vs. Obama and a disaffected America: turnout is […]
“So, what is going to happen on Tuesday?”
‘Tight’ – that is what comes to mind when contemplating the upcoming election. Romney vs. Obama and a disaffected America: turnout is predicted to be rather low and Tuesday is believed to be one of the closest elections in American history, dividing national support of Obama and Romney 47.8% to 47.3% respectively.
The goal is to secure 270 Electoral College Votes. The popular vote isn’t the decider. The president is elected indirectly by delegates, not by the people directly– each state is ascribed a certain number based on the population of the relevant state. For example, California has 55 Electoral College Votes, Texas has 38, whilst Wyoming only has 3. Poor Wyoming. The president and his opposition have the challenge of winning 270 points/delegates in order to win the election – they do say, “points make prizes”.
The importance of the Electoral College Votes (ECVs) was seen in the 2000 election when George W. Bush won 271 ECVs (after the controversy over the state of Florida), but in fact won 540,520 fewer popular votes than Al Gore. It is a first-past-the-post electoral system, where the candidate with the most votes in the state wins the delegates of that state. It does not matter how much a candidate wins by, they just need to win more votes than the opposition.
Now, in relation to Tuesday, Real Clear Politics (RCP) predicts that Obama has 201 solid Electoral College Votes in comparison to Romney’s 190, with a toss-up of 146 delegates. The race is to 270. Therefore, Obama is shown with a marginal 10 ECV lead. However, the election is going to be won or lost in these ‘toss-up’/ swing states. It has been indicated that Ohio, a traditionally highly influential swing-state is leaning towards Obama with 50% to Romney’s 48%.
It is known that the election is set to be close, but it appears as if there are more open and available routes for Obama to get to the much needed 270 than there are for Romney. Possible routes for an Obama victory could be a combination of votes from Ohio, Iowa and New Hampshire or just Ohio and Wisconsin or just Florida, and none of the rest.
Additionally, a new poll from the Pew Research Centre found Obama with a three-point lead over Romney nationwide. Less than a week earlier, the same poll had the two candidates tied at 47%. But, by Sunday, Obama was ahead, 48% to Romney’s 45%. The Pew poll seemed to indicate that Obama’s chances had been helped by his handling of Hurricane Sandy; it found that 69% of all likely voters approved of the way Obama is handling the storm’s impact, a number that included 63% of swing voters.
It appears that the natural phenomenon of Hurricane Sandy will have aided Obama as any day which does not dissect the economy, fiscal deficits and ObamaCare, is a day that helps Obama and hinders his counterpart. Such a view was put forward by a former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour (R) who said that Romney’s momentum had been blunted at a crucial time by Hurricane Sandy.
I would not bank my laptop, student loan and dignity on the outcome of the election on Tuesday but it would be surprising to see Romney clinch the win. As time is drawing to a close, Obama approval ratings appear to be creeping up. However, there are a few final hurdles to climb and two days in American presidential electioneering is longer than it may appear. The main concern for Obama and his supporters will be whether people go out and vote on the day. If a combination of factors culminate to reduce voter turnout, such effects are likely to hit the Democrat Obama harder than Romney due to the more ideological grass root support from the Republican Party.
Buckle up, tuck in and get ready for an exciting close to the U.S. General Election 2012.
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