It’s prediction time ladies and gents. It’s taken me longer than usual this election cycle to be confident enough to make a prediction, and indeed I was on the verge of calling it for Obama exactly a month ago before the Romney poll surge following the 1st TV debate, at which Obama seemed to be struggling to stay awake as the Romtron’s maniacal grin bore its way into viewers souls. But with 3 days to go before the election I am certain, or as near certain as it’s possible to be in politics, that on Tuesday Barack Obama will be re-elected as President of the United States.
Such a degree of certainty is only possible because of the absurdities of the US electoral system, whereby it is perfectly possible for the candidate who gains the most votes to lose the election, as was the case in 2000 when Al Gore won more votes than Dubya but still lost (although to be perfectly honest Bush’s victory was extremely legally dubious). How is this possible? Well, because in the US, the President is elected via an ‘electoral college’, rather than directly by the people. The electoral college is made up of 538 officials who represent the various states, and 270 are needed for a candidate to win (half +1).
Now, the number of electors in the college representing each state is determined by their population and, with the exception of a few states with quirky laws (most notably Nebraska), all the electors from a given state vote for the candidate who wins a majority of votes in their state. So, for example, since California always gives more votes to the Democrats, its 55 electors always vote accordingly.
Obama is only very marginally ahead on the popular (ie raw) vote, and could still easily gain fewer votes than Romney. However, he does seem to decisively hold the edge in terms of the electoral vote. The key state in all this is Ohio. Poor Ohio. Pity Ohio. With nearly 400 nasty, deceitful political ads being aired per day (that’s 16 per hour), it’s not surprising many feel overwhelmed and confused. Indeed, the plight of Ohioans is best described by one of its innocent victims…
But this poor girl won’t have suffered in vain! If, as seems increasingly likely, Obama wins Ohio and its 18 crucial electoral votes, then Romney must secure every single one of the remaining close states to sneak a victory. That’s Colorado (9), Florida (29), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), North Carolina (15), and Virginia (13). 8 polls were conducted in Ohio yesterday, and all showed Obama ahead (some significantly), apart from Rasmussen, favoured pollsters of Fox News, who showed a tie. So that’s why I’m increasingly certain that Obama will win.
Like the little girl in the video, I too am tired of Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney; Mitt because he’s a crypto fascist, and Obama because he’s a colossal disappointment. And since congress is likely to remain deadlocked after the elections, I don’t see that changing any time soon.
Bonus prediction: I think 2016 will be Gov. Cuomo (D-NY) vs Gov. Christie (R-NJ). Though I would love it to be Elizabeth Warren instead of Cuomo. I can dream can’t I?
Just to round off a thoroughly uninspiring political season, here’s Randy Newman’s warm-hearted tribute to Depression Era Governor of Louisiana Huey P. Long (read more about him here), one of my most inspirational political idols of all time.
PS. new Key West update coming up ASAP