Final Election Thoughts

1.  The electoral college has got to go.  Yes, I realize that Romney would have a much better chance this year if we elected the President based on the national popular vote.  Yes, I realize that the electoral system has turned what would be a coin-flip election into one in which Obama is a heavy favorite.   But we are electing the President of the United States, not the President of Ohio.  Both campaigns are pouring money and spending valuable time in Ohio for damn good reason; if Mitt Romney doesn’t win Ohio tomorrow he becomes yet another footnote in the history books.

Sure, earlier in the cycle there were arguments to be made that Romney could reach 270 without winning the Buckeye state.  Those arguments are largely irrelevant now.  Look at an electoral map.  (Here is a nifty one you can play with.)  We’ll start with Romney at 191 (his “safe” states plus Arizona which is “safe” in most opinions) and Obama at 237 (his “safe” states plus New Mexico, Michigan, and Pennsylvania which, once again, the consensus considers “safe.”).  Some on the right may want to argue about this starting point, but I think I am being fair to Romney with it, and most analysis of the race starts with the same map.  Take the rest of this how you will; I am operating under the assumption that the state polling this year is not systematically biased one way or the other.  No non-partisan that I have seen thinks that they are, rather the criticism is all coming from the right; kinda like 2004 when the democrats were insisting the polls were underestimating democrats.  If the polls really are that skewed, then give that poll unskewing guy a medal and buy him a beer.

Wisconsin is considered “Safe Obama” over at 538.  It has gone blue the last three cycles and Obama has a comfortable lead in the polling averages.  Even with Paul Ryan as his running mate, Romney has never led in Wisconsin.  That takes Obama to 247.

In Nevada the election is already more than half over.  Estimates are that around 2/3rds of the vote has already been cast in the state thanks to early voting.  Jon Ralston has been covering Nevada elections for longer than I’ve been paying attention (over 25 years), and is “recognized as the foremost expert in the state.”  He is respected by both sides of the spectrum and here is his prediction:

PRESIDENT: I know the Romney folks and some RNC operatives believe they can still win, despite trailing by nearly 50,000 votes in early voting. But they need everything to break right – President Obama hemorrhages Democrats and independents vote in huge numbers for Romney, two things I do not see happening. It would be very difficult for Obama to lose Nevada, especially because I think more than two-thirds of the vote is in, so whatever turnout advantage the GOP has on Tuesday won’t be enough. Obama, 50 percent; Romney, 46 percent; others and “none of the above,” 4 percent.

Nevada moves Obama to 253.  And fucks Romney as hard as you can fuck a Presidential hopeful without the Secret Service knocking at your door.  Sweep the rest of the board to Romney, excepting Ohio, and what do you find?  He still isn’t at 270.  The next President of the United States will be decided by the voters of Ohio.  Sure, Obama has paths to victory that do not include Ohio, but since he has led pretty much wire to wire in the polling there, a Romney win would indicate something wrong with the polling, calling Obama’s leads in other swing states into question.  And even then, the election would still be in the hands of the voters from a swing state!  Those of us who live in “swing states” have too much power in the election of President.  While I am supposedly equal to any other citizen who happens to live in Alabama or California, my vote matters more.

Is that really the best way to democratically elect our President?

2. People who voted for Obama in 2008 who vote for Romney in 2012 are fucking idiots.  One of the main Romney ads I have to put up with today (thanks to Romney’s Pennsylvania “hail mary” ad blitz) features former Obama voters now voting for Romney.  These people are either:

  • People who agree with Obama’s politics, but since he didn’t fix things quick enough have decided to vote for someone on the complete opposite end of the spectrum.
  • People who voted for Obama because he’s black and hey, they aren’t racist, who no longer feel “obligated” to vote for the minority.
  • People pissed about Obama’s actions towards medical marijuana suppliers or his drone attacks and unconstitutional stances on secrecy, surveillance, and the War on Terror deciding to vote for a candidate who will be just as bad if not worse on all those issues.
  • People who believe Romney is really a moderate like Obama, but who will be able to bridge partisan divides more effectively.
  • People who voted for Obama because they were scared to death of Sarah Palin who are not equally scared of Paul Ryan.
  • People who would rather have a beer with Obama over McCain, but would rather have a beer Coke glass of water with Romney over Obama.
  • People who pulled the wrong lever in 2008.
  • People who vote by throwing darts blindfolded at the ballot.
  • People who were won over to the Romney side by Mitt’s deliberate vagueness and willful mendacity.
  • Democrat or Independent Mormons who just want to see a Mormon in the White House.
  • Lindsay Lohan

And all those people are fucking idiots.

3.  Undecided voters really shouldn’t waste their valuable time voting.  I’m being serious.  Isn’t Honey Boo Boo on or something?  Maybe the Jersey Shore?  An episode of Matlock?  Why not spend the day at the gym, or go and catch a few flicks at the local multiplex?  With all those people voting, everything else will be less crowded!  Take advantage.

Recent polling seems to show that the undecided vote is either breaking 50/50 or leaning towards Obama.  I don’t care.  If you either care so little about who is elected President that you just started looking into it, or are having trouble deciding between two oh-so-similar candidates (well, they are both male primates who breathe oxygen.  How to choose, how to choose…) then stay the fuck home.  Your uninformed vote adds nothing to democracy.  It is like opinions; everyone has a right to their own, but only the informed ones should matter.

4.  Everyone else?  Go vote!  I don’t care where you stand on the issues.  I don’t care which candidate you support.  If you have an informed opinion on the issues, if you care about the direction of the nation for the next four years, if one of the candidates has earned your support, then make sure your voice is heard.  Do not wake up on Wednesday regretting the result and asking yourself why you didn’t vote this year.


Since everybody is posting their predictions today, I figure I’ll jump in as well.  After this, we only have tomorrow night’s celebration post or “Really, America?” post to go, and the blog will drift back towards its original content.  More science, more skepticism, more atheism, less politics.  This cycle has lasted so long, even I am almost burnt out.

Foster Disbelief’s 2012 Final Presidential Election Prediction:

Popular vote: Obama 51.1%, Romney 48.4%


Obama 303 (Swing state victories in Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, and  New Hampshire)

Romney 235 (SSV in Florida and North Carolina)




One thought on “Final Election Thoughts

  1. Just a quick note on my predictions:

    Final popular vote as of now, Obama 50.4%, Romney 48% vs my call of O 51.1, R 48.4. Not bad, I have to say. I underestimated the third party vote a bit, but my call of a 2.7% win vs the actual 2.4% win was pretty close.

    Electoral vote wise, I probably missed Florida but nailed the rest of the map. I don’t feel that bad missing Florida, since it was so close that we still don’t have an official call on it yet.

    Of course, unless you were a poll-truther, most states were pretty damn easy calls this year. Either the polls were right and you got the results we got, or the polls were wrong and all the major prediction models would go down in flames.

    Speaking of prediction models, this election is more validation for Nate Silver’s 538 model. Votamatic also nailed the results. Of course, the success of those models this year is due to the success of the polls. The major polling houses nailed this one. Of course, Ras and the baby Ras outfits just looked foolish. As did Gallup’s likely voter screen.

    Surprise of the night for me was Obama winning by 3% in Virginia. I thought he would carry Virginia, but I expected it to be much closer.

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