Tuesday, November 6, 2012

US Prediction 2012

While I haven't talked much about the Presidential and congressional elections currently on-going south of the border, I have been following them very closely. All three races, in fact, not just the big one. I haven't made a proper projection system for any of the races, except basic swing maps - not entirely useful in a country that varies greatly in certain swing states, such as Ohio and Florida. But I have perused around a dozen or so projection sites, and come up with the following ideas about the three races.


Obama - 303, Romney - 235; Obama - 49.0-50.5%, Romney 48.0-50.0%

I don't think there is any doubt that Barack Obama is going to win the electoral college vote, and most likely going to do the same with the popular vote - though that is less certain. The end result is a fairly good result for Obama, and a bad one for Romney. Of the "big" swing states this election, Ohio and Virginia will stay with Obama, while Florida seems to be slightly leaning towards Romney, though given the record turnout in the Sunshine State, we could see a surprise. We won't see a surprise in Ohio, though.

My map is essentially a clone of Nate Silver's map, which isn't a surprise because a lot of my data comes from him. But if you're interested, RealClearPolitics and Politico have excellent analysis as well. A more amusing bunch of maps are eight maps from Republican or conservative pundits, a mix of respect pundits (such as Michael Barone), and others.... not so much (like Dick Morris).

But 303-235 seems right to me. On a pure swing basis, its still an Obama win, but only 285 to 253, thanks to Ohio going into the Romney column. But by all accounts, the President is overperforming relative to a swing in this all-important state. Even if he does lose Ohio, or Virgnia for that matter, he'll still be in charge.


Democrats - 51, Republicans - 47, Indepedents - 2

The Senate was originally believed to be an easy pickup for Republicans, even if Obama won re-election - there were just too many Democratic seats up for election, and too many were vulnerable or had retiring incumbents. Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, seem to be the only seats now available to the GOP - meanwhile Indiana and Massachusetts are GOP seats trending Democrat, with Maine falling to a Dem-leaning Independent. If this remains so, then the Democrats offset their losses and retain control of the Senate. Harry Reid must be happy with this situation. 

If you remember back in 2010, the GOP had a rash of frankly insane candidates or "severely" conservative candidates, the most notable being Christine O'Donnell, but includes folks like Rand Paul, Ken Buck, Sharron Angle, and so on. The Democrats even had one. This year isn't too different, but instead of witchcraft and incompetence, we have old while conservative men talking about abortion and rape. Starting with the most famous so far, Todd Akin of Missouri, but includes Richard Mourdock of Indiana. Two top-tier Republican candidates that were supposed to help secure a Senate majority, have most likely contributed to its loss.

The two independents, just to be aware, are Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and the previously mentioned Maine independent, Angus King. Both are cruising to victory over their opponents. King is expected to caucus with Democrats.


Republicans - 220-245, Democrats - 190-215

The House is where the Democrats are destined to fall short, and yes I believe you can still thank Nancy Pelosi for that. Why the Democrats decided to keep her on as Minority Leader I do not know, but they'll pay for it. Fighting against the idiotic John Boehner with someone that failed to win against him is not the best of strategies.

There has been redistricting in the US this year, with some states, notably Republican-leaning states, gaining seats thanks to population increases, with other, mostly Democratic states losing seats. But its created some interesting races, way too many to cover but Reuters has an interesting piece that covers the ones I know about, and RollCall always has the best House ratings map. RealClearPolitics probably has the most in-depth coverage of swing districts, though, and is an excellent resource.

But the likelihood of the Democrats winning back the House is small. They may get a few seats closer to the goal, but I wouldn't bet on it. Two more years at least of John Boehner, eugh.

Finally, a quick mention of third parties. There is one major cavaet for this election, and his name is Gary Johnson. The former New Mexico Governor was initially a GOP contender, but switched to the Libertarians. He could get anywhere between 1-5% nationally I believe, and probably be closer to 10% in his home state if all goes well. The Libertarians are mostly a bunch of right-wing nutters down south, though Johnson is a fairly moderate candidates. Its going to affect both major party candidates, though likely Romney more than Obama. It'll be interesting to see if Johnson has any impact on this race, and become's Romney's Ralph Nader.

The Greens are running Jill Stein, someone who previously ran against Mitt Romney before. An interesting candidate, to say the lest. This Washington Post article says it all. I doubt she'll do well enough to matter.

There's also a couple of right-wing nut jobs, so we'll ignore them. But there is also Rocky Anderson, the guy I'd probably vote for if I thought he had a chance. A social liberal with strong fiscal credentials, and a track record to boot as mayor of a large city (Salt Lake City, to be exact). Whether he has any great appeal with such little name recongition remains to be seen, but as I said, I'd vote for him over Obama.... if I thought it would do any good.

And that's that. I won't be doing a liveblog, but follow me on Twitter and you may get to see some interesting and sarcastic tweets. I'll probably post a round-up late tonight to see how I did. But lets hope I'm right!

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