Reader Interactions


  1. 1.

    Ron Beasley

    The more people see of Romney the less the like him – more important the less they trust him. He comes across as a slimy sociopath and the only people who will vote for him are other socipaths and bigots.

  2. 2.

    Shawn in ShowMe

    We’re already doing the electoral college thang in the previous thread. You want we should join you over here?

  3. 3.


    The Electoral College is a secret? From 1788 to 2012 and until Michael Tomasky intrepid investigating reporting as published over the Internets only a secret cabal knew how we elect a president?

    (What a fumbduck.)

  4. 4.

    Bruce S

    And I doubt that the fallout from that disaster of a junket abroad has embedded itself in the polls yet.

    I’m old and I can’t actually remember a worse major presidential candidate than Mitt Romney. Nixon had about an equal measure of charm but had ten times the intellect and political saavy, much as I hate to admit it. Reagan had the virtue of probably believing most of the dumb stuff he was saying, but more important he had remarkable skill in saying it and projecting an amiable personality. Even Goldwater had the virtue of authenticity and a more likeable personality – even if you thought he was completely crazy, which he was. This guy is just a total dipshit. And clumsy like one rarely sees. Kerry and Gore seem Reaganesque in terms of projecting political charisma compared to Romney.

  5. 7.

    grandpa john

    Well yes for people who don’t depend on the MSM but actually
    think for themselves and understand how presidential elections work, it is obvious by looking at any of the EV maps that the horse race aspect is a media construct so that the babbling fools they call reporters will have something to talk about.

  6. 8.

    Omnes Omnibus

    @Anoniminous: Yes, the word secret was meant literally. No rhetorical device was used to in order to explain why national horse race polling may not be indicative of the likely result in November. Nope, nothing like that was happening at all.

  7. 9.

    General Stuck

    While I think it could be a solid margin in the electoral margin, a victory for Obama. But the popular vote is going to be close. So I think it is possible for Obama to lose the popular vote, but win a sizable EC. And of course, if that were to happen, or even if the pop vote is close and Obama comes out on top, the wingnuts are going to lay eggs. The reason is, they are full in their beliefs that they are the chosen party, (and race), with no room for their love of self to be denied to drive the American clown car.

  8. 12.


    Whenever a new poll comes out I always go over to Nate’s site to see what difference it has made on his projections, and usually it is none. He has consistently had POTUS winning reelection in the 60+ range for months now, and I believe him. Remember after 2008 Nate was the GOD of projections, his forecast was almost uncannily accurate, every bobble head in the world wanted to talk to him cause he was so RIGHT. If you are watching the daily polls and not watching Nate you are going to be in a world of hurt. As it is I watch Nate and say to myself “keep calm, carry on”.

  9. 13.


    @General Stuck: In the end, I don’t think the popular vote will be that close. Probably 4-5%, perhaps more if Obama has a sufficient lock on the Electoral College and Romney continues to exercise his anti-charm so that these factors drive down the conservative vote.

  10. 16.

    Evolving Deep Southerner

    @General Stuck: I was about to write something real close to that. I almost wish Obama would narrowly lose the popular vote but have a comfortable margin in the EC. That’s the only way we’re going to get the movement we should have had in 2000 to do away with the anachronism which is the Electoral College.

    Can anyone here defend it as superior to one person, one vote? I’d love to hear it, because I’ve never heard an intelligent defense of it.

  11. 17.


    @General Stuck:

    So I think it is possible for Obama to lose the popular vote, but win a sizable EC.

    With the exception of the sizable part, I seem to remembering that happening before. Rather recently, in fact.

  12. 18.


    @Bruce S: Dukakis is the only one who comes close, IMHO, as far as a capacity to turn a should-be winnable election into a slog crossed with an uphill climb.

  13. 19.

    David Koch

    @grandpa john:

    the horse race aspect is a media construct so that the babbling fools they call reporters will have something to talk about.

    This is true in large part. But it is also true the Village lives in an deep insulated bubble, heated by republican hot air. The group-think and indoctrination in Washington DC is as bad as anything Goebbels produced. They really believe the propaganda.

    The average Villager really believes the race is tied, just like the average German in 1942 thought they were winning in Stalingrad.

  14. 21.


    @Evolving Deep Southerner:

    I almost wish Obama would narrowly lose the popular vote but have a comfortable margin in the EC.

    Uh, I’m pretty sure you don’t really wish that. Anything we’d gain in terms of structural reform we’d give away ten times over in hamstringing the presidency.

  15. 23.


    Historically, polls haven’t meant all that much till fall, and in some cases (like 1980), not till mid-October. But what I’m seeing in these rock-steady numbers is an electorate that’s pretty much made its mind up even before the conventions.

    As much as anything else, I think this reflects the professionalization of politics, and the corresponding sophistication of the voters in response. In days of yore, the nominee wasn’t necessarily known before the convention, and the positions of the then-heterogenous parties weren’t set in stone before the fall campaigns started, so it made sense for engaged, knowledgable voters not to have decided in the summer.

    Not today, though. The only undecideds left are the ones who really try hard not to pay attention.

  16. 24.

    Evolving Deep Southerner

    @FlipYrWhig: Of course I don’t “really wish that.” Fuck, Mr. (Ms?) Literal. I know. I REALLY hope BHO will stomp Rmoney’s ass 83-27%. But that’s not going to happen.

    All I know is that if the shoe had been on the other foot in 2000 and Gore was anointed President under the same circumstances that Bush was, the Electoral College would no longer exist.

    Once again: Can anyone give me one good reason why the Electoral College still exists?

  17. 26.

    General Stuck

    @Evolving Deep Southerner:

    Yea, I must say that my analysis above is likely tainted with wishful thinking. I love the sound of wingnut heads exploding in the morning. Otherwise, I have no idea what will happen. But the EC lineup is what it is, and it does favor Obama right now. Especially with PA possibly off the maybe red list. If Bugs Bunny was running on the GOP ticket, I would be worried and would have to give the republicans an edge.

  18. 27.


    During his Friday NPR vomit Bobo prayed to his great god of moderation and asked for an Rmoney popular win with the electoral college going to Obama. I think even that bagless douche already can see that Willard can’t win & his only hope is to emasculate his second term.

    Can you imagine the howls had Gore won the EC & Boy Blunder the popular vote instead of the other way around? Well magnify that howling about 1000x to imagine the ni-CLANG doing it. But I bet it won’t be that close.

  19. 29.

    David Koch


    Historically, polls haven’t meant all that much till fall,… The only undecideds left are the ones who really try hard not to pay attention.

    That’s so true.

    Historically there were only 3 broadcast channels.

    Then cable came along. Then the internet. And now news by text. The bin Lade raid is a great example. People at the Phillies-Mets game found out about the news on their phones and began chanting “USA!” before ESPN decided release the news on-air.

    At this point and time, it’s hard not to know what is going on and to not have an opinion.

  20. 30.


    If Romney does lose, will the party as a hole decide it was because they did not choose a true conservative and therefor turn themselves completely over to the Tea Baggers, or will whatever is left of any remotely sane Republicans convince the party to move back toward the mythical center? Which of course would require believing Republicans ever were truly moderate as a party whole.

  21. 31.


    @jheartney: I think you’re right, and a large part of the reason why you’re right is that so few people are voting based on the candidates’ policy positions anymore. If anything, it’s the reverse: people latch onto the policy positions of the candidate they like, and defend them vehemently.

  22. 32.

    Evolving Deep Southerner


    Can you imagine the howls had Gore won the EC & Boy Blunder the popular vote instead of the other way around

    Great minds (or some minds, anyway) think alike. It’s got to happen to a GOPer if there’s ever going to be the years-long effort to amend the Constitution to nix the EC. Harry Reid’s recent show of balls aside, it can happen to 10 straight Dem POTUS candidates and nothing will ever happen.

  23. 33.

    David Koch

    @The Ancient Randonneur:

    So we can all stay home and Obama wins! THAT is good news for John McCain!

    Isn’t it the other way around? People who are enthusiastic vote in greater numbers, while people who are demoralized, depressed, sad, resigned to defeat, give up and show up in lower numbers?

    It’s kinda like New Year’s Eve. If you’re goin to a party or if you have a date, you’re jazzed and you stay up all night feeding off the adrenaline. While if you’re by yourself, you drown your sorrow in booze and fall asleep before midnight.

  24. 34.



    Obama has a 66.6% of winning

    OMG!!! He IS THE ANTICHRIST!!! 8-{D thought I’d say it before the wingnuts

  25. 36.


    @Hal: I see no chance the Republicans will ever moderate. If Romney loses, it’ll be blamed on his history of wishy-washy moderation: he was too much of a chameleon and not enough of a True Believer. I would not be at all surprised if their 2016 candidate was Ted Cruz. I don’t think they’ll ever come back to the center. All they need is 40 Senators and they can obstruct the nation’s progress forever, and from time to time they’ll get enough blame to be laid at the feet of Democrats that they’ll score a presidential win.

  26. 37.

    Evolving Deep Southerner

    @Schlemizel: I disagree. The whole Deep South is safe, but that hasn’t stopped the Voter ID shit there. Maybe they’re playing 11th dimensional chess, the long game, in anticipation of the EC going away one day? /snark

  27. 38.


    @David Koch: Yeah, I hope Willard continues his grand display of anti-charm and the wingnuts are so sad they decide to teach the GOP a lesson & stay home in droves. If I had Soro’s kinda money I would be spending millions of it running ads designed to show the wingnuts Willard in his full glory

  28. 40.

    chrome agnomen


    either one of these scenarios is a winner for the left. heh just let the right go all teatard all the time. that sure will be a winner! /snark. and i do not see how an obama win does not move the country to the left, as a whole. granting, of course, that the teaturds will go completely off the rails. and, no, the rethugs have not been anywhere near sniffing distance of moderate in 50 years. not since the first republican president i was alive for, DDE.

  29. 42.


    @Evolving Deep Southerner: Thats just raw hatred and fear that the coloreds might actually elect local office holders of unheartland hues. Plus the demographics are running against them & they are playing the long game – they have been setting this up for 40 years.

  30. 43.

    Evolving Deep Southerner

    @Schlemizel: I realize that the redneck GOP gentry is picking low-hanging fruit down here with the Voter ID shit. But still. Seems like if you’re a GOPer, that would argue more in favor of doing away with the EC than less.

  31. 44.

    The Dangerman


    If Romney does lose, will the party as a hole…

    Truer words, etc.

    The Republicans, after Romney loses, will go HARD right. There will be the Purity Purge like you’ve never seen.

  32. 47.

    pseudonymous in nc

    When elections are a multi-billion dollar transfer of money to the political media, it pays to report that the race is close. It’s an interesting thought experiment to consider what kind of reporting might happen in a climate with an eight-week election season and hard caps on ad spending.

  33. 48.

    Bruce S

    “Remember after 2008 Nate was the GOD of projections, his forecast was almost uncannily accurate, every bobble head in the world wanted to talk to him cause he was so RIGHT.”

    So I can expect to see him on Meet the Press this coming Sunday, along with…uh…Norm Ornstein and Tom Mann?

  34. 49.

    Randy P

    “This is especially true now that it seems as if Pennsylvania isn’t really up for grabs.”

    That’s assuming the judge grants the injunction against the voter suppression law. Given the testimony against the law and the lack of testimony supporting it, it’s hard to imagine it will be upheld. But I’m not going to assume that until we actually hear a ruling. And then I don’t know if the Republicans still have other suppression tactics up their sleeve.

    In court, the state admitted that up to 1 million voters could have their vote denied due to the law. Their testimony was basically to shrug it off.

  35. 50.


    It doesn’t help Rmoney that he’s turning himself into the Republican Al Gore. He’s got the press hating him already.

  36. 51.

    Tom Q

    Let me just throw in sort of a variation on what a few others have brought up:

    The premise of this post — that “no one can seriously argue that the popular vote” will be much closer than 2008 — is founded entirely on the premise that spring/summer polling is automatically predictive of election outcomes. As has been mentioned above, in fact such polling is often wildly off-base: Dukakis had his famous 17 point lead in July; Clinton trailed both Bush and Perot by a ton in mid-’92; W had a 17-point lead on Gore in summer 2000 (missing the final margin by a mere 17.5%). And of course Reagan and Carter were neck and neck on Election Day 1980, only to see Reagan win by anbout 10%. So…going strictly by polls can be a mug’s game.

    What can be more confidently measured is the general gestalt in the electorate. I’ve advocated here in the past for Lichtman’s Keys to the Presidency system, which has used a set of steady criteria to accurately predict every election since it was developed in 1980, including those poll-miscalls. Lichtman had Bush I an easy winner during Dukakis’ brief 17-point lead time, but then an underdog to Clinton four summers later; always had Gore as the narrow winner in 2000 (of the popular vote, I might add — though he was right on both scores in any honest election); and he said going into 2008 that any Democrat was going to win easily — he didn’t wait for the Wall Street meltdown to make his call.

    His system’s take on the 2012 election is that Obama — a charismatic incumbent who’s scored achievements in both domestic and foreign policy, who’s avoided scandal and social unrest, and who has an economy, while not thriving, clearly not in active recession during the campaign — is an overwhelming favorite for re-election, on much the same scale as Reagan was in ’84. The party polarization we’re undergoing right now, as well as the middling economic numbers, probably insure Obama won’t get near Reagan’s numbers. But the idea that Obama might win by a somewhat larger margin than he did in ’08…Lichtman’s system wouldn’t dismiss that out of hand.

  37. 52.

    Bruce S

    @The Dangerman:

    “The Republicans, after Romney loses, will go HARD right. There will be the Purity Purge like you’ve never seen.”

    Given the level of hardcore right-wing ideology they’re starting from, that sounds like it has got to involve armbands, brown shirts, leather boots and a guy with a funny moustache…

  38. 53.


    @David Koch:

    Don’t they ever read Nate Silver? As I recall he correctly predicted 50 of 51 states and every Senate race (or maybe the other way around–don’t recall exactly.) Or maybe they are deliberately ignoring him because he makes all the horse-race slack-jawed pundits look stupid.

  39. 55.

    Evolving Deep Southerner

    @Geeno: And isn’t that the ass kicker of them all? Shiftless as they are collectively, they are the one group he can’t – by his own definition – really pander to. “Tell them what they want to hear?” Hell, under the terms he’s laid down for his campaign, he can’t listen to their questions.

  40. 56.


    @pseudonymous in nc:

    You mean like almost every other democracy in the world? You don’t really need a thought experiment about how a short election season with limited ad spending works. There’s plenty of data out there.

  41. 58.


    @The Dangerman:

    I wonder whether we’re within a couple of decades of major party/philosophy realignment. Progressives v. Conservatives, or the like. Members to come from either of today’s two major parties, so the Progressives (or whatever) of 2032 (or whenever) would include most of today’s Dems plus whatever remains of moderate/liberal Republicans of the old Rockefeller/Javits school, while the new Conservatives would include most of today’s GOP plus Blue Dog types.

  42. 59.


    “The Republicans, after Romney loses, will go HARD right. There will be the Purity Purge like you’ve never seen.”

    Therefore 2016 will be their last rodeo.

  43. 60.


    Yeah, Tomasky really needs to stop with the electoral college is secret and insidery. Was he not ALIVE in 2000? A GOPer I work with who is so out of politics that he thinks Lindsey Graham is a possible pick for Romney’s VP is already throwing around gripes about the electoral college “disenfranchising” people.

  44. 61.


    The Fix guy (on WaPo) was talking/speculating about some magic that Romney could pull out after Labor Day that would turn the race around etc. I’m afraid that the voter suppression efforts in PA, Ohio, Fla are not factored in Nate Silver’s models.

  45. 62.


    Moving the Presidential Election to popular vote would open a fairly large can of worms, well, if the US had an actual Supreme Court that paid attention to the law rather than the House of the Lords of Lords that there is now.

    For starters, if it is a nationwide election, why should people not be able to vote where they want, if they are temporary out of state for example? Why would different states be allowed to have different rules for the same nationwide election?

    As long as each state votes for it’s own electors, there is some kind of constitutional excuse. If it is plain one (wo)man one vote, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to make an argument why there are different rules in different parts of the country for the same election.

  46. 63.

    Linda Featheringill

    Axelrod and Plouffe really, really know how to count votes. And they really know where those electoral votes are. Good thing they’re on our side.

  47. 64.



    The Electoral College is a secret? From 1788 to 2012 and until Michael Tomasky intrepid investigating reporting as published over the Internets only a secret cabal knew how we elect a president?
    (What a fumbduck.)

    To people who just listen to the horserace BS that is all over the news, the fact that it will be very difficult for Romney to reach the magic 270 electoral votes is a big secret.

    Also, I’ve got 10 bucks that says my sister – smart, but a low information voter – has no idea that the president isn’t elected based on popular vote.

    Edit: I don’t think we should be tearing down Tomasky for writing about this. I think his writing about this is fighting back against the oh-it’s-so-close horserace bullshit that most of the so-called journalists are pushing.

  48. 65.

    The Dangerman

    @Bruce S:

    Given the level of hardcore right-wing ideology they’re starting from, that sounds like it has got to involve armbands, brown shirts…

    There will be hell to pay after Obama is re-elected (this increases if the House flips and/or the Senate is held). Internal to the Party, the Tea Party will completely take over the wreckage that is the Right (and Romney will join Bush as names never to be spoken again). I would be far from surprised if some domestic violence – hell, call it what it is, terrorism – came from the Right after the election).

  49. 66.

    Tom Q

    @The Dangerman: I’ve had the same fear. Remember, Gingrich said during the priimaries that Obama would lose in any fair election — and a goodly number of folk on his side believe that absolutely. They’ll totally freak.

    In fact, I’m having uncomfortable memories of what happened to Lincoln after he prevailed (also against the expectations of many in the months leading up to the election).

  50. 67.


    @The Dangerman:

    Absolutely. If you look at the Birther Underground occasionally, they have been calling for violence for a long time. It will increase if the President is re=elected. I recommend looking at birther madness only through the filter of sane people like Bad Fiction or Doc Conspiracy.

  51. 68.

    Linda Featheringill

    @Tom Q:

    In fact, I’m having uncomfortable memories of what happened to Lincoln after he prevailed (also against the expectations of many in the months leading up to the election).

    I’m sure someone will try it.

    I do find it interesting that the Right Wing is having fantasies of race riots “after Obama loses” and the Lefties are having nightmares about what will happen after Obama wins.

    Too many guns and too many nutty people. Yes, the human race is doing so well.

  52. 69.

    The Dangerman


    If you look at the Birther Underground occasionally…

    Oh, hell no; I’m rather have projectile vomiting.

    There will almost surely be violence; it’s just a matter of scale (single pilot into a building like Dallas or far worse like OKC). They’ve been told they are “getting their country back” by their media for almost 4 years. They will not go quietly into that good night.

  53. 70.


    @Bruce S: Yeah we said that in 08 too. They have in some cases but not as a party. The real damage is the number of numbnuts teabaggers they have put in the Senate where they can do way more damage than their numbers would suggest.

    If they go full metal teabag after this (and I bet they don’t) it would put more of these douchebags in the senate and make them a strong block in Congress. This would be worse not better for the country.

    Something has to give with the mental defectives that vote for teabagging before we are freed from their destructive urges. I don’t know what that is but it won’t be Willard taking a dive.

  54. 71.



    Therefore 2016 will be their last rodeo.

    But, see, that’s the thing. I think they’d be fine with that. I think they’d love being the ruthlessly pure conservative party that rarely won the presidency, basically only when things went totally haywire, and burned shit to a crisp every time it did. They’d get off on just blocking and opposing and cranking out lurid nonsense 24/7 for years and years. Yes, soon enough decent people would be thoroughly sick of their antics. Even deep-pocketed corporate types who only want low taxes, less regulation, and big government contracts would run away from them. But that’s no reason for them to stop.

    IMHO a hardcore 1/3 of the nation can stick together forever just acting like malevolent idiots, never changing, never moderating.

  55. 72.



    If they go full metal teabag after this (and I bet they don’t) it would put more of these douchebags in the senate and make them a strong block in Congress.

    I guess it depends on who we mean by “they.” Big money Republicans might flee. But I think the Republican rank and file, the ones whose politics are almost entirely predicated on resentment that Those People are getting a free ride, will never flee, and they’ll still get Congressfolk and Senators elected, and they’ll still be enormous pains in the ass forever, with no incentive to ever stop. I seriously think it’s like a third of the electorate, at a minimum.

  56. 73.


    I’ve always felt pretty good about Obama’s chances, because the polling data for the swing states has always been in his favor.

    My prediction remains, Mitt holds the McCain states and flips IN and NC. If he has a particularly good night, maybe he flips Florida too. Obama wins in a walk with 300-330 electoral votes.

  57. 74.


    @Randy P: Pennsylvania was Obama’s by 11% in the latest poll I saw, and all the suppressed votes wouldn’t be Democrats; my county is third in percentage of voters without “correct” ID, and it’s very red.

    If the state judge stops the voter ID from going into effect, at least for the upcoming election, the natural thing for the GOP to do would be to appeal to the state supreme court, but they can’t: Joan Orie Melvin (R) is under indictment and not sitting, so the supreme court has eight members, of which the Republicans are unlikely to five to agree with them.

  58. 76.


    @Evolving Deep Southerner:

    The only defense I can think of is that the EC offers some protection and guaranteed representation for residents of small states. For example, Presidents might push more for certain social services to be tailored towards the needs of rural residents because he or she would think “You know, I might need Iowa’s electoral votes in the re-election.” Without the EC, those people might be left to hang.

    Of course, Republicans are already leaving people like that to hang, so I suppose this defense isn’t worth much these days.

  59. 77.


    @The Dangerman: My building is on a direct flight path to both the major airport and Boeing Field. Every time a plane gets near to close I get nervous. Someone is gonna try something. We already got shut down because of the riots on May Day.

  60. 78.



    The fate of a “purified” GOP can already be seen in California, where such a party cannot win any statewide offices (at least under normal circumstances i.e. exclude Arnold’s election during a recall vote), and are in the minority in both houses of the legislature. True, the conservatives have disproportionate representation in the Senate, but I think the filibuster as we know it is on its way out, just as the 2/3 vote requirement for budgetary matters is slowly melting away in California.

  61. 79.


    The one other thing really working in Obama’s favor in all of this is how massively Republicans underestimate his abilities and intelligence. They’ve bought wholeheartedly into the idea that Obama is an affirmative action Presidency buoyed by brainwashed minorities, and therefor not legit.

  62. 81.

    Ed in NJ


    You are incorrect. It’s a constant source of amazement to me how many dolts out there constantly question Nate Silver’s methodology. Here’s a clue- he is much smarter than you.

  63. 82.


    Coming out of what should’ve been the easiest months for Romney-as-challenger, when Republicans coalesced around his candidacy and voters gave the (relative) new guy the benefit of the doubt, the GOP’s presumptive nominee still has a less than four-in-10 chance of ending the Obama era.

    Gosh, could it be because every time Romney opens his mouth in public he sounds like more of a doucherocket? At this point his campaign staff would probably like to send him someplace like, say, the French Riviera until November 6th.

    The man really does not know how to campaign and he’s been trying to doing it since 2006, which says a lot about his political abilities right there.

  64. 83.


    No shit Sherlock. I thought this was a political junkie blog?

    If you are just realizing this well I don’t know what to tell you but…get a fucking clue! It’s been obvious for months.

  65. 84.


    @General Stuck: off topic and by the way my reply to your last comment on got stuck in moderation all day. I didn’t ignore it. I wasn’t communicating very well, but that’s not a new developmemt.

  66. 86.


    @bingbango: Ohh Durf. Still trying to defeat your nemeses while you sit back and bootlick the Harper destruction. Funny how you NEVER bother to wade into the politics of your homeland. You must love kissing Conservative ass. Is that why you hate JC so much? Because he abandoned your righteous cause?

  67. 88.



    I’ve always wondered what it’d be like for the Dems to have done something similar after 1972. You can argue that they did, but they just happened to come up with Jimmy Carter as their POTUS candidate in ’76, so it wouldn’t have mattered. But if they’d decided to be the McGovern Party after ’80 and Gary Hart’s candidacy hadn’t been destroyed, then what?

    What we’re looking at is an America with a McCarthyite Party and a Not-A-McCarthyite Party, and this has made our political life (and, you could argue, our cultural life) move toward the right. If we had a Hippie Party and a Not-A-Hippie Party instead, what might our political and cultural life look like?

  68. 89.

    Joey Maloney

    What makes it suspenseful for me is not what the polls say, but whether or not the Republicans will pull off enough voter suppression and touchscreen fraud to steal it. Which is the same thing that kept me in suspense last time.

  69. 90.


    I’ve been getting my geek on with the polling sites, and the news is better for Obama than even Silver is acknowledging.

    I track the big four aggregator sites (TPM, RCP, Pollster and Electoral Vote) and there are a couple of trends I haven’t heard anyone else note.

    First, Obama doesn’t just have a comfortable lead to 270. All the states he leads in now have 332 EV’s. With the single exception of one state on one poll site for one month (VA, May, RCP), Obama has held the lead in all of these states since before the New Hampshire primary, including Florida, Virginia and Colorado. Even when the margin hasn’t been deep there has been remarkable strength in Obama’s support.

    Romney took a narrow lead in North Carolina in April according to all of the aggregator sites. That’s been the only conquest by Republicans. Also, North Carolina is the only competitive state where Romney leads. Every other state in Romney’s column has a lead of seven points or more.

    That is, it’s presumed those states are locked up for Romney. Most states painted deep read haven’t been polled since their primaries, if at all. Of the 23 states ranked as “Safe Romney”, TPM, RCP and Pollster only have numbers for six. (AZ, MT, ND, MO, TX and GA.)

    By contrast, there is active polling in nearly two-thirds of all the states where Obama leads.

    This doesn’t mean Romney is going to lose West Virginia or Utah, but his standing is mostly based on an assumption instead of data. Combine this with Romney’s inability to break through in tossup states or chase down Obama anywhere, and it is at least possible that states considered safe for Romney today are closer than everyone is presuming.

  70. 91.


    I have been saying this for a while. It is not a national contest. Rather, it is an aggregate of 51 individual contest results with each result weighted for population size. As such, national polling is as useless as the pope’s testicles. Electoral college maps and state polling are the most effective tool for prediction. Well they’re the most effective thing not named Nate Silver anyway.

  71. 92.


    @Ron Beasley: Not just those people; there are a lot of automatic Republicans, including almost all of the South, Texas and the southern Midwest who will vote Republican even if the nominee were a mass murderer because they are voting the cultural war, against Obama as a “black man”, etc. So there’s those factors.

  72. 93.


    @Maxwel: Yep, it’s been in my mind for a long time. If the Democratic party can nominate a decent and at least somewhat charismatic candidate for 2016, the Republican party will not sniff the White House for 16 years. And if that happens, the Republicans will have to nominate sane people as their candidates going forward. That’s how important this election is.

  73. 95.


    @AnotherBruce: The GOP will not ever again nominate a sane candidate short of a total political lobotomy of the party leadership AND rank and file. The one hope for the country is that demographics prevents them from ever again occupying the Executive Branch. If we can manage this, the party may simply dissolve into the pool of harmless crankery from which it sprung.

  74. 97.


    @jheartney: Actually, it sprung from an honorable place. Abraham Lincoln would despise the current clown show that is running his party over the cliff.

  75. 98.


    I going to disagree with most of you guys over the popular vote/electoral vote dichotomy. I think Obama is probably going to get an incumbency bump of about 1 point from his 2008 performance in the popular vote, similar to Bush 43. But I think he’s going to lose Indiana, North Carolina, that district in Nebraska, and possibly Florida. That would leave him with 303 electoral votes. He won 365 in 2008.

    It’s sort of scary that Florida now has the same number of electoral votes as New York.

  76. 99.


    @General Stuck: Just finished watching a show about civility in politics and elsewhere on C-Span. Rebroadcast from July 12. a panel of 3 women and a man, and a male moderator. The moderator was the least effective of them all, and the male panelist, a professor at Berkley, was by far the best and they touched on your very point: that each side thinks it’s entitled to govern and that contributes to the unwillingness to compromise. Of course, in the interest of both sides do it, none of them would say that one side is worse than the other. Indeed one of the women panelists says she’s personally observed incivility coming from the left, the right and all in between.

  77. 100.

    Grumpy Code Monkey

    I am reasonably confident Obama will win re-election. Not claiming it’s a solid lock, but confident. Romney would have to name the reanimated corpse of Reagan as his running mate, then willingly switch places so that Zombie Reagan is on the top of the ticket, and then maybe he’d have a chance.

    Congress is what I’m worried about. TX is about to add a few Tea Partiers to the mix unless we can get what Democrats we have to vote in force (for Christ’s sake vote for Sadler over Cruz), and even then it’s probably not going to matter.

    It won’t matter if we re-elect Obama if we also re-elect a winger Congress. You think the GOP was obstructive this last time around? Baby, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. If the tea party wing of the GOP manages to increase its margin in the House and Senate, then the next two years are going to be the mother of all missed opportunities.

    This is what pisses me off about election coverage in the news and election discussion on blogs. We obsess over what is arguably the less-important office; the President only has so much power to wield, after all. Congress is where liberals and progressives really need to focus their efforts. Seriously.

    And we can’t let the better be the enemy of the good. If the choice is between a Blue Dog who’s with us 40% of the time vs. a Tea Partier who’s against us 100% of the time, then vote for the goddamned Blue Dog and worry about finding a better Democrat next time around. We’re in danger of losing the goddamned center for Christ’s sake. Once we start reliably electing “moderate” Democrats, we can then start pushing the window back to the left a bit. The GOP’s been playing the long game for the last four decades; it’s time we start playing it too.

  78. 102.


    a hardcore 1/3 of the nation can stick together forever just acting like malevolent idiots, never changing, never moderating.

    Yes. This group is loosely known as ‘The Confederacy’, and they’ve been doing this more or less since the end of Reconstruction.

  79. 103.


    @Tom Q: Wow. You’re old. :)

    Just a little levity. I too am afraid that they really intend to “take back the country” using “second amendment remedies.”

  80. 104.

    karen marie

    @Tom Q: Ugh. Whisper that shit into your pillow, please. It took me until 2010 to stop actively worrying about that.

  81. 105.


    @Tom Q:
    I’m worried about an assassination from the moment it becomes clear even to the most partisan racist that Obama will win up until, oh, a month or two after he’s sworn in a second time. At that point, I believe the crazy levels will start dropping, and maybe drop fast.

    The kicker here is that the frothing, rabid lunacy is their need to punish the black man, to make an example of him so that this can never happen again. They’ve idealized that as making him a one-term president. Their emotional investment in preventing his reelection is huge. When they fail, despair and helplessness will have set in. Another racial barrier will have been broken.

  82. 106.

    Todd Dugdale

    In 2016, Obama will not be able to run again. About the only thing holding the disparate elements on the Right together is their shared hatred of Obama. The evangelicals are experiencing a generational schism. The 1950s are vanishing from living memory, and with it goes much of the animating force behind the Culture War. And an entire generation of Republican politicians is on record taking radical positions, or else have been purged.

    By 2016, the white vote will decrease by yet another 4% of the electorate, making it even more difficult for the GOP to compete nationally. They might even have to fight for Texas’ 38 EV. They can hold on to States for a long time, but the White House will most likely remain out of their reach.

    By the time that the 2012 election comes around, the Right will have spent five years in an apoplectic rage, screaming things that they can’t take back, alienating friends and family, and generally making asses of themselves – all for nothing. And they’ll face the prospect of spending the next four years doing the same. At some point, it becomes too much.

  83. 107.


    @Yutsano: Thank you for the kind words my most loyal groupie. As my most obsessive groupie I feel it is necessary to point out how much fail is in your post. You clearly think you are somehow pushing my buttons and you cannot be further from the truth. I could not give a flying fuck about Canadian politics but that does not even begin to scratch the surface of your epic fail.

  84. 109.


    I made this exact same point to a concern troll over at TBogg’s today, who was talking about the race being a “dead heat.” At this point, Obama’s got 290 EVs locked down (margin of 3 points or more) to Romney’s 191 EVs; there are only 3 states that are toss-ups of less than a 3 point margin: Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida, where there is only a 2 point margin. And in 2 of those – Virginia and Florida – it’s Obama who’s up by 2 points over Romney.

    Unless something huge happens, this race is already over.

  85. 110.

    joel hanes

    @The Dangerman:

    I would be far from surprised if some domestic violence – hell, call it what it is, terrorism – came from the Right after the election

    Dear God

    Preserve Thou the lives and persons of Barack Obama and his family, that he may do the great work for which you, in your Divine Grace, have so admirably suited him.
    This I humbly pray.

  86. 111.


    @The Dangerman: re “There will be hell to pay after Obama is re-elected” I totally agree. The Teatards are like the Sunnis in Iraq. They believe they are in the majority.

  87. 115.


    Elias Isquith @ Top:

    Looking at the trend lines, you see a slight but discernible tendency: The more voters see of Romney, the less likely becomes his winning the Presidency.

    I think only Nate could answer this for sure, but doesn’t the model treat distance from the election as a decreasing uncertainty? That is to say, as the model gets closer to the election, doesn’t it reduce the fuzziness of the outcome, which *might* be one of the factors for model showing a slowly increasing chance of Obama winning.

    That doesn’t mean Obama isn’t more likely to win than Romney. Of course he is.

    I’m just not sure we can read too much into the slow, albeit steady, increase in his odds of winning. It looks like that could be an artifact of the model’s mathematical assumptions rather than a change in the fundamentals of the election.


  88. 116.


    Also, you know, what digby said a couple of days ago about Crossroads, and the SuperPACs. If it looks like Romney can’t win (and they may not really care if he doesn’t, because he’s an unpredictable president from the view of the wingnuts and the GOP oligarchs), they will shift their money to the Hill in the last three weeks or so.

    It’s a huge mistake to focus attention on the POTUS, this time around, if you’re an activist or a contributor. IMO.

  89. 117.

    General Stuck


    I wasn’t communicating very well, but that’s not a new developmemt.

    No problem, I see your point as well, as what makes the south tick is largely an enigma that doesn’t fit neatly into categories.

  90. 118.

    Triassic Sands

    The reason Romney won’t divulge anything about his plans as president is simple: once president, he’s going to sell off the assets of the US and move the government overseas. If that were your plan, would you tell the American people before election day?

  91. 119.

    El Cid

    Unlike many who fear the opposite (realistically, and just as likely correctly), I feel that if an Obama victory looks more likely you may see more Democratic and pro-Democratic voters turning out — and maybe many “independents” from that tiny sector — to be on the winning side.

    That’s about the only possibility I see of some strong result in the House and Senate either holding on or advancing. (The latter seems fairly impossible, but if the Romney campaign turns out truly disastrously, it’s going to become possible.)

  92. 120.


    @dww44 – I think it is subtly different. There is one side that thinks that they are entitled to govern (that started with Reagan, by the way – Nixon types never said such things AFAICR), and another side that thinks that the first is not entitled to govern. Opposition parties are a necessary part of government, and sensible people know that, but that is rather different from what is going on now.

    All of this is about power. One side has been trying to get a lock on power for decades now. They used the same techniques and tactics to wreck and take over the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1970’s, which was basically the Spanish Civil War of the culture wars. One of the scary things about the SBC takeover is that, once installed, they change things to make it near impossible to remove them. Once the SBC was done, they moved immediately to the national stage.

    Fortunately, on the national stage, they are (finally) meeting serious resistance from all over. If and when they are defeated, they will likely be marginalized, and if that happens the level of civility in public life will increase amazingly fast.

  93. 121.


    Has anyone accounted for the $1+Billion that will be spent by the GOP and its anonymous billionaire donors between now and Nov? I don’t think its effect has started to kick in yet.

  94. 122.


    @Ron Beasley:

    The more people see of Romney the less the like him – more important the less they trust him. He comes across as a slimy sociopath…

    That’s because Mitt Romney is a slimy sociopath.

    Run Romney’s behavior and statements against Robert Hare’s 20-pont “sociopathy checklist.”

    Except for “juvenile deliquency,” “promiscuous sexual behavior” and “many short-term (marital) relationships,” Romney fits all the criteria for a sociopath.

    Factor 1: Personality “Aggressive narcissism”

    Glibness/superficial charm
    Grandiose sense of self-worth
    Pathological lying
    Lack of remorse or guilt
    Shallow affect (genuine emotion is short-lived and egocentric)
    Callousness; lack of empathy
    Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

    Factor 2: Case history “Socially deviant lifestyle”.

    Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
    Parasitic lifestyle
    Poor behavioral control
    Lack of realistic long-term goals
    Juvenile delinquency
    Early behavior problems
    Revocation of conditional release

    Traits not correlated with either factor

    Promiscuous sexual behavior
    Many short-term (marital) relationships
    Criminal versatility
    Acquired behavioural sociopathy/sociological conditioning (Item 21: a newly identified trait i.e., a person relying on sociological strategies and tricks to deceive)

  95. 123.



    I’d have to agree here. The choice is clear in this election. You’ve got Gordon Gecko vs. Mister Spock. That’s not a choice a party like the Republicans wants to offer in the midst of a gigantic economic collapse.

    I’ve been plenty wrong before, as for example when I predicted confidently that Mitt Romney would not be the Republican presidential nominee because his Mormonism would turn off such a huge part of the Republican evangelical Christian fundamentalist base. (In fact, I still can’t believe the Republicans are allowing this guy to become their nominee because it’s so purely and so obvious self-destructive, given the demographics of the Republican base.)

    But I’m going to go on record with yet another prediction: this election won’t be close. Obama will win it running away.

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