Monday, November 05, 2012


"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future."
-Niels Bohr

Things look extremely positive for Romney's chances to win the presidency, and we're one day out, so I'm going to do some predicting here.
First, I see Romney winning the presidency, by around 53-46, possibly more.  Michael Barone has the electoral college vote around 315 for Romney, but I think that's probably high even though he's the best political analyst around when it comes to this kind of thing.
Second, I don't see the Republican party winning the Senate.  The Democrat majority will be greatly reduced, possibly to 1 or 2 votes, but not a win.  This ought to dump Harry Reid out of the leadership position, but it won't - Nancy Pelosi oversaw the biggest loss ever for the Democratic Party in the house and is the minority leader.  Failure and catastrophe doesn't seem to have a price for the Democrats.
Third, and this is the most obvious and easy prediction, the Republican party retains the House of Representatives.  How on earth anyone could possibly have been so deluded as to think the Democrats would take that over I can't even speculate about.  I see a few seats being added to the GOP majority.
I keep reading "don't get cocky" all over the place and I can't understand why that keeps being said.  What, exactly, do they think is going to happen if people get confident?  Do they think people will stay home and not vote?
If they're referring to a lack of desperation that leads to donations, its too late to make a difference with any cash except to pay for after parties.  If they're referring to a possible reduction in phone calls, canvassing, etc, I seriously doubt the value of those tools.
I'm serious, I am certain that the way elections are won is not by hard work but by a general mood of the country, the cultural spirit and inclination.  That can be swayed slightly by advertising or gaffes, it can be blocked by incompetence or horrendous news (say, Candidate Bill Blogsmith is found to be too young to run for the presidency, or something) but all those phone calls and yard signs and so on do is tend to annoy people.
Folks just don't like them, most folks anyway.  That's why pollsters are having a hard time getting more than 9% of the people they call to actually respond to a poll.  I think pushing people like that is more likely to backfire than help, to annoy people so they just say "well that's enough I'm just not going to vote for that position."
In the end I think we're going to see very low Democratic Party turnout (probably 3% or more margin in favor of Republicans), huge support for Romney among independents, and a very depressed vote for the president at least by blacks and youth.  And a big time spike in the elderly vote, which was pretty reduced in 2008.
And in the end, I think the faith vote is going to make a huge difference.  There is a delusion on the left that thinks evangelicals won't vote for a Mormon for president.  That might theoretically be true if they thought there was a valid choice between a good Christian and a Mormon, for instance.  But that's not the case in this election - not very many strong Christian people believe Barack Obama is actually a Christian.  They don't think he's a Muslim, either.
An oddity that I think is going to shock or fascinate analysts is the Amish vote.  Although they don't vote very much, Amish do vote, and they are very, very annoyed with President Obama's administration leaning on them with the unpasteurized milk stunt they pulled.  Since the Amish are pretty sure everyone but them is at best heretical anyway, Romney being a Mormon isn't going to concern them.
It is surprising though how little anti-Mormon stuff came out this election.  I thought for sure some of the whackier sounding beliefs of the Mormon people would be trumpeted by now in special reports by newscasters in the guise of informing the public.  Instead it was barely mentioned.  I wonder why, at this point?  Its just possible that they're so cocooned they don't think Romney has much of a chance, or perhaps they realize that the general perception of Mormons is that while they may have goofy ideas, they really seem like good, hardworking people so it would backfire.
And while I expect to see a lot of shenanigans by both parties to win - especially Democrats in big cities - I don't think they're going to go nuts.  The left may scream about turning the clock back 50 years and so on, but they don't really believe Romney is a radical right winger. He's pretty moderate, and will annoy conservatives like me a great deal while in office.  He's not a scary candidate for them, not like, say President Ryan would be. So they won't go crazy trying to stop him.  Deep down I think most if not all of them are annoyed with President Obama and won't cry real hard if he loses except for really loopy fools like Chris Matthews.
In any case, that's how I see it.  We'll find out in a few days.


Christopher R Taylor said...

I think people are going to be stunned at how bad the polls are. If the pollsters themselves are scrambling to find new methods and techniques to gather information, that tells you something very critical about the process that they aren't willing to say out loud for fear of damaging their business.

eric said...

Well, as their existing methods of contacting people are less effective, they are scrambling to try to get in touch with a certain sample population with less effort, because that would be much more efficient and save them money... but getting in touch with the same amount of people using more effort or less effort doesn't change the trends revealed by the polling data. I have yet to see a good argument for why it should be treated differently.

I guess we will know very soon how good those numbers are!