Can Romney Win?

September 24, 2012

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We’re about six weeks away from election day, and the debates are just around the corner.  While the national polls show the race fairly tight, these polls are completely irrelevant.  A candidate gets the same number of electoral votes if he wins a state by one vote or by ten million.  Large margins may help the national polling numbers, but they don’t actually change the chance that the candidate will win.

For years. my go-to site has been  The site operator is very clear about the fact that he’s liberal, but I like the way the data is presented.  The site correctly predicted 48 of the 50 states in 2008, missing only Indiana and Missouri.

At this point, shows Obama with 328 electoral votes, Romney with 206, and New Hampshire tied.  Romney is expected to lose Massachusetts (where he was governor) convincingly.  That’s not surprising, considering how liberal the state is.  He’s also polling well behind in Michigan, where his father was governor.  While I haven’t researched this in great detail, I’d have to think that winning a presidential election while losing two states where you have deep personal ties would be a historic achievement.  Generally, a candidate can count on his home state to cast their votes for him.

One of my favorite features of the site is the tipping point state chart.  Essentially, this ranks the state from the ones where Obama is doing best (DC and Hawaii) to the states where he is doing worst (Utah and Wyoming).  If you’re a Romney fan, you can read from the bottom up.  The chart lets you see how far down (or up) a candidate must go in order to win.  In order for Romney to win, he’d have to pick up the tied state of New Hampshire, as well as Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, Florida, and Ohio – all states where Obama leads.  While it’s true that some of Obama’s leads are within the margin of error, this doesn’t mean that the poll results are wrong – it just means there is a greater likelihood that they are wrong.  Unless there is a systemic error affecting polling in multiple states, a candidate leading by less than the margin or error in large number of states is very likely to win a majority of those states.

How can Romney win?

  1. Explain Paul Ryan’s voucher system to senior citizens.  If seniors think that the Republicans are trying to take Medicare away, they could switch their votes or simply not vote at all.  Traditionally, this is a group that leans heavily Republican; it’s hard to imaging a Romney win that doesn’t include winning a majority of the senior vote.
  2. Capitalize on Obama gaffes in the debates.  However, it’s important to strike a chord with independent voters, and not simply preach to the choir.  This minds finding cases where the broader population disagrees with an Obama sentiment and hammering away.
  3. Getting out the vote.  A great way to overcoming a polling deficit is to simply get more of your party’s voters to the poll. 

Other news:


Tomorrow is the deadline for Todd Akin to petition a judge to remove his name from the ballot in the Missouri senate race.  If he does this (and the judge agrees) he would have to pay for ballots to be reprinted (possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars), but the Republicans would be able to put a different candidate on the ballot.  Claire McCaskill is comfortable head (although it’s not a blowout), and an Akin pullout would basically start with a clean slate.  I do wonder is McCaskill has been holding back a bit, in order to make Akin think he has a chance (rather than having him drop out and facing a stronger candidate).  Will McCaskill release the hounds on the 26th?

It appears that the Senate will add another independent to its ranks.  Former governor Angus King has a big lead over the Republican candidate.  Since King is expected to caucus with Democrats (although he has not publicly stated this), the Democrats are not supporting their party’s candidate, Cynthia Dill, for fear of splitting the vote between Dill and King and allowing the Republican to win.  Republican PACS have actually run ads in favor of Dill – trying to achieve just such a split.

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What Does Todd Akin Stand For?

August 24, 2012

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, member of the United States House of Represe...

Todd Akin

Akin; adjective. Of similar character. It is such a perfect last name for that new pariah of the Republican party, Missouri Congressman and Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin. That is despite all their faux outrage at his comments this week on legitimate rape and the magical woman parts during it, they really posses the exact same thoughts on the ideas expressed and have so for a while now. So why all the outrage then? Well Congressman Akin violated the first rule of idiot club, don’t express our batshit ideas to the public during a general election. That is the plain and simple reason. Just this past year and Akin along with current Republican Vice Presidential choice Paul Ryan (and 186 others) put forth a bill that would set the limitation for exceptions in an abortion bill to “forcible” or as it can be put by their terminology, real rape. Just like legitimate, just using a different word.

Now however in the aftermath of the Akin comments Ryan is all saying well rape is rape. Nice to know Congressman Ryan, but that is not how you felt the other day, and how am I to think this will be your opinion again when the heat is down on these recent comments. Shoot Mitt Romney even sought the endorsement of one of those doctors akin was talking about that try to peddle his pillow pants theory of special lady parts during rape, well real rape. If you got pregnant you weren’t actually raped is what one is made to believe by their misplaced and ridiculous “science” there.

Sure Akin has came out to apologize and I find it very heartfelt, at least in the since that he is sorry that there was the outrage over his comments, but I don’t find the man very sorry about what he said as it is still what he believes. In fact though I find his apology ad he is running quite humorous. I mean I keep on envisioning I am watching a disgraced televangelist crying “I have sinned” into the camera when I am watching the thing. I don’t really believe the apology, just like I don’t believe the outrage from the politicians on the right. Akin is sorry that he spoke what he thought and the politicians in charge are upset that it hurts their chances at winning, plain and simple. Listening to conservative radio the past couple days you find plenty of nuts defending him and even those trying to defend his theory on how not to get pregnant while being actually raped. It only seems to be the talking heads and politicians on the right that are upset, the evangelicals are standing up for the man. Give them their credit though, at least they are sticking to their beliefs there, no matter how misguided and inaccurate they are.

I am happy to see that Akin has did not bow to the pressure and drop out of the race (well yet that is) as he shouldn’t have to. Now your going to say of course you feel that way you are a liberal. Well him being the worse candidate now has nothing to do with my opinion on this matter, that part is just a bonus. Why I feel this is because he is who the voters wanted. He was selected by Missouri Republican voters who clearly knew who they were voting for in this race, this is why Democrats funnelled money into ads against his opponents in the primary.

Akin has notoriety for speaking his true thoughts and beliefs quite often and usually are pretty crass and out there. I mean the man said that if you are liberal you hate God. He also compared student loans to cancer, said there should not be a minimum wage and so forth. Get the picture? It is not like this is the first time he has put his foot in his mouth, its just this is the first time there was enough outrage and spotlight on them to make him have to “apologize” for it.

Now though the party bosses and talking heads seeing a chance at a Senate seat turn falling from their grasp and possibly even the electoral votes from a state they had locked down that they need to shun and outcast him, for now that is. He stayed in the race and for now at least they are promising not to put any money into his campaign from here on out. Which is fine, but they have no right to overturn the will of the party voters in the primary that was just held. They will try to distance themselves as the election draws near from both Akin and his comments, heck they even have forbade him from coming to Tampa for the convention now. I wonder if they will blame Hurricane Isaac on him as well?

Judge Tom Head

Well outside of Akin who obviously is a bad nut, my bad nut of the month is Lubbock County, TX Judge Tom Head, the epitome of why judges should not be elected. Head stated that if Obama is reelected he foresees civil war because Obama is gonna hand over the country to the United Nations and they are going to go out and try to put down resistance to them and he said him and the sheriff down there are gonna stand their ground in front of their UN vehicles and tell them they ain’t gonna have it. I hear and see this kind of nutbag conspiracy all the time on a pretty daily basis these days so it is not like the judge here is alone in his ideology here. Shoot if Romney though the general election crowd would believe it he would be spouting this off as talking points. I do wonder though now if Judge Head does not bow to pressure to resign, which I don’t foresee him doing, can those who go in front of him as for a mistrial on the grounds the judge is mentally ill?

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What Is The Impact Of Akin’s Rape Comments?

August 21, 2012

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, member of the United States House of Represe...

Time to “shut it down”?

The Missouri Senate seat held by Claire McCaskill was one being targeted by the Republicans this election.  Missouri historically is a swing state, McCaskill narrowly won in 2006, and she had been dogged by issues related to use of a private plane, including allegations that she failed to pay $280,000 in property taxes on the plane.

In short, McCaskill was vulnerable, and the Republicans were about to dump a ton of money into this race in an effort to tilt the balance of the Senate.  Representative Todd Akin emerged the winner of a three way primary and appeared to be on track to unseat the incumbent.

And then Sunday happened, and Akin uttered this quote in an interview.

It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare.  If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child. – Representative Todd Akin

If you’re not familiar with the medical science Akin is referring to, don’t feel bad.  The reason you haven’t heard about it is because it’s not true.  Akin later apologized, saying that he misspoke.  This wasn’t a case of someone misspeaking.  Mitt Romney accidentally introducing Paul Ryan as the next president of the United States was an example of someone misspeaking.  Akin’s comments seemed well rehearsed – he meant what he said.  He was simply wrong.

Republicans Distancing Themselves

Republican leaders have been quick to criticize Akin’s comments.  There’s a very good reason for this – this don’t want to be associated with Akin in any way.  Membership in a political party creates a guilt by association (on the flip side, party members can claim credit for the good deeds of other party members).  While many Republicans may have abortion views that are somewhat similar to Akin’s, most (all?) don’t agree with his comments about a woman’s body being able to prevent pregnancy after a rape and they find the use of the term “legitimate rape” to be offensive.

In or Out?

Until 5 PM today, Akin can withdraw from the race fairly easily.  After 5 PM, it would require a court order and he would be forced to pay for the re-printing of any ballots.  To this point, Akin has been insistent that he will stay in the race.  Republicans are trying to get him to withdraw so that they can replace him with an unsoiled candidate.  On CBS radio news this morning, they reported that a Republican operative was frustrated after conversions with Akin.  The operative was quoted as saying “you can’t reason with an idiot.”

His opponent, McCaskill, agrees with him, stating that the voters chose him and they have a right to have him on the ballot in November.  The fact that she’s be able to hit him over the head with this issue repeatedly definitely works to her advantage.

, U.S. Senator.

Senator Claire McCaskill

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has told Akin that if he stays in the race, they will not back him.  For those who aren’t familiar with this group, they raise a large amount of funds at a national level, and then spend it on races where the money can make a difference in determining the outcome.  (Yes, the Democrats have a similar group, and there are corresponding groups for the House.)  Without the support of the NRSC, Akin would be limited to whatever funds he can raise (or borrow) on his own – putting him at a decided disadvantage, since the National Democratic Senatorial Committee will almost certainly spend money to support McCaskill.

Even if Akin drops out of the race, McCaskill is likely in the position of advantage.  Whomever is picked as a replacement will not have received a plurality of support in the primary – and may not have even participated in the primary.  McCaskill could attack the Republicans as circumventing the traditional process by hand-selecting her opponent, rather than letting the voters decide.

In the end, the Republicans are between a rock and a hard place, although having Akin drop out would probably be best for them.

Effects on the Presidential Race

Missouri is one of just a handful of states that is truly up for grabs in the presidential election.  The majority of states are pretty solidly red or blue.  Recent polling in the state shows a virtual dead heat between Romney and Obama.  It’s possibly that Akin’s statement may cause some undecided voters in the state to have a negative opinion of the Republican party as a whole – causing them to either flip to Obama or simple staying away from the polls.  If Obama wins an electoral college squeaker due to a narrow win in Missouri, Todd Akin’s comments might be what puts him over the top – another reason why the Republicans are desperate for Akin to drop out.

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