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Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable

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RydiaLockheart
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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-15 20:50:09 Reply

I think another possible wild card might be the Occupy folks. Remember, Obama supported them, and with them making themselves a public nuisance, it's already bad enough. If they cause enough trouble at the NATO summit, as they plan to, this could come back to bite Obama. If I were a GOP strategist, I'd also use Pelosi's support against her. All you'd need is a TV ad with her saying "God bless them" (IIRC those were her exact words).

Right now, I see the race as Romney's to lose. The problem with how he has run against Santorum is that he moved his rhetoric further to the right to compete, so this puts him in a hole. He can't just shift back to his real/previous positions on issues because the Democrats will pounce on the flip-flopper and Etch A Sketch labels. In the meantime, far right positions tend to scare away the moderates and the independents.

However, November is a while away. Remember, McCain had a shot at winning until the economy tanked in September/October 2008.

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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-16 10:28:23 Reply

At 4/15/12 08:50 PM, RydiaLockheart wrote: Right now, I see the race as Romney's to lose.

That's a pretty strong statement about someone running against an incumbent. Obama won pretty big in 2008, and you have to consider that for Romney to win, a decent chunk of people who have already voted for Obama once would have to turn around and vote for Romney instead. That's a pretty tall order, especially with Obama's approval rating at par with the disapproval rating, which is pretty damn good, considering the recession.

Not trying to comment on who is actually a better candidate, but defeat of an incumbent is historically unlikely, so it's pretty premature at this point to say that it's the opposition's election to lose.

RacistBassist
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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-16 22:24:44 Reply

At 4/16/12 10:28 AM, Elfer wrote: That's a pretty strong statement about someone running against an incumbent. Obama won pretty big in 2008, and you have to consider that for Romney to win, a decent chunk of people who have already voted for Obama once would have to turn around and vote for Romney instead. That's a pretty tall order, especially with Obama's approval rating at par with the disapproval rating, which is pretty damn good, considering the recession.

I have to disagree with this. For Obama to win, he needs to get his old voters to vote for him. I see way less people giving a shit about voting this time around.

Not trying to comment on who is actually a better candidate, but defeat of an incumbent is historically unlikely, so it's pretty premature at this point to say that it's the opposition's election to lose.

Obama is also the go to scapegoat for everything bad right now.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-17 04:26:15 Reply

At 4/16/12 10:24 PM, RacistBassist wrote: Obama is also the go to scapegoat for everything bad right now.

Not as much as has been so historically. Remember, he has a republican-led/stalemated congress with approval rates in the single digits to pass off a lot of that blame. There are a lot of people who will buy the cock-blocking congress argument (as legitimate or not as it might be considering the democratic control for the first two years).


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-17 05:53:49 Reply

At 4/16/12 10:28 AM, Elfer wrote: Not trying to comment on who is actually a better candidate, but defeat of an incumbent is historically unlikely, so it's pretty premature at this point to say that it's the opposition's election to lose.

Not really...historically only about a third of presidents have been re-elected (although this does take into account death in office). Furthermore, a few failed to get their party's nomination (LBJ and Truman most recently).

As for his approval ratings, they are not all that high and looking at RCP's average they look like they may be beginning to sink again.

As for ppl who voted for him...changing their minds: remember this is a guy who didn't have much of a record coming into the White House. So ppl could pin their hopes and dreams on him and his rhetoric much easier than on McCain who had three decades of history and patterns. Now he has a record to run on. He was elected to fix the economy and his second priority was Healthcare...out-of-step with most American's priorities. His stimilus is now generally viewed as a failure economically. And he spent all his political capital on Healthcare reform...leaving him at odds with his own party in Congress. So yeah I think Obama will have a hard time selling a second term to independent voters.

Obama has also been touting the recovery...yet 75% of Americans still think we're in a recession. This makes it tough for Obama to say Romney is out-of-touch...if Romney's talking about the recession being on-going and Obama's talking about the recovery...

As for Rydia's point about OWS...the Republicans could point out that all that has recovered is Wall Street...not Main Street. This would severely undercut Obama's populist appeal.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-17 06:12:58 Reply

At 4/17/12 04:26 AM, Ravariel wrote:
At 4/16/12 10:24 PM, RacistBassist wrote: Obama is also the go to scapegoat for everything bad right now.

That's part and parcell to being a president running for re-election. Obama is not a special case.


Not as much as has been so historically. Remember, he has a republican-led/stalemated congress with approval rates in the single digits to pass off a lot of that blame. There are a lot of people who will buy the cock-blocking congress argument (as legitimate or not as it might be considering the democratic control for the first two years).

As for the running against congress...I don't think Obama can really ride that horse for much longer. There is now a clear Republican nominee, so Obama has to run against the guy with a face instead of a faceless institution like congress. Furthermore, I also think grasping to congressional approval ratings is a desperation move since congress always has low approval ratings and these tend not to reflect how an election is going to turn-out.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-17 18:29:54 Reply

At 4/16/12 10:28 AM, Elfer wrote:
That's a pretty strong statement about someone running against an incumbent. Obama won pretty big in 2008, and you have to consider that for Romney to win, a decent chunk of people who have already voted for Obama once would have to turn around and vote for Romney instead.

or not vote for Obama. a lot of ppl voted for Obama because of a "it's a historic election" mantra. that's gone now. Also, his rockstar image is dead and he now has a political record. He won't get the foamy mouthed college kid crowd this time around.

That's a pretty tall order, especially with Obama's approval rating at par with the disapproval rating, which is pretty damn good, considering the recession.

truth be told, that's not to his advantage. It'll be fun to see how the elections play out. I just wonder how long it'll be before the democrats put the race card into play "Republicans hate anyone who isn't white and rich!" It's just a matter of time.

Not trying to comment on who is actually a better candidate, but defeat of an incumbent is historically unlikely, so it's pretty premature at this point to say that it's the opposition's election to lose.

This time around, I don't think its a question of who the better candidate is, it's a question of which one is gonna hurt the nation less... and that's a close call.

Last election people voted for Obama to prove that they're not racists. now its time for them to vote against him to prove they're not dumbass zombies.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-17 19:19:22 Reply

At 4/17/12 06:29 PM, Korriken wrote: Last election people voted for Obama to prove that they're not racists. now its time for them to vote against him to prove they're not dumbass zombies.

Umm... No. There is so much wrong with this statement.

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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-17 19:19:38 Reply

I think as of recently people are misjudging Obama, he's been trying real hard to keep his initial promises and people don't realize it takes way longer to accomplish the tasks that he's been working at.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-17 19:26:06 Reply

At 4/17/12 07:19 PM, Camarohusky wrote:
Umm... No. There is so much wrong with this statement.

that was a joke... an old one.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-17 19:27:57 Reply

At 4/17/12 06:12 AM, TheMason wrote: That's part and parcell to being a president running for re-election. Obama is not a special case.

I know. He just so happens to be the president at a down time, instead of an up. So it kinda sucks for his re-election chances. It's funny the amount of people who blame Obama for everything wrong, whether or not it is true. He got credit for saying go ahead, but he also gets credit for deciding the price of gas.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-17 20:46:23 Reply

At 4/17/12 07:27 PM, RacistBassist wrote:
I know. He just so happens to be the president at a down time, instead of an up. So it kinda sucks for his re-election chances. It's funny the amount of people who blame Obama for everything wrong, whether or not it is true. He got credit for saying go ahead, but he also gets credit for deciding the price of gas.

All the republicans have to do, if the price of gas and utilities keep increasing, is remind ppl of this and keep it on the air of the channels that will actually air anti obama ads.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-17 21:14:22 Reply

At 4/17/12 07:19 PM, tyler2513 wrote: I think as of recently people are misjudging Obama, he's been trying real hard to keep his initial promises and people don't realize it takes way longer to accomplish the tasks that he's been working at.

I think this would be better posted in this Obama/General Election topic. This one is different because we're talking about the electoral fundamentals of the 2012 elections.

Comments about how unfair or loopsided something is concerning the blame Obama gets for the economy (as argued by his supporters) or the positive media coverage he gets (as argued by his detractors) are more emotional/subjective instead of objective and belong there. Otherwise this will be just another flame-war-ridden-trollfests!

Thanks! :)


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-17 21:26:24 Reply

At 4/17/12 07:27 PM, RacistBassist wrote:
At 4/17/12 06:12 AM, TheMason wrote: That's part and parcell to being a president running for re-election. Obama is not a special case.
I know. He just so happens to be the president at a down time, instead of an up. So it kinda sucks for his re-election chances. It's funny the amount of people who blame Obama for everything wrong, whether or not it is true. He got credit for saying go ahead, but he also gets credit for deciding the price of gas.

I was trolling Real Clear Politics at lunch and read this editorial. Getting past Podhoretz's editorializing I thought Axelrod's quote was germaine to what we're talking about.

"The choice in this election, is between an economy that produces a growing middle class and that gives people a chance to get ahead and their kids a chance to get ahead and an economy that continues down the road we are on."
-David Axelrod the architect of Obama '08 & '12.

I wonder if this guy is living in a bubble and just doesn't see the huge problem with this statement: he's going out and admiting that we're on the wrong road...a setiment shared by 61% of the country. The problem is this is not 2008 and Obama is not running against the incumbent party's nominee! To say that we're on the wrong road and need to change is the fundamental message of Team Romney!

Now anyone who has ever taken an undergraduate electoral behavior or presidential election class knows that any presidential campaign with an incumbent running is saying the guy in office is taking us down the wrong road! In fact it is not a referendum on a party...but the perceived job the current president is doing. So you simply cannot have your chief strategist going on national TV with a message of change.

So yeah...I think this could be a major gaffe and gives foder to Team Romney. I can see the campaign ad now: "Obama: even his own campaign manager thinks his first term was a mistake."


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-17 22:54:41 Reply

At 4/17/12 09:26 PM, TheMason wrote:
So yeah...I think this could be a major gaffe and gives foder to Team Romney. I can see the campaign ad now: "Obama: even his own campaign manager thinks his first term was a mistake."

yeah but will the republicans put it in the microwave and warm it up for lunch, or will they just toss it in the trash like a lot of good things that come their way?


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-18 18:11:30 Reply

At 4/17/12 10:54 PM, Korriken wrote:
At 4/17/12 09:26 PM, TheMason wrote:
So yeah...I think this could be a major gaffe and gives foder to Team Romney. I can see the campaign ad now: "Obama: even his own campaign manager thinks his first term was a mistake."
yeah but will the republicans put it in the microwave and warm it up for lunch, or will they just toss it in the trash like a lot of good things that come their way?

The microwave analogy is good. If I were managing Team Romney I'd run with it a little now. But I'd save it for closer to the election. Afterall, if there is a second economic downturn or gas prices go up or unemployment goes up...I'd put it out there again.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-19 12:53:48 Reply

At 4/18/12 06:11 PM, TheMason wrote:
The microwave analogy is good. If I were managing Team Romney I'd run with it a little now. But I'd save it for closer to the election. Afterall, if there is a second economic downturn or gas prices go up or unemployment goes up...I'd put it out there again.

meh, I was just being silly.

but I agree, I'd also put out the little "I can be more flexible after me reelection" bit he got caught saying too.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-20 08:47:06 Reply

At 4/20/12 07:57 AM, Austerity wrote: Romney has this election in his pocket.

I'd be interested in how and why you think so. Nothing about his politics or worth as a potential president...but what his path to victory is and how it is supposedly so secure.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-20 09:59:29 Reply

At 4/17/12 06:29 PM, Korriken wrote: or not vote for Obama. a lot of ppl voted for Obama because of a "it's a historic election" mantra. that's gone now. Also, his rockstar image is dead and he now has a political record. He won't get the foamy mouthed college kid crowd this time around.

Well, I'm not saying that Obama has it in the bag either. I'm just saying that it's premature to claim that Romney has it locked up already. I think it's going to be a close election, more akin to Bush/Kerry than McCain/Obama.

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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-20 10:26:47 Reply

At 4/20/12 09:59 AM, Elfer wrote: Well, I'm not saying that Obama has it in the bag either. I'm just saying that it's premature to claim that Romney has it locked up already. I think it's going to be a close election, more akin to Bush/Kerry than McCain/Obama.

To be very scientific about it...my gut feeling is it may be even closer than Bush/Kerry and be razor-close like Bush/Gore.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-20 11:26:20 Reply

So I was playing around Nate Silver's 538 Blog today and picked-up a few nuggets.

Favorability Ratings
There's much news about how Romney's favorability is underwater compared to Obama. But does this matter? Not yet. Looking at data going back to 1980 he found that at this point in the race it only predicts the winner in a presidential race about 40% of the time.

However, at this point in the election cycle there are several factors that can suppress a candidate's favorability rating. The number one for a challenger is going through the primary process. So I think Romney will bounce back in the coming months.

However, when we get into the final couple of months the correlation is about 90%. So if Romney is still under water in September he's probably done.

Reading the Polls
The first thing he suggests is to look an average of the poll numbers. This helps even out bias, house effects and other distortions.

Throw out outlier polls.

Focus on the president's approval rating, specifically the spread. (Which is now about +0.6% at 47.6% approve to 47% disapprove.)

Look at several Economic Indicators
So I think I'll start looking at the following indicators on this topic:
Inflation 2012:
Jan: 2.97%
Feb: 2.87%
Mar: 2.65%
source

GDP Growth FY 2011
Q1 2011: 0.4
Q2 2011: 1.3
Q3 2011: 1.8
Q4 2011: 3.0

Unemployment Rate
Jan: 8.3%
Feb: 8.3%
Mar: 8.2%

Overall the economic model is starting to look-up for Obama. The numbers that should be going up (GDP) are going up, the numbers that need to go down (inflation & unemployment). However, unemployment has to keep going down instead of flattening out. With GDP I'm not sure that it's pulling up fast enough. I posted a graph going back to January 1980 looking at GDP. If you look at the 1970s recession, 1982 recession and 1992 recession you see a recovery of GDP that is equal to or larger than the downturn. However, the 2008 recession has not recovered enough to make-up for what was lost during the downturn.

So it is good for Obama...but not robust.

US Senate & House of Representin'
One of the things I think is important to look at is how the Senate map is going to shake out. Right now RCP's map have Republicans and Democrats even at 46 seats each that are either not up for re-election, safe or likely for one side or the other. So the Senate is up for either side. However, as I look at the poll results there appears to be some evidence for a Republican take over:
Missouri: All Republican candidates are beating Democrat incumbent Claire McCaskill.
Montana: The Dems are loosing slightly in all but one poll.
Wisconsin: The Republican frontrunner is leading by 3-6%.
Nevada: Heller (R) is beating Berkley (D) by 3-7%.
Massachusetts: Toss-up.
Virginia: Toss-up.
Maine: Indepent is leading...handedly.
Florida: D is beating both possible R challengers.

From the look of it the Republicans stand to pick-up at least five new Senate seats. This would give the Republicans a 51 member majority.

As for the House...hard to sit here and go through 435 elections. But in the RCP average for spread on the House public sentiment is Republicans are leading between 2-10% depending on the poll.

* * *

I think the importance here is that Obama's race against the Congress (ie: the single digit approval rating of Congress) may be a loser for him. If the narrative that Obama's good ideas are blocked by Republican'ts in the Congress had any legs or any credibility with the voting public then these numbers should be reversed.

I wonder if this could be, given the emotions behind this president, a true relection of his standing in the general election.

Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-20 12:34:39 Reply

At 4/20/12 11:26 AM, TheMason wrote: From the look of it the Republicans stand to pick-up at least five new Senate seats. This would give the Republicans a 51 member majority.

Yeah, I just saw this today, citing a Times article, that says that, due to redistricting and retirements, Dems would most likely have to pick up 35 seats in the House to regain control, and are at risk of losing the Senate as well. That will bode poorly for Obama if he tries to run against congress. He will need to be crafty to tie congress and Romney together, and use them to weigh each-other down. He has shown himself to be a very savvy campaigner, but right now it's looking like the Dems are suffering a bit of overconfidence.

Also, This article nicely outlines how conventional wisdom as it applies to elections is bound to fail this year, no matter how things go. Rmember: statistics are a decent predictive tool, but they are not prescient.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-20 13:50:22 Reply

At 4/20/12 12:34 PM, Ravariel wrote:

:He has shown himself to be a very savvy campaigner, ...

I hear this repeated over and over. I've worked in campaigns and I've studied elections, and I just don't see that much evidence that he is a savvy campaigner.

* The only stunning campaign victory he has under his belt was his 2008 primary victory. That was Hillary's year and she was the odds-on favorite to get the Democratic nomination.

* From the time he won the nomination he trailed McCain until there was external factor: the September 2008 financial meltdown. Now according to all poli sci models 2008 should've been a slam-dunk for the Dems. There was a sense the economy was weakening. Bush fatigue. Two unpopular wars. McCain was a badly bruised Republican candidate with a lackluster base in terms of enthusiasm. McCain didn't have the money Obama did (McCain ran out of money during the primary while Obama was buying ad time in video games). In short: Obama's presidential victory came in a Democratic year where the Dem shouldn't have needed an external shock...and he almost lost a sure thing!

* The Obama campaign is not looking like it is run by brilliant campaigners. They announced his candidancy about 9months to a year too early thereby giving away the advantage of actually being a president. Now he is just another politician running for president.

* The Obama campaign is running around as if they are running against someone else's record. I mean Axelrod going on the Sunday talk shows and saying this election is between staying on the road we're on...or do we want something better? I mean...is he switching to Team Romney? That's a rookie stupid mistake...not one of a brilliant campaign manager of a brilliant campaigner!


Also, This article nicely outlines how conventional wisdom as it applies to elections is bound to fail this year, no matter how things go. Rmember: statistics are a decent predictive tool, but they are not prescient.

Yeah...there's a few things I disagree with on it. But the conventional wisdom he's talking about are historical ancedotes and not the statistical analysis that professional political scientists and pollsters follow when creating a predictive model. Afterall, we understand that when we find a statistically significant variable that has a degree of causation it's a good day if it works 40% of the time! I mean Brian Fantana's sex panther works better than a single variable in an election model! :)


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-05-05 05:21:09 Reply

Obama is a pawn. All policies do most other people. But it is a separate and quite different topic of conversation.

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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-05-18 16:29:38 Reply

At 4/17/12 06:29 PM, Korriken wrote: Last election people voted for Obama to prove that they're not racists. now its time for them to vote against him to prove they're not dumbass zombies.

I agree with this. Obama is a one trick pony, it will be nice when he is gone.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-05-18 17:20:31 Reply

At 5/18/12 04:29 PM, DoctorStrongbad wrote: I agree with this. Obama is a one trick pony, it will be nice when he is gone.

Please do elaborate. Oh yeah, also please tell hoiw Romney will do anything better for the Country, seeing as his interests are so clearly alligned with those who make less than $10,000,000 a year. (shakes head in sarcasm) Let's also not forget he is alligned with the party that worships evil and greed under the guise of a cross.

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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-05-19 17:08:03 Reply

At 5/18/12 05:20 PM, Camarohusky wrote: Please do elaborate. Oh yeah, also please tell hoiw Romney will do anything better for the Country, seeing as his interests are so clearly alligned with those who make less than $10,000,000 a year. (shakes head in sarcasm) Let's also not forget he is alligned with the party that worships evil and greed under the guise of a cross.

He doesn't like Obama? Better attack him because it obviously means he likes Romney


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-10-27 13:02:52 Reply

*bump*

I thought it was time to dust this off and update it. Afterall, the election is a week away and like I said when I created this topic...anything could happen.

At that time I thought things favored a Romney victory 60-70%. This is pretty much the opposite of what Nate Silver at the New York Times has been saying. Why the difference? Many may think it is because I am a Republican. That would be wrong. The difference is because I'm a structuralist political science. I look more towards how structures influence political behavior (such as voting), and this year the economic structure favors Romney. Economic data is more firm than polling data (which Silver bases his projections on)...and I think is a slightly better indicator. 2012 is NOT a year the incumbent person/party should expect to retain the White House. Most political science models based on economics predict a Romney win.

However, it is not perfect as this year shows. Individuals can have an impact on political systems. In the beginning of the election cycle I thought that the Obama campaign was making some stupid decisions. The decision to announce he was running for re-election...I still think was somwhat ill-timed. At the time I thought abandoning the white working class was stupid because this is the core demographic (especially male members) that swings elections. However, now I think it is ballsy hail-mary and about Obama's only option...which means I have to give David Axelrod some credit and admit to being wrong on this point. He identified it early and came up with the necessary battleplan. So this is the lesser reason Obama will win IF he wins on November 6.

The other reason will be: a) he correctly identified his Republican challenger early and b) focused in on him with a very concentrated, and effective attack campaign that survived the missteps of the Joe Soptic ad and proxies suggesting Romney was a tax felon.

So back when I started this thread...I kinda figured Romney would get the nod and then go on the attack against Obama. There are things he should've hit on such as when he was married and going to BYU he and Ann did not live with either in-laws nor did they live in a house/apartment owned by their parents. Instead Mitt managed an apartment complex and lived in the basement apartment...Ann clipped coupons to make ends meet. They should've talked about that to become more human and relatable to the middle class. There are others...but I won't dig too deep. The point is he missed opportunites to 'seal the deal' and let Obama have free reign in painting Romney's qualities for the American voter.

I almost bumped this thread before the first debate b/c I saw the race as a 52% for Obama winning. But then Obama sat out the first debate and lost spectacularly. And this was THE most important of the four debates NOT to lose! Obama either believes his own line that no president has faced more difficult economic woes than he has (definately not true) and therefore arrogantly assumed Romney had nothing on him...or he just figured Romney would let Obama use him as a door mat. But now the tide has turned.

So today I give Romney a very slight 51.5-52% chance of winning the election. The reasons:

* Obama's strategy relies upon turning out greater numbers of minorities and women than in '08 so the loss of just one group could be lethal to his re-election chances. Women have started swinging towards Romney. Now Romney does not need to win a majority of women voters...just keep Obama's numbers in the low 50s which last poll I saw had 54% for Obama which is within the range that allows a Republican victory. Secondly, there is still deflated excitement amongst youth voters...it does not approach 2008 levels. So Obama is struggling to maintain his advantage in two key demographics.

* There is an enthusiasm gap between Democratic and Republican voters. Republicans are excited in the mid-80% range while Democrats are in the low-to-mid 70% range. Furthermore, over the summer there were several big turn-out events: Chic-fil-a, Wisconsin Recall, OWS & the national conventions, and Glenn Beck. In the first two Republicans, conservatives and libertarians turned out in greater numbers than their Democratic and Liberal counterparts (ie: gay rights protestors and voters). In Dallas Glenn Beck sold out Dallas Cowboys Stadium...which I believe is a bigger crowd than Obama's acceptance speech drew. And OWS was unable to significantly disrupt either convention. These are indicators that the Republican base is more energized than the Democratic. Now some have suggested that this is meaningless because you don't rabble-rouse when your guy is in power...and that may be true when it is NOT his election cycle. But the Obama campaign has manufactured a message that 'hey...I need you to have my back or this Romney son-of-a-bitch is going to ruin everything'. The effectiveness of this message...especially when Wisconsin in some very significant was a proxy for the presidential race...should have produced a closer Wisconsin result, a better counter-Chic-fil-a protest and emboldened the Left to hold some major rallies of their own...or at least show-up in NC in greater numbers for their guy.

Finally, there is some evidence that things in Ohio are not as rosey for Obama like the campaign claims. Obama won Ohio by 260K votes in '08. Early voting has 220K fewer voting in Ohio this year...while 30K more Republicans have voted early this year. So pretty much the Republicans have closed the gap in Ohio to 10K in just early voting, however things could change on election day or this trend could reverse itself. But that it exists...should be troubling for Obama...that he does not have the enthusiastic voters necessary to win a minority-coalition victory.

* Not only has Romney opened up a lead in the national polls...he's leading in key economic issue polls. I haven't seen reputable polls that show Obama leading Romney on issues of taxes, jobs and the economy in general. What I've seen has Romney leading just above or just below the margin of error. When a political scientist looks at poll data, we look at how questions are asked...and what supporting questions were asked to reduce respondant bias/error. And that Obama is losing in these key areas undermines the 'who are you going to vote for' question. Which brings me to:

* Sometimes polls may be flawed. The '12 electorate is fundamentally different from the '08 electorate and in '10 the Dems misread their tea leaves (honest to God...pun NOT intended) and lost big in the House and significantly (but not totally) in the Senate. So if the pollsters are modeling the turn-out to be like it was in '08...they could be oversampling Democratic voters as some on the right have claimed. On the other hand there is thing called the Bradley Effect that I've talked about and I think I'll give it its own paragraph...

* In 2008 no political scientist in my graduate department was looking for the Bradley Effect. The media was...and the McCain campaign was praying for it. But you had a very horrible economic collapse happen in September about 10 weeks away from the election where McCain responded by melting down. Also, racial politics on the national level were starting to level out and the Bradley Effect was seen less and less. Then the candidate, Obama, came across more like Bill Cosby than Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. The best speech I've heard Obama give was the one on race...and regardless of whether or not he wins or loses...that will probably become one of the great presidential speeches of the early 21st century. So in short: no one who looks at these things objectively thought there would be a Bradley Effect in '08...and there was not.

[cont.]


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LemonCrush
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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-10-27 14:26:55 Reply

At 5/18/12 05:20 PM, Camarohusky wrote:
At 5/18/12 04:29 PM, DoctorStrongbad wrote: I agree with this. Obama is a one trick pony, it will be nice when he is gone.
Please do elaborate. Oh yeah, also please tell hoiw Romney will do anything better for the Country, seeing as his interests are so clearly alligned with those who make less than $10,000,000 a year. (shakes head in sarcasm) Let's also not forget he is alligned with the party that worships evil and greed under the guise of a cross.

Hmm. Judging by Romney's politcal past (as governor that is) and based on the most recent debates, you seem to be describing some sort of person that isn't even in this election :/

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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-10-27 16:51:06 Reply

[cont.]

* The Bradley Effect: The conditions of '08 are not the same as '12. Obama is not the idealistic, hope & change candidate he was then. Now instead of having an image as being above the partisan fray...he is seen as just another politician and there has been some missteps publicly that make him appear less the man who made the great '08 speech on race and more the paritioner in Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church:
1) Awkwardly getting involved in a local matter when a black Yale professor was arrested for disturbing the peace and not cooperating with a responding officer.
2) His Justice Dept dropping charges against two members of the New Black Panther Party in a slam-dunk voter intimidation case.
3) His proxies claiming racism against critics of his administration. I've grown weary of hearing from members of the Congressional Black Caucus saying patently naive and false things like 'no other president has had this level of opposition, and the only difference is he's a black man'.

Now I know this is bringing me into it a little bit, but many scientists make ground breaking observations because of personal experiences and reactions to things. So why should political scientists be any different? I got polled two weeks ago by a human (not a robo-poll) by one of the organizations that make it onto RCP's average. It was a young sounding female on the other end. As much as I know about poll construction and the like, and knew the reasons behind the questions as well as why I did not vote for Obama in '08...or now in '12...when asked who I voted for in '08 I answered Obama. It was a knee-jerk reaction...no thought...was barely aware of the words coming out of my mouth.

In reviewing the mental tape after the call...the reason is this year I voted straight ticket Republican when I have never done that before. I've always voted for about two or three Democrats (largely because there are often two or three Republicans who are pieces of shit who get through...and I hear about it through Republican friends or organizations I've associated with). In '08 I voted 40% Dem, 40% Rep and 20% Libertarian. In the 20 years since graduating high school in a small, rural Missouri town...I've lived overseas and studied other cultures and had friends, bosses, and heroes from all races, religions, and sexualities. So in no way are my opinions of Obama or his presidency based on race. And despite the Vulcan political scientist in me...the human side took over and I lied about who I voted for in '08 because I did not want this stranger thinking I'm a racist.

And in '08...I did almost vote for Obama. I literally did not make up my mind until I was putting pencil to paper on my absentee ballot two weeks before the election. I can remember sitting there, taking 2-3 minutes to fill in that oval. In the end I voted for McCain when I realized that while Mo could go either way (McCain won by 3,900)...Obama was carrying key swing states like Ohio and making in-roads in states like NC and Va...as well as the popular vote by a good margin. So my vote wouldn't matter.

Anyway...I digress. The point of my story is that if someone with as strong and well-informed opinions as I could be susceptible to the Bradley Effect...what about small business owners for whom image is everything? Or a teacher or union member who disagrees with the prevailing attitudes at work? Talking to someone is far different than posting on NG or pulling a lever in a ballot box...where no one sees who you are voting for. So I do think there is a good chance for the Bradley Effect to rear its ugly head in this election. I give it a 55-60% chance...not definite...but somewhere between possible and probable. (How's that for equivocation!?!)

* 1992: There is a hint of desperation in the air from the Obama campaign that may signal that internal polling is not as good as the picture of Victory the campaign is trying to project publicly. This week Obama released The New Economic Patriotism booklet that outlines his plan for a second term. Rachel Maddow had the following to say:

"Given how reluctant Mitt Romney has been to divulge any details about his governing agenda, it came as something of a surprise that the Republican has been aggressively pushing the line that President Obama lacks a platform for a second term."

"Indeed, despite the ambiguities of the Romney/Ryan plan, the Romney/Ryan campaign, just over the last couple of weeks, has incorporated the "Obama has no agenda" attack into practically every speech and press release lately."

...

She quotes another source: "After weeks of being challenged by Democrats and Republicans to lay out his second-term agenda, President Obama's campaign is releasing a 20-page booklet called "Blueprint for America's Future" on Tuesday and airing a new television ad to support it. [...]"

....
Then says:

"I suspect the Obama campaign has been reluctant to push this line too much in recent months because it leads to an inevitable question: if these ideas are worthwhile, why weren't they enacted in the first term?"

Now go back to about this time in 1992...

George H.W. Bush was being criticized for having no plan. He may have been resting on his Desert Storm laurals...afterall with a 92% approval rating...no Democrat considered presidential material made a run for the Democratic nod opening the door for a young Bill Clinton to make a run. So Bush probably suffered from the same confidence/arrogance/hubris Obama did going into the first debate: 'he can't beat me...so I'll just phone this in'. So the administration did not run on economic plans during a recession/poor economy. In fact this is what the Washington Post wrote in Sept 1992:

"President Bush Thursday drew together a disparate package of his administration's past proposals to revive the nation's economy and reintroduced them under a new umbrella that he said will be the basis for a second-term "agenda for American renewal."

"In a speech to the Detroit Economic Club, a five-minute campaign commercial broadcast Thursday night on four television networks and a 29-page document sent to Republicans nationwide, Bush sought to convince American voters that he has a coherent plan to achieve a goal of almost doubling the size of the U.S. economy. The plan, he argued, is based on principles of limited government and reliance on the marketplace that differ significantly from those of his Democratic opponent, Bill Clinton."

...

"
"The political rationale for the repackaging was clear in Bush's introduction by Michigan's Republican Gov. John Engler, who called the president "the man with the plan." Bush has been widely criticized for going from one election-year economic plan to another in order to convince voters he understands and will work on reviving the stagnant economy."

" "Perhaps the point that we haven't conveyed effectively," a senior aide said, "is how (prior Bush proposals) all fit together. So that's what this is trying to do today, to show the comprehensive approach." "

So the point is...Obama is also talking about trust the same way the first Bush did in 1992. The only significant advantage/difference that breaks for Obama is he lacks a third party foil unlike Bush who had Perot drawing votes away from him.

====

So in conclusion...the race is turning out very differently than when I created the OP for this topic. The endgame is shaping up to be the most exciting race I've seen since my Senior year of HS 20 years ago. My gut gives a slight edge to Romney...but not enough to predict a Romney victory that falls outside the margin of error...which is not where I expected to be when I started this thread.


Debunking conspiracy theories for the New World Order since 1995...
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