November 7, 2012

270 is the number that Obama needed to win last night’s US general election. As of this morning he has 303 electoral college votes with a few more to be concluded.

President Obama won a second term, but not with a resounding victory as many of the pundits were claiming last evening.

Yes, he has a formidable majority in terms of electoral colleges, but he either won (by 0.75%) or lost (by 0.04%) the popular vote by my last calculations. He still doesn’t have control of the House of Representatives nor do the Democrats have the all important super-majority to block filibustering in the US Senate.

America is terrifically divided. Approximately 50% of its population did not want to award President Obama a second term.

In order to be successful he is going to have to show real leadership. He is going to have to reach across the aisle in a sincere and bona fide way in order to get anything meaningful done in the next four years.

Equally, the Republicans are going to have stop their obstruction of the President and work with him.

I hope both Obama and the Republican leadership in the House and Senate can do what Clinton and his counterparts did during his second term. Unfortunately I’m not optimistic. Neither President Obama or Congress’ leadership have shown a proclivity for deal making.

Let’s hope that Obama’s campaign for “Change” includes change in attitudes in the Oval Office and on the Hill.

2012 US Election Commentary

November 3, 2012

Here are three commentaries that are worth a read.

I like Rex Murphy’s political commentary because, generally speaking, I cannot easily conclude how he would vote. Here is a good synopsis of the multi-billion dollar two year campaign: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/11/03/rex-murphy-barak-obama-versus-the-three-wild-cards/

As always, The Economist is a terrific read. I think this is one of the very best English language periodicals and do my best to read most issues cover to cover. The magazine narrowly endorsed Obama, but it was far from a enthusiastic one. This is a good summary of the two candidates: http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21565623-america-could-do-better-barack-obama-sadly-mitt-romney-does-not-fit-bill-which-one

David Frum is not someone I generally read. He is totally predictable, but one can’t deny that he’s well read, has had the benefit of working in the White House and has lived in the US for sometime: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/01/why-i-ll-vote-for-romney.html

2012 US Election Prediction

November 2, 2012

US election cycles are fascinating. They are now long (2 years), expensive (between $1 and $2 billion US), divisive and tight.

The 2012 election is no different.

Over the course of the last six months or so I’ve gone from believing a second term for President Obama was in the bag, to being entirely unimpressed with both candidates, to thinking Governor Romney has a chance, to thinking Governor Romney will be president next year to now believing that Obama will be awarded a second term.

I’ve read more and carried on more informative conversations this year than ever before. Most importantly I’ve learned more from this election cycle than any previous.

What I’ve found is that those opinions that are the least partisan and least biased tend to the be the most interesting and fun. Those of my US friends who I’ve known to vote both Democrat and Republican tend to have the most informed opinions. Those websites that are the least myopic, like Real Clear Politics, are unfailingly the most useful.

So this year for the first time I relied mostly on PBS for post debate analysis, Real Clear Politics for data, articles and polling information, The Economist for an international perspective and the Wall Street Journal for generally balanced coverage.

While predictions aren’t really worth anything (it’s the election day polls that matter, right?), I have spent a bit of time combing through the most up to date polling information from Real Clear Politics.

From this analysis I predict that President Obama will be re-elected with 290 electoral college votes and Governor Romney will lose with 248 votes. Obama will get Ohio (thanks to the auto bailout) and Romney will get Florida.

What can change this?

The ground war.

If Romney’s “Get Out the Vote” teams in the battle ground states are better than Obama’s then he still has a chance. We’ll only know that by the evening of November 6th!