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leikec
10-26-2012, 01:00 PM
The conventional wisdom in this election year is that republicans, and especially conservative republicans (and please...there are still moderate republicans in the electorate, even if they don't exist within the government) are desperate to vote for "anybody but Obama...", and that democrats are unenthusiastic about the president and dispirited about his chances.

I'm not sure I accept that, at least to that degree, but even if it is basically true there is a question of where Mitt Romney's support is when compared to John McCain's support in 2004.

In 2008 59 million people voted for John McCain, and it is certain that some conservatives didn't vote for him. Mitt Romney certainly enjoys more conservative support this year, but the question is---how much more?

There's no doubt in my mind that President Obama will lose at least 5 to 6 million votes from his 2008 totals, so yeah, democratic enthusiasm is down, but I think the president can win if he polls somewhere in the 63-64 million vote range, because I believe the overall turnout percentage will be lower this year.

Conservative CW seems to be that the president's lost independent votes will automatically become Romney votes...but I'm not so sure. The other prevailing conservative CW is that they are completely united behind Romney this year--and once again, I'm not so sure (even though I do think they are more motivated to vote this time around than in 2008).

Ohio seems to be the state to watch this year, and there are four or five republican leaning districts that could swing the state to one candidate or the other, depending on republican turnout numbers.
Republicans are predicting a high turnout in those districts, but many of the voters they are counting on are evangelical conservatives--voters who turned out in massive numbers to help reelect George W. Bush in 2004.

That leads to my first question: will these evangelical voters turn out in big numbers for Mitt Romney? In 2004 there was a same-sex marriage referendum on the ballot in Ohio--and there is no doubt that it helped George W. Bush turn out the vote in Ohio. That isn't the case this year, and those districts I alluded to were the same districts that kept Rick Santorum competitive in Ohio during the primaries.

The second question is this--will the sudden appearance of "moderate Mitt" this month cause some conservatives to stay home or vote libertarian this year? How on earth does Mitt Romney have more "street cred..." than John McCain?

It seems to me that the answer to those two questions are the real story of this election. The answer nationwide is the difference between Mitt Romney getting 62 million votes and losing, or getting 63 million votes and possibly winning. The answer to these questions could help predict whether the president's lead in Ohio is real, or simply smoke and mirrors.

Jeff C

Curtism
10-26-2012, 01:18 PM
Thanks, Jeff. I've appreciated the perspectives you've been providing during this election cycle and this post raises some interesting points.

Most of my immediate family are Christians, almost all Republican supporters, and seem to be having trouble getting their minds around Romney's religious background . . . I've been curious as well to see how this plays out among like-minded folks nationally. It's definately a new wrinkle that many of us haven't had to deal with in a presidential election.

And, on a somewhat related note, I saw this article earlier and will be curious to see how much (more) traction the effort gets:

http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/almost-14-million-pledge-jesus-write-candidate-2012-disgruntled-evangelicals-vent?page=0%2C0

genglandoh
10-26-2012, 01:20 PM
I think you are wrong.

The other day Romney had a rally in Defiance OH to a crowd of about 12,000 people.
A large turn out in a small town of 17,000 people and were the largest employer is a GM plant.

http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20121025/NEWS11/121029653

johnw
10-26-2012, 01:32 PM
The conventional wisdom in this election year is that republicans, and especially conservative republicans (and please...there are still moderate republicans in the electorate, even if they don't exist within the government) are desperate to vote for "anybody but Obama...", and that democrats are unenthusiastic about the president and dispirited about his chances.

I'm not sure I accept that, at least to that degree, but even if it is basically true there is a question of where Mitt Romney's support is when compared to John McCain's support in 2004.

In 2008 59 million people voted for John McCain, and it is certain that some conservatives didn't vote for him. Mitt Romney certainly enjoys more conservative support this year, but the question is---how much more?

There's no doubt in my mind that President Obama will lose at least 5 to 6 million votes from his 2008 totals, so yeah, democratic enthusiasm is down, but I think the president can win if he polls somewhere in the 63-64 million vote range, because I believe the overall turnout percentage will be lower this year.

Conservative CW seems to be that the president's lost independent votes will automatically become Romney votes...but I'm not so sure. The other prevailing conservative CW is that they are completely united behind Romney this year--and once again, I'm not so sure (even though I do think they are more motivated to vote this time around than in 2008).

Ohio seems to be the state to watch this year, and there are four or five republican leaning districts that could swing the state to one candidate or the other, depending on republican turnout numbers.
Republicans are predicting a high turnout in those districts, but many of the voters they are counting on are evangelical conservatives--voters who turned out in massive numbers to help reelect George W. Bush in 2004.

That leads to my first question: will these evangelical voters turn out in big numbers for Mitt Romney? In 2004 there was a same-sex marriage referendum on the ballot in Ohio--and there is no doubt that it helped George W. Bush turn out the vote in Ohio. That isn't the case this year, and those districts I alluded to were the same districts that kept Rick Santorum competitive in Ohio during the primaries.

The second question is this--will the sudden appearance of "moderate Mitt" this month cause some conservatives to stay home or vote libertarian this year? How on earth does Mitt Romney have more "street cred..." than John McCain?

It seems to me that the answer to those two questions are the real story of this election. The answer nationwide is the difference between Mitt Romney getting 62 million votes and losing, or getting 63 million votes and possibly winning. The answer to these questions could help predict whether the president's lead in Ohio is real, or simply smoke and mirrors.

Jeff C

Polls show this election tied, and this late in the cycle, pretty much everybody is using some kind of likely voter screen. Lately, Gallup has been kind of out there, probably because they have a different voter screen than most outfits. I guess we'll find out whose screen works better when the election happens.

One think I'm reading is that the Democratic voter enthusiasm is concentrated in the battleground states (http://www.salon.com/2012/10/25/obama_has_a_blue_state_problem/), where most of the advertising in this race has been concentrated, while Republican voter enthusiasm is more evenly spread. In part, this is an artifact of the electoral college system. If you live in a blue state with Obama 30 points ahead, and you'd like to see him re-elected, you just don't worry about it. If you live in Dixie, and Obama is 30 points behind, and you want him to lose, it seems, you're still pretty motivated to vote against him.

One thing this means is that the strategy of making this election a referendum on Obama works best in states that were already going to vote against him. Another thing it means is that if one candidate wins the electoral college and loses the popular vote, it will probably be Obama.

If a national popular vote determined the outcome, I suspect Democratic voters in blue states would be more motivated.

leikec
10-26-2012, 07:05 PM
Polls show this election tied, and this late in the cycle, pretty much everybody is using some kind of likely voter screen. Lately, Gallup has been kind of out there, probably because they have a different voter screen than most outfits. I guess we'll find out whose screen works better when the election happens.

One think I'm reading is that the Democratic voter enthusiasm is concentrated in the battleground states (http://www.salon.com/2012/10/25/obama_has_a_blue_state_problem/), where most of the advertising in this race has been concentrated, while Republican voter enthusiasm is more evenly spread. In part, this is an artifact of the electoral college system. If you live in a blue state with Obama 30 points ahead, and you'd like to see him re-elected, you just don't worry about it. If you live in Dixie, and Obama is 30 points behind, and you want him to lose, it seems, you're still pretty motivated to vote against him.

One thing this means is that the strategy of making this election a referendum on Obama works best in states that were already going to vote against him. Another thing it means is that if one candidate wins the electoral college and loses the popular vote, it will probably be Obama.

If a national popular vote determined the outcome, I suspect Democratic voters in blue states would be more motivated.


I have several DFA-type, progressive-leaning friends who swore they wouldn't vote for President Obama this time...but they've all changed their tune now that the election is upon us.

Jeff C

johnw
10-26-2012, 08:05 PM
I have several DFA-type, progressive-leaning friends who swore they wouldn't vote for President Obama this time...but they've all changed their tune now that the election is upon us.

Jeff C

Good!