At long last, we come to the end of the 2012 campaign. After all the speeches, all the debates, all the PAC ads, all the exaggerations and, yes, the deceptions, the voters will finally have their say. On Tuesday we get to exercise our constitutional right and pick our next President.
This election will be a pivotal one in the country’s history. When you strip away all the rhetoric and political obfuscation the election comes down to a basic choice. Voters will be choosing between two substantially different ideologies. Do we want to continue the current trend toward a big government society similar to those in Western Europe or do we want one that stresses the traditional American values of individualism and free enterprise.
This election is the closest in memory. As I write this on November 4, the election is still in a virtual dead heat and extremely difficult to forecast. Complicating matters further is the plethora of polls, some of which are contradictory.
At the present time, the consensus is that the popular vote, for what it’s worth, is dead even – 47.4% for Mr. Obama and 47.2% for Mr. Romney. Mr. Obama has a “safe” lead in states totaling 237 electoral votes, and Mr. Romney has a “safe” lead in states totaling 191. There are nine states totaling 110 electoral votes that are too close to call. They are: Colorado (9 electoral votes), Florida (29), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), Virginia (13), and Wisconsin (10). 270 electoral votes are needed to win. Most pollsters are opining that Mr. Obama will win enough of these nine battleground states to put him over the top. This appears to be based on (1) the polls indicating he has slim margins in most of them, although within the margin for error, (2) a lead in the “safe” states’ electoral vote count, and (3) Storm Sandy appears to have blunted much of Mr. Romney’s recent momentum.
I do not concur with that analysis completely. I do agree that Sandy has blunted Mr. Romney’s recent momentum as it has afforded Mr. Obama the opportunity to appear “presidential” in dealing with the aftermath. But, I think Mr. Romney will win Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia with a total of 84 electoral votes, enough of the battleground states to win the election. This is based on the fact that even though Mr. Obama has a slight lead in those states, according to the consensus of polls his plurality is 48% or less, and historically, undecided voters have voted predominantly for the challenger in almost every Presidential election. These five states will give Mr. Romney 275 electoral votes.
Because of the extremely slim margins anticipated in so many states, it is highly likely that there will be recounts and, perhaps, even court challenges in a few states. Thus, the official result may be delayed. But, when all is said and done, I predict Mitt Romney will become the 45th President of the United States.