Wednesday 15 September 2010

Tea time

Still a long way off in 2012 is the next USA Presidential election. Some speculation as to how low President Obama's fortunes may go down in the mid terms. High unemployment, a raft of unpopular political stories from Mosques at ground zero to his Healtcare and Energy reforms to his 'Europeanisation of America' seem to be making those happy Obama voters think again. The 'Hope and Change' candidate has not delivered a lot of either.

But on numbers the Republicans have an uphill struggle every bit as large as the UK Conservatives of 1997 had to tackle. In 2008 Obama received the highest number of votes for an election candidate ever. The electoral college system requires 270 electoral college votes to become President.
Obama won with 364. Almost 100+. And McCain had just 164. To have some context George Bush, the President with the most ever votes before Obama, won his 2000/2004 elections with 271 and 286.

There has been a census, which will alter the number of votes that each state has in 2012, and it seems to favour Republican states. On the electoral map predictor , if all the states stayed the same, I make it +7 to Republicans and -4 to Democrats, moving The Republicans up to an unimpressive 171, still 99 short.
If ALL the narrow Democrat wins went Republican, and they retained all they won in 2010, they would still be 10 short.

If Obama falters in the mid terms he has two years to turn it around. USA polling has the economy and jobs as the top priorities of the electorate. A smart President can always forget his consensus politics and make his message.."Who do you think made this mess in the first place? Do you want to put those guys back in again?"

And its not as if the Republicans are a united opposition, torn between the ultra right politics of the Tea Party and trying to appeal to more than white, very conservative, over 50's.
Its going to take something quite special from the Republicans and something quite appallingly bad from the Democrats for the Republicans to to gain the White House in a single bound.

Not to say it can't be done. The USA is not the UK. Ronald Regan won 44 out of 50 states in 1980. Leaving the Democrats with a heartland of just 6. In 1984 he took those as well leaving them just Minnesota, the home state of his challenger.
A really popular candidate can overturn any majority. In 1992 Bush senior was going into the election with an electoral college win in 1988 of 426. He lost to Clinton 370 to 164. If the Republicans can find a Clinton, or an Obama , or a Regan
, then they're in.


CityUnslicker said...

I'd vote tea paty myself - they are really libertarians who are desperately trying to break the Washington consensus politics that has so damaged their system.

In many ways they are a US version UKIP railing against the equivalent of the EU.

roym said...

what if the republicans run with Palin? that will have any doubters running straight back into Obama's arms.

to be honest, i dont know why he isnt playing the coalition card and constantly blaming gw at every turn for the economic woes.

toto said...

By 2012, The National Popular Vote bill could guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Every vote would be counted for and assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes--that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president.

The bill has been endorsed or voted for by 1,922 state legislators (in 50 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: Colorado-- 68%, Iowa --75%, Michigan-- 73%, Missouri-- 70%, New Hampshire-- 69%, Nevada-- 72%, New Mexico-- 76%, North Carolina-- 74%, Ohio-- 70%, Pennsylvania -- 78%, Virginia -- 74%, and Wisconsin -- 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Alaska -- 70%, DC -- 76%, Delaware --75%, Maine -- 77%, Nebraska -- 74%, New Hampshire --69%, Nevada -- 72%, New Mexico -- 76%, Rhode Island -- 74%, and Vermont -- 75%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas --80%, Kentucky -- 80%, Mississippi --77%, Missouri -- 70%, North Carolina -- 74%, and Virginia -- 74%; and in other states polled: California -- 70%, Connecticut -- 74% , Massachusetts -- 73%, Minnesota -- 75%, New York -- 79%, Washington -- 77%, and West Virginia- 81%.

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 30 state legislative chambers, in 20 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas (6), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), Maine (4), Michigan (17), Nevada (5), New Mexico (5), New York (31), North Carolina (15), and Oregon (7), and both houses in California (55), Colorado (9), Hawaii (4), Illinois (21), New Jersey (15), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (12), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), and Washington (11). The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington. These six states possess 73 electoral votes -- 27% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


Bill Quango MP said...

CU: The Tea party are like UKIP. That's the problem. Split the republican vote, drop the GOP 10-15%?

Roym: Tough one to call. Would Palin add more voters than she losses?
She gets them going.
Toto. Interesting but what are the chances of change. We are unlikely to get even AV here.{ a sort of ultra soft proportional representation}
And, as is the case here, the system that lets a leader get the power, is unlikely to be voluntarily changed by that leader.