Monday 5 November 2012

Obama nailed on


Now, let's not be neutral here. I once lived in the US for a few years and if I did again now (and could vote!) I'd be voting Romney every time. (However, given that I lived in solid Democratic state California fat lot of good it would have done).

Having said that, it is interesting to watch the media at the moment. Desperate for ratings and attention, they collective zeal is to build up the race as much as they can. A close race is more exciting (or a landslide) and generates more interest.
Of course, in America, with the paid advertising portraying the other guy as the devil incarnate who will eat your babies, people have a tendency to get more strident than they do in the UK - where we tend to despite all politicians more equally. Especially of late where we can so easily tell that none of them are up to the job.

But in the US, the race is not that close. Romney certainly made up some ground in the campaign, but he started from a long-way back. There are some key trends in the US which affect the UK too, notably postal voting means a decent chunk of people vote before the end of the campaign. These votes have been going to Obama.

Another important similarity is that the US presidential election is a first past the post one, as is the UK. This means that vote share is less important than 'seat count' (in the US, electoral college votes). Here Obama is home and hosed. There are 5 really bit states in the US that count, NY, Cali, Texas, Florida and Ohio. of these NY and Cali are democrat and only Texas is Republican. This means any republican challenger has to get Florida and Ohio. Romney may edge Florida, but certainly not Ohio. Plus the Republicans have to make sure of all other non-coastal states and this is getting harder in Nevada and New Mexico as immigration rapidly mixes up the states voting mix.

All this means that Obama gets in by reckoning with over 300 Electoral College votes. The close race meme currently being pushed is a great one for media interest, but in reality Obama leads in all the swing states.

It is really hard to unseat and incumbent in the US Presidential Election, it happens very rarely and won't be happening tomorrow.


Budgie said...

CU, you are probably right, more's the pity. Why the Americans want to vote an Englishman into their top spot. goodness only knows (well O'bama is as English as he is black).

Electro-Kevin said...

The interesting thing is that UK Conservative voters would vote for Obama.

I think that's largely down to the BBC.

Jan said...

It's a shame Obama didn't stay to help with the Sandy clear up. There would have been plenty for him to do and some good photo opportubities to boot. I think it is a typical political response to pay a short visit, promise all will be OK and then b***** off.

I doubt the people stuck for days in the freezing cold with no infrastructure will be voting for him.

Bill Quango MP said...

looking at the latest electoral college map its Obama at 181-199.

However Ohio is 18ecv and that's all it takes {on current projections} for Romney to win, providing he also takes Colorado..

he is unlikely to win Ohio though. And probably not Colorado either.

So not too close.

Bill Quango MP said...

Just seen Nate Silverman.He goes even higher. 306 for Obama -230 ish for Romney. That gives Tony Blair 2 an 83% of waking up Wednesday still with a job.

Graeme said...

It certainly looks as if Obama will win but the world might regret it. Just how many people have been assassinated by him over the last 4 years? What would the world say if China sent drones into Tibet, or Japan or some Middle-Eastern country did the same against their "threats"?

How would Obama damp down the threat to world peace? How will he manage the conflicts building up over Iran and Israel, and Japan and China? For most of his presidency, he has been the small boy without a clue, and the things he has to deal with are getting worse.

roym said...

Romney?! for real? the guy is a crank.

Jan, i doubt they'd vote for someone threatening to kick the support crutch away though

Meanwhile Romney and the GOP constantly talk up bombing Iran and currency war with China. very smart foreign policy. Would they curtail drone use? What about UK drone development?

Frankly, i couldnt give a monkey's about tomorrow and will be glad when it is finally done. then sky/bbc news can go back to normal.

James Higham said...

Let's very much not be neutral here. Well said.

Blue Eyes said...

EK, the US is much more right wing than the UK. Obama is much more right wing than the Thatcherites. Even Saint Obama went nowhere near creating an NHS, for example.

CU, Romney is a weirdo and also deeply divisive. If anything like that was on offer here it would be polling 3% max. Also, having briefly looked at Romney's web site at lunchtime he doesn't actually say anything apart from "I want the economy to be better". Motherhood and apple pie. He doesn't say how he would implement Ryanism while also creating the world-class state education system he says he wants. He's a bullshitter who cleverly tapped in to the very nasty but huge streak of US politics of hatred of the "other".

It's sad that the Tea Party tendency and Romney exist in a country which is generally much more open and generous than the UK.

Obama isn't a very good President. The only thing you can say in Romney's favour is that he would never get anything done.

Anonymous said...

Dawkins is being dishonest with that Twitter post. Romney says something like "... and Jesus will return and end the war against the Jews." It's still crazy but it's not the same as "we need a war for Jesus to return". In fact it's almost the opposite. These kind of arrogant inaccuracies are why even many atheists don't like Dawkins.

Funny thing is, Romney's pleas of of "don't make it about my Mormonism" would probably work better here in the UK where we have a kind of don't ask don't tell in regards to the religion of politicians. Can anyone remember the denominations of any of the cabinet?

Anonymous said...

Blue Eyes, but you've also got to remember that a lot of Democrats are a lot more socially (and vocally) left wing than you could get away with in the UK (e.g. abortion). Then the left in the US still has a lot of old school socialist hangers on that not many in the UK take seriously anymore.

The UK is just generally a lot less partisan and much more makedoism rather than just specifically more left wing. I don't think anybody actually "believes" in the NHS (despite the Olympics) but everybody recognises that something is better than the alternatives. However it's a shame that we can't get more arguments and debates over the budget like in the US.

Blue Eyes said...

I agree with some of that. I do think the rabid debates they have in the US are quite healthy. The argument in the UK between Plan A, Plan A+, Plan B, etc. is rather puny. In the US a frontrunner for the Vice Presidency believes the federal government should be cut in half!

I'm not sure you are right about the NHS. I am a pragmatist but I do think (like most Europeans) that there should be universal coverage of some description. I happen to think the NHS is probably a decent enough way to organise that. But there are lots and lots for whom the NHS (and comprehensive education, et al.) is a religion.

ivan said...

The third paragraph says and shows everything wrong with a republic - he who has the best spin machine wins regardless of ability or knowledge of anything pertaining to the job. In fact being a career politician should disqualify anyone from the post.

Now bring on all the comment that I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

The hardcore NHS religionists I've know have all had mums that are nurses. Their love of the NHS is basically only based on the prospect of their mums' losing their jobs, and pretty much everybody has at least one female relative whose a nurse.

As much noise as the teachers unions make about any kind of changes the public doesn't seem to care as much. I think that's partly because there's never any suggestion of job cuts like with any NHS changes.

CityUnslicker said...

The US Deomcrats are not more right wing than the Tories. Obama is left of Cameron (well, a non-coalition cameron).

The US is a different country so its hard to compare, but socialism is alive and well there.

Why would I hypothetically vote Romney? Read up on his business background it is awesome, saved some very big companies, got them through very tough times indeed showing good personal leadership. if there was ever a time a Government needed a good businessman in charge it is the US now as it faces the fiscal cliff.

At least in the US you can get people like his standing - in the UK a really successful businessman or woman would be hounded for being a right wing capitalist scumbag (OK, so Obama is trying this, but politics there is more partisan and clearly not everyone belives im, here all the press would join in)

Nofarg said...

Obama's bailout of the car industry, some £83bn dollars, have bought him the states he needs.

The Republicans were in favour of bankruptcy, then restructuring. Obama did federal bailout.
Its been a success. Obama saved the auto industry in the USA, which is much much more important than it is here.

Where the money came from for that bailout has never been explained. It was magic borrowed money. And how the federal government will pay it back has also never been explained.

Obama subscribes to the Brown economic theory.
Borrow whatever you need. Spend whatever you can. bribe whoever its possible to bribe and weld with subsidy,tax breaks and benefits as many people as possible.

The bill won't turn up for years...don't worry about will be someone else's problem when it lands on the mat.

asquith said...

Suppose someone lives in a safe red or blue state, what about a third party? This Gary Johnson, say what you like about him but he is forcing the failed war on drugs, foreign policy, civil liberties and other things Obama has performed badly on onto the agenda.

I would still endorse Obama because Romney is even worse on the above.

You're simply not getting anyone calling Obama out from a libertarian perspective because Romney is even less libertarian, unless you consider being a supporter of huge corporations to be libertarian.

That's before you even get to the religious issue, not so much Romney's Mormonism as the evangelical and conservative Catholic lobbies (which have for the most part not made an issue of the fact that Romney's theology contardicts everything they allegedly believe in, but that's ok because they're only religious when it suits them anyway).

You've thus got the religious right, whose agenda would probably push me into Obama's column if I wasn't there already.

Electro-Kevin said...

Blue - Wouldn't we be more right wing were it not for the BBC ?

Does this institution set our political boundaries ?

Despite being 'right wing' America remains a civilised nation and is the first major one to have elected a black president (how right wing is that !)

Similarly our nation was the first to elect a woman PM (under a supposedly right wing regime.)

The BBC has helped to haul our politics way over to the left - John Redwood is deemed to be of the 'far' right. How ridiculous is that ?

Unlike us the Americans have real choice in their politics and this is to do with them having only commercial TV.

They have no state broadcaster setting the political parameters through subliminal messaging and ridicule of those who step outside of it.

Why are Clinton and Kennedy feted as heroes by the BBC whereas Reagan or Nixon barely register other than for disparagement ? Clinton and Kennedy were not in the same league and they were guilty of dishonesty too.

The NHS was set up in an England that was so right wing that it would now be deemed fascist by BBC - in fact the BBC frequently rails against the values of that era.

The BBC says it's time to move on over Savile. It wasn't so keen to move on over Leveson and milked it until the teats bled dry.

Why ?

Because it hates the press. The press represents repressed 'right wing' attitudes (nothing of the sort in actuality) and wishes to see free speech outside of its own value system closed down.

Truly it does.

Why do we have David Cameron as our PM and a Tory party in rebellion against those chosen to front it ?

Because - in order to survive - the Tory party had to form in the BBC's own image rather than what the Tory grass roots wanted. And that of the permanent officials in Whitehall.

I find it truly depressing that a multi-cultural country such as America, with a black president and an extensive obesity problem can be mistaken for being right wing.

It shows just how far to the left we've been pulled and how limited our political paradigm is.

Old BE said...

EK depends on your definition of right-wing. If you mean BNP "right-wing" (who is the BBC patsy here?) then no, you are right America is not a racist country. If you mean the attitude to government (the Yanks are much more sceptical) and self-reliance (the Americans have a dream, we have a sense of entitlement) then America is towards the small government end of the spectrum.

What has fatness got to do with right or left?

I used right wing in relative terms as in the USA is more right wing than Britain. You seem to be agreeing with that and yet disagreeing with me at the same time.

Anonymous said...

I've always despised Obama after he and his Chicago cronies shorted BP before Barry starting grandstanding he'd bankrupt the company after Haliburton cocked-up the cement.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you can blame the Labour or liberal parties on the BBC.

As for the BBc making the UK more socialist, not sure. This country is about 25% Tory and 30% Labour and the rest don't much care.

England is much more right of center than Scotland. That hasn't much to do with the BBC. The Tories all but forced Scotland to support Labour by insensitive handling and chronic mismanagement by the Scottish Tory party themselves.

Northern Ireland is about as right wing as any country in Europe yet depends on state subsidy to exist.

Wales votes Labour or more extreme versions of labour. Its a very left wing country. That isn't because of BBC wales.

Its historic. From long before television.

Bill Quango MP said...

There's some really weird polls from the state by state polling.
I don't know which in the US is the most reliable but some firms are going to be seriously out in the % come election.
These are the 2 important ones if Romney doesn't win these he cant really win.

Ohio: Obama 48%, Romney 46% (Pulse Opinion Research)

Ohio: Obama 50%, Romney 44% (Zogby)

Ohio: Obama 50%, Romney 49% (University of Cincinnati)

Ohio: Obama 49%, Romney 49% (Rasmussen)

Ohio: Obama 49%, Romney 44% (SurveyUSA)
Virginia: Obama 48%, Romney 47% (NBC/WSJ/Marist)

Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 48% (Pulse Opinion Research)

Virginia: Romney 50%, Obama 48% (Rasmussen)

Virginia: Obama 52%, Romney 44% (Zogby)

One thing we might have forgotten is that just because one poll reports n oddity does not mean it is wrong.

Remember our last election. Liberal were 35% on some crazy polls only a week before the election.
They were expected by all to gain 20 - 30 seats.

the exit poll had them on 22%, which was so out of line commentators didn't believe it.

In the end the Liberals lost 5 seats.
And, while we're on it, the Tories gained 2 million votes. That was some 20% more than their Labour rivals. Yet it amounted to just a +3.5% swing.

Odd things elections.

Budgie said...

I think you can blame the figures for Labour and LibDems squarely on the BBC. The BBC pushes a raft of politically correct, statist memes.

But the terms "left" and "right" are meaningless nowadays. The real divide is libertarian vs statist. The BNP are of course statists as are Labour and the LibDems.

The BBC chooses the statist side simply (among many other things) by talking about "government" "cuts". Since taxation is theft, the less taxation the fewer "cuts" in the real economy. The divide is that deep, but the BBC and its supine apologists are not even aware of the divide.

Anonymous said...

From what I understand the pollsters in the US adjust their numbers based on party affiliation, party membership size, and some kind of guess at the turnout rate of each party. Seems to me like it would just compound the errors.

So those Zogby polls are probably using 2008 affiliation and turnout rates (when D's were hyped on Obama and R's were bummed after Bush) whereas most of the others are using a guess at 2012 rates.

Anonymous said...

If you've moved between Scotland and England a couple of times, you will notice within a week the huge number of PSAs on ITV in Scotland. It's not just a BBC thing.

The worst one I remember from 5 or 6 years ago was a woman in some drab estate getting woken up at night by noises and feeling unsafe walking to work in the morning. It ended with her peacefully going to bed with some voice over about local government helping to protect you or something.

The worst you get in England is some PSA from the 80's at 1am telling you to phone 999 if you see a fire. These are on in Scotland too, but at lunch time.

CityUnslicker said...

great comments all really enjoyed reading them.

Personally, I think having a state broadcaster and Tv which has to be politically neutral is a bad thing for free society - especially because it is no such thing. C4 news and BBC are very pro-statist at all times - the beliefs of those who work there come across well.

We have a QT game on here and I often do well by simply listing the most anti-tory line I can think of in 5 seconds! What does that tell you about the mentality of the producers.

The USA is more honest in its views; oddly though the politicians are not afffected and still manage to avoid discussin any of the real issues just as they do hear!

roym said...

are all the bbc bashers ignoring the influence of the mail, express, telegraph, times and the sun?

@CU im surprised to hear you conflate success at business with successful politics. A country is not a business. Chris Dillow repeatedly excoriates these kind of fallacies.

it seems the ever insidious bbc can influence global opinion too.

maybe we should harness this immense power to our own ends....

CityUnslicker said...

ROYM - Chris Dillow is a marxist so does rather try to find evidence for his own beliefs. My point is that Romney is someone who can achieve things and make people work well together, as well as clearly understands business.

Does this mean he will be a good President - NO. Does it mean he should be able to do a better job than someone with none of this experience - YES.

Who was the last business person or even close to being a business person who was Prime Minister?

Bill Quango MP said...

Macmillan worked at Macmillan publishing. The family firm.

idle said...

If I remember correctly, John Major painted gnomes. Or sold them. Or talked to them.

It was definitely gnomes, anyway.

Budgie said...

roym said: "are all the bbc bashers ignoring the influence of the mail, express, telegraph, times and the sun?"

It is not a case of "bashing" the BBC when it is merely pointed out that the BBC is the broadcasting arm of the Guardian, and statist biased with it.

There is clearly a market for the BBC world view, but the BBC should not be treated favourably as it is currently with the TV view tax. Nor should it be allowed to get away with pretending it is neutral. It is simple - de-nationalise the BBC, and those that like its opinions can pay for them (as they do now, but the rest of us needn't).

As for the supposed "influence" of the Mail etc, it is the other way round. People freely purchase them because they like what they see. It is the same in politics - if I am a UKIP supporter I am not going to cough up a membership fee for the LibDems.

dearieme said...

Romney is obviously a much more accomplished chap than Obama. O still remains an International Man of Mystery four years after his election win. All very odd.

Jer said...

"pretty much everybody has at least one female relative whose a nurse."

Pretty much everyone in Latvia maybe...

Bill Quango MP said...

- its a good joke but the point is 1 in 9 women work for the NHS.

So almost every family does have a relative employed by the NHS.

Thinking about it, my cousins husband is a surgeon. And she was a nurse, now a private nurse.

Could be a new topic - how many relatives have you who work for/alongside/supported by NHS?

Electro-Kevin said...

Blue - What does obesity have to do with being left or right ?

The morbid obesity I'm talking of in America requires dependency - be that on the state or on relatives. The exact opposite of right wing sentiment.

CityUnslicker said...

EK that obesity link bit lost me, the rest of your comment was AA+

BE said...

Sorry chaps but I still think I would vote Obama if I was a Merkin. He is a moderate. I like the ideological clarity of Ryan types and we might even get someone like him next time (in the UK or USA) if the economy finally unravels but Romney is neither a moderate nor a libertarian. Romney is a bit like George W Bush but with less obvious ideals and an awful lot less humour.

However I would find it utterly hilarious if Romney won, just so my sanctimonious soft-left British chums who insist on updating Facebook with things like "Big day America, do your best" felt a bit ill for a while and then asked themselves whether they actually know much about the USA.

Bill Quango MP said...

"Big day America, do your best"

Its been an emotional day for me too..
i voted for the next police commissioner of Surreysex. Fair made me weep with pride it did.

Anyone still paying attention to the merkins is Florida must go Romney. Without that he can't do anything.
once Florida is in, Virginia must follow and either Colorado or New mexico/nevada.

Then he just picks up Ohio,+1 mis size other that he wasn't expecting like Illinois or Iowa and he's president. Or maybe not even then.

Anonymous said...

I think what worries a lot of Americans is that whatever he is now, Obama's political upbringing and associates were more left wing than even your average Labour MP, and that's hardly moderate. Plus as far as I can tell he's done little to distance himself from his history or blame it on being a dumb kid.

BE said...

Obama may be/have been a lefty but he's had to stick to quite a centrist programme in office. Romney, on the other hand, was a moderate but has been captured by the Tea Party and other nuts who required him to go mad in order to get the Republican nomination.

I can't quite get my head around supposed libertarians who get all het up about abortion and gay marriage. Maybe it's because they are not even slightly libertarian...

Electro-Kevin said...

CU - Thanks.

Morbidly obese people can only be so through either being wealthy or on welfare. Not only is there the cost of the food, there is the cost of the care too.

Welfare in America must be a lot more extensive than the statisticians would have us believe.

Does this raise my AA+ to a AAA ???

Nick Drew said...

kinda interesting to hear Obama as 'quite centrist': the US liberal intelligentsia is apoplectic over his enthusiastic use of drones etc, and allowing through the extraordinary legislation that allows US citizens to be banged up indefinitely without trial, martial law at the drop of a hat etc etc

then again I didn't hear Romney offering to repeal it either

face it, they are Another Country

how many relatives have you who work for/alongside/supported by NHS? - Bill, I wrote some while ago about how a few years ago the ladies of my acquaintance who found themselves at a mid-life loose end suddenly all became 'Managers' in the NHS

(only qualification, frankly, being educated and fairly well organised)

which was how a goodly part of the Blair NHS-largesse funds were blown

everyone becomes dependent in the end

asquith said...

Steven_L said...

Morbidly obese people can only be so through either being wealthy or on welfare (EK)

You never heard of eBay? They have local authority jobs and cars in the US too you know.

My thoughts are that if they are going to bomb Iran, then it's be better than Romney does it. That way people around the US empire / rest of the world can continue to kids themselves these elections make a lot of difference.

If Saint Obama turns all imperialist in his second term more people might twig. Some of that sense of helpless anger might get directed at their slavering lapdog / the little Satan too.

And that's bad news for us.

dearieme said...

"who think the taxpayer has a bottomless purse": which of course he has. Until quite suddenly he hasn't.

BE said...

Budgie, the Tea Partyists *are* nuts in the soft-socialist world we inhabit. I am not saying their views aren't valid, but they are so far away from the [West European/Mid-Atlantic] grain that their man whoever it is this time is never likely to reach the Whitehouse until the USA goes bust.

Look what vitriol I got from supposed British rightists for suggesting that upper-middle-income earning families got too much welfare in the UK. People just aren't allowed to express such opinions this far off message and hope to garner widespread support!

Agence communication said...

Another important similarity is that the US presidential election is a first past the post one, as is the UK. This means that vote share is less important than 'seat count' (in the US, electoral college votes). Here Obama is home and hosed. There are 5 really bit states in the US that count, NY, Cali, Texas, Florida and Ohio. of these NY and Cali are democrat and only Texas is Republican. This means any republican challenger has to get Florida and Ohio. Romney may edge Florida, but certainly not Ohio. Plus the Republicans have to make sure of all other non-coastal states and this is getting harder in Nevada and New Mexico as immigration rapidly mixes up the states voting mix.