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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

OBAMA VERSUS ROMNEY


While the first presidential debate is tonight (9PM EDT or 3PM Hawaii time), I've already predicted that Barack Obama will serve a second term, so let me again say why, and follow with how Romney can still prevail:

Why Obama will prevail on November 6:

1.  All the betting lines overwhelmingly favor Barack Obama:

     a.  intrade:  Obama, 70% chance of winning (also, then, Romney 30%)
     b.  PoliticalBettingOdds.com:  Obama, 68%
                                                      Wisconsin for Obama, 78%
                                                      Florida for Obama, 63%
                                                      Ohio for Obama, 71%

     You say you don't gamble, and this must be illegal?  Do you "bet" on the stock market?

2.  The Huffington Post has carried an electoral map.  Today, Obama has 303 electoral votes, Romney 191.  The winner needs 270.  If Obama loses Florida, North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado, he still wins.  The key state is Ohio with 18 votes.  Obama is currently ahead 49%-43%, but if he loses this state, and those others mentioned, Romney wins.

3.  Republicans normally gain an advantage from foreign policy and certain conservative issues.  However, this time there is no international crisis of importance, Obama did get Osama bin Laden and Romney is a Mormon.  So many (2-5%) Republicans will, thus, not bother to vote, which could make that crucial difference for House races and, with Akin now around 10 points behind McCaskill for the Missouri senatorial seat, insures for a Democratic Senate.

4.  Obama will get more non-white and women votes.

5.  There are a lot more poor people than millionaires.  While there are now more than 3 million American millionaires, nearly 130 million voted in 2008.  By the way, Obama got 53% of the popular votes to 46% for McCain, but received 365 to 173 electoral votes.

6.  While this is close to being a toss-up now, more Americans still lean toward renewable energy and worry a bit about global warming.  The Republican image is notoriously pro-fossil fuel.  But energy is a non-issue this year.  In fact, petroleum cost around $90/barrel in January of 2008, and has hovered around that price this month.

7.  Finally, this first debate is all about our economy.  Taxes are what should nail any Republican who wants to cut them, but I continue to be mystified about this, for people believe we are paying too much already.  The reality is that our tax burden (federal, state and local) is now the lowest since 1958.  As Warren Buffett has said, rich people should pay more.  I say we all should.  Secondly, about our national debt.  My HuffPo of last year said:


The Simplest Solution for Our National Debt...



is to increase it.  We confuse our Federal Government with our personal finances.  Companies borrow when interest rates are low, which is exactly what has been happening for many years now.  When inflation goes up, we become a lending nation.  China just cannot take out their money.  These funds are generally obligated for 5 to 10 years.

A final point about our economy.  It would have been a lot better if Congress had provided $1.8 trillion, not $787 billion, to bailout the country.  See the box to the right, but I'll repeat it here:


Measuring Worth - Relative Value of US Dollars .....In 1981 President Ronald Reagan signed off on a $750 billion stimulus package. You can calculate the value of this rescue fund in terms of 2009 dollars by clicking on the above and inserting the appropriate values (1981/$750/2009) to get you $1,800 (which would, of course, be $1.8 trillion). So what's the big deal about the Obama $787 billion economic relief investment?

BUT MITT ROMNEY STILL HAS A CHANCE.  The above is one HuffPo scenario. The classic example is Ronald Reagan versus Jimmy Carter in 1980.  Going into the final week, Carter had a 3-8% (depending on poll) lead.  Yet, Reagan won by 10 points?  How?  Simple.  October 29 was the one and only presidential campaign debate.  The movie actor dominated.  So is this debate tonight important?  Absolutely!  Obama just needs to avoid fumbling the ball.  Any major gaffe can dramatically change the landscape.  While Romney keeps pulling his feet out of his mouth, he kind of looks presidential.  Let's face it, people discriminate when they vote.  Seventy two percent of our citizens are white, less than 13% black.  This is part of why my HuffPo on 9October2008 (I will replay this posting next week), was entitled:

Barack Obama is Gray


I would not be surprised if 90% of voters look on Obama as being black, when his mother was white.  Race is not an issue anymore, but human nature is what it is.  Oh, he is getting gray.

A second plus for Romney is a change in the accounting for campaign contributions, which makes them now unlimited.  Romney will benefit from many of the very rich who will, anonymous to the public, place their bets on overkill during the final two weeks and inundate your television.  Sheldon Adelson (owns Sands), has already donated $36.25 million to Republicans and $10 million to Romney's Restore Our Future political action committee.  And this was publicly disclosed.  The donors who don't tell you (except to the candidate) are the ones who will make this difference.  Here is where money trumps people, for Americans are sheep and many incomprehensibly believe what they see on the screen.  In 2008, money dictated the presidency and nine of ten Congressional elections.  Obama outspent McCain two to one.  In the House 93% of those races were decided by who spent more, and the figure for the Senate was 94%.

Finally, a true wild card, the economy.  To quote from the first link above:

One potential indicator could well help Romney.  If the Dow Jones Industrial Average slips from Labor  to Election Day, the incumbent usually loses.  An increase insures victory.  Over the past 112 years, this simple barometer has been right 25 out of 28 times.  The lofty 13,000+ level maintained recently could quite easily drop with any kind of crisis, real or perceived.  The smart bettor would look very closely at this figure.

The Dow was just above 13,000 on labor day and ended today at 13,495.  But October has historically been extremely volatile.  The Great Depression of 1929 saw the market crash on October 29.

Thus, you just don't know what can happen in the future.  The citizen in me says, go out and vote for your candidate.  In fact, better yet, send money and volunteer your time.  Some blame Herbert Hoover (Republican) for the Great Depression, and many George "Younger" Bush (Republican) for almost sending us into a second Great Depression.  But will our country be all that much different a century from now regardless of who is president?  Well, heck, YES!!!  If in A Sound of Thunder the innocent killing of a butterfly can reverse the future, the next U.S. President will make the greatest possible difference for Planet Earth and Humanity.

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