Pre-election, looking warmer
Yet another positive harbinger for the election, from a Democratic and democratic perspective: Citigroup’s CEO just abruptly resigned. Wall Street this fall did a little quiet house-cleaning. Doesn’t suggest that insiders see a wildly lenient Romney-Ryan ticket winning. Rep. Paul Ryan doesn’t seem to see that in his crystal ball, either: he is still on the ballot in Wisconsin, running for reelection to Congress just in case things don’t pan out elsewhere.
Funny how little attention the hand-wringing liberalish cable commentators have paid to that Wisconsin race.
But then a near-hysterical insistence on closeelectioncloseelectioncloseelection offers little political acumen or illumination.
Close or not, take a look at some of the hard numbers:
- by all accounts, the advantage in 2012 early voting is heavily Democratic
- President Obama outraised Mitt Romney in September, $181 million to $170 million
- retail sales are up in September, unemployment is down, consumer confidence is up, house sales up, housing permits up; etc
- Dem Senatorial candidate Tim Kaine is outraising George Allen (R) in swing-state Virginia
- Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren is outraising incumbent Sen. Scott Brown (R) in Massachusetts in spite of a national lobbyist-superPAC campaign against her
- compilations of polls and polls of polls still show Obama significantly ahead of Romney in electoral college votes
- Nate Silver’s micro-tuned statistics continue to predict the win Obama
Even as nominally pro-Democratic commentators keep instilling fear, cherry-picking the most negative opinion polls in order to seem influential, RealClearPolitics makes the picture clear.
RCP, be it noted, accords the incumbent Obama-Biden only 201 electoral votes, and 191 to Romney-Ryan. RCP designates the other 146 electoral votes ‘toss-up’.
That toss-up category includes the following states, in alphabetical order:
What these five ‘toss-up’ states have in common is, among other things, that Obama is ahead in all or most polls in all five of them. Not much surprise there; Obama also carried all of them in 2008. All five also have a history of going Democratic in presidential elections for the past quarter-century. Iowa has voted Republican only once (2004) since 1984. Michigan has voted Dem every time since 1988. Ohio has gone Dem in three of five elections since 1988. Pennsylvania has gone Dem every time since 1988. ‘Swing state’ Wisconsin has gone Dem in every election since 1984.
Meanwhile, Michigan and Ohio are also home to industries that Romney-like policies have damaged. Iowa and Ohio tend to be politically tuned in as state electorates–never a blessing to Romney-type policies. Wisconsin has a history of populism, Pennsylvania of religious freedom, all five states are heartland bastions of the large, self-confident working class called middle class in this country’s sociology.
And as mentioned, every recent opinion poll or almost every recent poll, in all five of these swingy swing toss-up states, puts Obama ahead.
I am beginning to think that the mass media effort to drive every national election to ‘closeness’ bears a strong and unsavory resemblance to price-fixing in retail.