Sunday, August 5, 2012
The U-T believes there will be a landslide win for Romney, largely due to the failure of the Obama economic policies and repudiation of his attempt to move the country toward European socialism.
The U-T is more optimistic than I am, but I hope they're right. FWIW my thought processes are somewhat along these lines. Though I would like to think otherwise, current polling technology is pretty good. By taking an average of the polls, RCP can reach pretty impressive accuracy I suspect. Current polls put O about three points ahead, enough to give him the election were it held now. State by state polls are far less accurate, but an aggregation of them, as Sean Trend showed the other day, is consistent with the national polls. So there is no particular reason to think that the electoral college count is far off from the usual estimates that are giving O a substantial advantage. Thus I currently think that the intrade odds putting O at roughly 60 percent to Mitt's 40 are probably reasonable and I have no special knowledge that would give me an edge beyond that. Mitt is obviously still in the race and everything depends on how well he campaigns in September and October. His lackluster performance as of now is partially excused by his campaign money not really kicking in until the end of August. We should know in early September how much of a fight he intends to make. He's like a hoops team coming into the second half ten points down. He can definitely make it up, but not just by playing defense. O has been spending a lot of money on negative ads; it is actually impossible to say how effective they have been since we don't know what polls would have been without them, but clearly they haven't been terribly effective. Not often noted in the RW blogosphere is that Mitt via PACs has been spending a lot too, roughly on a parity with O. So the effect of campaign spending is pretty inclusive as well. O's poll standing and favorables seem to have priced in lackluster job and other economic performance numbers, which is odd, but there it is. So as lame as it sounds, I think the only honest prediction is that the election is well within the range of uncertainty, with a landslide either way being within the bounds of possibility. Another thing worth noting though is that if the GOP had managed to come up with an all around solid candidate, O would not have a chance, based on his limited approval ratings and the poor economy. I say this even though I think Mitt is highly qualified to be POTUS; sadly that is not the same thing as being an effective candidate. A stupider, less accomplished candidate with a more winning media personality would be giving O a harder time. --TS