2012: Analysis From The Left

Discussion in 'Politics' started by PoliticalChic, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    William Galston, from the Left-leaning Brookings Institute, wrotes the following:

    "One Year to Go: President Barack Obama’s Uphill Battle for Reelection in 2012

    1. More than in any contest since 1992, the economy will be the overwhelming focus. But fundamental clashes about the role of government will also be in play against a backdrop of record low public confidence in our governing institutions.

    2. ...contests involving incumbents tend to be referenda on their records more than choices between candidates. If the election pitting Obama against the strongest potential Republican nominee, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, were held tomorrow, the president would probably lose.

    3. ...three factors could change the odds in Obama’s favor. Economic growth could exceed expectations, and the unemployment rate—long stuck at 9 percent—could come down fast enough to restore a modicum of Americans’ shattered hopes for the future. The Republicans could commit creedal suicide by nominating a presidential candidate outside the mainstream or unqualified for the office.

    4. ...Obama campaign could make a wise decision to focus first and foremost on the states—principally in the Midwest—that have decided presidential elections in the past half century and are poised to do so again next year. If the president tries to rerun his 2008 campaign under very different circumstances, he could end up turning potential victory into defeat.

    5. ...from Obama’s inauguration through the end of 2009, on average, 39 percent of the electorate thought that the country was generally heading in the right direction—not great, but much better than the 2008 average of 13 percent. But things have gone downhill ever since: “right direction” averaged 33 percent in 2010 and 28 percent thus far in 2011. As of early November it stands at just 21 percent.

    6. Fifty-seven percent of the people regard the economy and jobs as the most important issues facing the country, compared to 5 percent for the budget deficit, 2 percent for health and education, and 1 percent for poverty, crime and war. (Neither abortion nor moral values registers even 1 percent.)

    7. During the 2007-2009 recession, median household income declined by 3.2 percent. Since the official end of the recession in mid-2009, it has declined by an additional 6.7 percent. Median household income now stands below what it was in 2000.

    a. President Obama is increasingly being held responsible as well: 53 percent of the voters now blame him a “great deal” or a “moderate amount” for the economy, up more than 20 points....The big swing has come among Independents, whose “blame Obama” percentage has risen from 37 percent in early 2009 to 60 percent in the fall of 2011 (Gallup, September 21, 2011)....by a margin of 64 to 30 percent, Americans still blame government more than Wall Street for our economic plight. Not surprisingly four in five Republicans blame government more. But so do 65 percent of Independents.

    8. The people want change, but they have no confidence in the public sector as the change agent. That would seem to give the edge to the anti-government party, but unfortunately for the Republicans, the people think they’re out to serve the interests of the rich, who already have too much. That would seem to give the edge back to Obama and the Democrats. But unfortunately for them, the people can’t figure out whose interests Obama and the Democrats want to serve—or whether they have a plan that could translate good economic intentions into tangible results."
    One Year to Go: President Barack Obama


    This, from the Left, but packed with facts.
    His discussion of the electoral vote is really interesting if you have time, here:
    http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/papers/2011/1107_obama_galston/1107_obama_galston.pdf
     
  2. Inthemiddle
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    Inthemiddle BANNED

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    I'd say it's a pretty good synopsis of the current political situation as the election approaches. The 2012 election will come down to which voters have given up most.
     
  3. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    I personally felt that McCain ran a very poor campaign in 2008, hopefully whoever the repub candidate is will do much better. You would think with an economy and UE this bad that Obama would be toast, but I wouldn't count any chickens. The repubs also need a majority in the Senate too, as well as keeping it in the House. One wonders how the gop will do in their primaries if the TPers push unqualified candidates into the general election.
     
  4. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Galston goes on to discuss the electoral college and how it will play a role (my second link above.)

    Here's part...

    1. As Gerald Seib rightly reminds us (Wall Street Journal, September 27 2011), presidential campaigns are won and lost state by state in the Electoral College, not in the nationwide popular vote. (Once in a while, this turns out to be a distinction with a difference; just ask not-quite President Gore.) Based on state results from the past five elections, Seib argues that the Electoral College gives Democrats a distinct advantage: they’ve won 18 states plus the District of Columbia, totaling 242 electoral votes, in each of those elections, compared to only 13 states with 102 votes for the Republicans.

    2. In 2008, Barack Obama beat John McCain with 365 electoral votes to McCain’s 173. Now let’s do alternative history based on two assumptions: (1) the two-party popular vote was evenly divided; and (2) Obama’s margin in each state was reduced by the same amount—7.26 percentage points—yielding an equal division of the popular vote. Under that scenario, Obama would have lost five states that he actually won—Indiana, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia—with a total loss of 86 electoral votes. Under this scenario he still would have prevailed in the Electoral College, 279 to 259. That would seem to validate the hypothesis that Democrats enjoy a structural edge: they get 10 more electoral votes when the popular vote is evenly divided.

    3. But not so fast: the 2008 presidential election was the last to be carried out based on the 2000 census, and the distribution of Electoral College votes did not reflect population shifts that have occurred in the ensuing years. The 2012 presidential election will, and it makes a difference. Reapportionment shifts 6 electoral votes from Democratic to Republican states. If we rerun the 2008 election with the 2012 electoral vote allocation plus an even split of the popular vote, Obama wins by a very narrow margin—273 to 265. So the current Democratic structural advantage is 4 electoral votes—not nothing, but not much either. The probability that Obama could win reelection without a majority of the popular vote is extremely if not vanishingly low.
     
  5. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I read that analysis when it first came out. All very true, it's hard to see Obama getting the support from the independent voters this time, I suspect he'll lose some swing states.

    One wonders if the increasing numbers of unemployed will stick with Obama thinking they'll keep getting their gov't handouts or instead vote GOP thinking they'll have a better chance of getting a job. Big Gov't vs Small Gov't. And the OWSers could have a detrimental impact on the repubs if Obama can paint them as the party of the rich guys. I think it's gonna get nasty.
     
  6. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    "I think it's gonna get nasty."
    That's called 'hope and change.'
     
  7. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    For me it's "hope for a change". In the WH.
     
  8. Sundial
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    1. The economy is growing and will continue to grow. Whether it will surpass expectations depends on expectations. Many people don't even know we're in a recovery.

    2. As the economy improves, people will pay less attention to it. The news industry is in the business of making news, so they'll make something new to pay attention to. We don't know what it'll be, until it happens.

    3. There is no fundamental clash over the role over government. Other than the right-wing nut jobs, who're a lost cause in any event, everyone wants the government to make things better. The fundamental clash is inside people's heads: they blame government for everything bad that happens, without giving it credit for any good work that it does. There's no reason for Democrats to pay to much attention to this. This issue is a loser for Repubs. Obama should let them chew off their own feet.

    3. This is not a referendum on Obama's record (which, by the way, has been impressive); it's a referendum on the bat-shit craziness of the Republican right-wing, which is running their party into the ground.

    4. Romney would not beat Obama if the election were held tomorrow. RCP shows Obama would beat Romney. And this despite Obama not even starting to run against Romney yet. (and let's not even talk about the others.)

    5. It's true; nobody cares about the debt. Obama has handled this issue marvelously.

    6. Obama needs to continue to hammer on his Jobs Bill. It's unfortunate the media isn't paying more attention to it.

    7. The Democrats desperately desperately need their own media to counter the Repub's media empire. Too often Repub's are able to set the agenda purely by force of weight of ownership of media outlets. Democrats need more voices. (Jon Stewart and the Huffington Post are not enough.)

    Obama is in good shape to beat Romney. (And much better chance to beat anybody else.) Betting odds, overall, would put him at about 2:1. A year, of course, is an eternity in politics, and there's no excuse to be be complacent.
     
  9. DiamondDave
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    "Nobody cares about the debt"

    That's about the funniest thing I've heard in months
     
  10. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    You, offering political and/or economic analysis would be like Charlie Sheen doing a testimonial for eHarmony.

    You should try to stick to subjects where you might actually have some cache, such as favorite Crayola, or how far to sit from the tv….this is out of your league.
     
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