Over these next 5 days, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are going to be making what some have called their “closing arguments”, which leaves me questioning, who’s on trial here? Is it America? Well what did we do wrong? Was it electing Barack Obama in 2008 or was it re-electing George W. Bush in 2004? Is Mr. Romney our double jeopardy clause since he is proposing Bush policies?
I voted for George W. Bush so excuse me, I get to criticize without being accused of being biased. What Mr. Romney is running on IS The Bush Agenda. However what Romney is suggesting is President Bush failed to implement it properly…right. Not that the policies didn’t work or not that Congress got in the way, no, Bush just didn’t do a good job of pushing through his own agenda?
What’s problematic with that theory is, Bush pushed his entire agenda, even those things he could have never won bipartisan support for. After the horrible attacks on our nation, Mr. Bush got everything a republican president could ever dream of…in two life-times. Yet, it crippled the entire system. Every bubble burst; simultaneously.
Mr. Obama has to convince voters he has brought the nation back from the brink, the edge, the cliff or whatever dramatic term you find helpful to describe personal family pain, and then ask those same voters to keep him in Office to ensure we are put back on the straight and narrow…kinda where Clinton left us in 2000.
Where will all this convincing take place? The battleground states of course; Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, New Hampshire, Florida, Wisconsin, and *Ohio. No Ohio was not mentioned twice in error, you’ll see why in a moment. Lets take a look at where the campaigns will be over the final days, beginning today:
1. Ohio (multiple stops)
2. Nw Hampshire
1. New Hampshire
1. New Hampshire
Both men have a few days to tell the country what they will do in the Oval over the next four years. So clearly you could expect them to travel all over the country right? Well, no. The next five days will make you think these guys are running to be the President of the United Battleground States of America.
As you can see, Ohio might be important. Obama makes nearly 5 campaign events in 5 days, while Romney makes only one scheduled, we’ll just keep our eyes on his Sunday schedule because if there is anything added, it had better be Ohio or Florida. Romney desperately needs them both to win. In order to become the President of the United Battlegrounds of America, he has to win the majority of the battleground states with Ohio being that nation’s capital.
With his bolstered, re-energized campaign with the help of Hurricane Sandy and the presidential optics and Mitt Romney’s retooled attacks, the game is once again underway. Down the stretch in the final turn, it is currently neck and neck, way too close to call. FEMA showed its head for Romney’s old words and New Jersey Governor Christie looked the other way and got a ride in Marine One. The politics of devastation-that’s my story and um sticking to it.
A game changer for sure. Now one week later, the fallout has appeared to hit rock bottom for the President and his re-election team and the healing has begun…sorta. With the Vice Presidential debates scheduled tomorrow between the Vice President, Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan for the one and only debate for the two second tier candidates.
What they need to do is less important for their supporters and more significant for their campaigns. Primarily, maintain the status quo and do no harm. However pressure has mounted for Biden to deliver his best performance to make up for his bosses lack luster showing last week at the University of Denver.
As polls have indicated the grounds under the presidents footing has shifted, drastically, yet he is standing firm albeit not comfortably. Obama has focused his campaign’s strategy on re-energizing the youth vote and strengthening his position among Latinos. The African American vote is locked and loaded for the president so no major outgoing efforts are scheduled for the final days.
Hispanics, however are not showing the same level of enthusiasm although the President has the substantial lead overall among Latinos, that lead is not rooted with “likely voters”. The likely voters are off-setting those who are merely registered. The enthusiasm has swung to Romney no doubt, so Obama has been visiting college campuses in battleground states that he is now likely to win which is Iowa, Wisconsin and a troubled Nevada.
Nevada has seen an uptick in seniors for Romney which has sent the state strongly into the toss up category. Although Obama snatches away the Latino vote, Romney pulls the seniors for a tight race.
As it stands, every battleground state has tightened since the first presidential debate. As always, the race will be determined by the ground game. Now that there is movement on the ground, the ground attack will be all the more imperative. The advantage Obama still has regardless of the drop in the polling is that his get out the vote mobilization is structurally solid and intact. Organizationally, Romney is not where he needs to be in either Wisconsin or Iowa, most analysts believe.
Polling can and will change. There are two more presidential debates left so don’t put all your eggs in the same electoral basket. Movement on the ground is merely responding to the top of the ticket…as they go, so will the voters. A strong Biden performance in tomorrow’s debate and Obama finally showing up in the next presidential debate with Mr. Romney will handedly adjust the polling, but the voters will ultimately decide. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
Tonight’s first Presidential debate kicks off after months, if not years of percentages. The campaigns have both had months of them woven into the story lines of the day. The important numbers not spoken of very much relate to the tightness of this race and how close within the margins this will all remain until election day. Regardless of the zingers the Romney camp has hinted that are forth coming or Obamas professorial ramblings, the highs and lows of this race will remain between 52% and 48%; the ceiling and the floor.
Tonight, both camps are simply looking to keep the wheels on the wagon. Heading into the final leg of his last political campaign ever, Obama has to control the reigns of his responses and limit the data to be replayed well in the form of sound bites or talking points for the rest of the week leading up to the Sunday morning talk shows.
Mr. Romney has to do some of the opposite. He has to make sure no one is talking about what he says for the rest of the week. Somewhat of a catch-22, because at the same time, he has to do something he has failed to do to date; speak with specificity on just about everything. He can dominate the news cycles for days if he sends the media and journalists off researching and fact finding while he enjoys the expected bump of his base and the overnight funds expected to pour into his coffers.
He also has to show himself calm behind the podium and use his debate time wisely without rambling on like he did in Michigan when he was discussing his love of the trees and how they were all just the right height. Sticking to the point, being specific at least once will and can be a game changer for him. Mr. Romney has to keep from performing his campaign stump speech and stick to where he wants to take the nation…in terms that will encourage them to follow.
One of these candidates will have the ceiling and the other will own the floor. Going into tonight, the President is enjoying his view from the top of most polls in every battleground state and can only wish to duplicate his rocketed rise in the polls of late in the state Mitt Romney must win if he wants to win the Oval, Ohio. (Florida, Virginia, Colorado- both candidates are all within 2 percentage points of each other with the President on top in them all).
Tonight, Romney’s video about the 47% of Americans being dependent on government and today’s release of Congressman Paul Ryan’s video detailing how 30% of Americans desire to live in a welfare state, none of these percentages will matter as much in the morning. Mitt Romney’s 14% of personal taxes paid last year won’t matter. How much money he raised for the RNC compared to his own Presidential campaign, won’t matter either. The only percentage that will matter will be, how much of this nation are you able to convince to support you at the polls on Election Day.
It will be an extremely tight race. Ryan will lose his home state of Wisconsin and Mitt Romney will definitely lose his home state of Massachusetts in addition to his place of birth, Michigan, where his father served as Governor. All polls indicate the GOP team will likely lose the much needed Ohio and Pennsylvania. They are trailing in all other battleground states, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina and New Hampshire. Even with that, its all a mere snapshot of the day and this race should not be written off. Tonight is the night, but only if Romney wants off the floor. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
The reason why the Romney campaign and the GOP are frantic right now and wanted to prevent the early vote is because if you look at the states that have already begun to vote early, the polls would tell an entirely different story about the end game. Although November 6th THE day to vote, Americans all over the country have already begun to cast their votes for their choice of president and if polls are correct, Mitt Romney may not be doing as well as he would have hoped.
Lets take a look a some of the states that have already begun to cast their votes. Several of them as you can see have long been identified as battleground (*) states for either the presidential election or one that will likely tip the balance of power in the Senate; the House, a long-shot regardless.
Idaho – Arkansas –
South Dakota – Maryland –
Minnesota – South Carolina –
West Virginia – New Jersey –
Oklahoma – Maine (*Senate) -
Michigan (*Presidential) – Mississippi –
New Hampshire (*Presidential) – Tennessee –
Texas – Vermont –
Delaware – Louisiana –
Missouri (*Senate) – Georgia –
So as it stands currently, nearly half the country has begun to cast their votes for President. The polling numbers now mean a great deal for the candidates and their campaigns in light of the emotional swing voters who are expected to determine the outcome of the race. They play and equally pivotal role; just as much as the campaigns getting the base to turn out. Thirty states are now, as of October 1, playing their cards!
So lets talk facts; in 2008, Dems overwhelmingly voted early. Many for fear of another Florida debacle or last minute issue to prevent them from voting. It worked. And because it worked so well, this slew of republican strongholds have altered, through their legislatures and state houses to slow the 2012 snowball down.
You see, while most Americans are looking forward to November 6th to cast their vote, politicians and those close to the political pulse understand that the race could very well be in the bag for one candidate or another already. Strategies and trajectories in the polls being without fault, the campaign is already in the waning days before the first debate is concluded. Although no one expects the 2008 voter turnout to be duplicated this election cycle, the expectations are still reaching record highs.
These polls mean absolutely nothing, and yet they mean absolutely everything. The candidates and their campaigns know it and Romney especially, has made a concerted effort to ensure his base is out and in full force up against Obama for America, the Presidents subsequent organization built following his 2008 campaign, and his [Romney] grassroots organization that has been working around the clock to keep pace on the ground.
With voters going to the polls early, the states are being won early. There is no dispute in that. That’s my story and um sticking to it!
The 20 electoral votes available from the state of Pennsylvania makes the 13 million residents a diamond do the northeast. Each election cycle has included Pennsylvania in the toss-up categories and listed as a battleground; this year however, I will say what very few are willing to say, “…Pennsylvania is no toss-up…!”
Something worth noting, battlegrounds have even tilting a bit and this is partially true due to growing demographics and relocations of millions of Americans seeking employment opportunities and affordable housing. As for Pennsylvania, they have seen the largest growth of Hispanics than in any other state in the Union. The second largest growing demographic? That spurt is owned by African Americans. With all this growth, was there any declining demographics…? Why of course, middle class Whites.
So the state which was once a battleground and a toss up will undoubtedly lean, as it currently is, Obama. The legislature still is predominately conservative which has pushed voter ID laws that’s are currently being challenged by the President and the DNC. To limit the voter turnout in PA will clear the way for republicans and Romney. So far, the success of these laws are appearing to be fruitless.
The nearly 8.5 million registered voters in Pennsylvania, 51% Dems with just over 4million in number and 3.1 million republicans or 36%, are eager to be heard around the nation on election night although a large Catholic demographic exists, they are breaking away in support of Obama.
Although it will remain a toss up, the verdict in PA is in and there does not appear to be a battle. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
Almost immediately, before Barack Obama lowered his arm after swearing in at the Inauguration on that blistering cold morning in January, republicans had already hatched a plan it seems. The problem? Well, it was a bit more complicated so a multi-faceted plan would to be implemented to address the voter turnout. The problem however was not low turnout, but too many voters turned out…for the other guy.
Mr. Obama expanded the voter registries all across the country and by doing so, he altered the electoral map making red states purple toss ups. Republicans didn’t look to improve their mobilization efforts in any battleground states or develop a grassroots get out the vote door campaign for 2012, instead they launched Voter ID reform laws through several state legislatures which were voted on and passed; signed into law by the sitting Governors of those states.
It seems, when democracy works well, we still somehow have to question, how well should it work? Republicans felt broad-sided during the run up to the 2008 election. This lil-known State Senator from the south side of Chicago ran the tables on the entire political landscape like the little engine that could, he didn’t play by the self-imposed rules of “paying dues and waiting your turn” so clearly something had to be done to ensure this anomaly was handled and a message sent.
The irony here may be, that the states that passed these laws are only led by republican Governors, with state legislatures that have republicans in the majorities and (…can I get a drum roll please?…..) they’re all battleground states or toss up states pivotal for Senate and Presidential races. I am certain those are all coincidences and there was no effort, covert or otherwise to squelch or disenfranchise the voter.
The shot across the bow came before Pennsylvania Avenue’s parade trash was collected. Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell promised to make Mr. Obama, now President of the United States, “…a one term president…”. Through opposing measures, no signature legislation beneficial to the president was to get passed or implemented.
Just as well, almost immediately, plans were crafted to hone in the early voting opportunities in battlegrounds for the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. State legislatures and Republican Governors responded with legislation in every form of voting except absentee ballots. Dems believe this one area was left untouched considering this is the one area where republicans most benefit from military personnel utilizing the absentee paper ballots mailed in prior to Election Day.
Although republicans are losing most of the court fights with democrats over whether the new voter regulations will reduce turnout of poor and minorities, they [republicans] insist these measures were to thwart false votes, irregularities by those not permitted to vote and mischief. The problem with this however, the only area where irregularities blatantly exist is in the one area where no legislation was presented by any of the states.
Team Obama and the DNC have begun to legally contest the new election laws and currently, there are nearly 32 pending in federal and state courts. Recent GOP defeats include battleground states of Ohio, where six laws were challenged, Florida, where seven laws were challenged and the red state of Texas, where the court ruled Americans’ right to vote was violated.
Just for the record, FACT, the laws that have been challenged have largely been crafted after President Obama’s 2008 victory. The true issue is, how do we define early voting, whether we determine it is a right or a privilege. Dems believe early voting is right, while the conservatives consider it a privilege; a privilege they would like to take away knowing the likelihood of it could prohibit turnout and possibly affecting the race sending Romney to The White House….um sure that’s the intended plan.
That’s my story and um sticking to it.
To date, we have looked at states that were either always considered battleground turfs or they were once conservative strongholds now up for grabs but the narrative with Wisconsin now changes because ideally it was a state expected to go once again for Obama; as it did in 2008. Only with the selection of Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin for the VP slot by Presidential candidate Mitt Romney did the state turn a shade of purple.
That’s a hit to the Obama camp for sure, they were counting that into their election day math, but that’s exactly the purpose of our 9Day/9Ways post; to look at how campaigns are able to pivot and refocus. The first one to 270 wins and Wisconsin has a seat at the table this year hands down with Paul Ryan on the republican ticket. Although that’s not a sure in, it’s definitely not to be overlooked.
The citizens of Wisconsin have been extremely politically active over the last year with the unsuccessful recall of the republican Governor, Scott Walker; the hotly contested Senate race with its former Governor, and former Bush Cabinet Secretary, Tommy Thompson. The late addition of Ryan has served as a boon to the GOP’s brand, but Ryan is somewhat double-dipping in the ad markets considering he’s running to become the next Vice President of the United States while simultaneously running to maintain his Congressional House seat in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin is a must win for the Romney campaign. Ryan must deliver the state in order for the ticket to be successful in November. Romney is not expected to deliver the two states he has spent quite a bit of time in; Michigan, the battleground – and Romney’s birthplace as well as the state his father served as Governor and Massachusetts, Mr. Romney’s current place of residence – and the state in which he himself served as Governor for 4yrs. The campaign cannot afford to lose two of the nine battleground states and expect to win The White House.
Many will be watching the State on November 6th because in the hands of those in Wisconsin, they hold the keys to several major shifts in political power in the halls of the nation’s Capital. The Senate race may tip the Senate majority to the GOP, giving the republicans the entire Congress, a death-nail to the Obama agenda and to the President’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act.
Those same voters playa major role in whether Obama will become only the second Democrat to be limited to one term in modern history, behind Carter 1976-1980. Although Ryan is expected to retain his congressional seat, he is smart not to take his opponents for the seat for granted. The loss of his House seat, removes a powerful GOP leader from the House Budget Committee and brings the House of Representatives within improbable reach do the democrats and Nancy Pelosi.
Wisconsin has arrived at the Big Show and they are ready to dance. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
As we continue to plot out our ways each candidate can win The White House in November, there are several ways or paths this may be accomplished. But there nine battleground states they’ve got to get through first and the state of Virginia is one of those states. Formerly a republican stronghold for years, the demographic shift has moved the electorate into the “purple”, from a solid red.
Indicative of the shift, most of the races down the ballot are showing the same tightness in the polls which gives some indication that all eyes will be attempting to read the tea leaves late into the evening on election night as it will determine a few key major pivots.
The race to watch is not necessarily the presidential contest with the GOP nominee Mitt Romney against President Obama, but instead it’s the highly contested U.S. Senate race with former Governors of Virginia, Kaine (D) and Allen (R). Voters are fans of them both, and the polls show a razor thin down to the wire turnout election. The candidate that gets their base to the polls on election is the one who wins.
The fact that is a presidential contest as well will only drive the turnout down the ballot and push the state into a “too close to call” until late in the evening. Virginia, hardly as affected by the nation’s economic woes as most other states have less that divides them. Romney’s unemployment economic message does not resonate the same way here as it does in Michigan so healthcare, the President’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “ObamaCare” is what’s driving this race.
Governor Allen is towing the GOP party line and is for repealing ACA while Governor Kaine, a long time friend and supporter/surrogate for the President’s plan would pretty much keep it in place with some adjustments for small businesses and a few others.
Obama carried the state in 2008 by expanding the the electorate and driving turnout right down to it last few days of campaigning during that election cycle. His coat-tails were long down the ballot but this cycle is different. This time around, Mr. Obama has a record, he has a stagnated economy and bad jobs numbers each month which has kept the national unemployment rate above 8% for most of his presidency. But this time around, Mr. Obama also has the weight of The White House and the bully pulpit.
The Senate race will only be aided by the presidential contest and not the other way around. Dems are looking to grow their Senate majority under Majority Leader Reid, the Senator from Nevada, while at worst hold off the republicans so the Kaine-Allen senate race is an important one.
The Roanoke-Lynchburg area as well as the Richmond area are huge concentrated areas which are currently under siege with political advertising to the point of nausea, but do not expect less before a great deal more. A key demographic for Team Obama will be the up in the Norfolk, Newport News and Virginia Beach areas which will drive the African-American vote as well as the strong military support from that portion of the state.
The Northern Virginia areas of Chantilly, Sterling and Dulles will be depended upon for the conservatives due to the suburban votes that will deliver for Kaine and Romney, more so for Kaine. A true test of sheer numbers and turnout, Virginia will not be a referendum on ideas but instead a mobilization effort. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
There is an unknown in the race, not unknown person, per se, but a potential Nader-effect, named after the often electoral irritant Ralph Nader who for years, cycle after cycle has been a thorn in the side of many presidential candidates. Although Nader, normally leading the revolution was somewhat out Nadered this year with Ron Paul’s revolution for liberty, the Libertarian Party has maneuvered for their moment in the sun as well.
Keep your eye on the ballots and exit polls for at least 47 states and D.C. as the Libertarian Party has managed to meet the requirements to get themselves added with former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson at the helm. The news is somewhat mixed considering the Governor is not polling well enough in his own state to thwart Obama’s double digit lead over Romney in the state but his presence may very well pick off some much needed votes in Colorado, a battle ground state and Nevada, yet another must win battleground.
Johnson and his party are currently working to get the selves on the final 3 states but there may be some setbacks for example a Michigan Judge ruled Johnson may not be permitted to join the state’s ballot considering he campaigned earlier in the cycle as a republican, now listed as a Libertarian.
Although Obama, the Democratic nominee in 2008, took the state of North Carolina from the hands of the republicans, normally a GOP stronghold, the result of that race had everything to do with the Libertarian Party, at that time led by former Georgia congressman Bob Barr who picked off enough republican votes to tip the state Obama’s direction.
And it is for that reason that eyes should stay fixed on Governor Johnson this time around and I am certain the GOP is doing just that considering Romney is currently moving in the right direction in Colorado…Johnson could very well take the wind out of their sails. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
With the state’s senior Senator, Harry Reid also serving as the Senate Majority Leader and a democrat in The White house, you would think that Nevada, rich with unionized labor would be safely out of the grasp of the GOP and the Romney-Ryan ticket…not so.
Although President Obama has sat at the top of just about every poll conducted this year, there are vulnerabilities that plague his chances to comfortably put the state in his win column like harnessing the nation’s highest unemployment rate, there are no guarantees.
The President is doing well among his second largest voting block, Hispanics, the largest block of his base in Nevada due to their overwhelming growth. One hidden advantage to Obama, a rarely spoken of Libertarian Party which has managed to make it on the ballot in 47 states including Nevada. Former New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson has surged in the state as of late keeping the state in the toss-up category and unlikely to go for Romney, an unexpected jewel the GOP would love to get away from the Dems.
What makes this a huge get, not to mention a competitive race is the states large Mormon population. Mitt Romney, if elected, would be the first Mormon to ascend to the presidency and if Nevada’s Mormon faithful could help the republican make history, they would be beyond honored.
Romney’s only challenge will be Clark County (Las Vegas) and Washoe County (Reno). Both were easy gets for Obama in the last cycle- two-thirds of the state’s votes came from these two counties. With Senator Reid’s enormous mobilization efforts, Romney’s got some work to do, but since the battleground is set, Dems cannot be careless. That’s my story and um sticking to it.