If the GOP wants to win in 2016, what you are planning to do, you just can’t do. There is a path for a national victory, but on this current trajectory, you will surely step on your on feet as usual. So I put together a short list of all the things you just can’t do if you hope to know what its like to win a national election again. You do remember what a national election is right?
What You Can’t Do Is: Run on Benghazi – I know you want too and you honestly think its a good thing to keep talking about. Its going on three weeks now after the story has resurfaced for no apparent reason other than its a good retread story that makes good hearing photos. Nothing new under the sun has come to light on this horrific incident and yet you guys drive it like Ken Starr of the 90′s investigating Whitewater and Lewinsky. You have to know that this dog won’t hunt so why keep it out there?
1. Fundraising: Sure it helps raise much needed cash from your base, but unless you ever plan to discuss something else, $1 billion dollars won’t be enough, just ask Romney. Mr. Romney actually got 2 million less votes than John McCain received in 2008 against Obama. So for $1 billion dollars invested in Romney, conservatives got a lot less on their return.
2. Ignite the GOP base: Yeah, I guess you could use Benghazi for that too, but I mean really, one of the key miscalculations of the Team Romney in 2012 was underestimating the Democrats turnout operation. Instead of less, more African Americans turned out in Virginia, Colorado, Florida and Pennsylvania than anyone had ever imagined and this was know by the early exit polls on the afternoon of Election Day. It would only get worse as the day wore on.
If we include Hispanics, Women and Asians, and The Obama Rule, what initially looked like an upset for conservatives, quickly became a walk in the park for the President. Here is the fact, less republicans actually turned out to vote than democrats. Why? Romney wasn’t providing a coherent message to the base.
Another fact, Ryan easily won re-election in his Congressional district to return to Congress, but those same voters who willfully and easily returned him to Washington D.C. as their Representative were not willing to send him as their Vice President. He lost his home state for Romney which has not been done since Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee in 2000.
What You Can’t Do Is: Run on the IRS – Again, albeit tempting, how much can you extract from this…even with more of this story still unfolding? Unless you can put the phone to Obama’s ear or the email on his desk, this will only do the two things we just identified above. Words not to use…“47 Percent”. Raising money doesn’t seem to be the issue for conservatives as long as their is a democrat in The White House so no need to chase the donors, they will come.
Republicans looking for a story should continue to investigate worthwhile leads and follow them where ever they take you. But keep in mind, Obama is not on the ballot in 2016, so running against Obama will be a futile exercise. Republicans must decide now which path they will adopt as the party leaders and wanna-be leaders fight for control internally. Democrats will actually relish the third Obama election in theory considering republicans lost the last two he actually ran in.
Chasing the IRS-big brother-anti ideology while President Obama stands next to Hillary and Bill Clinton with clasped hands raised, the proverbial “crowning” of his successor is really what you shouldn’t spend your time and donations doing.
With that said, unless you can put the phone in Hillary’s hand or the email regarding the IRS illegally pursuing conservative groups, tell me and the rest of America, precisely how you plan to ride this to victory in two and a half years? Most Americans don’t care today, exactly how are you going to make them care in two and a half years? Take a moment and get back to me on that.
What You Can’t Do Is: Run on states rights when it comes to social issues – States rights ought to be a thing of the past. Now, I know how you guys are really bent on keeping this as a part of your election platform and there is just no way to get you all to remove that, but just a word to the wise, democrats don’t hear “states rights” or “let the states decide” when their is an unpopular Governor in that state, i.e. Rick Scott of Florida, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Jan Brewer of Arizona.
Each of those state’s Governors are currently on the wrong side, according to their own state’s polling on key issues. Jindal refuses to expand Medicaid even when his citizen’s could benefit from it the most. His own presidential hopes keeps him from doing what is right for the people of Louisiana. Rick Scott changed his mind and will now accept the expansion which will include millions of his residents but stands in the way of his state’s election overhaul and blocks real immigration reforms. Jan Brewer in Arizona rose to the headlines with her immigration stance but seems to be a ‘one trick pony’.
States deciding is no longer a winning strategy at the national level. Sure, it will work for state races, but thats it. Words not to use…“Food Stamps” and “President” in the same sentence. You will need to develop a new response when you don’t like a particular piece of legislation or figure out another way to deflect answering it. Rick Scott will lose his next election to a guy who was once a Republican Governor in Florida, who then became an Independent to run for the Senate but lost and is now a bonafide Democrat running again for Governor…do you really want the state’s decision? You know what, think on that too and get back to us.
Decide today if you want to be a principled conservative, pushing the party platform who only campaigns to his peril or you’d rather redefine the party platform. Republicans have a path to victory but their fringe keeps them from it. Virginia just launched it Tea Party favorite as their nominee for Governor, as if the republicans needed any more trouble in the purple state. All they need is more extreme views that will make it easy for democrats to show up in the polls.
Virginia has become more moderate in recent years, so promoting an extreme candidate doesn’t seem to be the way to go…time will tell if this time around will be different. What you can’t do is expect something different when you’re doing the same things.
What You Can’t Do Is: Run against Hillary Clinton – This will be a bit tricky for you guys because she too will help your Political Action Committees raise tons of pre-election cash, but tread lightly. Run against her as a continuation of the Obama policies, but avoid women’s issues. Words not to use…”Rape”. She is the Women’s vote and the country for the most part wants to reward her for playing the good soldier for the Obama Administration. Remember those 18 million shattering pieces of glass she referred too? There are at least three times that amount now.
Now here is what seems to be the obvious things you simply just can’t do. You can’t run against Immigration reforms. In fact, if there is no new immigration policy in effect at the time of the election that your party [the republicans] have overwhelmingly supported and sponsored, this will be an albatross around your political necks. It will be viewed as an obstructionist move to prevent granting undocumented workers a path to legalization.
You can’t run against family equality although this is not in your platform, you just can’t do it if you expect to win nationally. With the majority of Americans now in support of legislation granting same sex rights, making this a part of your “not negotiable” stance won’t benefit your campaigns. Words not to use…”Family Values”. Where there is no science to support your position, stay away.
You can’t run against ObamaCare. Not because its bad politics, to the contrary. Run against the public polling because many are just not sure of what it is, run against the new bureaucracy of government and the roll it will play, but running against what is now the law of the land seems a bit stupid. Congress voted for it, the Supreme Court upheld it, and, well, its official. To not fund this law, when you say you’re a law abiding citizen just is dumb and looks petty.
You can’t continue to ignore New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Begin accepting the fact that the most popular republican Governor in the United States is the Executive of a liberal state in the north east with the highest approval rating than most democratic Governors in liberal states. Accept that you will need a photo of Mitt Romney, your previous standard bearer standing next to Christie showing a sign of unity. Today, he is your best shot and you know it. Get behind him with your dollars and you will change the conversation. His reelection in ’14 as Governor will change your mind, of this I am certain.
Hopefully some of you will take this time to further develop your policy approach on these issues considering every professional talking head, every political consultant and strategist, every pundit and columnist, every elected republican in national office over the past two years got it wrong. These guys have been taken to the woodshed in the last two national election cycles first by a rookie Senator and then by an endangered incumbent who you said was only good at giving speeches. Mitt Romney changed his position on every issue he was ever asked about, but that wasn’t the problem; the issue was he had come out hard against that position in the beginning, he became his own worst caricature. If you are still listening to these people…is something wrong with them or is something wrong with you? Thats my story and um sticking to it.
So the once very conservative, unmovable Senator from the state of Ohio, the one who was recently on the Mitt Romney short list for potential Vice- Presidential candidates on the 2012 Republican ticket has now done what many believed was impossible in this day and age of block-head politics. Where the answer is no simply because the other guy in The White House said yes. Well, not today and not from Senator Rob Portman.
Let me take my cynical hat off for a moment and not assume that all things in politics relate to something political. For one moment, see this reversal on one of the most contentious issues of our time, the Defense of Marriage. Both parties have waged a full assault on everything from the definition of marriage, the rationalization of who should be permitted by law and/or recognized for tax purposes as well as what it should called; Domestic Partnerships?
Senator Portman has identified where his line in the sand is and as of yesterday, proclaimed which side of the line he intends to stand on. Going forward, until more republicans publicly wrestle with their politics on the issue, Portman will stand as the lone conservative in favor of gay rights in the U.S. Senate.
Cynicism Returned: Clearly, Portman now enjoys the political latitude of confronting his conscious now, well after he was passed over by Romney when Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan was selected to complete the ticket for the GOP. It’s also politically expedient to stand alone on the issue considering states are loosening their stronghold in the area of tolerance. His reversal, Portman says comes on the heels of being told by his son, Will, that he was himself gay.
Why the cynicism? Well, Will Portman told his father this just over two years ago at the height of the political climate when Portman wanted to be considered for higher office. Why would his son admit to this…? Because the Senator was vetting himself. That just means, prior to running for higher office, you have to ensure there are no surprises. That year, Will Portman entered Yale University and found himself. This was definitely worth mentioning to the gentleman from Ohio and would-be Vice Presidential candidate.
Portman sat on this information for two years, he towed the line for the party and Mitt Romney throughout the election season but now he decided to stand with his feelings instead of what the party believed. So, feelings do matter after all. Portman once said, “…my strongly held beliefs in biblical principles won’t allow me to support same-sex legislation…”…maybe so, but his “feelings” as a father won’t permit him to continue to block legislation supporting the LGBT community.
Portman said at a news conference that he now had a “…change of heart…”. Regardless of your politics on the contentious marriage debate, why is it now okay because his heart has changed? Was it or was it not okay when his heart was not involved? As the country as evolved slowly, so has Portman so I won’t attack his right to shift, but I do question the audacity of some politicians who are able to pull the heart-strings on both sides of every issue…or is it their truth finally trumping their politics?
Portman should be commended for staking a landmark position while all others are swimming upstream. The political winds as well as the tides are shifting for anyone with aspirations for higher office. Lines are no longer being drawn by partisan ideology or party affiliation but instead the personal influences that pol comes in contact with; not on the campaign trail or along the rope lines but instead, at home.
Policy will be drawn up and enacted as it has always, yet it will take some courage to go face to face with those you once stood along side with. The speed of the swinging pendulum will be best determined by the response from those voting. Portman may become a party hero or he may have just won himself a challenger in the next election, only the pendulum will tell. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
I will take the leap into the weeds to explain how the echo chamber of election year politics has caused many to miss the big picture. The noise of cable news chatter has distorted the more obvious cues to take away from the current state of the race. There will be no blow out, that much is certain. There will be no runaway mandate for the President, he will break 50% and will likely come extremely close to rising just under 50%, 51% may be more than optimistic and the polls just don’t show it.
No one likes to jump out for fear of being incorrect, yet both men spent most of the election cycle doing just that; being wrong and what does one of them get?…keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and a page in the American history books. This is not based on partisan views but rather the reality of the polling data; if you believe in them.
Lets take a look at the battleground states: going forward, they are considered battles because this is geography where the political parties actually have to vigorously campaign to convince voters for their support. These states currently are not deciding their electoral votes by ideology alone but issues that concern their lives and their families.
Ohio has polled consistently for weeks for Obama. Every poll for that matter has had the President over Romney from 1-6% points. Even conservative leaning polls have shown this throughout. Ohio has gotten the attention it has because it is historically known for deciding the presidency. Obama could go on to win without Ohio, Romney is not so fortunate. No republican has ever won The White House without Ohio. With a severely conservative Governor and Congress, Obama will carry Ohio.
This is significant for the historical reasons I just mentioned. Beyond that, the electoral votes lost to the Romney campaign, makes the path to victory implausible; not impossible. The plausibility is difficult to imagine considering the ridiculous amount of other states that are also battles that Romney would have to win. That math is way too fuzzy.
Good news for Romney, he will carry North Carolina. Barack Obama won the state in 2004, the first democrat to carry it since the 60′s but as I’ve said before, his win then, was more about republicans in the Carolina’s not wanting to drink the Palin-aid! It was always going to be difficult to duplicate the “historical moment”. You can only elect the first African American as President of the United States once.
With North Carolina in the Romney win-column and Ohio dragging Obama closer to the finish line, Romney would have to clean the table with the remaining battleground states: Florida, Nevada, Iowa, Virginia, Wisconsin and Colorado. That’s just not going to happen folks. The math to make that scenario work just hasn’t been discovered. Florida will go to Obama as I have said from the beginning in part due to the heavy minority (Latino and African American) turnout.
This year, more than ever, African Americans have mailed in their ballots in the Miami-Dade County area, a heavy democratic portion of the state, to ensure they were not disenfranchised. Latinos in the Central Florida area will also continue to pour out in favor of Obama. Not because of Obama solely, but also because of Romney’s support of self deportation as an immigration policy. Problem is, those Latinos in Central Florida are not from the Dominican Republic, Cuba or Columbia, but they are already Americans, from Puerto Rico.
Nevada, is already gone to Obama, so this is no longer considered in my book as a battle. Latinos in Nevada will bring the state for Obama. These folks are largely descendants, family, friends of neighboring Mexicans. Again, hurt by his strong “anti” immigration proposals, this will cost Romney significantly in Nevada.
Wisconsin will go to Obama due to the growing demographic shifts in the state. Residents there are similar to those in Ohio, where family and earning a honest living is the cultural character and embedded in the citizen tapestry. Wisconsin, also governed by conservative State officials from the Governor down, however, the heavy union presence and manufacturing industry will establish a voter turnout ground game unmatched ever in history by the GOP. The former Community Organizer has to be good at this, mobilizing his voters.
Virginia, also much desired by Romney and honestly needed just as much as Ohio, will be decisive for Obama. The race for the Presidential ticket as well as the Virginia Senate seat will be razor thin, probably the closest of all Senate races (other than Montana- but not a battleground). Keep your eye on this race. Some have speculated that Romney will take the state, but Democrats will take the Senate race, but I disagree. Dems will hold both.
They will hold both because the military, a strong dominant presence in Oceana, Virginia is no longer your father’s U.S. Navy. Our young military personnel are more of a product of this new social acceptance than the last. Issues once viewed as conservative in the military are now more socially acceptable. Reversing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell did not break the military or put military personnel in harms way as opponents and critics of Obama’s reversal once predicted. Michelle Obama has made military families her personal drumbeat, just as Nancy Reagan had the “Say No To Drugs” mantle.
The loss of Virginia and Ohio will be the signal for the Secret Service to get Romney’s motorcade cranked, doors open and begin the journey to the convention floor to speak to his supporters to share the bad news. Without Florida, maybe-almost; kinda, but without Ohio and Virginia, math. Colorado is the closest of the battles for me. The reason it is close in Colorado is the strong Latino vote has voted overwhelming for Obama and according to exit polling, they have voted early.
Colorado will be thin as ice, but will go to Obama. There may be some slow counts in Colorado and Virginia, although Virginia has historically done well, this year is different. Ohio cost John Kerry the presidential race in 2004 against George W. Bush, and will cost one of these men on Election Day. Lastly of the battles is New Hampshire. Currently polls have this race all over the place, but post hurricane Sandy polls show Obama has clinched a solid 2% lead. Turnout will be key, but New Hampshire will send its 4 electoral votes to Obama.
These are all my predictions based on what information I am looking at. There will be an Obama victory because simply, the math is easier to achieve if you’re Obama than if you’re Romney. There is only one path for the GOP nominee, but several for Obama. It looks more like McCain of ’08, he too only had one path, then Senator Obama shut every door leading to that path. Romney’s attempt to circle back in the 11th hour for Pennsylvania, his first visit there in months was widely viewed as a last minute attempt to stretch the map a bit for another alternative since they see what I see.
PA is tighter than it was several weeks ago following the first presidential debate, but more than that I believe; through political and electoral neglect, the numbers began to move-not for or against, but instead back to zero, the middle. So although we may view the polls as tightening or Obama’s gap narrowing, back to zero through neglect.
Romney should not be expected to win any more than 220 electoral votes amidst the presidential hype. We all wanted a tight race just so we didn’t rubber-stamp the next occupant of The White House, but we also wanted to ensure the next resident was moving in with the keen awareness of what would be expected.
The map gives Obama a victory at 310-319 electoral votes once the dust settles. There are a lot of things that are different from 2008, so many that I can’t list here, but to those who support him, they simply do not care-a win is a win and more directly, the final score is less important. The frustration the republicans will have at losing will be less bout Romney and more that the party lost again, twice in a row.
Republicans will turn on themselves before uniting in defiance once again in opposition to this President as they did following the ’08 election. This time however, it will be different. They will have to work a different plan since the first one failed to work. Democrats will take an Obama loss more personal. They will see cultural wars, opposition and disenfranchisement as likely enemies. Their hope for inclusion will be confirmed with an Obama re-election and their fears confirmed with a Romney win.
The Clinton legacy will be enshrined and Obama will not have been a fluke. Healthcare will become the Obama legacy and not just preventing a second Great Depression. Romney will write a book, give some speeches and fight to stay relevant amid the conservative rancor. It may be best to lay low for a while like W. The party will have to check itself. Democrats will need to produce an agenda now that Obama has four more years, Republicans will have to find away to actually expand their base of support and stop worrying about expanding the electoral map.
This morning, on Election Day, Romney is back in Pennsylvania, the second visit in two days after the campaign all but ceded the state to Obama over the last month or so. This is an attempt grow the electoral map at the last minute because Romney sees the math not working out. The party will need to grow their base; more support from different kinds of voters not just White working class me and seniors. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
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.
Yesterday morning, I took my turn to cast my ballot with today’s numbers pushing the totals over 1.3 million according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta’s major news publication.
What only took an hour to snake through the twisty-turns of voters waiting patiently to cast their ballots. What I did notice was the upbeat energy in the polling place which could almost be felt from the distant parking lot.
“Good-morning!” said one, then another, with a smile and then one with a light wave of the hand; eerily kind in such a bitter partisan race between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney as they battle for The White House. Random applause continued to breakout in the polling location at word of a new first time voter, how magical.
All of the concerns and worry over Georgia’s voter ID laws were not met with any strain. Well organized, informed poll workers and just a down right Georgia “peachy” day to vote for America.
In one week, when the race has been decided and the cleaning crews begin to clear away the confetti and the streamers, I can only hope the nation will have the same story that I just told of their voting experience.
Soon after, I met up with my favorite server at IHOP who had noticed my “I voted” sticker on my lapel which sparked even more excitement among the staff. When you can find election energy in IHOP, it’s a good election year. That’s my story and um sticking to it!
When the storm, in this case, Hurricane Sandy, and how you respond to it becomes a literal storm the President must navigate in the final days of this election cycle, every photo and interview The White House authorizes for the President is crucial.
There is a political dance, a balance of sorts actually, where the president has show he is in command of his government and not holding campaign events at the time of a crisis or catastrophe. This morning Air Force One returned to Washington, D.C. carrying the President from Orlando, Florida where Obama was scheduled to appear with Bill Clinton. Shortly after arriving in Orlando last night the decision was made to have the President return to The White House. The campaign stop was set keep Florida in play for Obama as Romney had been seen in just about every poll conducted in the last two weeks leading in the state.
The American people are looking for a stable government, above all else politics. Take Virginia, a battleground state, the President is currently up 4% in the latest NBC/ WSJ polls in addition to several others with an average of 3%-4%, but although he would love to campaign through the final stretch, Obama has to be Commander-In-Chief and not the Campaigner-In-Chief.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency or (FEMA) has to show swift and efficient response where needed as well as direct the eastern sea coast to safety. The President uses FEMA to manage the implementation of emergency response around the nation. It would be challenge to explain how the President was fulfilling his constitutional duties aboard the airplane or in the motorcade in-between campaign stops and political attacks.
Endless footage of Obama being presidential is better television commercial Team Obama could ever pay for. Any slam on Romney by the President about “Romnesia”, Obama’s latest attack on his GOP challenger about his latest switch on policy stances where it appears politically prudent will look poorly timed and just down-right distasteful.
And if you are beginning to think Mr. Obama’s job is a difficult one, just think how easy he has it compared to how challenging Mr. Romney’s campaign will be as they attempt to walk on the egg shells of the storm. Try navigating the land mines by politically attacking the President while he is touring states, observing damage, hugging storm victims and fulfilling his sworn duty. Romney has no official role, so you are left to private fundraisers, but even those are potentials for claims of how “Romney is disconnected” while the POTUS is engaged at every level. Just not good optics.
Within 8 days the country will vote for the next president. These campaigns, metaphorically are storms of their own but when you add a literal storm in the wake of all that is going on in the political arena, politics will play a significant role; always has. Whether you think it matters or not, no one believes that to be an honest assessment. George H.W. Bush was found playing golf too often at the height of the recession in 1990-1992; voters punished him for by giving him a permanent retirement. Later, his son George W. Bush was slow to respond to Hurricane Katrina and was pictured from Air Force One flying over from his ranch in Texas back to Washington, Katrina-the worst storm to this nation and displace so many.
The democratic base is a bit worried this will affect the early vote in some areas and in other areas , some states lime Virginia and New Hampshire, both battlegrounds, may be affected with power outages leading up to Election Day. They can’t be viewed at a time like this to be as concerned about election day, but trust me, they are terribly worried. As is Romney, he is hoping this does not affect his standing in many battleground states where he was undoubtedly making advancements in some and leading the president in others.
If you are Romney, you do not want the American voters seeing Obama in President-mode over the next 24-36 hours. Romney and Ryan are trying to keep a low profile for the sake of the attack game, but also prevent from disappearing from the national stage altogether. Romney cant cede the national concerns to Obama, but you dont want to appear on television looking like you are politicizing the storm for personal gain.
If I am Romney, you don’t want him [Obama] hogging the local and cable news and you definitely don’t want the local tv programming interrupted by news outlets with endless hours of weather forecasts government agencies, both state and local looking to your challenger, the incumbent for direction.
This is big government at work. For all those conservatives who think cutting FEMA’s budget or returning these dollars to the states to handle their on natural disasters, lets see how this works for you? Many state officials push their chests out and say they would do their best to take care of their own states, relying less on government; resisting the temptation to notify their rich Uncle Sam. Every Governor who said they wouldn’t, always do, as they should.
The safety of Americans is the most important thing for any elected official. The official response should never be attacked, the role of government should be the security of its people. However, navigating through the political fallout if the response is ineffective is another story entirely. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
Early voting in Palm BeachCounty, Florida has already hit a snag and has forced election officials as well as both campaigns to send attorneys and representatives to observe the hand copying of some 27,000 mailed in absentee ballots.
Who can forget the debacle in the same county in 2000 when then Governor George W. Bush of Texas was locked into a tight Florida battle for the state’s then 25 electoral votes (now 29 Electoral votes). Officials then were forced to determine the voter’s “intention” by eye-balling dimples and raised impressions on the actual ballot. Ultimately being decided in the Supreme Court, Bush V. Gore was infamous for presidential politics.
Well, when you thought it was over, a decade later, Palm Beach has done it again. A printing problem with a portion of the ballots that refers to elected judges has affected the the way the machine is reading the ballots and therefore all the races on the ballot have to be transposed onto new ballot cards. They believe somewhere between 20-27,000 ballots will have to be hand copied by elections officials and teams of representatives from each campaign. Although that’s a drop in the election bucket compared to the 8.3 million votes expected to be cast by Election Day, each campaign can’t afford to lose one vote. Remember, Governor Bush became President Bush because he won 527 more votes than Vice President Gore.
What a mess! As someone who lived through that twelve years ago, it was just embarrassing- to be potentially heading down the same road when the state plays such a pivotal role once again this election cycle, both campaigns have been pretty silent about the matter.
Florida’s Secretary of State, Kurt Browning and Supervisor of Elections, Susan Bucher are keeping vigilant over the copying process to ensure all votes are accurately counted is an understatement. You’d better believe, there are already rumors that the totals can and may be challenged if the race for Florida becomes too close to call on election night.
The entire process is being videotaped, photographed, audio-taped and quality checked with representatives from both campaigns present in the room. The Romney campaign are privately worried that the absentee ballots will hurt their chances considering more republicans than democrats utilize the mail in ballots typically. Dems are equally concerned because Palm Beach County is overwhelming called home by registered democrats; seniors.
As long as the vote tally on Election Day is greater than 27,000, the winner of the states electoral votes can feel secure in their avoidance of a recount of these hand copied by ballots. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
The battle for the battlegrounds is underway and there is nothing separating the candidates from going all out, afterburners are now on full burn with thrusters no longer idling. Campaign buses carrying the Romney clan and the Ryan family are gassed up; diners and dives along the route, lookout.
Paul Ryan will be on location here Nevada today, followed by Romney tomorrow. The dynamic duo then heads back to the Midwest belt because they know the race now hinges on Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. In either case, Ohio and Wisconsin must be taken by Team Romney in order for them to win The White House.
This morning, NBC adjusted their electoral map with several major changes; giving Florida, North Carolina, Colorado and Virginia to Romney since the polling is showing those states are leaning that way as of today. I am not ready to concede Florida considering the I-4 Corridor is less of a toss-up as it formerly had been in large part as well as the African American turnout in Miami-Dade County, a longtime bonus for Dems.
A major oversight in Florida may also be the early voting tallies that will likely favor Obama, so not quite seeing the same data on the ground in Florida as of yet. Florida typically, by its nature swings republican so a safe estimate by most pundits who would like to push this race to the finish line for the next headline are shading in the grey areas with historical summations to show a much tighter race will no doubt favor Romney there.
Obama is not losing North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado or Florida; these states were always Republican. The fact that he won them in 2008 has more to do with his campaign against John McCain and Sarah Palin that it was about him-the nation was just tired. The fact that he is within the margin of error in those states and are within striking distance says more about his 2012 campaign against a better more moderate republican.
The President is in Florida this morning looking to improve his numbers because he knows a blow to Romney’s path to victory begins with the Sunshine State. Looking at the numbers, Romney must win Florida, Obama does not. Romney must win North Carolina, Obama does not. Romney must win Virginia, Obama simply does not. Florida is merely an alternate path to victory for Obama as it was in 2008. Finally, Romney must win Colorado, Obama does not. All these states were big wins for Obama in ’08 because the expanded map forced McCain to spread himself too thin. So not having them this time around is not a deal breaker for Team Obama.
On the other side, NBC also moved New Hampshire and Nevada into Obama’s column due to the democrats registered voter advantage over republicans as well as the the early voting hopes benefitting Obama and polls trending Obama. Nevada is not a surprise, Romney campaigned there to establish an alternate path, but it never materialized.
NBC has reduced the battlefield to 5 toss-up states, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina for ROMNEY as well as Ohio and Wisconsin for OBAMA. Romney must win his three plus one of Obama’s states in order to get to 270 and the Oval Office. Obama just has to win his two, anything from the Romney column is just gravy.
Other than one last visit to Jay Leno in California in the next couple of days, Obama will leave Florida this afternoon, head north and then across the Midwestern belt. Last night before the debate and this morning in my previous post, I said both Romney and Ryan needs to hunker down in Ohio and never-ever leave, well, Biden landed in Toledo yesterday and will stay for the next three days. Why? Because Ohio is the key; it opens the door to the next four years for one of these candidates.
Enough with the fundraisers, whoever is not hired or paid by now, their services you evidently haven’t needed; so move on. The choice is stark so no need to push for more commercial time. If you don’t live in one of these 5 states, breathe a sigh of relief, no motorcade delays are expected for you anytime soon. If you do however, vote and vote early. These two weeks will come fast and furious.
Regardless of who wins in November, half of the electorate will feel as if they’ve been thrown under the “bus”, pardon the pun-couldn’t resist. So get a good look at the back of them now so at least you have a good idea of who to blame for the next four years. That’s my story and um sticking to it.