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.
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 electoral map is littered with obstacles, trenches and dead ends on the march to victory. This election cycle hasn’t and won’t be any different. There are various paths to 270 electoral votes, the amount necessary to win the presidency.
Four years ago, President, then Senator Obama picked up the electoral map and through it out if the window of conventionalism. Never again would any candidate take the road map “as is”. The days when there were only four “purple” or battleground states, i.e. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Florida, are over.
The nation’s demographics have shift in some regions and exploded in others changing the electoral map forever. Over the next 9 days, we’ll look at 9 different ways to get the necessary electoral votes to win The White House. Today, Florida, Florida, Florida!
Republicans play a significant role in all of the battlegrounds and Florida is not any different. At the state’s legislative and executive branch conservatives currently hold to the reins of power as they have for some time. That hasn’t affected the Dems voter registration advantage of nearly half million more voters.
The states pressing issues this election cycle revolve around Medicaid, Medicare and the privatization of Social Security. In the state’s Jewish community, america’s relationship with Israel has caused some consternation. The portions of the state that are crucial for either party is:
Palm Beach Counties, Miami-Dade County and Broward County came out strong for Obama in 2008.
The all inclusive middle ground of this enormous battleground represents a varied voter. Tampa in the west has a large retirement population of voters that ironically are not at the age of retirement mixed with a liberal trending populous and diverse middle class workforce. Orlando in the east and Kissimmee just south of Orlando has the largest non-Cuban Hispanic demographic. Puerto Ricans have become the largest minority along the infamous I-4 corridor.
Duval and Leon Counties delivers an even greater difference between the voting blocks. Jacksonville and Tallahassee respectively are delivering both the military and the college town which happens to be nestled in the state capital sprawling with conservatives.
PROS: Florida carries a hefty 29 electoral votes and polls close in the first hour of east coast closures, although the results don’t typically report the results until well after the 9pm hour. Although Obama carried the battleground in 2008 with 50.9% of the vote, this would be a huge gain for Team Romney. Tampa in the west, and Pinellas county are republican strongholds, hence the place of the GOP convention. In the North, the military presence and strong Religious presence of southern baptist Christians will vote more conservatively, likely to the benefit of Romney.
CONS: For Romney, the states large Hispanic population will present challenges given his stance on various immigration reforms. Additionally, the large African American presence in the south represents a dominant voting block for Obama. As goes Florida, so goes the presidency, most likely. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
Then Senator Obama changed the electoral map in his 2008 march to Washington D.C. Along the way he famously dispatched the notorious Clinton Machine in the political battle for the ages before he went on to dismantle the “maverick”, John McCain’s hopes of his rogue VP nominee, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The Obama strategy was a simple one, he simply added voters from states not typically known for playing a role in electoral politics.
By moving into Michigan, Ohio, Colorado, Florida and North Carolina, states not known for coming out for democrats poured out avalanche style for Mr. Obama. Voter registrations piled up to move the democrat from entering battlegrounds and instead made them states leaning his direction at the end of the day.
He also involved the smallest donor, unlike previous candidates who solely focused on big campaign dollars which built the largest war chest in the history of presidential politics totally nearly three quarters of a billion dollars. Such an overwhelming accomplishment from such an unsuspecting candidate. Since then, conservatives having been out-foxed, have focused on rolling back voting policies with the intention of making it more difficult for many Americans to vote this November. Voter ID laws pushed through state legislatures were created to slow down Obama’s strategy of being re-elected.
That’s not stopping President Obama from designing new paths to his history and completing his executive agenda from the Oval. On yesterday he began a 2-day tour to expand his base of support with the hopes of widening his margin over Governor Romney in those key groups that Romney is having a hard time wooing.
His take of Florida through the strong coalition he built was a good place to start from for this go around. He targeted the votes of those seniors currently worried about the voucher plan proposed by the Romney-Ryan ticket to replace Medicaid and Social Security. Everyone knows on order to win Florida, you have to own the I-4 corridor (central Florida-Orlando/Kissimmee and the entire south Florida area, mainly Miami-Dade County as your base of support.
However Mr. Obama is broadening that base by boasting his Administration’s policies for the growing Hispanic populations and the seniors as well as the strong military presence in the north Florida area-Jacksonville by having Michelle Obama and Jill Biden reaching out to military families, normally a republican stronghold.
Just yesterday, officials in the Romney camp began dismissing their chances to take Ohio in November after saying previously, they felt positive about the much needed battleground state. Although they are looking for new paths to victory, they concede, those paths are more difficult without Ohio considering no republican has won the presidency without Ohio. Wisconsin is now in play with the VP selection of Mr. Ryan onto the. Ticket, however, they still lag behind several points there as they do to date in Michigan, Romney’s birthplace and the state where his father served as Governor.
Both men must win their home states in order to stay in play. They have to carry their constituents in order to pull through Obama’s expansion plan. At the rate Team Obama is moving, Romney may need yet another billion dollars from his PACs to build the ground game Obama is going to launch his assault from in November. McCain felt that wrath in 2008 and Mr. Romney, if all accounts are correct from inside his camp, is beginning to stare down that same barrel.
With Bill Clinton working the west coast, Obama working the southern belt, Biden up in the Northeast wooing the white working class and blue collar men, Michelle Obama blanketing the radio airwaves and Jill Biden encapsulating the teacher unions and suburban women, the path to victory is beginning to look once again like multidirectional approach that is nearly impossible to overcome. McCain could not be in all places at once in the 2008 campaign, and with little help from the republican incumbent in The White House at the time, he was faced with four Obama paths to victory but only 2 guns.
Romney is counting on the October debates to slow Obama’s march down. That is his only hope to pigeonhole the electoral expansion strategy. After the debates, there will be no way to stop the roller steaming over them if the Romney folks don’t pull their heads out of the muddy waters. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
What is an “Undecided Voter”? And just what is that they are looking for to otherwise aide them in making a selection in their choice of a candidate. Often times you hear a U.V. say something like, “I want to hear the Candidate say…” this or that. My sense is, do you want to hear them just talk about the issue or satisfy you on that issue?
Both may be somewhat difficult to do if you have not noticed. To merely speak on a specific concern, that issue has to be tested, sampled and polled among likely voters. Once polled, and it goes without saying that it has to poll well for that candidate, a set of reasonable responses must be developed so the candidate can answer a question without doing himself harm.
Furthermore, the responses are sampled and tested. The pollsters as well as the campaign are not looking to find the best answer to remove the question from future line-ups, they are typically attempting to avert the candidate from being locked into a scenario that is difficult to retract later.
All politics is situational so there are very few answers that will immediately address the concerns of those who are undecided. In order to win over the undecided, you stand to risk the support you have already obtained from the political base currently in place.
In order to satisfy any particular voter fully, the candidate or his or her surrogates would be forced to expound at such great length, that you jeopardize losing others present with unimportant details. There is an art to being bland in your responses. A candidate must be able recount his exact verbiage used, so the less detail offered, the easier it is for the campaign to respond.
In today’s Politico, GOP presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney was somewhat given credit to the disdain of the traveling press pool, that he rarely veers off message. That’s an art form. Controlling the message by eliminating any other unscripted responses prevents the candidate from going off message, thereby preventing gaffes.
The press are to the political candidate as the paparazzi is to a Hollywood celeb. Their goal is to create the story where they may be none and on a slow news days, you have to know the campaigns are extra careful to not be the one driving the negative news of the day.
So, sorry Mr. Undecided Voter! It’s time to make up your mind and pass the crown, your fifteen minutes are up. Where, during the 2004 and 20008 elections they drove the campaigns and the ad buys in certain battle ground states, this cycle has been less of a push for the undecided and more about shoring up the base and mobilizing them. 2012 will be less about those who are “registered to vote” and more about those who are energized and “likely” to vote.