Election Predictions, the Electoral College & Lessons from Abroad

By: hawkgrrrl
November 6, 2012

The blessed day has finally arrived!  The long awaited day after which we can stop caring about the election because it will be over, one way or another.  Which is eerily similar to what we thought in 2000 . . .

Living abroad, I have been exposed to other countries’ voting practices.  In both Australia and Singapore, voting is mandatory.  Don’t vote, and you will be tracked down and fined.  Some Australians living abroad deliberately choose to pay the fine because it’s less trouble than voting.  Given that we can’t even properly count our votes in the US and people get upset when identification is required, I don’t see how this would work for us.  Perhaps if they put the IRS in charge of the voting process rather than the octogenarians at the local rest home.

Week before last, I was in China.  Our tour guide explained that the voting process in China is entirely done by the district representatives, not citizens.  He said that as a result, there is seldom change, and people feel less invested in the outcomes of elections.  Hawkmaaan and I explained that the US system is really a combination of popular vote at the state level and that the electoral college dictates the winner.  He found this idea confusing.  Why not just let the people’s votes decide?

Like most non-Americans, our guide was very pro-Obama. A change in US presidents feels risky to other countries because the future president is an unknown and therefore unpredictable.  He really didn’t know much about Romney, about the impacts of the economy on US citizens, or about domestic policy in the US.  We also didn’t hear any concern about the tough talk toward China from anyone we met there; even the newspaper was soft on this topic.  Our guide seemed surprised that the election was close or might unseat the incumbent.

In China, we saw many messenger bags and tee shirts with a picture of Obama in a communist uniform and the title “Oba Mao” (also one that said “Maobama”).  Based on conversations with our tour guide and shop owners, this was considered a compliment, showing kinship with our president, not a criticism of his policies.**  It was just further evidence that citizens of foreign nations view US presidents through the lens of their own immediate national interests, not through the lens of the average American citizen.

Last week I was in Sydney.  I was chatting with a colleague from Hong Kong who speculated that Hurricane Sandy would impact the election.  I said it could logistically (voting procedures) but that I doubted it would in terms of garnering more votes as the states most directly impacted are already blue.  Interestingly, he mentioned Romney’s gaffes which have been widely publicized.  I explained that the best definition of “gaffe” I have heard is “when a politician accidentally speaks the truth.”  He also observed that Obama won all but the first debate, whereas US reporting mostly showed the later debates as a tie.

I also attended a dinner with a business partner who is Belgian but lived in Indonesia for many years and is now a dual citizen in Australia.  He predicted a Romney win but strongly preferred Obama.  He had the notion that Romney is too stupid to be president.  I pointed out that Romney was Harvard educated, a former governor, and a highly successful businessman.  Many Aussies read the Financial Times, a UK publication; this week, Ian Duncan Smith, leader of the Tory party, has lambasted the UK media for its unwarranted demonisation of Romney.

“I think the American election’s been appallingly reported here in the UK.  “The demonisation of Mitt Romney over here has been appalling.  Whilst he may have faults – all politicians have faults – this is a guy who actually ran a state very well, he got debts and deficit down. Whatever else you say about this man he’s not stupid, and he’s made out to be stupid over here. And he’s quite capable of running stuff.”

Throughout the election, different polls have predicted different outcomes, but most are predicting a close race.  Most polls and pundits predictably favour their own candidate, making me (and many others) very skeptical about polling accuracy.  Because the race is so close, there are two controversial predictions that actually have some chance of happening:  an electoral tie, and a second race in which one candidate wins the popular vote and the other wins the electoral vote.  Let’s take a look at these possibilities briefly.

  • Romney & Obama Tie. A few have even been so bold as to predict a 50/50 chance of a tied electoral vote:  269 electoral votes for each candidate.  In an electoral tie, the decision goes to the House.  In our current scenario, the House comprises 26 Republican states, 11 Democrat, and 13 too close to call.  A tie would favour a Romney win.  The most likely tie scenarios are if among the 11 battleground states, Romney wins all but VA and CO or if Romney wins all but OH and NH.  Some other tie scenarios are presented here.
  • Popular vs. Electoral Vote. Both candidates have already lined up their lawyers in case this happens.  As most of us will remember, there was a lot of tension as Gore’s lawyers fought for the presidency.  The way it currently looks, the risk is Obama losing the popular vote but winning the electoral vote, what some see as a sort of payback for Gore’s loss in 2000.

Should We Throw Out the Electoral College?

Many have said the electoral college is antiquated and should be eliminated in favour of the popular vote.  If the electoral vote contradicts the popular vote again, it could drive this change.  There are pros and cons to the electoral college:

  • Regional interests.  It acknowledges the regional diversity of the United States and forces candidates to be aware of interests in a variety of locations in the US, not just large population centers.  Although this was originally done to give slave states sufficient representation, arguably a bad aim, it has over time morphed into ensuring that candidates pay attention to more than urban, coastal states’ interests.  On the downside, this has resulted in less representation of minority and female votes as they tend to cluster in urban areas while rural votes tend to favour white, conservative candidates.
  • Bipartisanship.  It encourages a two-party system.  Obviously, two parties are better than one.  However, it also has the disadvantage of making more than two parties essentially untenable in our election process.  A third party candidate is so unlikely to win an electoral vote that s/he is only capable of “spoiling” the election for the most similar candidate in the two main parties.
  • Voter turnout.  One of the main reasons to have an electoral college is to encourage participation from all citizens, not just those in large population centers.  However, a downside is (as we’ve seen in the recent election) that only those in the battleground states really matter.  So the electoral college actually has the opposite effect:  reducing voter turnout in states that are firmly red or blue.  If a tree falls in the forest or a Democrat votes in Utah (or a Republican votes in New York or California), nobody can hear it.  The real landslide wins require flipping states that have a traditional voting record aligned with a single party as Reagan achieved in 1980 (winning 44 states including his native California).
  • Tally accuracy.  Historically, the difficulty of accurately tallying votes and the risk of fraud has made retaining the electoral college desirable.  Clearly, given the historical voter accuracy issues in Florida, this is still a risk even when states are responsible for voter tallying, but taking voter tallies to a national level and putting responsibility in one central group centralizes the risk which multiplies the effect of an instance of incompetence or fraud.  Keeping the electoral college splits the risk.

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Regardless the solution, the partisanship in this election is a huge turn off to me.  The extreme charges from both the left (he’s a liar! he’s Thurston Howell III!  he’s heartless! he belongs to a cult!) and the right (he’s a Muslim!  he’s not even a citizen! he’s a communist!) are distasteful, unsophisticated, and uninformed.  So is the making a mountain out of a molehill that has gone on far too long (binders full of women, rape can be shut down by a woman’s body, horses & bayonets, the Big Bird scuffle).  The nation fails to have a mature political process when we settle for name calling instead of listening to other views and when we as citizens sit smugly in our political Facebook echo chambers.  We show our immaturity as a nation when the media (at both ends of the spectrum) fails to ask the tough questions of either candidate; what is the point of a free press if that press picks sides in a schoolyard fight?  These are all evidence of partisan arrogance and a lack of gravitas.  The current economy calls for humility, open-mindedness and serious solutions.

All right, let’s see what you think.

  • What’s your prediction for the election outcome?  Think fast, or we may already know the outcome!
  • Should the electoral college be done away with?  If so, why?  If not, why not?  If there is a split between popular and electoral vote again, would this change your answer?
  • How do we heal the partisan divide in this country?  Is it possible?  If we can’t heal it, how do we reduce it?

Discuss.

**In fact, the Mandarin characters below the name “Oba Mao” said “Chairman Mao Thinks President Obama is Handsome.”

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35 Responses to Election Predictions, the Electoral College & Lessons from Abroad

  1. Usually a lurker on November 6, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    What’s your prediction for the election outcome? Think fast, or we may already know the outcome!

    Looking at the electoral map, I fear Obama will win enough electoral votes while Romney will win the popular vote. I don’t see any legal basis for Romney to win the presidency in that scenario, so Obama will be in for four more years.

    And I will get some chickens. Meaning, my fear for the economy is so great that I will attempt to become more self-sufficient (not my natural inclination at all!).

    Should the electoral college be done away with? If so, why? If not, why not? If there is a split between popular and electoral vote again, would this change your answer?

    Yes, the electoral college should be done away with. I want my vote to count as much as anyone else’s.

    How do we heal the partisan divide in this country? Is it possible? If we can’t heal it, how do we reduce it?

    Sadly, I’m not sure. Maybe a Romney win would help? I think Obama is more divisive and polarizing than most presidents. It’s my hope that Romney, with his pragmatism, would enlist more bipartisan support.

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  2. will on November 6, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    Romney 295 to 315. He will also win the popular vote.

    Swing state wins == Florida, N. Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and possibly Pennslyvania (315).

    He will not win Nevada due to the unions spilling over from CA. They are destroying a good state.

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  3. Last Lemming on November 6, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    I made my predictions on another thread, so I’ll just address the electoral college here. I’m for the Maine/Nebraska system, which awards two votes to the statewide winner and one vote to the winner of each congressional district. Obama picked up an electoral vote in the Omaha district last time.

    Retromodeling this system does not point to different outcomes in past elections. But that’s not the point. It would open up swing districts all over the country. New York, California, Texas, and maybe even Utah would get some attention and (hopefully) divert some of the advertising from the handful of markets that had to bear it this time.

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  4. Casey on November 6, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Obama wins but accomplishes very little of his agenda, especially when the GOP retakes the Senate in 2014. Still, the economy improves sufficiently that for decades Democrats hail his policies as the ones that ended the Great Recession.

    Alternate scenario:

    Romney wins but accomplishes very little of his agenda, especially when Democrats narrowly hold the Senate in 2014. Still, the economy nevertheless improves sufficiently that for decades Republicans hail his policies as the ones that ended the Great Recession.

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  5. ji on November 6, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    I much appreciate the wisdom of the electoral college — I would oppose a constitutional amendment eliminating it. The states conduct their own elections, and certify their own results — there is great beauty in that, and it reminds us that we are a nation of states. The reason the founding fathers adopted the electoral college was not solely (or even primarily?) about slavery.

    And every vote does count! If some of those Republicans in Utah think their votes don’t count, and they stay home, then the Democrat will win that state’s electors.

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  6. Samuel Rogers on November 6, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    We should give a bonus for winning the popular vote, perhaps 20 or 30 points. That way your vote does matter in a close race, and voter turnout should be higher. But, you still keep a lot of the advantages of the electoral college.

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  7. Molly on November 6, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    I have no idea who will win the election. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

    I think we should get rid of the Electoral College. One argument stated against dumping it is that the Electoral College forces candidates to pay attention to places outside of the population centers. Um, where? Did Obama come to Utah? Even Romney only came for money, not to campaign! But without the Electoral College, I bet both candidates would have at least stopped by, and not spent so much time begging for every last undecided voter in Ohio. Poor Ohio.

    As far as the partisan divide goes, I honestly think it’s the President’s job, at least to make the overtures to the other side. If he is willing to work with the other side, I don’t think he’ll get turned down. Especially if he is willing to compromise. Also, if Romney wins, we have to get rid of Harry Reid, who apparently is against bipartisanship if Romney is President.

    Also, if Congress actually GETS SOMETHING DONE, I think people will be happier about the government in general and won’t be so caught up in the bickering that has kept us at a deadlock for the past…long time. That means compromise, which is what all but the lunatic fringe on both sides want anyway.

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  8. Michael J. Snider on November 6, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    I believe Romney will win. In a bad economy, moderates and independents break for the challenger.
    Your comments on Australia and Singapore reminded me of a friend from down under who said this about mandatory voting:
    “It’s a big waste of time – we elect the same kinds of wankers any democracy does when only half of its eligible voters vote.”

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  9. Mike S on November 6, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Obama will win.

    The electoral college is archaic given today’s technology. The winner of the popular vote should be the president. My vote here in Utah meant nothing.

    I’ll be glad when the election is over.

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  10. MH on November 6, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Hawk, I am glad you posted about the Electoral College. I thought about it, but didn’t have enough time to put something together. At first, I was totally against removing the Electoral College, but I think now perhaps it is something we should consider. Candidates routinely ignore states that are decided (like Utah) and perhaps if they had to win the popular vote, they would campaign nationwide instead of only the swing states. They would have to consider more local issues and quit ignoring large swaths of the country that may agree or vehemently disagree with them.

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  11. Will on November 6, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Anyone know where I can get some good crow?

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  12. hawkgrrrl on November 6, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Will – Canada? ;)

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  13. FireTag on November 6, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    As I write this at 12:05 AM EST, Romney is winning the popular vote by about 200,000 and has already lost the electoral college. I think the way we look at this is that when the country is this closely divided, the electoral college is the official tie breaker. WHEN THE ELECTION ISN’T CLOSE IN THE POPULAR VOTE, THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE DOESN’T MATTER. It usually amplifies the mandate of the popular vote winner.

    The issue is still that the country is deeply divided, and modifying the rules isn’t going to change that.

    As to MH’s comment, popular voting would not make people campaign more in Utah or Maryland. Instead, you’d see campaigning in big media markets where you can get a lot of bang for the buck. Since the country is really an urban versus rural split, that would work to the advantage of the Democrats, so unless the Republicans are particularly suicidal (a feeling I could understand this evening :) ), the “red states” would never consent to that.

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  14. Juliathepoet on November 7, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    As the counting goes on and the west coast returns come in, it seems Obama will most likely win the popular vote too.

    I thought Mitt’s concession speech was probably his best of the entire campaign. (Well, the best of the 30 odd I have watched.) What I thought was sad was that he, and especially Anne, seemed so unprepared and stunned at the loss. I hope that is the reason that he didn’t outline a roll he would like to play in moving the country forward. I think the most tragic thing that could come out of this election would be that he doesn’t find a way to use the political capital he has to work with the president and congress move forward on the areas that he and the president agree on.

    Maybe it is just a pipe dream, but Obama is a huge fan of Lincoln. I think Romney could play a roll in a second term administration as an advisor or “Job Czar,” that would allow him to accomplish some of the things he is best suited for, and have a roll in America’s recovery. Lincoln made many of his biggest rivals members of his cabinet so that he could call on their expertise. Lots of people talk about how incredible Lincoln was for appointing them, and it was extraordinary. What was arguably more courageous and honorable was that the men who often passionately disagreed with Lincoln were willing to accept the positions, because they wanted the best for their country. They weren’t focused solely on making him a one term president, unable to get anything done. Instead, they were focused on doing what was/is right for the country the loved!

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  15. Geoff - A on November 7, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    Why not do away with presidential campaigns and just have the party with the most seats in congress elect a leader from among them.

    Of course before you had a congressional election you should know who the party leader is, that will become president, so when you vote for your local congressman you have in mind who will become president.

    Is there any system to ensure some uniformity in the number of votes required to elect a congressman? Might need an electoral commision to arrange that.

    It would still be possible to have the majority of congressmen without getting the majority vote, if more seats are held by one party with large majorities, and the winning party holds all its seats by small majorities.

    It would save a lot of money, politicing, and angst,

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  16. FireTag on November 7, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    Geoff – A:

    President Boehner appreciates your support. :D

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  17. Ziff on November 7, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    I’m sorry I didn’t get out here before the election to make my prediction that the electoral college would end with Obama: 666, Romney -128, thus signaling the end of the world. :)

    I explained that the best definition of “gaffe” I have heard is “when a politician accidentally speaks the truth.”

    I like this. They seem to be so obviously suppressing what they really want to say in so many situations.

    political Facebook echo chambers

    Nice phrase! In the aftermath of the election, I’ve felt like I’m in two separate echo chambers simultaneously.

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  18. Douglas on November 7, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    I wish that I’d carried out my original intention to write in Penn Jillette. Or at least contributed to Gary Johnson’s record total for a Libertarian candidate.
    One Thousand, Four Hundred and Sixty-One days (plus the balance of this term), until this nincompoop is out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Of course, Jan 20, 2017 could see the swearing-in of someone even LESS qualified.
    There’s always a military coup….

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  19. Geoff - A on November 7, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Very pleased to see the statement on LDS.org congratulating OBAMA but also encouraging us all to pray for the president, his administration and the congress.

    Can you pray for someone and hate them too?

    A call to support the President you elected.

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  20. hawkgrrrl on November 7, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    I am curious whether Obama really will engage with Romney in some meaningful way as he alluded to. Perhaps that would help bridge the partisan divide.

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  21. Bob on November 8, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    #20: Hawkgrrrl,
    Romney has nothing to offer Obama (plus they hate each other).
    Romney is powerless, and the Republican leadership does not see Romney as any kind of Republican leader. Romney’s moment is over.

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  22. Juliathepoet on November 8, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    #20 Hawk-
    I explored this a little on my own blog. I think that letting Romney we a “Jobs Czar” focusing only on ways to create jobs and encourage long term employment is one possibility. Either way, I hope Obama follows Lincoln’s example and keeps his “enemies closer,” by giving them jobs in his administration. I think the biggest hurdle would be getting Romney, or any Republican to actually work with the Democrats, and that is the biggest tragedy for the nation as a whole.

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  23. alice on November 8, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    I agree with Bob. I think the rejection of Romney was both personal and political and he has nothing to bring to a new Obama administration.

    I think the broader public recognizes that Romney was a bigger net threat to jobs remaining in the US and giving any pretense to endorsing that would be completely counter productive.

    I hope Obama genuinely will make attempts to include Republican ideas and work with them. Boehner’s more conciliatory statements since the election make me encouraged that some effective bipartisan efforts could happen. McConnell’s continuing ****y rigidity chills it.

    There is no alternative for this country to pragmatic government that represents all the constituents without attempting to demonize or marginalize any of them. My fingers are crossed that it will now begin to happen with an ouster of a good number of the Tea Party crazies.

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  24. FireTag on November 8, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    alice:

    I agree with you and Bob that the Mormon Moment is over unless Obama’s second term is an economic disaster. Of course, that’s a pretty big “unless”.

    I’m a little bit bemused by your reference to Tea Party crazies. The presidential election shows that the public is still almost evenly split. There can be NO tea party Senators up for reelection before 2016, so none were removed from the Senate. There were no new Tea Party Senators added. That’s ALL. The influence of the Tea Party in the House also was little changed; the Republicans only lost seven seats and will continue to present a united front. Your “pragmatic government that represents all the constituents without attempting to demonize or marginalize any of them” HAS TO APPLY to the Tea Party as well. The Tea Party was decisive in electing a Republican House in 2010 and were voted back in by their districts.

    Compromise has to involve some combination of the right moving to the left or the left moving to the right. If the Republicans simply voted “present” and let the Dems do what they wanted to ram through, well, we’d be back to before 2010 when the Repubs were road kill. We all recall how well that worked out for the Dems by the next election, don’t we? So my better nature says to oppose such a “let the Wookie win, R2″ strategy, but I must admit it is tempting to say “raise the taxes on business and the rich, cut defense, delay entitlement reform” — in other words, give the Dems what they ask — and watch the repeat of the 2009 experiment. If it works, great for all of us. If not, I don’t think the American people will give the Dems a third “do over” for a generation.

    Of course, if the Dems aren’t that confident of their ideas, I’d be happier if they’d move a bit more to the right. I’d like the country to be around for my daughter to grow old.

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  25. Will on November 8, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    The sad thing illustrated from this election was not from either candidate, but from the electorate. Reading the exit polls it is clear the decision to re-elect Obama was made out of fear and not hope. Government employee’s feared they will either lose their job or get their pay cut substantially if Romney were elected. Welfare/Medicare recipients feared they would lose their benefits, or have them substantially cut. Fear from college students the Federal government’s role in student loans would be significantly diminished if Romney were elected. Fear from the unemployed and those on food stamps that they would need to become more independent if Romney were elected. Fear from those approaching retirement that the retirement age would be extended. Fear from labor unions that labor laws would be changed to favor the right to work. In general, fear that we would need to do more for ourselves, and be less reliant on others. That is what lost Tuesday.

    The problem, as so appropriately taught by Margaret Thatcher is that under this plan you will eventually run out of other people’s money. We already have run out of other peoples money. It is further problematic that the electorate has decided ‘ask not what you can do for yourself, but what the government can do for you.’ As so appropriately illustrated in Helaman 5:2, this will lead to our destruction. When, not if but when, it collapses it will be those that depend on the goverment that will be impacted the most.

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  26. Will on November 8, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    I think this better states what I said and what we can look to under Obama…

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/el-erian-depressing-numbers-greece-212009622.html

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  27. Geoff - A on November 8, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Will, There are countries with compassionate governments that do more for their citizens but also run a ballanced budget. It is just a question of priorities and the Right is no more noble in it’s choice than the left which others beleive is more noble.

    One of my concerns is that I believe it will be very difficult for a missionary to convince anyone from the left side of politics to think there is a place for them in Romneys mormonism, which is the only one most of them have seen developed. Is the church to go to all the world or only the right? Most of the world is to the left of Romney.

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  28. FireTag on November 8, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Geoff – A:

    True, but then most of the world is to the left of America, period.

    Many on the American right want compassion and a balanced budget. We tend to think we’ve let compassion get ahead of either party’s desire to pay for it. Instead, we enjoy being compassionate, as does Europe, while in practice expecting our children and grand children to pay the price. (If the price is out of sight, it is out of mind.)

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  29. Will on November 8, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Geoff,

    “Most of the world is left of Romney”

    True, and the reason there are so many problems.

    Compassion? Is it compassionate to pay someone to be poor? It is compassionate to do something for someone that they can and should so for themselves?

    We teach these things in the Gospel of Jesus Christ because they are true. We encourage independence as it translates into a positive self image, not because we are greedy.

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  30. hawkgrrrl on November 8, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Got to love the euro-centrism: “Most of the world is left of the US,” excluding the billions in Asia and the middle east of course. I am guilty of the same viewpoint often.

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  31. el oso on November 8, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Looking back with 2 days of hind sight I want to add to the comments of Will #25 about voting on fear.
    I live in a deep red area of the country that saw few campaign adds. We actually heard a little less spin here. I have talked with many since the election and asked them “What will Obama do over the next 4 years?” No one knows anything substantial. The biggest consensus in terms of any policy is that he will let the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year. (ie. do nothing)
    Most people at least knew Romney would get rid of Obamacare and not raise income taxes, and probably tackle excessive spending.
    One other comment. The stock market did not really like the election outcome. I think that they hoped that either Romney would win, or that the Senate would go to the republicans in order to have less divided government.

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  32. hawkgrrrl on November 8, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    I don’t know why Wall Street wouldn’t be thrilled with an Obama win – who bailed them out? I’m joking; I do know why the unease. There are companies that fear the impacts of taxes and regulations and not balancing the budget.

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  33. el oso on November 8, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Hawk,
    Are the billions in Asia really on the right? The big Asian countries; China, India, & Japan, seem to be to the left of the US or the same. Our nearest neighbors in Europe and Latin America are predominantly to the left of the US.

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  34. hawkgrrrl on November 8, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    I would say the Asian countries are so far left they turned the corner and ended up on the far right (in some ways). They are far more socially conservative. They are less “open market” and more communitarian. In short, they are both more left and more right.

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  35. Douglas on November 11, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    It’s not so much that Obama WON the election (though that’s exactly the result), he did get nine million FEWER votes than his previous tally. The trouble is, Romney got two million less than McCain’s lackluster showing in aggregate votes. So even though Mitt did better in terms of electoral vote count and percentage, his campaign was still a dismal failure. I’ve seen an analysis that shows that had Romney even retained the same vote count (overall and distributed amongst the states) that McCain did, he’d have won the Electoral College handily while still having fallen slightly short in the popular vote. Any speculations as to how the country would have reacted to that?
    There are many factors. Whining about the “liberal media” is a non-starter, Republicans since Nixxon (mispelling intentional) have had to deal with the jackals and talking head twits in the “mainstream” media, and Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes found a way to win anyway. Mitt did seem “too nice” and lacked the killer instinct to find a way to hammer his opponent on his record. He also, being “moderate”, could not (1) convince that he’d have been too much different than the incumbent, e.g., ObamaCare versus ObomneyCare, and (2) since the Democrats were selling the “Blame Shrub” line (a load of B.S. after four years of Obama’s reign, but it still sold to the ‘free-cheese and cell-phones’ crowd), Mitt utterly failed to give disaffected fiscal conservatives and moderates a reason to trust a Republican again. FInally, and the media is having none of it, the ‘anti-Mormon’ factor cannot be discounted. Not the leftists who lump the LDS along with the “Christian Right”, rather, the “Evangelicos” and similar so-called “Christians” who can’t get past their own religious bigotry. If ANYONE could demonstrate an ability to live the principles of his own faith while respecting the views of others, it’s Mitt.
    And this coming from a guy, who, seeing how predictions that Romney was closing it enough to have a faint chance in California, gritted his teeth and voted Republican, but now wishes he’d contributed to the Libertarians’ record tally. Our day will yet come…

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