Sunday, September 09, 2012

Obama remains a shoe-in for reelection

I should have made this post months ago, like back in the spring, but better late than never. Nothing has really changed since then as far as the big picture. Although there are lots of different polls and opinions on how the presidential election will play out, after a lot of poking around I have settled on two for how I view the prospective outcome of the election.
First, the RealClearPolitics composite poll provides a more stable and (hopefully) reliable indicator than the noisy jitters of the individual polls. Obama has consistently held the lead in the RCP composite poll. It was a tie briefly in the lull between the two conventions, but Obama is back to a 1.8% lead. Obama also leads with 221 electoral votes to Romney's 191.
The second indicator is the Intrade open prediction market where people are actually bet real money on the outcome. Obama has consistently been the leader. Currently he as at 58% to 42% for Romney. Romney got a boost from Ryan and a small boost from the convention, but Obama quickly rebounded.
In short, Obama remains a slam-dunk shoe-in for reelection.
As I like to tell people, all Obama has to do is smile and keep his shoes shined, and either buff his flag pin or appear in rolled-up shirtsleeves.
Could the weak economy derail Obama? No way. A weak economy actually works in Obama's favor. He has an excellent record of being a great steward for a recovery from a very dismal financial and economic crisis, thanks to financial professionals such as Bernanke and Geithner and Summers, with a few solid Republicans in cabinet positions. When the economy is great, people want government out of the way, but when the economy is weak, people want a helping hand from government. If Obama had been completely incompetent and screwed up a robust economy then he'd be shown his way out the door by voters, but he's already done much better than that. On the other hand, the economy is too weak and with too little time for it to get a lot better before the election, so there is zero chance that the economy (e.g., unemployment) will be so much better by election day that voters would be ready to return to a you're-on-your-own free market conservative Republican form of government.
All of that said, voters aren't so sold on a purely Progressive Liberal government, so with one hand they will hand Obama his re-election, but with the other hand they will give him an ideologically divided Congress that will have zero tolerance for any major "progressive" legislation.
I'll probably update this post a few times before the election, but I am confident that the overall prospect will remain unchanged.

-- Jack Krupansky


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