Friday, September 21, 2012

Figuring Out The U.S. Presidential Race

Figures, numbers, facts, and values! When checked and verified, they relay strong messages. It is next to impossible to argue against them. Contra factum argumentum non valet ilatio  (Arguing against facts is an invalid inference).

To those who speak English as a second language, phrases like, “let us figure this out,” “sorting out the numbers”, and “numbers tell better stories” become even more significantly meaningful.

Looking at the current U.S. Presidential race, the Republicans have a built-in competitive edge. The unemployment rate is still high at 8.1%. Polls show that 62% of the electorate think we are in the wrong track/direction; there is widespread dissatisfaction with the pace of the recovery; the suffering of those who have been out of job for more than a year continues; there is the continuing budget deficit; the tremendous increase of the country’s debt.  And the overwhelming opposition to the Obama Health Care Law by the Republican base should translate into winning numbers for their presidential timber, right?

Wrong.  In the latest poll conducted by the NBC News and the Wall Street Journal from September 12-16, 2012 and published on September 18th, Obama  leads Romney by 50% to 45% among likely voters.

In another poll conducted by UPI from September 8-14, 2012, 49% of likely voters said they will vote for Obama, 45% said Romney.  A Rasmussen report presents a closer race, (Obama – 47%, Romney – 45%) but the latter’s reading of the Electoral College tells a better story.

According to Rasmussen, today Obama has 247 electoral votes; Romney has 196; and Toss Up States – 95. Among the Toss-Up States, Obama leads in all except in Missouri.  Furthermore, Obama’s lead in the swing States are widening. In Wisconsin, the home State of Romney’s VP Ryan, the CBS-New York Times poll which was conducted from September 11-17, 2012, Obama is ahead with 51% to Romney’s 45%. In Virginia, a Washington Post survey shows 52% for Obama and 44% for Romney. Even the latest poll conducted by Fox News give Obama the lead in Florida 49-44; and in Ohio, 49-42.

In a close race, it is always wise to rely on your home State. Gore lost to W. Bush because he failed to deliver Tennessee, his home State where he was even an elected Senator before becoming Vice President. Romney has virtually two home States: Michigan where he was born and raised; and Massachusetts where he was even an elected Governor.

In Michigan, a survey conducted by MRG from September 10-15, 2012 shows Obama leading Romney 48% to 42%. In Massachusetts, the latest survey of Public Polling shows Obama with 57% and Romney with 39%.

I have two close friends who are very serious, sincere, committed and persuasive Filipino Republican leaders. In fact, if they go back to the Philippines, I am sure that both could get elected either as Governor or Congressman in their respective provinces.

In the United States, one lives in California and the other resides in Pennsylvania where they command a following. My objective analysis is that in California with 55 electoral votes, even if my friend registers and convinces most, if not all,  of the Filipinos to vote for Romney, the votes would be rendered useless because of the Electoral College System. According to the latest survey conducted, Obama leads 57% to 35%. In fact, Asian Americans are going for Obama overwhelmingly. They give him a favorable rating of 73% compared to Romney’s 27%.

In Pennsylvania where my other Republican friend lives, the numbers tell a similar story.  In the survey conducted by Muhlenberg/Morning Call from September 10-16, 2012, Obama leads Romney 50% to 41%. Again, even if most if not all of the Filipinos in the State vote for Romney, the Electoral College System renders them useless.

Why do the numbers favor Obama’s re-election despite the continuing economic woes as reflected in the unemployment rate, budget deficit, debt burden,  and rising healthcare costs?

The figures also provide the answer. In the NBC/WSJ survey, Obama is deemed better prepared to lead the country by 47% to Romney’s 36%.  With 42% more people now thinking that things would be better in the next 12 months while just 18% think it will get worse, there is more optimism today than in earlier surveys.

On “looking out for the middle class,” Obama is favored 53% to Romney’s 34%. As a Commander-in-Chief, Obama is preferred by 45% over Romney’s 38%.  On dealing with issues concerning women, Obama is preferred two to one.

Resources, Organization, and Image (ROI) are factors that affect presidential runs. I discussed this to some extent in last week’s column.

Romney has the Resources not only with his own personal wealth, the support of rich friends, and the Super PACS.  He can battle with Obama on this factor.

Romney has the Organization but may not be as committed, as effective, as efficient and as competent as the machinery of George W. Bush who beat Gore and Kerry. Other Republicans have, in fact, criticized his campaign as incompetent.

His Image has also become an issue. While earlier he was seen as a better Economic Manager than Obama by a wide margin, he is now running even with the latter.  With his gaffes in the foreign policy arena; and his image of “not caring about 47% of Americans because they do not pay taxes and would vote for Obama no matter what”, there is a growing demand among some Republican political consultants to re-organize and clean up his Image. Right now, he is no Reagan, no Bush 1, and no Bush 2, not even Ryan per some pundits.

Can Romney still win?

Numbers should help give the answer: The amount of time allotted to prepare for the debates; the number of points delivered by Romney in all the debates; the number of days spent for the remaining campaign season until election time; the amount of time and effort spent by a big number of campaign volunteers; the unemployment rate in the months preceding the election; the Dow Jones volume; and the substantial amount of money spent for ads and infomercials destroying Obama, and projecting a better Image for Romney.

A show of a little more caring toward the “victims” of an unjust society coupled with prayers might help. After all, miracles do happen!

1 comment:

  1. Employment numbers are less important facts than the number of times Candidate Romney puts his foot in his mouth. President Obama made one mistake, accepting responsibility for this dog of economy, rather than laying the mother of all collapses off onto Republicans for four years. He was naive to think the trillions of dollars of wealth ripped from businesses and homeowners in the Bush collapse would come back in a year or two.