Wassup wassup? I apologize for my lack of posts lately…even though I’m now on summer break and have no legitimate excuse I haven’t been posting because, well, frankly, everything in the news these days is such utter bullshit (can I say that word? Is this a family blog? Sorry Wiesman.). I mean, seriously, go to CNN.com right now, here are the lead headlines:
Edwards jury reaches verdict on one count
Baseball and steroids: ten years later
Now look at the “Featured Stories”
Pastor: Government should kill gays
Were there more Manson murders?
Gonzales on drawing the Hispanic vote
Martin Short deflects Kathie Lee gaffe
Rondo’s heroics not enough
Busting the Obama ‘birther’ conspiracy (ED NOTE: PIHSPGIOWHJGPSOJGSDPIGSGSIHGSPFGF)
Opinion: Inspiring life, over too soon
‘Catch Me If You Can’ con man redeemed
Kid on anesthesia: ‘I feel dizzaaay’
I swear I’m not making this up.
“But inuyesta, that’s not fair,” you say. “CNN’s real news goes on the ‘Latest News’ sidebar, everyone knows that.” Oh, really? Let’s take a look at some of the headlines there:
Dragon space capsule splashes down
Mom: My son ‘was no zombie’
New images: Miami face-bite attack
Should NYC tell you what to drink?
Bloomberg targets salt, sugar, smoking
Conspiracy at NBA draft lottery?
Porn actor suspected in body parts case
End of galaxy as we know it?
One wild rant by a sports broadcaster
Pop singer Alejandro Sanz marries
French Open fashion hits…and misses
Dr. Oz reveals secret of the G-spot
Does dog share your personality?
Hey airlines, don’t split families
Yes, I skipped over the occasional “substantive” headline like U.S. tourist kidnapped in Egypt and Top bishop OK’d abusive priest payouts, but honestly.
Anyhow, election predicting is one thing I can definitely do. I’ll show my map first and then give commentary.
As you can see, this projection is the same as Wiesman’s, except that I have moved Florida into the Blue column to give Obama a victory of 332-206. Here’s my reasoning for that move:
1. I predict Obama’s popularity will continue to improve as election season wears on. The economy will continue to improve (barring some natural or man-made catastrophe), and it will become increasingly clear that there is only one adult in this race and he’s not from Massachusetts. In particular, I think the debates are going to be particularly kind to President Obama. Furthermore, if the Ron Paul devotees have anything to say about it, Mitt Romney won’t be enjoying the post-convention bump that Republicans typically experience. Add all this together, and I think Obama can pencil in an extra 1-3% on top of his current poll numbers in all the swing states.
2. Florida is not Mitt Romney’s sort of state. If you’ll remember, Romney won the incredibly important Florida primary by flooding the state with a torrent of negative attacks on Newt Gingrich. Romney enjoyed a 5:1 spending advantage over Gingrich in that race and though he won by 15 points, turnout was down by over 300,000 voters, a 15% decrease in turnout in a state whose population has grown by nearly 3% in the same period. As the exit poll data showed that night, this is not a state in which the conservative base is particularly enamored of Mitt Romney and presidential elections are all about turning out your base.
3. Demographics. I suppose this could be folded into “Florida is not Mitt Romney’s sort of state,” but it’s important enough to get its own header. Florida has the largest population (17.3%) of elderly citizens in the United States, which is significant both because older voters have higher turnout than other age cohorts and because Republicans in Congress have been lining up behind Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which would slash Social Security and Medicare. Obama has already been hammering this plan as “social Darwinism,” and we can expect his attacks on the Ryan budget to intensify as Election Day draws nearer. I expect senior citizens to be highly mobilized in this election, which can only bode poorly for Romney in Florida. It is also worth noting that Florida has large Hispanic, African-American, and Jewish populations that should also be in Obama’s camp, although Wiesman was correct to note that GOP voter suppression acts of late may be successful in limiting the effect of those groups.
4. I’m just a homer. Goes without saying.
Other than that I don’t have too many thoughts that differ from Wiesman’s. I was sorely tempted to put North Carolina into the blue column, and I was reaaalllllyyyyyy sorely tempted to call an upset in Arizona. The only reason I didn’t is that I feel those are the first two states (along with Missouri and Indiana) are among the first Obama would abandon if he ever felt a pinch in resources. I am still very convinced, however, that Arizona is ripe for a blue takeover soon.