You and I should acknowledge the obvious: none of us are clairvoyant, so to claim absolute certainty concerning the outcome of the Presidential Election is, in many ways, an exercise in futility.
Now, with that obligatory disclaimer out of the way, let me explain why I believe Mitt Romney will become the 45th President of the United States.
Setting aside the jokes that Political Science is the “ultimate oxymoron,” the method behind the madness pertaining to successful campaigns is this: identify your voters, and make sure they show up in greater numbers than those supporting your opponent. It sounds incredibly simple, yet in many ways it is exceedingly difficult. That's why the money spent in the 2012 Presidential Campaign easily exceeds the billion dollar mark.
Here's what both Campaigns and the Super PACs have to show for all that dough—a race that is essentially tied. Sunday's Rasmussen Reports daily tracking poll has both candidates attracting 49% each, while the Washington Post/ABC News poll has Obama at 49% and Romney at 48%.
So, with the race that close, what gives Romney the advantage?
First, we have to get beyond the misleading shorthand we use for what will transpire on Tuesday. Instead of a “national election” for the Presidency, we really have fifty states using popular votes to determine which slate of electors from each state will cast votes as part of the Electoral College. 270 Electoral Votes are needed to win the Presidency; Obama has a lock on California's 55.
Romney will counter with Texas (38), Utah (6), and the eleven found here in Arizona.
Second, both candidates are desperately seeking “swingers,” or more accurately, swing states.
The USA Today/Gallup Poll from those twelve “toss up” states reveals yet another deadlock, with Obama and Romney tied at 48% apiece. Five of these states—Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania are tied—and the fact that they are now even can only be interpreted as good news for Romney.
It allows the challenger to “expand” the electoral map, as he did Sunday night with a visit to Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Third, there is a corresponding increase in excitement and intensity for the challenger. That Sunday night stop in suburban Philadelphia attracted a crowd of more than 20,000. To be fair, the
President drew a crowd of 13,500 in Cincinnati at about the same time, but Obama appeared alongside
Stevie Wonder, while Romney was working “solo,” devoid of any star power, other than his own.
Fourth, the vaunted “Chicago Machine” appears to be rusty. The old joke about voting early and often in Chicago appears to be outdated—at least, the “voting early” part. There has been a 57% decrease in early and absentee voting in Cook County, Illinois. That trend has to be worrisome for the President, because it strongly suggests a lack of intensity among likely Obama voters.
Finally, independents and undecided voters appear to be breaking for Romney. The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has the challenger ahead by 7% among those voters with no party affiliation.
If any voters remain undecided at this late date, you can expect them to opt for Romney. Why? The old political “rule of thumb” which has late undecideds breaking 4-to-1 for the challenger.
The bottom line?
Mitt Romney wins by a (“rule of”) thumb!
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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