As I've made some comments on Twitter and a few blog entries here about the US Presidential election 2012, let me do my projection, now, one week before the election. This blog entry is not about mobile phones or tech or social media.
This year the polling on the candidates has been exceptionally stable. I would normally say one week before a tight election that its still too tight and difficult to call, but this time, the significant state votes seem to not move at all. I think most of the electorate has long since decided on President Obama and Governor Romney and the tiny slice of undecideds will not matter anymore, as they will roughly split near half in any case. The polls right now on average by RealClearPolitics say Romney is slightly ahead at 0.9% of the total popular vote nationally, but Obama holds a steady lead in the swing states, and a clear lead in the Electoral College. I think the Obama ground game will reverse the popular vote in the end (most analysts and pundits credit the Democrats as having a better ground game to 'turn out the vote' but also, they say Romney in 2012 is far better than McCain was in 2008, so the benefit to Obama will be smaller)
So I'm ready to call it. I say Obama takes 49% of the popular vote, barely above what Romney gets but significantly less than what Obama got in 2008. Romney will land in the 48% range (there are third party candidates who will take a couple of %). But that is not how the President is decided, the popular vote. It is decided by the Electoral College, ie by state and its size. By Electoral College this will not be a close election. I project Obama takes 303 Electoral College votes to Romney's 235. The solid states to both sides go without any surprises (Alabama, Utah, Texas etc vote safely Republican; while California, New York, Illinois etc vote safely Democratic). There are 9 battleground states, and I predict they split this way:
Florida goes safely Romney relatively early in the voting.
Nevada is not even close; also Wisconsin and Ohio go to Obama (and with Ohio, so goes the election).
The states of Iowa, New Hampshire and Colorado will be close but go to Obama. Colorado count may go long.
North Carolina will be a long count into the night, but in the end Romney takes the Tar Heel State by a slim margin.
Virginia will be most contested, decided by less than 100,000 votes but Obama ekes it out in the end, late in the night.
Thats how I see it. Obama will win the Electoral College and I believe it will be 303 EC votes for Obama, 235 EC votes for Romney. If its a really lucky day for the Republicans, Romney will lose by a ratio of only 290 EC votes to 248 EC votes if Romney manages to take Virginia too. And if its a good day for the President, that lands him also North Carolina and he'll win by 318 EC votes to 220 EC Votes. But thats about the game, there. Obama wins between anything like 290 to 318 Electoral College votes, and Romney loses with between 220 to 248 EC votes. And I'll call it 303 Obama, 235 Romney with Virginia going for the President in the end.
I can't see anything now changing this election anymore (this side of an Iranian nuclear bomb test). Romney cannot suddenly reverse enough of these battleground states of Nevada, Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire and Colorado to take this election (and also carry Virginia and North Carolina and Florida, only Florida seems safely in Romney's hands right now).
Romney desperately needs Ohio with its 18 EC votes and that is not going to happen. When the exit polls are studied, the deciding factor which wins the State of Ohio for Obama will be the auto industry rescue and Romney's editorial 'Let Detroit Go Bankrupt'. Rather ironic for a 'car industry guy' son of big car boss, whose father also ran for President, to go down writing a negative editorial about the car industry. Thats how I see the US Presidential election this year 2012 and we will know in one week. I will be up all night of course watching the 24 hour news channels..
And to be clear, this is the full set of states I project Obama will carry on November 6: CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, IL, IA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, VT, VA, WA, WI and the District of Colombia (Washington DC). 25 states and DC totalling 303 Electoral Votes.
For Romney, I project the challenger to carry these states: AL, AK, AZ, AR, FL, GA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MS, MO, MT, NE, NC, ND, OK, SD, TN, TX, UT, WV, WY, also 25 states totalling 235 Electoral Votes.
PS those who don't know, I am NOT a US citizen I cannot vote in these elections, this is simply a fascination and hobby for me, following the US presidential elections over the decades (I've monitored them since Nixon-McGovern 1972, and lived in the USA from 1983-1995 so I saw closely the elections of Reagan-Mondale 1984, Bush 1-Dukakis 1988 and Bush 1-Clinton 1992)