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November 06, 2012

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Stoli89

Tomi, I really enjoyed your post and as a fellow political junkie, agree with most of the observations. However, I'm more skeptical that the Republican's will take the correct lesson from this cycle and make any changes toward a more centrist platform. The reason is not because the Republican political leadership doesn't realize the necessity of said move (demographic trends, etc.), but because there are serious profits at stake for a network like FOX, which has monopolized the Extreme Right viewership and will continue to undermine any efforts that make the word "compromise" a good word in the Republican dictionary. As long as this polarizing, corporatist element within the fourth estate continues to harness and leverage the power of this vocal minority, the overall Republican Party (and country) will suffer. The racists have once again found a cozy home in a mainstream party and I highly doubt they will give it up easily. Especially when they never liked Romney and always felt he was a loser, to begin with.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Stoli

Good points! Actually, now thinking out loud, if the GOP and its supporters are given choice of controlling the House and soon (supposedly, in their minds) taking over the Senate too (they were supposed to do that this time, but the few rape comments ruined it) - rather than having the Presidency, the wealthy supporters will prefer the House. That way they can make the laws that they want... Its not that they would 'not' want the Presidency too, but yeah, a big money constituency will not want to jeopardize the House and that is mostly held by ever more pure conservatives, who sign up to Norquist's tax pledge etc. And then the state parties help redistrict and jerrymander the voting back home to ensure that these seats are safe... Good point. Never thought of it from that angle. So they might 'know' and/or 'learn' the lessons needed, within the GOP leadership, but not even be able to pursue them, due to their constituency. Sad..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

don_afrim@twitter

I say Romney will win. Only because it's already long decided! If voting would make a difference they wouldn't let you do it. i.e.: Bilderberg Group. ;)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi don

LOL. I'm still one of those romantics who believes a vote is counted, I know its a silly thing, but what can I do, thats how I still believe.. :-)

Tomi :-)

khim

It's really funny. Seemingly intelligent guys miss the point so, soo, sooo totally it's not even funny.

Consider just three facts:
1. Any sensible Republican candidate could have won this election by landslide.
2. They all "decided to sit this election out" (and instead left clowns to lose the election).
3. Even Romney avoided these sure-to-win "economy, economy, economy" references.

These are the facts I've not pulled from my ass, they are from your own bloody post!

Just ask yourself: "why"?

The answer: they *all* know "ever improving economy" is not in the cards (not so sure about Romney, but clown is clown, he's not supposed to know the script). "The economy is roaring, the Afghanistan war is over, the deficits will be coming down and are nearing zero" is pure fantasy. In reality in 2016 we'll fondly recall 2008 as "oh that fake scare?".

*That* is why sensible Republicans skipped this cycle, *that* is why fake "leaks" made sure Romney will lose, and *that* is why Obama will not be in annals of history "as one of the greatest Presidents of all time". Sure, he does everything he can to mitigate the disaster, he's relatively successful, but well, disaster will happen on his watch, so how can you call such a man "great", let alone "greatest"?

It'll be interesting to see how much standard of living in US will actually crash (there are different estimates: from super-optimistic 20% to realistic 30% to pessimistic 50%), but crash we'll see. Oh, sure it'll be embellished by statistic (we'll probably never see numbers like this shown by official statistic) but people from "former middle class" will be embittered to the extreme.

And *this* will define the 2016 election, not some fantasies about "three branches of government" and tit-for-tat between Obama and Hillary.

It's waaay too early so discuss 2016: so many facts are just not known...

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi khim

Intersting viewpoint, not quite sure if I understood, but did you mean to say, that you think the economy will now, from 2012 to 2016 become so bad that it is why sensible Republicans skipped this cycle?

I don't disagree at all, that a double-dip recession is still possible, but it is considered by most published economists as VERY unlikely now, and most published economists DO believe the US economy is well on the mend - not certain, but well on the mend. Three years of job growth, the unemployemnt rate has come down from 10% to the 7.9% it is now and the US economy is generating new jobs, not losing them, which it did the most of the last months of Bush's presidency. If you recall, the Romney economists said that the economy will 'automatically' generate 12M jobs in the next four years, simply due to the coming growth in the economy.

I don't doubt it is possible the economy will still crash - a budget crisis and deadlock between Congress and Obama could drive the US to the cliff, but even that I don't see stopping this economy now, economies are cyclical, and the US economy is in its upward cycle right now - not my words, so say most published economists. The growth rate is SLOW yes, but that is partly structural in the economy, many of the jobs that previously accompanied up-ticks in the economy, hiring new secretaries, accountants, etc - are now done by computer so many those jobs will never come back. 'Anemic' growth may be the rule for industrialized countries, so say many - by not by any means all - economists not just about the US economy but all industrialized world countries.

However, khim, this blog was here for 8 years, I'll be here still in 2016, why don't you come back and lets talk about which of us was more accurate? Cheers!

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Wayne Borean


I'm Canadian. Neither Obama or Romney could get elected here, both are far too right wing, and far too identified with the big corporations.

Obama won this election when he changed his stance on same sex marriage. That's between 4 to 10% of the electorate locked in. Yes, a lot would have already voted Democrat, but a lot would have gone Republican if both parties were against them being able to marry.

And of course Obama wins with women, almost all have used birth control at some point during their lives.

Demographics.

The Republicans want to win in 2016, they need someone like Meghan McCain, young, smart, with a real understanding of the electorate (but not necessarily female, though that would probably help).

All of the Republican presidential candidates were woefully out of touch. The only one who showed any sense was Huntsman, and even he was forced to the right.

I pick Obama as beating Romney by about 5%. I can't see him going much higher than that, even the best logistics can only deliver so any million voters to the polls.

Wayne

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Wayne

Me too (am Finnish, can't vote in this election..) Cheers! Good points, agree on the analysis and yeah, haha, in Finland too, most Democrats would be seen as the right wing of our conservative party haha..

This year's Republican field was truly astonishing and I am afraid, looking at the polls as I'm a 'numbers guy' that this ends up a 1% or 2% election, and if so, then the Republicans can very easily think, this was just the wrong guy, he should have been more honestly conservative, and they can put up yet more extreme candidates next time. If the election is like you expect, 5%, that would be big enough to scare them to think straight about this, not all, but many of the smarter leaders...

Tomi Ahonen :-)

cycnus

I wish the US election will end fast enough and we got the REGULAR apple vs. nokia vs. samsung vs. sony vs. LG vs. RIM soon...

I really waiting whatever Tomi having to get high end fast... LOL

khim

Tomi T Ahonen: Intersting viewpoint, not quite sure if I understood, but did you mean to say, that you think the economy will now, from 2012 to 2016 become so bad that it is why sensible Republicans skipped this cycle?

Exactly.

Tomi T Ahonen: But it is considered by most published economists as VERY unlikely now, and most published economists DO believe the US economy is well on the mend - not certain, but well on the mend.

You mean the same economists who spent last 30 years publishing papers which explained how you can endlessly grow on a finite planet?

Tomi T Ahonen: Three years of job growth, the unemployemnt rate has come down from 10% to the 7.9% it is now and the US economy is generating new jobs, not losing them, which it did the most of the last months of Bush's presidency.

That's true: US grows. Because Europe and Middle East is tanking. But we are at "zero game" stage: country XXX (be it US, Germany or China) can only grow if some other country YYY (be it Greece, Lybia or China) is tanking (world economy is shrinking since 2005 with no end if sight). At some point in a next few years growth in US will stall (either because remaining countries will invent some way to disengage themselves from US or because they all will be ruined). At this point US will stop growing, too.

Tomi T Ahonen: If you recall, the Romney economists said that the economy will 'automatically' generate 12M jobs in the next four years, simply due to the coming growth in the economy.

And I'm even pretty sure Romney believes that. Which is kind of sad. But as I've said: clown is clown, he's not supposed to know the script.

Tomi T Ahonen: Three years of job growth, the unemployemnt rate has come down from 10% to the 7.9% it is now.

Yes.

Tomi T Ahonen: US economy is generating new jobs, not losing them.

No. See, for example, here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/05/10/jobless-rate-could-be-as-high-as-111-percent/

Percentage of adult Americans in the labor force goes down, that's true. I'm not sure if it's some games with statistic or if people for some reason decide not to work (why?) but long term this trend is non sustainable.

Think about: unprecedented spending, series of programs designed to "jumpstart" growth and US have less workers (as percentage of adult Americans) then we had three years ago? *This* is growth? Really?

As I've said: crash is inevitable. There are *huge* number of variables, there are many way this crash can happen, but "ever improving economy" is not in the cards.

Simplest possible difference (extreme versions): if Feds will print trillions then everyone will have money but you'll need wheelbarrow to pay for a dinner in a nice restaurant (see Zimbabwe). If Feds will stop printing money then prices will rapidly go down but nobody will be able to buy anything (see Great Depression).

IOW: economy oriented for growth must be radically redesigned because growth (goods, not money, I mean) is no longer physically possible. Such radical changed are *never* easy or simple. See Herbert Hoover. Rexford Tugwell said "practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs that Hoover started" but is Hoover perceived as one of "greatest Presidents of all time" or as "total failure of a President"?

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi khim

thanks for coming back and yeah, we understand each other. Ok. So you are arguing 'US economy will have massive crash no matter what' for several good reasons, some of which I agree with. I trust you would also admit, that view is far minority, and its even less believed by 'mainstream' political leadership, economic leadership, financial industry leadership in the USA. So that view of 'inevitable US crash soon' is far more believed outside of USA, looking at their spending and value of US dollar and various pretty wreckless policies? Not to mention how close the US system is to total systematic crash from major disasters like electrical grid total collapse as nearly happened a few years ago when one third of USA went dark.

With that, while yeah, I'll agree that is a distict possibility and the US policies are perilously pushing it towards that kind of situation - that is hardly thought of by most political leaders or their economic advisors? I would suggest it is not in the least bit on the minds of those leading Republican candidates who decided not to run this time. There were plenty of politicos around Autumn of last year, who were saying the picture is far too rosy for an incumbent president, doesn't make sense to run against him now, easier fight against the next Democrat in 2016..

Make sense?

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

cygnus!

Cheers! I'll be back after tomorrow. Give us this day still with the US election, the next one won't be until 2016 and I promise I won't do the mid-terms in 2014 haha..

Tomi :-)

Wayne Borean


Tomi,

Did you see Jim Cramer's prediction? He thinks Obama will get 440 Electoral College votes ;)

Damn, the man must be doing some good drugs.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/opinions/outlook-crystal-ball-contest/

Wayne

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Wayne,

Yeah, I saw it, and later someone did the math to count up what all states Obama would need to win to get to 440, it included.. Texas for example (one of reddest states) haha.. Yeah. That could have happened, if Obama had gone from 2008 when he won by 7% to now being ahead by say, 12%. Then maybe Texas could be in play, but not if all polls say the national vote is at 1% or at best 3%.

Cramer has his moments, always entertaining, but I wouldn't bet my house on his financial (or electoral) advice haha

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Winter

It seems the heat is on in Ohio about the secret last minute software update for the voting process.

What are the odds of Obama losing the election if the Ohio voting machines simply ignore voting and declare Romney the winner?

Roger

This article is one giant biased opinion piece, and yet you start by saying "I go by numbers".

I would venture most of those who follow/read you do not do so for your politics. If you are wrong tonight, what does that tell us about your statement "I go by numbers"? It might call in to question your approach to what you do and where/how you collect your numbers. If you can be wrong about something this big, why would your opinion and the way you collect numbers be trusted for something much less important.

Just saying...

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Winter and Roger

Winter - yeah.. if there is voting machine manipulation, then yeah, thats a crime and what can we do? There have been voting machine (and actual ballot) technical problems before, but as far as I know, there hasn't been an actual major conspiracy (yet, or at least known) of where someone stole an election, even one state, with systematic machine fraud. It could happen and may happen some day, but in that case, the fact that there are many states who vote independently for US president, the risk of getting caught in one state, while still losing the actual election, would be pretty huge for the campaign attempting it.. Yet, of course it could happen

Roger - yeah. Its an opinion piece - as is this WHOLE BLOG. I am not a journalist, I write for fun here, to my readers who share in it, if and when. But as to those numbers, are you suggesting there exists any credible public source polling data which contradicts mine, at a level of 'majority of polls last week' for example, in the battleground states? Of course not, you know if you go to RCP ie Real Clear Politics, you find all the major polls not just listed, but averaged, and if you just go by those polls and their averages, Romney loses. Now, it is definitely possible that polls are wrong, they have often been in the past, but a SERIES of polls over a very short period of time, literally days before an election, they are not off by several percent. If the average of 16 polls in Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada and Ohio have Obama ahead by between 3% and 5% - as the RCP stats say now, based on the past weekend - that will not move by any Republican fantasy magic, in two days. And if Obama wins those four states, he is re-elected the President.

I do go by the numbers, and since you challenge me, I must insist, you tell me what numbers do go against those I just listed.

Now, as to my approach, what I do, and if I am right or wrong - you certainly do not know me, and why would you. I regularly write about technology, not politics. But I am an author of 12 books, I lecture at Oxford University and I have a long history and this blog is very highly rated and credible. One of the things I always do - ALWAYS - is keep all past blogs here, warts and all - AND i always return here when I am wrong, as we often are when making predictions in the tech space. I am not about to run away from these points made in this blog, so please, Roger, do come back tomorrow when the numbers are in, and see if I was right or wrong on those points. Then we can continue a dialogue about the other more intangible suggestions I make in this opinion piece. But as to my integrity with my numbers and forecasts I stand by all of them, and never hide from mistakes, and take full ownership of whenever I do make a bad call. I have made my share over the years.

Thanks for visiting. Do you have any opinion actually on the ideas I had, for what happens to Romney & gang after they lose, or are you perhaps a brainwashed Republican who can't face facts?

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Roger

I made some simple points. Your bias is completely obvious, yet you claim to go by numbers. Read this post again and look for the adjectives. If your bias overpowers your reason, if you are wrong and continue to trust the sources for your 'numbers', you might need to share your alternate definition for 'brainwashed'.

I'll be sure to stop by later and admit if I am wrong.

darwinphish

Tomi: Very interesting and entertaining posts on the US election. Nice to see you broadening your reach.

FYI, William Taft was both President and a Supreme Court Justice (Chief Justice, in fact). No one else has been both. Taft never was in Congress, so no one has ever scored the branches of government hat trick.

@Wayne: I am Canadian, too. Obama would win here easily.

Wayne Borean


Tomi,

FYI, HuffPost has more recent polls than RCP. They use a different formula, but the numbers are fairly close.

As to what's wrong with the U.S.A., I used to do a lot of travelling there when I was still working sales. Got to meet several major politicians, including Mike Oxley and Mike Leavitt while attending industry meetings.

Americans are nice people overall. They are however woefully under-educated on average. The American educational system is terrible, and has been since at least the sixties. It appears that politicians of both parties like the electorate under-educated, otherwise the educational system would have been fixed by now.

The electorate just doesn't have a clue, and doesn't realize that their system is a good example of what Benito Mussolini called "Corporate Fascism."

It's really sad.

Wayne

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Roger, darwin and Wayne

Roger - thanks for coming back, but you made same assertion that my numbers are wrong, yet when I asked what numbers do you have to counter mine, you have none. I think this is not a fair dialogue. You make accusations, yet don't back your points up with any evidence. I stand by my numbers, and if you follow the politics, you know the Real Clear Politics numbers are considered unbiased and area regularly referenced by both sides of the aisle, as well as regularly in the mainstream press. Give me your numbers..

darwin - THANKS ! Yeah, didn't know that obviously, but Taft? Cool. So there is a kind of precedent and the bar has been set... But nobody did the triple (so far). I love this about the blog (and Twitter) that someone else knows and will post the comment.. Thanks!

Wayne - haha, yeah, I know. I graduated high school from Finland, then went to college in America, and felt most freshman and sophomore level courses were like high school basic courses for us in Finland. I totally agree, the education achievement of the general US public is very poor and worse yet, it is not getting better, it is falling even more behind other industrialized (and many developing) countries.

I know about Huffpo, read it quite regularly among my must-read political blogs from the very left (Daily Kos) to the very right (Drudge Report) but I find that many think Huffpo is biased to the left, so I use the RCP numbers as less controversial. It frustrates me at times, that they seem to cherry-pick and not have all polls, and also, that sometimes their own math is clearly wrong haha.. (maybe just my page is not updated, who knows)

You're right, that the US electorate has no idea how broken their system is, and worse, that their problems have mostly been solved by younger democracies who do it far more democratically and with less influence of money and corporations etc.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Martin von Willebrand

A detail: I believe there's a rule re United Nations. A national of one of the veto right holding countries may not become the General Secretary. So that's ruled out.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Martin

Oh, what a shame haha.. That does make sense and I now vaguely remember it too (too long since studied my foreign policy haha minor in college..) - so I guess my nomination as a Finn is still safe, eh?

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Roger

First, read my comments again. I have not said you are wrong. I asserted that if you are wrong, we then question how you choose the nubmers you used to draw your conclusions. Is there something wrong with that logic? Is the title of this post itself not an assertion of an outcome?

Second, what accusations are you talking about? The one accusation I have made is that your post is incredibly biased. Are you?

The 'evidence' of the simple point I am making is all on this page. It is biased. How does a reader separate the bias from the numbers or 'evidence'?

...


I also believe the education system in the USA is a complete joke. The saddest part is that we keep waiting for a broken government to fix the problem.

KPOM

The way I look at this election (not through Tomi's blue-tinted what's-good-for-Finland-is-good-for-America glasses), the Establishment candidate cost the GOP the White House and the social conservative candidates cost them the Senate. By any logic, with an economy this bad, and with so many vulnerable Democrats up for re-election, both should have been in GOP hands this January.

My guess is that the Establishment will realize that the social conservatives have become a drag on the party, and that the fiscal conservatives won't put up with the evangelicals for much longer. Perhaps the necessary purge will begin. Prior to Reagan, the evangelicals actually were a Democratic voting bloc, and the only evangelical Christian running in 2012 is Barack Obama. Philosophically, the evangelicals have more in common with the Democrats, anyway.

A good economy couldn't lift Al Gore in 2000, and it won't lift Hillary Clinton in 2016. Don't think "Obamacare" will become any more popular after it goes into full effect, because more of the negative effects will also become apparent. It may not ever be completely repealed, but the mandate may not survive the next GOP administration. Heck, even Barack Obama thought the individual mandate was a bad idea in 2008. He was right.

Also, don't underestimate the ability of the Democrats to overplay their hand just the way that George W. Bush did after 2004. He mistook a relatively narrow victory over Kerry as a mandate to push through his rather fiscally liberal agenda (expanding Medicare, increasing stimulus spending - whether through the Iraq War, a $600 tax credit to middle income taxpayers, etc.) which, mixed with his social conservative agenda got him labeled a right-wing extremist in the process. Obama shows no signs of being capable of "pulling a Clinton" and triangulating to the center. He's effective at dealing only with a legislature of his own party. Once he lost that advantage, he started practicing the same kinds of executive abuses that Bush II did (e.g. recess appointments when the Senate wasn't actually in recess, using executive orders to implement the DREAM Act when it stalled in Congress). Armed with more perceived political capital, he's likely to do the same, putting his party up for another smackdown in 2014.

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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