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November 06, 2012


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 :-)


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.


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.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Roger

So did I get this right? You only question my numbers 'if I am wrong' ? Thats fair. I did use EVERY published poll in the past week in the four 'firewall' states that will deliver the election to Obama, so I was not in any way cherry-picking, and everybody else who has used those same polls would be equallly wrong. But I take your point, if you say that only if I am wrong, that then we should questoin how I found my numbers - that is certainly fair.

And obviously, then essentially the whole political polling profession will be in its biggest ever crisis, as the level of error would be bigger than it has ever seen (in major US elections, with Dewey's surprise win the nearest such case).

Biased? Of course I'm biased. Everyone is. Almost everything in this blog is CLEARLY conjecture and speculation about the future without a hint of any possible 'facts' and I have even some errors in it now, like Taft and the UN Secy Gen. But the early facts I do refer to, the polls suggest this election is beyond victory for Romney. The 'win' is not a fact, the polls are. And I am by no means the only person taking those polls to mean, the election is over. But I also make VERY clear, I make my judgement based on those polls, the only facts I claim, are those 16 polls in those four states that anyone can verify.

On the education system we agree :-)

Tomi Ahonen :-)


The thing with Canada is that, apart from socialized medicine, in some respects they are actually more capitalist than the US. There is no equivalent of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. They have substantially lower corporate tax rates. Oil and natural gas drilling are in the hands of provincial governments who are more flexible and willing to grant drilling permits.

Sadly, a Stephen Harper probably couldn't get nominated by either major party in the US as it stands. The evangelicals wouldn't like him in the GOP, and the Democrats wouldn't like his fiscal conservatism. There are few redeeming qualities about the GOP, and virtually nothing about the Democrats. Both are dominated by rights-violating control freaks. I think if the GOP purges the evangelicals they may be able to mine votes among disaffected Democrats. We might think of them as "Christie Democrats," though Christie's weight will likely dash any national political hopes he has. It's socially acceptable to ridicule someone's weight in the US (particularly on the left), even though 2/3 of Americans are overweight.


"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."

The decline of the primary and secondary education systems in the US can be traced to the 1960s, when federal involvement expanded. Sadly, neither party wants to reverse this. No Child Left Behind was an overwhelmingly bi-partisan bill. These kinds of things are better managed by the states. Sure, Mississippi won't manage their schools as well as Connecticut, but increasing federalization has just dragged everyone down. The rise of public sector unions has also hurt matters, since it has reduced accountability and made schools more expensive to operate. We need more Scott Walkers in more states.

Tomi T Ahonen


Haha, good points and we mostly agree. Definitely the establishment candidate cost them the Presidency and social conservatives cost them the Senate. A purge and revision to the Republican brand is needed.

I agree, a good economy alone is not enough, but its far better if you represent the incumbent, if that is so. Al Gore had to run away from Bill Clinton because Clinton was so unpopular leaving office. Assuming Obama isn't caught being unfaitful or suddenly in Iran-Contra style cock-ups, he will be a well liked President (his approval rating today is exactly 50.0% according to RCP). As he becomes the lame duck, the Republicans have less reason to feud with him and today his favorability is hurt by the massive Romney negative TV ad blitz etc. If the economy improves to reasonably well-performing by 2016, Obama will leave office as a well liked President. That means Hillary can easily say 'that was my administration' rather than run away from Obama like Gore did in 2000

Obamacare survival. I think it already enjoys a clear majority of US voter support, which will only get stronger as more benefits come online, it won't be gone any more than Social Security or Medicare..

But overplay their hand, yes, that is a definite danger, however, it is not a big danger as long as they don't control all three. As to pulling a Clinton, I trust Obama is the meticulous student constantly learning, as we've seen time and again, and his close association with Bill Clinton will give him ample opportunity to learn how to do the Clinton, but likely in 'Obama style' haha..


Tomi Ahonen :-)


Clinton wasn't unpopular at all. Al Gore and Bill Clinton never particularly cared for each other. If anything, it was Clinton who refused to give Gore more support, rather than Gore running away from Clinton. Up until the debates, Gore was leading.

Most polls show that Obamacare isn't very popular. Unlike Medicare and Social Security, Obamacare doesn't directly provide a new benefit. Like Dodd-Frank, it makes existing players more dominant and fails to address the key problems facing the system (which relate primarily to cost). It will put more people into Medicaid, which is an awful, massively underfunded system. More employers will stop providing health insurance, and the states are dragging their heels on setting up the "exchanges," (which offer one-size-fits-no-one packages). Even Illinois, a solidly Democratic state with only two Republicans elected statewide in 2010, has yet to set up an exchange.

You also confuse approval with likability. While 50% may "approve" of the president right now (Romney also scores similarly), that doesn't translate into likeability. The percentage of the population who strongly dislikes Obama is far greater than the percentage who strongly disliked Clinton. Even Clinton's critics acknowledged his ability to make a deal. At his core, Clinton was a moderate deal maker. Obama is neither moderate by American standards nor a deal maker. He barely got his own bills through when he had super-majorities, and he botched the debt ceiling deal last year (Boehner had supposedly agreed to $400 billion in tax increases and had an agreement in principle with Harry Reid when Obama scuttled the deal by asking for another $800 billion). IOW, he doesn't know when to say Yes to the deal.

I don't think Obama really is a meticulous student. He's just very good at playing a system. He played the delegate system like a violin in 2008 (Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote in the primaries). He didn't need to play the system in the fall of 2008 because he rode a wave, but his 2012 general election campaign looks a lot like his 2008 primary campaign.


The only way President Obama could win Texas is if he had the same dermatologist as Michael Jackson. Sorry, but calling Texans "right" leaning understates the magnitude of the racist agenda in that "country"...especially when you venture outside of urban areas and other places where they have... ... ...indoor plumbing.


I wonder if this voting machine was made by the same company that Mitt Romney's son's hedge fund owns:


@Stoli, racism is far more prevalent in the North than the South. The most racially segregated cities in the US are Milwaukee, Chicago, and New York. It is driven by housing policies set up in the 1960s and 1970s by northern Democrats keen on attracting a solid voter base. Reagan managed to win over the mostly white, blue collar northern Democrats in 1980 and 1984 (the "Reagan Democrats"), as did Bush I in 1988, but they returned to the Democratic fold under Clinton, a Southern Democrat. There was a popular notion in 2008 that Obama might similarly create an "Obama Republican" class made up of socially-liberal Republicans fed up with the base, but his rejection of Olympia Snowe's overtures in 2009 and his governing style when Democrats had the majority turned most of them off. There are a lot more than you realize, and plenty R-leaning voters who consider themselves "independents" because of the party's stance on social issues.

Texas will stay red this election, but it is trending purple as the Latino population increases. That's the GOP's long term challenge, which even George W. Bush understood, but which isn't getting much traction yet within the party.

Andrew S

Wayne: isn't it amazing how successful the United States is despite having such a poor educational system? Makes you wonder...maybe all those stories about the US school system aren't quite right.

Tomi: I'm surprised that you claim to know the "real philosophy" of Mitt Romney. I for one, after hearing him for years, still have no idea what he stands for. That is where he completely failed. In trying to be the anything-but-Obama candidate (the one that polled better than any of the actual Rep. candidates) he turned into the nothing candidate. Complete and utter failure to show any form of leadership or plan.

I'm not sure if the Republicans will go back to the Reagan direction. Reagan was the only president who was a union member and president, and came out of Hollywood. Unless Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as a US-native citizen, it's not happening.

Wayne Borean

Andrew S.


Why don't Canadian companies hire recent American engineering graduates? Because you have to educate them before you can pit them to work. British, Polish, French, and German engineers find a wide open job market because of that.

Let the American get ten or fifteen years of experience under their belt, and the advantage shrinks. So what we do is let them make their mistakes for American companies...

They aren't stupid, just under-educated.

FYI, I'm reading Terry Jones' book "The Barbarians" while I watch the returns. The description of the Roman Empire in the book is a lot like the United States. Get the book and read it, it'll blow your mind.


Have you seen today's Dilbert?



Well it is at 290 with FL and VA still out. Obama looks like he will win them popular vote too. I guess the state polls were right.


The Establishment GOP candidate lost the presidency and the social conservatives cost them the Senate. That said, if not for their positions on immigration and abortion they might have pulled it out (at least the Senate). There is a fiscal cliff to deal with next month. How Speaker Boehner plays it will set the tone for the next two years. Obama is in no mood to compromise but that might work against him. Brokering a grand bargain would help his legacy.


I was wrong about the election. Sad day for the USA. The real change is about to arrive.


One curious detail in this blog post: Why won't Biden run for president in 2016?

My personal opinion of Obama plunged into disapproval when he selected Biden as his vice presidential candidate back in 2008. Biden is not very likable, and he's a major Intellectual Property maximalist. But that doesn't mean he won't run.


"I was wrong about the election. Sad day for the USA. The real change is about to arrive."

In 2008 there was a lot of non-sense about Obama being a covert Muslim who would destroy America for the sake of Islam and communism. Nothing seems to have happened along these lines, but neither has anything changed in their opinions.

Even having seen him in action for four years, Obama's opponents still promise the world the total apocalypse and annihilation of the USA.

(I should stop watching Fox News ;-) )

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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 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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