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PostSubject: My Political Post   Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:43 pm

Before anyone gets too riled up, this is my analysis of the Presidential race so far. It is not meant to pick out who I will vote for, but to show how the race is shaping up.

Since Romney won the nomination several months back, the polls have been steady showing a tight race between both Obama and Romney. Many look at the economic news to see if it will help her hurt Obama in the long run. But there are some other areas many pundits are not looking at which could affect who will sit in the Oval Office on January 20th, 2013.

The first thing is enthusiasm. While the Republicans do hate Obama, they do not like Romney at all. There is a saying in politics: Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line. This will be the case and a running mate who is conservative will help Romney with his base. (I think Romney should pick a moderate if he wants to increase his chances. The conservative base hates Obama so much they are going to vote for someone else no matter who it is. As long as there is an R after the name at the ballot.)

Obama does have enthusiasm that is building again. He had lost his way up to the 2010 midterms and found his fire again. I also think he has shown how well he deals with terrorism and crisis time and time again will get his base out to vote for him. But they won't be like it was in 2012, and with tougher voter ID laws, many of his voters will be turned away this time around.

The state polling does look better for Obama than the national poling, but he is having trouble poling above the save 50% in many states. That does not mean all the undecideds will go for Mitt Romney, but it does not mean they will break for Obama either. His polling numbers are getting better in states he won with ease before, and that includes Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

But the main thing that could break in Obama's favor is a Libertarian candidate named Gary Johnson. He was governor of New Mexico for two terms and well liked there. Johnson ran as a Republican at first but dropped out after his treatment at the debates (they refused to let him debate.) Now he is running as a Libertarian and is on 33 state ballots so far. Ohio and Florida are among them, and they are going to be hotly contested this fall. Romney must win both Florida and Ohio to win the White House.

Ron Paulites are going to be the key for Romney. They are up for grabs, but given the treatment of Dr Paul himself, they are not a sure thing. One thing for sure is they will not vote for Obama, but they can vote for Gary Johnson. So far the Republicans are making it difficult for him to get on the other swing states like Pennsylvania (which is a Likely Obama state in most polling places) and Michigan (which Romney wants to win if he can't get Ohio). While most pollsters are not including Gary Johnson's name, the ones that do are showing him taking a sizable chunk of the vote at 7 to 10% in most states.

Already Virginia is a hot spot for Romney as a well liked and very conservative Representative is trying to get his name on the ballot. He has also been poling at 9% or so at the expense of Romney. The name is being challenged and Johnson is not yet on Virgina. Romney does not need Virginia to win, but if he loses Ohio he would need the electoral votes to offset that loss.

In a month more news will be out there on ballot access and that will give a better picture of what may come this fall. Tethys home state of Ohio is the place there will be many political ads on the telly. It will make everyone sick of politics by the time this thing is over with.
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PostSubject: Veep pick   Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:32 pm

Mitt Romney just picked Paul Ryan as his Veep choice. It is a safe choice for him as Ryan is a very conservative Republican and should shore up his support among base voters. But Ryan also is going to hurt him in the key state of Florida where the Ryan budget is not popular at all.

Florida is a must win for Romney if he wants to take the White House. However, Obama can afford to lose Florida if he were polling badly there. But Obama has been polling strongly there the past few months and this will add ammunition to court the elderly voters. They generally vote Republican, but the Ryan budget is something they despise enough to vote Democrat. (Gary Johnson is also on the ballot in Florida which will not help Romney. Very few polls from Florida have added his name, so his effect is not known at this time.)

For the rank and file who plan on voting against Obama (and for Romney), the choice just got a bit sweeter. But for Moderates out there, the choice just got a bit tougher. Paul Ryan is a bit too conservative for many out there and the Obama campaign is going to remind them of his social conservative leanings. The rank and file base love him, but the economic conservatives aren't too thrilled at having the social platform staying at the forefront during the campaign.

Those hoping for a little diversity in the ticket by picking Bobby Jindal or Condoleezza Rice are also not going to be happy. Romney is polling at atrocious numbers from Latinos and African Americans. He needs at least 40% of the Latino vote to get to the White House with a bit of ease. Now, it looks like he will have to really work on a few swing states to get an even higher white vote to counter the loss (George Bush always did well among Latino voters. Although he never outright won them, he could count on enough support to eke out a close victory.)

I should also note that while Wisconsin is considered a swing state, the pick of Paul Ryan is not going to guarantee Mitt Romney wins the state. Paul Ryan is popular in his home district, but polls about fifty-fifty in the rest of the state. Also, Gary Johnson recently got access to the ballot and is actively going after the Ron Paul supporters.
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PostSubject: Texas: Future Purple State   Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:02 pm

A recent US Census report came out stating that for the first time ever more minority babies were born than white babies in the US. Another US Census report stated Texas is now less than 50% white as whites became the majority minority in that state. There are a few pundits now stating that Texas can be put into play in 2016 and certainly in 2020.

While some might be dismissive of this as Texas is a solid Red State for now, it will be up for grabs. Even polling there shows Mitt Romney getting just a tad over 50% which is not the 60% or so wins of the past. I do think the Democrats are wise to start the process of getting a ground force in Texas started. It takes time to get organized, and by 2016 they should be able to put the state into play. It is not a guaranteed win for them, but it will make the GOP actually have to spend money to defend the once taken for granted state.

If Texas does turn solidly blue, it will be something the GOP will not be able to afford. They need to win Texas if they ever want to win the White House. If they lose Florida, there still can be a path to victory. But a Texas loss is not recoverable.

The Democrats are purposely putting the Dream Act in their platform now so the Latino vote takes notice. The Republicans are going to have to decide how they want to proceed in the future if they wish to survive. Purposely demonizing one or more groups of people will only hurt them in the long run.
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PostSubject: Re: My Political Post   Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:38 pm

Yes Obama has been here twice in 2 months at our dt facility.

Very interesting..I have no open opinion on politics on forums. but those that know me know me very well.. cyclops
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PostSubject: Re: My Political Post   Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:56 pm

I will try to keep my own opinion out of these posts. I want to analyze how the Presidential race is run and what the outcome probably will be. I do think Mitt has an uphill battle with his choice of Paul Ryan as his VP. I was going to do a post on what my thoughts were on who he would pick.

Politics has always fascinated me and there is much more to the story than a few polls showing one leading and one not. Presidential elections are one by states, not by an overall popular vote. I will give an analysis of the Swing States and what I think are must wins by each candidate.
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PostSubject: Re: My Political Post   Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:01 am

I used to get too angry over opinions on politics because no matter what "you are right" so to speak. So I just had to stop. =0)

I got into such a heated political argument I once kicked Goodwitch out of my house! =0) we laugh about it now but the beast will come out so I let it go.

Kel
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PostSubject: How is Ohio going to vote?   Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:13 pm

I just read a piece about the voters of Ohio upset that Mitt Romney snubbed Senator Portman. The author of the piece pointed out the last pick of someone from Ohio won the state for the GOP. It seems a bit too simple an analogy for how a state is one or lost.

I don't think the pick matters in the long run on how Ohio was going to vote in 2012. I do think a Portman Veep pick would of helped Ohio by a few points in the short term. However, the main concern over Ryan is his budgetary approach to Medicaid and Medicare. The author seemed to write that aspect off as Ryan is not the head of the ticket. But this is about Ohio and not Ryan himself (which I will write again when I tackle Florida).

Ohio also has Gary Johnson on the ballot for the fall. Many other GOP swing states are trying to keep his name off so he doesn't siphon votes away from Mitt Romney. Little polling has been done with Johnson including, and the ones that do show Johnson getting a sizable vote nearing 10% at times. Even 5% will make the difference in a very close race.

Ohio also doesn't like Mitt Romney (a fact shared by many other blue collar states). That doesn't mean they won't vote for him, but it helps to have people want to see their man win. I do think that is where the snub might play its role: Those who do not like Romney might use this to cast their vote for Gary Johnson. I don't see them voting for Barack Obama, but I do see them waiting until 2016 for a better candidate.

Ohio is a toss up state to lean Obama in many polling analyst sites. With Gary Johnson on the ballot and a perceived snub of Bob Portman another factor, I think this will turn Ohio to Likely Obama. I will wait until more polls which include Gary Johnson come out. But I do think Mitt Romney is making a play for Wisconsin and Iowa voters at the expense of Ohio. Ohio was too risky for him to win as he needed it for his victory. But if he can switch two states which equal the electoral votes lost by Ohio, his team might think it is the better investment.

The problem with this strategy is it makes Virginia and its 13 electoral votes even more important to win. Although Gary Johnson and Virgil Goode are not on the ballot there, if just one of them makes it Mitt Romney is in trouble of losing the state.
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PostSubject: Voter ID laws and their effect on November   Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:43 pm

Many from the left are fretting about the new and rather strict voter ID laws enacted in important swing states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. They require people show a valid ID that has an expiration date. The claim is many people (especially elderly) don't have them as they never use them.

I do think these laws might impact the race, but not as drastic as some doomsayers are making this out to be. I also think these laws were enacted to keep the Democratic base turnout low as these laws are more against them in particular.

For most of the time, all a voter had to do was sign before voting and the voting judge would compare signatures to make sure that person claimed they were who they were. Now under the term "Voter Integrity Laws", many states will now require a state ID (or Federal such as military or passport) to show at the voting booth.

Many will waive the fees as it could be construed as a poll tax to keep people from voting ($30 and up for a state ID can be expensive if a senior citizen only gets $500 a month pension). However, many will need copies of their birth certificates to get the required ID. And some of those birth certificates might not be good enough for some people.

While I disagree with these new laws, I don't think they should hamper the get out to vote effort. I think many churches should help their constituents get the required ID necessary to vote. While the full impact is not known, if they start getting the IDs now it should not be much of an issue in the fall. Pennsylvania does have one of the strictest laws on the books, but many of the voting judges are going to let residents they recognize vote without showing ID. They could go to jail over this, but they are going to take a stand.

I do think most people should have an ID (state or national) for their own personal use anyways. I know the reason why these laws were enacted, but they should not have any impact if community activists make sure the elderly and others get the proper ID necessary.

I also think these ID laws might backfire on the GOP as most senior citizens vote Republican. They are targeting minorities who have ID as they need them for work in today's world. We have to wait and see about this one, but I look at it as not a game changer for Obama.
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PostSubject: Gary Johnson's Effect on the election   Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:28 pm

Gary Johnson is a two term governor of the state of New Mexico who started out the 2012 race running as a Republican. His numbers in the polls barely registered among voters at first, but they were higher than many who were invited to the debates. This upset Gary Johnson as he was another Libertarian type Republican in the mold of Ron Paul (minus the anti abortion stance). Like Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, Gary Johnson dropped out of the GOP race and decided to run as a third party candidate via the Libertarian Party.

Polls had him running strong and he used them to convince the LP he was their strongest candidate. Now he is on 34 states and working to get on the ballots of all 50 and DC. The polling on Gov Johnson has been sparse and only We Ask America includes him in states where he is on the ballot. They recently started polling him and his average with them is only 2% (Nevada, Ohio and Missouri). The LP site has a post about Gov Johnson polling a bit higher with other pollsters:

http://www.lp.org/news/press-releases/gov-gary-johnson-could-cost-romney-5-battleground-states-74-electoral-votes-need

There are several swing states Gov Johnson is on the ballot in:

Ohio
Florida
Wisconsin
Nevada
Colorado

He also is on the ballot in Oregon which is Lean Obama as his polling numbers have been low. I also want to note he is on the ballot in Arizona, which is Likely Romney even though some polls had Johnson garnering 10%.

The other swing states such as Pennsylvania are not counted until he gets validated in them, so I will discuss the impact on the above swing states.

I think Colorado is one state which can really hurt Romney's chances. Polling has been all over in that state with both Romney and Obama having sizable leads to ties. With a marijuana initiative on the ballot, it could induce the Ron Paulites to vote for Johnson as well as liberals not happy about Obama's stance and uptick in the war on drugs. This will be one state to watch as those 9 electoral votes will be important if the race has not been decided by the time Colorado polls close. I have not seen too many numbers on where Johnson stands, but as a Western State Governor he is better known and should get at least 5% of the vote.

Nevada is in terrible shape as compared to the rest of the nation and yet Obama's polling numbers have been relatively good. Some polls have shown a statistical tie with Obama in a slight lead while others show Obama with a substantial lead. If the 2% number holds and this one is a tight race, it could tilt the election one way or another. Many Ron Paulites and GOPers do not like the Romney campaign's treatment of them so they might vote for Johnson as a protest vote. I am betting Johnson will get much more than 2% in Nevada.

Ohio is one of the Swing States where Romney and Obama will buy a second home. They are both wooing voters and a latest poll gave an uptick to Romney (his veep pick bump) after several showed Obama in the lead. The race is close enough that a 2% number for Johnson might tilt the race, so this one will be worth watching. Again, many don't like Romney in this state and his treatment of Ron Paulites might be a factor. With Gov Johnson going after those voters, they might have to say goodbye to Ohio.

Wisconsin was a Lean Obama state until the Paul Ryan pick of running mate. While some pundits are saying Wisconsin goes red, others are predicting a closer race. Obama won Wisconsin by a large margin in 2008, although past races have been much, much closer with only a few thousand votes separating the outcome. I have not seen any numbers for Gov Johnson in this state, but they do have a sizable Libertarian leaning Republican Party. With Ryan's social conservatism getting a fair amount of airplay, they might go for Johnson in November. This is the one state I think the Obama campaign is happy Johnson is on the ticket. They can win without him, but it is nice to have someone take at least one point away in a very close race.

Florida is one of those states where Romney must win. 29 electoral votes is a sizable chunk and will be hard to make up if Romney loses here. His pick of Ryan over Rubio won't help either and Gary Johnson can be a potential spoiler like Ralph Nader was for Al Gore.

It is interesting to bring up Ralph Nader as he is blamed for the loss of Al Gore in 2000. Had a few thousand voted for Gore instead of Nader in New Hampshire, Florida and its recounts would not of mattered. Also, had a few thousand votes been cast for Gore instead of Nader in Florida, he would of won the state.

It might be that Gary Johnson pulls in Bob Barr numbers in November and doesn't make a dent in the race. But Gary Johnson has credibility with his record in New Mexico that he is not afraid to run on. He also will be courting Ron Paul supporters, who have been snubbed by the GOP.

I will update on other swing states Gov Johnson gets ballot access in.
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PostSubject: Florida   Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:45 pm

Mitt Romney is sending Paul Ryan to a very conservative area in Florida to garner support for his campaign. They are holding their convention in Tampa hoping it helps them win the state like Denver did with the Democrats in 2008.

Here is the main reason why Florida is so special to Mitt Romney: He has to win this state or he will lose the election. Barack Obama can afford to lose Florida as he has other paths to 270 electoral votes. Mitt Romney needs Florida plus an Ohio or Pennsylvania to win the Presidency. Ohio has been polling well lately for Romney, but it is not a sure thing. Pennsylvania passed a very strict voter ID law that could turn Pennsylvania for Romney. Those are some iffy scenarios and will be dealt with in other posts.

But Florida is what will make all that work moot if Romney loses it. For the early part of the predictions, Florida was Lean to Likely Romney in most polls. However, Obama started to creep up in the polls as they are not going to give up on the state they won in 2008. Many thought Obama's campaign was going to cede Florida to concentrate on holding on to the rust belt.

But Florida also has been a volatile Swing State in the past and would be the icing on the cake for Obama if he wins it. They are contesting this state and campaigning vigorously in it.

Add to that Gary Johnson is also on the ballot as a Libertarian and will be at Ron Paul's anti-GOP rally. He will be courting the spurned Ron Paulites to vote for him. I have not seen any polls with Gary Johnson for Florida, but the others showed him at 2% (We Ask America) in other states. Johnson's team states he polls higher than that through other polls, but even 2% can be a spoiler in an election. Again, Al Gore would remind people as he lost both Florida and New Hampshire to small numbers of votes via Ralph Nader.

Now comes the most interesting (and strange) parts about the Romney campaign: His pick of Paul Ryan as his running mate. Ryan authored the bill which would turn Medicare into a voucher program for seniors. It is not very popular when it polls and incredibly unpopular when senior citizens are asked. Many of the local and state media in Florida wonder if this cost Romney the state of Florida. The latest polls suggest no, but wait until the campaign kicks into high gear and the ads show up about the Medicare stance.

Many wonder why Romney didn't pick Marco Rubio who is popular in Florida (especially to conservative GOP). He also represents a diversity that is sorely needed in the GOP to counter what is perceived to be a problem. Some wonder if this alone hurt his chances in Florida.

Romney has stated his budget both is like Ryan's and is not like Ryan's. They now realize the quandary they are in and the flip-flopping on a core element to why he picked Ryan might do the most damage to his chances of winning Florida. Add to that the unknown votes Gary Johnson is going to take, and we have a real battle in what should of been a safe win for Romney come November.
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PostSubject: Obama's low poll numbers   Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:43 pm

Barack Obama has been getting so-so poll numbers. Some pundits state he is beating Romney, but it is not by much. I look at the numbers and they spell potential trouble for Obama as he heads into November.

50% or above means he is a lock to win in the state with under 48% meaning trouble. It is hard to know how the voters will break, but the challenger usually gets more than half of those votes.

48-49% means Obama might eke out a win in the state. He has his work cut out for him and has to make sure to get out the vote.

There are other factors also involved including third party candidates who might factor in when polling. But the numbers themselves spell trouble for someone who won by such big margins in 2008.

A jobless recovery and no action from Congress spell uncertainty at the polls. This will be one election where nothing will be taken for granted.
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PostSubject: Iowa   Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:02 pm

Iowa has recently certified Gary Johnson to be on the ballot this fall. It does not bode well for Mitt Romney, as there are many Ron Paulites in the state. Gary Johnson is making a play for their support and will appear in Dr Paul's convention opposite the GOP one in Florida.

Obama won Iowa decisively in 2008, but this time his numbers have been tighter. Romney just isn't well liked here so when he does poll well it still isn't very high. I predict a close vote in this state, with the addition of Gary Johnson giving Obama some breathing room.
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PostSubject: Gary Johnson and polling update   Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:46 pm

Many more polls are being released and it looks like Mr Johnson is polling at 3%, which is smaller than their polling suggests. It means Mitt Romney can breathe easier for the most part. Mr Johnson gets one third from Obama and two thirds from Mitt Romney. This is all before Gov Johnson appears before the Ron Paul supporters at Tampa to woo them. Some states have larger Ron Paul support than others, including a few swing states.

Mitt Romney is doing very well in many swing state polls. Paul Ryan has given him a bump as well as his ads running throughout the states. I reported Florida would be very tough for Romney, but several polls suggest it is back to likely Romney. Ohio is now lean Romney as well as Michigan and Wisconsin. I do think Obama is in trouble and it looks like he has his work cut out for him. If Obama loses Wisconsin and Michigan, he loses the White House.

The good news for Obama is he is keeping North Carolina in play and is doing well in Colorado. He would have to win NC if he loses Michigan as well as Georgia which shows Obama closing in. (Strong Red State Georgia was considered in play in 2008 and might be again this time around.)

Again, it is still too early and much of the polling does not reflect other factors such as Johnson's numbers.
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PostSubject: 2012 GOP Convention   Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:29 pm

The GOP Convention is next week and Mr Romney should get another bump in the polls. He has been getting some good results lately for his pick of Ryan and has put Wisconsin back into play. The conventions are both predictable and not many will watch them other than those interested in politics. If it were a brokered convention, that would be another story.

Today also is the day in which third party candidates can submit all of their signatures for validation in Virginia. Virgil Goode has been polling at 10% in that state and is undergoing an investigation for voter fraud. The conservative Constitutional Party and former Congressman is crying foul of the Republicans who fear his name will mean Virginia goes to Obama.

Mitt Romney can afford to lose Virgina, but Obama can't if my currant projections hold up. Putting Wisconsin into play means having to make up a loss and Virginia would be the state.

Obama's numbers have been all over in Michigan, a must win for him if he wants to be re-elected. If Obama loses Michigan, Ohio and Florida but wins all the other swing states it will be a tie. The GOP House would then pick Romney over Obama and he loses. Obama must win two states from the following four: Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida and Ohio if he wants to be re-elected. The numbers from those four states are not so good, and one way to avoid this is to win North Carolina or Georgia which seem unlikely.
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PostSubject: Pennsylvania   Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:14 pm

One of the worries some Democrats have is the rather restrictive voter ID law in Pennsylvania and its affect on turnout in November. It seems many polls out there have Obama so far ahead that this law won't turn the state red. Mitt Romney has not been spending any money in the state and a recent poll shows Obama well over 50%. Add Gary Johnson to the mix and it would be a very expensive uphill climb for Romney.

While Obama can sigh a bit of relief, he still has to win Ohio and Michigan if he wants to win in November. His numbers in Ohio have been decent but polling in Michigan is all over the place. I do think Wisconsin is now in play so that means Obama has three Rust Belt states to defend if he wants to stay in office. He needs Colorado, Iowa and/or Virgina as well to cushion his Electoral votes.

Colorado has also been all over the map when it comes to polling, and some pundits are stating Gary Johnson actually hurts Obama. I doubt that scenario as Johnson is very conservative economically and will appeal to the Ron Paul voters who would never vote for Obama to begin with. Colorado also has a large Latino population which helped Obama win the state in 2008. With Obama polling very high this time around, I think it is an uphill battle for Romney to win Colorado.

Pennsylvania has voted blue for a long time now and does not look likely to change. One problem for Romney is Ohio's voters are pretty much the same. Still, there are some differences which keep Ohio into play such as turn out.

It does seem this is relatively good news in the big picture for Obama. However, he should never have had to worry about losing Pennsylvania in the first place.
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PostSubject: More on Third Party Candidate Gary Johnson   Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:45 pm

In my last post about Gary Johnson, the thinking was he might not be too much of an impact in the election this fall. But after reading several major challenges to Gov Johnson as well as Virgil Goode, it seems the Republicans think otherwise.

A challenge to Gary Johnson in Iowa was turned away as the panel voted to keep him on the ballot. I do think they had hoped to kick Johnson off the ballot so the six electoral votes would become more favored for Mitt Romney to win. Romney is not popular and many Ron Paul voters will turn to Gary Johnson in this state. While most maps show Romney not needing Iowa to win, it is also about switching states from one column to another. Iowa is still in play, but the chances of a Romney win got a bit lower.

There is a major challenge of Gary Johnson going on in Pennsylvania. While some analysts say Pennsylvania is solidly blue this year as Romney has spent little money there, I do think they believe they have a chance if Johnson is off the ballot. The most strict voter ID law has been enacted which would mostly affect Obama supporters. Mr Johnson is fighting the challenge, but Virgil Goode dropped out of this one.

Virginia's Republican governor told an interviewer he is not worried about Virgil Goode or Gary Johnson on the ballot. If that is so true, there wouldn't be criminal investigations going on to keep both off the ballot come fall. Some polls show Goode (a Virginia native) getting up to 10% of the vote in the state which does not bode well for Romney. Again, Romney does not need Virginia this time as he put Wisconsin into play to equalize the playing field. But if Romney loses Wisconsin, a Virginia win would of helped out big time. Since both Goode and Johnson turned in more than enough valid signatures here, they are assured of appearing on the ballot unless the criminal investigation stops this.

Michigan is another state which some say is in play. Gary Johnson has been fighting the state through the courts to get his name on the ballot. The state GOP recently fought Johnson on trying to expedite the matter so there would be plenty of time for November's election. If Johnson is not on the state, this must win state for Obama might go into play.

New Hampshire and Arizona also have Gary Johnson polling very well. Johnson is on Arizona's ballot but many aren't considering it a state in play. If New Hampshire validates his signatures, then that state will probably remain blue for 2012. In 2000, had New Hampshire voted for Al Gore he would not have needed to win Florida. New Hampshire is not a crucial win state, but again it is the bragging rights at play.

Colorado is another state as well as New Mexico and Nevada. Gary Johnson is on all of their ballots and some claim he could hurt Obama more. The polls say otherwise, but it is a wait and see time in this case. I just don't see Ron Paul voters pulling the levers for Obama.
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PostSubject: Virginia   Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:39 pm

Virginia's election board has stated both Virgil Goode and Gary Johnson have enough valid signatures to appear on the ballot. It should take a week or so to become official even though the Republican Party is challenging this.

Virginia had already been a Toss Up state to Lean Obama from the start of this election cycle. Virgil Goode is very popular in his neck of the woods and has been polling very well much to the chagrin of the Romney camp. Once this matter gets settled, Virginia will probably turn into a Likely Obama state giving him its 13 electoral votes.

While that won't win him the election, it can help dampen a loss of Wisconsin if that happens. Virginia can also lead to an electoral tie which Romney would win, so Obama has to win at least two states from the four major swing states: Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and/or Florida. If Virginia was lost, Obama would have to win three of those states which is rather difficult to do.

Iowa Republicans are challenging Gary Johnson on that ballot and the hearing is set for next week. Also, Michigan and Pennsylvania Republicans are trying to keep Gary Johnson off their ballots as well. I think the Romney camp thinks they have stab at Pennsylvania with its new strict voter ID law and they need to be the only conservative choice out there if they stand a chance.

I don't know if Romney will cut his losses in Virginia or spend there to make Obama spend his resources in that state as well. His pick of Ryan is making Obama have to spend money there which they figured they wouldn't have to.
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PostSubject: Electoral Map and what Romney needs to win   Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:59 pm

I have been playing with a do it yourself map of the Electoral College and it shows what Mitt Romney must win to get to the White House. I have placed Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire and Virginia in the Obama column since Gary Johnson and other third party candidates are polling very high there at the expense of Romney.

This now means Obama has to win states which add up to 17 more Electoral votes to stay in office. 269 would be a tie which means Romney would win as the GOP House does the tie breaking vote. Michigan would be the tie breaker, so I do think Obama will be vigorous in keeping that state blue. Some polls have shown a close race with Mitt leading in several, but Nate Silver at 538 has an excellent column on what Michigan is going to stay Likely Obama:

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/28/aug-27-michigan-isnt-a-tossup/

That still leaves these states of which Obama needs to win just one to take him over the top:

Iowa (6)
Wisconsin (10)
Ohio (18)
Florida (29)
North Carolina (15)

North Carolina's numbers show Obama behind Romney but not by much. Obama won the state in 2008, and many pundits have now listed it as Lean Romney to Likely Romney. I don't think Obama should give up on North Carolina just yet.

Wisconsin is now in play thanks to the choice of Paul Ryan. However, tepid response to his speech (and lack of facts) aren't going to help much in this state. I do think Obama is going to vigorously defend this state like he should Michigan if he wants to win.

Iowa has been giving mixed results with polling out there. Gary Johnson is the wild card in this state as well, and the Republicans are challenging his ballot access to keep the state a toss up. Romney would have to win Iowa if he loses Michigan but picks up Wisconsin to win (as well as Ohio and Florida).

The good news for Obama is Ohio was ordered to keep weekend early voting which mainly were elderly and minorities who would not be able to vote otherwise. Some say 100,000 votes were cast for Obama this way which could be the ones deciding which way the state goes. Republicans are challenging the court ruling as they now know who votes during the weekends.

The GOP convention was held in Florida for one reason: Romney must win this state at all costs. Polling has been all over and some show Romney with commanding leads as well as others showing Obama with leads. A federal judge recently struck down the new voter registration law which has hampered the Democrats since they do very well upping their numbers. It is a bit late, but they are going to have to really work to play catch up as they only registered a few thousand new members. If September shows tepid registration numbers, I would say Florida will probably turn red this November. However, Gary Johnson is the wild card as well in this state.

While the job looks difficult for Romney, a tough economy and other facts make this one just as tough for Obama to hold on to.
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PostSubject: Occupy Wall Street and the Presidential race   Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:48 pm

Several Occupy Wall Street protestors called the President a traitor and it was covered by some news organizations. There seems to be some who think the OWS is going to mean something at the polls come November. I do not think it means anything as there is no leadership or coordination among OWS. None of them have been mobilizing or registering voters, nor do they have any official spokesperson for their movement.

What started off as a possibly meaningful protest has turned into a joke on the late night talk shows. People now think most OWS are college students with too much time on their hands or hippies off to get free stuff. The movement means nothing and could of had potential for the left. The Tea Party actually came together and voted in a new Congress in 2010. They put their anger to work at the polls and elected one of the most conservative Congresses on record.

I think many who do air the grievances of OWS try to do so to embarrass the President. But sadly, the OWS movement only embarrasses itself.

This is what happens when a movement has no leadership or focus of its goals. A mess that no political party will deal with.
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PostSubject: Virgil Goode on Virginia's ballot and other news   Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:42 pm

There has been much in the press about Virgil Goode who is a popular former Representative from a very conservative and rural section of Virginia. The Republican Part has been fighting this all the way through to now get the name taken off the ballot. The problem for the Romney camp is Virgil Goode takes away up to 10% of their vote depending on the polling. Even the lows of 5% would hurt Mitt Romney's chances of winning Virginia. Add to that Gary Johnson is also on the ballot which had a high turnout for Ron Paul and it looks like they might write off this state.

The good news for Romney is he does not need Virginia for a path to the White House. The bad news is, he has to win Florida, Ohio, either a combination of just Michigan or both Wisconsin and Iowa to win. I do think they saw this coming as Virgil had announced his intentions to run as a third party a while back ago so they picked Paul Ryan from Wisconsin to put that state into play. Even with the charges of fraud, I don't think the GOP will prevail in taking off Virgil Goode's name. If they do, they might get the opposite affect as some of them might turn up and vote for someone other than Romney.

New Hampshire also added Gary Johnson to their ballot and he has been polling at 6 to 9% there. This also hurts any chance Romney had of taking the 4 electoral votes, but again he does not need them. Florida grew from 25 to 29 electoral votes which makes that state all the more important to win. However, Obama needs to keep New Hampshire blue if he wants to keep the White House. Many rust belt states lost electoral votes which means Obama has more to defend than Romney does.

The GOP also dropped a challenge to get Gary Johnson's name knocked off of Iowa's ballot which could be problematic for Romney. Johnson also polls well and could hurt his chances to win Iowa. This would mean Romney has to go for Colorado or Nevada to win if he does manage to win Wisconsin. Colorado is possible, but Johnson takes more votes away from Romney than he does Obama, and Nevada has been a difficult state for him to take back.

I do think the GOP wants to keep Michigan in play so they will spend a lot of money there to force Obama to defend it. They also are fighting to keep Johnson's name off the Michigan and Pennsylvania ballots to try and take both of those states from Obama.
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PostSubject: Romney withdraws ad buys in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania   Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:52 pm

In a move that narrows this election to a few states, Mitt Romney's campaign stopped spending money in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania makes sense as the polls show Romney getting trounced there. The Philadelphia market alone is quite expensive so it is wise to use the funds in other states.

Michigan looked good to Romney due to some wild polling, but the state has a strong GOTV drive for Obama so one could see why Romney bowed out of that state. However, Wisconsin was on his mind as he picked Paul Ryan as his running mate from there. This does not mean they won't spend money down the road if they see openings in those states, but it also means they won't have much staff out there when it comes time to vote.

The total electoral votes for Obama after dropping out of those states is 247. That only leaves 22 votes for him to get to win and Romney needing a bit more. He has to win nearly all the states he is targeting if he wants to go to the White House.

The interesting states in play are New Hampshire which has Gary Johnson polling very well and Virginia which also has a strong third party candidate in Virgil Goode. The Republican Secretary of State (who is a strong Romney backer) has final say on Virgil Goode and might take the name off due to a criminal investigation.

Iowa, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina and Florida round out those states where Mitt Romney's team plans on carpet bombing with ads. It worked in the primaries, so he is hoping it works in those states for the main election. Negative advertising does work, so Obama has his work cut out for him countering the mass injection of negative ads.
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PostSubject: Texas Again   Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:47 pm

538.com has an interesting piece about Texas turning blue in the future. The author suggests it will not take place for at least 20 years:

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/a-sense-of-waiting-for-godot-for-texas-democrats/

I disagree if the Democrats start a grass roots registration effort right now. They have a lot of work cut out for them to build up their organization, but they do have worth while candidates who are rising for future runs (US Senate and Governor).

538.com also has put Wisconsin, Michigan and New Hampshire in the Likely Obama category. While Romney has withdrawn spending in the former, he is still competing in the latter. I am betting he writes off the Granite State in the very near future as 538 is reliable at predicting voting outcomes.
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PostSubject: Update on Wisconsin plus US Senate races   Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:02 pm

The Romney team has reversed its decision about spending money in Wisconsin. They will add that state to the list of states they plan on carpet bombing with negative ads. The states joins Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, Florida and North Carolina as the key battleground states for the Romney campaign. Wisconsinites thought they would be spared this earlier, but some in the Romney camp view the state as winnable. They also view Virginia a in play even though polls with Virgil Goode show it an impossible win.

I also wanted to state a little bit about the race for control of the Senate. While things are looking up for Obama this fall, they aren't looking too good for the Democrats running for the Senate. It looks like control might go to the GOP as many of the Democrats running are not well liked or getting enthusiastic support. Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts was supposed to be a shoo in but has run a rather tepid and inept campaign. Scott Brown has been leading by huge margins in the polls and should easily keep his seat.

Dems have their guys retiring in red states such as North Dakota and Nebraska which will be almost impossible to win. The interesting race will be in North Dakota as they selected a rather far right wing candidate to run against a popular former Democratic legislator.

Wisconsin also has their Democrat retiring and Tommy Thompson should easily win that seat. It looked like Missouri was lost until Akins said his now famous rape statement. Akin still polls well so it is possible many will just vote for a third party instead of the very unpopular Democratic incumbent. Montana is also going to lose their Democratic senator as well. It does not bode well for the Dems this time around. Maybe in 2014 will they have a better year.
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PostSubject: The numbers game   Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:07 pm

Mitt Romney had a bad week and some are calling his campaign a day. However, there is seven weeks to go before voting finishes so many Democrats have to make sure they are not over confident. The problem is people staying home thinking the game is over. GOTV (Get Out The Vote) is important now more than ever at this stage in the game as early voting is starting in some areas.

While it is interesting to see poll numbers for many Senate races written off come alive again, I also think they are still long shots for the Democrats to win. A few bad days does not equal a win, and I think over confidence might be the undoing of some campaigns. They need to make sure they are ready for the upcoming carpet bombing of negative ads the like of which they have never seen before. Everyone will be seeing negative ads about the Democrats and no rebuttals as they don't have the money to compete against it. The Koch Brothers alone will spend over $300 million of their own money on these races.

So before they start celebrating, they need to roll up their sleeves and have an excellent ground game from the get go.
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PostSubject: Early Voting Starts   Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:41 pm

Voting by mail has started in half the states, several of them swing states. Voting booths at physical locations will also be opening this week at many states as well.

It is said that 10% will already have voted by the first Presidential debates and that could be possibly higher. This means the swathe of independent voters will be getting smaller and many minds are being made up from the past few weeks.

It seems a Senate race in Massachusetts was going to remain in the GOP's hands. But after a debate and some attack ads over the opponents Native American heritage, the analysts are not so sure. This is one of the states which has early voting and there were enough undecideds the race could go either way. But bad moves could push the momentum from one candidate to the other. In the early days when everyone voted on the Tuesday, it didn't matter. But nowadays, many votes will be made in the next few weeks.
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