Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Reaction's 2012 Election prediction: A big win for Obama

By Michael J.W. Stickings and Richard K. Barry, with Mustang Bobby, J. Kingston Pierce, Frank Moraes, and tmcbpatriot

Let's quickly give you our Electoral College predictions before adding some commentary:

MJWS: Obama 332, Romney 206

RKB: Obama 303, Romney 235

Bobby: Obama 307, Romney 231

Carl: Obama 305, Romney 233 

JKP: Obama 303, Romney 235

Frank: Obama 332, Romney 206

Infidel753: Obama 347, Romney 191

Greg Prince: Obama 310, Romney 228 

For comments from Carl and Infidel, see here and here, respectively. As for the rest of us...


So here we are. Election Day 2012. At last.

We write about many things here at The Reaction, but we are first and foremost a political blog and more specifically a U.S. politics blog and even more specifically a blog that focuses heavily on U.S. presidential politics. So this is, needless to say, a big day for us. We may not be professional (paid) bloggers, but we do this with incredible dedication and intensity. We take what we do seriously and provide what I think is outstanding commentary and analysis. And just like the journalists on the road and the pundits on the Sunday talk shows, this is the day we've been waiting for, and writing for, for years, ever since the last one.

And what will happen today? I am not normally an optimistic person, and I continue to be anxious. My concern is that the Republican voter supression effort, along with possible voting-machine tampering, will hand the election to Romney. And yet, I have confidence in Nate Silver and other polling experts, I think that the polls have generally under-counted core Obama constituencies (blacks, Hispanics, young voters) as well as cell phone users (who generally lean Democratic), and I think that Obama, who has been an outstanding president in contrast to conservative propaganda and progressive disappointment, will ultimately prevail, if narrowly, over a deeply unpopular party with deeply unpopular policies and a terrible candidate in Romney.

We all know it's coming down to a handful of swing states. I think Obama will win them all with the exception of North Carolina. That will mean an Electoral College victory of 332 to 206. I see Florida, perhaps the craziest state in the union, as the toughest to call, and it could go for Romney, particularly if Gov. Rick Scott's voter suppression efforts block enough Democratic voters. So I suppose I'd go with 303 to 235 as my second prediction. I don't see Obama winning North Carolina, but it's possible, and if he does, and if he really does outperform the polls, that would mean a 347 to 191 win.

As you can see above, we're all thinking roughly the same thing. Infidel thinks Obama will win all the swing states, including North Carolina, while Richard thinks Obama will win all of them except North Carolina and Florida.

In terms of the popular vote, I don't think we'll see the split decision the media are getting so worked up about. Which is to say, I think Obama will win the popular vote. I'll go with Obama 50.8, Romney 48.2, a 2.6-point margin.

I would just note that as of midnight last night, Nate Silver gave Obama a 92% chance of winning, higher than it's ever been.

I haven't analyzed the House races all that carefully, but I'd say a Democratic gain of 5-10 seats is possible.

As for the Senate, some major races:

-- Warren (D) over Brown (R) in Massachusetts (PICKUP);
-- Kaine (D) over Allen (R) in Virginia (HOLD):
-- Murphy (D) over McMahon (R) in Connecticut (PICKUP);
-- Nelson (D) over Mack (R) in Florida (HOLD);
-- Brown (D) over Mandel (R) in Ohio (HOLD);
-- Donnelly (D) over Mourdock (R) in Indiana (PICKUP);
-- McCaskill (D) over Akin (R) in Missouri (HOLD);
-- Baldwin (D) over Thompson (R) in Wisconsin (HOLD);
-- Tester (D) over Rehberg (R) in Montana (HOLD);
-- Flake (R) over Carmona (D) in Arizona (HOLD);
-- Heller (R) over Berkley (D) in Nevada (HOLD);
-- Berg (R) over Heitkamp (D) in North Dakota (PICKUP);
-- Fischer (R) over Kerrey (D) in Nebraska (PICKUP); and
-- King (I) over Summers (R) and Dill (D) in Maine.

The current composition of the Senate is 51 Democratic, 47 Republican, and 2 Independent (both caucusing with the Dems). I think the Democrats will pick up a net of one seat and the Republicans will lose a net of one, with an Independent picking up Maine, meaning the Senate will be 52 Democratic, 46 Republican, and 2 Independents, or essentially a 53-46-1 Democratic majority (with the Independent in Maine likely to lean Democratic).


I know you're waiting for it -- or not. My guess is that President Obama takes 303 Electoral College votes to Romney's 235. That means I am giving Romney Florida and North Carolina of the swing states and Obama everything else: Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Virginia.

That's my answer and I'm sticking to it. 

I think Saint Nate said something about the fact that if Romney wins, the science of polling as we know it is over. That's not going to happen.


I'll go with Nate Silver, the Oracle of Delphi: Obama 307, Romney 231, with Obama getting 50.6% to 48.5% for Romney.

Here in Florida, Bill Nelson narrowly beats Connie Mack IV for the Senate, and if there really is a Flying Spaghetti Monster, Allen West will get his ass kicked out of Congress by Patrick Murphy up in Broward County. In Miami-Dade, Joe Garcia (D) will beat David Rivera (R), who is one step ahead of a grand jury. (And the school bond issue will pass, which will make my life at work easier.) I also predict that the Democrats will hold the Senate, probably 53 to 47, and the House will stay Republican, but with some significant Democratic pick-ups, including beating the snot out of Michele Bachmann.

My thoughts tonight are the same as I had yesterday morning.


Okay, get that limb ready, I’m going to take a walk out onto it with my crystal ball balanced in hand.
While I am convinced that President Barack Obama will win a second term in the White House, I remain somewhat less confident of it than, say, Nate Silver. Nonetheless, I'm going to predict that Obama captures 303 Electoral College votes, winning the majority of this year's swing states, including Ohio, Colorado, and Virginia. Romney will probably win both North Carolina and Florida. The popular vote spread is likely to be quite a bit closer; I say Obama scores 50.4 percent to Romney's 47 percent.
What will be interesting is to see how quickly Republicans turn on each other after the TV networks start projecting an Obama win. GOP pundits will be quick to blame Hurricane Sandy for Romney's loss, because it's easier than acknowledging that Americans simply don't like the short-sighted, every-man-for-himself policies Republicans are trying to peddle. Tea partiers, on the other hand, will be out for blood; what venom they don't expend on attacking the president, they'll direct at the "Republican establishment," which assured them that a "true believer" like Rick Santorum couldn't beat Obama but a "weather vane" like Romney could.
In the end, the Republican brand will be further tarnished.


My best guess is still that Obama will win 332-206. However, that does not mean I think that is the most likely outcome. That is just the most likely single outcome. I think it is slightly more likely than 303-235. But I would lay even odds that Obama will win 294, 303, or 332 electoral votes. Nate Silver gives the odds of that happening at roughly 35%. But he also gives the odds of a 345 vote Obama victory an 11% chance. That would require Obama winning North Carolina. I just don't see this happening, but maybe 11% is about right.

The main thing is that it is pretty hard to see how Romney wins this race unless the polls are completely wrong. Check out this great interactive battleground state tool over at the LA Times. Start by giving Obama Ohio. If that happens, it is almost impossible for Romney to win. So tomorrow night, it really does all come down to Ohio. If Florida goes for Obama, it will be a blowout. Otherwise, it will be relatively close regardless of who wins.


I honestly see it going either way. Of course Obama has the advantage and all things point to Electoral College and popular vote wins, but this is the GOP were talking about. They have spent too much for this to be lost. It just concerns me. I am prepared for anything, honestly. They are that evil. Seriously.

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  • I'm sure you saw this ridiculous bit in a Politico story. My question is how it's NOT a broad mandate?

    If President Barack Obama wins, he will be the popular choice of Hispanics, African-Americans, single women and highly educated urban whites. That's what the polling has consistently shown in the final days of the campaign. It looks more likely than not that he will lose independents, and it's possible he will get a lower percentage of white voters than George W. Bush got of Hispanic voters in 2000.

    A broad mandate this is not.

    By Blogger M, at 12:55 PM  

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