Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Stretch

      Photo: Jason Reed Reuters

I haven't been posting about the US Election because there seemed to be too much going on for a good overview.  Now that the debates are done, things are clearer.  Just as everyone expected at the outset, it will be close.  Turnout is the game now.  Despite Republican claims, Obama should have the superior ground game.  He's put a lot of effort and money into local campaign offices, far more than Romney.  And he started with what many people think was the best organization ever in 2008.  In addition, he still has the Electoral math in his favour.  While the national polls are tied, Obama still has a lead in the swing state polls.  He's ahead by around 2 points in Iowa,  2 points in Ohio, 3 points in Wisconsin and 2 points in Nevada.  Virginia and New Hampshire are tied.  Florida and Colorado are leaning Romney.  Right now, Obama has 237 Electoral votes in the bag and needs only 33 more to win.  Romney on the other hand, needs 64 to win.  He really needs Florida and Ohio to do it. 

So I'm still expecting an Obama victory.  But it will be close.  How close depends on turnout, as I said.  It also depends on Republican election day voter suppression.  What kind of plans they have and how successful they will be is unknowable at this point.  But they've done it before, especially in Ohio.  However, this time they've lost multiple times in court, and vigilance is high.  Unlike Kerry, the Obama campaign have a lot of weapons.  So while shenanigans may occur, I doubt they can be as effective as 2004.  Karl Rove is still around, but he doesn't command the same army.

Lastly, I thought Obama wiped the floor with Romney at the third debate.  Mitt was red and sweating by the end.  He was lucky to get the China question at the end, for which he had a good answer.  Otherwise, it would have been a complete embarrasment.  But there was something else in the China answer that got me thinking.  What's the most effective way to reduce your debt level?  Inflate it away.  I'm wondering if Romney's math starts to make more sense if you put in a 4% inflation rate.  However, the economic conditions favouring inflation seem a long way away from the current situation.