GAME ON – Obama vs. Romney

GAME ON – Obama vs. Romney

Election Analysis

By Jay B Gaskill

Also posted on The Policy Think Sitehttp://jaygaskill.com/GameON.htm

The general election campaign has just begun.  If you doubt this, ask yourself whether Governor Romney is still campaigning against Newt or Rick at the moment.

And suddenly the Rasmussen Poll has the two contenders in a dead heat.  [http://www.rasmussenreports.com/]

And Rasmussen also reports-

“Monday, April 02, 2012

“The number of Democrats in the United States rebounded in March after falling to a record low in February. However, for the fourth consecutive month, more people consider themselves Republicans than Democrats.

“During March, 36.4% of Americans considered themselves Republicans while 33.4% were Democrats. For the GOP, that’s a gain of 0.4% from a month ago. Democrats gained a full percentage point from February.”

In February, I proposed that the election will ultimately turn on Three “T’s”.[i]

“I believe that another, deeply psychological theme, will soon overshadow everything else.  I’m calling it the Three T’s – as I will soon explain.

“Over the long haul, this race will come down to leadership and “followship”. No leader who stands at the head of a crowd of reluctant, tepid supporters can be successful in persuading others. Whether the GOP nominee is former Governor Mitt Romney, former Governor Jeb Bush or the Messiah, it’s going to take an army of enthusiastic followers, or there will surely be an army of “I told you so”mourners on Wednesday, November 7th.

“At the end of the day this presidential election is going turn on an intangible trio of elements:

‘The Three T’s – TraumaTrust and Turnaround.

“The electorate has been traumatized.  The American people are willing to make a midstream course correction only for leadership they can trust, and only for a turnaround they can believe in.”

If you want a formula to predict the outcome in November, you will need to factor in the unknowable.  For example, one can make the case that a simple trend projection would have led to a McCain presidency …right up to the pre-election credit crash of 2008.  This was the seismic event that caught almost everyone flatfooted and doomed the GOP campaign.  We can’t rule out another seismic event.

But leave out the unknowable and this is what remains for you to track:

  1. Is the economy in a stable, credible recovery mode, or not?
  2. Is President Obama running ahead of the democrats, behind or about the same?
  3. Is Governor Romney running ahead of the republicans, behind or about the same?
  4. What is going on in the swing states? See this analysis for an Electoral College breakdown — http://spectator.org/archives/2012/03/15/election-year-math . Here’s a pull quote – “…newly successful people have become the pivotal bloc that swings the state between Republicans and Democrats. They are not committed to either party. They are not terribly involved with social issues. Their main worry is the economy. If Republicans make birth control and separation of church and state the major issue, they will go Democratic. If the Democrats mess up the economy and produce $4.50 gas and 8.3 percent unemployment, they will swing Republican. That will probably decide the 2012 election.”
  5. How are the independent, unaffiliated voters breaking?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that if the economy is stuck on bad and the incumbent is running behind his party while the challenger is running ahead of his, an upset is in the making.  Those trends, especially as they manifest in the swing states will be decisive – absent that hypothetical seismic disruption.

APPENDIX

In January, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich opined —

Hillary Clinton on the ticket would generate the enthusiasm Mr. Obama needs. She’d be the first woman vice president. She’d remind voters of the successes of the Clinton administration. And as many recall from 2008, she’s a sharp and articulate campaigner.

Moreover, Ms. Clinton would help deflect attention from the bad economy to foreign policy, where she and Mr. Obama have shined. Chances are the economy won’t be in great shape in the months leading up to Election Day. If the European debt crisis worsens and if China’s economy continues to slow, there’s a better than even chance that unemployment will be back to 9 percent.

With friends like Secretary Reich, who need doomsayers?  Consider the historic correlation between unemployment numbers and trends and the fate of an incumbent president:

Hoover defeat

UNEMPLOYMENT — 22% and stuck

Ford defeat

UNEMPLOYMENT — 7.7%

Carter defeat

UNEMPLOYMENT — 7.5% and stagnant

Bush 1 defeat

UNEMPLOYMENT — 7.8 % unemployment and rising

Obama

UNEMPLOYMENT — 8% and ?

Not add the underemployment wild card:

On March 9, 2012 Gallup reported the underemployment rate. Underemployment is the unemployment rate, plus the rate of people working at part-time jobs who would take full-time jobs if they could find them. Fully 10% of Americans fall into this latter category, giving the US an underemployment rate of 19.1%. This is up from 18.1% earlier this year.

The number of unemployed persons, at 12.8 million, was essentially unchanged in February. The unemployment rate held at 8.3 percent.

US Underemployment Rate is at 18.2%.

Updated: Mar 28 2012, 10AM

Next Release: April 04 2012, 10AM

Source: Gallup

Period: Mar 26 2012

Frequency: Daily

Long Term Average: 18.77%

Value Previously: 18.20%

Change From Previous: 0.00%

Copyright © 2012 by Jay B Gaskill, Attorney at Law, forwards, links and quotes with attribution are welcome and encouraged.  For everything else, please contact the author via E-mail { law@jaygaskill.com }


[i] http://jaygaskill.com/dot2dot/2012/02/17/the-three-%E2%80%9Ct%E2%80%99s%E2%80%9D-of-the-2012-presidential-election/

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