Four distinguished Amercian Enterprise Institute scholars analyzed the election campaigns this morning addressing the question, “How close is this race, really?” Karlyn Bowman provided an extraordianry pile of data and detail for analysis while Michael Barone, Norm Ornstein, and Henry Olsen provided a candid and objective overview of the situation. Refreshing is that this was truly an unbiased analysis.
- Obama wins by hairs in a lot of places
- Obama wins electoral votes
- Romney is self-destructing
- Romney is down but not out
- World events can change the outcome in the final weeks
First, I will report some highlights and then delve into some of the minutia separately.
Michael Barone AEI scholar and Washington Examiner conservative columnist initiated the analysis after Karlyn Bowman’s statistical overview. Barone examined the 13 swing states and categorized them into groups. He focused on those with the largest number of electoral votes. (See slideshow)
President Obama may be down from 2008 in many of these states, though still holds an advantage over Romney. Overall, Barone said Romney has a chance to change the outcome in some of these states as there is still some elasticity remaining. It is going to come down to such factors as:
- Getting out the vote,
- Candidates appealing to their strongest segments, and
- Appealing to the smallest of the sliver of independents to eke out a win.
Barone reviewed such consideration as the Aftican American vote as well as the influence of voters affiliated with the auto industry. Remember, Romney was ready to shut down the industry and Obama is credited for having saved it, and the jobs that employ many voters in Michigan and Ohio.
This is an example of a very clear distinction that voters understand.
Winning the election is still up to counting the electoral votes and the critical states are the targets for both campaigns.
Norman Ornstein, AEI scholar and liberal columnist was up next. He underscored Romney’s vulnerability by saying, “Romney made an immense gaffe in the last couple of days.” Ornstein said that it was incredibly puzzling to him why Romney would attempt to exploit a national tragedy for political gain. Ornstein speculated that it may have been to shore up support from conservatives, reaching out too them with foreign policy messages.
Romney’s advantage has been apparently wasted by events, the panel seemed to agree.
Henry Olsen, AEI scholar and Research Director declared that the “Farm Bill” will have impact. This subject deserves more focused follow up.
Olsen mused that “It is 1996 all over again with a nation divided against itself.”
From reviewing the sharing of facts about congressional elections, I noted some issues:
- Elasticity of the swing votes
- Elasticity in allegiance and loyalty among voters
I was going to ask about “presidential temperment,” though that topic was rolled up in the Romney gaffe discussion.
Here is something new, do voters remember that Ryan is still running for Congress?
“HUDSON, Wis. — Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan plans to begin airing ads in Wisconsin as he asks voters to elect him to an eighth House term that he hopes to never serve.
Contracts formalized Tuesday with at least one Milwaukee television station show that Ryan’s congressional ads will start airing Wednesday morning and go initially for two weeks. The Ryan congressional ads start in the same week as presidential ticket mate Mitt Romney’s commercials went on air in Wisconsin, although the cost for the two sets of ads are drawn from different campaign accounts.”
He had better hedge. Can you imagine: Ryan’s failing to win Wisconsin for Romney and then failing to get reelected to the House?
There is more to report and I will review the details for another article.