Many polls have shown the candidates as either statistically neck-and-neck, or with President Obama gaining an edge. But a pile of polls as high as Mt. Everest won’t matter one whit on Election Day, when – in that cherished voting booth – the only thing between an undecided voter and the button is not some nosy pollster, but gut instinct.
And that gut instinct is this: People know they’re not better off now than they were four years ago.
Poverty is up. The Misery Index – the merged figures of unemployment and inflation – is up. A $16 trillion federal debt is stomping our nation’s credit rating into the dirt. And even if you’re one of the lucky ones to see your income go up since 2008,
it buys less – gasoline and food prices are through the roof.
It’s tough to envision a plurality of voters thinking, “Sure – give me four more years of that.”
Unable to run on a successful record, Obama is the face of a re-election campaign whose job is to erect a Potemkin village of American success. The strategy: If enough voters can be brainwashed, just long enough, into thinking that Obama’s policies have improved our nation, then the election is a cinch for the incumbent.
But two University of Colorado political science professors unveiled an analysis in August that predicted a Romney presidential victory in November.
Their model doesn’t rely on which candidate is considered cooler, or which candidate Hollywood likes best, or which candidate playfully swats at the most softball questions on The View or The Late Show with David Letterman. The model relies on a huge complement of economic data, such as state and national unemployment figures and changes in per-capita income. That analysis successfully predicted the winner of every presidential race since 1980.
It’s not without its flaws, though. The analysis, as of this writing, relies on summer economic data. Fresher figures would yield more accurate results.
Also, the model is willing to give virtually all swing states to Romney. The professors’ assertion that Romney can take Minnesota, Wisconsin and New Hampshire strains almost any conservative’s Pollyanna attitude. So give those states to Obama. Give Colorado to Obama, too.
But even with those tweaks, that still gives Romney 286 votes in the Electoral College to Obama’s 252 under the professors’ model.
Every analysis of an election is a carefully stacked apple cart that easily can be overturned by reality’s variables – such as Wednesday night’s debate.
Two more of those variables – the undecided voter and gut instinct – can give the race to Romney.