US election thoughts

November 8th, 2012 at 6:15 am by David Farrar

President

Obama looks set to win Florida also (he is 50,000 votes in front) which will give him an electoral college margin of 332 to 206. That’s down from 365 votes in 2008, but still very healthy.  Bush in 2004 got 286, Clinton in 1996 got 379, Reagan in 1984 got 525, Nixon in 1972 got 520 and Eisenhower in 1956 got 457.

Vindication for Nate Silver at 538 who called all 50 (51) states correctly. But to be fair so did Pollster at Huffington Post and Real Clear Politics got all but Florida correct. So a good vindication for polling and science!

On the popular vote it is 50% to 48% for Obama. Again 538 pretty close to this (they had Obama 51%) and RCP spot on and Pollster a bit out at 48% to 47% for Obama. Again all well within margin of error.

Obama’s second term will be interesting. Now he no longer needs to be re-elected will he veer to the left, or govern from the centre?

Best tweet of the day was the person who suggested he should start his re-election speech with “Allahu Akbar” :-)

Senate

A miserable day for the Republicans here. Two thirds of the Senate seats up for election were Democrats which meant the Republicans should have picked some up. They were hoping to get 54 seats or so this time, so in 2014 (when again two thirds are Democrats up for election) they could get a filibuster proof 60. That strategy is now dead.

The Dems and allies look to get 55 seats, up from 53. The lesson for the Republicans is not to elect candidates who will talk about rape in a way that would have been creepy even 100 years ago.

The were not so accurate for the Senate, as most were saying it would end up 533 to 47. However some seats are very close and may change.

House

The House is 232 to 192 with 14 races not called. In 2008 it was 242 to 193 so likely the Dems up slightly up – but the Republicans still with a solid majority.

The big challenge for Obama and Congress will be agreeing a Budget that doesn’t trigger the mandated across the board spending cuts in the Budget Control Act. However I can’t see the House agreeing to any tax increases (closing loopholes yes) so there could well be stalemate there as Dems and Obama will be most reluctant to do spending cuts only.

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74 Responses to “US election thoughts”

  1. big bruv (13,886 comments) says:

    So what will the deficit be by the time the chosen one leaves the White house?

    Will it be $21 trillion or will it be more?

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  2. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    The exit polls were very good this time – picking both Ohio and Florida results.

    The Bush tax cuts are going to come to an end … talk about tax increases will occur alongside any call for spending cuts. There might be discussion about a consumption tax, but one that is tax positive for both states and federal government.

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  3. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    Around 20 trillion dollars and lots of change. The Messiah will finish the job of sending the US over the cliff.

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  4. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    For those who enjoyed Grease:

    Sandy, can’t you see, I’m in misery
    Made a start, now we’re apart,
    There’s nothing left for me.
    Love has flown, all alone
    I sit and wonder why.
    Oh why, you left me?
    Oh Sandy.

    I could feel it in my water that the media ‘this is a close thing’ theme was fishy. I think at the end of the day, this shows that spinners aren’t always winners.

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  5. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    SPC, you seem to relish tax increases. Are you a left-winger?

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  6. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    Hosking slobbering over Obama this morning on NewstalkZB. He loves him so much.

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  7. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    The american public are not ready for the far right influence of the tea party it would seem.

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  8. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Bad news and no great victory , simply demographics.

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  9. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    Dropped the nukes in ww2 – democrats
    Got into Vietnam war – democrats
    Freed the slaves – republicans
    Ended Vietnam war – republicans
    Normalised relations with china – republicans
    Helped end commies hold over Europe – republicans

    Judge em by their record.

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  10. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    There you go, corin dann saying he can’t believe how well Americans are informed about politics (including international issues) compared to NZers, but wankers keep trying to perpetuate the myth that yanks are inward looking inbreds.

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  11. Fairfacts Media (372 comments) says:

    My initial thoughts are as follows
    1- The US media is certainly too much in love with their ObamaMessiah to be trusted.
    2- Will we now finally get to the bottom of Benghazigate?
    3- The changing demographics is not look good for the Republicans. There obviously wasn’t enough white men.
    4- The party will have to increase its appeal to Hispanics somehow?
    5- Another RR team in 2016? Ryan-Rubio?
    6- The Republicans will have to reduce/ remove the influence of the religious nutjobs. Yes, we want strong familes, but silly comments about rape are poison. It will have to accept abortion and embrace gay marriage.
    7- Chris Christies career is finished. The way he praised Obama after Hurrican Sandy might have been magnaminous, but was electoral poison for Romney. Yet, the many Sandy victims are still withoutfood, fuel, power, etc. Maybe now we will hear more of what is becoming Obama’s Katrina now he is safely elected. Looks like Christie promoted a lie , as did the media, and for what?
    8- Erm, think that’s is Gob Bless America, God Help America, God Help us all, especially Israel!

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  12. EAD (1,073 comments) says:

    Romney got beaten by a guy who is overseeing a moribund economy, pursuing unpopular wars, and who can barely string 5 words together without a teleprompter. This was the best the Republican Party can do. Not only are the Republicans evil, they’re evil and contemptible losers, which is far worse.

    But of course the biggest losers tonight are of course people who value peace and freedom, but we would have also lost if Romney won.

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  13. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    On stage Biden looked like the token white he is.

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  14. wreck1080 (3,906 comments) says:

    “Confident that the economy is finally on a true path toward stability, Mr. Obama and his aides have hinted that he would seek to tackle some of the grand but unrealized promises of his first campaign”

    Sounds like he is going to do a Thelma and Louise on the fiscal cliff .

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  15. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    I heart Obama.

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  16. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    “On stage Biden looked like the token white he is.”

    If you want a superpower based on a monolithic culture, China will do the trick nicely. To compete, the USA needs to do something different from China, and draw strength from its diversity. That is something China will have difficulty matching.

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  17. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Good News – Will be interesting to see if people pay out on their bets.

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  18. Griff (7,688 comments) says:

    Obuma or Romney who cares they are as bad as each other.
    Its the totally partisan comments that amuse me.
    I watched Helen and the labor idiots spend the fat of nine good years.The republicans did the same except they spent it on waging war in other country’s
    The economy was handed to Obuma in a pile of pieces yet the nutters on here keep saying he wreaked it.
    Thank god the f undies lost :grin: next time the republicans will embrace climate change science and dump the religious right. Then they can win

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  19. Chuck Bird (4,880 comments) says:

    “next time the republicans will embrace climate change science”

    You mean the AGW scam. In 4 years that may be accepted.

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  20. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    Rust never rests: http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/11/07/muslim-brotherhood-obama-needs-to-accept-the-will-of-the-arab-people/

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  21. Griff (7,688 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird
    Conspiracy theory are the realm of our friend Reid best you team up with him for debate around the vast scientific conspiracy and the UNs one world government.

    ME I like to place faith in those that spend their life’s trying to understand our world not the politics of money and greed
    Sandy had more of an effect on the usa elections than the conservatives are admitting. It was close until the storm hit wounder why it changed. :lol:

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  22. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    I’m not surprised they lost. The Republicans have done their best to alienate scores of small government conservatives by promoting extreme social conservatism and far right economics. At some point these people were asked to check their integrity and reason at the door and many to their credit just wouldn’t. Among them are David Frum and Chief Justice John Roberts, the latter who balked at having his court become a rubber stamp for far right interests. If the Republicans don’t stop calving off their ,operates, they will become a permanent minority.

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  23. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    yup, the scientific method is vindicated, yet again. Of course the Republicans wouldn’t know much about that. A Republican congressman and member of the US House of Representatives science committee recently referred to evolution, the big bang theory and embryology as ‘lies straight from the pit hell’. Where do they get these goons from? On the Fox News coverage they were constantly spruiking themselves as the source of fair and balanced election coverage. Which leaves the sane viewer to ponder, are these guys for real, or are they really that cynical? Perhaps they have a mental illness? Poor old Karl Rove, who had predicted a landslide victory to Romney only a couple of days before, was there talking up Romney’s chances to the bitter end, despite or indications to the contrary. You have to ask the question are these guys insane, or do they just have these opinions for money?

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  24. iMP (2,384 comments) says:

    Romney did well, the popular vote is split almost 50-50, so he has nothing to be ashamed of as a “rich white prick.” Obama’s achievements in 2008 eroded to almost nothing; but Dems had a better tactical game plan (win Latinos and African-Americans based on race and Immigration fears).

    But the real President for 2012-2016 is President Clinton followed by Mrs President Clinton.

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  25. Chuck Bird (4,880 comments) says:

    “Sandy had more of an effect on the usa elections than the conservatives are admitting. It was close until the storm hit wounder why it changed.”

    Do you every look at the news. The Republicans say Sandy combined with that traitor Chris Christie did have an effect on the election. A few own goals by nutters making stupid comments about rape did not help.

    I certainly do not plan on selling my V8 because of non scientific nonsense about polar bears drowning.

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  26. iMP (2,384 comments) says:

    2016: Repubs Marco Rubio (Latino) and Mia Love (Afr-Amer) verse Hilary. Great bumper Sticker “LOVE RUBIO”.

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  27. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    So a good vindication for polling and science!

    Surley you mean a vindication for the polling methods used. The people who were suggesting they were wrong were pointing actual, real world evidence that the interpretation of the polling data was wrong.

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  28. flipper (4,056 comments) says:

    I am worried about the result since it will have world-wide economic implications (In NZ the falling value of the US $ is already cause for growing concern and protest by unions and exporters). Looking at the result thru blue tinted specs is wrong.

    FAIRFACTS…. Nice piece.

    But there are some problems with what you say.
    Hispanics are religious folks, but poor. They will naturally grasp at anything (they do not understasnd, nor do our Pasifika folks, that the Government does not have any money of its own, or that printing money is delusional) to lift their families from poverty. But unless one has spent time in the South or the mid-west one has no appreciation of the hold that fundamental, including catholicism, religon has over those people. This dates back to pre-dust bowl times, and shows no sign of diminishing. Being an honorary Freeman of Sioux City, Iowa has given me some appreciation of their thinking.

    The other major item that NZ scribes and the left wing commentators they engage with overlook and/or diminish quite deliberately, is the military and US patriotism (as distinct from nationalism). If the pre Pearl Harbour mood of the US (and even the pre WW One entry) is recalled, there was no desire to engage in “age-old foreign wars”. WW2 , the Cold War and 9/11 changed all that.

    I doubt whether there will be much political healing. The campaign was far too visceral for Obama to make much progress with the Republicans. And he will need to survive Libyagate, et al.

    Ultimately, Obama will have to moderate or his next four years will be a state of perpetual grid lock.

    Oh, by the way ….

    Griff….. are you still at pre school? Or are you just plain stupid. Must be the latter.
    My eight year old grandson, Benjamin, who reckons he will replace John Key mas Prime Minister, has a better apporeciation of reality than U. :)

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  29. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    but Dems had a better tactical game plan (win Latinos and African-Americans based on race and Immigration fears).

    Unfortunately, those plans include ample generosity with foodstamps, free cell phones, welfare benefits and other freebies and inducements, read bribes.

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  30. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    manolo – im pretty sure hosking would let obama penetrate him

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  31. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    the GOP congress are going to have to move to the centre a bit. if they keep fucking with the president they will get their asses handed to them in 2 years.

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  32. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    the GOP congress are going to have to move to the centre a bit. if they keep fucking with the president they will get their asses handed to them in 2 years.

    You’re kidding right? You do know that they’re probably going to give him the Nixon treatment for what he did in Benghazi?

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  33. Griff (7,688 comments) says:

    Flipper going by your postings reality and its environs are not your strong point.
    Hows your invisible friend coping with Obama getting elected?or is it g-ds will? :lol:

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  34. RRM (9,917 comments) says:

    With the Republicans well in control of the House, it will be interesting to see how much we hear about “OBAMA’S SPENDING” over the next few years… :-)

    [2012 is the year RRM did a bit of reading on how the U.S. federal govt is structured and what the various arms of it actually are, in order to understand some of this election bizzo better. Fascinating! It seems like a good system...]

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  35. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    Another thought – the utterly shonky electoral practices in parts of USA. Election conduct under the Constitution (AFAIK) is vested in the states and counties and abusive state legislation and practices are rife eg the Republicans trying to impose barriers in the hope of deterring potential Democrat voters eg requiring voters to produce approved photo ID (and in some cases photo ID cards issued by for example state universities is not acceptable). The only hope is the US Supreme Court will strike down as much of the abusive state legislation as possible. Also massive queues at some polling stations. One would have thought a democratic and free nation like USA would have had a top class electoral system as NZ has.

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  36. Eddie (1 comment) says:

    Well it’s official, God is neither a mormon, nor a republican. Thank god for that. 4 more years!

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  37. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    The only hope is the US Supreme Court will strike down as much of the abusive state legislation as possible.

    Yea… except that the ACLU got majorly embarrassed on that one after their “model client” (a 90 year old almost blind black woman) managed to get an ID without any help whatsoever the day after the judge tossed the case.

    In fact the opposite is likely to happen as the evidence racks up that getting a voting paper is easier than getting a drink.

    You’re right about one thing though – they are tring to stop Democratic voters. Dead people always vote Democrat for some reason.

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  38. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off the cliff we go…

    Obama has a new mandate. So does the Republican H of R and the Democrat Senate. Pig-headed gridlock has been re-elected. They ought to compromise on a package of spending cuts and tax rises but I suspect they wont. They’ll just dig in deeper….

    I think the election is a damning endictment of the Republican Party – that Romney was teh best candidate they could come up with. 300 million people to choose from and their best shot was a man constitutionally unable to relate to ordinary Americans , with an integrity deficit to rival the US fiscal defict and mendacity enough to make Richard Nixon look honest.

    Obama did not deserve to be re-elected. But Romney deserved to be elected even less.

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  39. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    Lemming-like, blind following above all:
    Obama’s key groups made the difference — both in their makeup of the electorate and, for the most part, their strength of support for him.

    Non-whites made up 28 percent of the electorate, up a bit from 27 percent in 2008. This group largely backed Obama: 71 percent of Hispanics (it was 67 percent last time), and 93 percent of blacks (down a touch from 95 percent).

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  40. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    President Obama in his acceptance speech:

    “We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet,”

    This from a guy who has racked up 1/4 of all the federal debt ever in his first term. HIS children are part of a priviledged elite. Oh and the planet has been cooling for the last 13 years. But don’t ever let the facts get in the way of a good speech.

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  41. Scott (1,797 comments) says:

    One thing that I think we must remember is that the Americans generally give the president a second term. They don’t like to dump the Pres after only one term. I think the most recent exception was Jimmy Carter who was overwhelmed by Ronald Reagan.

    Also Pres Obama speaks very well, has a nice family and is an excellent candidate who runs an excellent campaign.

    I just think as a Pres his ideas and governance is way off the mark. Another four years of a moribund United States economy is not good news for the world and is not good news for New Zealand.

    Also he is very liberal on social issues which has greatly influenced New Zealand and our Prime Minister to our detriment in my view.

    But the Americans have elected him. Let’s see how they enjoy his second term of governance. Methinks there will be a lot of buyers remorse over the next four years.

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  42. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    300 million people to choose from and their best shot was a man constitutionally unable to relate to ordinary Americans , with an integrity deficit to rival the US fiscal defict and mendacity enough to make Richard Nixon look honest.

    Actually I’d say that describes Obama pretty well too.

    But you should remember that he was the “moderate” canditate so the answer appears to be go more to the right when selecting your man.

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  43. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    s.russel at 9.21 am – that’s pretty much how I see it.

    We lament the lack of political talent here, it’s the same problem in the US but on a much bigger scale.

    Democracy has some major flaws. Can we fix it?

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  44. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    KiwiGreg: yea, dunno about you but my irony meter broke a long time ago. Dems seem to live on the stuff – witness Clinton telling voters they should reject someone who lies a lot…

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  45. Griff (7,688 comments) says:

    “Oh and the planet has been cooling for the last 13 years.”
    Silly comment when 2005 and 2010 were records for global temperature. Hot must be the new cool
    As to you blaming Obama for the mess that the previous two terms created. ————————- :lol:

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  46. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    The greatest satisfaction today over the re-election of Obama is not being felt in the Democratic Party. It is not being felt among the media, who are no longer objective observers but have turned instead into corrupt partisans who ruthlessly censored the truth about Obama and helped peddle his demonising propaganda about his opponent. It is not being felt among the gloating, drooling decadents of the western left who now scent a great blood-letting of all who dare defy their secular inquisition. No, the greatest satisfaction is surely being felt in Iran.

    http://melaniephillips.com/america-goes-into-the-darkness

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  47. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    I don’t think you can avoid the fact that the Republicans did not run a good election campaign. It was well signalled in advance that this election was going to be close. That meant you had to have a good strategy and implement it faultlessly.

    Obama was always going to be vulnerable on the economic front. But Romney did not articulate a convincing alternative and if anything, his position became more confused as the election continued. The Economist magazine picked this up to. You’ve got the one issue that matters the most to the voters (according to polls) and you fail to connect with them on this.

    Then we have Republican just making elementary mistakes on controversial issues. Obama started in front with women voters. You can’t afford in tight campaigns for candidates to be making statements on rape and the like that are going to be grabbing headlines. You’re surrendering ground that you can’t afford to lose.

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  48. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    Massive amounts of money does not necessarily buy a good campaign.

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  49. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    To me, it came down to turnout. I expected the Dems to be discouraged by a president that betrayed so much of what he was elected on, while the Reps were so keen to get rid of thim.

    Turns out that wasn’t the case.

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  50. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    “a sulky narcissist”

    Hmm … that would be a good description of Melanie Phillips. Projection, perhaps, from the silly old bag?

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  51. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “I think the most recent exception was Jimmy Carter who was overwhelmed by Ronald Reagan.”

    Bush sr was a one termer…

    READ MY LIPS!

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  52. Scott (1,797 comments) says:

    Quite right dime. He was beaten by Bill Clinton. I think Clinton and Obama have that priceless advantage of being ‘cool’ and connecting well with voters.

    However I still think the point that Americans normally like to give their Pres’s two terms is worth considering. The American Pres is like a King really. He embodies the state. The people don’t like turning over the leader,their king, too often. Which is fair enough.

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  53. Tautaioleua (305 comments) says:

    :-)

    The Hispanic vote is crucial from this point forward. When people like Donald the Trump accuse Obama of being an “illegal alien” it doesn’t wash well with the Hispanic voters (many of them first generation). Republican campaign advisers should note this for next time. Shut the Donald down at all costs and distance the party from birthers who are one century too late.

    Now that Obama’s comfortable for a second time, perhaps we can see some movement on the Trans-Pacific-Partnership? it would have been struck off under a Romney administration.

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  54. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    @Tautaioleua (114)

    The Hispanic vote is crucial from this point forward.

    I think there are a number of sizable demographics that were perturbed by the social policy signals coming out of the Republican camp. And this contrasts with the success Reagan had at connecting with many Democrat demographics. Realpolitik may require a shift to more moderate social platforms within the Republicans if they don’t want to narrow their voting base.

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  55. Ross12 (1,425 comments) says:

    Just had e-mail from my cousin in the US. He said one of the overseas observers of the election process ( a LYBIAN ) said something like : “Wow, it is amazing that you can vote without ID – based on trust. This would never
    work in Libya”

    Griff –while I agree with you that Sandy had an effect on the election because of all the MSM bs , even the high priests at the IPCC have come out saying AGW had nothing to do with Sandy.

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  56. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Quite right dime. He was beaten by Bill Clinton. I think Clinton and Obama have that priceless advantage of being ‘cool’ and connecting well with voters.

    Clinton had the advantage of the right’s vote being split.

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  57. Griff (7,688 comments) says:

    Ross I did not say sandy was this time I just said it reignited the debate when both sides had it buried.
    And this is a summation of the link between sandy and AGW

    Scientist attribut at least a foot of the 13-foot storm surge in lower Manhattan “to global sea level rise. Hurricane Sandy’s 13-foot storm surge an example of the “new norm”.

    The storm acquired additional energy from unusually warm currents off the North American East Coast. global warming has contributed to above normal sea surface temperatures from Florida to Canada. As the temperature of the atmosphere increases, the capacity to hold water increases, leading to stronger storms and higher rainfall amounts

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  58. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    I thought Romney would win. So I was wrong.

    Am a bit dissappointed because of the consequences it could bring.
    The media in woeful and people who do not think this, or turn a blind eye to it because it helps their candidate/worldview really need to question whether they actually believe in democracy.

    To those who say “See, the GOP is out of touch!” I point to the 51%/49% Obama/Romney popular vote split. This does not indicate a party that’s out of touch. And, a majority of Americans choose Republicans as their Congressmen. So again, the GOP cannot be that out of touch.

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  59. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    To those who say “See, the GOP is out of touch!” I point to the 51%/49% Obama/Romney popular vote split

    Quite. It instead points to the lie that the Dems can unite a divided country. Obama turns out to be just the same as Bush – just from the left. But we knew that 4 years ago.

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  60. Tautaioleua (305 comments) says:

    East Wellington Superhero,

    There are no excuses. This was Obama’s election to lose.

    Prior to Obama’s victory, no president in 70 years had won re-election with the unemployment rate above 7.4 percent. The rate is now 7.9 percent.

    Obama became only the second Democrat to win a second four-year White House term since World War II.

    Quite frankly, the republican campaign was a miserable failure.

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  61. RRM (9,917 comments) says:

    The biggest thing wrong with the Republicans is that they seem to be utterly beholden to the God loves guns movement.

    No matter how right (or how within their rights) those people think they are, that is only going to appeal to a certain proportion of people, and it is always going to turn a certain proportion of people off completely…

    Quite. It instead points to the lie that the Dems can unite a divided country.

    And that’s the other thing that’s wrong with that country: Our political opponents are the ENEMY and they are all EVIL FUCKING BABY-EATING LIARS…

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  62. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    Going for the jugular: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83514.html

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  63. kiwi in america (2,449 comments) says:

    Romney was the best of the bunch that ran in 12 (this from someone who initially supported Perry before his debate meltdown). I think he ran a pretty good campaign under the circumstances. Let’s be clear Romney lost by only 450,000 across 5 key swing states – had the GOP GOTV been better he would’ve got 285 electoral college votes and the right would be crowing and the left whining and hurting. Such is the nature of the US electoral beast. Obama managed to hang on to just enough of his core base in those key states – a reverse re-run of the Karl Rove 2004 play book. Pandering to women and the ‘war on women’ – check. Pandering to Latinos with the executive order preventing certain deportations (strictly not legal and likely to be struck down) – check. Pandering to blue collar Dems in Ohio flirting with Romney and distort what Romney said about the auto bailout – check. Pandering to the youth vote by supporting gay marriage – check. Very clever targetted politics. Add in micro targetting through social media, a mammoth GOTV ground operation and a compliant media ready to exaggerate Romney’s honest spoken and usually accurate opinions into ‘gaffes’ and not trouble the President over his blatant obfuscations over the Libyan consulate fiasco and presto you get the 450,000 vote winning margin.

    In hindsight what more could Romney have done to blunt this? IMO he let the Obama campaign deamonise him as a heartless plutocrat who hates dogs for far too long through July and August without fighting back. The Romney camp talked about not wanting to drive down the candidate’s negatives or a desire to keep their powder dry. Trouble was by the time Team Romney began to deploy its big war chest in mid October the damage had been done and the swing state voters were weary of attack ads – or all politcal ads period. This set up Romney’s stellar performance in the first debate as a hail mary pass. He did a great job, was able to overcome and slightly better Obama’s poll lead gained through the summer. However it left Romney with a newish and fragile lead coming into the last week. Had the election been held on Tues Oct 30th, it would’ve been a Romney victory (albeit narrower than the one I thought was coming). Hurricane Sandy stopped Romney’s post debate season momentum dead in its tracks and for a few crucial days it reversed by allowing Obama to simultaneously avoid hard questions about Libya AND look warm, empathetic and Presidential. Romney was level pegging to a tiny bit ahead in the swing state RCP averages prior to Sandy. By Nov 6 he was behind and never recovered in time. Had the election been on Nov 13 a week later with more post Sandy anguish on display and the campaign settings back to a more post debate setting, Romney likely would’ve regain a small amount of momentum to claw back close to his post debate peak. Timing is everything. McCain had a 5 point lead in the battleground states coming out of their Convention in Minneapolis …until the market collapse in the 3rd week in September when he embarked on a series of erratic and ultimately electorally destabilising actions. Obama stayed above the fray and looked Presidential and he was able to allow the chaos (and the emerging Palin missteps) to sink McCain.

    Such is the ebb and flow of politics. When asked by a journalist what can blow a government off course British PM Harold MacMillan said “events my dear boy, events”. Obama has been the somewhat lucky beneficiary of events but he also positioned his campaigns in such as way to be ready to exploit them.

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  64. Ross12 (1,425 comments) says:

    Griff , I don’t want to turn the post into another AGW debate and I understand that your summary is how some think about it. Here is an alternative view based on other data ( just some reading for –you don’t have to agree with it )
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/05/an-inconvenient-truth-sea-surface-temperature-anomalies-along-sandys-track-havent-warmed-in-70-years/

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  65. Fentex (973 comments) says:

    I don’t think either side is going to worry too much about avoiding the expiring tax cuts and defence spending reductions because both are needed, and now both parties can posture as they please, have them happen, and play whatever games they like about blame and responsibility.

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  66. Griff (7,688 comments) says:

    Ross12
    Meh
    The republicans lost due to a ranch of reasons. The ideas from the past around rape. Supporters who try to get intelligent design into schools.The minority’s offended by Romney writing them off. All the noise you get on KB blaming the darkie and arguing about his place of birth and religion.

    I believe that MMP gives us a better form of government than a two-party system. America has it two-dimensional system in a multi dimensional world

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  67. kiwi in america (2,449 comments) says:

    Griff
    You fail to understand the role of primaries in the US electoral system. In each major party’s respective primaries a wide range of ideological alternatives are out before the voters BEFORE they select their eventual nominee. Significant regional differences that are far more pronounced that in NZ (try comparing San Francisco to Memphis) result in a much broader church for the two major parties. Finally, the US system lacks the more rigid party whipping that prevails in NZ – legislation is frequently cobbled together on a bipartisan basis in a way that is relatively rare in NZ. The ideological differences that are encompassed inside the 2 big parties (much like they were under FPP in NZ prior to 1996) are now more deliniated through the various parties in NZ than can thrive under MMP.

    All political systems have their draw backs but I feel the US system is the best of the FPP systems out there.

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  68. Griff (7,688 comments) says:

    Why then does the USA not recognize the debt must go and do it

    At the end of your beauty pageant of candidates you end up with someone who ticks every box. Everyone that votes republican and Everyone that votes democrat Vrs each other. :wink:

    Of course its the ones paying for the system not the president that have the power.

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  69. kiwi in america (2,449 comments) says:

    Same reason why the Greeks, Italians, French, Irish and Portugese “not recognize the debt must go and do it”. Politicians are the same regardless of the system they are elected under. They love to promise entitlements (eg Labour promising to exrend WFF to beneficiaries and Andrew Little musing about ACC for illnesses) and struggle to pare them back (all the bleating from the left about National’s welfare reforms). Your premise that somehow the US’s electoral system lies behind its intrasigence in dealing with its debt is silly on its head. The Italians have PR and they have a worse debt problem.

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  70. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    50% of voters thought the economy was improving – the information supporting this came in the last week of the race.

    Timing is everything.

    This undermined the attack that Obama was not getting them out of a hole (blamed on Bush).

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  71. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    An observation of some interest:

    The three closest states were:
    Florida – 0.56%
    Ohio – 2.0%
    Virginia – 2.72%

    But even if Romney had won all three of these, he still would have lost. To win, he would also have needed:
    Colorado – 4.83%

    Obama won the popular vote by 2.26%, so this implies Obama would still have won even with a 2.5% deficit in the popular vote – the reverse of 2000 when Gore won the popular vote but lost the election. Kind of a major flaw in the system I reckon.

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  72. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    50% of voters thought the economy was improving

    But 100% knew that it has not improved enough. Yet 50% thought that the little it improved was enough to re-elect a guy who’d promised to fix the problem before it happened by racking up huge debts. Now they have the debt and the unemployment both.

    That people would vote unthinkingly for such a canditate speaks volumes. And I’m not talking about yesterday – I’m talking about why the heck the Dems nominated him for re-election in the first place!

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  73. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Kind of a major flaw in the system I reckon.

    The whole reason for the system is that they didn’t want a popular vote for the president so it’s not a bug it’s the way it was intended to be.

    The flaw is that nowadays only a handful of states essentially decide the election.

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  74. Fletch (6,384 comments) says:

    And so it continues: the election only just over and Obama is already back to drone strikes in Yemen.

    WASHINGTON — On Wednesday morning, as many Americans sifted through the voter data and exit poll numbers of President Barack Obama’s reelection the night before, the Twitter feeds of close watchers of Yemen lit up with reports of another sort of presidential event: an apparent U.S. drone strike had killed several individuals in that country.

    There was no way of being certain if the strike was indeed American, or for that matter if it was a drone strike at all, although it had all the markings of one.

    “All signs (after dark, suspicions of locals, target) point to Sanhan strike being a US drone,” Yemen-based freelance journalist Adam Baron wrote on Twitter.

    Several other analysts concurred.

    A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. If it were a American strike, of course, it would have to have been authorized by Obama.

    Whatever its provenance, the strike served as a macabre reminder of the burdens that Obama faces as he turns his attention away from the campaign and back to the business of being commander in chief.

    Obama faces any number of perilous foreign policy and national security challenges with the potential to wreak havoc perhaps greater than any of the domestic issues he must navigate.

    [...]

    “It’s very unclear what the United States is actually doing in Yemen other than they carry out bombings and people on the ground are dying,” said Gregory Johnsen, an expert on Al Qaeda in Yemen and the author of a new book on the subject. “Who’s dying, whether or not they’re actually Al Qaeda — we just don’t know.”

    Johnsen, who was among those who identified the Wednesday attack as likely being an American drone strike, says the White House has a long way to go to prove to the American public the efficacy of the counter-terrorism drone policy.

    “We’ve had nearly three years of strikes, and in those three years, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula went from a group of 200-300 individuals to a group that most estimate is over 1,000,” he said. “So the organization has at least tripled in size.”

    Johnsen noted that while the U.S. has consistently said they were targeting just a dozen or so specific individuals in Yemen, in the past year alone they have carried out upwards of 50 strikes.

    This same idea has been a sore spot in Pakistan as well, where the U.S. also has an expanded drone-based counterterrorism policy.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/07/obama-drone-strikes_n_2089836.html

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