Time flies when you’re having a merciless bombardment of campaign ads—it’s Election Day! So, where do we stand? Here’s what’s going on:
But regardless of the outcome in a popularity contest, neither candidate can start choosing rugs for the Oval Office without winning in the Electoral College.
This brings us to swing states, which—as you may have gleaned from the media coverage—are the only states that matter!
Key swing states include Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, and of course, the ever-present electoral wrench, Florida.
Given the current status of each state, this is the picture:
As the New York Times shows, if Romney fails to take Florida, then the only likely way he can win the election is by taking every single one of the other battleground states. If Florida goes red, Romney has 75 paths to victory compared to Obama’s 176. As of the end of October, Florida remained close , with 49% leaning toward Obama compared to 46% for Romney.
According to Nate Silver at the FiveThirtyEight blog , the polls we’ve been seeing so far must be statistically biased in favor of Obama if Romney is going to have a good chance of winning. Such bias could come in the form of sampling error, the timing of the polls, or simply statistical bias itself. A response to that post makes the argument that polls have indeed been biased towards Obama and are thus underestimating the chances of a Romney win.
In the gambling world, the prediction market intrade shows Obama leading Romney by 65% to 35%. Mr. Silver himself seems pretty confident in his initial assessment, having put his money where his mouth is by betting $1,000 on a second term for the president. David Axelrod , on the other hand, has truly upped the ante by vowing to shave his mustache if Obama fails to win Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.
The Political Fallout From Sandy
This awful hurricane has turned out to be a huge windfall for Obama , pun intended. The president has publicly been showered with praise by the normally pugnacious New Jersey Governor Chris Christie , while getting to display his “presidential” cred by visiting evacuation zones, comforting grief-struck victims , and generally commanding-in-chief. His efforts during this disaster have earned highly positive ratings, which seem to be reflected in recent polls.
Source: Dell's Official Flickr Page
Source: Hot 93.7
As if that weren’t enough to sway you, Lindsay Lohan has joined the Romney camp as well. But if you’re looking for endorsements from slightly more informed sources, here are the newspapers that have backed each candidate this year, chronologically or by circulation .
Source: The American Presidency Project
After some stalling, The Economist also took a side, grudgingly settling on Obama and offering one of the least enthusiastic endorsements of the year.
Over the past couple weeks, Obama also picked up a repeat endorsement from Colin Powell , who was a veteran of Team Hope ’n’ Change from 2008. More surprisingly, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg also threw his support behind the president, citing the urgent need for leadership on tackling the problem of climate change, for which Bloomberg credited Sandy as a wake-up call.
For the rest of the world , the choice seems pretty clear. The question is whether it helps or hurts a candidate to get the thumbs up from China. Awkward.
Check out these resources:
Now, If You Haven’t Already, Get Out There and Vote!
Of course, after you cast your ballot, settle down in front of the TV with our election night drinking game.
If you hear any of the following:
…take a drink.
If you observe any of the following:
…take two drinks.
If you hear:
…drink everything in sight, throw up your hands in disgust, and go do something else.
Photo courtesy of the League of Women Voters of California .
Lulu was born in China and grew up in Germany, Norway, and Canada. She graduated from Yale University with a major in Political Science and a minor in microwave cuisine. Having worked for J.P. Morgan in New York, she is now a graduate student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, where her focus is on technology, media, and economic development.More from this Author