Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Can Obama Win in November

What if the election were held today? What factors will most influence the election results? Who will not vote for President Obama?
by Charlie Leck

Those of you who follow my blogs closely know that I am a nut about political poling. Between now and Election Day in November, I will drive dizzy you with reports about the polls. I study them enough that I know which are the 0nes I can trust and have faith in and which are shaky in their polling procedures. I will subscribe to a couple of important polling organizations in order to keep you up to date.

The best and most reliable early polls are out about the Obama/Romney race. Mind you, we are months – seven months – away from Election Day. So many things can change between now and then; yet, the early polls by ABC/Washington Post can give us a feel for how people will vote in November 2012.

Obama wins over Romney in likeability!
You think this is simple and stupid? Guess again, my friend! After years of watching polls, this is an extremely important category. Take in to account questions of likability and inspiration and Obama leads by 2 to 1. The problem? In past elections, this category has always been in flux and can change over the simplest of mistakes and issues! In the 2008 election, you’ll remember Mr. Obama’s eccentric pastor and his very unlikable personality. It rubbed off on his parishioners and dragged Mr. Obama down in this category. You think the Republicans won’t revive Pastor Jeremiah Wright?

Women’s Issues
Obama leads by double digits when it comes to women – just as he trails by double digits when it comes to men.

Conservative/Fundamental Christians
You can imagine, can’t you, that Mr. Obama is way behind with these folks? They’re the kind of people who watch FOX for their news and views almost exclusively (established by thorough surveys). Obama doesn’t stand a chance with them and he’ll have to make the gap up with the non-religious and the more progressive and liberal Christians. The verdict is still out on the Jewish vote, but so far it looks as if Obama will carry it handily.

Health Issues and International Affairs
I lump these two together only because Obama has a double-digit lead in both of these categories. Obama is way, way ahead of Mint Romney among people who think health care in America is a big issue! Now that the primary has been decided, Mr. Romney may double back and start reminding people about his role in the Massachusetts health care plan.

Obama trails by double-digits among people who consider this the most important issue. Naturally, the GOP will try to make this the single most important issue – much as Bill Clinton did in his first election campaign with “It’s the economy, stupid!”

Education Levels
Obama loses big among white voters without college degrees. He loses, but to a much lesser degree, among white men with college degrees. He wins big among white women with college degrees.

If the election were today…
Obama would win big if the election were held today. Obviously, and unfortunately, it will not be and the factor of the economy may doom the President in the long run. Gas prices hurt! Where will they go in the next seven months? The big oil companies may be able to affect this and could damage the President if they want to; however, it would be a mistake to automatically assume that this segment wants Mr. Obama to lose. The President stands for a lot of things big oil likes.

What the President needs to show…
Mr. Obama will need to demonstrate a good understanding of the economy in order to win the coming election. Even if the economy remains unstable, the President may be able to shag enough votes in this area if he sounds bright and reasonable on turning the economy around – and if he can be successful in reminding people that this economy took its dive under a Republican administration and for reasons that point to Republicans more than Democrats.

State by State
If the November vote were a popular election, I think Mr. Obama could win it; however, the fact that it is a matter for the Electoral College makes it more difficult. The Obama team has already identified the states it must win and some of those, which he won in 2008, are big problems for the President. We’re talking here about Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Citizens United
I haven’t even discussed the impact of the Citizens United decision here and the influence that the Super Pacs might have in this election. Is this an election that will be decided by big corporations and millionaire donors rather than the by the people? This is a factor that will be carefully watched and considered.

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