Tuesday, February 15, 2011

1996 Is Not 2012. Palin Is Not Bob Dole.Obama Re-election Not A Historical Certainty.

The "current wisdom" an oxymoron if there ever was one as this 'wisdom" has been found sorely lacking of recent years, has it that the odds strongly favor President Obama's re-election as "that is the lesson of history."

It is tempting to say, as with Henry Ford "History is more or less bunk. It's tradition. We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker's dam is the history we made today." There is good reason for that of course as regards the inevitability of a sitting presidents  re-election-consider President Carter's second term, or President Ford's or President G.H.W. Bush's second term.

President Johnson didn't even try for another term after one previously winning of the biggest landslides in history the first time he ran. President Truman had the option of running again but declined during a time when his popularity was at a record low. Thus it is a myth that a sitting president is more or less invulnerable. 

 G.W. Bush won with the lowest percentage for a sitting president, squeaking through with a football field number of votes in Ohio, and with unasked for the assistance of Bin Laden who intervened late in the campaign.

If we look at the electoral college map for Bob Dole in 1996 as an example of special circumstances it is clear that 2012 bears no resemblance whatsoever and is a further example of the ridiculousness of the "inevitability" myth.

Firstly Ross Perot drew nearly 8 million votes.Since it was a time of prosperity it seems unlikely that,as was the case in 1992 the draw from Clinton/Dole was even-the above map hints at Dole being affected more than Clinton.

Secondly President Clinton was from the South and took states which went Republican in the next three elections Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Kentucky and Florida which went for the GOP in the next two elections. Given the current political atmosphere there is every chance of all those states,including Florida, which Obama won narrowly in a horror year for the Republicans, going to the GOP in 2012.

With everything going for Obama he still couldn't win Missouri which looks safe for the GOP.
Thus with the anomalies out of the way the deciding states will be Ohio and Iowa which went for the GOP 2 out of the three previous elections, North Carolina a traditionally GOP state, and Virginia which looks like the Queen maker state.

Bearing in mind that population shifts have given the Republicans a 6 point starting advantage in the electoral college, there being no third party drawing votes off on the right, the South returning to its traditional voting pattern absent a Southern democrat running, the final electoral college map would look like this.
The Republicans could lose Colorado and one vote from Nebraska (as last time) and still win

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