Thursday, June 28, 2012
There is a bit of received wisdom in the political world that incumbents need to be polling at 50% or higher to win on election day. I don't have the data at my fingertips, but I have observed this to be accurate over the years. The thinking is that incumbents are known quantities, and that anyone who's undecided will likely vote for the other guy as soon as they figure out who it is and what he/she stands for.
One could argue that in a presidential election this is less true since they "other guy," in this case Mitt Romney, is widely known. That would be investing too much faith in the American people and how much they really pay attention to this stuff in June.
So, to give an example, if a race is polling at 47-43 in favor of the incumbent, they are likely doomed. Historically, the 10% who are undecided will almost all break for the challenger.
With this in mind, I decided to see where Obama stands in every state that's thought to be remotely competitive. There are thirteen on the list, and up for grabs are 163 electoral votes.
In how many do you suppose Obama is at 50% or higher? Survey says: one, uno, and that's in Oregon where he's polling at precisely 50% (note: my reference for this is the RCP Polling Average).
Here are the other twelve, in order of electoral importance:
North Carolina 46.2%
Note that in only one of these states is Obama even that close to 50, and that's Nevada which has a paltry 6 electoral votes.
There's a long, long way to go until the election. Hell, two weeks before an election is still an eternity. But these numbers bear watching, because if nothing changes they spell doom for Obama.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
There are stories going around today that Marco Rubio isn't even being vetted by the Romney campaign for the VP slot. Don't buy it.
First, there is zero chance that Rubio doesn't at least get vetted. Sure, he might not get the nod, but to not even get a look? Not a chance. Rubio is a highly popular pick for the base, and Romney has to at least appear to be interested.
The Naked Dollar also has a confidential source that confirms the is likely a red herring. We'll see soon enough.
For what it's worth, there's never been a more obvious pick for VP in our lifetime. Big swing state, young and handsome, popular with the base, and presumably Hispanics. Rubio is the dream package. My guess is that Romney's camp doesn't want to seem to be doing the obvious, at least not yet, so they planted this story to throw people off the scent. At the same time, playing coy helps Romney score points with other potentials veeps, like the Portmans and the Pawlentys, who will appreciate at least seeming they're in the hunt. Romney needs these people, and their states, in the fall.