There hasn't been a politics thread in a while; seems like it's time.
So, what are folks' views on the state of the Presidential race? Is it over or can Governor Romney rally? Are the Republican's Senate hopes fading with the Romney campaign?
I. The Big Kahuna.
My own two cents on the Presidential race is that I think the 47% thing and the last two, terrible weeks for the Romney campaign will blow over and the race will tighten up again. Even so, I'm raising my betting odds, making the President a 4:1 favorite.
IMHO, for Romney to have a real chance, he's gotta knock it out of the park in the debates. Ties are losses; even small wins aren't great. He needs big, homerun type wins. Nothing else can change enough minds to get him back into this thing.
II. My Crummy Senate Prediction.
A year ago, I told my mom that there was "a 99, no, a 99.9 percent chance the Republicans will take back the Senate in 2012." Well, a year's a long time.
When I made it, that prediction seemed safe. The current Senate split is 53 Dems, 47 Repubs. But in the seats up for election this year, the Dems have to defend 23 seats, the Repubs only 10. The Dems butt kicking in '06 gave them that 23 to 10 split, but 6 years later, it means they've got to play defense all over the place.
This election, the seat numbers favor the Republicans: To take back the Senate, all they have to do is win 14 out of the 33 seats up for election. Even better from their point of view, the Dems had 7 incumbents retire, leaving open seats to defend versus only 2 Republicans. Even, even better, since '06 was such a Democratic landslide, some of the seats the Dems have to defend are in very red states, including: Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, Missouri and Indiana.
So, a cinch, right? The Republicans in a walkover. That's what I thought, too. But suddenly Republican Senate nominees are fading all over the place:
1. That Aiken dude in Missouri went from a 5 point lead to a 5 point deficit with his moronic "legitimate rape" comment.
2. The slide in Wisconsin's been even more dramatic. Former Governor Tommy Thompson was up 10 six weeks ago, but his age (he's 70-something) hasn't contrasted well with the youth and energy of Democratic nominee Tammy Baldwin, this despite the fact that Baldwin's views are left of Lenin and she's running to become the first openly gay US Senator. She's gone from down 10 to up 5.
3. The Repubs are even having trouble winning on home turf, with basically tied races in Montana and Indiana.
It's crazy, but I now believe the Democrats have a 75% chance of retaining the Senate, although I still look for the Repubs to pick up a seat. If I had to make an exact call, I'd say the Democrats will win 22 seats, the Republicans 11, + 1 for the Repubs, but leaving the Senate in Democratic hands, 52 - 48.
What do you think?
@don, I'm not sure if you saw it, but I did some research on the President's undergraduate numbers. I posted that research a little earlier in this thread. His undergrad numbers definitely do support a conclusion that without affirmative action he would not have been admitted to Harvard Law School.
I was wondering if you had any thoughts on the campaign tactics point, whether you agree with me that the Romney camp didn't properly set up his taxes between the '08 and '12 runs. I give them an A for cleverly releasing more info last Friday night, but IMHO, it's an A attached a problem they get an F for not having foreseen.
@don, well, you know why the Romney campaign released his 2011 taxes last week, right? They knew it was a nightmare week anyway and all the weekend shows were going to be talking about the 47% thing and other aspects of that video, so they -- very cleverly, in my opinion -- released the taxes Friday night.
They knew the weekend was gonna suck anyway, and so why let the taxes cause another bad weekend's stories? This way, when reporters and the Obama campaign get around to asking questions about the new tax return, they can say "hey, that's old news".
But the article you posted confuses me a little. I thought he only released his 2011's returns, but that dude's making it sound like Romney released all the way back to 1990's return, or am I reading that wrong?
Leaving aside party affiliation for a second, do you agree with me that it was terrible Presidential run prep work of Romney, who, after all, has been running for 5 yrs now, not to make sure he overpaid his taxes and/or gave massive money to charities between '08's run and this one, to avoid handing the Dems an easy line of attack?
When you're a super rich white guy Republican VC fund manager, you know the other side's going to try and paint you as a robber-barron, so don't you have to eliminate that weapon by paying 4 straight yrs of a voluntary 40% or something? It's not like he actually needs any new income.
IMHO, this line of attack ads, highlighting his 14% tax rate vs "regular" people's higher rate, was entirely foreseeable and entirely preventable, but the Romney campaign dropped the ball.
Dems will retain the senate and make gains in the house but not enough to take over. Romney will lose but not as badly as he should. Obama is not a great debater but it has yet to hurt him. Romney is a bully who takes advantage of weakness. My guess is Obama will debate well enough to hold his own. The real problem Romney will have in debates is when his statements are compared to previous statements. He's already changed his position on health care several times.
You are obviously part of the far left wing nut crowd. If Romney goes for the juggler in the debates he will crush Obama. Obama hasn't uttered one word of truth his entire campaign. His performance the past four years warrants an F in every category (economy, foreign policy, domestic issues, etc.). His arrogance and ignorance are a very scary combination. Four years ago obama railed against GW saying the 9 trillion we had in debt (the value is probably a lie, but I'd have to check it out) was unforgiveable and GW was unpatriotic. Four years later obama has added another 7 trillion. By his own words he must be unpatriotic.
The question before America this November is will we commit national suicide or will we fire obama and give us a chance for a future.