For better or for worse, the absolutely brutal 2012 presidential election cycle will hopefully and mercifully end sometime next week, after the last polls close late on Tuesday, November 6th. “Hopefully”…because it’s possible to have a repeat of the election count/recount/court battle that ensued in Florida in 2000 when neither GW Bush nor Al Gore could definitively claim the presidency until the Supreme Court settled the issue on December 12, 2000, almost 5 weeks after the November 7th election of that year.
We all know how THAT turned out, don’t we?
It could possibly happen again in one of the swing states, including Florida, where in 2000 the use of paper “butterfly ballots” was an issue. This year most polling places are using electronic voting machines, but there is some suspicion about them as well. And of course, with this election being so close in so many states, challenges to the initial result are probably inevitable. But hopefully (there’s that pesky word again) we will get through the challenges quickly enough to not dramatically affect either the outcome or the timing of the final determination of the winner.
Most (but clearly not all) voters are aware that this election also involves electing congress because all 435 seats in the US House of Representatives are in play every two years, as well as one third of US senators. In this hyper-partisan environment, the party that wins/retains a majority in each house of congress will have a much greater impact on voters’ lives and future than the individual members that win elections. In each house of congress, the majority party will control the schedule, the agenda, the committees and subcommittees. This is incredibly significant considering the fiscal cliff of “sequestration” looming on January 2nd, 2013.
Thus, the election of congress is a lot more important than most people realize. Even republican Speaker of the House John Boehner said that he doesn’t think sequestration can be fixed during the lame duck session of congress, which will occur after the election but before the newly elected members replace the losers and/retirees in January 2013. That’s probably because the losers and retirees that are leaving in January have nothing more to lose if they defy their “no comprise” lunatic GOP leadership.
With this in mind, here are the predictions:
US House of Representatives: The GOP will retain a majority of seats, and therefore control, but their present lopsided majority of 241 republicans to 194 democrats will be significantly reduced, perhaps by as many as 10, though more likely by five. Five democratic pickups would change the numbers to 236 to 199, while 10 pickups would result in final numbers of 231 republicans to 204. That would make it harder, but still not impossible, for the House to continue to stonewall ANY democratic proposals.
US Senate: The democrats will retain control, although they will likely lose at least one seat of their slim majority to the GOP. That doesn’t do much either way, since they still need 60 votes to break any GOP filibuster, which the GOP has used more over the past four years of the Obama administration than in all of previous US history combined before 2009. The chances are that they will not be able to overcome the filibuster.
And finally…the presidency, itself: Romney and his “lie, pivot, lie, deny, lie, change positions, etch-a sketch” campaign organization probably felt their stomachs hit the floor with a loud thud when the largest (in girth) Romney surrogate in existence, New Jersey’s republican governor Chris Christie, said on national TV yesterday for the whole world to hear that Obama was doing a great job during the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. he called the president’s response to the disaster “outstanding”, and said that FEMA was doing great job coordinating with state and local disaster relief efforts.
See it HERE: Christie praises Obama
This flies in the face of Romney’s statements about FEMA during a 2011 republican presidential debate, when he said he’d eliminate FEMA and send its role and its responsibilities down to the states, and and that he would even privatize it if he could. Anyone paying attention would see this as yet another case of Romney not being able to get his foot out of his mouth fast enough. The result? The polls show Obama opening his lead in many swing states and even taking the lead in Florida away from Romney for the first time since early October, right after the first debate. Of course, that’s right now, not next Tuesday.
So, assuming Obama doesn’t screw up bad over the next six days, and Friday’s job report isn’t too bad, Obama, who needs 270 electoral votes to win re-election, is going to win 290 electoral votes. And if the jobs report on Friday IS bad, Obama will still win with 271 elector votes. It’s arithmetic, as Bill Clinton said.
That would make Mitt Romney the LOSER!!!!
Actually, come to think of it, he already IS a loser.