By Nancy Thorner and Jane Keill -
It’s most interesting, and sometimes great fun, to argue endlessly about what happened in the one and only Vice Presidential candidate debate between Paul Ryan and Joe Biden on Thursday, October 11. In our opinion, which surely is not unlike those of many others, Joe Biden's behavior displayed the abject fool that he is. Unfortunately, Joe Biden is the Vice-President of the United States! At the time it was a blood-pressure-raising event and the latest polls showed Romney ahead by 1% – then Obama was ahead in Ohio, but not Florida. And, on and on and on.
Thank goodness the results in the aftermath of the 2nd Presidential debate between Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama have erased, at least for the time being, our blood-pressure-related stress! The latest Gallup poll, as of Oct. 19, found that Mitt Romney has a seven-point lead over President Barack Obama.
Maybe you’re more interested in Dancing With the Stars or American Idol, and you just won’t care until election day when you finally have to make up your mind. But, turn your mind back to the 2008 election with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain. At the time most of us did the same thing as we are now. We obsessed about the latest media-provoked circus, which was in keeping with the media's objective. In the meantime, Barack Obama and his team marched steadily down the road to the magic number of 270 electoral votes, the number it takes to win a presidential election. President Obama's doing the same thing now, abetted by the mainstream media.
As you may remember in 2000, it is not who wins the popular vote who becomes President. It is the person with the most electoral votes. This was brought home by the Bush v Gore and the Supreme Court decision. Florida was the big state of hope in that year.
Those of us in all-Democrat-all-the-time states -- Illinois (20), California (55), New York (29) -- understand fully why we rarely see the candidates or their ads. We have been written off, or maybe we should say, automatically put in Obama’s electoral vote count column. We don’t really get a say in our state elections, but this does not in any way mean that we shouldn't vote! It only means that these states, and their respective electoral college votes, are already in the bag for the Democrats. When adding three more states to the mix which usually go to the Democrats -- (Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), New Jersey (14) -- Obama has an electoral count vote total of 139 before the election is even held.
From there on it’s all up for grabs, which is why everyone is watching the ‘swing’ states of Ohio (18), Virginia (13), No. Carolina (15), Florida (29). These states have the next level of electoral votes that can lead to a win. Texas, with its 38 votes, has been purposely left out here because the state usually goes Republican.
It is not our intent to predict which candidate will win which swing state. The Daily Swing State Tracking poll for the Rasmussen Reader on Friday, October 19, shows however, an interesting comparison. Of eleven key states won by President Obama in 2008 and thought to be competitive in 2012, Romney has 49% of the vote to President Obama's 47%. Romney leads by three in Virginia. He's ahead by four in Florida and six in North Carolina.
An October 19th Gallup Poll release of likely voters in which all were asked who they would vote for if the presidential election were held today, the response was 45% for Obama and 51% for Romney. The margin of error is given as +2 percentage points.
Despite the current poll tabulations which currently favor Mitt Romney, it is impossible to predict for certainty what the results of the November 6th end game will bring. At this cross road before Election Day, it is wise to pay less attention to the flak that serves as distraction, but instead keep your eye on the prize:
- The White House
- The House of Representatives
- The Senate
Do not obsess about the polls. Do not become discouraged. Do not think your vote doesn’t count. Do keep your eye on the prize! And, keep your eye on the electoral count!