Will Romney Win?

By: Craig Chamberlain

The latest Gallup tracking poll has Mitt Romney leading President Obama 51-46. If that’s true then it is terrific news for Republicans, conservatives, and those who think that the last four years have been an exercise in idiocy. But count me skeptical. I’ve believed from the very beginning that this race would be extremely close, both in the popular vote and in the electoral college. Honestly, I hope that’s not the case. It would be great to be watching the election returns in 18 days and see Romney mop the floor with Obama. I just don’t think that it’s going to happen. The latest Rasmussen poll has the race tied 47-47. That’s probably closer to reality. We’ll have to wait and see other polls come in to get a clearer picture of what’s really going on, but I’m sticking with my belief that this race is going to be won by a razor thin margin.

Which brings us to the question: who’s going to win? The race could go either way. For Obama he has the advantage of incumbency( only 10 sitting Presidents have been defeated by challengers) many people prefer the candidate they know to the candidate they don’t. The President has hammered Romney with negative ads, and they’ve stuck pretty well. Romney has very high negatives. Then, as much as conservatives might not want to admit it, there is a large portion of the American population that agrees with Obama’s vision for America. They want the government to have more power, private enterprise to be more constrained, American foreign policy to be “humbler” the American military to be weaker, taxes to be higher, and more people dependent on Washington. Romney was right when he said 47% of Americans pay no federal taxes, and guess what? Most of the them are voting for Obama.

Romney has certain advantages of his own. He’s consistent on his message. He’s committed no major gaffes(despite what the media says), President Obama has been consistently below 50% in the polls, and historically the challenger gets most of the undecided vote. Though how anyone could be undecided at this point is beyond all reason. Romney has had the resources to run a strong campaign and not find himself buried in an Obama mudslide. The momentum is on Romney’s side. It’s looking more and more likely that he will win Virginia, Florida, and Colorado. Though Nevada and Ohio remain stubbornly in the Presidents column, though very narrowly. Romney’s voters are more enthusiastic, and he’s winning the independent voters by an average of 8.3% in the polls.

Now, conservatives should not be disheartened by Ohio. Yes, as goes Ohio so goes the country. But President Obama’s victory there is not chipped in stone. The race for the Buckeye state is usually a close one. President Obama won it in 2008 with 51% of the vote, President Bush won it in 2004 with 50.8% of the vote and in 2000 with 49% of the vote. President Clinton won it in 1996 with 47% and in 1992 with 41% of the vote. The last time that a candidate claimed Ohio by a comfortable margin was in 1988 when George H.W. Bush won it with 55% of the vote. So it should be no surprise that the race in Ohio is going to be 50-50. It’s really all going to come down to turnout(and making sure there aren’t any shenanigans in Democratic strongholds like Cuyhoga  County.) Many states are going to be won be close margins. Wisconsin, Virginia, Colorado just to name a few others. We live in an evenly divided nation and it’s the evenly divided states that determine elections.

Because of this it’s going to be a very close race. It will also be very predictable. We won’t see President Obama winning Texas or Oklahoma, and we won’t see Mitt Romney winning New York or California. It’s going to come down to the neck and neck races in the battleground states, that no mans land between the trenches of the GOP and the Democrats. So for both sides it’s all about turnout, turnout, turnout. Many states could be determined by just a few thousand votes.

Neither candidate has this election won yet. I will be saddened, but not surprised, at an Obama victory. Just as I will be gladdened, but not shocked, at a Romney victory. Mitt Romney can win, and there’s a good chance that he will. Maybe that chance is better than 50%, maybe it’s not. But it’s still a good chance. There’s still time for Romney to win or lose this race, the Republicans can’t spike the football on the five yard line believing that we’ve already entered the end zone. No one in the Romney campaign is doing this but there is a danger for GOP voters to believe that victory is at hand and that all we have to do is tally up the votes in the coming Romney landslide.

It’s probably best for Romney supporters to temper their enthusiasm. We probably won’t win Wisconsin, Michigan or Pennsylvania. The contests will be much closer in these states than they were in 2008, but it’s most likely that the Democrats will continue their stranglehold on them. Though it would be very nice to take some of their states away from them.
I won’t predict who’s going to win. All I can say is that it’s going to be extremely close and it’s going to be a long night on November 6th.

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