I warned you I’d start delving into US politics as the season progressed. Here we begin.
I’m quite confident that Obama will win. There are several ways to break out things for prediction and all (so far) come out in his favor.
Breakout one: sub-group popularity. Roughly six out of ten white males prefer Romney. If you take out “white” then males prefer Romney by a narrow margin; roughly 52-48. If instead you break out young (under age 30) males the rate goes up to almost 7 out of ten.
In contrast, Obama leads among every racial subgroup, he leads for every subgroup (and the whole) of the under 30, and he leads among women. On that last he’s got roughly 6 of 10 women by all measures. Take out the 30+ white women and it’s over 7 out of 10.
When you see a poll that says it is using likely voters, keep in mind that women (51-52% of all voters) prefer Obama 60 to 40, and men are for Romney by only 52%. By simple math: 52% of 60% plus 48% of 48% gives a bit over 54% of the total vote. Then ask yourself what sort of “likely voter” model the pollster is using, anyway.
But wait, there’s more.
Another measure is favorability: like minus dislike. Obama is liked. Even when only 45% of the public thought he was doing a good job over half thought favorably of him. In contrast, Romney is disliked. His best favorability of the past couple of months has been net 0, or an equal number like and dislike him. In contrast to Obama’s +10 of the past month, Romney’s been at -10. These aren’t sudden changes; Romney’s been low to negative for months now.
A point of fairness: part of his dislike numbers are the fans of other Republican candidates. Romney’s numbers should increase over the next couple of months. At least they’d better increase, or November is going to bring another of the “OMG MANDATE” election years.
Can this change? Yes. Obama’s largest concern has got to be another economic drop. This is possible, by the way. The stupidity in Europe (another post that may or may not happen) that insists upon “austerity” budgeting is going to wreck some more countries there, and the wreckage will impact us here. The only questions, really, are how badly, how soon, and what we do in response. Ironically, there’s enough belief that congress is blocking Obama that this might not be the crippling action it would have been even two years ago. The GOP’s intent of making things miserable to make Obama’s job harder may end up hanging the GOP instead.
There are other issues in the world that may also have an impact. If, for example, Israel bombs some of Iran’s nuclear facilities things will get rough, and interesting. Again it’s not an automatic problem for Obama; it depends on how bad, when it happens, and what is done in reaction.
Again, at this time Obama’s re-election is highly probable, though not a certainty. Or so it appears to me as I look at the numbers. The real question for me is how this reflects down-ticket, in Senate, house, and various individual state offices.