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Students and Faculty Predict Obama Win
11.05.12 |
Lebanon Valley College students and faculty have been closely monitoring this fall’s election and sharing this viewpoints in the Election Blog. With voting scheduled to close tomorrow night, two political science faculty members and the presidents of College Democrats and College Conservatives share their predictions on the outcome, and it’s basically unanimous: President Barack Obama will win re-election and defeat former Massachusetts Governor and Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

Doug Waterman ’15, sophomore political science major and president of College Democrats: “My prediction for the election is simple: Barack Obama. I don’t say this strictly because I am a Democrat, but because I feel Obama has a better grasp on connecting with the people. President Obama understands what it is to be a strong leader. At times, leaders must admit when they are wrong, and President Obama has no problem doing so.”

“I also believe he has a better understanding of how the issues affect the American people. From abortion (the right to choose), to LGBT Rights, to health care, Obama takes into account the average American such as myself. Coming from a less then ‘privileged’ upbringing, he is a relatable figure to the middle and low class American. Although the past four years cannot be classified as 100 percent successful, can we really afford to undo all that has already been done?”

Alex Philp ’14, junior political science major and president of College Conservatives: “From the polls I've seen, I'm predicting an Obama victory, but I think it'll be close. If Romney can win Ohio, he'll likely win it all, but I just don't see that happening. Of the swing states, I think Romney will win Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, and New Hampshire. Obama seems set to take Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Ohio, and Iowa. I think Ohio will determine the winner, like it often does.”

“If Obama wins, I think it’s really the fault of the Romney campaign. A lot of Obama supporters will say that Romney doesn't appeal to the middle class and Obama does. I don't really buy that. I just think Romney doesn't stand out as much and doesn't really excite a whole lot of people. This was the same problem with McCain. The conservative base approves of him, but is just not that impressed with his conservative credentials. He is too moderate and is a notorious flip flopper.”

“From my perspective, I'll be disappointed if Obama is not held accountable for his horrible record and the mountain of debt he's added. But on the bright side, I'm happy that I see less enthusiasm for Obama and I think more people are seeing that Obama has been a failure and a false prophet of hope and change. Additionally, I think if Obama wins, the GOP will have a stronger, more conservative candidate in 2016. My eye is on Rand Paul. Still, four more years of Obama's policies is an extremely scary thought for me. Obama has been a typical big government liberal, spending money we don't have on programs that we don't want; particularly Obamacare and the stimulus bill. Had Romney shown he was a true fiscal conservative, and proposed real cuts to shrink the federal government, then more people would see him as a true alternative to Obama instead of a watered down version of Obama.”

Dr. Chris Dolan, associate professor of political science and international studies: “While the election is too close to call at this point, my read of economic data suggests that President Obama will be re-election. Please keep in mind that states, not the entire country, determine the outcome of any presidential election. If we are going on the operating guideline that the state of the economy is the overriding factor in any presidential election (state of the economy is traditionally the most important issue), Obama has the advantage simply because economic performance in so-called swing states is stronger than in many other states. New Hampshire, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado seem to be enjoying economic conditions that are significantly better than national averages. This favors Obama, since voters in those states are likely to feel better off compared to a year or two ago, which is usually good news for an incumbent seeking re-election.”

“Moreover, data show that the jobless rate fell in 41 states last month, including seven that are considered key swing states in the 2012 election. And in five swing states, the jobless rate is below the national rate of 7.8 percent. The jobless rate fell in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wisconsin from August to September, according to numbers released today by the Labor Department. Among 10 swing states, Iowa had the lowest rate at 5.2 percent.”

“It certainly doesn't hurt President Obama's chances that the jobless rate in some key states, especially delegate-rich Ohio and Florida, has improved over time and now stands at 7.0 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively. But swing-state job creation only matters so much, especially as Election Day draws near.”
“Regarding the economy, voters tend to think about the economy on two levels: personal and national. They consider their individual experiences — their incomes, how much they pay for gas, their own jobs—and also broader macroeconomic trends, like the national unemployment rate and whether the economy as a whole is growing.”

“These macroeconomic data couple with the Democratic ground game and GOTV efforts in key states is likely to result in Obama being ultimately re-elected but by a slimmer margin than in 2008.”

Dr. Jim Broussard, professor of history and GOP expert, has predicted three possible outcomes of Tuesday's vote. "Almost every poll agrees that Romney will win Independents by about 10 percent, a reversal from 2008, and every poll agrees that nearly all Republicans and Democrats will vote for the candidate of their own party. So the only question is, how many of each party will actually vote? Make your estimate of the partisan balance in the electorate and you have your estimate of who will win."

"If the electorate resembles 2008, when about seven percent more Democrats than Republicans voted, then counting in Romney's 10 percent edge with Independents means that Obama will win by about three percent."

"If the youth vote is not as energized as 2008 and Republicans are not as depressed as in 2008, then the electorate will resemble the average of the last half-dozen elections, which is a three percent margin for Democrats. Counting in Romney's edge among Independents means the total vote will be quite close, a coin-flip election."

"If the Republican enthusiasm gap is even bigger than that, the electorate will likely resemble that of 2004, when Republicans and Democrats were about equal. In that case, Romney's lead among Independents would give him about a three percent overall win."

"If the Gallup, Rasmussen, and Pew polls are right in finding that there are also just plain more Republicans than in 2008, then there might even be an electorate in which Republicans have a few percentage points edge. Counting in Romney's Independent strength would mean that he would have maybe a give percent overall majority."

"I think that the likely result is either choice two or three - probably choice two, with a 271-267 electoral estimate."

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