Thursday, November 08, 2012

My Election Forecast--Right and Wrong

Early this year (see Jan. 11 post, “A Fearless Forecast”) the Geezer went out on the proverbial election forecasting limb. The limb remains intact, but it’s a little shaky.

I said after Mitt Romney’s early primary win in New Hampshire he would be the Republican candidate for president. Right.

I said President Barack Obama would win a close election. Right, but it wasn’t as close as I thought it would be.

I said Democrats would hold a majority in the Senate and fail to win enough seats to wrest House control from the Republicans. Right.

Because Libertarian Ron Paul finished second in New Hampshire with a hefty 22.8 percent of the Republican vote, I predicted he would run a strong race as a third party candidate. I said the Libertarian presence would take enough votes away from Governor Romney to reelect President Obama. Wrong.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson picked up the Libertarian banner when Paul declined to run. Although Johnson became the first Libertarian to get more than a million votes in a presidential election, they were fairly well spread out across the country and did not hand President Obama any states. Florida, where Libertarian views are strong in a few counties, may prove the exception when all votes are counted there. However, Florida became a nonfactor when President Obama clearly won a return to office well before Sunshine State votes mattered.

I made a major miscalculation thinking the election would be closer. I erred in assuming that Mr. Obama’s 2008 victory quite possibly was a one-time event motivated by strong demands for change from large segments of the public disenchanted with President George W. Bush and his policies. Results in 2012 show 2008 was no fluke. They proved that the white male establishment no longer will be dominant in American politics.

The 2008 election signaled a trend; it was not an outlier in the world of political statistics.

(I also said in January, “We will be in for another four years of frustrating stalemate in Washington.” That remains a popular viewpoint following this week’s election. However, I’ve come to believe we self-appointed seers are dead wrong about that. A post on the topic will be coming soon.)


JHawk23 said...

Not a bad prediction record! If I had found time to write the day before the election, I would have said, as I believed, that the winner's electoral vote margin would be larger than most expected, and that Obama had the edge.

Agree also, the 2008 result was not an outlier. I've long thought the nation was changing in ways the GOP was failing to keep up with. The future is with those that can harness it.

schmidleysscribblins, said...

From where I sit on the other side of the Potomac, I would say its business as usual in Washington DC. Because the Dems failed to muster the 60 vote majority in the Senate, Harry Reid is already trying to change the Senate rules to stop filiblusters. I am sure you know how well that will work. Many Dems will opposet the change as they are sure to lose a few seats in the midterm elections.

Planning for the 2016 race has already begun around here, in the land of perpetual campaigns.


PiedType said...

I'd hoped for the best and feared the worst in this election, and fully expected to wait days, if not weeks, for the final results. Still stunned it all came so fast.

Now I feel the same about Congress. I hope they will forget the worst of their political partisanship and obstructionism and get busy doing the country's business. But I fear they may continue with business as usual.

joared said...

Reads like you did pretty well with your predictions. I think there's an increased possibility that there may be some movement in Congress taking some long overdue much needed legislative action. We have to be concerned now about exactly what kind of "sleeping in the same bed together" changes will be concocted.

Vagabonde said...

Your forecast was a lot more accurate than some polls I saw around here. It saddens me that in a country where people are free to vote so many don’t. I saw that the US ranks 120th of the 169 countries on which there are numbers on voter turnout – the US ranks between the Dominican Republic and Benin. Of course some states here make it pretty hard for people to vote – waiting in line for hours or taking their names off their lists (there was a lot of problems here in Atlanta.) Even though Obama won the election I think the Republicans will act as if they did and won’t accept that they have to compromise.

Kay said...

You were right on in almost everything, Dick. With Obama's win in Florida, it's looking a lot better although still not quite as good as 2008. I'm still tremendously relieved.