My Man Obama Is Winning

Official photographic portrait of US President...
Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Barack Obama looks like he is enjoying himself on the campaign trail - what took him so long?
if you come down with a case of Romnesia, and you can’t seem to remember the policies that are still on your website, or the promises you’ve made over the six years you’ve been running for President, here’s the good news: Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions. We can fix you up. We’ve got a cure. We can make you well, Virginia. This is a curable disease...... this is, I am pretty sure, the first time I have seen him look really happy to be on the stump. ...... it mattered during the first debate, when he visibly did not want to be there. ....... Under the pitiless scrutiny of a modern democratic contest, in which every person a politician meets is a paparazzo and videographer, their biggest flaws come out eventually ....... if a candidate can go through that ordeal and emerge even half-intact, it is about as good a test as can be imagined for the appalling burden of the job itself.
Paul Ryan has not proved his theory that Americans are ready to debate painful cuts
America’s system of liberty and free enterprise, he declared, has done more for the poor than any other system yet designed. ...... grassroots Republicans at Ryan rallies in Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin take a less sunny line than their idol. They express relief that Mr Romney chose him, rather than a moderate. They call Mr Ryan a budget whizz who knows how to slash spending, and will restore a work ethic to a country being ruined by welfare. They praise his pro-gun, anti-abortion record, and what a Wisconsin fan terms Mr Ryan’s willingness to “destroy” environmental regulation. ...... His boss has not just made a virtue of fiscal vagueness; as the election nears, Mr Romney has seen his poll ratings rise as his tax-and-spending plans become ever-vaguer.
A heavily weighted coin flip
Romney faces such an uphill battle in the electoral college that most quantitative calculations regard the race as anything but too close to call. Nate Silver of the New York Times’s FiveThirtyEight blog, the best-known of the forecasters, currently gives Mr Obama an 86% chance to win. Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium puts him at an even more generous 98%. ..... bookmakers, who uniformly see Mr Obama as an overwhelming favourite. Pinnacle Sports in Las Vegas shows him with a 77.5% likelihood of victory, and Ladbrokes in Britain has him at 81%. ..... Suspense sells ..... Obama leads all of Nevada, Wisconsin and Ohio by 2.8 points or more
The road to 270
New South, blue South?
between 2000 and 2006 textile jobs in North Carolina declined by 70% .... the polls have recently been moving in Mr Obama’s favour in North Carolina, as in all the other swing states: the two candidates are now locked in a virtual dead heat. The nearly five-point lead Mr Romney enjoyed less than a month ago has vanished.
The fulcrum
America’s biggest and most volatile swing state ..... the Republicans cleverly held their convention in Tampa.
Knock, knock
in North Carolina, turnout is up among young voters and blacks. A week from election day in vital Ohio, voters from precincts the president won in 2008 had cast 53% of early ballots ...... Both parties have become more skilled at mobilising voters in the past decade, in part by returning to tactics familiar to politicians of the 1800s ..... nothing beats a personal appeal from “trusted peers”—friends, neighbours, relations or those with shared interests—either on a doorstep or by telephone. ..... On average, Romney backers are whiter, older, more affluent and have moved around less than the general population: all that fits profiles of those most likely to vote.
Deus ex machina
Behind this year’s digital campaigns—whether through e-mail, social networks, apps or web advertising—lies an enormous body of data that have been integrated for the first time. ..... the innovation in this election cycle is that the campaigns are able to link online and offline data. Voter-registration files have been merged with vast quantities of bought consumer data, on top of which come bought or acquired e-mails, mobile and landline numbers, as well as data gathered through canvassing, phone banks and social-media pages. The campaigns are also making use of cookies ..... specific audiences are bought through central advertising exchanges, such as those run by Google or AOL, and the advertising will run anywhere the audience happens to be. ...... online spending for the 2012 elections will reach $160m nationwide ..... About 10% of donations have been sent via text or mobile app. This time round the election is a properly social affair, with both sides engaged in a full range of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Instagram. ..... Social networks can reach voters who do not watch live television and have mobile phones rather than landlines. It can also establish links with people who tend not to vote by targeting their more politically motivated friends and families. It all seems to be working. ...... more than a quarter said social media had influenced their political opinions. ..... E-mail is still crucial, particularly for fund-raising. ..... two pieces of software for organising and mobilising supporters (a smartphone app and an online networking website) ...... both sides are probably running the largest political analysis operations in history. They know more about the electorate than the ranked masses of political journalists and pollsters. Voters may dislike being targeted so finely because of their political views. The truth is that this is inevitable, because the statistics show that it works.
Fudging the numbers
What specific deductions did Mr Romney propose to eliminate in order to finance his promise to cut income-tax rates by 20% ...... What Mr Blitzer asked was: do your proposed revenue enhancements fully compensate for your proposed $5 trillion in revenue cuts? And Mr Romney answered that it won't really be $5 trillion in cuts, because of the enhancements. ...... He understood what Mr Blitzer asked. His response is an acknowledgment that he can't make his numbers add up, so he's hiding behind a smokescreen of feigned incomprehension. The deduction caps can't make up for the tax cuts he's proposing. Either some of those cuts won't happen, or the deficit will go up. ...... Capping deductions can't make up for a 20% across-the-board rate cut, a corporate tax cut from 35% to 25%, eliminating the alternative minimum tax and the estate tax, and the other cuts Mr Romney wants. ....... compares the debate so far to an attempt by Mr Romney to claim that he can drive from New York to Los Angeles in 15 hours without breaking the speed limit
Wishful thinking
foreign policy is easier to critique than to fix .... the trouble with foreign policy is that it involves foreigners, and they do not always do that you want. ..... take Mr Romney’s detailed case, and it is full of wishful thinking, unsupported assertions and omissions ..... globalised protests and terror attacks are asymmetric responses. Their whole point is that they are not calibrated to the strength of an adversary. Surely the bigger, painful lesson of recent decades is that anti-American hatred among Islamic extremists is triggered by bipartisan policies that America cannot and should not change, starting with strong support for Israel, and some that are not going to change any time soon, such as close co-operation with the petro-monarchies of the Gulf. ..... Mr Romney pointed to Syria, quoting a woman from that blood-soaked country and saying: “We will not forget that you forgot about us.”
As Nepal logjam extends, fears rise of presidential activism
Dr. Yadav has said that the government will cease to have any legitimacy after its failure to hold polls on the declared date. He is learnt to feel strongly that Dr. Bhattarai plunged the country into a crisis by declaring elections, “without making appropriate arrangements”. And the President feels he has a responsibility to break “the constitutional and political deadlock”. ...... Dr. Yadav has refused to endorse any ordinances forwarded by the government, and only allowed a one-third budget on the grounds that there was no political consensus for a full budget. ..... the government is legitimate by virtue of being elected on the floor of the House and there is no way to constitutionally dismiss or replace the Prime Minister. ..... Dr. Yadav is over-stepping his constitutional brief. They cite his refusal to promulgate ordinances forwarded by the government and endorse a full budget; his regular meetings with political leaders; and public interventions on political issues, as proof. “It is his job to go by the recommendations of the council of ministers but he behaves like a free bird. Is this constitutional?” ..... Nepal PMO sources said that if the opposition parties continue with their “obstructionist tactics”, they would send the full budget to the President. Asked what would happen if the President rejected it, he replied, “We will send it again.” During the weekend, the President told a Minister, who spoke to The Hindu, that “if the government tried to trap me with the budget”, he would not take it quietly. ...... Since the CA ended, the NC, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), the Upendra Yadav-led Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum, and the ultra-nationalist Maoist splinter outfit led by Mohan Vaidya ‘Kiran’, have all urged the President to dismiss Dr. Bhattarai. ...... Rajendra Dahal, the President’s press advisor, told The Hindu, “The interim constitution clearly states that the President is the protector and defender of the constitution. He has always held the primacy of the political parties and is only highlighting the need for consensus. But he is also under compulsion to resolve the deadlock.” ...... Another presidential advisor said that Dr. Yadav could call for a “national unity government” under Article 38 (1) of the interim constitution.
Despite Controversy, Early Voting Boosts Obama in Florida
Democratic voters, who outnumbered Republicans 46% to 36% in early in-person voting this year, seem to have widened their 2008 lead ..... while the number of absentee ballots cast by Florida Republicans in 2008 beat the Democratic number by some 15 points, this year that gap narrowed dramatically to fewer than 5 points. In fact, the total number of absentee ballots cast in Florida so far is more than 2 million, up 8.7% from 2008. That brings the early-voting total in Florida (in-person and absentee ballots) to almost 4.5 million — more than 2008 .... Obama likely ends up with an early-vote lead in Florida of about 5 points. ..... how deftly the Obama campaign’s defense adjusted to the Florida GOP’s offense. But if the GOP ploy didn’t appreciably diminish early-voter tallies for Obama, and if Romney still ends up winning the state as polls are forecasting — one even has him up by 6 points ...... moves was to cancel early voting on Sundays, which is especially helpful to lower-income voters who might not be able to take much time from work to vote on weekdays — and which has traditionally afforded black churches the opportunity to galvanize pulpits-to-the-polls efforts.
Two cheers for Obama from Europe's press
a flip-flopping Republican challenger
Polls 2012: Barack Obama Leads Mitt Romney With One Day Remaining
President Barack Obama continues to hold narrow but significant leads over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in enough battleground states to put him over the 270 electoral votes needed for victory. ..... The sheer volume of data tells us that Obama's leads in the tipping point states like Ohio and Nevada are not a matter of random chance, and there are no signs of any late breaks to Romney. If anything, the latest national polls appear to indicate a slight uptick in Obama's favor..... Five of the polls show an exact tie, and seven give nominal advantages to Obama that are between 1 and 3 percentage points. ..... the national popular vote estimate now favors Obama by 1.1 percentage points (47.9 to 46.8), the largest Obama margin since before the first debate in early October. ..... Of the 10 new surveys released in Ohio since Friday, all but one show nominal, single-digit Obama leads, except for one automated Rasmussen Reports poll indicating a tie. The Pollster tracking model, as of this writing, gives Obama an Ohio lead of over 3 percentage points (49.1 to 45.7 percent). ..... Obama's lead in Iowa combines with 3 to 4 percentage-point advantages in Wisconsin, Nevada and Ohio to give Obama an Electoral College lead. ..... a roughly 2 point advantage over Romney in New Hampshire, a 1.7 point advantage in Virginia and just under a percentage point advantage in Colorado. Victories in these three states would bring Obama's electoral vote total to 303. ..... The current estimate for Florida is very close, with Romney holding a tiny edge (48.2 to 48.0 percent), as of this writing. Romney's advantage is more significant in North Carolina, where he currently leads by 2 percentage points (49.0 to 47.0 percent). ....... When combined, these estimates add up to Obama winning 303 electoral votes to 235 for Romney.

Obama ahead in new poll as president's camp accuses Romney of desperation
Barack Obama has edged ahead of Mitt Romney in the final days of the presidential campaign, helped by his handling of superstorm Sandy, according to a new poll....... As the two candidates criss-crossed the country in a last round of campaigning before Tuesday's election, a survey by the Pew Research Center, one of the more reliable pollsters, showed Obama leading Romney 48% to 45% among likely voters...... Obama is enjoying a slight edge in polls from most of the crucial swing states that will decide the outcome. ..... Pew estimated that in the final tally, Obama will take 50% of the popular vote to 47% for Romney. The modest lead for Obama marks a shift from a week ago when the two were tied on 47% before Sandy. Among likely voters, 69% said they approved of Obama's handling of the storm. ..... a comment by Karl Rove that Obama had benefited from superstorm Sandy. ..... Obama is being given lots of credit by likely voters for his handling of hurricane Sandy, with nearly seven in 10 voters approving of his performance ...... Motor manufacturers have denied the claim but the Romney campaign has expanded the number of outlets for broadcasting the discredited ad. .... Obama, campaigning alongside Bill Clinton, attracted a crowd of 24,000 for a late-night rally in Virginia on Saturday night and 14,000 in New Hampshire on Sunday. The crowd in Virginia, while respectable for a cold evening, was well down on 2008 when an eve-of-election event at almost the same location attracted more than 80,000. .... In Iowa, the normally reliable Des Moines Register poll put Obama on 47% to Romney's 42%. .... Ohio .... Obama on 50% to Romney's 48%.
Poll watch: Obama gains ground after Sandy
Obama’s handling of the aftermath of the massive storm that hit the northeast may have contributed to his rise since ..... Obama leading 93%-4% among blacks and 66%-27% among Latinos, but losing 39%-54% among non-Latino whites ...... Obama has regained support among women, some of which he lost after the first presidential debate. His lead is particularly large, 64%-30%, among unmarried women. Romney does best among married men, among whom he leads 58%-34%.
Trouble signs in Iowa for Romney?
the Des Moines Register, which endorsed him last week--the first Republican presidential candidate it has backed in 40 years
Clinton Is In the Building for Obama
Mr. Clinton isn’t just anyone, and he spoke for some 25 minutes before turning the microphone over to Mr. Obama. ..... As Mr. Obama wrapped up his remarks (about 22 minutes), Mr. Clinton joined him on stage as “Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow),” Mr. Clinton’s 1992 campaign anthem, blared from the loudspeakers. ...... Mr. Obama took the stage and repeated the suggestion that he appoint Mr. Clinton “secretary of explaining stuff” because he breaks it down so clearly. ...... “Obama has enjoyed the growth in their friendship and relationship,” campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Sunday. “They have a really easy rapport with one another and that’s been a really enjoyable part of the last couple of weeks.”
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