I have little to add to the debates over how the election will turn out by the time the last poll has closed and the last attorney has been paid. My head says that Obama will eek out a narrow victory. My gut says that Romney will pull it off by the thinnest of margins.
My gut feeling reflects:
- The enthusiasm gap (Romney’s crowds have been growing while Obama’s appear to be relatively stable and smaller than in the past)
- The tendency of voters to reject incumbents when unemployment is high
I predict that Romney will lose Ohio, but will win PA, NH, VA, NC, FL, and WI to claim 282 electoral votes.
I have no reason to believe that on most issues there will be much difference between Romney and Obama—they agree on most issues (approaching 90 percent when Moderate Mitt appears). They seem quite close on foreign policy, the use of drones and kill lists, ongoing infringement of civil liberties in the name of national security, the war on drugs, etc. Romney claims that he will end Obamacare on his first day in office (ahem… does anyone believe this would happen with a Democratic Senate). Neither of the candidates seem serious about addressing long-term fiscal imbalances.
When I step into the poll to vote as I did this morning, I am reminded of James Bovard’s observation that asking whether one supports a Democrat or a Republican is like asking a prisoner whether he prefers horizontal or vertical stripes on his uniform. The problem, alas, is not the direction of the stripes.
So in keeping with past practices, I once again rejected the binary and voted LP where there was an option (in the past, I have happily voted Green when there was not LP candidate on the ballot). Where there was no third party option, I left the ballot blank.
Of course, Grover keeps pressing me to do a pairwise comparison of the two big contenders. With the greatest respect for Grover, all I can see are the stripes.