Coffee House

Mitt Romney’s narrow paths to the White House

3 November 2012

4:50 PM

3 November 2012

4:50 PM

Can Mitt Romney win the presidential election on Tuesday? The answer is yes, he can — but it’ll be tough. Although the national polls taken in isolation suggest the race is roughly tied, the state-level polling points to a much bigger lead for Barack Obama. It seems that either the national polls are underestimating Obama’s strength or the state polls are overestimating it, or both. Nate Silver’s Fivethirtyeight model  assumes it’s both, so adjusts the national polling slightly towards Obama and the state polls slightly away from him, so they meet in the middle. And that leads it to forecast a win for Obama of slightly more than two points. That sort of margin would more or less guarantee the President re-election.

Romney’s hope, then, is that the state polls are heavily overestimating the President’s support, and that the race is pretty much tied as the national polls suggest. To be clear, there’s no more reason to believe this than to believe that the national polls are heavily underestimating Obama and he’s actually leading by more like four points. But even granting Romney a tie, his route to a majority in the electoral college (270 of the 538 electoral votes) would still be tricky. Back in September, I identified the nine states that looked competitive. Since then, neither campaign has really succeeded in expanding the map — Obama still has 237 ‘safe’ electoral votes to Romney’s 191. So the map looks like this (which I put together at, with Obama’s safe states in blue, Romney’s in red and the nine swing states unshaded:

Of the competitive states, Romney is the clear favourite in just one: North Carolina. He leads by around two points in the polls there, so would almost certainly carry the state if he tied or won the popular vote. So we’ll put the Tar Heel State’s 15 electoral votes in Romney’s column to bring his total up to 206.

Next up is Florida, where the polls show the two candidates exactly tied. Without Florida, Romney would have no chance of reaching 270 — he’d have to win all eight of the other swing states, which isn’t going to happen on the same night he loses Florida. So let’s give Romney the Sunshine State’s 29 electoral votes — he’s now on 235, 35 to go — and move on.

We now come to two states — Colorado and Virginia — in which Obama leads by between one and two points — in other words, enough to make him the favourite, but less than his lead in the popular vote. If the popular vote does end up tied, then, Romney might be the favourite in these states. We’ll therefore grant him their combined 22 electoral votes, brining his total up to 257. That leaves Romney 13 electoral votes short of 270, with five swing states remaining:

Romney’s shortest route to victory from here is winning Ohio. The Buckeye State’s 18 electoral votes would take him over the top, with 275 in total. Unfortunately for Romney, he trails Obama by three points in the polls of Ohio, and there have been so many there that we can be fairly confident of Obama’s lead. In fact, there have been 15 polls of Ohio in the past week alone, and Obama has lead in 12 of them (one shows the race tied, and the last two show slight leads for Romney). Even if we assume that the polls are overestimating Obama’s lead by a couple of points, he’d still be the favourite in Ohio.


And what about without Ohio? Romney could win by taking Wisconsin plus any one of the other three states (Iowa, Nevada or New Hampshire). The trouble is that Wisconsin — which seemed like it might be close after Romney picked one of the state’s Representatives, Paul Ryan, as his running mate — now looks pretty much safe for Obama. The President now leads by about five points in the polling average for the Badger State, meaning it’s tenuous to claim that Romney’s even competitive there anymore.

Without Ohio or Wisconsin, Romney’s only chance would be to win all of Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire — a very big ask. He’s behind by about three points in Iowa and New Hampshire, and by four in Nevada.

(Incidentally, if Romney took Iowa and Nevada but Obama won New Hampshire, they would have 269 electoral votes each — a tie. That would mean the House of Representatives would pick the President and the Senate would pick the Vice President. Since the Republicans are almost certain to control the majority of state delegations in the House but the Democrats are almost certain to control the Senate, that would probably mean President Romney and Vice President Joe Biden. The chances of a tie are very slim though — about 1-in-500.)

So even assuming a popular vote tie — already a very optimistic assumption for Romney — Obama would still be the favourite to win in each of Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire, and hence the favourite to win the electoral college. The Romney campaign would like people to think they also have a chance in Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. That would give them plenty more routes to 270, but unfortunately the polls don’t bear that out: Romney trails by more than five points in Pennsylvania, and by seven in Michigan and Minnesota.

All of this is why, though this election is indeed a close one by historical standards (Silver’s forecast of a 2.2-point margin for Obama is slightly less than the 2.5-point margin George W Bush won by in 2004, but slightly more than the 2.1-point margin Jimmy Carter won by in 1976), it is wrong to talk of the outcome as a ‘tossup’. That suggests Romney’s chances of pulling off an electoral college win on Tuesday are roughly 1-in-2, whereas they’re actually only about 1-in-6.

In fact the most likely single outcome of the election is the map below, in which Obama wins all of the swing states bar North Carolina to give him 332 electoral votes. And this specific combination of states is actually more likely than any combination that gives victory to Romney.

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Show comments
  • Gerry Boy

    I read these comments out of curiosity to see what Specy readers are saying about the US election.

    What a shame for the author of the piece above; there is barely one relevant or intelligent comment on the contest or US elections. Instead a pile of Obama hating points and misunderstandings/misrepresentations of American politics.

    A couple of people even try to dismiss the US polls on the grounds that they predict the same Democratic turnout or higher than 2008; they dont; this is just plain wrong.

    This election is one of two flawed, imperfect candidates; neither the answer or wholly the problem; Obama aint very radical or liberal and is unwilling to challenge the vested interests; Romney has flip-flopped on nearly every issue and is probably the best the Republican Party with its dogmatic, right-wing ideological fringe can hope for.

    And as for the debt being the responsibility of the Democrats, those high spending Republicans, Reagan and Bush junior, put it into the stratosphere while talking the language of small government.

    • Augustus

      But there’s one thing you can be pretty sure of; no-one voting for Romney will see him in the same light as many Obama supporters saw him in 2008, as some sort of messiah. They just know for sure that four more years of Obama will not be good for anyone.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    The experts in the US are giving it the once over, and the YouGov poll of the presidential race is being pilloried.

    “YouGov poll says Obama will win 30-44yos by 16.5%. He won that group by 6% in 2008. Utter garbage”:

  • David Lindsay

    Twice, Andrew Marr has just referred to the President of the United States as “The Boy”.

    As in Bill Clinton’s words to Ted Kennedy, “That boy should be getting us coffee.”

    Bill Clinton, who originated the claim that “that boy” was ineligible to be President.

  • David Lindsay

    Readers in the United States might be interested to know that, as at every Presidential Election since it became an issue, Republican Party officials appear regularly on the British broadcast media to denounce as “scaremongering” the slightest suggestion that a Republican President would seek to limit abortion in any way whatever. Roe v Wade is
    “precedent”, and that is just that. Such is the official, stated view of the GOP, as such.

    Does that sit uneasily with Romney’s Mormon bishopric? Not really. Mormons seem to be a liberalising force even within the Republican Party, and at least a large proportion of them are clearly Democrats, anyway. Harry Reid is in fact quite conservative compared with Romney, who enacted in Massachusetts the taxpayer-funded abortion that Obama did not enact nationwide, and who through Bain Capital was and remains a personal profiteer from abortion.

    Romney’s Mormonism would be a major issue for Evangelicals if they thought for one moment that he might win. That it isn’t proves conclusively that they don’t, not even for one moment. There will soon be more Mormons than (mostly very secular) Jews in the United States. Half the population of Las Vegas, sending all those tithes back across
    state lines to Salt Lake City, meets the people who control Hollywood and the pornography industry.

    Many, perhaps most, of Romney’s foreign policy advisers are dual American-Israeli citizens. If Nile Gardiner is still a British passport-holder, then one really does have to wonder both why he still wants one and why we still let him have one, as well as pointing out that, as a former Thatcher staffer, he would be arrested if he ever returned to this country, as at least an accessory to one or both of mass murder at Hillsborough and mass sexual abuse of children all over the place; policy on East Asia and elsewhere would seem to be rather informed by Gardiner’s Unificationism, just as Mormonism, no less than big business, lies behind the desire to give “Lamanites” unhindered entry to the United States.

    And then there is Walid Phares, erstwhile militia commander in the Lebanese Forces, and adherent to its irredentist faction which refused to follow General Aoun into the present coalition, instead participating, like the Phalange, in the Salafi-led alliance on behalf
    of which Israel, with her cheerful Salafi parliamentarians and cities and with her Sharia law for anyone born into certain ethnic minorities, is co-operating with Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in attempting to stage a putsch in Lebanon. Doubtless to be joined by Romney’s America in that mercifully improbable event.

    From 1980s Afghanistan to Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Xinjiang, Turkey, Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, putatively Syria, in the form of Jundullah in relation to Iran, and now also Lebanon, with a beady eye needing to be kept on Egypt: there is no closer, nor any more ruthless or more vicious, military partnership on earth than that between the neoconservatives and the Wahhabi and Salafi. Under Romney, the neocons would be back with a vengeance, subsuming those traitors to Christian Lebanon who in any case always modelled themselves on the European Fascism of the 1930s and adhered, as they still do, to the bizarre racial theory of Phoenicianism which, among much else, accounted for their violent hostility towards the ancient indigenous Christians further south. One such racist terrorist godfather, now in league with the Salafi while pretending on Fox to be their blood enemy, is Walid Phares. He is the Co-Chairman of the Middle East Advisory Group to Mitt Romney.

    Thank God that it is not going to happen.

  • XpatPete

    Change or Real Change ?

    Seems like “Same Same but Same Same”

    Romney or Obama, the next four years will depend on economic revival for the USA. It seems to me that the majority of US citizens are focused on economic issues.

    Tough task for either candidate.

    Good luck to both of them.

    US/Brit Xpat living in Cambodia.

  • Augustus

    You can grant Romney as many electors’ votes as you like, but you’ve gotta feet sorry for the other guy, offering four more years of the worst economic conditions for a long time, he can’t blame his failures on George W. Bush any more.

  • AnotherDaveB

    ” Obama still has 237 ‘safe’ electoral votes to Romney’s 191. ”

    Not according RealClearPolitics electoral map. They have 201 vs 101.

    So clearly Mr Romney has expanded the map.

    They also seem to disagree with your assessment of who leads the polls in the various battleground states.

    I think Mr Romney will win big on Tuesday night.

    • HooksLaw

      Its a good argument as to why Romney ought to win. What sings out from the report is that the Democrats held dominance in the Congress between 32 and 80. Thats one reason why the US debt is so big.

      The Democrats don’t deserve to win, they were luxuriating for a long time in the farce that was the Republican nomination process. Current polls show that was hubris.

  • Wilhelm

    Due to demographic changes, the south west going Hispanic, this may be the last WASP president. Expect black people to riot and loot if Obama looses.

  • Curnonsky

    Nate Silver has publicly bet another commentator $2,000 that Obama will win; he has also been quite open about his preference for Obama. So how does this make his data suspect? Because his – like many other polls – assumes a Democratic vote on the order of 2008. That’s just not going to happen. Make sure you and the rest of the Spectator bloggers lay in a nice supply of clean hankies; you’re going to need them come Tuesday.

    • John

      They’re assuming that the all-time democrat voter turnout record of ’08 is their worst case scenario, their baseline for this election. Insane. I’ve seen polls up to D+11.

      Silver was publicly rebuked by the editor of the NYT for making that bet.

      • John

        And now Silver is saying “if Romney wins, it means the polls were wrong”. Nice bit of a*s covering, Nate. Of course, you need to be able to work again after this election…we’re approaching what US writer Peter Ingemi calls “Media Credibility Day”.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Yes, I see that Silver is now going into full ass covering mode. He’s going to blame those biased state polls, while claiming that his aggregation “model” is perfect. What a chump. A fiercely partisan leftist chump. He blew the 2010 shellacking, and now he’s blowing this one, and is looking for an out somehow. What a chump.

          • john

            There is a 100% probability that Silver is wrong. Stick that in your model, Nate…

  • the viceroy’s gin

    In fact the most likely single outcome of the election is the map below,
    in which Obama wins all of the swing states bar North Carolina to give
    him 332 electoral votes. And this specific combination of states is
    actually more likely than any combination that gives victory to Romney.


    If you actually believe that Obama taking 332 electoral college votes is the “most likely single outcome” and is more likely than a Romney win, you know even less about US politics than I thought you did, and that’s really saying something. Even your hack buddy Silver isn’t stupid enough to come close to that sort of deranged prediction.

    By the way, Michael Barone is calling it for Romney with 315 electoral votes, as of last night. So obviously, somebody is going to get their balls smashed with all these predictions, and I’d bet it isn’t going to be the guy who wrote the Almanac of American Politics… the bible.

    • HooksLaw

      Since if you win a state by 1 vote you get all its electoral college votes, and if you pile up votes in your safe states you gain no benefit, its clear that an election which is close in the national vote is difficult to call.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Which is why you don’t make foolish predictions about 332 electoral college votes being “the most likely single outcome”, as this leftist Speccie hack is spewing.

  • jj

    “It seems that either the national polls are underestimating Obama’s
    strength or the state polls are overestimating it, or both. Nate
    Silver’s Fivethirtyeight model assumes
    it’s both, so adjusts the national polling slightly towards Obama and
    the state polls slightly away from him, so they meet in the middle.”

    No, Nate Silver states that when these polls differ the State polls prove a better indicator of historical outcomes. If you are going to play political science via copy and paste do a bit more reading first please.

  • Roy

    Good luck Romney.

  • Jez


    This week I was out of my workshop and was completing a lot of on site work, groundworking, digging up, barrowing earth/ hardcore / concrete etc.

    That’s what I do.

    You are employed to draw in hits on this site relaying up to the minute political analysis to inform the readership of what’s happening.

    Three weeks ago after the first Presidential debate this was the reality-but you denied this because of your liberal bias.

    So let’s get this straight: I groundwork and concrete for a living- you are employed by one of the oldest circulating quality political rags going, yet you know f*.ck all and the majority of the blog responders (me, the shit shoveller included) wipe the floor with your knowledge of what the hell is going on.

    And let’s not mention that nutcase Korski.

    What the F*CK is going on with the MSM in the UK.

  • HooksLaw

    The left have been falling overthemselves saying Romney was a joke candidate, but he has shown hoimself to be resilient.

    It looks like he will just lose, and if thats so its in no short measure because of the dim witted fantasy world loony tune tea addicted nitwits who sought to undermine him at every turn and who are an opposing spin merchants dream..

    Indeed the Republican Party looks like falling short in the senate as well. They cannot blame Romney for that.

    There is a lesson there …

  • DavidDP

    Thanks, Jonathan; a useful and informative summary.

  • Barbara Stevens

    I think what Americans want is jobs and and the debt tackled, like us over here. They have such a high unemployment rate and business failures, they are bleeding taxes away. You cannot pay your bills while half the country is not at work. Romney is right, they need jobs, investment, and businesses to creat jobs and wealth and growth. Obama has increased the national debt and its the grandchildren who will pay the bills for years to come. Just like us here from the Brown years. Obama as spent money and as had some job creation but also job losses to match. If he wins it will spell disaster for the USA.

    • HooksLaw

      Both sides have dodged the issue over the last 4 years. They will probably dodge it again in December. Senators will vote for cuts but not in their state. The federal govt is a vast unwieldy machine. Given the deficit he inherited it was inevitable that the debt would go up of course.

      Eurozone unemployment is much higher than in the USA and has more restrictions on the labour market, making start ups more difficult, and if you take Germany out it would be even higher.

  • Sam Osborne

    Maybe the fat lady has sung for Romney and he is having his final hours in the sun.
    I don’t know about other toss-up states, but if the election were dependent upon Iowa it is over and Obama has won on the basis of the early vote alone. Obama supporters have been getting people to early vote and young people in the college towns are reported to have now voted at a level above that turned on-and-out of 2008.

    On top of this a voter suppression effort by the Republican Secretary of State was blocked by the court and it did nothing but anger and
    turn out the state’ sizable Hispanics that came years ago as railroad and agricultural workers. And there is now a new generation of them that have come (Romney in debate referenced them as ILLEGALS) and voters that share their ethnic roots care identify with them, care about them and worry about them—-no savvy.

    To top this off, the religious right has embarrassed many Iowans by trying to get a Supreme Court Justice voted off the Iowa bench because of the court’s same-gender-marriage decision. Sensitive to what the neighbors think, Iowans are always worrying about how others view us and letters to the editor indicate Iowans don’t want to be thought of as bigots.

    In short, the Republicans shot themselves in the foot they kept putting in their mouth (Romney included) and never had many boots on the ground to drum up and turn out their Iowa votes. Republicans have written a textbook on what not to do— consider it an Iowa McGuffey Reader on politics gone awry.

    • Redneck

      Sam Osborne

      Sincerely hope you’re wrong! No offence intended.

      What do Iowans think of the Benghazi atrocity?

      • HooksLaw

        I imagine iowans are appalled at the bengazi attrocity.

        but it was not carried out by Obama and the Democrat Party, and trying to pretend that Obama effectively ordered the death of his ambassador will not stick. The cock ups inside the CIA etc are the end reason. Of course when Obama is happy to be photographed when bin laden gets his, then he should take the hit when things go wrong.

        I appreciate you will be happy to ignore this and you are welcome to your fantasy.

        • Redneck


          Are you saying that the President was not aware of these events in Benghazi, as they transpired?

          • HooksLaw

            He was aware of what he was told and i suspect what other people knew was confusing. You are speculating.

            I would be happy to be told that Obama was incompetent over this – provided that was based on evidence. But the State Dept stand between Obama and the event.
            6 british soldiers were killed in similar circumstances in Iraq. The fault was not political it was military cock up.

            The implication put around by the nut jobs is that he wanted a good nights sleep and said ‘bugger the ambassador, I can’t be arsed’. This is as believable as all the numerous Democrat smears of Bush.

            Republican or Democrat, I don’t like smears, but of course given past Democrat history – serve Obama right if he is smeared.

            • Curnonsky

              What is confusing about a call for help from your own ambassador? “We are under attack” would seem to be pretty straightforward, no?

              • IRISHBOY

                Not to mention Hilary mouthing off about the You Tube video which had nothing to do with it. The Left, so obsessed with always being at Year Zero, that they learn nothing from history (or just re-write it) – it’s the cover-up which does the greatest damage.

              • HooksLaw

                Ask the CIA. As the US military.
                What we have is a spectacular failure of intelligence. It happens. There was a failure to prevent the attack. Once it started there was little to be done.

                There are real issues to criticise Obama on, inventing ones makes you look stupid. Ultimately of course he and Clinton and Pannata are the ones responsible for asking the questions before all this happened.

                • Curnonsky

                  You ought to learn more about what happened (which the Spectator, like the rest of Obama’s lapdogs, is studiously ignoring). There were American, British and Turkish military assets that could have been deployed to save the consulate – the order was never given as Barry required a good night’s rest before heading off to his Las Vegas fundraiser the next day. The “CIA did it” excuse is being peddled now by his campaign via the New York Times; it will not wash.

      • Jez

        F*ck all Redneck.

        The msm aren’t reporting it

        • Redneck


          Weird that it’s not being reported, I just can’t fathom that. Must be nothing in it, I guess?

    • Kevin

      Republicans shot themselves in the foot they kept putting in their mouth…and never had many boots on the ground

      How many metaphors can a man mix in one sentence?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      They whacked the other Iowa Supreme Court judges because of that gay marriage vote, ace. Nobody but you progressives is angry this fresh judge is about to get whacked.

      That Iowa paper that endorsed Romney after having endorsed Obama in 2008? I guess they recognize their mistake and are rectifying it. Take note, I got Iowa as a tossup right now. And if Iowa goes, and like Wisconsin it’s trending away from the Left, then this election is over.

  • eeore

    His company makes the voting machines, so I guess he has a chance.

    • Kevin

      Even if that were true, Obama would say: he didn’t build them.

      • eeore

        From Black Box Voting…

        Romney’s son Tagg Romney — partnering with Mitt’s top fundraiser from
        his 2008 campaign — run an equity fund invested heavily in electronic
        voting machines in crucial swing-states.

        Their private equity
        fund, Solamere Group, has partnered with H.I.G. to buy a controlling
        chunk of Hart InterCivic, a company with voting machines in Colorado and
        Ohio. H.I.G. is the 11th-largest contributor to Mitt Romney’s campaign,
        and all but one of the company’s American directors have donated to
        Mitt Romney’s campaign.”

        Though they may have a programming error as in Colorado it is reported that votes for Romney are being registered for Obama.

        • Kevin

          Yes, given your last line was the quote worth it?

          A quick search took me to the anti-Romney Web site “thinkprogress”, which, after discussing the subject, concludes as follows:
          “The rigged machines myth is not only distracting, but harms the effort to get out the vote.”

          • eeore

            Thinkprogress is funded by George Soros, so they would say that wouldn’t they.

  • Wilhelm

    Special assistant to president Obama for the disabled Kareem Dale has said in a democratic election rally ” Let’s win this mother F**ker.”

    Hmm, would a Wasp say something like that ?

    • HooksLaw

      Bruce Willis in various films, made with wasp money?

      • Wilhelm

        That’s in Hollywood films, I’m talking about in real life, duh.

        • HooksLaw

          In real life lots of wasps lap all that up dummy.
          I am a wasp by the way and quite pleased to be so. But wasps are not a monolithic block to be used by the likes of you to peddle their bigotry and prejudice.
          Oh and I hope Romney wins.

  • Kevin

    Here is an interesting one. After Obama shocked Republicans by saying, “Voting is the best revenge”, the following message has been posted on Twitter, ostensibly by Jim Messina, Campaign Manager, Obama for America:

    The Romney campaign’s message today is revenge, ours is the President’s plan for the middle class. I’ll take that contrast any day. (Emphasis added.)


  • Wilhelm

    Due to demographic changes with the south west going Hispanic this may be the last Wasp president. Expect black people to riot and loot if Obama loses.

    • John Jefferson Burns

      We yanks do not go for the racialist crap of you Limeys.
      Whoever wins we all pull together.
      Having said that most round me want economic competence.
      We are all tired of that lying son of a bitch Obama.
      He leeches money from the hard working to give to the work shy and also rans.
      He’s as wet as your Miliband and twice as wet.

      • Wilhelm

        ” We Yanks do not go for the racialist crap of you Limeys.”

        Explain White Flight then ? Why don’t the Kennedy’s for instance, make the ultimate sacrifice and buy a house in a black ghetto ? instead of living in Cape Cod which is the whitest part of America.

        And what about those agitators in the anti white, Race industry racket like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, the Southern Poverty League and the NAACP, two loathesome organisations.

      • Kevin

        It was a “Yank” who coined the phrase, “Blood is thicker than water” – in a (positive) reference to “Limeys”.

      • Barbara Stevens

        Like us here in the UK you can see the folly of socialist policies, we’ve had enough of them and now we are paying the price.

      • Augustus

        If anything, the whole issue of
        victimhood based on skin colour took a turn for the worse four years ago. And no
        amount of sudden, self-imposed separation on the part of the Obamas from their
        beloved Pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, altered that reality. And most commentators let Obama’s feeble explanation about not actually agreeing with his pastor
        suffice. After all, they told themselves, what counts is that Obama likes to
        quote his “real role model,” Martin Luther King, Jr. That he always does so in
        the wrong context, such as when comparing the struggle of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to that
        of the American Revolutionaries doesn’t seem to matter to them. And it has been their inability to do so on which Obama has relied throughout
        his career, first as a community organizer in Chicago, then as a senator, and
        certainly during the campaign that resulted in his presidency.

        • John Jefferson Burns

          Rev. Wright Married Obama And His Wife Michelle,
          Baptized Their Two Daughters And Is Credited By Obama For The Title Of His Book, “The Audacity Of Hope.”

          Let’s look at Rev. Wright’s sermons, offered for sale by the church”The
          government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people,” he said in a 2003 sermon. “God damn America for treating our citizens as less thanhuman. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she issupreme.”

          In addition to damning America, he told his congregation on the Sunday after Sept. 11, 2001 that the United States had brought on al Qaeda’s attacks because of its own terrorism.

          “We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more
          than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” Rev. Wright said in a sermon on Sept. 16, 2001.

          “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black
          South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost,” he told his congregation.

          “He has impacted the life of Barack Obama so much so that he wants
          to portray that feeling he got from Rev. Wright onto the country because we all need something positive,” said a member of Obama’s congregation.

          Obama has praised Rev. Wright’s approach, referring to his “social gospel” and his focus on Africa, “and I agree with him on that.”
          Obama cannot escape his roots his upbringing and his influences extending into adult years.
          What we need is a man who understands Americal dreams and aspirations.

          • Thomas Paine

            Quotes sound fair enough, may not be comfortable reading for many in the US, but pretty accurate viewed from a distance.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Yes you do go in for racialist crap. You always have and you always will. At least we don’t lynch them the way you used to. And what was it you used to call the Vietnamese? But Yanks are strangers to self-criticism.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Did we used to call them wogs, your lordship?

      • victor67

        Mr Burns, the days when rich, racist white men carried elections in multi ethnic America are over. The republicans have alienated women with their views on abortion. Hispanics with their views on imigration, Gays on same sex marriage and well the blacks like turkeys are not voting for christmas.

        So looks like 4 more years of your worst nightmare no matter how unimpressive
        BHO is.

        • John

          Obama is going to get hammered.

          • Augustus

            Point taken on your first point. No comment on the second!

            • Augustus

              I would like to revise that. You believe that Israel is a fanatic, fundamentalist, religious, fascist and racist state detached from reality and the world. I don’t. I believe that Israel is an enlightened, liberal and democratic state, but that it is mostly up to the Palestinian Arabs to coexist in peace and partnership with Israel. And I would suggest to you that the Israeli Prime Minister is far more likely to confront disagreements
              under the rules of democracy, than the Palestinians are likely to renounce
              discord and achieve consensus.

        • Augustus

          So who’s the one fixated on millionaires and billionaires? Who’s concerned that Muslims not be offended? Who’s a proven pathological liar? Who spends on things that don’t work, but will in time (that used to be called insanity)?

          • victor67

            Read my post Obama is a failure and is in the pocket of big buisness. The point is the Republicans are way to extreme on a number of issues. My prediction is middle America will hold their nose and re-elect Obama but we will see on tuesday.
            Perhaps being an ardent zionist you are worried that a 2nd term Obama will be freed up from the power of AIPAC and the Israel lobby and will exert the neccessary pressure on Bibi in regarding to making a settlement with the Palestinians. Your worst nighmare I think?

      • dalai guevara

        When your annual tax bill amounts to less than 14% of your income, you will not become President anywhere – not in the US, not in Swaziland. It is -as always- as simple as that.

        What happened to the concept of progressive taxation? It is fiction or real fiction?

      • Colonel Mustard

        “We yanks do not go for the racialist crap of you Limeys”.

        Strange then that your segregated black servicemen were welcome in unsegregated “Limey” pubs during the Second World War (much to the consternation and anger of some of your “non-racialist” compatriots) and that “Limey” blacks fought alongside their white comrades in unsegregated units, even within the supposedly class-ridden RAF. But that was before the Labour Party decided that Britain needed a racialist past in order to further their destructive “progress” of setting Briton against Briton in true Marxist fashion. And since then the race “relations” industry has proved lucrative and empowering for some, divisive and destructive for most.

    • John

      Don’t be ridiculous. Black people aren’t going to riot when Obama loses on Tuesday.

      • Wilhelm

        Oh the naivety.

      • Redneck

        My, how they laughed!

      • Redneck


        Any idea what percentage of African-Americans intend to vote for Mr Obama?

        If the split is 50:50ish, then I’d believe you.

        • John

          Yes, 95% who do vote will vote Obama. And your point is?

          • Redneck


            I think that demographic might be a little cranky, were Mr Obama to be ousted?

            • John

              Why? Please explain. Feel free to cite Ann Coulter’s book, ‘Mugged’, as well.

              • Redneck

                Not sure why you’d invite me to cite a book I’ve not read?
                My view, that there might be potential rioting, is based on three things:
                1. The African-American vote is very much race-based; defeat for their candidate will be seen, by them, in those terms.
                2. Threats of violence have been made.
                3. Volatile state of the Country: propensity to “riot” to express disenchantment is far greater than it was in the past.
                I am willing to bet you $10,000 that it will come to pass during Mr Romney’s acceptance speech.

                • john

                  Redneck, we both know you’d never pay me, so why bother making the offer? There will be no riots during Romney’s acceptance speech. You’ve been listening to too much Alex Jones.

          • Augustus

            ” 95% who do vote will vote Obama.”

            That may be true, but the it’s more than likely that many will simply not vote in the dramatic numbers of 2008. Blacks are said to be disappointed with Obama regarding the economy and offended by his support for gay marriage. Overall, the African-American community has seen few gains, if any, in an economy gone south.

            • john

              Black turnout could be down 15% at this election. They’re fed up of Bathhouse Barry. And that phrase was coined in the south side of Chicago.

      • Kevin

        It may be unlikely, but it is not ridiculous to suggest there may be some rioting. Threats have been posted on Twitter.

        • John

          They are not going to riot.

  • toco10

    Who cares!Thank goodness London rather than New York hosted this year’s Olympics!

  • Right On

    Thanks Jonathan, I’ve read lots and lots of analysis on the US election but yours has been by some distance the shallowest and least insightful. Regurgitating Nate Silver as fact and using selective parts of data to try to delude yourself is pretty dismal.

    Can someone at The Spectator please go out and find someone who can blog on US politics from a conservative perspective – there is no shortage of Obama loving in the UK – don’t need to get it from here as well.

    • Malfleur

      Or find someone who can blog on ANYTHING from a conservative perspective…

    • Mike Barnes

      Erm, he’s blogging from a simple mathematical perspective. There is no right and left in the polling, it’s just numbers.

      “Damn polls and there liberal bias! Can’t you just hire a conservative who lies and tells us what we want to hear?”

      • Right On

        Actually he’s not, he’s picking and choosing polls and ignoring the internal numbers that give a much stronger indication of possible results. He ignores some highly contradictory state polls and the fact that the majority of polls have Romney leading amongst independents.

        He also glosses over the nationally tied polls, if the PV is within a point or two the landslide he points to is not possible.

        It’s a slanted analysis – I don’t want “someone to tell us what we want to hear”, I want someone who isn’t a confirmed “fan of Barak Obama” giving a one sided analysis.

    • Steerage

      Jones is showing fractional signs of nerves by even conceptualising a Romney victory, unlike the BBC which is cheerleading 100% this (Sunday) morning for Obama and his victory.

      Election night will be a joy as they are forced to admit the US is no longer a liberal’s wet dream. Of course the bitter anti-Americans who do predominate in the UK, even within the top echelons of the Conservative Party, will have to be seen to eat a large slice of humble pie. What joy.
      Not that America is England writ large. It is a separate nation with very different interests from ours. People should try to get used to that.

  • CraigStrachan

    Yes, the President will put Romney to bed by midnight EST on election night.

    • Augustus

      Ah! Dem polls, Dem polls!

      • CraigStrachan

        It’s Dems at the polls that will do it.

        • Augustus

          Yes, they will do anything to win. But Obama is a loser.

    • John

      Bathhouse Barry is going to lose, and lose big. I hope you and all the other lefties out there have a good coping strategy ready, Craig.

      • HooksLaw

        I hope Romney wins but its likely he will lose. The polls and betting are pointing that way. The build up to this election is confused so its always possible he will do a Trueman to Obama’s Dewey.
        Of course Obama does not deserve to win. What was he saying 4 years ago about Guantanamo bay? What was he saying 4 years ago about Afghanistan?

        • John

          It is not likely at all that Romney will lose. You’ve swallowed the memes of the Ministry of Truth all the way down. The betting action is no indicator. They have based their decisions on information from the MoT as well. Romney wins.