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I am aware that many of the national polls are projecting an election that goes down to the wire. I am cognizant of the many hands being wrung about the possibility that the Electoral College vote will diverge from the popular vote. And it has been impossible to escape Nate Silver’s thrice-weekly predictions in the New York Times that Barack Obama has at least a 538 percent chance of winning the election tomorrow.
There is no need to point out the many technical problems with the polls or the intrinsic flaws and poor performance of various statistical models. Many others have gone into considerable detail doing that. I will simply note that I see no legitimate reason to abandon the conclusion that I reached long before Mitt Romney was nominated the Republican candidate for president, which is that Romney will be the next president of the United States. I do not support the man, and I do not believe he will preside in a manner that is beneficial to the country, the economy or the world; I am simply observing that the patterns of party enthusiasm still appear to be much more akin to 2010 than 2008.
It is always futile to pretend any precision in matters of human behavior. But it is also fun. So, in the spirit of the electoral season, I suggest that Romney will win 305 electoral votes to Obama’s 233. I also expect that he’ll have a margin of victory in the popular vote between three and four percent. It won’t be a landslide, but it also won’t be as close as those who expect Obama to win assume a Romney upset would have to be.
Now, is it possible that I’ve completely misjudged the mood of the electorate while being overly cynical about the professionalism of the mainstream media? Absolutely. If so, we’ll enjoy the benefit of another four years of the most incompetent, most unintentionally tragicomic administration since President Carter’s one term. But I’m not concerned about that. We already know what sort of president Obama will make, which is to say an absentee one. A country can do worse.
What concerns me is the possibility that Romney may not, as so many Republicans assume he must be, the lesser evil. I understand why many conservatives, and even some libertarians, are voting for him. Obama is not clearly going to fix the economy, address the growing national debt or arrest the national decline, so Mitt Romney represents the hope of a change in that regard. The problem is that Romney has shown absolutely no sign of even the smallest interest in addressing the core problems the United States is presently facing. He isn’t going to stop the aging of the Baby Boomers, he isn’t going to stop the Federal Reserve’s insane credit creation, he isn’t going to stop Third World immigration, he isn’t going to stop free trade, and he isn’t going to stop the use of the American military as an unpaid global police force.
I’m not attempting to convince anyone not to vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama at this point. I trust I’ve made my position clear in previous columns, and I will not be voting for either man. My only objective is to remind you that the president is just one man, and although he is a powerful totem as the representative of the hopes and dreams of millions of individuals voting for him, he cannot successfully arm-wrestle the invisible hand of the global economic forces.
And remember, just as it took Nixon to go to China and Obama to openly assassinate American citizens, as president, Mitt Romney’s signature policies are likely to be those that go against basic Republican principles.