"At the political futures market Intrade, shares in Mitt Romney have been a hot commodity this week. As of early Thursday evening, the bettors there gave Mr. Romney a 43.5 percent chance of winning November's election. That's up from about 39 percent late last week, before Mr. Romney's announcement that Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin would be his running mate. Our forecast model has usually been more bearish on Mr. Romney's chances than Intrade – but it also shows him gaining ground over the past several days. It now gives him a 31.3 percent chance of winning the Electoral College, up from 26.7 percent late last week."
– "Why I'm Not Buying the Romney Rally," Nate Silver, Aug. 16, 2012
Intrade says Romney is going to lose. Nate Silver, the expert meta-pollster of FiveThirtyEight fame, says Romney is going to lose. Rasmussen Reports has the Electoral College count at 247 to 206 in favor of Obama, with 85 votes in the toss-up category. With the exception of Gallup, most of the major polls are predicting an Obama victory in November.
I don't think so. I think the Republican Romney/Ryan ticket is going to win in November. I don't say this because I want Romney to win. As a matter of fact, I suspect he may very well be worse for America than Obama has been for the last four years. I don't say this because I don't trust the polls, although I don't and I have little doubt that Silver's "predictions" will leap around more erratically than Tim Tebow's passes over the next three months.
Advertisement - story continues below
There are three reasons I believe Mitt Romney will be the next president of the United States. The first is because Barack Obama no longer truly wants the job. Over the last four years, he has learned that there is genuine responsibility that comes with being the so-called leader of the free world, and he really doesn't want any part of it. While it now appears that he will go through the motions of running for re-election, insider reports have surfaced that he did, in fact, consider quitting earlier this year. This does not mean that the political powers dependent upon Obama retaining office will not fight viciously to keep him there, but don't be surprised if the telegenic, charismatic, inspirational candidate of 2008 proves to be listless, peevish and apathetic once the campaign begins in earnest after the party conventions.
The second reason is the economy. While it wasn't Obama's fault that it was in the doldrums, many of his supporters genuinely expected him to magically fix it somehow. Unsurprisingly, he has not been able to do so and his neo-Keynesian attempts to improve the situation have only made things worse. The Federal Reserve's Band-Aid of swapping public debt for deflating private credit has prevented things from getting significantly worse on a statistical basis, but with the government getting only $1 of GDP growth for every $5.21 of new federal debt, its ability to continue propping up the situation is on the verge of failing. The optimism of Obama's delusional supporters has turned to cynicism and despair, and political independents under economic pressure will be increasingly inclined to give the perceived competence of Romney and Ryan a chance.
The Republican pair cannot, and will not, repair the economy either, but it certainly looks more credible on the subject than the pair of obvious incompetents presently in the White House.
The third reason is that when the man known as President Goldman Sachs – who could not meet a Goldman executive without offering to appoint him to the presidential Cabinet – is collecting fewer donations from the highly influential bank than his Republican rival, the game is observably over. In 2008, Obama was the candidate of choice for the financial institutions. In 2012, it is Romney, as banks are his top seven contributors as of four weeks ago, led by none other than Goldman Sachs.
Advertisement - story continues below
Now, what will be will be. I don't claim to have a crystal ball. But unlike the pollsters, I don't make multiple weekly predictions so I can claim to be correct no matter what happens, either. Now that we know Paul Ryan is on the Republican slate and Hillary Clinton will not be replacing Joe Biden on the Democratic side, I expect that if Obama does not surprise everyone by declining to run for a second term at the last minute, he will lose the election to Mitt Romney.