U.S Presidential Election Status August 9th, 2012
The RealPolitics projected delegate count has changed slightly from June. The number of delegates leaning toward the President increased from 221 to 240, the number of toss up delegates decreased from 147 to 100 and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s delegate count increased from 170 to 191. The winner requires 271 delegates. The majority of toss up delegates that remain are in Virgina, Ohio, North Carolina, Colorado and Florida. The state of Missouri which was a toss-up state has moved into Mitt Romney’s column. However, the President has a narrow lead in most polls in the remaining toss-up states. Intrade odds give the President a 59% chance of being re-elected.
National Polls are less predictive of presidential elections because the U.S. uses an electoral college system. In addition, individual polls are unreliable so it is better to take an average among recent polls. The Real Politics average among all recent polls had President Obama up by 3.9 percent in March, in June he was up by 2.3 percent and today he leads by 4.4 percent.
Although the Republican candidate continues to trail in the polls, Mitt Romney has been able to raise more money than the President in each of the last three months. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the President has raised 300 million while Romney has raised 153 million. However, independent groups (e.g., Superpacs) have spent 40 million dollars opposing the president while only 27 million was spent opposing the Mitt Romney. 14 million was spent helping Mitt Romney and 6 million was spent helping the President. The Democrats have raised 563 million and the Republicans have raised 486 million.
Currently, the President is focusing his efforts on Colorado. The Romney campaign is entering a crucial period. He must pick a VP before the Republican National Convention begins on August 27th. He hopes to use the VP pick and the convention to strengthen his appeal to voters.
Recently, both candidates have attacked one another’s character. The Romney campaign has attempted to blame the President for a weak economy, although polls continue to suggest that most Americans do not blame the President. The Presidential campaign has focused on painting Romney as someone who favors the wealthy. As the number of undecided voters is low, both campaigns are attempting to rally their bases. Toward this end, Romney has released ads like the one above which characterizes the President’s decision to allow employees of companies to have insurance that covers abortion if they desire as an attack on the religious freedom of organizations that are against abortion. However, the President has argued that the organizations would be attacking the religious freedom of employees who want abortions if they force them to sign up for an insurance plan that doesn’t cover abortions. The Obama campaign is running ads that argue that Romney is not paying his fair share of taxes and argue that is why Romney is not willing to disclose his tax returns.
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