U.S Presidential Election Status June 22nd, 2012
The RealPolitics projected delegate count has changed slightly from March. The number of delegates leaning toward the President dropped from 227 to 221, the number of toss up delegates increased from 130 to 147 and Romney’s delegate count dropped from 181 to 170. The winner requires 271 delegates. The majority of toss up delegates that remain are in Virgina, Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri, Colorado and Florida. The state of Pennsylvania which was a toss-up state has moved into President Obama’s column. However, a state that was leaning toward the President (Wisconsin) has moved into the undecided column.
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. The President is now leading by 2.3 percent.
Although the Republicans continue to trail in the polls, the Obama campaign has admitted it will not be able to raise as much money as Mitt Romney. In addition, most of the remaining toss up states have typically voted Republican in recent years.
Currently, the Democrats have been focusing on the Hispanic vote in key swing states such as Florida. President Obama has met with Hispanic leadership twice this week. The White House has a Hipsanic Section that provides further details.
The Democratic campaign has also continued to claim that since Romney outsourced jobs as a businessman, he will also do that as President. As noted in our first article on logic and persuasion, the argument is an example of the Fundamental Attribution Error. That is, the argument illogically assumes that because Romney outsourced jobs as a businessman that he would want to do the same thing in a completely different context as President. The Fundamental Attribution Error occurs when a person assumes without evidence that a person’s innate characteristics dictates their actions, as opposed to the demands of the situation. Romney has argued that because he knows what causes businessman to outsource or retain jobs in the U.S., he is in a better position to promote American job growth. More relevant is Romney’s performance as governor, where his state was forty-seventh in job growth, although as noted in the previous link governors have much less influence over job growth than national policymakers.
In recent weeks the Republicans have been focusing on the Fast and Furious scandal. They blame the President and his attorney general for sending guns to Mexican drug cartels in an effort to build cases against key drug figures. The effort took place on President’s Bush and then President’s Obama’s watch. However, there is no evidence that proves that either President knew about it until after the program was stopped. Republicans believe that the release of additional documents would prove that at least Eric Holder knew more about it than he has admitted and that a Federal agent was killed by one of the guns sent to the cartels. They also believe that Eric Holder obstructed justice by not releasing documents and knew about the scandal earlier than he has claimed. Republicans have said they will attempt to hold the Eric Holder in contempt of congress for his unwillingness to turn over documents relating to his decision to end the program and that would indicate when he first knew about the scandal. In 2008, the Democratic House held President Bush’s officials Josh Bolten and Harriet Miers in contempt of congress for refusing to turn over documents relating to the Bush administration’s alleged political firings of Justice Department attorneys. Four years later, the courts have yet to render a verdict.
For the first time in his Presidency, President Obama has claimed executive privilege which means he doesn’t want his attorney general to turn over the documents because that may influence his independence and willingness to speak to the President on such matters in the future. President Bush used executive privilege six times during his Presidency. The Los Angeles Times initially broke the story and has continued to provide detailed analysis of Fast and Furious.
Republicans also believe an investigator assigned by Attorney General Holder to investigate government leaks relating to the administration’s attempt to assassinate terrorists abroad is not sufficiently independent because the investigator donated to and helped Obama’s 2008 election campaign. Republicans have also asked for an independent investigator for Fast and Furious.
Nancy Pelosi is claiming that the Republican’s attempt to hold Eric Holder in contempt of congress is retaliation for Holder’s bid to block state voter ID laws pushed by Republicans. Voter ID laws tend to decrease voter turnout. A recent poll that didn’t take into account the likelihood of various voters actually casting a vote showed President Obama up by thirteen percentage points. This shows that the Presidential campaign is closely tied to voter turnout. President Obama’s chances improve if there is a high voter turnout.
by Todd Miller
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