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Election 2012 Predictions

I hate it when there’s something going on and I can’t remember what it is! I’m not even sure where I heard about this; it was either on the news or some flyer I got in the mail, but it seems like it’s there’s something important happening tomorrow and for the life of me I just can’t remember what it is!

Of course I highly doubt anyone has forgotten that tomorrow is Election 2012 here in the US. Tomorrow we finally start to find closure to all those months of hateful, negative comments thrown back and forth about Obama and Romney; from all the lies told about the candidates’ policies and plans for the future; from all the politicizing and nuancing of every word spoken…..or not.

And now I’m just talking about my friends on Facebook!

Most pundits believe this race has fewer undecided voters then any other presidential election, and yet it is has also been the most contentious presidential elections. No wonder Election 2012 is turning out to be one of the closest races in the polls as well. With less than 24 hours to go before election day, the candidates are virtually tied (Obama 47.9%  to Romney’s 47.4%) according to Real Clear Politics (what an oxymoron), which aggregates all the other polls.

But how much do the polls actually mean? Early voting this year has been unprecedented, with some estimating that close to one-third of all Americans have already voted. If that is true, the blitzkrieg of appearances by both candidates in the last few days could be almost meaningless. Not only are fewer people undecided, more of them have already voted.  What’s the purpose of the “get out the vote” effort?

Superstorm Sandy, which changed the landscape of the campaign just a week away from Election Day, is another reason to question the current polls.  There is some indication that Mitt Romney is gaining  ground as a lot of criticism is being leveled against the federal government’s response to Sandy, especially in hard-hit Staten Island.  But what about all the people who voted last week while there was much praise for the President’s response, especially from Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie?  And what of those who voted before the storm slammed the East Coast?

So if we can’t make sense of the polls what will happen Tuesday?  One thing is for sure: both sides are lawyering up in case Election 2012 is as close as the polls indicate. Many think we will have a situation similar to 2000, where we didn’t see a final ruling (by the Supreme Court, no less) on the Florida recount until December 12, more than a month after the election.

Election 2012 predictions from chrislebrun.com
My predictions for electoral college votes in Election 2012

My take as a non-affiliated voter, however, is this: the election is not as close as everyone thinks.  My prediction (think fantasy football for politics) is that Obama will take the popular vote by a small margin (6-8%) while Romney will defeat Obama in the electoral college 272 – 266, with Romney getting key toss-up states including Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina, & Colorado to beat the president.

Here’s some of the thinking that went into my prediction:

For starters, there were a lot of independents and centrist Republicans who decided to give Hope and Change a chance in 2008 and I think many of them have grown disillusioned with Obama in the last 4 years.  This is probably most true in the center of the country, away from the metropolitan areas of strong Democratic support.  Romney showed in the debate that he can be presidential and while some have criticized his involvement with Bain Capital, I believe many look at his history of success in business as something American could use in this economic nightmare we find ourselves in.

The bottom line is I believe Obama has a vocal majority, primarily on the coasts, but Americans will chose Romney to lead the country for the next four years.  Of course, I have no idea what will happen after all the lawyers are done with the election.  Regardless of who the winner, let’s just hope Election 2012 doesn’t morph into Lawsuit 2013!

If you want to create your own Election 2012 prediction, visit CNN’s Election Center and tweet your map to @chrislebrun