On Tuesday, November 6, the 2012 presidential election will finally be decided. What is the latest state of affairs? The prospects of the incumbent, President Barack Obama, seem to increase towards the finishing line of this election cycle.
How Likely Is It That the Current POTUS (President of the United States) Will Also Be the Next?
The Princeton Election Consortium has calculated a 98.2 percent chance for Obama to be re-elected.
Statistician Nate Silver at the New York Times has calculated a 83.7 percent chance for Obama to win the Electoral College (November 2, 2012).
Nevertheless, polls do not amount to anything if voters do not show up at the voting booth or cast an absentee ballot. So what are the odds here? According to Gallup, voter turnout will be slightly lower than in 2008 and in 2004 (October 30, 2012).
Meanwhile…Robo-Calls, Commies Love Obama, and Voting Machine Software
While the chances of the Romney campaign are decreasing, there is no shortage of election shenanigans that may or may not be directly connected to said campaign (in some cases they are clearly not). Here are some examples of dirty campaign tricks of late:
In Massachusetts, voters reported robo-calls encouraging them to vote on the wrong date, i.e. one day after the election.
Red Cross Annoyed By Romney Disaster Relief Campaign Stunt:
The Red Cross was not amused about the Romney campaign’s window-dressing of a rally as disaster relief effort through busing in canned goods in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy.
Abe Lincoln’s GOP Loves Black Voters:
A recent Super Pac ad tries to persuade African Americans to vote for Romney because the Republican Party freed the slaves—in the nineteenth century. While that is technically correct (Abraham Lincoln was a Republican), a quick glance at a quality American history textbook will reveal the historic realignments that have taken place in the American party system. Especially since the 1960s, the GOP, along with Southern Democrats (Dixiecrats), who soon joined the GOP, has deployed the Southern Strategy: appealing to white racism to peel off voters from Democrats. In short, the Republican Party of 1865 is not the Republican Party of 2012.
(Dead) Latin American Socialists and Communists For Obama:
In Florida, one of the important battleground states, the Romney campaign attempts to appeal to older anti-communist Cuban American voters in a Spanish-language ad by associating Obama with Fidel Castro (via his niece, who says she would vote for Obama), Ché Guevara (via a background picture from an EPA email featuring the famous portrait), and Hugo Chavez (who said that he would vote for Obama if he were American). In reality, the relationship between the actual socialist President of Venezuela, and Obama, who has been called a socialist by political opponents, has never been that cozy. Since July of 2010, there is no US ambassador in Caracas and no Venezuelan ambassador in Washington, respectively, because Chavez did not accept Washington’s appointee, due to his previous anti-Chavez remarks.
Voting Machines Get ‘Experimental Software Patches’:
In Ohio, another important swing state, Secretary of State Jon Husted plans to install “experimental software patches” on voting machines, which, due to a legal loophole, do not have to be certified in any way. Civil rights groups are worried about the potential for manipulation.
Vote For Romney Or Face Eternal Damnation:
All these prior arguments in favor of Romney may or may not help him win against Obama on Tuesday. But if that is not enough, there is still the biggest gun of American politics: the Christian God.
Not associated with the Romney campaign, but in support of him, are some clergymen. Their argument: Vote for Romney or face God’s wrath. Of course, they are not telling their flock whom to vote for—that would, in theory, endanger their tax-exempt status as a church. But their hints are not all that subtle either.
In September, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield, IL, wrote in an email to his parishioners that voting for a Democrat might “plac[e] the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.”
In late October, another Roman Catholic Bishop, David L. Ricken of Green Bay, WI, wrote in an email to his parishioners that voting for a party supporting “intrinsically evil actions” including “homosexual ‘marriage'” (which Democrats support) “could put your own soul in jeopardy.”
Also in late October, former Republican presidential candidate and Southern Baptist minister Mike Huckabee narrated an ad framing the upcoming election as a “test of fire” wherein “[y]our vote will affect the future and be recorded in eternity.” You can watch it here:
Desperate times call for desperate measures, I suppose.
You can find more background information on the 2012 presidential election in my previous posts, for instance here.