Saturday, October 20, 2012

Can Obama win?

Obama's lead in Ohio is down to one point in the latest PPP poll, which means he will lose the state, since Mitt Romney's son is part-owner of the company that made the voting machines and Secretary of State Jon Husted is not trustworthy. The fraudsters will have no moral problem with putting their thumb on the scale, just as they did in 2004, but they are constrained by the limits of reasonableness. They can shave off a point or two -- or maybe even three. Beyond that, they wouldn't dare.

Is Ohio necessary? Not really. According to the PollTracker, Obama has a fairly solid 259 electoral votes. That puts him within eleven points of a win. A single state such as Arizona could do the trick.

Yes, Arizona -- Romney's lead there is slight, thanks in large measure to the Libertarian factor. But the Arizona Secretary of State, Ken Bennett, is not just a Republican but an extremist wacko. How wacky is he? Well, he's the guy who insisted on seeing Obama's birth certificate. He also co-chairs the Romney campaign in that state, even though he previously had argued that a Secretary of State shouldn't take such a position. So he's as bad as Husted.

Is it possible for Obama to win this thing, if we factor in the biases of the Secretaries of State? That's a question no other blogger seems to be thinking about.

In Florida, Polltracker has Romney ahead by 1.2 points. But why even talk about Florida? Secretary of State Ken Detzner is worse than either Husted or Bennett. He had led a voter purge designed to weed out as many Democrats as he possibly can. See here.

Colorado, where the president has a lead thinner than an eyelash, has only 9 electoral votes, so a win there won't mean victory overall. The Secretary of State there, Scott Gessler, is another Republican activist who, until recently, was spearheading a voter purge.

The only other state in play is Virginia.

Some polls have Obama ahead by an onionskin-thin margin in Virginia. Of the recent (post second debate) polls there, PPP has Obama up 2 and Rasmussen has Romney up three. I trust PPP more than I trust Rasmussen.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth (not State) there is Janet Vestal Polarek, whose name now seems to be Janet Vestal Kelly. (I presume that she recently married.)
As Secretary of the Commonwealth, she has implemented sweeping reforms in efficiency by utilizing technology to eliminate paper-based systems.
Uh oh.

Even though her enthusiasm for non-paper-trail voting systems bugs the hell out of me, she seems to be the least Machiavellian of the Secretaries of State we've seen so far. Consider:
She serves on the Virginia Victims of Human Trafficking Steering Committee, which seeks to curb one of the most disturbing and fast-growing criminal enterprises in the world; on the No Kid Hungry Campaign’s Collaborating Group, which fights childhood hunger in Virginia; and on the Planning Committee for the Richmond Women’s Healing Place, a sister treatment center to the Healing Place, which has a 70% success rate in helping men overcome addiction. 
Now that sounds like someone with a conscience.

Arguably, Obama should put everything into Virginia and hope that Janet Vestal Polarek/Kelly is a woman whose honesty outweighs her partisanship. I bet the party hacks are really giving her a harsh workover right now.

Of course, it may well be possible for some Rovian malefactor to game the vote tabulators without letting the Secretary of State in on the scheme. At any rate, I see little chance for Obama.

The best outcome would be for Obama to lose the popular vote while winning in the electoral college. Both parties would then feel motivated to get rid of our antique and unfair system.


Michael said...

I'm thinking he Romney will get creamed (or gaffe himself to death) in the foreign policy debate. Whether the nation watches, our MSM will make hay of it and the nation will hear about it over and over. Enough independents/undecideds will freak out about the danger of Romney as commander in chief and will break for Obama.

Then again, I could be dreaming.

DanInAlabama said...

I wish our voting system were half as trustworthy as Venezuela's.
Fox News predicting a Mitt win seems like a psyops preparing the American people for another stolen election by the Rovian forces of evil.
I say let them have it. Let them have it all. Maybe then the American people will finally see the new GOP's true colors, maybe.
Costa Rica is nice this time of year. Now where did I put that learn Spanish in ten days DVD?

Mr. Mike said...

One good sign is odds makers favor Obama and they ain't in the business to lose money.

cracker said...

Unfortunately most professional oddsmakers are honest businessmen, unlike most politicians and political operatives. Presently the election is close enough that it could easily be stolen in either direction. What it comes down to is which corrupt secretaries of state in which states with whatever electoral votes can rig the system in favor of their candidate, and if that doesn't work, the voting machines can be reprogrammed to do the opposite of what the voter wants, and if all else fails the election in certain states can be dragged into the courts so that it only takes a carload of judges to tell us who our next leaders will be.
In short: total and complete corruption on a third-world scale, equal to any kleptocratic state anywhere. That's why I'm out.

snug.bug said...

What's good about the electoral college system is that it provides a mechanism for quarantining election fraud. If one state is obviously irregular, congress can refuse to accept the electoral votes from that state.

Another thing good about the electoral college is that it provides incubators for third parties, because in safe red or blue states, strategically-aware voters recognize that a vote for an assured winner, or an assured runner-upper, is a wasted vote that could better go to help build recognition for non-machine candidates.