Fund Your Utopia Without Me.™

27 October 2012

Hey, Remember When Bush Was Going To Win 446 Electoral Votes and Gore Only 92 Or Bush Would Win The Popular Vote And Lose The Electoral College In 2000?

Real Clear Politics Analysis:

November 6, 2000

RCP Electoral College Analysis:  Bush 446 Gore 92
Bush 51.2  Gore 41.8  Nader 5.7

CNN/USA Today/Gallup, MSNBC/Zogby and Newsweek have done a nice job closing the polls for Vice President Gore. All three polls now have Gore within two points and supposedly gaining. We'll see Tuesday whether the propaganda campaign to keep Democrats from becoming disillusioned and voting for Nader was successful in diluting the size of the Bush victory.
As we have said all along, Gore needed to close to within 2% in our RCP Composites to have a realistic chance to win. He has not done so. (RCP Tracking Composite Bush 47.3 Gore 41.2, RCP National Poll Composite Bush 47.0 Gore 42.8) George W. Bush will be elected President of the United States tomorrow by the American people. But the last minute Gore push in some polls has perhaps given enough liberal Democrats hope to not waste their vote on Nader.
The real debate is not who is going to win the election, but whether Bush will win 308 electoral votes or 474 electoral votes.
The media's fantasy of Bush winning the popular vote and losing the electoral college is not going happen. The worst case scenario for a Bush victory will be a 2-3 point win in the popular vote and 10-20% more than the necessary 270 EC votes.
For those who still maintain Mr. Gore has a chance of winning, consider the scenarios under which this is possible. If Gore does not win Florida (the evidence indicates he will not), he must run the table, taking IL, CA, PA, MI, MN, WI, WA, OR, TN, AR, WV and DE along with his base 92 votes for a 273-265 EC win. It won't happen. Even with a victory in Florida, Gore must win at least 70% of the remaining battleground states to eke out a victory. The truth is that George W. Bush has a better chance of carrying New Jersey and Vermont than Al Gore does of becoming the next President of the United States.
When you sift through the haze of polls and media disinformation, the anecdotal facts are clear. Bush and Gore are fighting it out in Democratic Iowa, West Virginia, Minnesota and even Gore's home state of Tennessee. Bush is reaching out to moderate Democrats and independents while Gore is frantically trying to energize his base. The media openly acknowledges Bush's base is more energized and that Gore faces a significant threat from Nader on his left. Yet the pundits still talk as if the election is too close to call and could go either way.
On Tuesday night the talking heads will all be abuzz with their exit poll analyses showing how Bush destroyed Gore in the male vote, broke even with women, carried over 40% of the Hispanic vote, and the surprising strength of Ralph Nader. All of this is clear today, but it will take the network exit polls to make it clear to the national press.
We continue to see a landslide of over 400 electoral votes and a Bush win by 7-10 points. We will have to wait until tomorrow to see whether the "tightening polls" may have worked to save Illinois, California, Minnesota and a few others for the Vice President.
An explanation of each critical battleground state can be found on the Critical Battleground State page.

 Bush 446 Gore 92
States Bush Will Win
States Gore Will Win
Alaska - 3
District of Columbia - 3
Utah - 5
New York - 33
 Idaho - 4
 Hawaii - 4
Montana - 3
Massachusetts - 12
Nebraska - 5
Rhode Island - 4
Kansas - 6 100%
Oklahoma - 8
Texas - 32 100%
South Dakota - 3
North Dakota - 3 100%
Wyoming - 3 100%
Colorado - 8
Indiana - 12
Arizona - 8
Virginia - 13 100%
South Carolina - 8
Alabama - 9
Mississippi - 7
Georgia - 13 100%
Louisiana - 9 100%
Kentucky - 8 100%
Ohio - 21 100%
North Carolina - 14 100%
Bush Has A Lock On 205 Votes Gore Has A Lock On 56 Votes
States Bush Will Probably Win States Gore Will Probably Win
Nevada - 4
Connecticut - 8
4 more - Bush now at 209 votes 8 more - Gore now at 64 votes
States That Are Leaning Towards Bush States That Are Leaning Towards Gore
New Mexico - 5
Maryland - 10
Missouri - 11
Vermont - 3
New Hampshire - 4

Florida - 25
Arkansas - 6
Tennessee - 11
Oregon - 7
Washington - 11
West Virginia - 5 54%
Michigan - 18
Pennsylvania - 23
Wisconsin -11
Maine - 4 51%
141 more - Bush now at 350 votes 13 more - Gore now at 77 votes
Dead Heat States That Are 50/50
These are winner take all forced predictions
Bush Has A Slightly Better Chance Gore Has A Slightly Better Chance
Delaware - 3
New Jersey - 15
Iowa - 7

Minnesota - 10
Illinois - 22
California - 54 50/50
96 more - Bush now at 446 votes 15 more - Gore now at 92 votes
446 92

26 October 2012

Gallup Demographics of Likely Voters

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Gallup:  2012 U.S. Electorate Looks Like 2008


Composition of electorate by race, age, gender essentially the same (but party identification is much different)


2004:  46/54
2008:  47/53
2012:  48/52

Men: Change from 8 to 12:  +1
Women: -1

Non-Hispanic White  2004/2008/2012:  82/78/78 (no change)

Non-white:  15/19/20 (+1)

Black:  8/12/11 (-1)

Hispanic:  6/6/7 (+1)

18-29 years:  13/14/13 (-1)

30-49:  38/35/34 (-1)

50-64:  26/30/31 (+1)

65+:  24/21/22 (+1)

East:  23/22/23  (+1)

Midwest:  23/22/23  (+1)

South:  33/33/33  (no change)

West:  22/23/22  (-1)

HS or less:  32/33/31  (-2)

Some college:  33/30/31  (+1)

Coll. Grad:  15/20/20  (no change)

Postgrad:  20/16/17  (+1)

Democrat:  37/39/35  (-4)

Independent:  24/31/29  (-2)

Republican:  39/29/36  (+7)

Democrat/Lean Democrat:  48/54/46  (-8)

Republican/Lean Republican:  48/42/49  (+7)

'Toon of the Day: Have You Seen The Polls, O? Yeah, I Have Binders Full Of Women!

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Liberalism In an Advanced Stage of Decline

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

By Walter Russell Mead

Three states form the base of Democratic political power in the United States: California, New York and Illinois. All three states are locked in an accelerating economic, demographic and social decline; all three hope that they can stave off looming disaster at home by exporting the policies that have ruined them to the rest of the country.

Mary Williams Walsh, a talented reporter who is doing much to sustain the luster of the New York Times brand these days, has a must-read piece on the mess that is Illinois, and it is a compelling description of the misery and ruin that well-intentioned liberals combined with aggressive public sector labor unions inflict on the poor they ostensibly want to serve.

Reporting on a bipartisan task force report on Illinois’ grotesquely mismanaged finances, Walsh tells it like it is. As Walsh summarizes the findings of the task force co-chaired by Paul Volcker and Richard Ravitch:

Illinois has the lowest credit rating of the 50 states and has America’s second-biggest public debt per capita, $9,624, including state and local borrowing. Only New York State’s debt is bigger, at $13,840 per capita. But Illinois has not been able to use much of the borrowed money to keep its roads, bridges and schools in good working order, because years of shoddy fiscal practices have taken a heavy toll, the report said.

This of course is President Obama’s home state; one wishes that he spent more time on the campaign trail describing his horror and remorse at what decades of bad government have done. Apparently, the subject holds no interest for him: no lessons to be learned here about where blue governance ultimately leads.

But there is more. As Walsh writes,

Nearly two-thirds of the Illinois state government’s $58 billion in direct debt consists of bonds the government issued to cover retirement payments for workers, including a $10 billion pension obligation bond that broke all previous records in 2003.

Yet despite all that borrowing, Illinois’ public pension system is still in tatters. In fact, its total pension shortfall is conservatively estimated at $85 billion. Recent changes that raised the retirement age for new workers and limited the pensions that future workers can earn have not reduced the existing obligations.

The task force said that further reductions in pension benefits appear inevitable, though legally difficult, because the state has promised more than it can deliver.

Illinois politicians, including the present President of the United States, have wrecked one of the country’s potentially most prosperous and dynamic states, condemned millions of poor children to substandard education, failed to maintain vital infrastructure, choked business development and growth through unsustainable tax and regulatory policies — and still failed to appease the demands of the public sector unions and fee-seeking Wall Street crony capitalists who make billions off the state’s distress.

Blue politicians speak eloquently and often sincerely about their desire to help the poor. They speak beautifully about the need for better education as a ticket to better lives. They speak intelligently about the contributions a well managed, well organized government can make to the common good.

But these beautiful sentiments have less and less to do with the actual policies they pursue. Readers of Via Meadia can see a pattern here. We have “peace movements” incapable of advancing the cause of peace; environmentalists whose political ineptitude damages the causes they most hope to serve; and we have a form of blue state liberalism that blights the lives of exactly the people it wants to help most.

American liberalism today is in an advanced stage of intellectual decline. Cynical and short sighted interests wrap themselves in the increasingly tattered mantles of sacred ideas. Liberals are right to feel that social justice matters, that the poor should have greater opportunity and that government in a democratic society cannot remain indifferent to the existence of great social evils.

But where liberals in America have the freest hand—in states like New York, California and Illinois—we see incontrovertible evidence that the policies they choose don’t have the consequences they predict. California by now should surely be an educational, environmental and social utopia. New York should be a wonder of glorious liberal governance. Illinois should be known far and wide as the state that works.

What’s interesting about the governance failures of these states is how comprehensive they are. Other than politicians, union officials and Wall Street investment banks, nobody really benefits from the choices Illinois has made. As the Volker-Ravitch report tells us, even the public sector unions, the architects of many of the state’s most destructive policies, are going to get shafted as a result of the bad policies they’ve supported. They’ve created a state that simply won’t be able to honor its promises to the workers the unions represent.

The French say that behind every great fortune lies a great crime. But it is also true to say that behind every great failure lies a great blunder. Late 20th century American liberalism is wrong about the way the world works. It doesn’t understand cause and effect very well. It cannot feed itself. Given full power it cannot design and implement policies that advance the causes it honors. Modern American liberalism can only win Pyrrhic victories, because liberals in power take steps that advance their decline.

This is not to say that conservatives and Republicans have all the answers. Sometimes, they aren’t even asking the right questions. What will happen to the African-American middle class if government employment continues to be cut, the USPS is allowed to reform, and the Supreme Court further restricts the use of race preferences in higher ed? If liberal policies are increasingly failing African Americans and the poor more broadly, what can be done? If bureaucracies staffed by unionized, life-tenured civil servants are too expensive and too inefficient to do the jobs that need to be done at a sustainable cost, what are some other ways we can organize government functions? Clinging grimly on to failing policies and dying institutions is the Democratic answer by and large, even as Democratic policies accelerate the rate of decline and aggravate the damage done. But the serious work of building alternative visions and models and testing them out at the state level is still in its very early stages.

Some 21st century answers, like charter schools, have already appeared and won a measure of bipartisan support, but much more needs to be done. Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives need to think much more clearly and much less sentimentally about policy so that voters can have choices that are both clearer and better than the ones we have now.

In the meantime, it is more than troubling that President Obama seems so unwilling to reflect on the rich experience of liberal failure in his home state. A term or two as governor of Illinois, wrestling with the consequences of liberal decadence for the constituencies he cares most about, might have prepared him for a genuinely historic role. As it is, he is running for re-election as the torchbearer-in-chief of an ideology that has long passed its prime.

Doubts about his opponents (and many of these are well justified) and the lingering nostalgia many Americans still feel for the values and institutions of the liberal past may yet enable the President to squeak out a win next month and if so, I will join his supporters in wishing him well and in prayer that God will give him the wisdom and the strength to lead the country for another four years. But at a time when the overwhelming policy failures of modern American liberalism are undermining the basic viability of three of our greatest states, it is to say the least disappointing that the President wants to nail the national colors to the mast of a sinking ship—and that he has so little to say about the comprehensive failure of the political allies among whom he launched his career.

Things Have Changed - Bob Dylan

One two three four…

I'm a worried man, got a worried mind
No one in front of me, no one behind
There's a woman on my lap and she's drinking champagne.
Got white skin, got assassin's eyes
I'm looking up into the sapphire tinted skies
I'm well dressed, waiting on the last train.
Standin' on the gallows with my head in a noose
Any minute now I'm expectin' all hell to break loose.
People are crazy and times are strange
I'm locked in tight, I'm outta range
I used to care, but things have changed.

This place ain't doing me any good
I'm in the wrong town, I should be in Hollywood
Just for a second there I thought I saw something move
Gonna take dancing lessons do the jitterbug rag
Ain't no shortcuts, gonna dress in drag
Only a fool in here would think he's got anything to prove.
Lot of water under the bridge, lot of other stuff too
Don't get up gentlemen, I'm only, I'm only passing through.
People are crazy, times are strange
I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range
I used to care, but things have changed

I've been walking forty miles of bad road
If the bible is right, the world will explode
I'm trying to get as far away from myself as I can.
Things are too hot to touch
The human mind can only stand so much
You can't win with a losin' hand.
Feel like fallin' in love with the first woman I meet
Puttin' her in a wheel barrow, wheelin' her down the street.
People are crazy, times are strange
I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range
I used to care, but things have changed.

I hurt easy, I just don't show it
You can hurt someone and not even know it
The next sixty seconds could be like an eternity.
Gonna get low down, gonna fly high
All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie
I'm in love with a woman that don't even appeal to me.
Mr. Jinx and Miss Lucy, they, they jumped in the lake
I'm not that eager, not that eager to make a mistake.
People are crazy, times are strange
I'm locked in tight, I'm outta range
I used to care, but things have changed.

25 October 2012

Impeachable Offences: “We’re Going To Have That Person Arrested And Prosecuted That Did The Video.”

Glenn McCoy

By Bryan Preston

Charles Woods, father of former SEAL Ty Woods who was slain during the Benghazi attack, appeared on the Lars Larson radio show today. Mr. Woods told Larson that Obama’s behavior during the Sept 14 transfer of remains ceremony was strange and “cold.” He also said that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made him a promise:

Well, this is what Hillary did. She came over and, you know, she did the same thing, separately came over and talked with me.  I gave her a hug, shook her hand, and she did not appear to be one bit sincere at all.  She mentioned that thing about, “We’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video.” That was the first time I had even heard about anything like that.

For what was Clinton promising to have the filmmaker prosecuted?

Clinton made that promise on Sept 14, as the Obama administration was already swinging around toward blaming the film despite the evidence they had in hand that pointed toward terrorism. Later that week, the government would publicly identify the filmmaker, and then at midnight that Friday night, authorities arrested him and hauled him in for questioning. The media, tipped that the perp walk would happen, was there to capture it and broadcast it.

That filmmaker remains in jail and will not have a hearing until November 9, three days after the election.

Mr. Woods’ statement tells us that Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, was already aware of an Obama administration plan to arrest him. This is evidence of a conspiracy at the very top of our government, both to deflect blame for the attack and to assault our First Amendment rights at the same time.

“Chilling” is applicable here, but barely does the situation justice.

PS:  In addition to what Mr Preston wrote, which I agree with 100%, it should be firmly kept in mind that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is not only in Federal custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles, he is being held in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT.  Even though there is a fatwa out on him and Egypt wants to try him for blasphemy, which is a capital offence, he was denied bail because -- sit down -- the judge said that he was "A DANGER TO OTHERS"!!!

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula wasn't the one that gave a worldwide platform to his movie trailer.  Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and others were.  They caused rioting all over the world.  They caused dozens of deaths.  Nakoula's video didn't have anything to do with Benghazi.  There was a video involved in Benghazi....and the Obama administration was watching it as the attack was happening in real time.  

Woods continued: “Apparently even the State Department had a live stream and was aware of their calls for help. My son wasn’t even there. He was at a safe house about a mile away. He got the distress call; he heard them crying for help; that’s why he and Glen risked their lives to go that extra mile just to take care of the situation. And I’m sure that wasn’t the only one received that distress call—you know, come save our lives … I’m sure that other people in the military, in the State Department, in the White House, received that same call that he would receive. And I’m sure that most military people would jump at the chance … to protect that life [and] not leave anyone behind.”

Woods made clear that he isn't "mad," but that he wants to the "truth" to be told because he feels " abandoned." 

Woods says he was told by military officials that the military could have "come above [the area] and completely the carpeted area," and therefore saved the officials in Benghazi, Libya. But that someone gave the command for the American military not to save them.

"When I heard, you know, that there's a very good chance that the White House as well as other members of the military knew what was going on and obviously someone had to say, don't go rescue them. Because every person in the military--their first response [would be], we're going to go rescue them. We need to find out who it was that gave that command--do not rescue them."

It was Obama's decision or that of his administration not to send in resources to attempt a rescue.  It was his decision or that of his administration to watch 4 Americans die and up to 30 more be wounded.  It was his decision or that of his administration that decided not to heed the requests to increase security.  It was his decision to run guns through Benghazi...and, yes, I believe that is what will ultimately be proven to have happened.  The real scandal won't be so much the deaths of the 4 Americans, although that is enough of one in itself.  The scandal will come when this administration has to explain how Al Qaeda-affiliated groups in Syria came to possess American-made Stinger missiles.

But, don't worry, according to the MSM, the only "scandal" concerning Benghazi is that we consider it a scandal. 

Who cares about the First Amendment, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula's constitutional rights and personal safety, the safety of others, and the right of the American people to be told the truth by their elected servants when there's Obama's election to win and members of misogynistic, racist, homophobic, bigoted, child-abusing, xenophobic, tribalistic, antisemitic, Christophobic, maniacal, thin-skinned, homicidal, suicidal, totalitarian, 7th century death cult to which to grovel and arm?

'Tooning The Foreign Policy Debate

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Um, Democrats, Have You Listened To Your Senate Candidate From Indiana Lately?

M2RB: Faber Drive

I need a little more luck than a little bit
'Cuz every time I get stuck the words won't fit
And every time that I try I get tongue tied
I'll need a little good luck to get me by...

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

"I believe life begins at conception. The only exception I have for to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. I struggled with myself for a long time but I came to realize life is that gift from God, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. It is something that God intended to happen."

- Richard Murdock

What Democrats are conveniently ignoring is that Murdock’s Democratic opponent, Indiana congressman Joe Donnelly, also describes himself as pro-life, believes life begins at conception, co-sponsored HR 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, that would have banned abortion coverage in state health-insurance exchanges, and supported a bill backed by Todd Akin that banned government funding for abortions except in certain cases such as “forcible rape.”

Regardless of how one feels about abortion, it seems to me that Murdock's position is consistent, i.e., if life begins at conception and is a "gift from God," then how that life is conceived is irrelevant.  I don't think that Murdock was condoning rape in any way whatsoever.

But, if the Democrats want to talk about extreme positions and abortion, what about the Dems candidate for Senate in Connecticut, who said that life didn’t begin until birth? Maybe, he’d like to explain to Danny Ray Poplin, Jr, why he is serving a 50 years to life sentence for a first degree MURDER conviction handed down after he killed his unborn child by stabbing its mum (she survived) in the abdomen.  

Maybe, President Obama would like to explain his 5 votes against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.  Perhaps?  Nah.  It's "above his paygrade."

Tongue Tied - Faber Drive
Bright cold silver moon
Tonight alone in my room
You were here just yesterday
Slight turn of the head
Eyes down when you said
I guess I need my life to change
Seems like something's just aren't the same
What could I say?

I need a little more luck than a little bit

Cuz every time I get stuck the words won't fit
And every time that I try I get tongue tied
I'll need a little good luck to get me by

I need a little more help than a little bit

Like the perfect one word no one's heard yet
Cuz every time that I try I get tongue tied
I need a little good luck to get me by this time

I stare up at the stars

I wonder just where you are
You feel a million miles away
(I wonder just where you are)
Was it something I said?
Or something I never did?
Or was I always in the way?
Could someone tell me what to say to just make you stay?

I need a little more luck than a little bit

Cuz every time I get stuck the words won't fit
And every time that I try I get tongue tied
I need a little good luck to get me by

I need a little more help than a little bit

Like the perfect one word no one's heard yet
Cuz every time that I try I get tongue tied
I need a little good luck to get me by this time

I know it feels like the end

Don't want to be here again
And we could help each other off the ground so we never fall down again
What it takes I don't care
We're gonna make it I swear
And we could help each other off the ground so we never fall down again

I need a little more luck than a little bit

Cuz every time I get stuck the words won't fit
But every time that I try I get tongue tied
I need a little good luck to get me by

I need a little more help than a little bit

Like the perfect one word no one's heard yet
Cuz every time that I try I get tongue tied
I need a little good luck to get me by this time

I know it feels like the end

Don't want to be here again
And we could help each other off the ground so we never fall down again
What it takes I don't care
We're gonna make it I swear
And we could help each other off the ground so we never fall down again

Iowa: 87,555 Democrats Have "Disappeared Themselves" Since 2008

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

While I was gathering data for my post, Ohio, By The Numbers, I stumbled across these numbers:

* Registered Republicans: 622,176 (2 Oct)

* Registered Democrats: 611,284 (2 Oct)

* Registered “No Party”: 675,171 (2 Oct)

* There were 576,000 Registered Republicans in 2008. Republicans are now +46,176.

* There were 698,839 Registered Democrats in November 2008. Democrats are now -87,555.

* Obama beat McCain in Iowa by 146,000 votes.

* Since 2011, 77,800 Democrats have disappeared from the Iowa registration rolls with 48,800 of them coming since the beginning of 2012.

* In 2004, there were 85,000 more Democrats registered, but Bush beat Kerry by 10,000.

The key for Iowa is going to be turnout in the suburbs and in the eastern part of the state. Independents are also more likely to tip in favour of Romney, according to the DMR, because of immigration issues. There are 44,000 registered Hispanic voters in the Des Moines area.

'Toons of the Day: Pathological

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Why Romney Doesn’t Need a Poll Lead in Ohio

M2RB:  Iggy Pop

('tho he means it as a putdown, but then he considers passing out on the floor to be a good thing.  Anyhoo, Iggy, please stop with the plastic surgery.  You are beginning to resemble a mish-mash of Joan Rivers, Joycelyn Wilderstein, and Moammar Gaddafi a/k/a the Lypsynka of Libya)

When you're conservative you get a better break
You're always on the right side
When you're conservative
You walk with pride...

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

By Josh Jordan

The race for Ohio is slowly tightening, but Mitt Romney does not hold a lead in a single poll in the current Real Clear Politics average (he is tied in two). Two polls from Time and CBS/Quinnipiac have grabbed headlines by showing Obama a five-point lead in each. Romney is chipping away at Obama’s poll lead, but the Democratic advantage in party-ID has increased across these polls. When looking at the polls in Ohio, it is becoming entirely possible that Mitt Romney should be able to win Ohio without ever showing a consistent lead in the polls, or any lead at all.

In the past week Romney has trimmed four-tenths of a point off of his deficit in the RCP average, going from 2.5 to 2.1, but at the same time, the average party-ID advantage for Democrats in these polls has risen from 5.5 to 6.5. A big reason for the increase in Democrats’ share in the polls is due to early voting. If a pollster calls someone who says they voted already, they are automatically passed through the likely-voter screen since they have, after all, voted. The problem with this can be best summed up by Gregory House: “Everybody lies.”

Pollsters can only work with what their respondents tell them, and this is the reason that likely-voter screens can be so tricky, though important, in polling. The preferable response is that you are going to vote or, in the case of Ohio, that you’ve already voted. Many respondents will say they are going to vote (or have voted) when in fact they may not end up doing it (this effect is known as social-desirability bias). For this reason, some likely-voter screens ask about previous elections and general political enthusiasm to gauge the actual likelihood that a voter will end up in the booth on Election Day. But that is where early voting throws the screen out the window — if a voter says they voted, there is nothing a pollster can do to but assume that it’s true.

Enter Ohio, where the current estimates from compiling early in-person and absentee voting shows early turnout to be about 15 percent of voters. But responses in the current polls claim that 23 percent of registered voters have already voted. That means that polls are overstating early voting by eight percentage points on average. This could be in part because some voters have requested an absentee ballot and report that as voting, some have mailed in ballots that haven’t been counted as received yet, but some voters are also just flat out saying they voted when they haven’t. It’s impossible to know the exact reason, but it’s clear that more are claiming to vote than really have.

In the polls’ early-voting results, Obama leads on average by 20 points. There are indications that the GOP has shrunk the Democratic advantage in this category significantly from 2008, but it is unclear how much. Either way, Obama’s early-voting advantage gives him a lead that Romney is only scraping away at with his Election Day voter lead. But if pollsters are finding more respondents who are claiming to have already voted than what the records show, some of this early-voter advantage is illusory.

This is why it is increasingly difficult for Romney to show an lead in the Ohio polls. But even with Obama currently enjoying a 2.1 point lead, Romney is still in great shape to win Ohio on Election Day. Here are some of the reasons for the optimism coming from Boston these days:

Romney’s strength with independents keeps growing: 

Last week when Obama led the Real Clear Politics average by 2.5 points, Romney led among independents by an average of 8.7 points. Romney has since increased that lead with independents to 12.3 points, which is why he’s been able to cut Obama’s overall lead even as the polls have leaned more Democratic. In 2008 Obama beat McCain with independents by eight points. It would be almost impossible for Obama to win Ohio while suffering a 20-point swing among independents.

The polls give Democrats a better turnout advantage than they had in 2008: 

As I explained in my last Ohio post, in 2008 Democrats beat Republicans in turnout by five points. The current polls show an average of D+6.6. A D+5 turnout in 2008 gave Obama a 4.5-point victory, while he is currently leading by only 2.1 points on an even greater D+6.6 turnout. Again, we know it should be very difficult for Democrats to match their 2008 turnout, let alone increase it.

History suggests late deciders will break against the incumbent

This is a rule that always receives some skepticism, but it’s very likely to benefit Romney at least some on Election Day. In 2004, late deciders broke against George W. Bush heavily, even though he was a wartime president. John Kerry beat Bush by 25 points among voters who decided in the last month, 28 points among voters that decided in the three days prior to Election Day, and 22 points among day-of deciders. Those voters were 20 percent of the Ohio electorate; while this year there are expected to be fewer late deciders, Obama cannot afford to lose among by those margins and still win.

In Ohio, Republicans tend to outperform their share of the national vote: 

In the last nine elections, the GOP has outperformed in Ohio. With Romney currently running just ahead of Obama nationally, it seems much more likely that Obama’s lead in Ohio has more to do with the higher party-ID advantage than a dramatic shift in Ohio from the past nine elections.

Strength with crossover voters in Ohio: 

In addition to Romney’s strength with independents, in the past two elections the GOP candidate has won over more Democrat votes than he’s lost Republican ones. Obama’s Ohio win in 2008 was based entirely on his strength with independents and the wave turnout, both of which are highly unlikely to be repeated in 2012. If Romney wins with independents by anywhere near the current average he has and takes more crossover voters than Obama does, Obama would need to exceed 2008 turnout greatly to win.

So, with less than two weeks until Election Day we will all know the results soon enough, but as more Ohio polls come in, it is important to remember that the picture for Romney in Ohio is better than many pundits would have us believe. It only takes a quick look at Romney’s rallies to remind us it’s not 2008 anymore, as Republicans have reclaimed the enthusiasm advantage that led to such sweeping 2008 victories for Democrats. That GOP enthusiasm has become contagious since the debates, and it is exactly what has Team Obama so afraid these days. All they have left to hang their hopes on is a slim lead in the polls, and even that might not be enough on Election Day.

— Josh Jordan is a small-business market-research consultant. You can follow him on Twitter @Numbersmuncher.

I Am A Conservative - Iggy Pop

I used to lead a quiet life
In fact it was a bare existence
I passed out on many floors
I don't do that any more

Hello my friends
Is everybody happy?
Hey look me over
lend me an ear
I'm a conservative

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Hey I know them all well

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All the way to the bank
Sometimes I pause for a drink
Conservatism ain't no easy job

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I got bored so I'm making my millions
When you're conservative you get a better break
You're always on the right side
When you're conservative

You walk with pride
Pride is on your side
Pride pride pride
Is on our side
Oh boy
Pride is on our side

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I like my bread
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Hey look me over
lend me an ear
I'm a conservative