(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
If you haven’t entered the First Quadrennial Recovering Politician Electoral College Contest, you’ve got until tomorrow, Tuesday at 6:00 AM EST. Here are the details for your chance to win 2 FREE lower-arena tickets to the defending national champion University of Kentucky Wildcat basketball team’s official home opener at Lexington’s Rupp Arena, versus Lafayette University, on Friday, November 16 at 7:00 PM. Remember, the first step is to become a member of the RP’s new Facebook page, Facebook.com/RecoveringPol, and provide your predictions in the post marked “Designated RP Electoral College Contest Post.” The award will be presented to the individual who most accurately predicts the final Electoral College vote, with tiebreakers of predicting the Senate and Housr partisan compositions after the election.
The 2008 Electoral College Map
As a service to all of you procrastinators out there, our experts — contributing RPs and friends of RP — have weighed in on their predictions. You can choose to go with one of their picks, or stick with your own and feel smarter than a recovering politician.
So here goes. Feel free to comment below, but remember according to the rules, only comments at the Designated RP Electoral College Contest Post at the RP Facebook page will be qualified for the grand prize.
The RP: Obama 303, Romney 235. (Obama wins WI, NV, IA, NH, CO, VA and OH; Romney squeaks out the narrowest victory in FL); Senate: 50 Dems, 48 GOP, 2 Indy; House: 239 GOP, 196 Dems
Contributing RP Rod Jetton:
President– Romney 277 and Obama 261. Romney takes the true toss ups of NH, CO, IA and WI, while holding the safer states of FL, NC and VA. Obama keeps OH, MN, MI, NV and PA. The auto bailout keeps Obama with Ohio, but Ryan and the debates help Romney hold WI which Ohio is not required on their path to victory. PA will be close but O will hold on there. R wins popular vote 52-48. With unemployment at 7.9% and even worse, gas prices up over $3.50, it is amazing that any incumbent could even keep it close. When we add in how Obama seemed to have a bit of the Bush 42 attitude of not really wanting to mess with a re-election campaign plus the Libya debacle it is hard to see Obama winning. Romney is a solid steady campaigner that nobody loves, but he has a good resume and seems to be up to the job of fixing the economy.
Senate– D-52 and R-46. (I-2) The Republicans will pick up a few seats but the weak candidates will keep them from taking the majority. My state of Missouri is a good example of that. McCaskill was in bad shape and should have been defeated in 2012 but with all Akin’s messaging problems she is poised to survive.
House – R-237 and D- 198. There will not be a big change in the House and Romney’s debates and October surge will help Republicans down ticket in many of the battleground seats.
Jordan Stivers (Friend of RP): Obama 280, Romney 258; Senate: R-47, D – 51, I-2; House: R-237, D-198
Contributing RP John Y. Brown, III: Election Day will be followed by Wednesday….and, if all goes as planned, followed by Thursday. Short of cataclysmic fallout on Tuesday night, Thursday more than likely will be followed by Friday. And then we will probably see something resembling what we used to call “the weekend.”
Friend of RP Zac Byer (traveling with VP GOP nominee Paul Ryan): My head still says Romney tops out at 256, but after visiting 6 swing states in the last 56 hours, and my gut says otherwise: Romney: 277, Obama: 261; 51 D, 47 R, 2 I; 238 R, 197 D
Contributing RP Jeff Smith: Obama 277, Romney 261; Senate: R-48, D – 50+2I; House: R-240, D-195
Ron Granieri (Friend of RP): Obama: 280, Romney: 258; Senate: 51-49 Dems (with independents); House: 245-190 Reps
Contributing RP Nick Paleologos: Obama 275. Romney 263.
Steven Schulman (Friend of RP): Whatever Nate Silver says.
Contributing RP Jimmy Dahroug: Obama 275, Romney 263; Senate: Dems 51 GOP 47; 2 Indy; House: GOP 241 Dems 194
David Snyder (Friend of RP): Obama wins 290-248. Senate – 51 Democrats 47 Republicans, 2 Independents. House – 234 Republicans, 201 Democrats
Contributing RP Greg Harris: Obama: 332, Romney: 206 (Polls indicate presidential race is neck and neck among “likely” voters. Obama’s lead is greater among “registered” voters. These votes, under-represented in polling, will redound to Obama’s advantage in states like FL and CO.); Senate: R-44, D – 54, I – 2; House: R-232, D-203
Robert Kahne (Friend of RP): Obama: 332, Romney: 206. Senate: D:53 (inc 2 IND) R: 47. House: D: 205, Rep: 230
Contributing RP Jason Grill: Obama gets 294 and Romney 244; Senate – 52 D 46 R 2 I; House – 234 R 201 D.
And watch this for more of Jason’s analysis:
Many virtual trees have fallen in examining Gen Y’s involvement in Campaign 2012. Seen as an excited, game-changing voting bloc in 2008 for Barack Obama, much has changed during the job-challenged recovery of the past few years.
Our resident Gen Y “He Said; She Said” team — Jordan Stivers and Zac Byer (who also happen to be dating) weighs in. Click here to read Zac’s piece. And Gen Y’s unofficial Hollywood spokeswoman, actor, writer and director Lena Dunham, weighs in here.
In 2008, I was a junior at the University of Kentucky and it was my first time voting in a presidential election. I found it so exciting that my first ballot ever cast was for Barack Obama, a candidate so different from any I had ever seen or heard about, not only in terms of race or background, but in what he stood for – equality, opportunity, and working together. As I walked around my fairly conservative campus the day after the election, wearing my Obama 08’ shirt and getting dirty looks from other students, I felt so proud that our country had come together and decided to go in a new direction.
I admit that a lot has changed since 2008, not only in my life, but in the country and in President Obama’s White House as well. I’ve graduated from college, worked for two years, and started law school. I’ve become an adult and realized that the state of the economy affects me and that it is vitally important for our national wellbeing. The country has come down from the high it was on after the 2008 election, and because of the difficult recovery from the even more difficult financial situation Obama inherited, many have become disillusioned with the President. But I don’t think this is a result of failed leadership of the President, but a result of our having impossibly high expectations of Obama, and a lack of understanding of the depth of the problems he has had to solve.
I’ve been hearing a lot of Republicans, and Mitt Romney himself, talking smugly about how young people are not as excited about Obama this time around, as if they’re saying, “I told you so, now you know better than to have any optimism about government and the good things it can achieve.” This is so cynical. The mood is different this time, but that’s natural. The President has had the hard job of actually governing for the past four years, and some of the sexiness has worn off. But this doesn’t mean that young people do not believe that President Obama is still the candidate with our best interests in mind. Because of the President’s policies, I’ve been able to stay on my parents’ health insurance through my transition from school to work, then back to law school. He’s supported many of my friends and colleagues who are gay by declaring that they should have the same rights as everyone else. He has kept student loan rates down so that we can pursue higher education. He’s allowed those of us who have grown up in the U.S. but are still not considered citizens to make it official. And let’s not forget how strongly he has represented the U.S. in foreign policy by killing Osama Bin Laden.
Read the rest of…
Jordan Stivers: Gen Y She Said — Closing Argument for Obama
Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan for a running mate reminds me of John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin to appease the far right of the Republican party that has become increasingly influential since 2008.
While Paul Ryan has far more substantive experience and ability to lead than Palin, I believe his views are just as extreme.
McCain and Romney were both considered moderates based on their records, and felt pressured to pick someone to the far right instead of someone who shares their ability to act in a bipartisan manner.
It makes me realize how warped the political arena must be that being a moderate is a bad thing.
Last month, we introduced a new feature at The Recovering Politician: the Gen Y “He Said; She Said” debates.
“He” is Zac Byer, a longtime staff contributor at the RP, an outspoken Republican, and currently works for one of the leading minds behind GOP national strategy, Dr. Frank Luntz. “She” is Jordan Stivers, a passionate Democrat who currently serves on the communications committee of the newly formed Young Democrats of America Faith and Values Initiative. As you might be able from the picture at left, “He” and “She” are dating. Or talking to each other. Or in a relationship. Or whatever Gen Y calls these types of relationships.
Anyway, enjoy their debate about Hope and Change:
JORDAN: This week, I read an article by the senior editor of The Atlantic in which he explains why he thinks Obama is losing, though the election is six months away. He says it’s not because voters don’t like Obama, or don’t think he is qualified, but because he has “simply failed to bring the change he promised.” I’ve heard this argument quite a few times, mostly from Republicans, who, as soon as President Obama was elected made it their main objective to create as many obstacles to bipartisan success as possible. My Senator, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, is one of these. He openly stated that he planned to do everything in his power to make President Obama a one-term President. What a winning attitude.
I was an enthusiastic supporter of President Obama in 2008 in part because of the bipartisan environment he wanted to create, but also because I trusted his instinct to lead us in a direction that would make the United States more of a place of opportunity for young people like me, and for the many people that were used to finding themselves without any power in the political process. I believe that in that second objective, he has delivered the change he promised. Through health care reform, the JOBS Act, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and now his open support of marriage equality, he has brought more positive change to this country than President Bush did in his two terms.
Of course I wish that Congress could actually function and compromise the way the founders intended, but why their dysfunction is being laid entirely on President Obama’s shoulders I don’t understand. The people who should be held responsible are Speaker John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Harry Reid. The politicians and pundits who are complaining that not enough change has happened are the same people who were actively trying to prevent change from happening, for purely political reasons. Any sucess for Obama meant a loss for them. What they did not consider is what would be a success for Americans as a whole. Instead of mocking the words “hope” and “change,” Republicans should realize that those words mean a lot to people. The only way things can change for the better and people who are downtrodden by the economy can have hope again, is for Republicans and Democrats to work together.
: Working in language and message consulting, I agree that words “mean a lot to people.” And clearly, in 2008, “hope” and “change” carried a particular significance surpassing any presidential campaign mantra. But here’s the issue — words can only take us so far. There must be actions to bolster the message, otherwise the latter only amounts to hollow rhetoric.
The JOBS Act was a rare symbol of bipartisan cooperation…but it started as a House Republican priority that Senate Democrats and the President realized they couldn’t say no to without falling on the sword.
To say Obama has delivered the change he promised through his health care reform is tantamount to a baseball owner saying the new pitcher he signed has changed the franchise before he has even thrown his first pitch. Nancy Pelosi herself said it’ll be a matter of time before anyone truly understands the consequences of the legislation, and I don’t expect the Supreme Court to go quietly into the night.
And I applaud Obama for finally putting principle before politics and admitting that he supports same-sex marriage. An evolutions? Good grief! If I was a Democrat who cared strongly about that issue, I’d be downright angry that the only reason why Obama made his declaration of support two weeks ago was because Biden did what he’s been doing for over thirty years. Real courage would have been an announcement in support of same-sex marriage in 2008, no matter the electoral consequences. Be that as it may, I don’t expect his announcement to change much at all, as this will remain a states’ issue (as even Obama desires it to be).
Ultimately, we head into November 2012 staring down $5 trillion more in debt, unemployment stuck above 8%, and a failed $800 billion stimulus.
I’ll be the first to admit that the cooperation from the congressional Republicans has been minimal at best. But, when you look back at Obama’s first two years in office, what’s your assessment? He worked with Democrat majorities in both the House and the Senate, and rode a wave of public support into the White House. Are you truly satisfied with how he and his counterparts prioritized — Cash for Clunkers, health care, and Solyndra instead of legislation aimed at relieving the burdens on small business owners and job creators, or incentivizing businesses to keep jobs in America, or tackling entitlement reform?
Read the rest of…
Gen Y “He Said; She Said” on Hope and Change
[Click here to follow the entire RP Debate]
I do agree with many of you that this apparently isolated incident from many years ago should not by itself raise concerns about Mitt Romney’s ability to be a good President.
For me, there are several other legitimate reasons to believe that he is not the right person to lead this country, but this isn’t one of them.
I do, however, think that this was a missed opportunity for Mitt Romney to reveal his humanity, and his ability to admit mistakes and learn from them.
He should have acknowledged the incident, and then shifted the focus by talking about how he realized that he was wrong, and reiterate his respect for all people, etc.
Instead, in typical Romney fashion, he acted like he had no recollection of the event (which isn’t very believable.) He ended up acting flustered, like he does when he is asked an uncomfortable question about his record.
Whether he is or is not an honest and decent person I am sure I will never really know. As voters, all we have to go on is what we observe as the candidates undergo the often brutal scrutiny that comes with running for President. We need to know if the leader of the free world can be honest and reflective, and if they can handle criticism, even if it is unfair or irrelevant.
In summary, it is not the bullying as a teenager that concerns me, it is the response as an adult who is running for the highest office in the land that does.
Read about our new feature Gen Y “He Said; She Said”
The race to the White House is off to a fast start now that Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican nominee. As a Kentuckian who has watched too many horse races to count, I know that consistency of performance is the most important factor in determining who will be wearing the roses at the end of the race. In the midst of an economic recovery that has no simple or easy solutions, and high stakes for the future of our Millennial Generation, we need to place our bet on President Obama to lead us through.
The result of this election will determine the direction our country will take for years to come, and as young people we will have to live with the consequences, good or bad, of the policies of the next President. I would argue that President Obama has best represented my generation’s interests on every issue since he has been in office. From making higher education more affordable to protecting the environment we live in, from championing reproductive freedom to shaping a responsible foreign policy, President Obama has proved that he is committed to protecting our future.
The economy is the issue that has been at the forefront of this election, as it should be. Many of us are wondering how we are going to pay off our student loans, find a good job, buy a house, and support children. While Mitt Romney seems to think that simply being a child of privilege and making a lot of money qualifies him to be President, it is President Obama who has proven that he can turn the economy back in the right direction. He understands that strengthening the middle class so that they can contribute to economic growth is the only way to truly rebuild an economy that was wrecked in the first place by Republican policies that favor the rich.
Read the rest of…
Jordan Stivers — Gen Y She Said — Obama for President
This morning we introduce a brand new feature at The Recovering Politician: the Gen Y “He Said; She Said” debates.
“He” is Zac Byer, a longtime staff contributor at the RP, who also happened to study at the University of Pennsylvania under the tutelage of Friend of RP (also the RP’s college roommate) Ronald Granieri. Zac is an outspoken Republican, and currently works for one of the leading minds behind GOP national strategy, Dr. Frank Luntz.
“She” is Jordan Stivers, a recent graduate of the University of Kentucky, a former volunteer for the RP, and a passionate Democrat who currently serves on the communications committee of the newly formed Young Democrats of America Faith and Values Initiative.
As you might be able to tell, “He” and “She” are dating. Or talking to each other. Or in a relationship. Or whatever Gen Y calls these types of relationships.
This morning, we will be featuring the first of their Gen Y “He Said, She Said” debates — discussing critical issues from the perspective of their generation. Today’s debate: the 2012 Presidential election. At 9:00 AM, Jordan will argue that Barack Obama’s reelection will best serve the interests of their generation. At 10:00, Zac will counter that his generation needs the change represented by Mitt Romney.
So tag along, and enjoy a younger version of Carville and Matalin. In reverse.
As electric cars become more popular make sure that you consider where the electricity is coming from. In coal heavy states they are not as clean as you may think. [yahoo.com]
It is no surprise that the majority of Americans link the unusual weather this year to climate change. [nytimes.com]
New data shows that our obsession with sprawl may be over. More people are moving back into cities. [usatoday.com]
We now have an answer of which came first, the chicken or the egg? [bbc.co.uk]