I have had positive feedback and many hits on my posts on U.S. elections in the past, and thought I would explain the situation as of today for the United States election which is scheduled for Tuesday, November 6.
1. What is at stake on November 6?
The President of the United States is up for reelection against a Republican challenger (you should know who they are by now). This race gets the most attention, since the President of the United States has enormous power and runs U.S. foreign policy and the military, along with other departments of the government.
In addition, the entire United States House of Representatives, now Republican by a 241 - 194 margin, is up for election. The Republicans are expected to hold on to the house. Although not as much attention is paid to the House of Representatives, they can stymie the President from carrying out his economic policies, which is happening now in Washington, D.C. to a large extent.
The upper house of Congress, the U.S. Senate has 33 seats out of 100 up for election. The Democrats currently control the Senate by a 53-47 ratio. They are expected to keep control, but narrowly.
State elections will be held, and several gay marriage initiatives are on the ballot, including ones in Maryland, Maine, and Washington (The State) that will legalize gay marriage if the measures pass. They are all expected to pass. If any pass it will be the first time the people of a state have voted to approve gay marriage.
2. Where do things stand today in the U.S. Presidential election.
To make a long story short, President Obama is expected to win according to all major polls which a web site, Real Clear Politics, keeps track of continuously. As of today, President Obama is up by 3.8%.
|Polling Data from Real Clear Politics as of September 25 2012|
However, the U.S. Presidential election is not decided by popular vote. It is decided by something called the electoral college. Basically, every state casts its vote as one unit for one candidate. California, the biggest state, for example, casts all its electoral votes for the winning candidate, and not in proportion. This is why in 2000 President Bush beat Al Gore who actually got more popular votes.
Right now, the electoral college overwhelmingly favors President Obama by a 347 - 191 margin. You need 271 to win. Mitt Romney will need to take 80 electoral votes away from those favoring President Obama today from this list of swing states that are only favoring President Obama by a few percent in the polls. Getting up to 80 votes is going to be very difficult for him. I live in the most important swing state (Florida). If President Obama wins Florida, which he did last time and he is favored to do, Mitt Romney will need to win every other state on this list and then some, which shows you how hard the path is for him.
New Hampshire (4)
North Carolina (15)
3. Can things change by November 6?
The answer is that everything depends on the 3 scheduled Presidential debates in the month of October, on the 3, 16, and 22 at 9:00 PM East Coast Time. In addition, there is a Vice Presidential debate scheduled for October 11.
If Mitt Romney does better than expected (due to his statements of late, his expectations are low), or trips President Obama up, the election can swing in his direction. The month of October is very volatile.
In addition, the U.S. unemployment numbers for September will be released on October 5, and for October on November 2 at 8:30 a.m. If they swing in one direction or another, President Obama may benefit or suffer. Right now, they are at 8.1% which is considered high for the United States which aims to see unemployment in the 4 - 5% range.
4. What are my own projections?
I do not think President Obama will retain his big lead. I think the election will come down to the wire. This is why we need to make sure every single Obama supporter gets out and votes.