The US Presidential race: It’s almost over… November 5, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, US Politics.
…I have to admit to sharing some of doctorfive’s feelings about the US election campaign. We’re told it is the ‘most divisive’ ever. Hmmm… I’d have thought the 2004 one was worse by quite some factor. Or even 2000, particularly in its outcome. Then again it’s difficult to judge the situation on the ground where reports are a bit more mixed. But be that as it may, the reporting by some in this part of the world has been grim. The Irish Times has continually led with blunt statements of ‘neck and neck’ polling using just one poll from one company or another.
This is pretty poor given the nature of the US Presidential electoral system – where the national poll is if not irrelevant, certainly necessary to contextualise in state pollimg.
I’ve been watching the polls in the US carefully for the last few weeks and it’s been interesting just how tight the race is. This isn’t a 2008 where Obama came in well ahead of McCain. It’s closer, if anything to a 2000 where Gore actually shaded the popular vote and lost in the electoral college.
Now all this is prefaced by a caveat. Obama is no social democrat, let alone a socialist – I’ve argued before that sometimes he seems nothing so much as a centrist independent (with a tilt into community politics) of a type not unknown in this state, liberal (in a US context rhetoric) but pushing centre-wards (which is to say cleaving to the orthodoxy in the main) in practice. None of which is to diminish the historic importance of his arrival in the White House in 2008 but to attempt to contextualise it, particularly in relation to how his actual Presidency has appeared far less stellar than the journey to arrive there.
And I wonder how many here, if given the opportunity, would actually vote for him. That said Romney is perhaps the most unbelievably malleable politician that has presented himself to an electorate in quite some time. So-called ‘moderate’ Republican or something quite distinctly different? The party he is representing has used the crisis to push further rightwards at a rapid rate of knots. Which raises the question whether in the last thirty or forty years there’s ever been a point where the dial tipped leftwards in US politics in a tangible sense.
But even if people don’t have a horse in the race it is still a race and of interest in that it will have ramifications far beyond the borders of the United States.
Though the debates weren’t up to much and the campaign itself has been lacklustre. But with less than an handful of hours to go the question remains, who is likely to win? Nate Silver’s polling blog on the NYT site has provided a counterbalance to the Real Clear Politics poll here. His analysis – and that of other aggregators, is that in the electoral college Obama is likely to more than shade it. And what are the impacts positive and negative both in the US in terms of class politics and further afield from a victory for either of the candidates.