Four years ago when Barack Obama won the presidential election, I did not imagine that his re-election would be so problematic. But he has faced the deepest recession in a generation and an intransigent Congress and – let’s face it – he has not always been as bold as his supporters hoped.
Over the summer, polls have shown Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to be very close and, following Obama seeming to pull away a bit, he disappointed in the first presidential debate. I’ve watched the whole of the debate and it’s not that Obama was bad, but unquestionably Romney was sharper and more energised.
The latest polls suggest that Obama’s lead over Romney has slipped to around 2% which is within the margin of error, so in effect it seems to be neck and neck.
But, here’s the thing: the US presidential elections is not decided by which candidate polls most votes nationwide but by which candidate secures the most votes in the Electoral College. And here things look better for Obama.
Real Clear Politics is an independent and informed web site which tracks American politics in forensic detail. According to their latest assessment, Obama is pretty sure of 251 Electoral College votes, while Romney is fairly certain of only 181 votes, with the rest still to play for. If we look at their best guess of how the uncertain states will break, their estimate is that Obama will win 303 Electoral College votes to Romney’s 235.
The actual election is four weeks today (although some states have been taking postal votes for weeks). It isn’t over till the fat lady sings, but I’m still banking on Obama winning – and I sure want him to do so.