Washington Update - October 29, 2012
Vianovo | Oct 29, 2012
More than 10 million early voters have cast general election ballots and another 30-35 million are expected this week. Local reports suggest early voting advantages for President Barack Obama in Iowa and Nevada and for Governor Mitt Romney in North Carolina. The 2012 surprise development may not involve an Israel-Iran conflict or economic turmoil in Europe but instead a late-season hurricane smashing into the mid-Atlantic. The storm could benefit candidates with the best early vote program; other than Romney's leg up in North Carolina, it is unclear the storm would hand either candidate an advantage.
Through his debate performances, Governor Romney has eased voter worries about his presidential timber. President Obama used the last two debates to highlight his differences with the challenger, but he is scrambling to explain how his second term will differ from the first. Neither candidate meets the traditional qualifications for winning campaigns.
Heading into the election's last week, President Obama leads in the swing states needed to win the Electoral College; Governor Romney is the frontrunner in the national popular vote. Swing state polling varies widely based on turnout assumptions (Democrats assume larger minority and youth participation), yielding uncertainty about Ohio and Pennsylvania. While President Obama is the favorite because the Electoral College elects presidents, turnout doubt makes his status uncertain.
House Democrats have scheduled leadership elections in late November to give Nancy Pelosi time to consider her retirement options, signaling they have given up the ghost of capturing a majority. New abortion missteps by Republican Senate challengers have bolstered the Democrats' likelihood of retaining their majority.
Defying President Obama's debate prediction that the fiscal cliff "will not happen," congressional partisans are downplaying chances for a short- or long-term Lame Duck deficit deal. Most election outcomes favor an unproductive post-election session and a new Congress cleaning up the mess in January.
Kudos to Dr. Anthony Unger for making this week's Update possible by providing your Updater with a new, pain-free hip. Thanks!