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'Regressively Extremist' Republican Agenda Gives Obama the Edge (Excelsior, Mexico)


"Obama's reelection depends on the effective dismantling of a Republican agenda that is so regressively extremist that it offends the political intelligence of a large portion of the U.S. population, which has shown in the recent past signs of moderation and a desire to leave behind the political parochialism that the Romney-Ryan duo represents."


By José Luis Valdés Ugalde*



Translated By Neus Coll Ruiz


October 19, 2012


Mexico – Excelsior – Original Article (Spanish)

Today, with Wednesday's debate between Obama and Romney behind us, we can see the outline of a final outcome in what has long been a very close race for the White House. The polls, which generally succeed in predicting U.S. presidential races, have changed since the first debate in Denver on October 5th. Before that, Obama had a seven-points lead over his rival, which was lost thanks to Obama's lack of clarity and lamentably low profile in Denver. Although certainly changeable, the polls predict an uncertain outcome. Real Clear Politics says the race is technically a draw, placing both candidates at 47 percent; Rasmussen gives Romney 49 to Obama's 48; Gallup gives Romney 49 vs. Obama's 47; and Fox News gives Romney 46 to Obama's 45. On the other hand, Político puts Obama at 49 and Romney at 48; IBD puts both at 47 percent, and ABC News gives Obama 49 and Romney 46. In sum, these percentages are so close that that the race looks like a dead heat.






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So what happened to change things so dramatically in such a short period of time? How did a campaign as disorganized, chaotic and schizophrenic as Romney’s, manage to make such a comeback? Further still, how is it that a president suffering through an unemployment rate of 7.8 percent and a still unresolved economic crisis, which has continued for many months, continues to dominate in the so-called swing states?


For example, in Iowa, Obama leads Romney 48-46, in Nevada Obama leads 48-46, in New Hampshire he's ahead 48-47, in Wisconsin (Paul Ryan’s state) Obama leads 50-47, in Virginia 48-47, in Ohio 48-46, in Michigan 48-44, and in Pennsylvania 49-44. These states, in addition to Florida, where the two appear tied, are critical to winning the race, as they comprise a total of 93 votes in the Electoral College, which ultimately decides the outcome. These votes are the difference needed to ensure Obama the 270 electoral votes needed to win, or conversely, for Romney to win (although his margin of victory will be smaller).


On the other hand, speculation has begun on the possibility that one could win the popular vote (Romney) and the other (Obama) the electoral, and therefore the presidency. All of which presents a scenario similar to 2000, when Gore defeated Bush in the popular vote, but lost in the Electoral College. Given the many election irregularities in Florida, the crisis was settled by the Supreme Court. Although not as dramatic as 2000, there were similar cases in 1824 and 1877. And of course, let's not forget the big surprise of Harry Truman, who against all odds managed to get reelected in 1948; or Jimmy Carter, who as president, miserably lost his fight for reelection to Reagan in 1980. For many observers, Obama’s case recalls 1948, 1980 and 2000. His is, however, quite a different case.

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While Obama faces serious disadvantages, having lost his status as the favorite, his popularity among independents (ahead by six points), women (53 percent), Latinos (75 percent), African American (99 percent), most gay people, young people and students, and with 47 percent of people thinking the country is headed in the right direction (the same as when Bush was reelected), it is not a terribly adverse scenario for reelection.


Of course, all of this is stated assuming that in the 20 days until the election, Obama doesn't throw away the advantages of his charisma, his oratorical gifts, his capacity to lay out arguments clearly and his technical rationality.


Thus, Obama’s performance and campaign will depend, first of all, on the continuity of what has been conceived of as a historic presidency of modernization. Second, it depends on the effective dismantling of a Republican agenda that is so regressively extremist that it offends the political intelligence of a large portion of the U.S. population, which has shown in the recent past signs of moderation and a desire to leave behind the political parochialism that the Romney-Ryan duo represents.


*José Luis Valdés Ugalde is a researcher and professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico


Twitter: @JLValdesUgalde



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[Posted by Worldmeets.US Oct. 19, 11:24am]