I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, but it wasn’t until I saw Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone Magazine on CNN earlier today that I felt motivated.
“I don’t know any campaign journalists out there who thinks that Romney has a legitimate chance to win. And I’m not making a value judgment about any candidate. I just think that, in the press, there’s this general feeling that this election is a foregone conclusion. You have a relatively popular incumbent, the economy is not doing terribly and traditionally – especially the candidate who has a fundraising advantage – almost always wins.
Could Romney win, yes it’s possible. But I just don’t think it’s likely and that takes a lot of suspense out of the race.”¹
If you’ve seen the most recent presidential polls you might be scratching your head. President Obama and Governor Romney seem neck-and-neck. In fact, if you check out Drudge he’s nearly always linking to Rasmussen polls showing Governor Romney a few percentage points ahead.
That’s not how we elect a president.
When you boil down the Electoral College numbers you get a totally different view. HuffingtonPost breaks it out Obama-294 Romney-170.
247 Strong Obama
47 Leans Obama
0 Leans Romney
170 Strong Romney
That’s a major surprise for most people. It was a surprise to me when I started seeing numbers like that a few months ago.
Britain’s Ladbroke’s betting parlors are offering 1:2 odds for an Obama win (bet $1 and get back $1.50) and 13:8 for Romney (bet $1 and get back $2.62½). In horse racing that makes President Obama the prohibitive favorite.
Intrade sets the odds at 59.8% for an Obama win and 36.4% for Governor Romney.
It’s only May. Anything can happen. This is still surprising.
¹ – Though I watched this live I am borrowing the quotes from Mediaite – a site I visit a few times a day.