Both sides, Republican and Democrats, think that their side is going to win the presidency. There are logical arguments coming from both sides. However, some of these arguments come solely from turnout models that no one seems to think will happen. However, many think Obama will lose. Here is why, and what will happen to the Democratic Party if he does.
Over at Red State, Dan McLaughlin breaks down why he believes Nate Silvers model is flawed (It is one of the best reads this cycle when it comes to polling analysis).
Dan writes, “Perhaps, despite the paucity of evidence to the contrary, these assumptions are wrong. But if they are correct, no mathematical model can provide a convincing explanation of how Obama is going to win re-election. He remains toast.”
Silver’s model is about probabilities. Additionally, = he is basing his model off flawed data—highly improbable turnout models that look like 2008 or better. It seems that McLaughlin’s view that numbers can only tell you so much is likely correct. Romney is running strong, evidenced by the 30,000-person rally.
The way the Obama campaign is campaigning is also a telling sign. The President was speaking about Romney’s plan and his views on the economy now and in the 1990’s. He said Romney’s name and the audience started to boo. Obama said “No, no, no -- don’t boo, vote. (Applause.) Vote! Voting is the best revenge.”
Mitt Romney responds by saying this:
“Yesterday, the President said something you may have heard by now, that I think surprised a lot of people," he said Saturday in New Hampshire. "Speaking to an audience, he said voting is the best revenge. He told his supporters, voting for ‘revenge.’ Vote for ‘revenge’? Let me tell you what I’d like to tell you: vote for love of country. It is time we lead America to a better place.”
Why would the president want to tarnish his name if he did not think had too?
Additionally, Politico is reporting that many people believe that Obama’s early voting advantages from 2008 have been cut in half. In some places, Romney is even winning. Remember, McCain beat Obama with Election Day voting, but lost early voting so bad that Obama still won.
Take this with the knowledge that evangelicals are supporting Romney over Obama this year—to the tune of 70% to 30%, which is a rough estimate—but it could be enough to offset any advantage Obama may have.
According to Ralph Reed, president of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, there is going to be huge evangelical advantages for Romney in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. One example of why this matter is that according to Reed, during the last election cycle 350,000 evangelicals did not come out to vote in Ohio. If Romney can bring 70% of those people to his side, he could easily offset the 260,000 margin of victory Obama had over McCain in 2008. That does not even include the fact that Obama is not doing nearly as good as he did in 2008. Romney is the one winning independents in Ohio.
So lets us assume for a second Obama does lose. What is next for the Democratic Party?
President Obama has governed toward the far center left. He has not been a liberal extremist, but he has passed policies that make liberals happy. This was a different path than Bill Clinton attempted to take the party in. Clinton worked with Republican controlled House to pass welfare reform and balance the budgets. Clinton’s centrism brought the Democratic Party back from defeat after Republicans took back the House for the first time in 50 years. Clinton won reelection and proved that sitting in the center was the right course for the Democratic Party.
President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid immediately started to take the Democratic Party to the left. They felt that the 2008 election gave them a mandate to take the country towards a liberal/socialistic utopian dream. The stimulus and healthcare battles had left the electorate with a sour taste. The 2010 midterms saw another Republican Revolution roar into power (this time called the Tea Party).
Instead of moving to the center, President Obama has tried to stay center-left. They actually believe that the electorate would learn to love those policies by the time the president was up for reelection. That did not happen. The next move was to try to demonize Romney in the hopes that people will forget that the president is promising more left wing policies—recently they released a brochure full of past policies Obama supported. It does not appear to be working, but we will not know for sure until Election Day.
If Obama loses, the Democratic Party will have to rethink itself. The centrist will blame Progressive elements of the party. Democrats will start electing moderates that will have a chance to win in a center-right country. If Romney is successful reforming government and fixing the economy, the abandonment of liberal Democrats will be stronger. The elites in the Democratic Party will recognize the warning signs. The country is center-right, a liberal will always find it hard to pass their agenda and win elections. Bill Clinton may have already taught this lesson by helping Obama in 2012.