Politics

WRAP UP OF THE POLITICAL NEWS OF THE WEEK – AUGUST 11 -17

Last week Mittens finally annnounced the winner of the “which politician from the right wing of the Republican party will place himself on the what looks like the sacrificial altar of the presidential race?” Certainly not Marco Rubio. I’m sure Jeb Bush told him not to go with Mitt, because the “establishment” thinks the guy can’t win due to his lack of likeability. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! So instead they go with Paul Ryan, which pleased the Dems no-end – wow! This’ll be easy! But will it? Paul Ryan who is a “decent, family man”, as the President opined yesterday, has agreed to run with Mittens. The dog cartin’ dude’s choice of this particular running mate is actually a very smart strategy, that may pay off. Here’s the breakdown.

It appears to be consensus that the campaign’s polling determined that their strategies weren’t working to blame Obama for the bad economy. Even tho’ this is standard Rep dogma, they have tacked away from this strategy. Why? Two reasons – the Obama campaign ‘rebranded’ Mittens (oh, how I hate that word) by characterizing him as something he undoubtedly isn’t – even tho’ he comes across that way. When in doubt, go with the perception, not the reality. So they’ve cast him as insensitive to the needs of the middle class and an elitist poof that will steal the bread right out of your pantry and give it to his rich cronies.

The second reason has more to do with reality – the swing states, in particular Ohio, Wisconsin – maybe even Minnesota. The economy has improved in Ohio, moving it from a pink state to a baby blue state. Minnesota is always perverse – remember Jess Ventura? – so it’s perceived as in play. Wisconsin just kept Scott Walker in spite of his labor-busting antics. So taking on Paul Ryan was a ‘hail-Mary pass’ with a young, likeable Wisconsonian (is that a word?) to try to get those three swing votes into the red side of the ledger.

But what’s the downside of this strategy? In the process of maybe turning these three states with a total of 40 electoral votes, they could lose Florida (27). Well, maybe they figured on losing Florida anyway?

So let’s do the math. Right now the pollsters show the breakdown as 300 for Obama and 238 for Mittens. That assumes Florida will likely go for Obama anyway. So let’s say Mittens’ strategy works and he gets those 27 electoral votes. 238+27=265. 300-27=273. Close but no cigar, but that’s why it’s called a ‘hail-Mary’ pass. Mitt needs one more convert from blue to red. How about Iowa? Nah – recall that was a close primary state for Mitt that in the end he actually lost to Rick Santorum. But wait a minute – isn’t that why he recruited a true-blue conservative? Sure. With Iowa’s 7 electoral votes that puts Mitt & Paul over the top.

So you heard it here first folks. Mitt’s strategy is a long shot, but with Iowa (7), Ohio (20), Minnesota (10) and Wisconsin (10) Mittens wins.

Next time we’ll analyze those four states and see what the likelihood is of this strategy being a winner. But I’ll say this about that: the way people feel about their pocketbooks in the next three months will, in fact, count for a lot, so let’s hope things continue to improve, or at least not get any worse. This is still a horse race, and I wouldn’t put too big a bet on either outcome.

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