Decision Time

It could be really close, this 2012 US presidential election, or it could be a greater majority for one or other of the candidates than we know.  The closeness of the polls and the important distinction between national and state polls has allowed for pretty well any and every interpretation to be given.

Given that the state-wide polls seem to favour an electoral college win for Obama, there has of course been a late rush of contrarian commentators to predict Romney wins.  Dick Morris has gone so far as to predict a 60% chance of a landslide Romney win, while George Will was the only member of the ABC News panel to go for a Romney win.  British political blog "The Political Reader" is also going with a Romney win, while the right-wing Spectator reluctantly concludes that actually there is really no way Obama could possibly lose.  There is also the prospect of a bit of legal action - keep your eyes peeled on Florida again, and even the much fought over Ohio may still have its place in the courts.

We're in for an unpredictable night, that much is certain.  The game of predictions is an addictive one, but ultimately of no use whatsoever.  Tomorrow, all predictions wither away in the light of the actual result.

Obviously, I offer my own.  I think Obama will win, with a decent, but not landslide, majority in the electoral college, taking Ohio and Florida with him.  I think Hurricane Sandy has helped him, and I notice that the BBC's Mark Mardell, who has spent much of the campaign talking up Romney's prospects, has commented on how genuinely relaxed Obama's key advisers - Axelrod and Gibbs - are.  They clearly believe the polls and their own ground organisation will deliver a second term to their man.  And, of course, there are those wise old birds, the betting houses.  Obama's odds have been far better than Romney's over the past couple of weeks.  Obviously he'll win!

I did place a small bet on Romney just in case, and I do believe that if elected he would govern as the centrist he was when Governor of Massachusets, but tonight's election is, I suspect, Obama's after all.


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