BY JOE SHAHEELI/ There exists a possibility, based on a census of polls, Mitt Romney could win the nationwide vote by a percentage or two. But the odds show President Obama still holds a majority, though narrowing in the states that could deliver him the 270 electoral votes he needs to assure reelection.
Imagine having to live through another four years with that scenario in play. Americans hate a split verdict and history shows dissatisfaction ran rampant when that happened, which it has four times in our history. Rest assured, if that happens this time around, whoever wins the electoral college vote will state emphatically only the Electoral College matters since that result is the constitutionally mandated criteria for winning the presidency.
If Romney wins, Democrats will make a case, saying the national vote should not be discarded. The Republicans can’t, since George Bush won the electoral college vote and not the popular vote.
It’s understood the Obama and Romney campaigns have teams of lawyers ready to legally challenge narrow defeats in individual states.
Prof. Terry Madonna, political professor and pollster, recited these facts, among others, to a luncheon crowd at a seminar hosted by Conestoga Bank President Richard Elko at Loews Hotel last week. His take on the election as of that moment showed the key to victory would be decided by nine to 12 states. These were leaning one way or the other. But counting what could safely be said to be in the treasure chest of either candidate, Obama held a comfortable lead in the race for the 270 electoral votes. Predicted by recent polls were Obama holding 143 electoral votes from 10 states, while Romney had 13 states for a total of 76 electoral votes.
A Quinnipiac University Poll this week stated Gov. Mitt Romney has narrowed a 12-point gap with President Barack Obama and now trails the President 50-46% among Pennsylvania likely voters. Their last survey on Sept. 26 had Obama ahead 54-42%. In this week’s Quinnipiac University poll Pennsylvania survey, men back Romney 54-43%, compared to a 49-48% split Sep. 26. Women back Obama 57-39%, little changed from last month.
White voters back Romney 53-43% while Black voters back Obama 97-1%. White Catholic voters go Republican 56-43%. Voters with college degrees back the President 54-43% while voters without degrees are divided with 49% for Obama and 47% for Romney.
Only 7% of Pennsylvania likely voters say they might change their mind in the next 21 days. But Pennsylvania has far more undecided voters in the presidential race than most people thought, confirmed by the latest poll from the Siena College Research Institute. That poll showed President Obama leading Mitt Romney by 3 points with a whopping 17% of voters not aligned with either candidate. That’s more undecided than has been shown by any Pennsylvania poll in the past month. Three percent said they’re voting for someone else, and 12% said they haven’t made up their minds.
“With a month and two more debates to go, Pennsylvania’s direction on the road to the White House remains in doubt. The final tally depends upon the sizable group of voters that in early October had yet to decide. With clear differences in the Presidential race by party and area, turnout will make the difference,” said SRI’s Director Don Levy.
Levy’s statement puts an onus on both the Democrat and Republican Parties in this city. Democrats need an impressive turnout to cinch the state. Anything under a majority of 350,000 could put that in peril. Republicans, though split into two groups, had opportunity and dozens of reasons to show why their team was better in voter registration, absentee ballots, than the other. But those results are yet to be totaled.
Total registrations, including both parties, are expected to match the 2008 figures, which were heavy. In the realm of absentee, alternative, military, etc. ballots, the City Commissioners report 11,507 have been filed to date. That is approximately 6,500 less than was recorded in the 2008 election.
WHERE ARE BETTORS PUTTING THEIR MONEY?
With less than a month to go before America goes to the polls Paddy Power, Europe’s largest betting company, can report that close to three times more money has been staked on President Barack Obama than his election rival Mitt Romney.
The Irish betting house has seen only 25.5% of money staked on their next President betting line placed on Romney since he was formally named as the Republican candidate on Aug. 30 while 74.5% of the dough has been placed on Obama in the same period.
Meanwhile, the former Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, has seen his odds of winning the presidential race improve significantly from 9/2 to 2/1 since his powerful display in the first debate but still trails Barack Obama who remains the favorite to win the election at 4/11.
A spokesperson for Paddy Power said, “Obama looked to be home and dry in our customers’ eyes about two weeks ago; however, there’s been a recent surge in support for Romney which would suggest that Obama might be in a Mitt of trouble.”
Possibly boosting Obama’s betting edge was the news his campaign will have set a record, becoming the first campaign to raise a billion dollars. No wonder trillions seem small.
G.O.P. TOOK VOTER LEAF FROM OBAMA’S BOOK
President Obama’s 2008 campaign inaugurated the election version of blitzkrieg with a get-out-the-vote field organization never before mustered. This campaign is no different and his field forces have been working since well before the Democrat National Convention.
However, this time the Republican National Campaign Team reports it has 30,000 volunteers in the field and they’ve contacted almost 35 million voters.
WILL GARY JOHNSON BE THE SPOILER?
Libertarian candidate for President Gary Johnson and his US Senate running mate will be on the ballot in all Pennsylvania polling places as well as in 47 other states. They’ve survived court challenges.
Though not expected to get big numbers, they could affect the outcomes in close states.
SMITH-CASEY DEBATE MAY ALTER RACE
Tom Smith gets a make-or-break debate with Sen. Bob Casey on Oct. 26, at WPVI’s studio here in Philadelphia. The debate will be broadcast on Sunday, Oct. 28, and available for rebroadcast after 2:00 pm on Oct. 28, 2012 (and within 72 hours of the original airdate & time) by any television/cable outlet, or radio station that wishes to do so.
The debate will be moderated by Jim Gardner, Action News anchor at WPVI-TV. Gardner will be joined by two panelists: Monica Malpass, Action News Anchor and Vernon Odom, Action News Reporter. The debate will be sponsored by WPVI-TV, 6abc, and The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund. Let’s hope we hear more from the debaters than the moderators.
In the meantime, Smith is making a lot of noise and gaining in the polls, shrinking the gap from double digits to single but with US Sen. Bob Casey still in the lead. This race could depend on which party has the better turnout rate.
It is reported Casey took time out from campaign to endorse William Dunbar in the 177th.
BUTKOVITZ UNDERSCORES UNION CONCERNS
City Controller Alan Butkovitz’ review of construction activity in North Central Philadelphia showing poor city monitoring and enforcement of contractors and developers has enforced organized labor concerns for the public’s safety in those construction areas. That has earned him continued support as he prepares for reelection.
Butkovitz stated, “The lack of proper enforcement has allowed contractors to violate various codes and negatively impact the quality of life for surrounding residents. As our city continues to grow and new construction projects take place, the city needs to take an aggressive approach to protecting the quality of life for citizens in the surrounding neighborhoods.”
Unions know and follow the rules and remember their friends.
ROMNEY REACHES OUT TO SAMANTHA
Sixteen-year-old Samantha Pawlucy, forced out of her high-school class by a bullying teacher, found she had new support in her battle to preserve her right to free speech and opinion last Wednesday night.
Presidential Republican Mitt Romney telephoned her Port Richmond home to speak to her, but she wasn’t home. She was at Taekwondo martial art classes with her father, Richard.
Instead, Romney spoke to her mother Kristine and asked she pass on his words of encouragement.
His call, though unexpected, made sense since Samantha became the object of scorn by her teacher and classmates at Caroll HS for wearing a Romney-Ryan campaign t-shirt.
Romney’s call came in at 8 p.m. and was answered by Kristine. She said at first she didn’t believe it was the candidate calling, but quickly recognized his voice. He said, “I want you to know Sam is a great kid and she is standing up for what is right. Tell her not to quit expressing her views and fighting for her rights. Tell her not to quit and that she is very courageous for what she is doing.”
Samantha was literally shocked into fear and frustration when her geometry teacher, Lynnette Gaymon, held her up for ridicule for wearing that shirt. She was brought to tears as the teacher chased her from the class, then followed her into the hall and rallied students to join in adding their ridicule.
That moment and that t-shirt have propelled her into the national media spotlight. but it took a few days for the word to get out she had literally been bullied from the school. The Daily News continues to deprecate that event, but keeps writing about it.
She didn’t go back to school. She felt alone, ashamed, and forsaken by all except her family. Her dad Richard and mother Kristine didn’t know where to turn.
Then came a turn of events as a veterans group heard what happened and held a rally outside the school as she returned finally to school. That outpouring of support made her realize she was no longer alone.
Calls for her teacher to apologize, brought back a response which was anything but a simple “I’m sorry” one. That, plus the fact, when she returned to classes she found classmates carrying signs supporting their teacher and denouncing her. That led to her decision to not return to the school.
In the meantime, the family has solicited and has received the support of their local legislator, State Rep. John Taylor (R-Kensington), in helping Samantha and her siblings seek another school where neither she nor they will be bullied. Her dad said his four high-school-age children in his home will either succeed in that quest or resort to home schooling.
LOCAL TEA PARTY SEEKS POLLWATCHERS
Independence Hall Tea Party PAC President Don Adams said his group bought radio time on three conservative stations in the Philadelphia media market — WPHT, WNTP, and IQ106.9 — to get volunteers in this city to help “ensure voter integrity election day. We are going to monitor Philadelphia precincts that have not been watched in years. The goal is to have fair and honest elections in the city for the first time — maybe ever.”
He added the voter photo-ID controversy was a “political red herring. It seemed everyone completely ignored Philadelphia Commissioner Al Schmidt’s report on the 2012 Pennsylvania Primary which found, after surveying only 15 of Philadelphia’s more that 1,600 precincts, there were numerous incidents of voter fraud in that election — including voter impersonation, double voting, voting in the wrong primary and 23 cases of voting without prior registration.”
KEEPING IRISH EYES SMILING
He’s not only the go to guy for political causes, but the go to guy for other causes as well. Those in Philadelphia’s Irish community have learned that as well.
IBEW Local 98 Business Mgr. John J. Dougherty, Jr. recently underwrote a dinner hosted by the Brehon Law Society and the Irish American Business Chamber for Irish Prime Minister Enda Kennedy at the Union League.
WE REMEMBER SPECTER WELL
US Sen. Arlen Specter was well known to the publisher of this paper. Their relationship goes back to his earliest days as DA. Many of the tales of their interaction over those years have been heard by our editorial staff. Suffice to say, they were all good and mostly funny. He will be sorely missed!