William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Obama Doesn’t Have A Chance

Barack ObamaI have returned from a week away from the computer. Announcements to follow tomorrow.

I am going to tell you of several conversations in which I took part over the last week, talks which, taken together, indicate that Barack Obama has almost no chance of winning re-election.

Of course, given my political views, it is always possible that I have misinterpreted the evidence and twisted it so that it conforms to my desires, i.e. that I am wishcasting. Too, I publicly predicted (in January) that Obama would lose, and nobody likes to make a mistake. You may thus want to discount what I tell you accordingly. Or you may want to listen and so back a winning forecast.

I was off from San Francisco to Las Vegas to attend a conference, and then back to the Bay Area for a certain project. This travel produced four cab rides: three of the four cabbies started conversations about politics (the last lectured me why Japanese cars were better than American). I say “started” to indicate that I did not begin any of these chats, nor did I actively direct their courses.

First cabbie (in SF) was Chinese by birth, now (I later learned) American. He apologized for not having a computer (it was busted), which meant I had to pay cash. But it also meant, he said, that he could not pick up riders who the city of San Francisco gave a kind of cab credit card which allowed them to charge rides to the city. This privileged class were “the poor” and those who met a broad (he claimed) definition of “disabled” (“The [last guy] didn’t have problems!”). The cabbie told me he was tired of so many people getting so much for free when he had to work so hard.

Second cabbie (in Vegas) was German by birth, now American. He brought up politics by way of a joke at Mr Obama’s expense, then nervously laughed and said he hoped it wouldn’t bother me. He was thinking of his tip, of course, but I put him at his ease by telling him that I agreed with his quip. He too mentioned having to work while others did not.

Third cabbie (in Vegas) was American by birth, a Hispanic thirty-something ex-civil engineer. He couldn’t stand office confinement. I asked how was business, and he said it was better now. Now? He said that since the mayor had acted in response to some disparaging comments Mr Obama made about ceasing business trips to Vegas, things were better. Cabbie said he used to like Obama, but “he shouldn’t say things like that.”

The conference itself contained a number of lawyers whose practices involve them with the government. I heard from and talked with several. I apologize that I must be vague about details.

One lawyer related a tale in which his company had settled a certain suit with opposition lawyers, only to see the government, unbidden, step in at the last moment and invalidate the settlement. The government then imposed its own settlement, mandating that a much larger sum be paid to it instead of to customers and opposition lawyers. The government would “manage” this fund and dispense monies to customers who wrote with claims. Few customers did, but the government got to keep the extra monies.

This, many said, was not the first incident, and all thought it would be far from the last. One important lawyer—Jewish (a big block for Obama last election; lawyer mentioned his son’s Bar Mitzvah), self-labeled Democrat—said, “If you think it’s bad now, just wait until after the election. They’re holding things back now until after they come back. It’s gonna be worse.”

Discussion agreed that the government was now staffed by “activists” whose reward system was based on “How big of a penalty can we get? How big of a fine?” Another said, “It’s going to be a regulating and political onslaught.” This was from a gentleman who said, “You know, I’m what’s called a knee-jerk Democrat…” Another person said she had actually worked for Mr Obama during the last election, but said (jokingly?) she was considering working for Mr Romney. And there was much much more.

Mr Obama has, and will keep, the far left. But this will harm him with the so-called “independents” and “Reagan Democrats.” The political elites are saying “It’s Obama in a romp”, but these are the same elites who were blindsided by the recent Supreme Court oral arguments.

Mr Obama also has the “promises” and words of the old Left—but he won’t have their votes. Obama hasn’t a chance.

25 Comments

  1. Briggs

    14 April 2012 at 8:26 am

    medskep,

    Reasons?

  2. Obama will win. My reasons are no better than yours for thinking he will lose. Here they are:

    In the past two presidential elections you have had men running who, by nearly any definition, we’re extraordinary people. Really, as far as statemen I’m not sure you could hope for better.

    John Kerry, born in to wealth, volunteers to serve his country in Vietnam. When he returns a decorated veteran he helps start vets against the war. No matter what your views on the war, this is a man who stands by his convictions and is willing to put his butt on the line for what he believes is the greater good. No major scandals in his life either. Defeated for “flip flopping”.

    John McCain, war vet as well. Endured horrible cruelty at the ends of Americas enemy, and when he was finally released, did not spend the rest of his life a cripple from those circumstances. Did not publicly blame society, drugs, or anyone else for the hardships he endured. Instead he picked himself up and did everything he could to make his country a better place. He has experience, respect (even John Stewart of the Daily show liked him until Obama came around), and conviction. No major scandals in his life. Defeated by “hope and change”.

    These were both great men, yet US media painted both as weak, feeble, and incompetent. Enough of the voting masses bought it to give the election to their respective opponents.

    Im not saying Obama or Bush are weak or bad or anything negative at all, but compared to their opponents they are not “great men” . If Abe Lincoln were running in the next election, he too would lose. The media would rip him to shreds and the encumbant would win.

  3. A grocery check-out clerk told me that she wished she could stay home and hire help in raising her children.

    Another grocery check-out clerk told me that he wished he could buy his wife two Cadillacs.

    “Romney is the Republican Party’s Michael Dukakis,” said George Will. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrd61iC8HAg

    Need more evidence? Google never disappoints.

    Conclusion: Obama will win.

    (I am laughing at myself. )

    Mr. Briggs, your heart is truly on the left! (Definitely wishful thinking on my parts.) Why are you still in denial? ^_^

  4. JH,

    As a mostly passive reader of this blog, I would suppose that Briggs is left as well — or leans left, at minimum. Though, by left, I mean a classical liberal, not the so-called leftist sibling of the statists twins (Liberal/Conservative, Democrat/Republican, or any supposed distinction of a set of nondistinctions). I may be wrong, but I suspect I am right.

  5. Romney is a MORMON… wait ’til America actually learns that… and the details of Mormonism. (He’s also a complete mindless corporate shill.) Obama… slam-dunk.

  6. Reggie, what do you know of Mormons outside of a South Park episode? Have you ever been to SLC? Do you know anyone who is a Mormon?

    From where I’m standing there is more to be admired in the Mormon community than in the hard left neo-hippie socialist camp.

  7. What were the Vegas odds? Did you place a bet?

  8. I’m afraid The O is gonna win. Politics nowadays (though probably always was) is more about the show than a feeling and attending of the nation’s pulse. The Reps. blew it by having such a disorganized campaign strategy. If they wanted to win, they should have had a clear front runner by last November and not this mealy three-way bickering family fight. The current campaign has the look and feel of going-through-the-motions exercise.

    Grass roots comments such as those of your cabbies will be utterly swamped by the feel-gooders living in the land of the hippies who are more likely to turn out to support our Dodo-in-Chief.

    Or maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised if Romney wins — but then maybe not. The last Rep. president wasn’t much to brag about. The only thing that can be said about him is that he was arguably a better choice than the alternatives.

  9. Of course he has a chance. Never underestimate the republicans’ ability to shoot themselves in the foot.

  10. Mr Briggs, you are completely clueless about your own biases it’s not even funny. I still remember quite well when you predicted with – was it 95% confidence? – that Obama would lose the last elections. I told you otherwise, it was clear as water that Obama was poised to win.

    Now you are merely doing the same mistake, letting your wishes doing the thinking for your brain.

    OTOH, your silly attempts at bringing us anedoctal evidence of the kind “I know a friend that’s soooo democrat and he had these terrrrible things to say about them!” are funny. I lol’d.

  11. I check Briggs’ blog daily and comment infrequently; the comments above indicate I am in the minority, especially in assessing ‘W.’ How many of you know a Harvard MBA, fighter pilot, college cheerleader: George W. is a team player. A recovered alcoholic. When have we had the services of a mensch with such a skill-set? Look again, guys: our nation needed a principled, focused, bright person of Faith – a man who speaks, from the heart, the American language. And look at those he attracted to public service. (Jimmy Carter may have had a less-criminal, more-competent Cabinet than Obama, by a peanut skin’s thickness.)
    USA electoral coin-of-the-realm is still TV eye-time: an historian, decades hence, will reveal that 2012 provided another example of how Republicans retained, for months, the electorate’s attention. Previous example: ‘W’ swamped/buried news-hour whining, carping, malcontents and malingerers with actual Truth from embedded reporters; hours of young warriors and their stories. Iraq coverage brought us reality, not the calculated poison of VietNam falsehoods. ‘W’ understood the economics of evening boob-tube propaganda; regardless of your perceptions about Iraq, he drove out bad coins with a flood of the genuine. Had the USA not been watching R’s, BHO could have been all we heard and saw. (Acquaintances claim we needed more BHO-bilge: he hid behind distracting circus-debates.)
    *Will: thank you for perceptive reality-check re LDS faithful.
    *What world do you live in,….Will says: 14 April 2012 at 9:01 am
    “… men running who, by nearly any definition, we’re [sic] extraordinary…” John Kerry returns falsely decorated: his One honest moment? – fencing symbols of hollow emblems.
    *McCain’s ‘convictions?’ At least one sentence should have followed the SCOTUS decision re Free Speech: what does the Senator not understand about the First Amendment?

    Who wins, this November? Any Republican, in honest competition and with balanced media.

  12. …and that’s a pretty good sampling of the political mindset of this blog’s readers. Seems to be similar in nature to public comments I was hearing in the spring of 1980, but that’s not important.

  13. Briggs,
    This may be a bit too complex to be realistic.

    Obama will be re-elected but it will be close.

    More conservative voters will stay home because they won’t see much difference between Romney and Obama.

    AND …

    If Obama’s re-elected, there will be a clear opportunity to get a “real” conservative into office in 2017. If Romney starts in 2013, he could be re-elected in 2016 and there wouldn’t be a chance to cleanse the palette until 2020 – a long time.

    Leftish centrists who might accept that Romney is a middle roader, will stick with Obama believing that there is a loss of 18 months of getting the house in order every time there is an administration change and if the result isn’t going to be significant change, why do it.

    My take on Kerry’s loss to George II was that he offered no significant change in policy on issues (Iraq, for one) important to many voters, so again, why change horses for nothing and suffer the 18 months of chaos.

    Despite all the things real and imagined that make people apprehensive about more Obama, his chances must be a function of Romney’s chances. I suspect that Romney could be a very effective president, but he is a strange guy and that seems to have occurred to lot of people. He’s not strange in a comfortable way and I think that will deny him the votes of the otherwise indifferent.

  14. Add to the above, “and it is the indifferent who decide elections.”

  15. There is so much that can contribute to an Obama win—the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Healthcare Act can be played as a positive whichever way they decide (Either, “See? It is too constitutional!” or “The American public is ready for single-payer, so let’s go for it.”) A definite winning move that Romney would be hard-pressed to outmanoeuvre would be Hillary as VP. (Angela Merkel is currently ineligible and unavailable.) I see more likely scenarios for an Obama win than for a Romney win.

  16. George Steiner

    15 April 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Before the last election there was a furious discussion in the Spectator about Obama’s chance to be elected. I said ” Americans may not be sophisticated but they are not stupid”.

  17. John R T: your comments illustrate my points exactly. You have disregarded the achievements and merits of two extraordinary men with short, dismissive, one liners.

  18. Noblesse Oblige

    15 April 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I don’t know who will win the election … and no one here does either.

  19. John RT: You are spot on with the mensch comment. Bush is the real deal.

  20. Visited a gun store for the first time in years.
    I would say that the long line at least indicates that there are a lot of folks
    who are scared of a second Obama term.

  21. Look at the Obama coalition: the 50% of Americans who do not pay taxes + the hard core left. Adds up to an Obama win.

  22. GoneWithTheWind

    15 April 2012 at 11:06 pm

    If Obama is lucky enough that the country does not collapse into a great depression before November or have some other equally devastating disaster then he will win reelection. His machine is set up for the most dishonest election since JFK and probably even worse. His lacky’s will vote 6, 8, 10 times in important states and they will steal the election by such a wide margin Al Gore will be jealous. Why do you think holder and his crooked DOJ is fighting voter ID so bad. The electgion is cooked, stick a fork in us we are done.

  23. Greg Cavanagh

    17 April 2012 at 8:44 pm

    I successfully predicted that Obama would win the last election, based solely on the premise that he was the least desirable person to be elected.

    I’ll be making the same bet next time for the same reasons. Obama will win, simply because he’s the worst possible choice.

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