Comparing Presidential Results, Polls, Predictions and Pundits

Barack Obama

President Obama's re-election victory Nov. 6 should not be the end of the election season.

Today, let's examine pundit performance. Some of the biggest names in the media seem incompetent at best in their predictions. At worst, they may be motivated by a hidden agenda that makes them deceive the public because of their ideology and their paymasters. In the wake of the election, serious scrutiny is now needed also for the out-of-control campaign finance system, and deeply disturbing voter suppression and privatized electronic voting systems gaining ascendancy. All of these problems seem linked to a "win at all costs" partisan mentality ruining our society.

Exhibit A is longtime Washington Post columnist and ABC-TV analyst George Will. Holder of a Ph.D. and married to a former high-ranking GOP campaign consultant, Will is by most measures the nation's most widely syndicated and otherwise influential political columnist.

He predicted that GOP nominee Mitt Romney would win 321 electoral votes, with 270 needed to win. As of this writing, Romney had 206 votes. A possibility remains that Romney would gain Florida's 29 votes in a recount. But the former governor trailed Obama in Florida by .6 percentage points, 49.9 to 46.3, with 100% of the vote reported.

In Slowest Children of the Press Corps: George Will!, Daily Howler columnist Bob Somerby mocked Will's supposed expertise in his predictions made in ABC-TV's flagship Sunday morning talk show  hosted by George Stephanopoulos. Somerby is a professional humorist who created a mostly serious political commentary blog more than a decade ago to "howl" at the mainstream media who constantly misinform the public.

Many other pundits, including almost a Who's Who lineup of Fox News conservative commentators, were wrong about this year's results, as indicated below in several columns by web-based media critics. The Atlantic, for example, reported:

Barack Obama just trounced a Republican opponent for the second time. But unlike four years ago, when most conservatives saw it coming, Tuesday's result was, for them, an unpleasant surprise. So many on the right had predicted a Mitt Romney victory, or even a blowout. Dick Morris, George Will, and Michael Barone all predicted the GOP would break 300 electoral votes. Joe Scarborough scoffed at the notion that the election was anything other than a toss-up. Peggy Noonan insisted that those predicting an Obama victory were ignoring the world around them. Even Karl Rove, supposed political genius, missed the bulls-eye. These voices drove the coverage on Fox News, talk radio, the Drudge Report, and conservative blogs. Those audiences were misinformed.

Karl Rove's performance is especially interesting in view of reports on this site during recent days alleging his involvement in an "empire" of improper vote-rigging aimed at 2012 success for the GOP. The allegations are based on purportedly illegal but never investigated improper tactics in previous disputed GOP victories. Among the elections were the 2002 Alabama gubernatorial race and the 2004 presidential election in Ohio.

Karl Rove

My main column on this was published earlier this week, Rove Vote-Switching 'Empire' Alleged to Threaten Nov. 6 Results. Rove, at left, has still not responded to my request for comment. In lieu of direct response on specifics, I quoted him as denying he ever met one of his main critics, Alabama attorney Dana Jill Simpson. Also, my "Empire" column quoted Boss Rove biographer Craig Unger as reporting that Rove usually maintains enough distance between himself and campaign operations so as to enable plausible deniability from any wrongdoing.

Alleged Rove Electronic Vote Fraud 'Empire'

On Election Night, Rove protested for nearly 40 awkward minutes the judgment by his Fox News colleagues that Romney would prevail in Ohio and elsewhere. Thus the  Craig Unger column, Karl Rove: The Biggest Loser and a Buzzfeed headline: Karl Rove Freaks Out About Fox News Calling The Election For Obama.

Perhaps Rove was simply in error. Progressive commentator Wayne Madsen suggested another possibility to me.

“Maybe Rove thought the secret election machine software ‘patch’ installed by the Secretary of State’s office was going to be able to switch votes,” Madsen told me. “With Ohio’s electoral votes, and those from Florida and Virginia, that could have put Romney within striking range of winning the whole thing. But then again, maybe they chickened out in Ohio after the whistleblower in the Secretary of State’s office revealed the software Thursday, and the lawsuit got filed Monday.”

Madsen's reference was to a press conference Monday announcing a lawsuit by Ohio Green Party Congressional candidate Bob Fitrakis, a critic of electronic voting machines, against GOP Secretary of State Jon Husted and voting machine company ES&S. See details in my column here, Election Fraud Critics Seek Halt To Ohio's Secret Software In GOP Plan. U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost, a 2003 GOP nominee of President Bush, declined on Nov. 6 to enjoin deployment of the software. Authorities said they deployed the software as an emergency, and so it was exempt from law requiring testing and certification of adjustments to voting machine technology.

Longtime election machine critic Mark Crispin Miller, a New York University professor who edits the daily blog/listserve News from Underground, described Election Day as a turning point for the elections integrity movement. He is a leader in that movement after authoring the 2005 book, Fooled Again, about the 2004 elections. Miller wrote:

To those of us with vivid memories of Election Nights 2000 and 2004, it was a creepy moment---and things got even creepier when Brad Friedman reported that the website of the Ohio SoS [Secretary of State] had suddenly done down, which had also happened at that very hour eight years before; and when it had come back on, Kerry, who had been ahead, was now behind. And -- horribly -- the rest was history. But that didn't happen this time, as Rove had obviously lost control -- of himself (his recklessness in mouthing off like that was staggering), and, infinitely more important, of his well-oiled, fabulously subsidized election-theft machine.

For all his plans, and all the preparations made by Ohio SoS Jon Husted (among others), Rove was clearly overruled on this Election Day, as cooler heads prevailed. The fact is that, this time, yet another late-night "upset victory" would have been too risky -- for the U.S. press had finally done its job, enough to make a lot of people conscious of what's happened to our voting system, and, therefore, of what could happen to let Romney "win."

In short, our work online was finally resonating through the mainstream press -- not the New York Times or CNN, of course, but others numerous and respectable enough to give some traction to the questions we've been raising for so many years. Thus the old smear of "conspiracy theory" finally sounded not like common sense but like the mere ad hominem evasion that it's really always been; and so those few who used that smear this time were shot to pieces for it.

For obvious reasons, reporters and the rest of the public have no ability to examine secret procedures by state officials elected by the major parties and able to hire politically connected private contractors to tabulate votes using propriety software that is exempt from any examination. Similarly, Ohio's secret "emergency" installation in September of software that could have altered voting results across much of the state is beyond the ability even of official poll-watchers to monitor.

So any interpretations by Miller, Madsen, or anyone  else are inherently speculative.

However, court procedures, both civil and criminal, have the potential to reveal such secrets. That would be easy if prosecutors or a judge requires production of evidence, including sworn testimony. That was one of my themes in moderating a panel discussion on election machine fraud Oct. 24 in Washington, DC.

We may never know if there was, in fact, a plot in Ohio and elsewhere to manipulate voting machine results. But we can know, from other such situations, that the best way to prevent a problem is by raising the possibility in advance. Also, we can readily see that conservative experts were wrong about their predictions.

Whether these matters are linked is worth further research and even speculation, including from the columns listed below. Please submit others you think worth adding .For now, I’ll conclude with an excerpt from, " After Obama Wins, Republicans Need Reality Check For Believing Biased Polling." The author is John Wright, the author of The Obama Haters: Behind the Right-Wing Campaign of Lies, Innuendo and Racism. Wright wrote:

All the Foxiest commentators – Sean Hannity, Karl Rove, Charles Krauthammer, Dick Morris and the vile Ann Coulter among them – declared that Romney would carry the lion’s share of swing states. Most of their projections showed Romney wins in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, all of which landed in the Obama column early on election night, as well as all the swing states of Ohio, Iowa, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Colorado. They all pointed to the polls showing what they wanted to see as if contrary polls did not exist. Is there something in the Kool-Aid that makes everybody delusional at Fox News? 

Viewers of real news outlets, such as PBS, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN or MSNBC, saw a totally different picture. They chewed on the conflicting polls, the ones with Romney clearly in front, as well as other ones that gave the lead to the president. Those networks also quoted Real Clear Politics, which averages all the reputable polls, which often showed a tie. Nate Silver wrote spot-on columns which crunched polling data with amazing accuracy for the second consecutive race. For his prescience, he was mocked and attacked by the right wing.  I don’t object to incorrect prognostications. I’ve been dead wrong on many predictions. All of us have been.

Most shameful is the blatant use of suspect data, especially when a more complete panorama of surveys was widely available. If Fox was truly a news organization rather than a partisan political propaganda machine, it would have informed its viewers about all the polls. 

Wright continued in a way I shall amplify in my book, Presidential Puppetry, to be published soon with an analysis that includes the election results. Wright wrote:

These notions don’t exist in a vacuum. Obama was characterized as being born in Kenya, a practitioner of Islam, a communist, a fascist and described in horrific racial terms. Those absurd assertions all got aired on Fox as if they were serious ideas.  My question is when the news about Obama’s victory finally sinks in, how are conservatives who get all their news and world view from Fox News going to react? Will they continue to believe these fairy tales and propaganda pills dressed up as news, or at least question what they are spoon-fed by Fox? I wish I could say no, but after researching the Obama haters since 2008, I highly doubt it.

 

Contact the author Andrew Kreig or comment
 

 

 

Related News Coverage

Predictions, Polls

Mark Crispin MillerNews from Underground, Score one (at last) for the Election Integrity movement! Mark Crispin Miller, left, Nov. 7, 2012. Late last night, after Obama took Ohio, Karl Rove was on Fox News, doggedly refusing to concede. He insisted that Ohio was still in play, as Romney was going to win in Hamilton County---where the votes were "counted" on machines made and maintained by Hart InterCivic, a company effectively controlled by Romney's family. (The same machines were also used in Williams County.) So it's not surprising that the GOP's Lord Voldemort foresaw an "upset victory" in that county. It /is/ surprising that he said it on Fox News, and when the game was obviously lost, so that a sudden Romney "victory" in Ohio would have seemed especially suspicious---even in the eyes of Rove's old allies on Fox News (or those not in the loop).

OpEdNews, Study: Which Pollsters Most Accurately Predicted Election? Rob Kall, Nov. 8, 2012,  In an exclusive interview, Costas Panagopoulos, Director, of Fordham's Center for  Electoral Politics and Democracy discussed the result of a study that assessed the accuracy of 28 pollsters who predicted the outcome of the Presidential election. Pollsters not only predicted winners and losers. The pollsters themselves WERE winners and losers. A study by Fordham U. political scientist Costas Panagopoulos ranked 28 pollsters based on how well they predicted the actual outcome of the popular vote.  Fordham's study found that the top pollsters, in terms of accuracy, were Ipsos/Reuters, YouGov, PPP,  Daily Kos/SEIU/PPP and Angus-Reid. Panagopoulos's study reports that none of the polls showed partisan biases, stating, "Most (22) polls overestimated Romney support, while six (6) overestimated Obama strength (indicated with a * below), but  none of the 28 national pre-election polls I examined had a significant partisan bias.

Washington Post, Obama’s Changing Cabinet, Al Kamen, Nov. 7, 2012. Look for a relatively slow, rolling transition of President Obama’s Cabinet over the next year or so. There are lots of movable chairs. Here’s what we’ve been hearing.

Washington Post, Faulty predictions for Election 2012, Paul Farhi, Nov. 7, 2012. Elections make fools of pundits and prognosticators (although some might have been that way before the vote). In any case, no, thank you, experts and geniuses, for the following

Craig Unger

Salon/AlterNet, Karl Rove: The Biggest Loser, Craig Unger (right), Nov. 7, 2012. Tea Party billionaires such as Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers may well regret joining forces with Rove at all. The unthinkable had just happened. Fox had called the election for Obama, but Karl Rove, its Svengali like analyst, had just disputed his own network’s call. There was an uncomfortable moment of dead air. Then, Fox anchor Megyn Kelly addressed the situation with understatement. “Well, that’s awkward,” she said.

Buzzfeed, Karl Rove Freaks Out About Fox News Calling The Election For Obama, Dorsey Shaw, Nov. 6, 2012. “We've got to be careful about calling things when we have like 991 votesseparating the two candidates and a quarter of the vote left to count.”

Political Wire, Romney's Transition Site, Taegan Goddard, November 7, 2012. It appears Mitt Romney's campaign prepared a transition site in the event that he won.

Huffington Post, Obama Election 2012: President Clinches Electoral Vote Win, Staff reports, Nov. 7, 2012. President Barack Obama was the winner of the presidential race over Mitt Romney on Tuesday night. The president scored critical wins in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. While Obama was favored in the swing states going into Election Day, the popular vote between the pair of contenders had remained close for much of the race. Democrats increased their Senate margin by an expected three seats (including the Independent from Maine expected to caucus with Democrats. Also, the GOP slightly increased its control of the House, while retaining Paul Ryan's seat in Wisconsin. Republicans retained also Michelle Bachmann's seat in Minnesota, while losing Allen West's in Florida.

Richard Charnin

Richard Charnin, Election Model Post-Mortem: Exactly right at 332 EV, Richard Charnin (right), Nov. 7, 2012, The recorded result was confirmed in the model. Obama had 332 electoral votes based on the recorded vote total – not the True Vote.

The Atlantic, How Conservative Media Lost to the MSM and Failed the Rank and File, Conor Friedersdorf, Nov. 7, 2012. Nate Silver was right. His ideological antagonists were wrong. And that's just the beginning of the right's self-created information disadvantage. Before rank-and-file conservatives ask, "What went wrong?", they should ask themselves a question every bit as important: "Why were we the last to realize that things were going wrong for us?"

Daily Howler, Slowest Children of the Press Corps: George Will!  Bob Somerby, Nov. 7, 2012. TV producers love predictions — the more specific the better! So it was that a child emeritus invented his own private Minnesota on Sunday’s This Week program.

FireDogLake, After Obama Wins, Republicans Need Reality Check for Believing Biased Polling, John Wright, Nov. 7, 2012. The victory of President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney should prompt some intense soul searching by Republicans. What the Republicans need most of all is a reality check. The pundits will all say the right wing should reconsider its hostility toward women, minorities, unions, and lower-income people. That’s all true, but it sidesteps the larger issue: the party’s complete divorce from reality.  Nowhere was the disconnect from reality more tangible than the disconnect over public opinion polling. In the final days before the election, the battle over polling data nearly eclipsed the presidential race itself. One set of polls showed Obama winning the election, while other polls showed his challenger ahead. Even veteran political pros were confused by the data.  Obama maintained a slight lead in nearly all the polls until the first debate on October 3. As long as Obama was conclusively ahead, Fox News insisted that the polling was skewed. Once Romney pulled in front by a narrow range, Fox began to give credence to polling data. After that initial bump faded, the different surveys began to splinter. At one point, Rasmussen and Gallup showed Romney leading the president by up to 5 percentage points. From then on, Fox News showed only the polls that favored Romney.

Huffington Post, Cynical Elites on the Run, Craig Crawford, Nov. 7, 2012. They'll be back but this time the one-percenters got a drubbing. Vote suppressors and Super Pacs were the surprise losers on Tuesday night. Just look at the millions of voters who endured long lines produced by sneering manipulations to drive them away. Consider swing state voters whose televisions were taken hostage by billionaires unleashed by their friends on the Supreme Court only to see their man, Mitt Romney, lose all but one battleground state. This time, the cynical elites just went too far. Americans have a way of getting annoyed when you mess with their right to vote and saturate them with deceitful advertising. There was every chance it might have worked, but Tuesday thankfully proved it was a losing bet.

Joe Biden

Huffington Post, Dick Morris Falls On His Sword For Wrong Predictions, Misses Sword, Jason Linkins, Nov. 7, 2012. So, if you recall, ol' Dick Morris, he predicted something of a landslide for Mitt Romney. Something of a crazy landslide, actually, in which it was an absolute given that Obama had already lost Florida, Virginia and Colorado; in which Ohio, New Hampshire and Iowa had "eroded"; in which the "battleground" was Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota; and "Romney momentum" was going to "wash into formerly safe Democratic territory in New Jersey and Oregon." This was almost perfectly incorrect -- a near ne plus ultra of staggering wrongness, mitigated only slightly by the fact that Florida has not yet been called. And so this morning Morris has offered up his list of excuses in the form of a mea culpa titled "Why I Was Wrong."

Huffington Post, Gender Gap In 2012 Election Aided Obama Win, Laura Bassett, Nov. 7, 2012. The Obama campaign's heavy focus on women's issues for the past year paid off in a big way on Tuesday night, resulting in an 18-point gender gap that largely contributed to the president's reelection. According to CNN's exit polls, 55 percent of women voted for Obama, while only 44 percent voted for Mitt Romney. Men preferred Romney by a margin of 52 to 45 percent, and women made up about 54 percent of the electorate. In total, the gender gap on Tuesday added up to 18 percent -- a significantly wider margin than the 12-point gender gap in the 2008 election.

OpEdNews, Interview Transcript: Greg Palast: The War Between the Billionaires, And Election Theft, Rob Kall, Nov. 6, 2012, Part one of a transcript of my interview with  one of the best investigative reporters in the world, Greg Palast, about his newest book, Billionaires and Ballot Bandits. And we got into something very interesting-- that there's a war between two kinds of billionaires-- The vampire squids and the Vultures. And yes, this affects the elections and the nine ways they are going to be stolen and corrupted.

Justice Integrity Project, Election Fraud Critics Seek Halt To Ohio's Secret Software In GOP Plan, Andrew Kreig, Nov. 5, 2012. Longtime critics of voting machine electronic software that can be used to steal elections filed a federal court civil suit Nov. 5 seeking to enjoin Ohio's Secretary of State from using a secret installation of "emergency" software packets that could be used to affect what they called nearly 80 percent of the state's vote and thus steal the Nov. 6 presidential election.

Justice Integrity Project, Rove Vote-Switching 'Empire' Alleged to Threaten Nov. 6 Results, Andrew Kreig, Nov. 4, 2012.  A well-funded alliance of Rove-linked Republican companies linked also to the Bush and Romney families is poised to repeat previous successes in decisive election-machine vote manipulation on Nov. 6.

Huffington Post, Cynical Elites on the Run, Craig Crawford, Nov. 7, 2012. They'll be back but this time the one-percenters got a drubbing. Vote suppressors and Super Pacs were the surprise losers on Tuesday night. Just look at the millions of voters who endured long lines produced by sneering manipulations to drive them away. Consider swing state voters whose televisions were taken hostage by billionaires unleashed by their friends on the Supreme Court only to see their man, Mitt Romney, lose all but one battleground state. This time, the cynical elites just went too far. Americans have a way of getting annoyed when you mess with their right to vote and saturate them with deceitful advertising. There was every chance it might have worked, but Tuesday thankfully proved it was a losing bet.

Vote.scam / News from Underground, Thank you to the Election Integrity Movement, Victoria Collier, Nov. 7, 2012. The awareness of potential GOP vote rigging was unprecedented leading up to the 2012 November election, and it made a difference. Many within the election integrity movement -- Progressives, Libertarians and even Republicans -- did not believe that Mitt Romney could win in honest elections. Election Day 2012 did see break-downs of electronic voting machines all across the country, enormous lines in African-American districts, and we will probably end up tallying millions of likely-Democratic votes lost in voter roll purges, discarded ballots, and other votes lost to GOP robo-calling and other dirty tricks. Which means that, as in 2008, it's likely that Democratic wins are much larger than officially recorded. But the alarms had been sounded presidential vote-rigging was  unprecedented and MILLIONS of eyes were on Ohio and Florida. Though we still have a task in front of us -- instituting election reform; clean elections, the end of corporate campaign financing, and transparent vote counting -- we must count this election in many ways as a victory for our movement.

Forbes, The Technological-foundations of today’s election are shaky especially in Ohio, Anthony Kosner, Nov. 6, 2012.

Fiscal Times, Why Barack Obama Will Win the Election Easily, Bruce Bartlett, September 7, 2012.  Pollster Nate Silver has done an excellent job of assembling all of the known political data on where the presidential race stood as of Wednesday. His analysis leads him to project that Obama will beat Romney 51.2 percent to 47.6 percent in the popular vote, and 311 to 227 in the Electoral College where only 270 votes are needed to win. Overall, Silver gives Obama a 76 percent chance of winning the election. Those who don’t follow the data intensively can be forgiven for not knowing what good shape Obama is in, because it is rarely reported in the mainstream media. There is a simple reason for this: it has a huge vested interest in maintaining the idea that the election is so close it cannot be called and will come down to the last vote cast on Election Day.

The Hill, Simon Rosenberg wins The Hill’s 2012 election contest, Hill staff, Nov. 7, 2012.Rosenberg predicted President Obama would win 332 electoral votes and defeat Mitt Romney 51-48 percent in the popular vote. Should Obama win Florida, he will win exactly 332 electoral votes. At press time, Obama was leading in the Sunshine State by 47,000 votes. The Democratic strategist correctly predicted that Obama would win Virginia and Ohio. He also said the Senate would remain in Democratic hands while the GOP would maintain control of the House with 235 Republicans and 200 Democrats. Rosenberg is now a two-time winner, having bested Republican and Democratic pundits in The Hill’s 2008 contest.

 

Catching Our Attention on other Election Issues

Next Obama Decisions

Huffington Post, What Obama Promises To Do Next, Dan Froomkin, Nov. 7, 2012.  Now President Barack Obama has some promises to keep. His 2012 campaign wasn't nearly as full of measurable commitments as his first one in 2008, but there were still plenty.

Washington Post, Obama’s Changing Cabinet, Al Kamen, Nov. 7, 2012. Look for a relatively slow, rolling transition of President Obama’s Cabinet over the next year or so. There are lots of movable chairs. Here’s what we’ve been hearing.

New Democratic Network, Election Day 2012 Memo: Why Voters Are Not Voting for the Status Quo, The Consent of the Governed and More, Simon Rosenberg, Nov. 5, 2012. If the polls hold and the Democrats retain the White House and the Senate, and the GOP the House, we will not be returning to status quo.  Washington will be different. The GOP will have whiffed on the White House and Senate despite a very challenging economy and all the money in the world. This will be the first election since 2004 where the troubled economy did not turn out the incumbent party.  The President and Harry Reid will have withstood a tremendous onslaught, won their elections, and will come out stronger, more secure in their place than before.The national Republican Party will only have the House, a chamber dominated by far right ideologues and led by a factious and divided set of leaders. The national Republican Party will also not have a Presidential primary to divert attention away from the House GOP freak show, meaning that Boehner and his troops will be the face of the Republican Party nationally these next few years, something that was not the case after the 2010 elections. My own take is that the President and Harry Reid have learned a lot from the last few years, and will not allow the previous levels of Republican obstructionism to go unchallenged.  The President and Senate will have a mandate from the American people to end the gridlock and make progress on our very real problems.  I think it will be much harder now than before for the Republicans just to do nothing and block.  They no longer have the 2010 win at their back, and the President will be very focused on getting things done in his final and perhaps historic second term.  We will all learn quickly that gridlock in Washington is not inexorable.  It is a choice.  It is a choice made by the Republican Party these last few years.  I dont think that choice will be easy for them to make in the days ahead. Most significantly the President will be different.  On Wednesday he will be transformed from a struggling incumbent to a re-elected one with an improving economy.  His enormous political accomplishment in 2012 - getting re-elected despite a very tough economy - will become seen in the coming days as significant as his historic 2008 campaign.  He will also have the support of the American people, the "consent of the governed," in a way no President since Reagan and no Democrat since FDR has enjoyed -- two consecutive election victories with more than 50% of the vote.  He is also older, wiser and more experienced -- just simply better at the job.  So of all the things which suggest we are not returning to the status quo is it going to be the return of Barack Obama, who now has the very real chance of becoming an historic figure not just a decent President.  And my gut is that he is not going to waste this opportunity.

Political Wire, Romney's Transition Site, Taegan Goddard, November 7, 2012. It appears Mitt Romney's campaign prepared a transition site in the event that he won.

Guardian (United Kingdom), The Right Is Crippled -- Now Let's Make Sure Dems Don't Sell Out Social Security and Medicare, Glenn Greenwald, Nov. 7, 2012.  The delirium of liberals this morning is understandable. By all rights, they should expect to be a more powerful force in Washington. But what are they going to get from it?

Wall Street Journal, The Long-Term Economic To-Do List, David Wessel, Nov. 7, 2012.  The items marked "urgent" on the president's economic to-do list are overwhelming. The temptation must be to start at the top and work down: Avert the fiscal cliff, fill pending cabinet vacancies, reach out to China's new leaders, cajole Europe into avoiding economic suicide.  Last August, President Obama and Congress put the U.S. economy on course to go over a "fiscal cliff." With the 2012 presidential election decided, WSJ's David Wessel tells you everything you need to know about the "cliff" but were afraid to ask. But after savoring his re-election, President Barack Obama would be wise to consider a few things that will matter to American prosperity over the next decade. With the global financial system melting down in 2009, he didn't have that luxury at the start of his first term. Now he does. Here are four items on the long-term to-do list.

Huffington Post, Longer Voting Lines For Minorities, Dan Froomkin, Nov. 7, 2012. Hours after President Barack Obama declared that the nation needs to fix the problem of long lines at the voting booth, a survey by Hart Research, commissioned by the AFL-CIO, found that minorities and Democrats were more likely to experience long wait times than others. Nearly a quarter of blacks -- 24 percent -- and Hispanics -- 22 percent -- reported waiting in line more than 30 minutes, compared to 9 percent of whites. Obama voters were nearly twice as likely as Romney voters to face long lines, at 16 percent to 9 percent.

LA Progressive, Retired NSA Analyst Proves GOP Is Stealing Elections, Part I, Denis Campbell, October 28, 2012. Why is Mitt Romney so confident? In states where the winner will be decided by less than 10% of the vote he already knows he will win. This is no tinfoil hat conspiracy. It's a math problem. And mathematics showed changes in actual raw voting data that had no statistical correlation other than programmable computer fraud. This computer fraud resulted in votes being flipped from Democrat to Republican in every federal, senatorial, congressional and gubernatorial election since 2008 (thus far) and in the 2012 primary contests from other Republicans to Mitt Romney. This goes well beyond Romney's investment control in voting machine maker Hart InterCivic and Diebold's close ties to George W. Bush. Indeed all five voting machine companies have very strong GOP fundraising ties, yet executives (including the candidate's son Tagg Romney) there is no conflict between massively supporting one party financially whilst controlling the machines that record and count the votes. A retired NSA analyst has spent several sleepless nights applying a simple formula to past election results across Arizona. His results showed across-the-board systemic election fraud on a coordinated and massive scale. But the analysis indicated that this only happens in larger precincts because anomalies in small precincts can be more easily detected.

Justice Integrity Project, Cutting Through Hype, Hypocrisy of Vote Fraud Claims, Andrew Kreig, Aug. 13, 2011. Recent events show why election theft deserves much more scrutiny than it receives from either government officials or news reporters. Most dramatically, a federal judge has released the 2008 testimony of GOP IT guru Michael Connell. The Ohio resident died in a mysterious plane crash that year after anonymous warnings he would be killed if he testified about his work with Karl Rove and others helping the Bush-Cheney ticket win in 2000 and 2004.

 

Republican Responses

Political Wire, Romney Meets with Donors After Defeat, Taegan Goddard, Nov. 8, 2012. Mitt Romney "began his retreat from public life Wednesday at a private breakfast gathering with a couple hundred of his most loyal and affluent campaign benefactors. The former Massachusetts governor, humbled by the thumping that ended his six-year pursuit of the presidency, reminisced about the journey and tried not to cry," the Washington Post reports. "Some top donors privately unloaded on Romney's senior staff, describing it as a junior varsity operation that failed to adequately insulate and defend Romney through a summer of relentless attacks from the Obama campaign over his business career and personal wealth." However, Romney himself "told the donors he believed Hurricane Sandy stunted his momentum in the final week of the campaign."

Politico, Romneyworld reckoning begins, James Hohmann and Anna Palmer, November 7, 2012. Advisers to Mitt Romney insisted Wednesday that they were surprised by the scale of their loss to President Barack Obama, while big-time GOP donors griped about the campaign’s unflinching confidence in the final stretch. As results began to stream in Tuesday night, prominent Romney supporters in Boston tried to stay positive, reassuring themselves that there was still a path to the White House. But dejection quickly turned to anger a day after an Electoral College rout that shocked many who had heard self-assured projections about voter enthusiasm and turnout in private conference calls and meetings in the campaign’s final stretch.

Salon, It's Rove's Fault! Bush's Brain Is in the GOP Crosshairs; Conservatives are looking for a scapegoat for their losses on Tuesday, Jillian Rayfield, Nov.  8, 2012. Karl Rove helped pour $400 million of outside money into the 2012 elections. But since Republican candidates were walloped on Tuesday, the backlash against the Rove strategy is coming fast, and he has a lot of explaining to do. Rove has alternately blamed Hurricane Sandy (“The president was also lucky,” he wrote in a Thursday Wall Street Journal Op-Ed. ”This time, the October surprise was not a dirty trick but an act of God. Hurricane Sandy interrupted Mr. Romney’s momentum and allowed Mr. Obama to look presidential and bipartisan”) and argued that if not for Crossroads, “this race would have been over a long time ago.” For his part, Mitt Romney has also been pointing to Hurricane Sandy, telling donors on Wednesday that the storm killed his momentum. Some of those donors are blaming Chris Christie as well: “A lot of people feel like Christie hurt, that we definitely lost four or five points between the storm and Chris Christie giving Obama a chance to be bigger than life,” one anonymous donor told the Washington Post . But mostly Republicans are lashing out at Rove. Rick Tyler, an adviser for Todd Akin’s campaign, pointed to Rove’s management of his super PAC. ”Rove spends more for Republican candidates than the NRSC and the NRCC. He’s running things,” Tyler told BuzzFeed. He added, “Rove is definitely a problem.”

Huffington Post, Grover Norquist: Why 2012 Election Was Actually Good For GOP (VIDEO), Grover Norquist, Nov. 7, 2012. Conservative Grover Norquist joined HuffPost Live Wednesday to explain why he believes the 2012 election actually brought good news for the Republican party. "When the dust settled at the end of the Election Day, the status quo that we got was the status quo that followed the 2010 election, which was very good for the Republicans," Norquist told host Alicia Menendez, citing Republican control of the House and similar levels of Republicans in the Senate, despite Democratic control of the White House.

Katie Glueke, Radio host defends Mormon video, Politico, November 6, 2012.The radio host who grilled Mitt Romney about his Mormon faith in a 2007 interview is expressing dismay that a clip of that conversation has gone viral as Election Day arrives and says whoever put it out was trying to make the GOP nominee “look weird.” “I’d say, number one, it wasn’t a gotcha interview,” commented Jan Mickelson, the host of a conservative-leaning show.
See also, Jan Mickelson, WHO-TV (Des Moines, Iowa), Mitt Romney speaking about Mormon faith, YouTube, August 2007. “Mitt Romney: I’m not running to talk about Mormonism.” Also, Dominique Mosbergen, Mitt Romney Talks Mormonism, YouTube Clip From 2007 Interview Goes Viral (VIDEO), November 5, 2012. A video showing Mitt Romney discussing his Mormon faith has become a viral sensation in the days leading up to the election.

Huffington Post, Karl Rove, American Crossroads Spin GOP Election Losses, Amanda Terkel, Nov. 8, 2012. Karl Rove's groups, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, spent millions of dollars in races where GOP candidates lost in the 2012 elections. No one lost as much on election night as Karl Rove. Although he wasn't running for office, his Crossroads organizations spent more than $300 million on Republican candidates in the 2012 election, with some of the biggest spenders in the conservative movement putting their hopes -- and dollars -- in the care of Rove. Combined, his groups were the largest single outside force of the 2012 election.