Polls, pundits and people indicate that 44th US president Barack Obama is set to get re-elected on Tuesday. An average of 47.9% poll results favour him, though marginally, over his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who aggregates 47.4%. Indians will have to wait till Wednesday evening to know the results of the most important election in the world.
Both are vying for a simple majority – 270 of the total 538 electoral college votes, which, in turn, will be decided by the popular vote in 50 states.
Romney created a major challenge for Obama with an emphasis on job creation. “My number one job will be to see that America leads the world in job creation again,” he says. But Obama never fails to remind that the recession was the legacy that he inherited from the Republicans.
Obama has effectively weaned away many Romney supporters with his message of ‘Economic Patriotism’ and allegations that Romney outsourced jobs to China. The “47% Americans” gaffe by Romney also helped. “Obama has an advantage.... If you talk to voters and ask who is responsible for this dreadful economic situation we are in, by and large, most pick past president George Bush than current president Obama,” says Thomas Mann, influential political think tank Brookings Institution scholar.
Poll pundit Prof Allan Lichtman, whose ‘13 keys to the White House’ method has accurately predicted outcome of all the US elections since 1984, says, “eight to nine of the 13 keys are in favour of Obama, which means a sure shot win for him.” He discounts all theories that go against this outcome. “It’s not the foreign policy that matters. Debates will not swing the elections. Elections are not all about swing states. Elections are going to be decided by the performance of the incumbent president. And in that, Obama scores.”
Romney trails by an extremely slender margin in crucial swing states. Latest polls show Obama’s lead between two and eight eight points in Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, Florida and Iowa. His campaign in the last 48 hours strategically focussed on these states. But the result will also be influenced by the leaning of states like Colorado, New Hampshire, Nevada and North Carolina.