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Katie asked me, “If the hurricane hits the states from Maryland to Maine, which are mostly blue states, does that mean Obama might not win?” She's a very smart woman (with a graduate degree in Art History) but I pay more attention to politics than she does. It’s a good question to ponder as a sort of Gedankenexperiment (like what Einstein did with the speed of light). You can read my answer to her below the orange-flavored fleur-de-Kos muffin of justice.

My first reaction, off the top of my head, was to say, “Well, consider New York state. The polls say Obama will win the state by about 60% to 40% (plus or minus a few points). If some New Yorkers don’t vote because they moved inland to a hotel or to sleep on their cousin’s couch, or because they don’t have electricity or they’re cleaning up the damage and repairing their houses, the overall percentage of people voting might go down in NY. But you have to think that the non-voters would be split roughly 60-40. The storm will affect Dems and Reps equally. Obama will still win in New York, and he’ll still get all of their electoral votes.”

Second reaction: Then I thought about people who might not vote in the Frankenstorm aftermath. I said, “New York City, which is Democratic, will be hit the hardest. And there are more Republicans in upstate/outstate New York, so instead of winning 62-38 or 60-40, maybe Obama will win the state of New York by, say, 55-45, but there’s nothing to worry about. He will get the electoral votes in New York state and the northeast as long as he wins a majority of popular votes in the individual states. So there’s really nothing to worry about.”

Third reaction: I started thinking about the overall, national vote. It’s possible that all those blue states in the northeast will have lower voter turnouts on election day. If you live there and your basement was flooded and starting to get moldy, your electricity or water has been off for a week, the subways were flooded, the highways are closed, your roof was blown off, your apartment/condo window was shattered, your satellite dish was knocked over, or whatever, maybe you might not vote just because you need to concentrate on fixing things at your house. Imagine that voter turnout is a bit less in those northeastern states. But Obama still wins the electoral votes. In the meantime, lots of people vote in Mississippi, Texas, Kansas, Utah and other red states.

I can imagine a scenario where Romney wins the popular vote by a small percentage, but Obama wins the electoral vote. We all know that the electoral votes decide the election.

I’m not saying it will happen, but it’s a possibility. If Romney wins the popular vote but loses the electoral college, Republicans will be whining about it incessantly for the next four years. My reaction will be: “Oh really? Your guy won the popular vote? Now you know how I felt in 2000 when Gore beat Bush in the popular vote, but Bush won the electoral college.” Maybe I’ll add, “And I think Gore would have been ten times better than Bush. Obama is still cleaning up the mess created by Bush.” Then I will cackle, guffaw, and chortle in their pathetic little Republican faces. Maybe I'll call them a m*th*rf*ck*r. In the politest way possible.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

    by Dbug on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 08:15:08 PM PDT

  •  Obama will show `em what... (9+ / 0-)

    ...a real President does in the case of a disaster.

    Romney will just flap his gums...

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 08:18:47 PM PDT

  •  I live in a deep (5+ / 0-)

    red state (Montana), but I would brave the storm to vote, if necessary.

    If good people don't vote this election, it'll only compound the catastrophe. Political catastrophes are just as real and, in the long run, deadlier than hurricanes.

  •  Oops. I forgot to personalize the tip jar. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlyoshaKaramazov

    So here's a comment.

    Ummmmm. Hope you liked this Gedankenexperiment. I think  Obama will win. He's got Ohio. And I'm optimistic about Virginia and North Carolina. We might even win Arizona.

    For the next week I'll be watching all the polls and crossing my fingers.

    But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

    by Dbug on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 08:22:54 PM PDT

  •  I think that the election next week is going to be (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, DarkLadyNyara

    a problem.  The mail will be delayed so absentee voting will be impacted.  Where electricity has been off for days, people will have other priorities, if people are out of their homes then voting will be the last thing on their minds.  Our voting system is already a problem and can't really handle hiccups well.

  •  If Obama wins the EC but not PV (7+ / 0-)

    and Republicans have the unmitigated gall to complain, we can just offer to help them pass a Constitutional Amendment to abolish the EC, and then watch them shut up - they wouldn't relinquish an institution they usually find useful as a means of manipulating elections.

    Voter suppression is treason.

    by Troubadour on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 04:07:15 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, but you just know that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour, JackND

      If they get screwed the way we did in 2000, they're not going to take it like we did.  They will find a way to get their guy in.  Mark my words.  This whole thing really scares me.

      "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

      by Nespolo on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 05:20:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What about Pennsylvania? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BRog

    Of course Obama will win New York and Massachusetts, and he should still win Connecticut and New Jersey.  But Pennsylvania, though not quite a swing state, was probably always going to be in the high single digits.  A depressed turnout from Philadelphia could cause big problems, unless it's counterbalanced by lower numbers across the state.

  •  Been thinking about this as well (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarkLadyNyara

    And thought of how ironic it might all turn out to be.  The black church sermons encouraged people to go vote after services this past weekend in response to the voter bullying. Polls here in NC were packed on Sunday after church.  You figure that all those early votes are banked.  That fact, as well as the  turnout for early voting tends to be democrat, might bode well for the president and those down ticket as well.  Well, at least I hope so...........

  •  of course (0+ / 0-)

    maybe  a  large number of  people will still be on work furlough next Tuesday because their businesses  still have no power, so we may have a lot of democratic voters that normally  are working from 8AM to 6PM with nothing to do.  So they  have all day to vote when normally they don't. Maybe there will be an uptick in turnout of the  working stiffs  because of this storm?

  •  another consideration (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarkLadyNyara, BRog

    If you are wealthy, you have more resources to ride out the storm.  Maybe you have a generator, extra food, your house is built a bit better, you have pumps in your basement.  You probably also live in a neighborhood that's above the flood lines.

    The hurricane doesn't impact you as much as it would impact a poorer voter.

    I think inclement weather usually impacts Democratic turnout more than Republican turnout.

    Democrats are working people, and they tend to live much close to the poverty line.  A storm like this, even just missing a few days of work, can drastically impact them.

  •  We are one week away (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BRog

    The utilities companies said some people may be without power for a week to 10 days, but that's not going to be the norm.  Most people will have power back and be in their homes.   We have family in NJ who live 4 blocks from major flooding from the Hudson and they never even lost power.  They didn't think it was that bad - were out and about twice (ah, the folly of youth), and said others were out as well.  

    More importantly, the governors from other affected states have watched Chris Christie, and his statements and actions have to put major pressure on them to step up to the plate to get their states cleaned up.  Then there'll be the presidential tours of Penn. and NJ, all on major network news.

    I suspect the storm may change the specifics of the GOTV effort (more people may need rides, etc.), but not impede the effort.  My team is meeting this afternoon to figure out where we go from here, but we're going wherever we're needed.  

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