Obama or Romney – and their campaigns

As we head into the final couple days before the U.S. Presidential Election, I bring you some thoughts about the nature of a Presidential campaign. One is a video produced by John Stossel; the other is an audio podcast, by “99% Invisible.” And both speak to the realization that a Presidential campaign, even down to each rally and TV appearance is highly orchestrated. As Andrea Seabrook describes in the podcast, each team tries to make their candidate’s public appearances “look genuine” – because even the tiniest details are completely scripted.

In the video, you’ll find some interesting interviews, clips of past campaign TV ads, and behind-the-scenes footage of this year’s campaigns. If you don’t have 41 minutes to watch the video, you can get some of its basic ideas by listening to the 12 minute podcast.

I found the video much more informative and interesting, but probably because I watched it first and the podcast covered many of the same ideas as the video. The podcast “99% Invisible” is one of the few podcasts I consistently enjoy and listen to regularly, so I encourage you to explore their archives.

In three days we should know who will be the President for the next four years, though there is a chance of some logistical issues. For example, in hotly-contested Ohio, many people have requested absentee ballots but haven’t returned them. If those people decide to vote in person after all, their ballots won’t be counted until the Dept. of Elections confirms they haven’t actually absentee-voted (and are therefore trying to vote twice). I believe they are allowed several days to do this.  As a side issue, New Jersey’s governor has ordered that those affected by the recent storm be allowed to vote by e-mail or fax. I can’t imagine how that could possibly be legal, other than that it is an emergency and it’s not explicitly illegal.

The election appears to be incredibly close at this point. My summary, based on polling, is that Obama is just barely winning several places where the Democrat should be winning by a lot – but he is still “winning” and that’s what matters.  However, I don’t think any of the polls in the swing states are outside the margin of error, so, statistically, who knows? No one- that’s the answer. The final electoral vote could realistically be anywhere from Obama winning 332-206 to Romney winning 311-227. My guess is 285-253, Romney.

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