If I Was A Betting Man…

By Michael Baker

Well here it is, time to make a prediction.  I’ve never been great at predicting what the general public will do when working en masse.  I could look to the polls, but depending on where you look and who you listen to the polls can basically be read to say whatever you’d like them to.  What it all comes down to is that trying to predict this election is a fool’s game, so here I go…

The best way to think about this is to consider who I would choose if I had to make a bet, wagering everything to my name on either Big O or Mitt.  That’s a scary prospect because, like I said, it’s a fool’s game.  But if I’m forced to predict (and the rules of political blogging state that I am), I think the clear choice is Obama.  The polls (which, as stated, cannot be trusted) project a narrow edge for the Prez in nearly every battleground state.  To the extent that the polls can provide some insight, they can’t all be wrong, I guess.  A faulty poll that predicts an Obama win still points to O, even if dubiously so.

Predicting a win by Obama is not so interesting; that’s probably because it’s the popular thing to do, but it’s only the popular thing to do because it’s popular to want to be right.  What is interesting is that the polls are also telling us that Mitt will carry the popular vote by a narrow margin.  So, it seems reasonably likely that for the first time since 2000 we’ll have a president who won the election despite losing the popular vote.

So there you go – bet the farm on Obama.  If I’m wrong, your bet will be safely hedged by that surge in economic prosperity that Romney has been promising us in the event that he wins.