Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

19 September 2011

If Jobs are Foremost, This is How the Election Goes

It is often said that the need to create new jobs is priority one in the minds of Americans.  This may be, but it is not obvious how much weight people are really putting on jobs versus other concerns.  It also is not entirely obvious how many people correctly charge Obama with policies seriously destructive of jobs and which make it difficult for businessmen to calculate whether it makes sense to make a several year investment in a new hire or not.

I am going to make a quesstimate of what such a functional effect on the vote for a generic Republican presidential candidate might reasonably be and apply that function state by state based on the present unemployment rate to predict the shift in electoral votes from Obama's previous 2008 election result.  In that campaign, many Americans bothered to learn little about him and his total commitment to socialism, leftist environmentalism, anti-business bias, and his anti-fossil fuel bias, all of which have proven highly destructive of the economy and jobs.  I am proposing that many Americans have awoken to this reality.  John McCain mounted a feckless campaign and lost big to Obama in the electoral vote.  He lost many states that often vote for the Republican presidential candidate.  Of course, some states are full of people who will refuse to blame Obama even now for the jobs situation or people who so share his political philosophy of collectivism and anti-man religious environmentalism that they will be little driven to address the jobs problem.

Let us assume that the strength of the vote switch is proportional to how high the unemployment rate in a state is.  In fact, I will assume there is no effect for the purposes of this electoral vote projection if the unemployment rate is below 7%.  This is unlikely to be the case, but I want to make a reasonably conservative estimate of the shift in electoral votes.  Also, many people who recognize Obama as a jobs problem in the U.S. as a whole will still be more inclined to vote against him out of concern for those many Americans in states less fortunate than their own with respect to jobs.  The function I will use is:

[ 1 + 8 (State Unemployment % - 7%)/100 ] (% Vote for McCain)

If the projected percentage of the vote for a state becomes 50%, I shift that state's electoral votes to the generic Republican candidate, unless I judge the state's commitment to socialism to be so strong that I do not believe such a shift will occur.  Among the factors I consider in making that assessment are which party now controls the Governor's office and the houses of the state legislature.  Some states I believe will shift based on recent voting patterns in response to the Obama presidency and not entirely because of the state unemployment rate.  The tables below provide the unemployment rate for August 2011 for each state, whether it has gone up or down in the last year, which party controls the governor's office and the legislature, how the state voted in the 2008 election, what the percentage of the vote for McCain was, and my allotment of the electoral votes each state will have in the 2012 election.  The states that shift are in larger font.  Those in gray and larger font shift because of high unemployment according to the above function.

I will discuss each state with a shift or which may refuse to switch even though the unemployment rate would cause a shift if the people of that state were not completely wrongheaded.

California:  Unemployment is very high in CA and my function says the generic Republican should get 52.5% of the vote.  He will not, though he will be very competitive, as California goes.  No shift.

Colorado:  The function says the Republican will get 50.3% of the vote, but the governor and the state senate are controlled by the Democrats and unemployment in CO is somewhat less than the national average.  Colorado is full of religious environmentalists.  I am not now willing to predict a shift for Colorado.

Florida:  Unemployment is very high in Florida.  If those on Social Security and Medicare do not get the wrong idea about Republican intentions on those programs, Florida will shift.  Even McCain had 48.4% of the vote in 2008 and the formula based on the 10.7% unemployment says the generic Republican should be able to get 62.7% of the vote!  Given that Republicans now control the governorship and both state houses, only a goofball Republican would fail to carry the state.

Indiana:  The unemployment rate is less than the national average and McCain got 49.0% of the 2008 vote.  The function says the generic Republican gets 55.7% of the vote.  Since the governorship and both state houses are controlled by Republicans, Indiana will flip.

Maine:  The unemployment rate in self-sufficient Maine is only 7.6%, but the state has recently become solidly Republican.  I believe Maine will likely flip, but not only because of unemployment in the state.

Michigan:  The unemployment rate of 11.2% is very high and the state has moved solidly Republican because of this already.  Michigan should flip, since the formula says the generic Republican gets 54.6% of the vote.

Minnesota:  Unemployment is only 7.2% so jobs will not be as strong a factor here as in many states.  McCain did get 44.0% of the vote and both state houses are controlled by Republicans now.  A reasonable Republican candidate should be able to carry Minnesota.

Nevada:  The unemployment rate is the worst in the nation at 13.4%.  Nevada was booming before the recession and has totally collapsed.  It did vote Harry Reid back in, so I could be wrong about this one.  But, the formula says the generic Republican could get 64.6% of the vote on jobs, so he has a very good cushion to lose votes on other issues.  Nevada probably flips.

New Hampshire:  Unemployment is relatively low in NH at 5.3%, but it is a state of relatively minimalist government with both houses controlled by Republicans.  They are tired of the bumbling and big government Obama now and ready for a change.  NH flips.

North Carolina:  Unemployment is awful at 10.4% and McCain did get 49.5% of the vote.  Both houses of the legislature are Republican.  There should be no question that NC flips.

Ohio:  Unemployment is at the national average of 9.1% and McCain received 47.2% of the vote.  The Republicans have gained control of the governor's office and both state houses already.  The formula says Ohio gives the generic Obama opponent 55.1% of the vote, so he can afford to lose some votes on other issues.  Ohio flips.

Pennsylvania:  Unemployment is below the national average, perhaps because of the Republicans having already gained control of the governorship and both state houses.  Also, unlike Democrat controlled New York, Pennsylvania is eager to develop the rich gas fields in the massive Marcellus Formation and work on that is already providing significant new jobs.  Of course Pennsylvania has also been hurt by Obama's anti-coal policies as well.  PA flips, but not quite because of the formula.

Virginia:  Unemployment is comparatively low at 6.3%, so Virginia does not flip due to the formula.  But McCain did receive 46.4% of the vote here and VA has proven that it is not racist by having voted for Obama.  The governor and the lower house are Republican.  The state has been very actively fighting the constitutionality of ObamaCare.  Virginia has no recent history of being so solidly Democrat Socialist that it will stick with the highly socialist Obama.  Virginia corrects its prior mistake.

Wisconsin:  The unemployment rate is below the national average at 7.9%, so Wisconsin does not flip merely due to the local unemployment.  The flip is because the state has moved Republican generally with the Governor and both houses being Republican.

The end result is that the generic Republican, if he will keep the creation of private sector jobs the primary issue along with opposition to ObamaCare and growing government, will win by an electoral vote of 335 to Obama's 203.  My prediction of Maine, Minnesota, and Nevada switching sides in Obama's re-election effort are the most questionable at this time.  Giving them back to Obama still has him losing 315 to 223.

Of course, I am assuming a reasonable strength in American's interest in jobs here.  It will be interesting to see if I have a good sense of what that interest strength is.  I will be most interested in any readers thoughts on this.


Michael E. Marotta said...

Barack Obama is likely a one-term president. Howerver, just as his policies were a continuation of the Bsh White House, so, too, will the next Republican administration only deliver more of the same.

A shift in the dominant philosophy of our culture eventually will manifest a new political paradigm. The first indications, however, will not be votes for the GOP.

When reason is the generally-accepted mode for grasping the primacy of existence, the evidence might be in brilliant new poetry at open mike nights at bistros and bars. You never know...

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Changing the scope and size of government is a battle which will have to be sustained for decades and actually forever. The forces of corruption and tyranny are always hard at work and those who want to live in a society that honors the equal, sovereign rights of the individual to life, liberty, property, and the personal pursuit of happiness must always actively press their values if they are going to have the kind of society and government they want.

All of the politicians who have been around long enough to be real contenders for the presidency are at least mildly establishment politicians. The best of them will try to slow the rate of the growth of government and some will slightly restrict its scope. For greater change, we will have a long fight ahead of us. But, one has to start somewhere and getting rid of the socialist Obama and his crew of kleptocrats is a start. Then there is much that needs to be done to re-educate Americans, which requires us breaking the government monopoly on education above all else.

Claudia Roazen said...

I agree with your assessment Charles that it is looking more and more each day as an omen to a Reagan versus Carter outcome in the 2012 presidential race.

I am just as focused on the House and Senate races that will imperative of the GOP nominee to take with him or her to Capitol Hill in order to defeat the political social engineers residing in the Democratic Party.

I disagree with those that think the GOP will only make window dressing changes to appease the electorate and that nothing will substantially change in Washington.
I know that this might be what some of the old leadership would like to do but the growth of the agitating forces of both the Tea Party Movement and the Libertarian Party are aware that 2012 is the beginning not the end game for achieving systemic reform.

Both political parties are underestimating the big government revolt by citizens and the new reaction to dash hopes by deceptive politicians that for a long time resulted in cynicism and non-participation by the electorate.

Cynicism has shifted to anger and anger has shifted to determination by a large number of baby booming reliable voters that understand they must continue to vote at the ballot box in all elections (especially local) if they expect to fight against big nanny government and socialism.