Story here. Excerpt:
A University of Colorado analysis of state-by-state factors leading to the Electoral College selection of every U.S. president since 1980 forecasts that the 2012 winner will be Mitt Romney.
The key is the economy, say political science professors Kenneth Bickers of CU-Boulder and Michael Berry of CU Denver. Their prediction model stresses economic data from the 50 states and the District of Columbia, including both state and national unemployment figures as well as changes in real per capita income, among other factors.
“Based on our forecasting model, it becomes clear that the president is in electoral trouble,” said Bickers, also director of the CU in DC Internship Program.
According to their analysis, President Barack Obama will win 218 votes in the Electoral College, short of the 270 he needs. And though they chiefly focus on the Electoral College, the political scientists predict Romney will win 52.9 percent of the popular vote to Obama’s 47.1 percent, when considering only the two major political parties.
Here’s the money quote:
“What is striking about our state-level economic indicator forecast is the expectation that Obama will lose almost all of the states currently considered as swing states, including North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida,” said Kenneth Bickers of CU-Boulder.
That surpasses my best-Romney-case scenario from my initial round of predictions. These two have a good track record; it will be interesting to see how close they come this year. Key consideration: Their prediction model takes economic figures heavily into account, and that’s the central theme of this election year.
Thinking About It
What’s the recipe for happiness? Well, one aspect of it for Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. is an early-morning trip to the trap range, which is already out of the way for the day. I managed to hit fairly well with my old restored Browning Auto-5, in its first trip to a trap range (I need to find a shell catcher for it) while Mrs. A handled her 16 gauge White Lightning with her usual aplomb.
But The Telegraph’s Catherine Hakim thinks that the recipe for happiness is an enduring marriage and an affair with lots of sex. Excerpt:
The setting is the quiet corner of an Italian restaurant in the City; the players are George, an IT specialist, and Zoe, who wears a pretty dress and a big smile; they drink an especially good bottle of wine and when they get to coffee he reaches over and kisses her on the mouth. She surprises him by kissing him back. To onlookers it might be the classic opening scene of a traditional romance.
Yet both parties are married to other people, whom they have no intention of leaving. Although they will go on to enjoy all the spoils of a relationship, from intimate phone calls to Christmas shopping trips and, of course, regular sex, this is understood from the outset. They are in fact launching into a “playfair”, a 21st-century affair in which would-be adulterers meet, via specialist dating websites, to enjoy the excitement of an illicit relationship without any of the domestic fallout.
Now, I’m all in favor of lots of sex. Almost any man would agree. But there are some qualifiers; two of the biggest are expectations and trust.
Most folks, at least most Americans, enter into a marriage with the expectation of fidelity. Note that word “most.” Not all people expect fidelity, and if that’s the expectation and both parties find that acceptable – well, it seems odd to most folks, but it’s nobody else’s business. For years now I’ve said that my personal libertarian streak is of such a nature that I just don’t give a damn what people do, as long as they leave me alone.
That being the case, I don’t see this sort of a thing as a moral problem in and of itself. In all sorts of societies – parts of Europe, for example – a well-to-do middle aged man or woman’s keeping a mistress or boy toy is considered no stranger than a well-to-do, middle aged American man’s keeping a sports car. If neither party has an objection, I don’t see the problem.
Here’s the rub: That pesky matter of trust. When it is done deceitfully and concealed with lies, then there’s a moral issue. And, as noted earlier, most people – the vast majority – do have that expectation of fidelity.
A marriage has to have a foundation of trust. If you have that, you can work out almost anything else.