The good news about the 2012 election is that it appears there may be a record turn-out. Unfortunately, since American voter turnout is so abysmally in the first place, that’s not saying much. I doubt we’ll approach the 80-90 percent voter turnout rate common in other democratic countries, even in those countries the United States has “made” democracies.
The bad news is that if you think the election will be over tomorrow, think again. I’m no political expert, but here are my predictions for 2012. I think President Barack Obama will be re-elected with a majority of the electoral vote – but Gov. Mitt Romney will get the plurality in the popular vote. This will send the Republicans into legal hysteria to rival that of the Democrats in the 2000 election.
And no one on Fox News will bat any eye when the GOP resorts to the same legalistic, obstructionist, word-parsing antics the Democrats engaged in in 2000. They’ll challenge the vote in every single state where it’s close, claiming “voter fraud,” “voter suppression,” or any other excuse they can come up with.
And the election could wind up being decided, probably wrongly again, by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In North Carolina, I predict that not only will Barbara Howe get more than two percent of the vote, thus keeping the Libertarian Party on the ballot, but Gov. Gary Johnson will earn enough votes to be the margin of difference between Romney and Obama, to Romney’s detriment.
This will inevitable lead to Republicans claiming that Romney “lost” the state because of Johnson. But I also predict that exit polls and post-election analysis will point out that Johnson will have earned the votes of both liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans,and many unaffiliated voters. Of course, the Republicans won’t let the facts get in the way.
On the other hand, if the presidential vote goes the other way, I’m sure the Democrats will make the same charge they “lost” the state because of the Libertarians, since the won’t be able to blame the Greens who are not on the ballot.
Another scenario some experts have discussed, and one which I really like, postulates the possibility of an Electoral College tie. It is possible. This would mean that, under the U.S. Constitution, the newly elected U.S. House of Representatives will select the president, voting by states; and the new U.S. Senate will select the vice president.
Assuming things go as expected, that would mean a Republican-controlled U.S. House electing Mitt Romney president, and a Democratic-controlled U.S.Senate re-electing Joe Biden vice president.
What I like about this scenario is that it would initiate (maybe ignite is a better word) a debate on abolishing the Electoral College. It may be possible, once the hysterical rhetoric, illogical and unreasonable arguments are dispensed with, to actually educate Americans about how the Electoral College came to be, and why it is a good thing.