Question of the day findings: who will win the presidential election?
by Harris MacLeod in Have Your Say
Wed August 1, 2012 9:03 a.m. PDT
On November 6th, Americans will decide whether to give Barack Obama a second term, or make Republican challenger Mitt Romney the 45th President of the United States. With some of the country’s best minds placing bets on who will win, and a recent YouGov nationally representative public opinion poll placing the two candidates in a virtual tie, it would seem the keys to the Oval Office are still very much up for grabs.
We asked our Question of the Day participants to weigh in and tell us who they would be voting for in November. And then, regardless of who they would personally vote for, who they thought would win the presidential election.
Relatively few of those predicting that the Republicans would be victorious in the election had much to say about Mr. Romney, but rather were vociferously critical to Mr. Obama’s leadership.
- The economy was the issue on which panellists said the President had failed most egregiously, and what would lead a majority of voters to deny him a second term. Some respondents expressed admiration for Mr. Romney’s business experience, but the overwhelming sentiment expressed was unhappiness with Mr. Obama.
- Many felt that his first term had been “a failure”, and that he was guilty of both lying and breaking promises. Panellists also said they were uncomfortable with what they perceived as Obama’s left-wing preferences, and viewed his policies as un-American.
And similarly, those predicting that Mr. Obama would keep his job were not so much overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the President, as they were scathing in their assessment of Mr. Romney’s political and campaigning skills, as well as his suitability to lead the country.
- His personal wealth, questionable tax arrangements, and the perception that he was “sneaky” and out of touch with the common man, were frequently cited as factors that would handicap his chances of being elected.
- While some of those who took part in the discussion were highly enthusiastic about Obama, most of his supporters were more measured in their praise, and viewed him as a steady leader in difficult times, and predicted he would likely benefit from the advantages of incumbency.
(Click on each argument, below, to see more quotes.)
Regardless of who you will personally vote for, who do you think WILL WIN the presidential election?
We also asked our panellists to predict, to the nearest whole number, what percentage of the American electorate they thought would turnout to vote on Election Day.
The average of all the predictions made was 20%, however the largest number of those who took part in the discussion predicted that voter turnout on Election Day would be 60%.
The lowest ever turnout was 48.9% in the 1924 presidential election, in which the incumbent Republican, Calvin Coolidge, defeated Democratic challenger John W. Davis.