Question of the day findings: who will win the presidential election?

August 01, 2012, 4:03 PM GMT+0

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?

'Mitt Romney will win the election'

“I think that the majority of people feel that President Obama's policies have failed and will look to Romney and his financial expertise to fix the economy” Sam, Anchorage AK

“I believe the American people have finally seen what President Obama has done to this country and how dangerous it would be for him to be re-elected with his radical socialistic views/plans” Anon

“I think people have finally started to wake up to the nightmare that is Barack Obama and his administration. And while many, like myself, do not like Mitt Romney, we view the coming vote as not a vote for Romney, but a vote against Obama” Becky, Nottingham, PA

“Obama is a massive failure. The economy is in the tank, government spending is off the charts, and he refuses to take responsibility for anything” Anon

“Obama knows nothing about turning the economy around and Romney has had success in the business field” Beverly, Florida

“Obama’s policies have not worked, and even though many hold out for a miracle most will vote for a better economy” Jenifer, Washington State

'Barack Obama will win the election'

“Hopefully people will realize he is the best of the two. If Mr. Romney wins, I don’t know what’s going to happen with the poor and middle class. We will be in big trouble” Anon

“Mitt Romney just continues to damage his candidacy with stupid remarks, failure to disclose more of his tax returns, and failing to make a clear statement of his policies” Anon

“Mitt Romney is less qualified as a candidate for President than Sarah Palin was to be Vice President. He continues to avoid questions regarding his finances and further distances himself from ‘average’ Americans. Frankly, he is unelectable” HR, Duvall WA

“He has done a good job guiding our country through a difficult mess that he inherited. He has shown himself to be a man of integrity in his first term and continues to get politically tougher and savvier every day. He is very good with foreign relations and has a strong team with Hillary on board” KLN, San Antonio TX

“Mitt has shown that he is detached from the reality of most middle class and lower class voters. As such he will not beat an incumbent president” Anon

“Obama is capable and trustworthy. Romney is secretive and a liar” Anon

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.