I have followed American Presidential politics and elections ever since as a young boy I lamented the defeat of Adlai Stevenson by Dwight D.Eisenhower in 1956.American elections despite their blemishes remain vibrant and exciting . American democracy despite the corruption of super pacs and the grotesque unlimited spending permitted by the Supreme Court decision to allow super pacs to spend as much as they liked is still a powerful expression of mass democracy in which millions of mostly thoughtful and well informed citizens choose their leader. The electoral college to foreign eyes seems crudely anti-democratic and in desperate need of reform or even abolition. Nevertheless, it offers an exciting showcase to the selection of the American President. Based on the average of the latest polls it would appear that President Obama now has a very narrow lead in the popular vote and a significant small lead in most of the battleground states. These include Ohio, Nevada,Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado and Michigan. Among the battleground states Romney is ahead in the polls only in Florida and North Carolina. If these poll numbers hold up in the turn out and in ballots counted Obama will win the hotly contested election. Even if several of these states outside of Ohio go to Romney Obama should still win a narrow victory. If Romney were to somehow triumph and actually implemented his policy of slashing expenditures at this fragile stage of the recovery the impact would be disasterous.
The latest U.S. unemployment numbers were somewhat of an improvement with 171 000 new jobs an improvement over the 121000 expected. The uptick in the headline rate of unemployment to 7.9 % reflected the fact that many more discouraged workers than last month rejoined the labour force searching actively for work. The broader definition of unemployment U6 actually declined to 13.9 % down from 15.3 % a year ago and 14.2 % a month ago. More needs to be done but these improvements are evidence of a slowly healing economy.
I was driving home and heard on VPR that Obama got past 270 electoral college votes (283)!