Dead Presidents

Historical facts, thoughts, ramblings and collections on the Presidency and about the Presidents of the United States.

By Anthony Bergen
E-Mail: bergen.anthony@gmail.com
Posts tagged "Presidential Election"
That was a lengthy response, but it didn't really answer my question of: *why* is Jeb Bush the best candidate? You mention the electoral college, but would he really fare much better there than Christie? Bush would win Florida, but he wouldn't stand a chance in states like NJ or PA (which Christie would put in play) The Bushes are a tarnished brand with moderates and independents, and he won't go over well with the base (especially on immigration, which they just mutinied Cantor over). So--why?
deadpresidents deadpresidents Said:

Don’t mistake the noisy Tea Party movement and the extremists in the Republican Party as the GOP’s base. They make the most noise, but they don’t cast the most votes, especially in a general election — particularly a Presidential one. Cantor got knocked off, but that’s one guy in one district. Lamar Alexander — a far more moderate Republican easily beat back a challenge tonight in Tennessee from his right, and Pat Roberts did the same thing in Kansas on Tuesday. If those two Senators hadn’t been successful in states where the Tea Party/Libertarian element has been progressing quite strongly over the past couple of years then I might re-think a moderate Republican’s ability to win the GOP nomination in 2016.

Listen, it’s not that some of the other Presidential contenders who are mentioned — Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, etc, etc, etc — can’t win the GOP nomination. It’s definitely possible that they could, but none of them can win the actual election, and as out-of-touch as the two major political parties might seem, neither of them are going to nominate somebody who they know don’t have a shot at winning the election. And I don’t think Christie could even win the nomination. He’s damaged. Sure, he might do fine in the tri-state area, but it’s going to take more than those three states to clinch the GOP nomination, and it’s certainly not going to win him the general election. That bridge deal really hurt Christie in areas where he definitely would have been the top choice immediately after the 2012 election — he’s not a member of Congress and he’s not a Bush, so I’m sure many Republicans were dying to support him. But he screwed up at the wrong time and he’s way more damaged from that scandal than Jeb Bush is by his family. Plus, George H.W. Bush is the most popular ex-President alive today and George W. Bush’s reputation and approval rating has been rising because he’s been scarce, he’s largely been out of the political game, and all former Presidents gain in popularity the further away from their term they get.

The “why” isn’t much deeper than this: the Republicans want to win, and they cannot win with Christie because I simply don’t think there’s enough time for him to rehabilitate himself by the time the Republican primary season hits full swing. If he had another year, yes, he’d probably be able to get back to where he was in November 2012. But he doesn’t, and he can’t. The GOP wants to win and, right now, if we’re looking at the list of contenders most often mentioned for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination, Jeb Bush is simply the best bet. 

We are still a long way away from the Presidential election cycle truly kicking off. We’re not even to the midterms yet, and that will have major implications on the next two years and the Presidential race. So, all of this can and will probably change. But, today, in August 2014, it’s Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney if the GOP wants to actually win the White House and not just nominate somebody that those noisy people like. The extremists are not the base in either party, and the power lies with the base because the votes lie with the base. If the moderates and independents were the minority in the Republican Party, Mitt Romney and John McCain wouldn’t have been the last two Presidential nominees, John Boehner wouldn’t be Speaker, and Cantor’s primary defeat would have been the barometer for this midterm election cycle and not the exception.

With Presidential politics, it’s usually not much deeper than the fact that the party will nominate the person who gives them the best chance to win and Jeb Bush is that person over everyone else because of the Electoral College math; Jeb Bush is that person over Chris Christie specifically because Christie is damaged nationally from the bridge scandal and doesn’t have enough time to repair that damage; and Jeb Bush is that person because the Bush name won’t damage him as much as some people think, especially if the candidate that the other side is nominating is named “Clinton”. I guess the second part of that last sentence is more of the “why” that you’re asking for, but honestly, the first part of the sentence is a “why”, too. It’s frustrating and seems silly that something so important can be answered with such a broad statement, but sometimes in politics the reason that a candidate can’t win is simply that a candidate can’t win. It can sound dismissive or like someone is trying to dodge the question, but that is often the explanation; Chris Christie can’t win because Chris Christie can’t win.

Why do you think Jeb Bush is the strongest GOP candidate? Sure, he has establishment connections and the best fundraising base. However, his brand of Republicanism would hardly go over well with the base, and--should he get the nom--his name alone would be a turn-off for wide swaths of moderate and independent voters. Christie seems like the best bet to me--thoroughly conservative, crossover appeal, and his anti-GOP comments are limited to Congressional "insiders" (which the base LOVES)
deadpresidents deadpresidents Said:

Jeb Bush is the GOP’s best bet, and he’s probably only a little bit better of a bet than simply nominating Mitt Romney again. The GOP is in trouble in the Electoral College; to be honest, I don’t think they have anybody who is a registered Republican that can actually win a general election because the Electoral College math doesn’t look like it will add up (in my opinion, of course). I still think Jon Huntsman could win a general election if he was nominated early and the rest of the country became familiar with him, but Huntsman can’t win the GOP nomination,

Christie can’t win the nomination, either, and he wouldn’t win a general election against Clinton, Biden, or O’Malley, and one of those three people will be the Democratic candidate in 2016.

Anybody else might win the nomination, but they’ll be hammered in the Electoral College. Rick Perry is rebuilding himself pretty well and the “border crisis” will help him with Republicans because he can be seen to be standing up to a highly-unpopular President at a very advantageous time. He also has plenty of opportunities to make people forget about 2012, and once we’re in the middle of the Presidential campaign cycle and things start ramping up for the primaries, 2012 will seem like a lifetime ago, so Perry has a shot at the nomination. But he can’t win the general election. Nobody in the GOP can — and nobody will, unless there’s some drastic movement between now-and-then that makes some of the traditional battleground states less battlegroundey (I’m trademarking that word) and more likely to swing to Republicans. I hate to sound like a predatory political strategist, but women are the key in battleground states, and women aren’t switching sides for any of the potential 2016 contenders we’re hearing about on the Republican side.

You know what’s crazy? President Obama is…let’s be honest…basically a lame-duck already. I know people like me still have hope and we’re desperately trying to fight that perception, but this isn’t the point in Presidential Administrations were Presidents traditionally bounce back from being stuck in the doldrums. But even if the Republicans win both houses of Congress in November (definitely possible) and have a lame-duck President from Election Day 2014 until Election Day 2016, they are still going to need a really big play to make the Electoral College work in their favor. In fact, winning both chambers of Congress and having a lame-duck President could hurt them even worse in 2016 because they won’t have anybody to blame. Right now, the House Republicans can blame the Senate and say, “Hey, we passed such-and-such bill and the Senate killed it.” Congress is more unpopular than it was at the point in history where states were seceding and their Representatives and Senators were standing up to give farewell addresses where they basically gave shout-outs to the South, recited love poems to slavery, dissed Abraham Lincoln, and then dropped the microphone. Currently, the American people see that and say Congress sucks but distribute their hatred towards Congress equally because one chamber is run by the Republicans and one chamber is run by Democrats. If that changes and Republicans control both chambers, they’ll be perceived (even more so than now) as obstructionists because of how terrible the Legislative Branch that they control is. Sure, they can blame Obama, but they’ve been doing that since 2009. We’re numb to it. And if he’s a lame-duck and Republicans SAY he’s a lame-duck and then scream about how he’s not doing anything, a big part of the electorate will just automatically respond with, “Of course he’s not doing anything…he’s a lame-duck. Oh, and you control both chambers of Congress, so this is pretty much all your fault.”

If I were a Republican strategist, I would have done the political version of tanking in the NBA. There have recently been NBA teams who are in the “rebuilding stages” and it has been suggested those some of those teams are not putting out the best possible combinations of players during the season and making it more difficult to win because the worse your team is, the more ping-pong balls you get for the NBA Draft Lottery, ideally raising your chances of winning said Draft Lottery and getting the top pick in the NBA Draft. If your team does that for a couple of years, it’s hoped that the team will draft better players and be able to build a young, successful team from scratch. If I were a GOP political strategist, I’d look at the current landslide and tank in 2014 — I’d try to lose both chambers of Congress and then spend the next two years blaming the Democratic Congress and the Democratic President for being awful and then make it seem as if the Republicans are riding to the rescue in 2016. You give up two years of nothing for four-to-eight years of everything. Both sides are responsible for the condition we’re in now and the political climate in the country (and I don’t just mean the politicians from both sides, either; many regular Americans are also at fault). But perception means everything in politics and most Americans don’t look deeply enough at the issues or the responses to those issues to accurately and fairly understand them. So that all-or-nothing (or, I guess it would be a “nothing-to-attain-all”) situation would be the way to go. If I were a Republican strategist. But I am not. A Republican. Strategist.

Anonymous asked:  How much would you pay to be able to laugh at Mitt Romney tonight and keep reminding him about how much he lost by? Good riddance to you Mittens.

Just because I voted for Barack Obama doesn’t mean that I want to see Mitt Romney destroyed, or even hurt.  I don’t agree with Governor Romney’s politics, but I don’t wish him ill and I certainly wouldn’t disrespect him.

This is the problem with American politics — Americans like the person who asked this question.  They are on both sides of the aisle and they are equally horrible for our country.  Last night, I found no glory in the fact that Mitt Romney lost; instead, I was hopeful and happy that Barack Obama won.  I didn’t go to the polls to vote against Mitt Romney; I was there to vote for Barack Obama.

Much like John McCain four years ago, Mitt Romney went out with class last night, and he deserves our respect.  I have never thought that Mitt Romney was a bad man.  I thought Obama would be a better President, but there was never any hatred on my part for Romney.  We can disagree with his politics or the way he campaigns, but there is no reason to look at Mitt Romney as a villain.

Yes, Governor Romney is incredibly wealthy and was probably out-of-touch with “average Americans” like you and me.  But with all of that money, Romney could live a life of leisure and never have to work at anything again.  Instead, what did he do?  He devoted himself to public service.  There’s no question that he loves his family and has a great relationship with them.  He spent a significant amount of time in a leadership role with his church — not just by sitting in a pew every Sunday but by taking a leadership role where he gave up time to help the families and people of his community.  Saving the Salt Lake City Olympics, serving as Governor of Massachusetts, running for President in 2008 and 2012 — none of those things were token jobs where Romney was a figurehead that got the credit while others did the work.  They were all challenges that Romney tackled with hard work and, in each instant, he “left everything on the field”, as he said in his concession speech last night.

Make no mistake about it — running for President is one of the most difficult, exhausting, and thankless journeys that an American can take.  Everyone who runs for President makes tremendous sacrifices, and nobody seeks the Presidency because they are bad people who want to do harm to the United States.  Candidates for the Presidency like Mitt Romney — win or lose — are patriots.  They have a vision for this country and the passion to put themselves on the frontline.  To serve all of us.

Laugh at Mitt Romney?  Taunt him?  No, I would thank Mitt Romney.  I’d tell him that I may not have cast a ballot for him, but that I appreciate the sacrifices he made in order to try to move our country forward.  I’d admit that I disagree with his politics, but that I respect his beliefs and admire his passion for going after what he felt was right.  I’d tell him that I know last night was probably one of the most difficult experiences of his life, but that he conceded with class, he demonstrated a remarkable work ethic throughout the campaign, and that I hoped that my fellow Democrats would have offered their support of him if Obama had lost as seamlessly and earnestly as he offered his support for the President during his concession.

We cannot and will not bridge the divisions in this country if we continue to be ugly towards each other.  Politics alone will not take us where we need to be.  There must be some magnanimity, some cooperation, some compromise between all of us — from the President and the Congress to the State Governors and Legislatures, and right on down to you and me and our neighbors.  “Politics” and “compromise” are dirty words because we drag them through the mud along with anyone connected to those ideas.  That has to stop.  It has to stop between the Democrats and Republicans in Congress, it has to stop between the talking heads on cable news networks, and it has to stop with people who anonymously leave messages on blogs encouraging a celebration over the heartbreaking defeat of someone who put everything on the line to serve his country.  Celebrate Obama’s victory, not Romney’s defeat.  Congratulate Obama and his supporters, but don’t hesitate to appreciate Romney’s work ethic and devotion to service.

We are at our best when all of us — or at least the largest majority of us — are moving forward.  We are at our best when we remember the first word in our nation’s name is “United”.  The idea of a constant conflict pitting Democrats vs. Republicans where one side must win and one side must lose is not progress.  It’s Civil War without violence — but not without casualties.  As someone who knew something about Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant, once said, “Let us have peace.”  We should follow General Grant’s advice and add, “Let us have progress.”  With peace and progress will come prosperity for all of our people.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
How much would you pay to be able to laugh at Mitt Romney tonight and keep reminding him about how much he lost by? Good riddance to you Mittens.
deadpresidents deadpresidents Said:

Just because I voted for Barack Obama doesn’t mean that I want to see Mitt Romney destroyed, or even hurt.  I don’t agree with Governor Romney’s politics, but I don’t wish him ill and I certainly wouldn’t disrespect him.

This is the problem with American politics — Americans like the person who asked this question.  They are on both sides of the aisle and they are equally horrible for our country.  Last night, I found no glory in the fact that Mitt Romney lost; instead, I was hopeful and happy that Barack Obama won.  I didn’t go to the polls to vote against Mitt Romney; I was there to vote for Barack Obama.

Much like John McCain four years ago, Mitt Romney went out with class last night, and he deserves our respect.  I have never thought that Mitt Romney was a bad man.  I thought Obama would be a better President, but there was never any hatred on my part for Romney.  We can disagree with his politics or the way he campaigns, but there is no reason to look at Mitt Romney as a villain.

Yes, Governor Romney is incredibly wealthy and was probably out-of-touch with “average Americans” like you and me.  But with all of that money, Romney could live a life of leisure and never have to work at anything again.  Instead, what did he do?  He devoted himself to public service.  There’s no question that he loves his family and has a great relationship with them.  He spent a significant amount of time in a leadership role with his church — not just by sitting in a pew every Sunday but by taking a leadership role where he gave up time to help the families and people of his community.  Saving the Salt Lake City Olympics, serving as Governor of Massachusetts, running for President in 2008 and 2012 — none of those things were token jobs where Romney was a figurehead that got the credit while others did the work.  They were all challenges that Romney tackled with hard work and, in each instant, he “left everything on the field”, as he said in his concession speech last night.

Make no mistake about it — running for President is one of the most difficult, exhausting, and thankless journeys that an American can take.  Everyone who runs for President makes tremendous sacrifices, and nobody seeks the Presidency because they are bad people who want to do harm to the United States.  Candidates for the Presidency like Mitt Romney — win or lose — are patriots.  They have a vision for this country and the passion to put themselves on the frontline.  To serve all of us.

Laugh at Mitt Romney?  Taunt him?  No, I would thank Mitt Romney.  I’d tell him that I may not have cast a ballot for him, but that I appreciate the sacrifices he made in order to try to move our country forward.  I’d admit that I disagree with his politics, but that I respect his beliefs and admire his passion for going after what he felt was right.  I’d tell him that I know last night was probably one of the most difficult experiences of his life, but that he conceded with class, he demonstrated a remarkable work ethic throughout the campaign, and that I hoped that my fellow Democrats would have offered their support of him if Obama had lost as seamlessly and earnestly as he offered his support for the President during his concession.

We cannot and will not bridge the divisions in this country if we continue to be ugly towards each other.  Politics alone will not take us where we need to be.  There must be some magnanimity, some cooperation, some compromise between all of us — from the President and the Congress to the State Governors and Legislatures, and right on down to you and me and our neighbors.  “Politics” and “compromise” are dirty words because we drag them through the mud along with anyone connected to those ideas.  That has to stop.  It has to stop between the Democrats and Republicans in Congress, it has to stop between the talking heads on cable news networks, and it has to stop with people who anonymously leave messages on blogs encouraging a celebration over the heartbreaking defeat of someone who put everything on the line to serve his country.  Celebrate Obama’s victory, not Romney’s defeat.  Congratulate Obama and his supporters, but don’t hesitate to appreciate Romney’s work ethic and devotion to service.

We are at our best when all of us — or at least the largest majority of us — are moving forward.  We are at our best when we remember the first word in our nation’s name is “United”.  The idea of a constant conflict pitting Democrats vs. Republicans where one side must win and one side must lose is not progress.  It’s Civil War without violence — but not without casualties.  As someone who knew something about Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant, once said, “Let us have peace.”  We should follow General Grant’s advice and add, “Let us have progress.”  With peace and progress will come prosperity for all of our people.

I’m pretty sure that I don’t remember what it’s like to not live in the midst of an all-encompassing political campaign.  Then again, considering how campaigns seem to begin earlier and earlier in 21st Century American politics, I wouldn’t be surprised if the midterm cycle kicks off this afternoon.

(P.S.: I better not see stories about potential 2016 Presidential candidates until AT LEAST Inauguration Day.  In a perfect world, we’d be safe from starting that discussion until late-2014.)

229 plays
Marvin Gaye,
The Master (1961-1984) (Disc 4)

Marvin Gaye: The Star-Spangled Banner (Live at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game)

•••CHOICES•••

On this day, throughout our nation, something remarkable will take place.  The fact that it happens quadrennially does not diminish its wonder.  In fact, the longer the tradition continues and the more often that it occurs as expected and as designed makes it seem something like a miracle; like an extraordinary experiment that perpetuates itself peacefully and successfully despite the flaws of humanity and the blemishes of our stubborn beliefs.

Across the country, Americans like you and me; men and women; old and young; Democrat, Republican, Independents, and undecideds will stand in lines at churches, in firehouses, in school cafeterias, in community centers built for the public and the normally private garages of local volunteers.  All of the campaigning, the signs, the bumper stickers, the television ads, the newspaper headlines, the e-mails seeking donations, and the chatter with friends, family, and co-workers will be silenced as we step into a polling place and take our ballots.  Some of us will poke holes in paper, some will fill in bubbles like an elementary school quiz, and some will use high-tech touch screens.  What we all will do, however, is participate.  We will make a choice.

That doesn’t seem like it should be all that amazing, does it?  Making a choice?  Yet, it is.  It’s a privilege that Americans are able to claim as a right.  It’s something that many people around the world can’t imagine doing.  It’s a right and privilege that some people still alive today — gray-haired and stooped but very much alive — had to march against hatred and ignorance to gain access to.  Because of where we were born and where we live, we have the ability to make choices today that will have a significant impact on each of our lives.  That is not only a privilege and a right, but a special responsibilty that we have a duty to fulfill.

After all of the money and energy spent on the campaign for President of the United States, the seemingly endless campaigns reach the finish line today.  The candidates have dominated our lives for nearly two years in the most expensive and most visible Presidential campaign in American history.  Yet, this one ends exactly like the 56 Presidential campaigns that preceded it — with people like you and me making a choice.

Despite the divisive nature of politics, we go to the polls today because “politics” is not really a dirty word.  Instead, it’s the system we use to find solutions.  As fractured as our nation is, there is something unifying in the collective act of streaming into polling places across the continent and making the choice we believe is best for our country.  Tense disagreements and heightened emotions are calmed by the singular majesty of millions of individual Americans exercising their right, responsibility, and privilege of voting.  The loud arguments, the angry words, and the destructive vitriol hurled at political opponents in debates, on cable news networks, and on partisan internet sites is quieted by the dignified power of casting your ballot.

Our country has many problems and our political leaders can be difficult, disappointing, and seemingly defeatist, but that’s why there is such beauty in what we do today. 

Yes, there is something beautiful and inspiring about Election Day, and it is us.

On another Election Day — Super Tuesday, February 5, 2008, which seems like a lifetime ago — then-Senator Barack Obama told a crowd of supporters, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.  We are the change that we seek.”  Whether you support President Obama or Governor Romney, that is still the case.  There have been a lot of problems in the United States of America lately, and there will continue to be problems tomorrow.  But today is the day where we can start solving those problems.  The solution lies with us.  We have the power to change things and set things right because that amazing privilege/right/responsibility — the ability to make a choice — belongs to us. 

For all of the ugliness we see and experience in this country, there is definitely beauty and bliss in the ballot.  We can continue to scream at one another and cast shadows over our nation’s future because of petty political differences, or we can make righteous choices that benefit the most Americans possible.  We can choose leaders who seek solutions rather than those who think our political system is based around a scoreboard and that they only win if the other side loses.  The American experiment is a not a competition between liberals and conservatives, so on this day where we continue our remarkable history of peacefully making important choices, let’s remember that our country doesn’t progress unless we all move forward together. 

Choices are marvelous things.  Whether you see your ability to make a choice as a privilege, a right, or a responsibility, remember that it is also a gift of power.  Use that power.  Make a choice, make a difference, go vote, and let’s move our nation forward.  Together.

I don’t know, I thought Romney beat Obama pretty clearly.  Obama seemed off from the beginning and Romney was solid.  Remember, with debates, a big part of the game is how you say something and how you come across.

Plus, I noticed that Romney has this way of reacting to what Obama says that really works well with the splitscreen for some reason and just completely neutralizes the President’s argument.  Obama will say something and Romney will look at him with a face that basically says, “Aw, good try, pal.”  And it’s killer because Romney’s reaction doesn’t come across as mean or petulant or anything.  It’s more like the look that your coach or your dad would give you if you tried really hard at something and just couldn’t get it done.  If I was Romney’s campaign manager, I would have Romney play the “Listen, slugger, we’re all really proud of you what you tried to do and maybe it’ll work out someday” card until Election Day because it totally works for him.

Here is Part IV (1960-Present) of a look at every person in American history who has received an Electoral Vote for President of the United States.

1960
•John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963) | Democratic | Massachusetts:  303
•Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994) | Republican | California:  219

1964
•Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973) | Democratic | Texas:  486
•Barry Morris Goldwater (1909-1998) | Republican | Arizona:  52

1968
•Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994) | Republican | California:  301
•Hubert Horatio Humphrey (1911-1978) | Democratic | Minnesota:  191
•George Corley Wallace (1919-1998) | American Independent | Alabama:  46

1972
•Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994) | Republican | California:  520
•George Stanley McGovern (1922-     ) | Democratic | South Dakota:  17
•John Hospers (1918-2011) | Libertarian | California:  1  (Received the vote of a faithless elector)

1976
•Jimmy Carter (1924-     ) | Democratic | Georgia:  297
•Gerald Rudolph Ford (1913-2006) | Republican | Michigan:  240
•Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-2004) | Republican | California:  1  (Recieved the vote of a faithless elector)

1980
•Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-2004) | Republican | California:  489
•Jimmy Carter (1924-     ) | Democratic | Georgia:  49

1984
•Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-2004) | Republican | California:  525
•Walter Frederick Mondale (1928-     ) | Democratic | Minnesota:  13

1988
•George Herbert Walker Bush (1924-     ) | Republican | Texas:  426
•Michael Stanley Dukakis (1933-     ) | Democratic | Massachusetts:  111
•Lloyd Millard Bentsen (1921-2006) | Democratic | Texas:  1 (Received the vote of a faithless elector)

1992
•William Jefferson Clinton (1946-     ) | Democratic | Arkansas:  370
•George Herbert Walker Bush (1924-     ) | Republican | Texas:  168

1996
•William Jefferson Clinton (1946-     ) | Democratic | Arkansas:  379
•Robert Joseph Dole (1923-     ) | Republican | Kansas:  159

2000
•George Walker Bush (1946-     ) | Republican | Texas:  271
•Albert Arnold Gore (1948-     ) | Democratic | Tennessee:  266

2004
•George Walker Bush (1946-     ) | Republican | Texas:  286
•John Forbes Kerry (1943-     ) | Democratic | Massachusetts:  251
•John Reid Edwards (1953-     ) | Democratic | North Carolina:  1  (Received the vote of a faithless elector)

2008
•Barack Hussein Obama (1961-     ) | Democratic | Illinois:  365
•John Sidney McCain (1936-     ) | Republican | Arizona:  173

2012
Barack Hussein Obama (1961-     ) | Democratic | Illinois vs. (Willard) Mitt Romney (1947-     ) | Republican | Massachusetts

From time-to-time, I go to the 270 TO WIN website and use their interactive Electoral College map to project what I think the result of the Presidential election will be.  My process isn’t terribly scientific.  Some states are obvious and I use state-by-state polling, the articles I read, the momentum I sense, and my own political instincts (which are actually pretty damn good) to project the race.

This is something that I’ve been doing probably once every two weeks since the 2010 midterm elections, and I’m pretty confident in my abilities and feel that my projections are pretty accurate.  A Presidential election is in a constant state of movement, so what the map looked like in March is far different from what the map looks like today.  It will probably look even more different after the Republican Convention and then have another shift after the Democratic Convention.  Election Day is still a long way away in political time.

HOWEVER…I’ve been using the map on 270 TO WIN for nearly two years now.  I always keep up to tabs on what is going on, and I look at the only polling that actually matters in Presidential politics — the state-by-state numbers.  And, tonight, when I did my projections, this is what happened, for the very first time:

Again — these are my projections and not any sort of official, scientific tabulation.  It’s just the opinion of an observer who studies things very closely and has always had very good political instincts.  And, like I said, Election Day is a long way away in political campaign time.  But, I will say that…in my opinion…if the Presidential campaign took place tomorrow…(*deep breath*…I can’t believe I’m saying this)…Mitt Romney would win.

Feel free to go make your projections on the interactive Electoral College map at 270 TO WIN.  These projections can all change tomorrow (and hopefully do), but it’s also important to remember that we’re heading into the week of the Republican National Convention and Romney/Ryan will almost certainly come out of Tampa with the traditional convention bump in the polls, so things are getting interesting.

Here’s my full Electoral College map with my projections if the campaign ended tomorrow:

Every single time that I mention Ron Paul’s name I get upwards of 800,000 pieces of hate mail (that’s a rough estimate, perhaps not perfectly accurate), so I hope that Ron Paul supporters will read my words closely and note that I am not disparaging him in this answer.

I think Ron Paul would be a far more effective third party candidate than Gary Johnson, or even Ralph Nader.  I’m not sure that Dr. Paul — at least in 2012 — would get too close to Ross Perot’s 1992 showing, but I could see him getting close to that 8.4% that Perot won in 1996 against the incumbent President Clinton and Republican nominee Bob Dole.  He would have been even more effective in 2008 — still less than Perot in ‘92 (19%), but probably between 10-12%.

Paul was the Libertarian candidate for President in all but four states in 1988 and won about half of a percentage point of the popular vote.  I don’t know the specific reasoning behind why he didn’t run as a third party candidate in 2008, but it could be because of his seat in Congress.  Remaining as a Republican might have been necessary in order to protect any attractive committee assignments that he had seniority on due to his longevity as a member of the House of Representatives.  This year, that wouldn’t have been a concern because he decided against seeking another term in Congress in order to focus on his 2012 Presidential bid, but perhaps he remained in the GOP race rather than bolting for a third party because he was trying to shape the Republican Party’s platform and policy more than seriously believing that he had a chance at the actual GOP nomination.  I don’t think that Dr. Paul has ever denied that a big part of his 2008 and 2012 Presidential campaigns was to shape the agenda and steer the conversation.

2016 should be a very interesting year if President Obama wins re-election in November.  Ron Paul will be 81, so I find it highly unlikely that he would make another run for the nomination.  I could see his son, Rand, taking a shot at the White House, but as a third party candidate.  I could see Jon Huntsman running as a third party candidate.  I could see New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg exploring a third party candidacy.  I think we’ll see a viable third party Presidential candidate with the potential to make 2016 very interesting — and that’s without even exploring the possible Democratic or Republican candidates.