Long live the king

Best of luck to Barack Obama as well. However, the truly momentous and inspirational aspect of yesterday’s result was my almost perfect prediction of it, as published in Crikey last Friday. Obama has carried the erstwhile red states of Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, Ohio, Nevada, Florida and Indiana, with two states coming down to the wire: Missouri, where McCain leads by 5868 votes (0.2 per cent), and North Carolina, where Obama leads by 14,053 (0.4 per cent). I tipped Obama to gain all of these states and no more. I gather late counting of declaration votes is unlikely to change any leads, so it appears those 0.2 per cent of voters in Missouri have stood between me and my moment of destiny. Better luck next time, I guess. To those who tipped McCain victories or record-breaking Obama blowouts and find themselves wondering what my secret is, one simple piece of advice: believe the polls (or Intrade if you prefer – it will usually tell much the same story). They may not be perfect, but they will outperform your own “informed conjecture” well over 50 per cent of the time, no matter how clever you think you are.

If the last two states play out as expected, the final result will be 364 electoral votes for Obama against 174 for McCain, pending one complication: Nebraska, which along with solidly Democratic Maine divides its college votes by congressional district. Two of the three districts have stayed Republican, but in a third Obama trails by just 569 votes, and thus stands a chance to make it 365-173. In any event, the joint winners of the informal Poll Bludger tipping contest (thanks to Juliem for conducting this) will be David Walsh and Ron, who I gather will win a tie-breaker ahead of fellow 364 Club members Grog and Peter Fuller.

Finally, our good friends at UMR Research have published qualitative polling on Australians’ attitudes to the President-elect. Those who harbour an unfashionable element of cynicism about the great man might want to keep a sick bag handy.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

780 comments on “Long live the king”

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  1. Woodward says Obama has given the Clintons the world, so he can focus on the economy.

    [Being president is about control, and tell me who ever controlled Bill or Hillary Clinton. They can’t control each other. … I think it’s because Warren Buffett and Paul Volcker and others have convinced Obama, ‘You’re going to have to focus like a laser on the economy. That’s issue Number One. And give Hillary and Bill the world.’ … I think people are fantasizing or smoking something if they think Joe Biden’s going to call Hillary Clinton up and say, ‘This is what we want you to do.’]

  2. Ron 744

    Agre 100% on the car makers.

    Regarding tehe figure on unfunded pension liabilities, you have to remember that they can be paid for an average of 20 years these days, so multiplied by millions of workers you can soon rack up a vast sum. That being said, I don’t believe that figure for the US govt alone. I suspect that would be the total for all the US economy, private and public, including the unfunded auto industry pensions. Its another reason why the US debt is such a big problem – they will need to borrow more to pay pensions in coming years, or force people to work longer.

  3. Diog, can i put it better than this? The natives on the G island must be spewing over their guinea pig stew.

    [Get over it, Clinton haters

    Obama’s choice of rival Hillary Clinton for secretary of state shows his political wisdom. And the vetting suggests the Clintons — surprise! — have little to hide…………

    Meanwhile, the president-elect in his wisdom has repudiated the Clinton-bashing mythology of the ’90s. Perhaps that is what he meant when he promised to say goodbye to all the partisan poison of the past.]


  4. Indeed indeed Amigo , yes humour comes fom th hart , is triple edged but th right edge is lost if not young at hart at th time I shall say what your more eloquent prose did charm….Rudd/strategists were dumb to so schedule Acapulco/Honololu bypass & open up a potential poltical innuendo unnecessarily (assumimg it was avoidable)……and if Ruddy took his big bertha surfboard to Honolulu as well , then well what a photo opportunity indeed

  5. Amigo Ronnie,

    Peru is stil a poor country. But the rich, like everywhere else, knows how to live. They live in a burb calls Miraflores. It has a beautiful shopping mall built inside the cliff top. The cliff top has been carved out and plonked into it the shopping mall. Yes, sipping coffee in siesta time over looking the Pacific Ocean is kinda of bourgeois and decadent. No wonder the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) is not happy.

    Miraflores Shopping mall –

    Right infront of the shopping mall is the twin-tower Marriott Hotel, one of the best I have seen. I believe many of the APEC Leaders are staying at this Marriott Hotel.

    Marriott Hotel, Miraflores –

  6. Diog “WTF has been going on here while I’ve been gone? ”

    Well you’ve returned as you left ….in a universe of th what is not , with unchanged naughtinesss in premium

    Big events hav occured & happly to to cheer you with these big News:

    Firstly , Missouri officially has now fell to McCain leaving ‘long live th King’ not only constitutionaly dethroned with 2 wrong at 375 , but he still using 00 type ‘spin’ headlines at this Threads Introduction , holding that throne undemocraticaly

    Secondly politicaly Dems hav reel power now in Senate with 57 of 100 with Sanders , and thats without Lieberman or MN , so greater chanse of both sound & ‘fairness’ legislation than in last Senate

    Thirdly Lieberman has proved th completely unnecessary undeserving cynicaly disloyal can sometimes be ‘rewarded’ in a unique ‘consensus ‘theme’ transition period as is th now

    Fourthly Adam who said he never reads/understands my generation Z lingos appears to hav actualy had a go at doing so , but should not hav as seems to hav misunderstood my hit against th Harry Reid/Pelosi who should hav mildly dented Obama for an hour only to politcaly help/save him long and longer term on policy & standards issues…devils choises ar never easy , but for me this time pragmatism & consesus was not worth th exhorbitant price , and at such a price forever remembered now

    And fiflthy , you will be cheered to know APEC will be held in Peru and no doubt th APEC Leaders will wander into Maccu Picchu….. to those “knowledge trees”….and they also will wonder at th origin of ‘a diog’ after seeing erected those hundreds of signs “diog you were wrong”

    And finaly well , all of your Christmas’s hav come at once …Hillary may be SOS , and adorning , no Headlining your Newspaper reading every day for th next 4 years will be that Lady , an Amigo thought for you , and probably th G Island brigade as well Fortunately you can always count Amigos as friends

  7. Diog, the remnants of the SP are still lurking among the cocoa trees of Peru as the Unions are still fairly strong in Peru. As they say one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. They were truly Maoist alright.

    Anyway, how would you describe the regime of Fujimori who is currently in jailed (6 years) over the death squad, human rights abuses and corruption.

  8. It was actually Fujimori who proved tough enough finally to smash the Shining Path. Sadly he was also a crook. Peruvians seem to be a forgiving lot. Alan Garcia bankrupted the country the first time he was president but now they have re-elected him.

  9. Finns

    I read a book saying that Shining Path was the most “successful” terrorist organisation ever in terms of numbers killed. And they are the only group ever to be destroyed by military tactics. The author also made the point that the tactics used by the Peruvian Government were not exactly conducive to good government, and nowhere (even in America!) could a democratic government use the same methods. Hence the futility of democratic governments trying to use military force to quash terrorism.


    I think we can call it a draw. Obi as POTUS running the US, and the Clintons as SOS running the rest of the world.

  10. Diog,

    [I think we can call it a draw] – agree.

    The Dream Team is finally realised. yes. Obi can run the USA and Hillary will run the World. The “Knowledge Tree” of Maccu Picchu triumphs again. The natives on G Island are not amused.

    Just wondering where the APEC Leaders will parade their silly dress session. A poncho by MP terrace?

  11. Hmm – I wonder if Chelsea Clinton will run for her mother’s Senate seat in 2010 (assuming Hillary becomes SOS).

    Chelsea would turn 30 in 2010, so she would be constitutionally eligible. It would smack of nepotism, but the Clintons are so popular in NY that she would still probably win…

  12. Diog

    I think we can call it a draw. Obi as POTUS running the US, and the Clintons as SOS running the rest of the world.”

    Treaty of Versailes was at least conducted in a train , and all you offer is a few lines , and without documentations , nor even drinks Upfront must say there will be absolute generosities from Amigos re this draw bit to those brave escapees from G and deservedly so , but for G Islanders much Solomons thoughts to come

    As for Hillary , has been well advised , now thats been publicised Obama can not withdraw …she holds th negotiating cards now and expect her as reported not to be trapped like Powell with a later wicked John Bolton type appointment , also she will appoint all her State people , she will hav direct access to POTUS & not via chief of staff or NSA guy etc , she will be immensely powerful in FA , good thing reely for Obama double wise …one she can handle FA easily and two Obama will now wish her to mostly because devasted US econamy will be a fulltime POTUS job and rightly Obama’s no 1 priority

    (of course ‘spin’ Media will say Obama is accross all facets including FA for “respectability” , but serious players know econamy is a massive generational challenge & be very time useage …and justified

  13. Thanks William for correcting my error , thought there was a train somewhere there , in that city …..so now Diog we hav your offer of a “draw” , and I will now switch to an armistice that may be needed , docs duly notorized with ‘terms’ (genorous of course to thou ) and of course mandatory drinks

    Hadn’t replied earlier as just saw your post on Citibank , th 2nd biggest US reel Bank & with significant concerns One wonders th extent of financial inter connection of Citigroup to other World Banks including ‘oz’ ones regarding supply of funds & debt What was reely a worry is Reuters quotes like :

    “Citigroup’s market value is down from more than $270 billion just two years ago. It is also less than one-half the $75 billion of new capital that Citigroup has raised SINCE the credit crisis began, INCLUDING $25 billion through Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s financial industry rescue package.”

    Th “agreement” to buy “on Wednesday of 17.4 billion of structured investment vehicle funds” Alot of these type of funds imploded at start of crisis and ar usualy toxic

    “there share price down 78% this year”

    “3.6% to insure Citiigroup Debt over 5 years against default”

    One wonders how deep reely is th hole in US financial system and its potential for moere externol damage overseas to structure of those financial systems , and whether US Treasury ar still reactive rather than getting ahead of overall problam

  14. Ronster

    The terms of the Armistice are simple.

    Obama takes credit or blame for everything that happens in the US. All aspects of domestic policy are his, including Gitmo, rendition, torture, homeland security.

    All of the US’s foreign policy will be ascribed to Hillary and Bill. Obviously this is a little simplistic with Biden as VP, but we need to draw the line somewhere. Also, if there ever was a SOS who would be given carte blanche it would be the Clintons.

    The US is at War with Iraq and Afghanistan and Gates appears likely to stay for a year or so as SOD. He seems more interested in the conduct of the War and less interfering in the internal politics than Rummy, but I’m reluctant to give Hillary full credit for the end of the Iraq War, just as I don’t think it will be fair to blame her for the ongoing debacle in Afghanistan.

  15. Diog, it looks like Obama has just outsourced the salvation of the US economy to our Dear Leader.

    In yesterday OZ, Paul Kelly wrote:

    [His foreign policy is initiative-prone. Witness Rudd’s campaign for an Asia-Pacific regional architecture, his campaign against nuclear proliferation, his sustained and successful effort to have the G20 become the main global body to review the financial crisis, his preparatory diplomacy for next year’s climate change conference in Copenhagen and, as it unfolds, his strategy to establish a rapport with US president-elect Barack Obama.

    For Rudd, Obama is the pivotal figure that underpins most of his foreign policy aspirations. Rudd hopes that in Obama he finds a leader of similar outlook and values, leading to a new era in ties between the US and Australia. ]


    As the DL has been telling the APEC Leaders that you got to spend spend spend your way out of the current crisis

    [The Prime Minister told corporate chief executives from APEC’s 21 member countries yesterday that governments – both at home and abroad – needed to do more to take up the slack as economic activity in the private sector slowed sharply.]

    Now the kid said he is also going to spend spend spend, sounds very familiar:

    [WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Barack Obama promoted an economic plan Saturday he said would create 2.5 million jobs by rebuilding roads and bridges and modernizing schools while developing alternative energy sources and more efficient cars. “These aren’t just steps to pull ourselves out of this immediate crisis. These are the long-term investments in our economic future that have been ignored for far too long,” Obama said in the weekly Democratic radio address.]


  16. Diog

    #768 “Ronster The terms of the Armistice are simple” POTUS & SOS

    Now you started suggesting a Draw , and its now become an Armistice , but you then say “its simple”
    ….but only because you wrote all th terms and probably with assistance from G Island

    Let us see your list , now domesticaly yes you just happened to omit economy from Obama’s responsibilities , sort of almost leaving that uggly ducking to a shared POTUS/SOS responsibility Tink Obama can hav that Then we see Obama’s non Kyoto and what you wish to saddle SOS with that Obama albertross , another Obama Kyoto CC baby to keep

    Then I noticed you snuck FA issues Gitmo, rendition, torture into th Obama POTUS tent rather than th SOS Probabley because you see some SOS FA success’s being achieved there for th SOS Well they ar in SOS FA tent with gloating to come

    Of course within 4 years if Obama can produce an electric car to cut his domestic policy responsibility for economic oil dependence he can hav that success

    Amigos will need to look more carefully at your armistice “oratory” , noting Iraq withdrawal could be another SOS FA success

  17. Ronster

    I didn’t include the economy as I thought that it went without saying that Obama takes full responsibility for that.

    Kyoto wouldn’t normally be a SOS job would it. Smith didn’t go to Bali, but Wong/Garrett did. I don’t think Condi was there. Obi takes the rap on CC.

    I’m open to negotiation on Gitmo, torture, rendition and unlawful detention as I think Obama has made the running on those issues but they are within Condi’s remit.

  18. Diog

    it always is of concern when you become reasonable in negotiations , sort of like i may hav missed something along line therein th oratory

    Yes Condi as SOS has to take that stain on Gitmo, torture, rendition etc , its not Defense or NSA as she had to be not only in policy but worse in ‘very hard selling’ thu SOS diplomocy it abroad to alleged ‘allies’ so its Hillarys SOS to fix and fix properley (except current military tribunals , diferent jurisdiction)

    You havn’t mentioned Doha trade deals and gun control Guess SOS having UN appointee under State Dept unlike last admin means SOS wears those rotten veto votes on Isreael returning to 1967 border withdrawals , but Palestinian resolution itself is grey demarcations

  19. Ronster

    Richardson has Trade. No SOS there.

    Arms control in US = Obama. Arms, nukes in rest of world, including Pakistan and North Korea = Hillary. Good luck there!

    Anything in the UN, including Israel and Palestine is Hillary. Tough hey.

    Torture, Gitmo and tribunals really come under Defence or Justice so they’re Obama. But if there’s a rendition, I’m blaming Hillary. 😉

  20. Amigos, this is the official APEC Leaders photo, or in another word, the silly dress session.

    They look cheap as per observed by the OZ:

    [PERU broke new ground in drabness overnight by cladding world leaders in brown ponchos that looked like potato sacks. Perhaps it was the austerity of these difficult financial times. Each year the biggest secret of the leaders’ meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation group (APEC) is what colourful national costume will be provided for leaders to wear to the official photograph sessions.]


    I heard the ponchos were made in the famous Peruvian Alpaca wool. The naughty alpacas.

    Now the question is whether these were pure alpaca wool that would cost a fair bit or they were the el-cheapo mixed with synthetic fibre. Even better, were they made with baby alpaca wool that would cost 10 times more than pure alpaca wool.

    One alpaca wool shop in Cuzco told me to watch the Australians, he said in the next twenty years Australia will rival Peru in the production of the alpaca wool.

    They look even cheaper by posing in front of a card board cut-out of the famed Maccu Picchu and NO knowledge tree.

    Next year, APEC will be held in Singapore, the la la land. It will be interesting to see what silly dress the Singaporeans will come up with.

  21. Amigo FINNS

    “They look even cheaper by posing in front of a card board cut-out of the famed Maccu Picchu and NO knowledge tree.”

    Yea , knew it was fake when there no diog signs in th background

    “I heard the ponchos were made in the famous Peruvian Alpaca wool. The naughty alpacas”

    Understand ponchos ar of pure alpaca wool , th most expensive potato sacks I’ve cast eyes upons

    Now Amigo , hav been trying to follow diog’s literery Hillary’s SOS responsibilities offers , but they seem to change every time he gets codes from G Island , just look:

    diog #771 I’m OPEN to negotiation on torture, Gitmo, rendition and unlawful detention …….they ARE within SOS CONDI’s remit.

    So Amigo #772 agrees , yep thats SOS responsibility , so fine OK SOS Hillary should gets those responsobilities

    diog #773 “Torture, Gitmo and tribunals really come under Defence or Justice so they’re Obama ”

    Well Amigo ? , #771 and #773 posts ar diferent , but seemingly written by diog , what do th “knowledge trees” say

  22. Ronster

    I gave you rendition didn’t I? That was the negotiation. I’m a tough negotiator.

    In fairness to me, I think Condi was frozen out of the torture briefs. Gitmo is technically US soil so the SOS isn’t involved.

    They were areas of international concern, but I think Condi/SOS was more having to sell them to the world as an international spokesman for US domestic policy, rather than them being examples of US foreign policy.

    You know how much I love pedantry. 😀

  23. Diog, next time when USA host APEC, is Hillary responsible for the silly dress or is it Obi? Especially if Obi insists they all dress like this:

    or a selection like this:

  24. Amigo , when you compare th two pictures of next APEC dress rehersal ,
    Obarama shows nothing , no openness
    Hillary shows it all , all open …although whats in right hand corner there

    Diog , mention to G Island that there claim of Gitmo “is technically US soil ” , would makeo Abu Ghraib prison (Iraq) “technically US soil” , Subu base (Manila) also ….making them what , under “homeland security”….but there’s ywellow arch ‘Macca’s’ there thats th giveaway …so Gittmo & renditions ar SOS…..you’re just jealous your love Hillary will fix these problems quick & well

  25. I know I probably go on about economics too much, but the latest bailout in the US (CityBank) is really an appalling deal for the US taxpayer, and strangely inconsistent with previous bailout deals, which were on much tougher terms for those bailed out. It costs the US taxpayer up to $306 B in the long term, with them taking 90% of the financial risk. In return they get 10% of the shares of the company (!) with no restrictions on executive payouts (!!). All of the fears of congress over teh bailout conditions are now being realised.

    I guess the Bush administration figures that they have no chance of relection in 2012 anyway, so they might as well abuse the power while they have it. Here are some reactions to the deal:

    Note that even the Wall Street Journal thinks this deal is dodgy.

  26. Socrates

    I agree with a couple of the commentators there. The deal is so ridiculously favourable to Citigroup that every failed group is going to put their hand out for the same deal. GM will be next, and they’ll use the argument, quite reasonably, that more employees would be affected by their demise than Citigroup and that the Government should support them in exactly the same way.

    The worst possible aspect is that the deal is so inept that the markets might lose confidence in the soundness of economic decisions being made by the Government re the bailout, and spark another plummet in the markets.

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