Right direction for Romney?

 
Romney supporters at Boston Republican HQ (6 Nov) Romney's supporters are waiting to see if the numbers add up for their man

The music died when the first results came into Romney HQ in Boston - not metaphorically, but literally, as the jazz band that had been serenading Republicans stopped playing.

The chat died too as everyone watched the first results come onto the screen flanking the stage where Mitt Romney will at some stage appear.

The people here have been living and breathing the electoral numbers for years. They won't have been surprised by the Republican gain in Indiana or President Obama holding on in Vermont.

More chewy is Virginia for the Romnulans. As is the case in so many swing states, it's a place that President Obama can afford to lose, but that Mitt Romney really has to win if he is going to put his curtains up in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Republicans would have been looking for a clearer indication that they are going to take the Virginia - a state that Mr Romney has visited repeatedly over the last few weeks. A dead heat is not good news.

For a first clue as to why this election may not swing Mr Romney's way, look at the ABC/Washington Post exit polls, not on voting intention but on the "track" question - whether voters think the country is going in the right direction.

A year-and-a-half ago, when I was talking to a pollster, he said that it was that number that gave the clearest indication of the trouble Barack Obama was in.

In September 2011, a whopping 77% said that the US was one the "wrong track". By July this year, it was 69% - still enough for people to be seriously unhappy with the president.

But by the end of October, it had plummeted to 55% and on election day - 52%. The mood has changed, quite possibly just in time to save President Obama.

 
Jonny Dymond Article written by Jonny Dymond Jonny Dymond Washington correspondent

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 25.

    The tracking polls I saw right up until Tuesday still showed close to 20% more Americans thought the country was going the wrong way under Obama, whose economic policies have been a dismal failure. The country would have recovered much further if Obama hadn't interfered.

    Obama is an arrogant ideologue, listening only to himself. It will get much worse now. Four years and a zero learning curve.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 24.

    Fortunately, JCP, all empires eventually come to an end. We are in the middle of the decline and fall of the American empire - which may go on for some time yet, but will never think it rules the world again. Start learning Mandarin baby!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 23.

    Obama is nothing more than a half decent preacher. Still he comforts the children as they scream and sway like certifiable delinquants. People get what they deserve, I just feel sorry for the hard working, independent, responsible people who pay for it all and certainly don't deserve it.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 22.

    So the now famous (and rumbled) '47%' of takers, plus another 3% of bleeding hearts/watery eyed naive ideallists ensure another 4 years of social, moral, economic, political and military decline. All paid for of course by the other 50% who will just have to grin and bear it as they watch what was once the greatest country in the world, their country, sink further into mediocrity.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 21.

    @9 Scott Gibbons

    Nothing like the Republicans in Britain?

    The Tory MPs are currently controlled by a small centrist, i.e. sane, group around Cameron. But there are many just as rabid as Reps seem to be. Except that what makes them foam at the mouth is not Obamacare, but the EU.
    All living in economic cloud cuckoo land, all venerating ideology not common sense. Hence, all dangerous fools

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 20.

    @15 LanguedocFox

    While not denying there is still racism in US (and everywhere else too!), it's unfair to brand all white Republican voters as such. It works both ways.
    Although I'm delighted and relieved that Obama won, I'd have been happier if it hadn't taken 90+% of the black vote to do so

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 19.

    Well hopefully the world is a safer place now I wish him well.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 18.

    It may be cloudy and damp, but there's a ray of sunshine in the world today, and the air we breathe is a bit clearer. You get the feeling that the USA's standing in the world will only improve under BO's leadership

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 16.

    the world is breathing a collective sigh of relief at finding out enough Americans were intelligent enough to know what was best for America and is also best for a slightly safer rest of the world

  • rate this
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    Comment number 15.

    Before anyone gets too carried away, it is worth noting two things.

    Firstly, President Obama still has to deal with a Republican-dominated House which is stuffed with obstructive right wingers and bigots.

    Secondly, and sadly, according to most reports a substantial majority of white men and a smaller majority of white women supported Romney. Racism is not yet dead in the land of the free.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 14.

    Fox News reports "Fraud At Polls"

    Do we now have to look forward to Palin 2016 (with Barkmad as her running mate)?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 13.

    To hisholynoodleness the media has always been looking at the overall vote by the people and not the electoral college votes as this is the way tge polls work. At the end of the day it looks like it will be 49% for Obama and 48% for Romney probably only 10s of thousands of votes - a very close race.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 12.

    The outcome of this election was never in question. The media portrayed it as "neck and neck" and today I hear Obama was re-elected by the "narrowest of margins". In what parallel universe did these reporters come from? There is only one thing that scares me more than the biased mainstream media and that is biased republican mainstream media.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 11.

    The Republicans need to have a serious rethink. Obama had not turned around the economy after the crash of 2008 and yet they still lost.
    Romney was their most moderate candidate and yet he was still too extreme for most American people. And when he came over to Britain he showed contempt for old friend and allies. The world feels the Republican contempt for us and it is not inspiring.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 10.

    Anne Romney is blowing a sigh of relief. She can now spend the next 4 years relaxing and not having to check on the human gaffe machine. Already seeing the excuse. The Republican party always seem to think when the Dems win, it is due to dirty and underhanded tactics. What a joke. This is a defining moment to change the GOP. Time to change its ideas and the way its going as a party!

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 9.

    "I hope what we learn from this is that the USA is centrist and quite balanced"

    Respectfully, I have to disagree.

    The Democrats have been shifting to the center in the past decades. They are akin to the British Conservative Party.

    The Republican party on the other hand has been indulging the extreme right. There's nothing like it in the UK.

    It doesn't average out to be balanced or central...

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 8.

    From the perspective of the outsider I'm much more relaxed with the contest for the Presidency than during the Republican primary. Then there were all manner of extremists vying for the nomination. My hope was that Romney would be nominated and that we would have a real election in terms of choice and debate. It's come out that way. I suggest that we may have seen a crowding out of extremism.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 7.

    Rasher - You're right, there are lots of extremist individuals: but I meant that when averaged out, the country en masse is balanced. But the extremists tend to hang out together, and so they think that everyone is extremist, and then they write articles about it, and then people write "comments" about everyone else being a something-tard of some sort, and it's really embarrassing.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 6.

    " I hope what we learn from this is that the USA is centrist and quite balanced"

    Oh Dominic. If only that were true. The USA is a country of extremes and the polarisation is only getting more pronounced.

 

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