by Paul Williams
An election once thought to be out of reach for Mitt Romney is now coming down to the final week, with neither candidate taking a commanding lead. Romney gave himself new life by hammering Obama with questions and statements in the first debate, while Obama appeared sluggish. Romney holds a slight lead in the popular vote, but more importantly, Obama is leading in the swing states. According to most polls, Romney has around a 48-47 lead, but this won’t matter if Obama can maintain his lead in the swing states of New Hampshire, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin due to the Electoral College. According to polls, Romney holds a 2 point lead in Florida, and if Romney wins Florida; the state of Ohio will most likely decide the election. Ohio holds 18 key electoral votes that will most likely give the winning candidate the necessary 270. Obama holds a slight lead in Ohio, but the way Ohio votes will most likely be the way the nation the election goes.
There had been speculation that there could be a 269-269 tie between the candidates, but as the days pass by this appears less and likely. The state of Maine could pave the way for the tie because of its proportional representation, but it appears that Obama is pulling away with all districts of Maine, according to the most recent polls. This would have been interesting and very controversial, but it is highly unlikely.
I think that Obama will win the election because of his lead in Ohio, but this race shows how ineffective the Electoral College system really is. According to the Gallup Poll, Romney holds a 51-46 lead in the popular vote. If Romney were to win by this margin and lose the election, it goes to show that the United States needs to adopt a new way of electing a president. Personally, I believe the best way is the popular vote, but one could argue that proportional representation is better. I feel proportional representation still puts too much focus on certain areas, and the popular vote allows the majority to prevail. Some feel that the popular vote puts too much focus on the coastal areas and ignores states like Wyoming, Montana, and Nebraska but those states don’t even make up 1% of the total population. In the end, this will be one of the closest races of all time and certainly the closest since Bush vs. Gore in 2000.