Posts Tagged ‘Romney’
December 5th, 2013 at 2:23 pm
From Romneycare to Single-Payer in Massachusetts?

The Obama administration’s former chief of Medicare and Medicaid is running for Governor of Massachusetts, and hints that his goal is to turn Romneycare into a single-payer system.

“It is time to seriously explore the possibility of a single payer system in Massachusetts,” declares Donald Berwick’s campaign website. (Emphasis in the original) “I will work with the Legislature [to] assemble a multi-stakeholder Single Payer Advisory Panel to investigate and report back within one year on whether and how Massachusetts should consider a single payer option.”

Along with achieving this goal, Berwick makes a series of other promises that seem breathtaking when one considers the amount of information, oversight and control necessary to fulfill them. Again, all bolded words appear the same way on the site.

·    I will personally lead a statewide initiative to make Massachusetts the healthiest state in the nation, through smoking cessation, obesity prevention and reduction, and specific programs to curb domestic and physical violence.
·    We will stop the obesity epidemic in Massachusetts.
·    We will reduce substance abuse and suicide rates by 50% in Massachusetts in the next decade.
·    Massachusetts will be the national leader in patient safety.

I do not dispute that Americans in general – and apparently Massachusetts in particular – are suffering from very serious problems like obesity, substance abuse and suicide, along with all the ancillary problems that follow in their wake. But how is it sensible to assume, as Berwick’s manifesto does, that politicians can solve these deeply personal problems – abetted by a nihilistic culture – through bureaucratic fiat?

Moreover, who is going to pay for all this? Nowhere does Berwick mention the massive increases in state spending his plan implicitly calls for, since Massachusetts will now need an army of public employees to collect data, push ad campaigns and fine or penalize those who don’t change their behavior.

Joshua Archambault outlines other problems with Berwick’s platform, among them the myriad technical difficulties facing a state trying to operate a stand-alone single-payer system.

Berwick is no shoe-in to win the Democratic nomination for governor, but his ideas about single-payer are gaining ground in Massachusetts politics. As Archambault notes, 20% of the state’s heavily Democratic state senate are on record as supporting a single-payer system. That’s not surprising since the Bay State was the first to impose a health insurance mandate on individuals in 2006. As costs have grown, so have calls for more government control.

It bears remembering that President Barack Obama has said repeatedly that Romneycare was a model for Obamacare. If Berwick’s ideas manage to transform the former into a single-payer system, national health care policy may soon have a new maxim: As goes Massachusetts, so goes the nation.

December 6th, 2012 at 4:55 am
Prisoners of Our Own Device Tax

The IRS has finalized rules for the medical device tax that goes into effect in just a few short weeks. Need a pacemaker? Pay a tax. Develop a life-saving device for a very small segment of the population, so there can be achieved no economies of scale? Tough toenails: The device tax on gross sales means you can’t afford to produce the devices — which means the would-be patients will die.

As I wrote here (I hereby acknowledge a mistake: prosthetic limbs are not covered by the tax), “what could be an easier campaign issue?” Yet, in perhaps the biggest example of campaign malpractice from an idiotic campaign guilty of many gross examples of malpractice, the Romney campaign never even tried to make a major issue of the device tax. Every time I think about it, I clench my teeth and want to start throwing heavy objects across the room. Failure to use issues like this has relegated this nation I  love to four more years of the most dangerous president in U.S. history. Mitt Romney and his top aides should slink away in shame.

But I digress. One way or another, people in both chambers in Congress ought to get serious and, no matter what else they do, repeal this dreadful tax. Lives depend on it.

November 22nd, 2012 at 11:59 am
Romney DID at Least Get More Votes Than McCain

Votes continue to trickle in. But as of now. Mitt Romney has received 59,995, 405 votes. Four years ago, in a poor effort, John McCain received 59,948,323. So, by 47,000 votes, Romney at least has surpassed McCain. Of course, this is hardly a great accomplishment: McCain ran under much more difficult conditions. The real comparison should have been to GW Bush’s 62 million votes in 2004, when there were 19 million fewer Americans. Bush’s total should have been a floor for Romney, not a ceiling. So Romney terribly underperformed. But at least critics can no longer say he didn’t match McCain’s raw vote total.

November 6th, 2012 at 11:27 am
My On-Air Prediction Last Night

Romney takes it. Here’s why. Video from WKRG-TV in Mobile, AL.

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November 1st, 2012 at 3:07 pm
Obama’s Failures with Natural Disasters

Polls show great public approval for Barack Obama’s “handling” of Superstorm Sandy. I see nothing other than a president doing his job… plus a little posturing. Now, how do I know it’s posturing? Because his supposedly grave concern now is belied by his past actions when responding to disasters.

When Nashville suffered horrific flooding in 2010, where was Obama? Nowhere to be found. He certainly didn’t visit, and didn’t do much to urge the rest of the country to come to Nashville’s aid.

Where was Obama when Hurricane Isaac devastated several parishes in Louisiana?  Unfortunately, making racial issues out of hurricane response is a favorite pastime of the President’s…and despite his earlier standard of the imperative of “waiving the Stafford Act,” he still refuses to waive the Stafford Act for Isaac victims.

When the BP oil spill happened, even James Carville blasted Obama’s apparent lack of interest or energy in responding, and Obama was quickly at loggerheads with Gov. Bobby Jindal, and he proceeded to defy even Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu by putting a moratorium and then still slow-walking permits on new Gulf drilling — in defiance of a federal judge’s order, so egregiously that the Obama administration was found officially in contempt of court.

Of course, in a disaster in large part of the administration’s own making (a sin of omission of course, not commission — by repeatedly declining requests for more security), Obama or someone on his team refused to send assistance to the consulate in Benghazi, Libya even as a terrorist firefight continued there for seven hours while Americans were in danger, and then his team falsely blamed the attack on a video and otherwise tried to pretend it was anything but an Al Qaeda or terrorist effort, and continues to stonewall/engage in a horrific cover-up about what truly happened.

All of these failures in disaster response contrast with Mitt Romney’s record of immediately taking charge to find (successfully) the lost/kidnapped child of an associate — and to rescue people whose watercraft sank on Lake Winnepesaukee, and otherwise to respond forcefully and or thoughtfully and from the heart to numerous other personal tragedies suffered by both friends and strangers.

So, excuse me for being cynical about Obama’s “great” response to Sandy. When an election is on and his momentum is slowed, he does well for the cameras. Otherwise, he just can’t be bothered.

October 25th, 2012 at 12:26 pm
Mitt the Nice

Columnist Deroy Murdock has been very, very tough on Mitt Romney for the past five years, but today he finds a slew of heartwarming stories about the former Massachusetts governor.

Well worth a read.

October 17th, 2012 at 9:54 am
Political Malpractice

I agreed with multiple focus groups last night, and not with the narrow margins pro-Obama in the straight polls, that Romney emerged from the debate last night in a slightly better position than he went in.

In short, he won. He is now in decent shape to eke out a victory.

That said, I think he and his campaign have committed serious political malpractice by not repeatedly and effectively attacking Obama on ObamaCare, either in the debates or in commercials or in TV interviews. It should be especially easy to blast the dozen-plus taxes on the middle class within ObamaCare (including the quasi-tax of the individual mandate, which remains deeply unpopular) — and not just easy but downright simple to blast him on the medical device tax, to which I keep referring in multiple posts and columns here and elsewhere. Of the many, many, many, many opportunities and issues the Romney campaign has left lying on the table, unused, this is the one with the least complications, the most levels of upside, and the least (meaning zero) downside.

Again, I do think Romney has won both debates. I do think he has a slightly better chance now than Obama does to win this election (my last “forced count” had him at 272 electoral votes to 266 for Obama, but that changes every other day). I think his campaign overall is far sharper than it was a month ago.

But Lord Almighty, how can he fail to take advantage of such a big Obama weakness?

Repeat after me: “ObamaCare puts a major punitive tax on pacemakers, asthma inhalers, insulin pumps, and prosthetic limbs like those that make such a difference to our wounded warriors. Even former Democratic Senator Evan Bayh has written that the tax already is costing hundreds of jobs, not to mention all of the negative health effects on people the tax will hurt. Where’s the compassion in that?”

Come to think of it, maybe the wounded warrior aspect of this will give Romney an opening in the “foreign policy” debate……

October 11th, 2012 at 12:21 pm
Where the Race Stands Now

This is not, not, not a prediction, but rather an analysis of where I think the presidential race stands right now. In other words, if the election were held today, this is how I see it.

Right now, I have Obama/Biden getting 237 electoral votes, and Romney/Ryan getting 235, with 66 electoral votes in states I consider true toss-ups. Wow. Could not be closer.

Now, some may fault me for this part of it, but I have Florida leaning Romney rather than toss-up. I’ve always thought Romney would win Florida. On the flip side, I still have Pennsylvania and Michigan leaning Obama, even though I really do think Romney has a shot at nabbing one of them. But his shot at them is no better than Obama’s shot at Florida. Still, in the states where I do have debatable leaners, Romney’s chances for surprises in his favor have 36 electoral votes, vs. Obama’s chances at just 29. So in the iffy leaners, Romney’s chances for growth are greater.

Now, among other leaners, I still think Romney has outside chances of surprising in Oregon, New Mexico, and Connecticut, all of which I place now in Obama’s hands. On the other side, the pro-Romney leaners that are at least long-shot options for Obama are just two: Missouri and Montana. Romney’s pick-up chances in this category are 18 electoral votes, Obama’s just 13. Again, slight advantage Romney.

Now, of the 66 EV toss-up states, here is the breakdown:

Virginia, 13 EV: All along I have thought Obama would pull out Virginia, but things are looking far better for Romney there than I had anticipated. I continue to make this a true, dead-even toss-up. Not even a tiny advantage to either side.

Ohio, 18 EV: If somebody had me in a head-lock and forced me to say how this would go, I’d say Obama, by the slimmest of margins.

New Hampshire, 4 EV: Same headlock, different result. My gut says Romney takes it.

Wisconsin, 10 EV: My head says absolute toss-up, my gut says Romney.

Colorado, 9 EV: I really think Romney will take this one, but I had it as toss-up just to be on the safe side.

Nevada 6 EV: I think Obama will take this one, but the “safe side” analysis applies.

Iowa, 6 EV: Head says true toss-up; stubborn polls say probably Obama; gut strongly says Romney. Put it with VA in the true toss-up category.

Result, of the ones I have labeled toss-ups, if I were to go on a limb, I’d give 24 EV to Obama (Ohio and Nevada), 23 EV to Romney (Colorado, New Hampshire, Wisconsin), and 19 still absolutely unsure (Iowa and Virgina).

So, to do all the math and allocate all the leaners and even the leaners-rated-tossups the way I have done (noting that Romney has slightly more “surprise” chances among leaners than Obama does), we come out to 261 Obama, 258 Romney, with Iowa and Virginia outstanding. Iowa alone would put neither over the top. Virginia would win it for either one. So, if the election were held today, I’d say that whoever wins Virginia will win it all.

But it’s tighter than two peas in a pod inside one of those freezer bags where the air has been completely siphoned out.

October 9th, 2012 at 8:55 pm
Barone Hits it Out of the Park

Michael Barone has a superb column about the serial law-breaking by Barack Obama:

Campaigns aren’t allowed to accept donations from foreigners. But it looks like the Obama campaign has made it easier for them to slip money in. How much foreign money has come into the Obama campaign? Schweizer and Boyer say there’s no way to know.

The campaign, as my former boss pollster Peter Hart likes to say, always reflects the candidate. A campaign willing to skirt the law or abet violations of it reflects a candidate who, as president, has been doing the same thing.

Examples abound….

Barack Obama was a lecturer in constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School. But he seems to take the attitude familiar to me, as an alumnus of Yale Law School, that the law is simply a bunch of words which people who are clever with words can manipulate to get any result they want.

In public speeches he has defended such policies by shouting, “We can’t wait!” The results are good, or at least politically convenient, so why be held back by a few words written on paper?

The Constitution was written by men who had a different idea…..

This column has a devastating compendium of examples. More amazingly, much of Obama’s law-breaking has been to implement policies that are or should be unpopular. There’s no good reason for Mitt Romney not to “call him out” on them.

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October 9th, 2012 at 4:20 pm
Ya Gotta Believe!

Mets fans and Phillies fans in particular might like my American Spectator column today, wherein a Volleyball Mom channels her husband channeling Tug McGraw. Said Volleyball Mom:

And my husband kept saying that we need to be like Tug, that we ‘gotta believe.’ We gotta believe Romney’s gonna win. We gotta believe the country isn’t doomed. We gotta believe the Constitution still matters. Gotta believe, gotta believe, gotta believe. …

And, wrote I:

Ya gotta believe Romney will win because citizens are tired of crushing debt, high energy prices, a large drop in household net worth, and several downgrades of the federal government’s credit ratings.

But Americans believe in more lasting things, and more positive things, than a mere need to stop bad times and bad tidings. We hold dear some noble ideals, noble ideas, and noble aspirations. Ya gotta believe — we gotta believe — in some of the great truths recognized in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. We should believe them not because they are recognized in those great documents, but because they already were truths before the writers of those documents had the wisdom to recognize them, and because they remain true today and always will…..

October 2nd, 2012 at 6:05 pm
Put Judges on the Presidential Agenda

That’s what Curt Levey of the excellent Committee for Justice recommends in an insightful op-ed today. Well worth a read, both for its analysis and for its advice to Romney. If I get a chance this evening or tomorrow, I will add my own thoughts on this topic in a subsequent post here.

October 2nd, 2012 at 2:32 pm
Why Do Romneyites Always Telegraph Their Punches?

Robert Costa at NRO has a great column out today about what the Romney insiders hope their candidate accomplishes in tomorrow’s debate. Excellent reporting, interesting content.

But I am moved to make the same point Jonah Goldberg of NRO made a few days ago:

[T]he Romney campaign is shaping up to be something special. It seems to be part of their strategy never to miss a chance to tell the press why they’re doing what they’re doing. … The Romney campaign is so careful not to distract the voters with actual ideas and arguments — or, heaven forbid, ideology — that it seems at times determined to run on stage directions alone.

Why is anybody inside or close to the campaign coming anywhere near telling outsiders what they hope Romney accomplishes in the debate and how he intends to do it? Unless this is all a clever misdirection play (which I seriously doubt), this lets the Obama team know exactly what to prepare for. It’s as if a head football coach did an interview before a big game and said: “Well, we really want to blitz a lot on defense, because we aren’t really satisfied with our pass rush without the blitz; and on offense, you can expect to see a lot of play-action passes because we want them to think we’re running when we’re really gonna throw the ball…. Oh, and by the way, we’ve also been practicing lots of screen passes.”

Imagine if Ronald Reagan’s team had said in advance of the second Mondale debate that everybody should be looking for a good one-liner to deal with the “age issue.” How stupid would that have been?

If I were Romney, I would send an edict to his entire team that they are no longer allowed to discuss anything about campaign strategy, tactics, “positioning,” or the like. Problem is, once he put out such an edict, the next report leaked through “friendly” media outlets would be about how bold a step Romney just took by ordering all of his advisors not to talk about campaign tactics, and about how they expect the no-tactics strategy to bolster the campaign’s standing with part-time self-employed Hispanics in Colorado……

October 1st, 2012 at 11:26 am
The Media is the Enemy of the American People

I didn’t say it; Pat Caddell did. He has a darn good point — or, rather, a number of darn good points, about the perfidy of the press, the weakness and fecklessness of the GOP establishment, and, using the exact phrase I first heard used by my friend, columnist Deroy Murdock, way back when he was in college, about how Mitt Romney has a proclivity to “dare to be cautious.”

Please click through to that link. Great stuff.

September 25th, 2012 at 2:19 pm
Romney’s Admirable Charitable Giving

John Podhoretz wrote the column I was intending to write. “[T]he release of these tax records,” wrote Podhoretz, “leaves no doubt about one thing: Mitt Romney is an extraordinarily, remarkably, astonishingly generous man. A good man. Maybe even a great man.”

Well, yes.

The media kvetching about Romney’s tax returns is so misplaced as to be sickening. The story isn’t that Romney paid “only” 14.1 percent of his income in taxes. The story is WHY that rate was comparatively low. The measure of a man isn’t how much he pays in taxes; some of us, after all, think that much of the money paid in federal taxes is wasted. If I had a million dollars and a choice of whether to let the feds spend it or to give it to a charity I trust, I would give it to a charity without a second thought. The charity will do more good with it than the feds will. More people will benefit, and the benefits will be more lasting.

For the idiotic media (forgive the redundancy there) to carp about the “low” taxes is for them to buy into the notion that tax-paying is somehow noble while (and this is a really strange but growing sub-belief on the left) that charitable giving is somehow selfish. How twisted! How morally depraved.

For Mitt Romney to have donated so much money to charity is indeed a mark of his great decency as a human being. I welcome the comparisons with the Gores’ and Bidens’ pathetically low amount of giving, and with Bill Clinton trying to claim a tax deduction for the donation of used underwear (yuck!). (Yes, Clinton really did that — or at least Hillary did, with regard to Bill’s used underwear. But this was before anybody might have wanted to test it in a lab….)

Romney, a private man, apparently has been donating huge amounts to charities long, long before he ran for public office. These donations are those of the heart, not of a cynical mind. It’s about time he gets some credit for it.

September 19th, 2012 at 12:20 am
Mitt Romney Needs Help

The release of the four-month-old video of Mitt Romney saying some monumentally stupid and insensitive things (note the plural) drives home this point: This candidate needs help. He doesn’t “get it,” his campaign folks don’t get it, and his own strongest supporters probably don’t get it either. He needs outsiders to come in and slap him upside the head (figuratively speaking). He did bring in an outsider in the superb Pete Wehner, but then jettisoned Wehner’s big speech draft without so much as a nod toward the idea that ANYbody else has actual ideas worth actually talking about.

I could name about a dozen people who could help set Romney on the right track. For what it’s worth, I (egotistically) volunteer myself. I have some good experience on this front, and what Romney needs is somebody who isn’t in awe of him and certainly who won’t toady to him.

Of course, that’ll never happen. But what should happen is that they should call in SOMEbody to shake things up. Otherwise, the Romney campaign will continue to represent the unbearable lightness of being — and it will lose.

September 14th, 2012 at 3:01 pm
On How Foreign Policy Matters….

Ashton, citing Troy earlier, writes that foreign policy definitely matters in an election. I agree with both of them. That is one reason I thought Jon Kyl should be on the short list for Veep, and why I insisted, against all common wisdom, that Rick Santorum should also be considered. Romney definitely could use somebody with acknowledged “chops” on foreign and defense matters right now. (I hasten to add that I remain THRILLED that Ryan is the running mate; I think he is absolutely terrific, but just for other reasons.)

But here is where I am going to suggest that Romney throw a real long ball. I have been thinking of this all year, no matter who the nominee was; indeed, I have thought of it in past presidential cycles too, but never decided it would be a useful game changer… until now.

I think Romney should choose, and publicly name, who his Secretary of State will be. I don’t think this has ever been done before, pre-election, so it would attract a ton of attention — and, since obviously Romney would choose whomever he chooses with an eye both on competence and on the political advantages the person would offer (in terms not of electoral votes or anything crass like that, but in terms of demonstrating good executive judgment on Romney’s part for making such a wise choice), the attention would almost all be of the positive sort.

Romney could then, in effect, outsource almost all statements on foreign affairs to the Sec. State-designee, who surely could run rings around the Obamites every time he/she goes on the air as a Romney surrogate.

At least a half dozen names suggest themselves as people who would be immediately accepted across the spectrum as a designee of substance and gravitas. (The only disadvantage of this is that Romney would politically be precluded from naming somebody who is a lightning rod for controversy, such as John Bolton, whereas a Bolton choice in the usual way, after the election, would still be possible.)

The one name, by the way, I would put at the top of the list is the same one I started this post with; Jon Kyl. Few people in Washington, and almost nobody on the right, are afforded such universal respect as Kyl is. And he could really pound home the issue of missile defense (probably bolstering the Polish-American ethnic vote in the Rust Belt while he was at it), on which he is extremely well versed, and explain why our abandonment of Poland and other Eastern European nations on this issue was such a horrible mistake. And Kyl sort of bridges the divide on the right between what some wrongly call the “Neo-cons” and those who are more isolationist: Kyl is not really identifiable in any one camp, other than being clearly “Reaganite.”

Regardless of who the choice would be, it would look good for Romney: bold, innovative, and presidentially decisive and confident, willing to let the public judge his choice before the election and giving a sense of his leadership style.

It’s worth serious consideration.

September 11th, 2012 at 11:05 am
Romney’s Messaging is Weak; Election in Doubt

Charlie Cook is right on target this morning in criticizing the messaging and tactics of Mitt Romney’s campaign.

Only in the last few days has the Romney campaign begun buying any time in swing states on local cable systems, something the Obama team has been doing for months. While one campaign has been looking for every nookand cranny to reach votersand has been doing so for some time, the other didn’t bother until after the conventions. Go figure.

The Romney campaign made the extraordinary decision to not try seriously to connecttheir candidate with voters on a personal level untiltheir convention. As dubious as that decision was, they were rewarded by having a convention shortened by a day due to a hurricane, then compounded the error of waiting until the convention by putting much of what was most needed to be seen in the 8and 9 p.m. hours, when the only viewers would be C-SPAN fans. Wow! The biographical filmand the testimonials of people whose lives had been touched by Romney were powerful, necessary,and largely unseen. Instead, the Romney campaign treated them to the Clint Eastwood debacleand a serviceable speech by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida that should have been made earlier, not chewing up precious broadcast airtime.

Meanwhile, I have a column out today at The American Spectator that predicts a narrow win for Barack The One Obama. But it’s close enough that Romney could turn things around — if he starts running a smarter campaign:

Now, how can Romney pull off the victory anyway? By mobilizing discrete groups of voters who might be unexcited or might wish a pox on both parties, but who will be motivated to turn out (rather than stay home, or go hunting, or whatever)and vote for a candidate who shows commitment to a particular issue stance.

Taking a page from Newt Gingrich’s playbook, Romney could easily identify such issues where a clear majority of voters agree with conservatives.

August 31st, 2012 at 11:14 am
Just a C+ for Romney

I haven’t yet read a lot of the pundit reviews of Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech last night, but I gather that most people are giving it solid grades. Unfortunately, I dissent. In ordinary circumstances, I would give it just a ‘C,’ and even considering that Romney’s task was a bit different than that of many nominees… and that he did a pretty good job at meeting the needs involved in those differences (i.e., he needed to, and did, “humanize” himself more than he has done before)… I still give him only a ‘C+’ for the overall effectiveness of his speech in terms of his long-term campaign needs. And I’m one who always has thought of ‘C’ grades not as “decent” but as “pretty bad.”

I thought it was predictable, repetitive, and nowhere near substantive enough.

I won’t go into detail, just because if some Obama researcher is diligent enough to be trolling this site, I don’t want to give him direction as to where I thought the specific weaknesses were.

I did think that he delivered the speech as well as anybody could expect. And I think that for short-term purposes, the speech was more in line with a ‘B’ than a ‘C’ — in other words, that he made an overall good impression. But I don’t think it was an impression that will have major lasting benefit in a way that significantly improves his chances at winning in November. Yes, it sets the stage for incremental gains that actually do survive the rough and tumble of the next two months of campaigning — and incremental might be enough in a race this close — but I was looking for something that undecided and/or persuadable voters could grab hold of and really embrace, in a way that could cause a surge in Romney’s favor. I saw none of that. I expect no big surge. A small swelling of support maybe, but no big surge.


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August 13th, 2012 at 12:54 pm
Ryan Saving Private

Paul Ryan is all about saving the private sector form the ravages of government. Paul Ryan is all about opportunity. He is all about economic growth. And he is all about a can-do, take-charge attitude that is perfectly in keeping with the American character.

The choice of Ryan was superb. Now the Romney campaign must match its strategy and tactics to the bold nature of this choice.

The last time I felt this good about a ticket was about Ronald Reagan. Say “Romney-Ryan” real fast and it even sounds the same.

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July 10th, 2012 at 12:20 pm
More on an Electoral College Tie

Troy and I  have been having an interesting discussion of how it is not at all implausible (or, to avoid the double negative, it is definitely plausible) for the presidential election to end in a 269-269 tie, thus throwing the election to the House of Representatives, which only narrowly would be likely to favor Romney. Now comes Eric McPike at Real Clear Politics to lay out a few other scenarios for a tie — in other words, further supporting the theory Troy and I have been touting.

Interestingly, though, two of McPike’s various scenarios would envision one of Nebraska’s Electoral votes to go to Obama again: “But then subtract from the Republican ticket the single electoral vote Obama won in Nebraska due to the anamolous way the Cornhusker State allocates its five electoral votes, and there would be a rare electoral tie that would send the election to the House of Representatives.”

To me, that seems highly unlikely. That vote was surely an anomaly, due to a bizarrely Democratic year. I wonder if anybody has any polling data suggesting that that congressional district would even be close. I doubt it.

Nonetheless, the fact remains that there are so many different ways to reach a tie that it behooves both sides to start dossiers on every House member to figure if any of them might be moved, under certain circumstances, to vote against their party, or to abstain. In the House, the vote is done not by individual member, but by state delegation.  A state like Minnesota, with four Republicans and four Democrats, would presumably vote “present” unless a member didn’t vote for his/her own party’s nominee. By my armchair projections, Romney would probably win the support of about 28 delegations (26 are needed to win) — but several of those delegations would be by one-vote margins, meaning that if my projection is slightly off, or if a Member could be convinced to switch parties or to abstain, the margin would be even smaller.

How could this happen? Well, imagine a 269-269 Electoral College tie, but with Obama building up such large margins in populous states like New York and California that he wins a clear popular-vote margin. Cue the Occupy movement to protest in favor of the House voting to ratify the popular vote rather than by party. Cue the media to overwhelmingly push that same notion. Now look at a few GOP House members who won by only narrow margins, but in districts carried by Obama, where the media message would be that they have a duty to vote with the majority of their constituents. Obviously, all of this could get very dicey indeed.

As it could well get dicey in the other direction if Romney wins the popular vote but the GOP loses more House seats than expected (via lots of people voting just to defeat Obama but then failing to vote in down-ballot races), and Democrats actually find they control a plurality of House delegations (with several tied).

All of which means that both campaigns ought to know darn well what makes each individual Member tick — what motivates each one, what pressures they succumb to. They should start the research now, just in case… because if indeed an Electoral College tie occurs, some Members might be moved to announce their positions quickly, and so both campaigns need to be able to contact all of the possible “swing” votes ASAP.

All of this could make the Bush-Gore fight appear, in retrospect, to have been child’s play.

And that is a very sobering thought.