US election may be tight but probably not tight enough to change the guard…

You have to congratulate Mitt Romney for running a more than decent campaign. He took on the run that few others in the GOP fancied has made a good job of it.

The most exciting moment was the first debate, when he literally cleaned the floor with a sitting President who’s minders has not remotely prepped him for a proper fight. As noted in Slugger’s US panel on Google Plus, it was probably the only time policy raised its head.

And most of it came from Romney, rather than the President.

However you don’t have to believe that that pesky kid Nate Silver (Kevin Anderson on his background last night) is the new secular god of US politics to understand that the heavier burden is on the GOP to get their man over of the win line.

Silver doesn’t give odds, he quotes probabilities modelled over and over against past election outcomes. Currently he’s giving Obama 86.3% probability of winning (hear Mel on the difference between probability and poll rating). At the same time in the UK William Hill (who do do odds) are giving a miserly 2-7 to Obama backers, whilst Ladbrokes are quoting 1-4.

So Obama gets the next picks for the Supreme Court. But the attritional battle with Congress is not going to go away you know. However likely the Senate is to stay in Democrats, the gap in the House of Representatives is thought to be too much for them to close in one election.

And despite all the talk of one nation, this President does not have a great record of punching out policy deals with Congress, as last week’s beautifully hedged editorial from The Economist points out:

Mr Obama spends regrettably little time buttering up people who disagree with him; of the 104 rounds of golf the president has played in office, only one was with a Republican congressman.

The problem for Obama if he does win, is that he needs Congress (Here Kevin talks about how liberals may have too conveniently forgotten this part of the constitution).

As has been well observed elsewhere, neither the current POTUS, nor his opponent are a LBJ. But without a more full-minded attention to matters in Congress, there has to be danger of a second Obama term becoming something of a lame duck presidency.

Adds: Tomorrow night, I’ll be setting up a long, through the night hangout… which will be just what it says on the tin… a place for people to drop, hangout and talk US Politics and election news…

I’m hoping we can get Gerry in early on before he starts crunching numbers big and small from counties in the Ohio valley that you and I may never have heard of before. And we’ll be taking a break on the hour every hour whilst the big figures are announce via the TV networks.

Join us directly on Google Plus, or punt us some good videos, tweets we can re-share using the hashtag #SluggerUS… I’m particularly interested to hear from you if you have a vote tomorrow and can give us some idea of what people are thinking in your next of the US’s political woods?