After hundreds of political rallies and thousands of campaign speeches, Election Day has finally arrived and here’s my prediction: President Barack Obama will win re-election to the White House Tuesday – despite the superstitious so-called “Redskins Rule.”
Since the NFL’s Redskins moved to Washington in 1937, the rule has held true: When the Redskins lose their home game the Sunday before a presidential election, the challenger for the White House wins.
The “Redskins Rule” held up for Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940, when the Redskins beat the Steelers 37-10; and for then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008, when the Redskins lost to the Steelers by 23 to 6 – and every election in between.
The Redskins lost Sunday to the Carolina Panthers 21-13. If the “Redskins Rule” holds true, Mitt Romney will win the election on Tuesday.
But I don’t believe in silly superstitions so I’m dismissing this series of sports occurrences and forecasting that Obama will win the election to the White House – if only by a thin margin. A CNN poll shows the race is tied nationally — Obama 49%, Romney 49 % — but with Obama holding a slight edge in several key battleground states like Ohio and Wisconsin.
“Our work is not yet done,” Obama told nearly 20,000 people who filled the street in front of the Wisconsin capital building.
The race between Obama and Romney can’t get any closer, but here are five reasons why Obama will win Tuesday:
Obama will win Ohio
Ohio is a key battleground state that many election experts say will determine the outcome of the race. No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio. But according to organized labor, Obama will win Ohio’s 18 electoral votes as long as he keeps Mitt Romney’s margin of advantage among white voters to 10% or less.
Moreover, the Obama campaign’s ground game has been in place since the 2008 election and the campaign believes it has a solid operation in place to turn out votes in record numbers.
About 40 percent of voters have already cast ballots and early voting appears to favor Democrats.
“As a result of that strong foundation and enthusiasm for President Obama, today we are ahead of where we were at this time against John McCain – and ahead of Mitt Romney,” said Jeremy Bird, the Obama campaign’s national field director.
Rev. Jesse Jackson, appearing on CNN Monday, traveled to Ohio and across the Midwest this week and said lines to vote were much longer than lines in 2008.
The Black Vote
African Americans appear to be taking advantage of early voting and turning out in large numbers over the past two weeks. The Obama campaign feels that black Americans will also show up in force on Tuesday.
African Americans will treat this election on Tuesday with a sense of urgency. Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to the Obama campaign, told me that she believes the turnout among black voters will top the turnout in 2008. That may be wishful thinking, but she could also be right.
In fact, the NAACP announced Monday its plan to turn out more than 1.2 million voters by the time polls close on Election Day. This is the largest get-out-the-vote effort in the NAACP’s 103 year history.
“With so much at stake in the upcoming election, the NAACP has dedicated its time and resources to ensure more African Americans have their votes counted at the ballot box than ever before,” said NAACP President Ben Jealous. “Our predecessors sacrificed their time, bodies, and lives to secure the right vote for our community. It is now our responsibility to see this critical right exercised by African American’s across the country.”
The Hispanic Vote
ImpreMedia and Latino Decisions released a national election eve poll of Latino registered voters that showed that 20% of likely Latino voters voted early and 73% voted for President Obama while 24% voted for Mitt Romney.
Many Hispanic citizens say they are voting for Obama because of Romney’s tough stance on immigration policies. If this trend continues on Tuesday, according to the poll, Obama would receive the highest percentage of Latinos vote ever seen in a presidential election. Bill Clinton received 72% of the Latino vote in 1996 when he defeated Bob Dole.
The Race Factor
Voters of all racial and ethnic backgrounds – a multi-cultural coalition – will rise up against the Republican voter suppression tactics and reject Romney’s allegiance to wealthy donors. In a now-infamous secret video, Romney told his rich buddies that 47 percent of Americans who support Obama are “victims” who mooch off the government.
“In 2008, this country witnessed a truly historic election,” said Dr. Silas Lee, a nationally recognized political pollster and a professor of public policy at Xavier University. “Now, in 2012, President Obama has a chance to get re-elected, but will find himself fighting against a GOP nominee that has been dead set on making sure this election about the racial and class divisions in this country.”
This year, voter suppression tactics by conservatives have hit a new low: Some black and Latino voters have been told recently that if they are found guilty of voter fraud, their children will be taken away from them.
“The reality is that since the Florida debacle in 2000, we’ve seen deliberate, systematic voter suppression tactics targeted at African Americans and Latinos,” Barbara Arnwine, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told BlackAmericaWeb.com.
“We learned that this wasn’t a one-time occurrence but a full-time feature in the voting landscape,” Arnwine said. “It’s vicious, deliberate and ugly.”
Meanwhile, David Axelrod, senior advisor to the Obama campaign, said he’ll shave the mustache he’s worn for 40 years if Obama loses key states to Romney and Jen Psaki, an Obama communications advisor, has vowed to dye her hair black if Obama loses. Psaki is a redhead.
I’m not shaving my mustache or dying my hair based on the outcome of Tuesday’s presidential election, but I do believe that President Obama will earn the 270 electoral votes he needs to spend another four years working in the Oval Office.