Saturday, November 10, 2012

Revenge of the number II: Mr. 47 Percent


WITH THE state of Florida now conclusively in the win column of President Obama, the state’s 29 electoral votes take his total to 332, while the EV total for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney drops to 206.

If you’re keeping score at home, that means the latest nationwide popular vote tally is Obama 50.5 percent, Romney 47.9 percent. That’s right, folks. For Team Romney, karma is now officially a bitch: The percentage of Romney’s popular votes has slipped into the 47th percentile.

Unless you’ve spent the last four months on the ocean floor, you already know the number 47 has been a millstone around Romney’s neck since his philosophical big reveal at the home of a fellow multimillionaire in Boca Raton.

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” he said that night. “All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what …These are people who pay no income tax. ...

“[M]y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not ...”

There’s some thought that, since votes are still out there to be counted, Romney’s ultimate popular-vote percentage could dip even lower into the 47th percentile, diluted as Obama's totals increase. Maybe, maybe not. But if nothing changes to reverse the trend, Mitt Romney is permanently wedded to a resounding cosmic joke, a statistical irony that will haunt him from here on in.

There is a God, and He or She has a profound sense of humor.

Image credits: Popular-vote chart: The Huffington Post. Romney in Boca Raton: Mother Jones.

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