Portuguese Bloggers Analyze U.S. Campaigns

Portuguese bloggers are gearing up for the upcoming U.S. elections. Like bloggers everywhere, they have strong opinions about what's best for the United States.

Carlos Santos has a PhD in Econometrics from Oxford University and has published articles of opinion in the Portuguese press, about the US Elections. He is now a professor at the Catholic University of Porto, and maintains a blog called Valor das Ideias, which is dedicated almost exclusively to monitoring the polls and the American electoral process. For intellectual honesty, he said he is an Obama supporter.

His analysis about the last debate:

O contexto não pode também ser esquecido. Como dissemos aqui por variadíssimas vezes, McCain precisava não de virar uma mesa muito grande. As sondagens que fomos acompanhando até esta Quinta, mostraram uma liderança consistente de Obama no plano nacional, que se traduziu na conquista efectiva de todos os estados que John Kerry venceu em 2004, e em ameaças muito reais a uns 8 ou 9 estados de George W. Bush. Até para Karl Rove, o estratega republicano, Obama tinha hoje 333 votos no colégio eleitoral.

McCain tinha conduzido uma semana violentíssima de publicidade negativa, assente na figura de Ayers e da sua conexão com Obama, dando seguimento à linha ensaiada por Sarah Palin no fim de semana anterior. E este tipo de ataque mostrava que a campanha do GOP tinha chegado ao desespero. Por um lado McCain tinha que ser mais contundente com Obama do que nos debates anteriores. Por outro, tinha que se mostrar mais amistoso. Por um lado não podia ser condescendente, por outro tinha que ser inequívoca na defesa das suas ideias e no ataque às de Obama.

Alguns apontamentos finais: o split screen da CNN favoreceu muito mais Obama pois era possível observar as reacções faciais dos dois; a calma de Obama contrastou no split screen com a agitação de McCain; enquanto Obama sorria ao discordar, dizia que não com a cabeça e continuou com a táctica dos 3 debates anteriores: chamar John ao seu oponente, McCain foi incapaz de olhar Obama nos olhos sem raiva, desdenhava em vez de sorrir e não se referiu a ele uma única vez como “Barack”.

The context cannot be forgotten. As we have said here on many occasions, McCain does not need to turn a very large table. The polls that we have been following up on this Thursday showed consistent leadership from Obama at the national level, which resulted in the actual achievement of winning all the states that John Kerry won in 2004, and in the very real threats to some 8 or 9 states of George W . Bush. Like Karl Rove, the Republican strategist said, Obama has 333 votes today in the Electoral College.

McCain led a violent week of negative publicity, based on the character of Ayers and his connection to Obama, following the line tested by Sarah Palin in the weekend before. And this kind of attack showed that the campaign of GOP has come to despair. For one thing, McCain has had to be stronger with Obama than in previous debates. On the other hand, he had to become friendlier. On the one hand he could not be condescending, on the other he had to be unequivocal in defending their ideas and the attack on Obama.

Some final notes: the split screen of CNN favored Obama as it was possible to see the facial reactions of the two, and contrasted with the calm of Obama, Mccain seemed excited. While Obama smiled to disagree, saying no with the head and continued with the tactic of the 3 previous debates by calling John his opponent, McCain was unable to look Obama in the eye without anger and disdain, and instead kept smiling and referred not to him once as “Barack.”

The “Obamania” is not a phenomenon exclusively of the United States, and Portugal has not escaped the standard. BarackPresidente is the name of the Portuguese blog, maintained by Obama’s Portuguese supporters.
This blog is already up to mark a meeting of supporters of Obama for 22th October in Lisbon.

The Portuguese speaking Cape Verde Islands have also been attentive to the campaigns. Writing at Café Margoso, João Branco says:

Este é, verdadeiramente, um café eleitoral. Uma ideia inovadora dos cafés da empresa Seven Eleven, que utiliza um método sui generis de «sondagem» para as eleições presidenciais de Novembro. O método é, na realidade, muito simples: cada cliente que consome um café, escolhe entre o copo azul de Obama ou o copo vermelho de McCain, opção que é contabilizada e somada aos milhões de cafés que são servidos nesta cadeia. Para se ter uma ideia, são servidos, em média, um milhão de copos de cafés por dia!

Neste momento Obama lidera esta «mega sondagem» com 59% dos «votos» contra 41% de McCain, comandando em praticamente todos os Estados.

Outro dado importante: nas eleições de 2000, os resultados diferiram apenas em 1% dos resultados finais; em 2004… não houve qualquer diferença entre a «mega sondagem dos copos de café» e os resultados eleitorais.

This is truly a coffee election. Coffee company 7/11 has been running an innovative campaign, using a unique method of “polling” for the presidential election in November. The method is actually very simple: each client that consumes a coffee, chooses between the blue cup for Obama or the red cup for McCain, an option that is recorded and added to the millions of coffees that are served. To give you an idea, the company serves on average one million cups of coffee a day!

Currently Obama leads this “big poll” with 59% of “votes” against 41% for McCain, leading in virtually all states.

Another important factor: in the 2000 elections, the results differed by only 1% in the final results, and in 2004 … There was no difference between the big poll of cups of coffee and the election results.

A good sign?

1 comment

  • Renee Perry

    Mr. Gouveia’s comments do not surprise me since all of Europe, like Portugal, believes in Socialism. I expected a more in depth response to our elections from such a distinguised professor at Catholic University of Porto not a discription of how one candidate did not look at the other during a debate and the expression on their faces. This article interested me because he is a teacher at a Catholic University and also because I am of Portugese decent living in California. My grandparents and my Dad was born in Portugal and I am proud of that fact. I married a man of Portugese decent as well and we still have our Portugese community in that is very active. I just expected to hear a comment about Obama’s pro abortion stance that is the most radical ever. He voted 4 times against a bill that would make it mandatory to help a baby that has survived an abortion. I call it infanticide. He also would not ban partial birth abortion and has consistantly voted to allow this procedure. This and his being the most far left man to ever run for the Presidency scares me. If he is elected we will also have both the Congress and Senate and the Presidency run by the Democratic party which allows them to pretty much pass whatever bills they want. His nefarious friends are also troubling. His complete lasck of experience without a single accomplishment that anyone can name concerns me. Yes he is an inspirational speaker and charismatic but we can say that about many historic figures that have not always done the right thing and caused a militancy that was a disaster. That is why I will be voting for Senator McCain
    When you the two there is no question that Senator McCain is a heroic figure that has always put his country first as have his Great Grandfather and his Father as well who were accomplished military leaders. And he is not President Bush like the other party likes to portray him. He has always been known as a maverick who does what he feels is right regardless of his Republican parties wishes He deserves to be President of the United States.

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