While former Apollo astronauts including the first man to set foot on the Moon, the late Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong, and the last lunar walker Apollo 17′s Gene Cernan, were, for a time, at loggerheads with President Obama over his then apparent reluctance to build a heavy lift launch vehicle, Obama does still have old-astronaut support in his campaign to remain IUS President. Veteran Democratic Party Senator John Glenn has appeared in an Obama-supporting video telling the world why Obama should be supported. Glenn, 91. was the first US astronaut to orbit the Earth in 1962 and later flew on a Shuttle mission (STS-95) in 1998.
Nevertheless, despite this backing NASA’s current high command may be a little concerned that President Obama’s challenger Mitt Romney is now slightly ahead in the polls. NASA’s Administrator Maj Gen Charles Bolden had previously dismissed the chance of a Mitt Romney win as being purely “hypothetical” during a press conference at the International Astronautical Congress in Naples, Italy, earlier this month.
Mind you, while Romney does have a national poll lead, in the key swing states which will decide the election, including the space state of Florida, the vote is regarded as too close to call. One thing favouring Obama is that a majority of “early voters” – those that have already posted their vote - have gone with him. This was before his slide in the polls following his lacklustre performance in the first Presidential debate, though his feistier second debate showing was better received.
In between, in the Vice Presidential debate, Obama’s oversmiling wingman, Vice President Joe Biden, was seen to beat off the humourless Congressman Paul Ryan, who may just have frightened off the electorate with his espousal of hardline policies on healthcare and planned tax cuts for the rich. As such the Romney/Ryan ticket still remains the outsider with the bookmakers and an outsider in the electoral markets.
If only the Republican Romney had chosen Democrat Vice President Joe Biden as his running mate, he would have been home and hosed by now! Still, at 2-1 at the time of writing, the betting odds for a Romney win seem large for such a closely run contest. He might just do it.