Out on a Limb, Predicting A Big Victory For ...
Unlike Dick Morris and most of my conservative pals, I have no idea who’s going to win on Tuesday.
Dick, as you know if you’ve watched Fox even for a few seconds, not only thinks Mitt Romney is going to win, he thinks he’s going to win big. Except for the aforementioned pals of mine, Dick has been pretty much alone on that one. Rasmussen and Gallup and everyone else think it’s going to be close. This pretty much means that Dick Morris either belongs in an asylum or he’s a political genius. I’m hoping for the latter.
But now comes another serious political thinker, knowledgeable and sober in his analysis who also thinks Romney is going to win – and like Dick Morris, thinks it’s not going to be close.
Michael Barone is the senior political analyst at the Washington Times who writes that, “Fundamentals usually prevail in American elections. That's bad news for Barack Obama. True, Americans want to think well of their presidents and many think it would be bad if Americans were perceived as rejecting the first black president.
“But it's also true that most voters oppose Obama's major policies and consider unsatisfactory the very sluggish economic recovery -- Friday's jobs report showed an unemployment uptick.”
So here goes, in Barone’s own words, his assessment of some key states:
Indiana (11 electoral votes). Uncontested. Romney.
North Carolina (15 electoral votes). Obama has abandoned this target. Romney.
Florida (29). The biggest target state has trended Romney since the Denver debate. I don't see any segment of the electorate favoring Obama more than in 2008, and I see some (South Florida Jews) favoring him less. Romney.
Ohio (18). The anti-Romney auto bailout ads have Obama running well enough among blue-collar voters for him to lead most polls. But many polls anticipate a more Democratic electorate than in 2008. Early voting tells another story, and so does the registration decline in Cleveland's Cuyahoga County. In 2004, intensity among rural, small -town and evangelical voters, undetected by political reporters who don't mix in such circles, produced a narrow Bush victory. I see that happening again. Romney.
Virginia (13). Post-debate polling mildly favors Romney, and early voting is way down in heavily Democratic Arlington, Alexandria, Richmond and Norfolk. Northern Virginia Asians may trend Romney. Romney.
Colorado (9). Unlike 2008, registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats, and more Republicans than Democrats have voted early. The Republican trend in 2010 was squandered by weak candidates for governor and senator. Not this time. Romney.
Iowa (6). The unexpected Romney endorsements by the Des Moines Register and three other newspapers gave voice to buyer's remorse in a state Obama carried by 10 points. Democrats' traditional margin in early voting has declined. Romney.
Minnesota (10). A surprise last-minute media buy for the Romney campaign. But probably a bridge too far. Obama.
New Hampshire (4). Polls are very tight here. I think superior Republican intensity will prevail. Romney.
Pennsylvania (20). Everyone would have picked Obama two weeks ago. I think higher turnout in pro-coal Western Pennsylvania and higher Republican percentages in the Philadelphia suburbs could produce a surprise. The Romney team evidently thinks so too. Their investment in TV time is too expensive to be a mere feint, and, as this is written, Romney is planning a Sunday event in Bucks County outside Philly. Wobbling on my limb, Romney.
Nevada (6). Democratic early-voting turnout is down from 2008 in Las Vegas' Clark County, 70 percent of the state. But the casino unions' turnout machine on Election Day re-elected an unpopular Harry Reid in 2010, and I think they'll get enough Latinos and Filipinos out this time. Obama.
Wisconsin (10). Recent polling is discouraging for Republicans. But Gov. Scott Walker handily survived the recall effort in June with a great organizational push. Democrats depend heavily on margins in inner-city Milwaukee (population down) and the Madison university community. But early voting is down in university towns in other states. The Obama campaign is prepared to turn out a big student vote, but you don't see many Obama signs on campuses. Romney.
Oregon (7), New Mexico (5), New Jersey (14). Uncontested. Obama.
Michigan (16). Romney chose Pennsylvania, where there's no auto bailout issue. Obama.
That would give Romney 315 electoral votes … and 223 for the president.
This is way too optimistic for me. Any prognosticator who thinks Romney is going to win Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania makes me wonder if he’s been watching too much Dick Morris on TV, though it certainly is possible.
But like I said, I don’t have a clue as to who’s going to be delivering a victory speech next Tuesday night – that is, if we even know the winner by next Tuesday night.