Every week on Monday morning, the Council and invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day. This week’s question: What Are Your Predictions For Next Tuesday’s Elections?
The Noisy Room: My prediction is still that Romney/Ryan will win by a landslide. Given the fact that the polls show them tied (and I don’t believe the polls), the fact that the polls are heavily skewed in favor of Obama and they still show a tie (they are weighted in the swing states by a 6 to 8 point spread for Democrats) and the ‘enthusiasm’ factor thrown in (which shows 10s of thousands showing up for Romney and only 10s of hundreds or less showing up for Obama), I think Romney will win decisively.
At the moment, depending on which polls you hear, the “conventional wisdom” is once again tilted in favor of the Democratic candidate, despite a startling discrepancy between the attendance at rallies for the opposing candidates. Romney and Ryan are getting mobbed, while Obama can’t seem to fill an auditorium. Photos taken of Romney and Ryan events invariably show long shots of huge crowds (e.g. the monster rally in Colorado), while the Obama events all seem to consist of close-in shots or “cropped” crowd shots.
It seems that the Press and polls paint a substantially different picture from that which is conveyed by eyewitness accounts and actual visuals.
Remember, Obama in 2008 was predicted to win by double digits and it came down to single digits. Still a trouncing, but not as exaggerated as they claimed. Also remember in the Senate in 2010, the spread was somewhere in the 5 to 8 point spread and it was doom, doom, doom for Conservatives until the election itself. When the political dust settled, Conservatives and Tea Party won big.
On top of this, recent events have not cast Obama’s administration in a good light. The Benghazi debacle continues to see air time in the alternative media and on Fox, leading to more recent coverage in left-leaning media and more mainstream outlets attempting to frame the disaster as a failure either of the State Department or the CIA. While that kind of “context casting” may seem to work, what leaks out around it is the unavoidable conclusion that somehow this still traces back to the president; even if he, himself, didn’t screw this up, he hired the people who did. Add to this the happening-right-now events following not-really-a-hurricane Sandy, and the federal government is seen, once again, as inept and feckless. While the media majority still insulates the Administration from seeming to bear any responsibility for the blundering, inadequate supplies and rising death toll, there will be observers who can’t help but recall the savage lashing given the Bush Administration during the Katrina aftermath for essentially the same results.
These most recent events may not cost Obama the EC votes from New Jersey and New York, but could well “lighten” the shade of Blue in the final outcome and, more importantly, in areas not far from there — like Pennsylvania and Ohio — could solidify those states for the Red side.
My predictions are this: Romney will win the popular vote by 5%-7.5% and take more than 300 votes in the EC, holding all of the states McCain won in 2008 and adding CO, NV, FL, NC, VA, NH, IA, IN, OH, WI, MI, OR and PA.
The Republicans will also take the Senate majority with somewhere between 51-53 seats. And the Republicans will overwhelmingly retain the House. This prediction is shared by a number of conservatives. And even then, there is a glimmer of hope Romney could pull a Reagan and do a massive sweep.
Gay Patriot: Had you asked me to forecast the election outcome before Hurricane Sandy hit, I would have forecast a Romney victory similar to that in last week’s Battleground poll, with him winning with a popular vote margin of about 52-47.
Romney had the momentum before the Hurricane devastated the Jersey Shore and left much of suburban New York without power. This seems to have helped burnish Obama’s image as a leader.
And we’re not seeing the same level of coverage of the FEMA’s failures in the wake of this storm as we did seven years ago after Katrina. If these stories break into the national consciousness, it will hurt Obama, likely fatally.
Things remain too fluid to forecast with any confidence. A lot will depend on turnout. Enthusiasm clearly favors the GOP. And Romney does seem to have a much better ground game this year than McCain did four years ago.
The real issue is how late-deciders will break. In 2004, those who decided in the last three days went for John Kerry by nine points. McCain won those voters by 5 points in 2008, but lost those who decided on Election Day by 5 points.
Late-deciders tend to break against the incumbent. And with Obama increasingly negative, that does seem a most distinct possibility.
In perusing the polls and reading the accounts form the rallies, I am getting mixed signals. The enthusiasm is clearly on our side with Romney drawing rallies that dwarf those for Obama. And keep getting reports of a superabundance of Romney signs in “swing” districts, even in more liberal regions. On Facebook, a blog reader reported seeing as many Romney yard signs as he did Obama signs in Arlington County, Virginia — a county which Obama won in 2008 with 71% of the vote. (He thinks there would be more if people weren’t afraid to show their support in that very liberal jurisdiction.)
So, I’m wondering if there is a hidden Romney vote which is not showing up in polls.
But, polls do show Obama gaining, but still under 50. And early voting in Ohio shows a huge swing in the Republican direction. We’re getting a lot of mixed signals at the end of the campaign.
Perhaps, we’ll see a shift back toward Romney in the next forty-hours. Or perhaps those who have recently decided to back Obama won’t show up at the polls. Bear in mind that lightly attached voters are less likely to vote whereas enthusiastic ones are certain to.
I think the race now is too close to call. In the end, it will depend on turnout. We should certainly see some surprises I gather that Obama’s vote total will be down about 10%, possibly more from 2012. He will not get 50% of the vote — and he may not win.
Everything right now depends on the ground game. And Mitt Romney has a pretty good operation.
Weekend Monkey: OK primates. My final, detailed projections will come out on Monday, over at Joshuapundit, but here’s what I see so far.
I notice that the bookies over at InTrade have Obama at 50.8, which is a bookie’s ploy if I’ve ever seen one. What they’re trying to do is get the suckers to bet on an outright Bamster win against the House taking Romney the Robot with points. That’s exactly how I’m playing it, primates. Anybody who wants to lay some shekels on a Bamster win against Romney with three points, You know where to find me. I got good odds on senate races and individual states as well, so here’s your chance to put your money where your mouths are, baboons, and take this Monkey’s gelt. Hee, hee, hee!
I’ll have detailed picks tomorrow over at Rob’s place, but to make a long story short, I see it coming down to Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania. All of them are pretty much tied and could go either way, the others I feel pretty good about calling. In fact, I predict a major knock down drag out poop throwing fight between the ReThugs and my Democrats over at least one of those states, probably Ohio. Oughta be fun to watch.
I think the ReThugs hang on to the House, but lose maybe 5 seats in places like California where my Democrats control redistricting. In the Senate, I see my Democrats taking one Rethug seats with that weird Indy guy taking the one in Maine, and I see us holding on to four more.I see the ReThugs maybe making 4 pickups and hanging on to one, which makes it 49 Dems, 50 ReThugs, with Indiana as a wild card. If the Rethugs manage to push Mourdock through, they’ll get the majority. If my Democrats win it, it’s a divided senate and either Biden or Paul Ryan is gonna spend a lotta time in DC Land.
Like I said, for more detailed predictions, including my pick for your leader, swing on by tomorrow at Joshuapundit and watch me beat Rob’s brains out with my wisdom. Smell ya later, primates.
The Independent Sentinel: I am not a pollster and there are far more knowledgeable people out there who can put out the numbers with the various electoral paths to the White House. I choose to take a different approach.
Almost all pollsters are now saying President Obama is the likely winner by a slight margin. That is the logical choice at this moment. The polls are, however, within the margin of error and I believe Mitt Romney will win. I have to go back to 2008 to explain.
John McCain was not an exciting candidate and he followed an unpopular president to whom he was tied. The economy crashed the month before the election. His VP choice was successfully demonized. Yet, with all of that, McCain garnered 46% of the popular vote. Do you really think Mitt Romney can’t pick up 4+% and many electoral votes with that 4+%?
President Obama roused the populace with his speeches of hope and change but he can’t duplicate that mystique and fervor because of his failed policies.
Mitt Romney is a far more exciting candidate with a more popular VP choice. He has a background as a successful entrepreneur in a country with a flailing economy.
The minorities who came out for Barack Obama in ’08 are not going to come out in droves as they did before. Pastors are telling their flocks they can’t vote for him. More Catholics and Jews will vote for Romney. Catholics are 25% of the electorate. Evangelicals, who are not affiliated and not counted in the polls, are eager to see Mitt Romney in the White House and they are 23% of the electorate. Women are now even and Independents are even or leaning Romney. Barack Obama simply does not have the overwhelming support of the special interest groups he had before.
Of course, it will be about the Electoral College in the end and, despite failed economic policies and a frightening foreign policy, Barack Obama, with the help of a biased media, is still leading. Romney must win Ohio and other key states. It could go either way. I believe he will pick up enough popular votes in key states to win the college.
Mitt Romney has been at a distinct disadvantage because of the bitter and protracted Primary battle. Barack Obama had his ground game going while Mitt Romney was fending off challengers. President Obama has had the advantage of taxpayer dollars to help fund his campaign.
Barack Obama has the bully pulpit.
He used that bully pulpit this week to tell Americans to vote for him out of revenge. He reminded the American people that he is divisive and self-centered. The revenge he speaks of is to get even with people who opposed him. He believes it is about him… “the Nation, me.” He thankfully reminded us of how divisive and uncompromising he is and he did so in a timely manner for Mitt Romney.
Whichever way this goes, it will be a decisive victory for one candidate or the other. When those electoral votes start falling, we will know quickly. I hope it will be a Romney win because I don’t want to see a Barack Obama with “more flexibility.”
JoshuaPundit: I’m going to keep this fairly brief, because Weekend Monkey and I are going to do some detailed handicapping together over at Joshuapundit tomorrow… and I hate to admit it, but he’s one savvy political animal and he’s been right on the money a lot of the time.
I’ll make one point that may be of interest.
Unlike the rest of us, both Romney and Obama have a pretty decent idea of how things are going and what’s likely to happen next Tuesday, because they both employ their own independent pollsters to do internals which are top secret… only the candidate and his closest aides see them. These are a lot more extensive, detailed and accurate than the sort of polls we’re used to seeing, and the candidates have paid quite a bit of money for them.
I note that Governor Romney is the one who’s smiling, confident and energized, while President Obama is increasingly angry, nasty in demeanor and negative.
There’s an old Yiddish saying that seems to apply here; “Die gevinen lauchen and mach spas und die farliren kvetch und schrei.”
The translation? ‘The winner laughs and makes jokes while the loser complains and cries.’
Based on Romney’s demeanor versus Obama’s. I think we may have something there.
Well, there you have it.
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