Skip to comments.Barone: Going out on a limb: Romney beats Obama, handily (315-223, wow!)
Posted on 11/02/2012 2:34:59 PM PDT by TonyInOhio
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.
Also, both national and target state polls show that independents, voters who don't identify themselves as Democrats or Republicans, break for Romney.
That might not matter if Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 39 to 32 percent, as they did in the 2008 exit poll. But just about every indicator suggests that Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting -- and about their candidate -- than they were in 2008, and Democrats are less so.
That's been apparent in early or absentee voting, in which Democrats trail their 2008 numbers in target states Virginia, Ohio, Iowa and Nevada.
The Obama campaign strategy, from the beginning, has recognized these handicaps, running barrages of early anti-Romney ads in states that Obama carried narrowly. But other states, not so heavily barraged, have come into contention.
Which candidate will get the electoral votes of the target states? I'll go out on a limb and predict them, in ascending order of 2008 Obama percentages -- fully aware that I'm likely to get some wrong.
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.
Bottom line: Romney 315, Obama 223. That sounds high for Romney. But he could drop Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and still win the election. Fundamentals.
I agree with Michael Barone.
He knows American politics far better than any one alive and I respect his judgment.
I think its a good call. Romney won’t win more than 322 electoral votes max. He can afford to lose a few states and still win the presidency.
What kind of prediction record does Barone have? Just curious.
If I wanted to hear from anyone predicting a Romney victory it would be him.
Keep praying and VOTE!
That is what I was thinking. He is a walking talking voting by precinct all over the USA genius. I’m buying be a bottle of wine for election night. To celebrate. & hopefully starting early. All these threads and polls today have me a little uptight so I’ll need that wine by Tuesday.
This is big time good news! Barone is the most respected in the business when it comes to analyzing this thing all the way down to the CD. Someone said one time that you can ask him about virtually any CD and he can talk for hours about its makeup, its history, touchpoint issues, demographics, etc. He knows US elections like the back of his hand.
Barone has to be pretty confident, normally holds his cards closer to his vest than this, good sign.
Barone can analyse an election down to a block-by-block basis (almost). He must see big stuff for Romney to predict this 4 days out.
Confirming your feel for a Mitt win. You know your stuff and I trust your read more than the pollsters who ask for money and then call it too close to call in the end.
I’m going to be cruising on the Disney Wonder. The only TV channels they get for news are ABC and CNN. I’m pretty nervous, but reading this article may keep me from jumping overboard.
How do you post more than 300 words????
I now feel about 99% better. Barone’s one of the very few pundits who aren’t named Rush Limbaugh I respect.
I’ve been thinking 322, but Barone has a point about the casino turnout machine, so I might be wrong on Nevada.
Barone is brilliant, but what was his prediction in 2008?
Karl Rove was almost on the money in ‘08 and predicted Romney, albeit by a smaller margin than Barone is saying.
The most important fact that I take away from Barone is that less and less voters answer their phones to participate in polls. With caller ID most screen their incoming calls. Personally, I have been not answered numerous calls from IPSOS, Survey USA and various front groups. Michael feels that pollsters are very worried about future techniques they can use to keep their profession viable and cost effective.
Michigan a stretch for sure, but with a declining Detroit population and low turnout....
The surprise could be Nevada based on Mormon turnout. I just don't know if the population in the rural areas is enough to overcome the Union thugs in Clark County.
Final spiking of the football would be one electoral vote in Maine.....