The Right Sphere’s 2012 Predictions
I thought this day would never come. We are literally hours from America deciding who will reside in the White House for the next four years: the miserably incompetent failure we know as President Obama, or the much needed change America deserves, Governor Mitt Romney. I’ve gathered all of The Right Sphere’s contributors’ predictions for what will go down on Tuesday night, with one notable abstention. Below is the contributor’s name, their map (screenshots from 270towin.com), and the explanations for their predictions. Hopefully most of these are right!
I’m a naturally cautious type of guy. I understand that at the heart of it, this election is a toss up. So when I sat down to make my map, I was expecting to have Mitt lose by 10 electoral votes or so or win by as many. But as I started making my decisions, I just couldn’t get past 3 things: The first is the GOP base. If 2010 taught us anything, it’s to never underestimate the GOP base and tea party. They got Scott Walker and Ron Johnson elected in Wisconsin, Rob Portman and John Kasich in Ohio, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott in Florida and Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire. The list goes on.
The second is the polling. I understand that the polling this year has been shaky at best. From the polls earlier that showed Obama delivering a shellacking of his own to the polls showing Romney with a national lead, it’s all been wild and unpredictable. But there have been a few underlying trends: overstated Democratic turnout and a Romney lead among independents. I believe the combination of these two means that GOP turnout will be higher than expected and Democratic turnout lower, which means independents put Romney over the top.
The third indicator of a Romney win to me is the overall approval Romney has when it comes to things that matter right now. Romney leads in the all-important jobs and the economy question and a majority of Americans believe we’re on the wrong track. What undecideds there are that are left will remember 8% unemployment and swing for Romney. That will put the icing on the cake.
I gave Romney Wisconsin because of his declining white support and foolishness of making this a base election while Romney appeals to the center. I was also tempted to give Romney Pennsylvania in a surprise, but I fear that may be a bridge too far. Either way, a win is a win.
Governor Mitt Romney will be the next President of the United States with a comfortable victory on Tuesday. I predict the popular vote will be +4.3% and the Electoral College will be 285 to 253 based on a final voter affiliation spread of +1.9% favoring the Democrats. The projected party spread of 1.9% was calculated using average party affiliations and voter enthusiasm numbers from the last dozen national polls. Additionally the average decline in support for President Obama from 2008 in the eight swing states estimates the same spread.
Colorado: Romney - Advantages in favorability and handling the economy combined with a stronger Republican enthusiasm put Colorado in the Romney column. Florida: Romney - Romney made big gains following the first debate and has never looked back since. This momentum plus his advantage with seniors makes this one a no-brainer for Romney. Iowa: Romney - The numbers say this one will be tight but a 4% lead in handling the economy and the Evangelical vote will let Romney squeak by and add this one to the win column.
Michigan: Obama - Obama played this one well and established a narrative and early lead that Romney just cannot overcome. Not one of my *eight swing states* but this one is solidly Obama’s. Nevada: Obama - With his big lead among Latinos and the upper-hand in favorability and handling the economy, the numbers give this one to Obama. However if the Mormon vote is much larger than anticipated this could be a surprise winner for Romney. New Hampshire: Romney - Strong favorability and handling the economy numbers plus a smaller but valuable edge in Independent support and voter enthusiasm push this one to Romney.
Ohio: Romney - The tightest of the tight with the numbers, on the surface, making it almost impossible to call but the last six polls averaged a D +6% sampling and by the slightest of margins that swings this plum to Romney. Pennsylvania: Obama - The upset opportunity of the election but Obama’s early lead and strength in the Philly area make this just a bit too much of a stretch for Romney and I’m keeping it where I’ve had it, Obama.
Virginia: Romney - A double-digit lead with Independents is probably enough to slide this one under the Romney column but, here again, the last six polls are oversampled with Democrats and the real numbers make this one easier than expected for Romney. Wisconsin: Obama - Another upset possibility but Obama is just strong enough across the board to hang on to this one and has a reasonable edge with Independents, advantage Obama.
In conclusion, it comes down to very small deltas in virtually every swing state but Romney has just enough of enough where he needs it and when the smoke settles on Tuesday he will be the President-Elect.
Much of the media will be staring at the electoral college map with disbelief when Wednesday morning rolls around. The Obama campaign’s fairy tale ambition of expanding the Democratic coalition into the south will have failed. Instead, Romney will have been highly competitive in the upper Midwest.
In Minnesota, Romney comes close but Obama squeezes past him to take the win. In Wisconsin, the Republican GOTV effort hasn’t been this good in decades, receiving considerable training during the 2010 and recall elections. Romney also takes Ohio after the Democratic vote suffers from depression in the urban areas and the Republican base is fired up like never before.
Wisconsin and Iowa takes home the prize for Romney. New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada and Colorado won’t matter.
I predict Mitt Romney wins a solid victory Tuesday with 296 electoral college votes to President Obama’s 242. The short version of my logic is this: Romney is winning every poll of likely voters nationally, and is either up slightly, tied, or down slightly in each plausible swing state. My hunch is that while the polling percentages are fairly accurate, the estimates of voter turnout ratios may be off. Based on extemporaneous evidence, I expect GOP turnout to be near record highs, and Democrat turnout to be substantially lower than four years ago. Those two factors combined make me confident that Romney has both the national support and the extra umph in needed states to win by a comfortable margin.
We have seen many examples throughout the course of Obama’s term in office that point to a much intensified and urgent conservative base, as well as displays of frustration and irritation from moderates and independents. The emergence of the Tea Party, the 2010 GOP victories, Scott Walker’s recall victory this past summer, Chick-fil-a Day, the huge public swing towards Romney after the first presidential debate, and others. Couple those examples with Obama rally attendance that pales in comparison to his 2008 numbers, and I believe a majority of voters have seen enough of the President and are willing to help give Romney a chance. Things just seem to be falling into the correct places for Mitt. For example, I’ve said for months that if Republicans were ever going to win Wisconsin, 2012 could be the year. Scott Walker’s big win revealed that the state may be ready to reject the liberalism that abounds there, Romney’s VP pick Paul Ryan is a WI congressman, and popular RNC chair Reince Priebus calls Wisconsin home as well.
The Obama campaign’s extensive attacks in Ohio on Romney’s opposition to the auto-bailout seem to have largely misfired, as the race is virtually tied there according to the polling average. Other traditional “Blue Wall” states seem to be wavering, including NV (who had the country’s worst economy for years, and it has only gotten worse), PA, OR, MN, and MI. If Romney manages to steal one or two of these, and combined with almost sure wins in FL, NC, and VA, we could be looking at a landslide.
As it is, I say Romney wins just short of 300 electoral votes. Somewhere between winning by a thread and a blowout. Romney 296, Obama 242.