Monday, November 5th, 2012
13

Who Will Be the Wrongest Pundit of Them All?

You have until midnight tonight to get in your bets for The Awl 2012 Electoral College Pool. WHO WILL WIN? Maybe Mitt Romney. Maybe you! Maybe both you and Mitt Romney.

In the name of accountability, here's your one-stop shop for taunting the punditocracy after the election. Here are assertions from notable pundits about who will win the actual electoral college betting pool.

Romney Wins

Walter Kirn, political correspondent for the New Republic, believes from his time on the road that the polls and the analysts are going down.

Dick Morris: On The Hill, Oct. 30: "Opinion: Here comes the landslide." And on dickmorris.com, Nov. 2: "There are many reasons that Obama will lose—by a lot—on Tuesday." Specifically, he's going 325 for Romney—which includes Minnesota.

Karl Rove, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 31: "Mitt Romney will be declared America's 45th president. Let's call it 51%-48%, with Mr. Romney carrying at least 279 Electoral College votes, probably more."

Larry O'Connor, Editor-in-Chief at Breitbart.TV, is going Romney 295, Obama 243.

Michael Barone of the Washington Examiner: "Going out on a limb: Romney beats Obama, handily," Nov. 2: "Bottom line: Romney 315, Obama 223." Barone specifically predicts that Romney will win Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Alex Castellanos predicts Romney. "My experience is that the Beatles were right: Money can't buy you love, or turnout."

George Will: On "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Nov. 4. Romney in a landslide, 321–217. "I guess the wild card in what I've projected is that I'm projecting Minnesota to go for Romney." Will also predicts that evangelicals who turn out in order to vote to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota will tip the scales there toward Romney, despite that it is the only state to have voted for the Democrat in nine straight presidential elections.

Kathryn Lopez of the National Review also agrees with Will on this one, and that Romney will win because of the "marriage vote."

Kevin Eder, of the Media Research Center, is going Romney 281, Obama 257.

Ellen Carmichael, former Herman Cain spokesperson, says Romney and Scott Brown will win, "rooted in facts."

A notable Congresswoman from Minnesota is excited.

Charles Krauthammer, on Fox News, Nov. 3:

SEAN HANNITY: Charles Krauthammer, your best prediction.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Romney. Very close, but he'll win the popular by I think about half a point, electoral college probably, uh, a very narrow margin.

Jay Cost, Weekly Standard, "Morning Jay: Why Romney Is Likely to Win," Nov. 2: "I am not willing to take polls at face value anymore. I am more interested in connecting the polls to history and the long-run structure of American politics, and when I do that I see a Romney victory."

Newt Gingrich, on Fox News, Oct. 25: "I believe the minimum result will be 53–47 Romney, over 300 electoral votes, and the Republicans will pick up the Senate."

William Kristol, "Marvelous Mitt," Weekly Standard, Oct. 26: "As president, Mitt Romney will have the extraordinary opportunity to rescue America from the spirits of the shady night of a decadent liberalism, and lead the nation onto the broad sunlit uplands of solvency, prosperity, and, yes, greatness."

Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary under George W. Bush and CNN analyst, comes in with minimum 271 for Romney.

Finally, for comparison, Mitt Romney's political director Rich Beeson predicted they'd get "more than 300 electoral college votes."

Obama Wins

Jim Cramer of CNBC's "Mad Money," in the Washington Post, Nov. 3, predicts that Obama will win 440 electoral votes to Romney's 98. "The presidential race is nowhere as close as the polls suggest."

Charles Gibson, former ABC World News anchor, speech at Quinnipiac University, Sep. 20: "But folks, Barack Obama's gonna win."

David Gergen, speech in Walnut Creek, CA, Oct. 24: "[Gergen] predicted Obama will win, boldly asserting the split would be 53 (Obama) to 47 (Romney)."

Here's Jamelle Bouie, in the American Prospect: "An Obama win in New Hampshire, Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Colorado, and Nevada, with Romney wins in North Carolina and Florida. That means the president claims 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 235, and he ekes out a popular-vote victory of 50.4 percent to Romney’s 48.2."

Former governor and current War Room-er Jennifer Granholm:

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post, Nov. 3. Obama will win narrowly, Cillizza says, collecting 277 electoral votes.

Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC, Christina Bellantoni of PBS NewsHour, and Juan Williams of Fox News (yes, the one who got fired from NPR) all independently predicted, on Nov. 3 in the Washington Post, that Obama will win by a score of 290-248. My hunch is that they are matching Nate Silver’s call on 49 states, but awarding Virginia to Romney rather than Obama. That's precisely the map that Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia Center for Politics projected today. Another possibility is that they are matching Silver's map in 48 states, but flipping Colorado and New Hampshire to Romney.

Matthew Dowd, on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Nov. 4.

Talking head Paul Begala:

Allan Lichtman, author of Keys to the White House, predicts an Obama victory. He has correctly picked the winner of the popular vote in every presidential election since he began using his "13 keys" system in the 1984 race. But note that he gets an asterisk for 2000, when Al Gore, his selection, won the popular vote but lost the election.

Brit Hume, on Fox News, Nov. 4. Hume did not unambiguously make a prediction, but he said: "And we're about to find out whether these state-level sentiments [favoring Obama] that are measured with relatively small samples of voters turn out to be correct. I think it's unlikely— it's hard to imagine as a political journalist that these many polls are off."

Finally, for comparison, Joe Biden didn't put numbers to it, but declared they'd handily win and take "Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and New Hampshire," with an "even chance in Virginia and Florida."

My own prediction, since we're here, is that Obama will win with 323 electoral votes. Where I differ from the 538 model is that I think Romney will take Colorado, but that Obama, as I said last week, will pull off an upset worth 29 electoral votes.

If you want to get in the game, because clearly anyone can play, join The Awl Electoral College Pool.


Evan Hughes is the author of Literary Brooklyn. He's on Twitter, making with the predictions.

13 Comments / Post A Comment

SkinnyNerd (#224,784)

This map is lacking some green. When my girlfriend Jill Stein wins, all these pundits are going to be red and blue in the face.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

Aside from all the other reasons not to want to Romney to win, now I'm worried that all these jokers who don't understand statistics would feel they've been proved correct!

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@stuffisthings Exactly. If Romney wins, never mind the evolution, math will be banned from schools as useless.

Smitros (#5,315)

Shouldn't Thomas Friedman be in here somewhere, just because?

Ham Snadwich (#11,842)

@Smitros – I usually think of Friedman as not so much wrong, just completely and totally obvious. And is usually struck by his "insights" looking out the window of a McDonalds in Dubai.

George W. Bush: 420
Pat Paulsen: 118

You heard it here first, folks.

Keith Kisser (#9,714)

I like how the Republican predictions aren't even remotely tethered to reality. "Screw your queer math! Romney will get 692 electoral votes! How's that strike ya, Nate Sssssilver?"

My prediction is that the GOP looses so bad, they finally just declare all science to be the Devil's handiwork and becomes the most spiteful religion in history. By 2016, they'll be remembered only for that one time they left a bag of flaming dog poop on Richard Dawkins' front porch.

Sutton (#1,490)

I hope everyone is wrong.

phil@twitter (#239,202)

538 now has FL as 52% chance going to Obama, so giving the Prez those electoral votes isn't really defying Silver…

Evan Hughes (#11,164)

@phil@twitter Yeah, his model for FL turned blue after this posted. Notice my tweet was from 10/30! Clearly Silver is trying to screw up my potential claim to bragging rights.

Ham Snadwich (#11,842)

The answer is always Bill Kristol.

Mackenzie Kelly (#8,235)

Aroint Romney! Begone!

Mackenzie Kelly (#8,235)

@Mackenzie Kelly Mitt, on way out, close the door quietly, please.

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