In political punditry, as in the larger real world, there are certain things that are just unarguable. If you add 2 to 2 you end up with 4. Objects attract each other with a force proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Fox News is “fair” and “balanced.” The higher the turnout in an election, the better the prospects for the Democratic candidate. Ann Coulter is a horrible person. The Log Cabin Republicans confuse even other Republicans.
And Dick Morris is always wrong.
The result was that the presidential race reached a tipping point. Reasonable voters saw that the voice of hope and optimism and positivism was Romney while the president was only a nitpicking, quarrelsome, negative figure. The contrast does not work in Obama’s favor.
His erosion began shortly after the conventions when Indiana (10 votes) and North Carolina (15) moved to Romney (in addition to the 179 votes that states that McCain carried cast this year).
Then, in October, Obama lost the Southern swing states of Florida (29) and Virginia (13). He also lost Colorado (10), bringing his total to 255 votes.
And now, he faces the erosion of the northern swing states: Ohio (18), New Hampshire (4) and Iowa (6). Only in the union-anchored state of Nevada (9) does Obama still cling to a lead.
In the next few days, the battle will move to Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (15), Wisconsin (10) and Minnesota (16). Ahead in Pennsylvania, tied in Michigan and Wisconsin, and slightly behind in Minnesota, these new swing states look to be the battleground.
Or will the Romney momentum grow and wash into formerly safe Democratic territory in New Jersey and Oregon?
Once everyone discovers that the emperor has no clothes (or that Obama has no argument after the negative ads stopped working), the vote shift could be of historic proportions.
Sure, lots of conservative pundits picked Romney to win this election, and every indication suggests that they actually believed in the prediction; it wasn’t just hype. But those pundits lack Dick Morris impressive track record of ineptitude. If Dick Morris told me that Sasquatches (still like Sasquatchi) were non-existent, I would start looking for one. If he told me that Obama was born in Hawaii, I’d start asking if the birth certificate was a forgery.
And now that the election is over and all of the conservatives, convinced by the right wing echo chamber that Romney would win easily, deal with the actual results, we get to see those that claimed the polls were skewed and the electorate loved Mitt explain how they got this election so hilariously wrong. Which leads to headlines such as this, from Jason Linkins at the HuffPo:
Dick Morris Falls On His Sword For Wrong Predictions, Misses Sword
Can Dick Morris be such a horrible pundit that he gets this election wrong after it has already taken place?
I’ve got egg on my face. I predicted a Romney landslide and, instead, we ended up with an Obama squeaker.
An Obama “squeaker”? Wait, what?!?
Back in the HuffPo piece, Linkins lists a few reasons that conservative pundits may have been mistaken about this race, then gets back to Morris:
Does Morris go on to cite any of these factors in his mea culpa? Nope. He is thoroughly convinced that he was undone by the weather.
But the more proximate cause of my error was that I did not take full account of the impact of hurricane Sandy and of Governor Chris Christie’s bipartisan march through New Jersey arm in arm with President Obama. Not to mention Christie’s fawning promotion of Obama’s presidential leadership.It made all the difference.
Not really, actually! Philip Bump put together a simple graphic that illustrates the fact that Romney’s momentum had ceased and Obama’s had picked up again well before Sandy even got her name, and that by the time the storm made landfall, the race was no longer looking like a squeaker. The whole “Sandy altered the race because Chris Christie hung out with Obama” notion is just one more casualty in this year’s war between “pundit narrative nonsense” and “quantifiable political science,” won decisively by the scientists.
Not to worry, though. Morris will nevertheless enjoy another four-year term of being wrong and ridiculous, which only goes to prove that America is a great and charitable nation.
For just an added bit of humor, remember Dick’s prediction for the Senate this year?
The most likely outcome? Eight GOP takeaways and two giveaways for a net gain of six. A 53-47 Senate, just like we have now, only opposite.
By the way, the runner-up for the “Dick Morris Related Headline of the Week” Award was “Jason Linkins Wins ‘Dick Morris Related Headline of the Week’ Award I Just Created”. You know, in case you were wondering.