Michael Barone: “Romney beats Obama, handily”

Here’s a Saturday morning salve for all of you sweating this most important presidential election of our lifetimes: Michael Barone, political statistician extraordinaire, says Romney will beat Obama handily.

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. […]

20 thoughts on “Michael Barone: “Romney beats Obama, handily””

  1. It is possible for a candidate to not get a single person’s vote, not one, in 39 states or the District of Columbia (thankfully at least), yet be elected president by wining the popular vote in just 11 of these 12 states:

    New York
    New Jersey
    North Carolina

    There are 538 total votes in the Electoral College and a presidential candidate must win a majority of 270 electoral votes to be elected. Since 11 of the 12 states mentioned above account for exactly 270 votes, a candidate could win these 12 states, lose the other 38, and still be elected.

    In other words, if your state already elected candidate X (meaning at least +51% of the state), all other votes that come past 51% for candidate X mean nothing nationally and if candidate Y is elected your vote for X also has no relevance nationally. In other words, most people do wasted their vote and time.

    It is a winner takes all deal that goes state by state and not vote by vote nationally, which is something I don’t know if I am too fond of. I truly see it as a double edge sword because it will only be a matter of time for leftist to start stuffing their unions and minions in these key swing states as it has been done in some socialist nations in Europe.

    Of course, a candidate popular enough to win key states will almost certainly win similarly in some smaller states and the electoral vote has almost always reflected the popular vote, but the fact that the future of the entire nation could depend on Ohio (?) is not something that excites me. But hey, this is no election to sit on ones hands and speculate even if one lives in Wisconsin.

  2. When I read the analyses like Barones’ focusing on independents, I do get the impression that they are focusing too much on independents and ignoring other factors. E.g., like the effect of omitting cellphone users from the surveys, to name just one.

    Based on what I read, and with no access to the raw data myself, I am not willing to make a prediction about the election. Except that, no matter who wins, many on the other side will claim that the election was ‘stolen’ (safe prediction because it works both ways!).

    Love him or hate him, I think this srticle from Nate Silver about the general state of polls is an informative one:


    Summary: If Romney wins in the face of the polling data Silver has reviewed, then the polls (overall) must have been greatly biased against Romney.

  3. Yep, we’ve all ready Nate Silver’s analysis *yawn* how he picks and chooses which ones to weigh, and since he was right in 2008 (but NOT in 2010) many give credence to what he says. All of these polls-and most recently the Maris/NBC/WSJ polls give us the garbage in garbage out–assumptions on turnout by dems, and enthusiasm by independents to give a skewed poll result. They are trying to demoralize our side and get out side not to come out-which isn’t going to happen. Provided, that indeed they don’t steal the election (not count military votes, have machines that miraculously come out Obama when someone chooses Romney, have black panther’s at polling sites intimidating/not allowing folks to vote) I think we will win-and possibly higher than we think. The MSM now has a Pravda type slant/feeling about them. I used to think it was paranoia when I’d hear some voice that sentiment, but no longer.

  4. Raddoc, Silver’s predictions in 2010 were not as bad as you suggest.

    [Link removed]

    The 538 model had forecast a net pickup of 7 seats by the Republicans in the Senate, but the outcome was a pickup of 6 seats.

    In final vote tallys as of December 10, 2010, the Republicans had a net gain of 63 seats in the House, 8 more than the total predicted on election eve though still within the reported confidence interval.

    Of the 37 gubernatorial races, FiveThirtyEight correctly predicted the winner of 36

  5. Words have meaning Fuzzy.

    Rasmussen and Gallup have predicted a Romney win, whether or not they show Obama and Governor Romney tied in the national polls doesn’t change their predictions…so unless you can provide a link to Rasmussen and Gallup recanting their predictions, then the predictions stands.

    You do understand the subtle difference, don’t you Fuzzy?

    It’s like when I predicted that the Colts would beat Green Bay, and my asshole next door neighbor pointed out that the Packers were up by 5 with less than a minute left to play.

    The Pack lost.

    A prediction is about the outcome of the race Fuzzy, not about the current standing.

  6. George, facts are facts, people can verify what I said about Silver’s 2010 predictions elsewhere.

    Luis, do you have a link for the Gallup prediction you are talking about? An actual link fron Gallup, in which it predicts a Romney win? I have seen other sites ‘put words into’ Gallup’s mouth but I think they are twisting what Gallup actually said.

    Gallup directly addressed what I believe you are talking about, the implications of a split by party ID. Gallup basically said that people are reading more into it than there is:


  7. Luis, while you are at it, where and when did Rasmussen predict a Romney win? Do you have a link you can provide? I searched, but I could not find the prediction you are talking about.

    The one I provided from Ramussen has R and O tied nationally, and it ALSO gives O the electoral college advantage. Although, ultimately, it does not make a final prediction. So I am curious what you saw, and when and where it was.

  8. Fuzzy…I am not your research assistant.

    The fact that you couldn’t find something that I mentioned means that you basically suck at doing research.

    I am not in charge of making you agree with my conclusions, nor do I care if you do.

  9. “The fact that you couldn’t find something that I mentioned means that you basically suck at doing research.
    I am not in charge of making you agree with my conclusions, nor do I care if you do.”

    Translation: I don’t have a link, I pulled that Rasmussen prediction out of my ass and I’m happy living in my own reality until November 6, thank you very much.

  10. Luis, get real. I can’t find it because it does not exist. OTOH, here is Rasmussen himself writing: “it’s somewhat surprising that heading into the final weekend of the election season, we are unable to confidently project who is likely to win the White House.”


    But if you would rather live in a fantasy world, fine.

  11. Fuzzy, you can’t find it because you don’t want to find it.

    I found it.

    I am satisfied with the assessments made, based on Rasmussen’s data which showed Romney winning 279 electoral votes.

    Google it, and you’ll find it.

    I don’t have the slightest interest in whether or not you agree with what you read.

  12. An “assessment made, based on Rasmussen’s data”, or on Gallup’s for that matter, by a third party is a far cry from a prediction made by Rasmussen or Gallup themselves.

    The fact remains that Rasmussen and Gallup themselves have not made the prediction you claimed they did. See links I cited previously.

    Rasmussen himself said “we are unable to confidently project who is likely to win the White House” and I cannot make it any clearer to you than that.

  13. Fuzzy…your opinion plus $2.11 will buy a large cup of coffee at my local Dunkin Donuts.

    You seem to labor, as most liberals seem to do, under the false premise that you get to delimit what constitutes satisfactory opinions or appropriate language from anyone else.

    You don’t.

    Both Gallup and Rasmussen have projected numbers which indicate a victory by Romney. Whether as a result of measuring Party ID, enthusiasm, and historical election-day turnout by Republicans vs. Democrats, I accepted Rasmussen’s projected outcome.

    You don’t agree?

    I couldn’t give less of a shit if I actually tried to.

    You don’t like what I posted?

    Go construct yourself a blog, and post there.

  14. Some people seem to miss the point that I have been defending Rasmussen this entire time.

    Like I said, Rasmussen _himself_ NEVER predicted a Romney victory. Only certain conservative snake oil salesmen (e.g. Barone and his ilk) spinning the numbers and peddling their product to suckers did that. And you bought it.

    But, fine, let it be as you claim Luis. Let it be that Rasmussen projected a Romney win (even though Rasmussen himself in fact did not). But if it was as you say, if that was the case, and if Romney loses (something I am not ready to concede yet), then Rasmussen is an unmitigated idiot. What does that say about the people who follow him?

  15. Fuzzy…I wouldn’t expect anything less than you coming to gloat.

    I may have bought what Barone said, but in doing so, I did the nation no harm.

    You on the other hand, have bought into Obama’s Eurosocialism, and that harms the nation.

    I respect this blog, so I will not bid you goodnight the way that I want to, so I’ll say it in Brooklynese…

    “Have a nice day.”

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