Monday, November 5, 2012

Election 2012 - The Predictions

Good morning and welcome to the pre-election edition of O-pinion, the editorial board's blog.

We're less than 24 hours away from Election Day. National polls continue to show a very tight race. State polls show that President Barack Obama has a slightly more favorable map than Republican Mitt Romney.

What are the pollsters and pundits predicting? Our prediction below.

The Polls

Let's start with the most-talked about poll cruncher, Nate Silver of the New York Times. His FiveThirtyEight blog's calculations, scorned by Republicans but very accurate in 2008, show Obama with an 86.3 percent chance of winning to Romney's 13.7 as of this morning. The electoral college prediction: 307.2 - 230.8.

The reason, says Silver, is simple: State polls don't lie. Historically, they are a remarkably accurate predictor of what happens on Election Day. With polls in critical states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Iowa tilting consistently toward Obama, a widespread statistical bias would have to exist for them to be wrong. Not impossible, Silver says, but not likely.

The Real Clear Politics roundup of polls has Obama leading narrowly 47.8-47.4 in national polls, but with a more comfortable 303-235 electoral college lead. Both RCP and FiveThirtyEight have Romney winning North Carolina.

For conservatives who believe the polls don't reflect a Republican enthusiasm that will be reflected in turnout, take heart in Republican-leaning pollster Rasmussen Reports, which has Romney and Obama tied at 49 nationally and tied in Ohio - key to a Romney victory.

The Pundits

NYT liberal columnist Paul Krugman says it's stupid to call it a close race. 

Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staff for President George W. Bush, says data and anecdotal evidence of enthusiam points to a Romney win.

Ben Domenech of the political blog The Transom predicts that Obama's failure with whites and independents will "sink" him. Romney 278-260, he says.

Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics says Obama 290-248.

Conservative blogger Eric Erickson of RedState says he wavers by the hour, but believes (at least as of Friday) that Romney will win Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado and Florida on his way to a 285-253 electoral college victory. political guru Mark Halperin, on MSNBC's Morning Joe today, hints more than predicts:

The President’s team has plenty of enthusiasm. They clearly have a strong turnout operation. Their micro-targeting efforts are much more sophisticated than, I think, they’ve led us to believe so far. We will find out later. But if you’re a Republican and you want something to hang this on, enthusiasm, you go to the storm. You’re right. There are plenty of Republicans close to the Romney campaign who are saying, basically, if we lose this, it will be because of the storm. We’ll never know.
The members of ABC's "This Week" roundtable largely favor Obama: GEORGE WILL - Romney: 321, Obama: 217; COKIE ROBERTS - Obama: 294, Romney: 234; RONALD BROWNSTEIN - Obama: 288, Romney: 250; MATTHEW DOWD - Obama: 303, Romney: 235; DONNA BRAZILE - Obama: 313, Romney: 225.

Dean Chambers of Unskewed Polls, which has contended that most presidential polling suffers from sampling errors, says Romney will win Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin on his way to a 311-227 romp.

The O-pinion projection? Conservatives should be encouraged by the comparative enthusiasm of the crowds at Romney rallies over the weekend. A promising sign for turnout in states like Ohio tomorrow? Maybe. But unless the polls are historically inaccurate, Obama has an unmistakeable edge in swing states. Obama 286, Romney 252. Here's our electoral map.

Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Peter St. Onge



faithplusnothing said...

I don't listen to the Observer at all. They are biased as most of the media are. Who cares??/

Wiley Coyote said...


When will you do a story on the hypocrisy of Vilma Leake, who along with a few other BOCC, members attended the racist rally of Louis Farrakhan, the same group listed as a hate organization by the Southern Poverty Law Center?

These are the same people who support Barack H. Obama.

Skippy said...

What poll are the genius's at the Observer referring to?

The latest CNN national poll of likely voters, which shows a 49%-49% tie between Republican challenger Mitt Romney and incumbent President Barack Obama, is either absurd, or very good news for the GOP--or both.
Romney has gained 3 points since the last time CNN ran its poll, in late September, when Obama led 50%-47%. That is good news for the Republican ticket, especially since the poll was conducted after Hurricane Sandy.

Yet there is something odd--and even ridiculous--in the poll's sample: of the 693 likely voters in the total sample of 1,010 adults polled, "41% described themselves as Democrats, 29% described themselves as Independents, and 30% described themselves as Republicans."

In other words, the poll is a D+11 outlier.

Anonymous said...

All these polls have at least a +3 advantage of Democrats that are polled. I just don't see that the majority of the country identifies themselves as Democrat.

Nate Silver says state polls don't lie, what about 2004. The poll in Ohio stated Kerry was up 3-4 points before election day. Bush ended up carrying the State.

It will be close and depend on turnout.

Wiley Coyote said...

We'll find out tomorrow what the switchability ratio of Democrats is....

Anonymous said...

I actually agree with your map 49 out of 50. Where I disagree with you is Ohio. Karl Rove has been on Fox News breaking down the poll numbers there for several months. Just about every poll taken in Ohio since early summer has had 8-10% more self-identified Democrats than self-identified Republicans in the survey. In other words, the pollsters are convinced that the difference between Dem. voters and Repub. voters will be even wider than in 2008. This is a foolish assumption. The number of registered Democrats in Cayahuga county (Cleveland) has plummetted since '08. Republicans are also doing better than '08 in Hamilton county (Cincinnati). I think Romney is going to win Ohio and the election, 270-268.

What I really dread is if there actually is ONE state that decides this, that whoever loses will go all Al Gore on us and file about a million lawsuits.

Nckate2012 said...

When is the Observer going to cover the story of the Chapel Hill guy saying he voted four times early and planned on voting on Election Day as well? He was involved in voter registration. Maybe he did polls too.

Anonymous said...

Nckate2012 - That must have been a hoax. There is no such thing as voter fraud; it doesn't exist. Republicans created the concept of "voter fraud" out of thin air because they hate all black and Hispanic people and are trying to keep them from voting. David Axelrod, Stephanie Cutter, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson said so. And they are pure as newborn babies. They have never told a lie in their lives, ever. In fact, the same could be said of every human being that has ever identified him or herself as a Democrat. Democrats are perfect people, incapable of ever doing anything wrong. Republicans, of course, are incapable of ever doing anything other than evil.