Holding Pundits Accountable, Ctd

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Adam Pasick rounded up 36 pundit predictions and Rebecca Greenfield collected more than 70 predictions. The biggest outliers hail from the business arena: Jim Cramer calls it for Obama, projecting 440 electoral votes, while Larry Kudlow expects 330 for Romney. As for more strictly political commentators, Drew Lizner leads the Obama bulls with a prediction of 332 electoral votes. And, fittingly, Dick Morris narrowly edges out Michael Barone’s estimate, giving Romney a 325-vote victory. Below is a sampling of predictions from around the blogosphere. Here’s Sam Wang:

Barack Obama 303 EV, Mitt Romney 235 EV.

Harry Enten:

I’ll go with Obama 303 to Romney 235 in the electoral college as my prediction. … It also seems unlikely that there will be an electoral/popular vote split. The average of all the aggregates pegs Obama with a 1.6 point popular vote victory, which is what I’ll make my final call.

Ezra Klein:

President Obama will win with 290 electoral votes. I’m not extremely confident in the precision of that estimate: Some swing states are close enough that it’s entirely possible for a good ground game to tip, say, Florida into Obama’s column, or Colorado into Romney’s. Virginia is basically tied, and I’m giving it to Romney based on the assumption that challenger wins in a tie, but it could easily go the other way. So if Obama ends up winning with 303, I won’t be surprised.

John Cassidy:

Obama 303, Romney 235. If this were the actual outcome, it would mean that the 2012 election was not as close as the 2004 election, when a Presidential incumbent (George W. Bush) got 286 votes in the electoral college, and his challenger (John Kerry) got 251 votes. But it would be considerably closer than the 1996 election, when the incumbent (Bill Clinton) got 379 votes, and the challenger (Bob Dole) got just 159. Of course, it is just a prediction.

Larry Sabato:

Our final Electoral College projection has the president winning the key swing states of Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Wisconsin and topping Mitt Romney, with 290 electoral votes.

Tim Carney:

Total: Obama 290, Romney 248. Here’s my caveat: When I predicted elections for Novak, I did everything on a discrete, local level. That’s why I was very right in 2002 and 2004. It’s part of why I was wrong in 2008. Some years, there is a big national tide that can overwhelm some of the local dynamics. … The 292-246 Obama victory is most likely, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all by anything up to 331 for Obama, or up to 269 (a tie) for Romney.


Obama 294, Romney 244. No Floridas, no hanging chads, no Supreme Courts. A lot of states will be close, but I think it will be clear enough. Popular vote will be Obama by maybe 1.8 percent, something a shade under 2 percent.


So my final, less-than-courageous prediction is that the swing states will, indeed, all be closer than the current averages suggest, and that Obama will only win those states where he’s leading by more than 2 points in the RealClearPolitics poll of polls, and that there will be one surprise where even a bigger lead isn’t safe … but the surprise will be Iowa rather than Wisconsin or Ohio or and Pennsylvania, and Obama will carry the electoral college by 271 to 267. And for the sake of the republic and all our sanity, I’ll give him a popular vote edge as well: Call it 49.7 to 49.2, the same half-percent margin that Gore enjoyed over Bush in 2000.

James Antle III:

Obama wins, 271 – 267 …  Even if you believe, as I do, that many battleground state pollsters are being overly generous in their Democratic turnout assumptions, it just feels like hoping for too much for that to tip the balance in Romney’s favor in every single swing state where he now trails. This is especially true in the states where Barack Obama isn’t that far below 50 percent.

James Pethokoukis:

Based on both polls and reporting, my best guess is that Mitt Romney will be elected the 45th President of the United States, winning the two-party popular vote 51% to 49% and the electoral vote by 301 to 237 for President Obama.

Rich Lowry:

I said on Sunday I “kinda” think Romney will win. When I repeated that last night on Hugh Hewitt, Hugh laughed at me with the assurance of someone serenely confident in the coming Romney landslide. I told him nothing would please me more than to see him completely vindicated. But it feels like a 49-49 proposition to me. 

Sean Trende:

I think that the popular vote will be close, and that Romney will win North Carolina, Florida, Virginia and Colorado, bringing him just shy of what he needs to win. But I think that Virginia, Colorado, New Hampshire, Iowa and Ohio will be very close, probably around a point each. It wouldn’t take a particularly large error in the national polls for Romney to win these states, however. And all it would take for this thing to turn into a healthy Obama win would be for little Marist polling to outshine Gallup. 

Jonah Goldberg:

I think Romney wins in an absolute nail biter.

A reader absorbs “the more interesting flights of fancy” from NRO’s collective crystal ball:

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage: Romney wins with >300 electoral votes, carrying Minnesota. Bonus prediction: marriage equality fails in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington (all four states in which it’s on the ballot).

Columnist S.E. Cupp: Romney wins by 2 electoral votes, 270 to 268. The winning margin is provided by Wisconsin. But it’s OK because Obama actually wants to lose, kind of.

Charles A. Donovan of the Charlotte Lozier Institute (?): Romney wins presidential race by winning Ohio. And Republicans gain seats in the House.

David French, founder of Evangelicals for Mitt: The House elects Mitt in an Electoral College tie, and Biden wins the VP in the Senate.

Radio host Hugh Hewitt: Mitt wins in a landslide, carrying Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. VP Ryan decides Senate votes in 50-50 split Senate. (I think Hugh just had an orgasm.)

Christian Schneider, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Romney with 291 EV. Wins in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia (but not, interestingly, Wisconsin).

Ben Shapiro, author and radio host (who?): Romney gets 311 in the Electoral College. He wins in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. It’s only close because of those danged medias.