The day has arrived. In about twenty-four hours, the stains of Barack Obama will be wiped clean and honor and dignity will be restored to The White House under Governor Mitt Romney. It hasn't been an easy road. Conservatives waged a brutal primary battle that left us with a scarred nominee – Romney – coming out of the gate to take on President Obama in the general. However, he licked his wounds, redeployed his campaign assets, and was laser focused on Barack Obama's miserable record of debt, deficits, and high unemployment. As a result, he's polling slightly ahead of the President on Election Eve, and I'm confident Governor Romney will be the next President of the United States.
Granted there were some bumps in the road. The last week of August and the whole month of September were especially lackluster – but his resounding and decisive victory in the first, and most important, presidential debate altered the electoral map in a way liberals couldn't imagine. His surge in the polls with women decimated Obama's double-digit lead amongst them, and Romney's double-digit lead amongst independents will prove valuable in the generals, as well as the down ticket races in the House and Senate. Right now, I have Gov. Romney winning the 2012 Election with 289 electoral votes to Obama's 249. Some pundits, like George Will, predict a 321 Electoral landslide for Mitt Romney, but I'm more reserved.
First, to even begin to contemplate such a mandate, Romney needs to win Pennsylvania – a state that hasn't gone Republican since 1988. While some polls show that the races is tied (Romney is shown trailing by 2-4 points on D+8 polls) – I'm just not ready to bet the mortgage on a state we have failed to lock up for almost a quarter century. Granted, the 2011 county courthouse races were indicative that Democrats in the western part of the state – the bitter clingers who are mostly pro-life and pro-gun rights – were getting sick of liberal policies. Republicans took Westmoreland County for the first time in fifty years. Now, Republicans control 51 of the 67 counties in PA, with most of the inroads being in the western part of the state. Republican media consultant Michael Hudome wrote on The Daily Caller on Nov. 2 that "half of the NRA membership in the entire country is within a four-hour drive of Pittsburgh."
Recent electoral results signal a Republican surge in the Commonwealth. Conservative Pat Toomey was elected to the Senate in 2010 despite the best efforts of the White House.
Republicans control 12 of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional seats. In the crucial Philadelphia suburbs, Democrats were only able to offer token opposition to Congressmen Mike Fitzpatrick and Patrick Meehan this year. In those critical counties near Philly, Governor Romney is a perfect fit for Independent and Republican women. Polls suggest there is no gender gap.
This election, voter intensity favors Republicans. Senator Bob Casey (of the Potted Plant Party) has his hands full with a challenge from businessman Tom Smith. Recent polls show that race is a toss-up.Given all these factors, it’s no wonder Romney and his allies have started an air war. In fact, Republicans have spent enough money on ads in Pennsylvania in the past week to fund a solid, month-long ad campaign in the state.
Furthermore, "semi-defrocked" Republican strategist Mike Murphy recently tweeted that if Romney is trailing by two in the PA polls – he wins Ohio.
In the end, it'll all be about turnout, but I'm cautiously pessimistic about the Keystone State. I think Obama will eek out a win here. However, I will bet that Tom Smith, the Republican Senate candidate, will defeat incumbent Democrat Bob Casey, Jr. He made up a deficit of almost twenty points in the polls, and flooded the state with ads to hammer at Casey. It has worked. The race is a virtual tie. With Casey's nonexistent campaign and low enthusiasm from Democratic voters, I think Smith will win.
Now, concerning the Buckeye State, Obama is trying to over-perform in the auto/industrial areas of Toledo and Akron. However, in an election where Democratic enthusiasm isn't nearly as high as Republicans, it'll be an uphill struggle. Whereas Mitt Romney is taking a page from George W. Bush in '04 centering on the southeast portion of the state – coal country – and the swing suburbs around Cincinnati. As of now, the race is tied – but The American Spectator's Robert Stacy McCain has been on the Romney campaign crawl and posted this on Election Eve.
[ Ali] Akbar [Republican operative] stayed up all night Saturday poring over Ohio early-voting totals, comparing them to previous elections, studying recent Buckeye State polls, and crunching the numbers before waking me up before 8 a.m. Sunday to declare, "We've got Ohio." His analysis of the early-vote numbers and his interpretation of the latest Columbus Dispatch poll as bad news for Obama quickly inspired an online buzz among Republicans who have been worried sick over Ohio. Even at the mid-October apex of Romney's surge, the Republican never led the Real Clear Politics average of polls in this crucial battleground state. Although Obama's lead has never been large -- as of Sunday, he led the RCP Ohio average by 2.8 points -- it has been remarkably persistent, prompting much theorizing about the factors behind it. The economy in Ohio hasn't been quite as hard-hit as some other states; unemployment is only 7 percent. Ads from the Obama campaign have hit Romney hard for his opposition to the GM and Chrysler bailout, a reasonably popular measure in Ohio, where auto manufacturing jobs are a vital part of the state's economy.
However, it's a false narrative considering that Mr. Romney's plan would have also saved the auto industry, which was reaffirmed in yesterday's Wall Street Journal by auto expert Edward Niedermeyer. However, the trend with overall early voting doesn't favor Obama. Gallup stated that 15% of the electorate has already voted and they're splitting 52%-46% in Romney's favor.
Given the Obama administration's 'War on Coal,' I will hedge my bets that there will be a high turnout from these counties adjacent to the Appalachian Trail, but if Hamilton County swings Republican, we can all breath a sigh of relief.
In Wisconsin, I didn't give this to Romney because it's Paul Ryan's home state, and therefore, a safe win. As George Will aptly noted back in April:
...in the 16 elections since World War II, 10 presidential candidates have failed to carry the home state of their vice presidential running mates. Gov. Earl Warren could not carry California for Tom Dewey in 1948; Sen. Estes Kefauver could not carry Tennessee for Adlai Stevenson in 1956; former senator Henry Cabot Lodge could not carry Massachusetts for Richard Nixon in 1960; Rep. Bill Miller could not carry New York for Barry Goldwater in 1964; Gov. Spiro Agnew could not carry Maryland for Nixon in 1968; Sargent Shriver could not carry Maryland for George McGovern in 1972; Rep. Geraldine Ferraro could not carry New York (or women, or even her congressional district) for Walter Mondale in 1984; Sen. Lloyd Bentsen could not carry Texas for Michael Dukakis in 1988; Jack Kemp could not carry New York for Bob Dole in 1996; Sen. John Edwards could not carry North Carolina for John Kerry in 2004.
No, it's because no state has swung more to the right in the Midwest than Wisconsin. They booted incumbent Democratic Senator Russ Feingold for Ron Johnson, elected Gov. Scott Walker, and took tow formerly Democratic congressional districts that covers most of the northern part of the state in 2010. Additionally, Republicans took control of both chambers of the state legislature as well. Furthermore, Gov. Scott Walker became the only governor in American history to survive a recall attempt last June receiving more votes than he did in the 2010 gubernatorial race. Wisconsin State Senate Republicans also faced a recall of their own on two separate occasions. The first salvo being fired in August of 2011, where Republicans maintained the majority. The second occurred in 2012, where Democrats gained control, but turned out to be a useless exercise since the the general session will not begin until after November 2012, when the seats will be contested again.
While the race is tied, given the reaffirmation of Walker's policies, the infrastructure Walker has built to successfully maintain his residency in the Governor's Mansion, and the conservative swing of the state's electorate – suffice to say that a Romney victory here is likely. Disrupting the pattern where Wisconsin has gone Democratic in nine of the last ten presidential races.
In Indiana, Romney is ahead – on average – by 9.5 points. Safe state.
In North Carolina, Romney is up by 3. Given that the State Democratic Party of NC was distracted by a sex scandal and was saddled with an unpopular Democratic Governor, Bev Purdue, Romney should win the state. And Republicans will take the Governor's mansion for Pat McCrory – the Mayor of Charlotte. When he's elected, McCrory will be the third Republican in the past thirty-nine years.
In Florida, it looks as if "Romney has pretty much nailed [it] down," according to Guy Benson. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air added to this sentiment noting a poll from the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald showing Gov. Romney with a comfortable six point lead.
Florida continues to look good for Mitt Romney. The Republican holds a 6-point lead in the state essential to his hopes of defeating President Barack Obama, according to a new Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/Miami Herald poll.
The poll shows slight tightening, with Romney’s 51-45 lead down 1 percentage point from the Times’ statewide poll a month ago. …
Still, nearly every key indicator in theTimes’ pre-Election Day poll reveals Romney’s advantage in a state Obama won four years ago.
Florida voters trust Romney more to fix the economy and give him an edge, 50 percent to 48 percent, on who will look out more for the middle class — a stark turn from past months when Obama and his allies unleashed a barrage of TV ads portraying Romney as an out-of-touch corporate raider.
Romney even has a slight advantage on foreign policy, with 2 percent more voters saying they trust him over Obama, who has faced criticism over the fatal attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya.
The Herald has an interesting analysis, one that confounds the national media narrative. Romney now gets more crossover votes than Obama, contra to the common assumption that independents are proto-Republicans and Romney has trouble with his base:
Romney’s strengths: independent voters and more crossover support from Democrats relative to the Republicans who back Obama, according to the survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.
Real Clear Politics Average has Romney with a 1.5 point advantage over the president going into Election Day.
Virginia will be a squeaker, but given the coal counties to the far western parts of the state, especially around the town of Grundy, I think Mitt will have success. Ed Morrissey, who along with Allahpundit and most of the full-time staff, have been doing an excellent job detailing the recent polls and debunking the liberal drivel. He wrote that:
Mitt Romney still earns 50% support in Virginia just before Election Day.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Virginia Voters shows Romney with 50% of the vote to President Obama’s 48%. One percent (1%) likes another candidate, and another one percent (1%) is undecided.
This is unchanged from two weeks ago and the week before that when it was Romney 50%, Obama 47%.
This one’s tight enough to look at the internals, which are somewhat surprising given the closeness of the toplines. Obama actually loses the overall gender gap by three points (-7 among men, +4 among women), but he’s also losing independents in Virginia by 21 points, 58/37. In 2008, Obama had a +11 in the gender gap and won independents by one point, 49/48. The D/R/I in this sample is D+2 at 38/36/25; in 2008 it was 39/33/27 but in 2009′s gubernatorial election it was 33/37/30.
Romney wins the economic argument by six points, 51/45 over Obama. There’s a significant gender gap on this question as well, but it also favors Romney (+10 among men, +1 among women). Romney has a 25-point lead among independents on this question, 58/33. On the other hand, Obama does have a positive job-approval rating at 51/49, which is probably why the toplines look as close as they do. I’d guess, though, that Virginia’s going to break significantly for Romney
Lastly, New Hampshire is a bet. Obama is ahead of Romney by two points, but I will take a gamble, and say that Romney will take the "Live Free or Die" state due to depressed turnout and a little luck. It's my wild card. Either way, it doesn't matter. It's for fun.
Right now, it's all about turnout. Republicans are more enthused to vote this cycle.The Huffington Post posted about Chuck Todd's breakdown of Republican voter enthusiasm. Here's what he said on Meet The Press on October 7, which was the Sunday after the first presidential debate.
CHUCK TODD: Well, it's simply an enthusiasm gap. And we're seeing it across the board. Look at here in this first one. 79% of Republicans call themselves extremely interested in this election. On a scale of one to ten, that means they said they're a nine or a ten on interest in the election. 73% of Democrats.
Look at four years ago. It was a 13 point gap in favor of the Democrats. Let me go through some various voting groups. This is an important voting group. Seniors are an important voting group to Mitt Romney now. He leads them by about 10 points in our NBC Wall Street Journal poll. Look at this in engagement in the election. Four years ago was 81%, pretty higher. Even higher this time at 87%. And Romney's doing better among seniors than McCain did.
Let me go to an important voting group for the president, young voters. Look at this engagement level: 52% now they call themselves, voters 18 to 34, call themselves extremely interested in this election. Four years ago it was 72%. That 20 gap. The president wins young voters by huge margins. He's winning them by some 20-plus points. But if you don't have this kind of enthusiasm, they're not going to show up to the polls.
And then let me give you this last one here, because this is, I think, the most important one. And that's Hispanics. The President's winning Hispanics by 50 points. He hit the 70% mark. However, look at this in terms of interest in the election. 59% now, it was 77%. What does that mean? President got 65%, I believe, of Hispanics four years ago.
So even though he's going to get more Hispanics, if less of them turn out, it's a net zero. And yet, you look at Republican enthusiasm, up, senior enthusiasm, up. It's a huge problem. And by the way, all of this, pre-debate.
Furthermore, liberals are citing polls based on 2008 turnout levels that oversample Democratic voters. A D+13 poll isn't an accurate gauge in this election. We've had an unemployment rate above 8% for over forty consecutive months – with the rate being over 9% for twenty-six of those months. We have $6 trillion in new debt, 23 million unemployed, and a litany of new regulations. What has Obama shown for this investment in trickle down government?
We have seen an anemic economic recovery, with our third quarter growth at an insipid 2%. President Obama is the personification of the dependency agenda. A pernicious crusade to establish a hyper-regulatory progressive state and break all institutions within our nation to the will of Washington. More women have lost their jobs under the Obama administration, and with women more on the economic frontlines, they've seen that the president may not be the best choice for their checkbook.
Granted, tonight will be a LONG night. So, make sure those coffee mugs are filled, Red Bulls are plentiful, and champagne fully stocked – because Republicans should be optimistic that Gov. Romney will soon be called 'President Romney' fairly soon.