Allahpundit @ Hot Air
I can’t find an electoral-vote prediction from him in 2008 but on October 30th of that year he acknowledged that an Obama victory was “likely but not quite certain.” Karl Rove did, however, make an EV prediction: Obama 338, McCain 200. This year Rove has Romney winning at least 279 electoral votes and Barone has him catching a red wave in the midwest and surfing all the way to 315.
Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and Ohio, oh my:
Ohio (18). The anti-Romney auto bailout ads have Obama running well enough among blue-collar voters for him to lead most polls. But many polls anticipate a more Democratic electorate than in 2008. Early voting tells another story, and so does the registration decline in Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County. In 2004, intensity among rural, small -town and evangelical voters, undetected by political reporters who don’t mix in such circles, produced a narrow Bush victory. I see that happening again. Romney…
Pennsylvania (20). Everyone would have picked Obama two weeks ago. I think higher turnout in pro-coal Western Pennsylvania and higher Republican percentages in the Philadelphia suburbs could produce a surprise. The Romney team evidently thinks so too. Their investment in TV time is too expensive to be a mere feint, and, as this is written, Romney is planning a Sunday event in Bucks County outside Philly. Wobbling on my limb, Romney…
Wisconsin (10). Recent polling is discouraging for Republicans. But Gov. Scott Walker handily survived the recall effort in June with a great organizational push. Democrats depend heavily on margins in inner-city Milwaukee (population down) and the Madison university community. But early voting is down in university towns in other states. The Obama campaign is prepared to turn out a big student vote, but you don’t see many Obama signs on campuses. Romney.
Ace’s resident poll-cruncher, ConArtCritic, puts Romney at between 271 and 277 EVs, which is in line with Rove. The argument against Barone is that, as of this writing, Romney isn’t ahead in a single independent poll tracked by RCP in any of the three states listed above. Rasmussen had him ahead by two in Ohio earlier this week but Ras now has that race 49-49. Apart from Susquehanna’s poll for the state GOP a few weeks ago, he’s never led in either Pennsylvania or Wisconsin. The argument for Barone is that all of this is predicated on certain turnout models that have Democrats maintaining just enough of an advantage to push O over the line. If those models are wrong and the electorate proves redder than expected, with independents breaking hard for Romney, then Mitt’s on his way — maybe not in Pennsylvania or Wisconsin but in Ohio and New Hampshire or Iowa, which is enough for 270.
But wait. Aren’t those Romney-loving independents really just Republicans who have dropped their party affiliation? Mitt’s just picking up elements of Bush’s 2004 voters who have since become disaffected enough with the GOP brand to drop it, right? Nope, says Dan McLaughlin. Lots of indies are true independents, and they’re going to pad Romney’s totals: