● The Presidency. The polls are all over the place. There are polls showing Romney/Obama tied in Michigan, Romney ahead in Ohio, Romney ahead in Pennsylvania, and there are polls showing the reverse. Pretty much every battleground state has contradictory polls. So forget the polls and focus on the momentum. As we head into the final hours of the campaign, Romney is hitting his stride and he’s giving off all the signs of being the winner. He’s talking about big themes, love of country, and setting a very positive, enthusiastic tone. He’s talking about the future. He’s also drawing crowds of around 30,000 people. Even the press is noticing his tone. Obama, on the other hand, is speaking to nearly empty venues and just told his supporters “voting is the best revenge.” Talk about exposing a hateful leftist mindset if you need to appeal to anger and spite to excite your supporters.
Moreover, the Romney people are starting to predict victory. One Romney aid predicted 300 electoral votes. Michael Barone predicted 315. Sen. Rob Portman says he’s confident Ohio will swing Republican. They are spending money in states where they shouldn’t even be competitive, like Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. On the other side, Team Obama is defensive. They are pouring money into the same states, talking about firewalls (which indicates a disaster) and spending their time trying to deny that Romney has momentum. . . they don’t claim any momentum of their own. The hurricane bounce appears to be three points, like all his bounces, and should have already faded -- plus, it won't translate into votes.
Now add in a rash of surprise newspaper endorsements for Romney with eleven major papers switching from Obama to Romney, and a demoralized press corps that hasn’t attacked Romney with any enthusiasm and which seems resigned to dealing with “President Romney.”
All of this suggests that things are indeed going Romney’s way.
● The House. There’s no serious contention that the Republicans will lose the House. Pelosi kept claiming she would win the 25 seats they need to take over, but now they are only promising 5 seats, and they are privately concerned about losing 1-2 seats.
● The Senate. The Senate is not turning out well. At once time, it looked like the Republicans could win as many as nine seats to get a 56-44 lead. But things have gone wrong. Uninspired candidates didn’t help. Then we got a surprise retirement in Maine. Then some of our candidates turned stupid. . . really stupid. Now it looks like we’ll be lucky to get the four seats we need to take the chamber 51-49.
Of the seats “in play,” the Republicans are defending four: Massachusetts, Indiana, Maine and Arizona. All but Arizona are endangered, and I think we’ll lose them all. Massachusetts is simply too liberal for a Republican to win barring something unusual in a bi-election. In Maine, another liberal state, the race will go to a popular former governor who will side with the Democrats. Indiana was a mistake, where a popular Republican got tossed in the primary by a “Tea Party” candidate who made a huge slip-up on abortion. . . something the Tea Party doesn’t normally worry about.
So we start by losing three seats, which puts us at 44 seats.
The Democrats are defending the following “in play” states: Hawaii, Wisconsin, Connecticut, North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Ohio, Florida, Missouri, and Virginia. All but Florida are endangered.
We got stupid again in Nebraska (thank you Sarah Palin) and picked a bad candidate, but I think we’ll still squeak that one. Wisconsin in trending our way. Virginia is a race between two former governors and ours isn’t as inspired as he should be. It’s a toss up right now. We should be winning Montana, except a libertarian candidate is draining away just enough support to keep that one close. I think we win that too. Missouri was ours for the taking until our Religious Right nutjob candidate started talking about abortion. Now the race is too close to call. Everyone talks about how great the Democratic candidate is in North Dakota, but I don’t buy it. . . we win that one. Hawaii is a toss up, as is Ohio. I think we get Ohio, but not Hawaii. And finally, I think we lose Connecticut in a squeaker. That means we win 5, lose 2, and 2 remain undecided.
Doing the math means we get somewhere between 49 and 51 seats, with a likely result of 50. A 50/50 result would not be good because that means nothing will ever get out of committee. Indiana and Missouri are the real killers here and abortion is again the problem.
Also, let me remind people of Christine O’Donnell. Conservatives lost easily-winnable seats in Nevada, Delaware, and now likely in Missouri and Indiana because they got stupid and picked unpalatable candidates. Those four seats may well be the difference in Obamacare going into effect and conservatives will bear the full blame for this. Elections have consequences and so do failing to win elections. It’s time we got smarter about picking candidates.