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The Prophets of the National Review

Oh boy. If you want to have some real fun, read the pre-election predictions from the folks at the National Review Online. I especially like this one from Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, who was sure his side was going to win every vote — and was wrong across the board.

Romney wins the Electoral College with room to spare — somewhere around 300 electors. All four marriage votes in the deepest of blue states (Washington, Maryland, Minnesota, and Maine) will be won by traditional-marriage supporters. This will happen even though supporters of same-sex marriage have outspent us by gargantuan amounts.

If same-sex marriage does pull out a win in one or more of these states, we will hear a lot about it being a tipping-point election for gay marriage. Wiser heads will realize that you don’t have a tipping point by winning on ground most favorable to you. The reality will remain that protecting marriage wins, and it wins with larger percentages than Republican candidates receive in statewide elections.

In Minnesota and Iowa, Mitt Romney will defy expectations and score truly historic wins. A state with longest track record of voting for Democratic presidential candidates — nine election cycles — will vote for a Republican. The marriage amendment will be part of the reason.

In Iowa, Evangelicals will turn out in record numbers to defeat the one Supreme Court judge up for retention election, David Wiggins. They will also give the control of the state Senate to Republicans, finally allowing a constitutional-amendment vote to restore traditional marriage in that state. The energy and enthusiasm in support of defeating Wiggins and electing a pro-marriage state Senate will enable Romney to carry the state.

Every single one of those predictions was wrong. Marriage equality went 4 for 4, Romney didn’t come close to winning Minnesota and Iowa, much less the election “with room to spare,” the Republicans did not win the Senate in Iowa and Judge Wiggins retained his seat. That’s Dick Morris-level bad.

And from the helplessly out of her depth S.E. Cupp:

Being the pragmatist is no fun, but I have Obama winning in a squeaker: 270 to 268. I give Obama Ohio, Nevada, and Colorado; but Romney gets Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Florida. And here’s where I go most out on a limb: I give Romney Wisconsin. This is based less on polls and more on my experiences on the ground in those states over the past year.

Swing and a miss. And you have to love the fact that she’s basing this not on actual evidence but on vague feelings after visiting those states. How telling.

From Noemie Emery:

Like Michael Barone, I think there’s a wave building the Democrats aren’t even aware of. It will make itself known pretty soon.

Yeah. Or not.

From Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life:

I think the Democratic party is going to be surprised to learn that women aren’t a single-issue voting bloc and can see through the manipulative games played this election. I think they may be surprised to find out that millions of women resent being told they should vote for the candidate who is promising them the most free stuff, at the expense of their children’s futures. Tomorrow, the question for many middle-class, working, Walmart moms like myself will be: “Which presidential candidate will help me make sure I can provide for my family?” Not: “Which candidate will guarantee me free birth control, even though I can get some at Target for nine bucks?”

And now, a word from actual women: 55% of women voted for Obama, only 44% for Romney. And women made up 54% of all voters. That’s an 18-point gender gap, 50% larger than in 2008.

Hugh Hewitt:

Feels like 1980 to me: Same failed president, same crisis-plagued globe, same upbeat GOP nominee written off four years ago who won the key debate, same chance to get the Senate. Romney is the president-elect on Wednesday, with Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Colorado. Senate tied 50–50 after Ohio brings in Josh Mandel. Let the rebuilding begin.

There’s one really big difference between 1980 and 2012: A lot smaller percentage of the voters are white males. Demographics matter more than ideology. And Hewitt whiffed on all six of his swing state predictions, and the Ohio Senate race. A brilliant performance.

Quin Hillyer:

Mitt Romney will win the presidency with a 284–254 electoral-vote margin. He will win a plurality of the popular vote, with 49.8 percent to Obama’s 48.6 percent (1.6 percent to others). The Senate will be tied at 50–50. The House will see a minor loss, of two seats, for Republicans. Conservatives will find in future years that they have plenty to cheer about from Texas’s new senator, Ted Cruz.

Why will Romney win? The multi-organization conservative ground game this year is superb. Enthusiasm is high. Several bluish-purple states are on the verge of tipping to Romney, and at least one significant one will indeed tip his way. Obama’s support is comparatively desultory.

The republic will be saved!

Oops.

Sabrina Schaeffer:

Tomorrow we are going to learn that the coveted “single woman” voters Democrats have been targeting relentlessly through their war-on-women campaign are not going to turn out with the same overwhelming support for the president as they did in 2008. On top of this, by an even greater margin, Obama will lose married women, who will reject the president’s message and come out in large numbers to support Governor Romney.

This should not be entirely surprising. Just taking 2008 data into consideration, we know that married women made up the larger percentage of female voters and that the majority (56 percent) came out for John McCain. Add to this that the GOP managed to narrowly close the gender gap during the 2010 midterm elections, and my prediction is looking more reliable. Most important, however, is that Independent Women’s Voice conducted experimental research (through Evolving Strategies) last June that found the war-on-women narrative backfired with independents and weakly partisan voters — meaning this storyline is not going to capture women in the middle, and it certainly won’t sway women who are even only mildly Republican.

In a year when enthusiasm for President Obama is way down, it’s unlikely that a campaign of fearmongering and gender politics is a promising road to victory. It’s highly unlikely that these single women will come out in support for Romney but many will probably stay home this year. And the percentage of married women who vote Republican will be larger this time round.

Yet another woman who claims that most women think like she does and then turns out to be spectacularly wrong on election day.

And finally, Ben Shapiro, the incredibly dull boy wonder who started at the Worldnutdaily and now helps run the Breitbart empire:

This election is not going to be as close as the Democrats and their allies in the media would have us believe. The media have been worth at least ten points for Obama in this cycle — between ignoring Benghazi, bashing Romney, and propping up the president’s horrendous economic numbers, they’ve earned their Palace Guard paycheck — but it won’t be enough. In 2008, they bucked the old Lincoln adage by fooling all the people all of the time about the feckless and incompetent Obama. In 2012, Lincoln’s adage will have its revenge. We keep hearing that Republicans have an advantage in a turnout election. But Republicans also have an advantage in an independents election. Only in a Magical Mythical 2008 Replay do Democrats have an advantage. And Obama’s sleight of hand no longer wows us. Prediction: 311 electoral votes for Romney, including Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. And count on a lot of whining from the media, which have used up every ounce of their credibility in defending an indefensible president.

I’m having way more fun than anyone should be allowed.

Comments

  1. Doug Little says

    Oh my god, it was like they were looking into a crystal ball or something. The accuracy of the predictions is astounding.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    Doug Little #1: it was like they were looking into a crystal ball

    And all they could see was a reflection of themselves.

  3. chisaihana5219 says

    Why should anyone be surprised by wrong prediction? If prediction was a science, then Ed could always accurately predict who would win the next poker game. The fun of playing would be lost. No amount of research, tells, card counting etc. makes any difference. That’s why it’s fun. Same with the stock market — even the best researchers and predictors sometimes lose. That’s why life is fun: you can’t tell what’s gonna happen next. What is surprising is that so many supposedly intelligent humans don’t believe it. I see this every day as I drive by Mystic Lake Casino. Full parking lots, even though we know the house always wins!

  4. outraged says

    Actually, I’m not sure it was about demographics. I suspect the fact that the republicans actually showed their true colors with lots of bills restricting rights to health care and even birth control in multiple states, along with anti worker sentiment just turned a lot of people off.

    Throw in the fact that Romney wouldn’t give even a hint about any of his plans and people just plain old rejected what they were selling. If minorities and women were more represented, they were more because those policies impacted them even more.

    I noticed in talking with people lately that many of those non-political folks in the middle are getting fed up with the hatred, bigotry and ignorance of the followers of the republican party. The tea bagger’s and their wild eyed crazy are turning people away from the party and I don’t think that should be under estimated either.

  5. greg1466 says

    From Noemie Emery:

    Like Michael Barone, I think there’s a wave building the Democrats aren’t even aware of. It will make itself known pretty soon.

    Well, she’s half right. There does appear to be a wave building. It just seems that the GOP has a bit of a depth perception problem resulting in an inability to tell which way the wave is actually moving.

  6. davidct says

    The Republicans consistently ignored the true feelings of the American people and set an extremist tone. This more than made up for the President’s shortcomings.

  7. Doug Little says

    Why should anyone be surprised by wrong prediction?

    Because in this case it was completely contrary to the evidence at hand.

  8. Chiroptera says

    S.E. Cupp: And here’s where I go most out on a limb: I give Romney Wisconsin. This is based less on polls and more on my experiences on the ground in those states over the past year.

    Jesus! More of that conservative “make decisions based on gut feelings” thing that gets us all into so much trouble!

    The reason we have science (like well-done polls) is because our “experiences,” our intuition, and our “common sense” has been shown again and again to be extremely unreliable methods of acquiring knowledge about the real world!

  9. greg1466 says

    One thing (it’s so hard to pick just one!) I keep getting struck by is the whole the war-on-women tactic isn’t going to sway single women as much as they think thing. Speaking as a married man, the war-on-women reality of the GOP was most definitely one thing (again, among many) that swayed my vote. And I would like to think I was joined by a lot of other married men, not to mention single men and married women.

  10. marcus says

    Even the guy with the best numbers and most stringent statistical methods was leaving room for reality to break his projections (and we all know who that is). It is amazing to me that people will risk their… (I was going to say reputation but actually their reputations were confirmed) we’ll say “standing” on predictions they essentially pulled out of their collective asses based on impulses culled from their ‘nads.

  11. raven says

    I suspect the fact that the republicans actually showed their true colors with lots of bills restricting rights to health care and even birth control in multiple states, along with anti worker sentiment just turned a lot of people off.

    They are really into this War on Women, War on Family Planning, War on Science, and War on Poor People stuff.

    Because it costs them nothing in money, short term. It’s easy. Defund Planned Parenthood, restrict family planning, support rapists, sneak creationism into the public schools etc.. are cheap and easy laws.

    In the long run they will cost though as millions of young, single mothers give birth to millions of unwanted children they can’t possibly support. But they don’t care about the long run.

    If Romney won, he wouldn’t fix the economy. Because that is hard and will take a lot of time and thought and sacrifices from us all. They would though pass huge amounts of culture war legislation targeting climatologists, biologists, the reality based community, women, atheists, and the usual.

    It’s cheap and easy ideology rather than hard but necessary work.

  12. Artor says

    I think the true lesson to be learned here is not that Obama was a much stronger candidate than predicted- he wasn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to vote for him this time around, and I’m pretty solidly liberal. It’s that Republicans & their candidates are really, really shitty. I’m a little surprised that the margin wasn’t even wider. Seriously, who in their right mind would vote for the proudly Pro-Rape-and-Lie-Like-a-Rug party? I guess there are fewer Americans in their right minds than I thought.

  13. RickR says

    In all the sweet sweet Schadenfreude that Tuesday provided in such abundance, my absolute favorite bit came from Fox News. As Karl Rove sputtered in denial that Obama took Ohio (and the election), doing his best Baby Huey impression as he realized he had pissed away hundreds of millions and delivered next to nothing to all those billionaire donors, and everyone in the studio nervously rushed to find the smelling salts….

    ….in that moment, the sky cracked open and a blinding shaft of sunlight pierced the darkness in the form of Meagan Kelly, who, in a sudden moment of spontaneous honesty, blurted to Rove’s pale, quivering, shocked face:

    “Is this just math that you do as Republican to make yourself feel better? Or is this real?”

    Oh that was beautiful. So clear and pure and beautiful.

  14. regexp says

    In Minnesota and Iowa, Mitt Romney will defy expectations and score truly historic wins. A state with longest track record of voting for Democratic presidential candidates — nine election cycles — will vote for a Republican. The marriage amendment will be part of the reason.

    Actually Brown was right. In a way. The marriage amendment was part of the reason. It caused more people to come out and vote. And most of those people were against those amendments.

  15. Doug Little says

    Is this just math that you do as Republican to make yourself feel better? Or is this real?

    Yes, this line is going to be with us for a while.

  16. Reginald Selkirk says

    I am reminded of a time in grad school, when networking was a new thing. Someone started a thread (in Vax Notes!) with NFL football playoff predictions. Everyone else was projecting the local team to make it into the Super Bowl, even though they had crawled through the season and just barely qualified for playoffs. They were all cheerleaders, not objective prognosticators. Too bad we weren’t actually putting money down, I would have cleaned up.

  17. Michael Heath says

    S.E. Cupp:

    And here’s where I go most out on a limb: I give Romney Wisconsin. This is based less on polls and more on my experiences on the ground in those states over the past year.

    Chiroptera responds:

    Jesus! More of that conservative “make decisions based on gut feelings” thing that gets us all into so much trouble!

    The reason we have science (like well-done polls) is because our “experiences,” our intuition, and our “common sense” has been shown again and again to be extremely unreliable methods of acquiring knowledge about the real world!

    The post-election synopsis by non-Republicans is asking the question whether conservatives being so wrong on the polls will serve as a conservative [Christian] wake-up call on their denial in other areas such as climate change, evolution, the change in tax revenues if low taxes are cut further, reducing government investments, the efficacy of leveraging what experts understand vs. one’s ideologically-friendly talking points or what one’s tribal leaders argue.

    When a person with integrity and with well-developed thinking skills is confronted with being wrong, they don’t merely adapt to a position which is correct. Instead they question the systemic reason they made a bad conclusion and revise their approach to minimize being wrong in the future. This is part of an approach called ‘continuous improvement’ and is a major reason products are so much better now than prior to this type of thinking being taught. The change in quality of autos and computers are perfect illustrations of how much better we can be when this thinking is employed.

    But conservative Christians do not think like this when it comes to religion and politics, at all, not even close. I was hoping Chris Mooney’s Republican Brain would provide some answers on how reasonable people should interact with such people so they don’t continue to push us down the catastrophic path we’re now on given their denial of climate change. Unfortunately it seems that science is just now understanding their mind-set, we’ve yet to do the work on understanding how we productively interact with such people when they cause us harm. Or else Mr. Mooney missed that research, it was a major reason I’m disappointed with his book.

  18. bradleybetts says

    Right wingers and Theists are the same everywhere; they cannot distinguish “I want X to be true” from “X is true”. I genuinely know of no other social phenomena which are both so pathetic and so funny all at the same time :)

  19. bradleybetts says

    “I predict Romney will win”

    “On what evidence?”

    “Because I want him to! I do! I wanna I wanna I wanna! Me! Meeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!”

  20. Michael Heath says

    Artor writes:

    I think the true lesson to be learned here is not that Obama was a much stronger candidate than predicted- he wasn’t.

    I suggest looking into that; I realize it was the common wisdom presented for ’12 since as far back as the ’10 election season. However I recall reading some results at Andrew Sullivan’s blog the other day where Obama had some good demographic results. This isn’t convincing nor is it elaborative enough to directly rebut your premise, but it does suggest the common wisdom about turn-out and voter share for Obama might have been under-estimated if not outright wrong: http://goo.gl/GQoZm

  21. savagemutt says

    The problem is that people just aren’t answering the poll questions correctly, so in 2016 Republicans will begin water-boarding likely voters.

  22. eamick says

    ….in that moment, the sky cracked open and a blinding shaft of sunlight pierced the darkness in the form of Meagan Kelly, who, in a sudden moment of spontaneous honesty, blurted to Rove’s pale, quivering, shocked face:

    “Is this just math that you do as Republican to make yourself feel better? Or is this real?”

    Is she still going to have a job in a month? Or even a week?

  23. RickR says

    eamick- It’s like that moment in the horror movie when the cop tells the heroine: “The calls are coming from inside the house!!”

  24. says

    I say let the establishment and fringe Republicans wallow in their delusions. As Michael Heath said, they are very unlikely to accept that their brand of hardline conservatism is the problem.

    Obama won between 60% and 66% of the under-30 vote in the last two elections. These are the people who are going to be voting for the next 50 years, and they are also far less religious than older generations–by 2020 as many as half of young people could well be claiming no religious affiliation.

    This is much more fertile ground to be working with. If the Democrats play their cards right (no sure thing, I know) they could be on the point of building a generational movement that rivals or even surpasses the Reagan generation.

  25. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    If prediction was a science, then Ed could always accurately predict who would win the next poker game. – chisaihana5029

    Yeah, and Nate Silver would have called every state correctly.

  26. D. C. Sessions says

    Speaking as a married man, the war-on-women reality of the GOP was most definitely one thing (again, among many) that swayed my vote.

    Not married, although not single.

    However, I have a daughter. And two sons, all of whom are hoping to provide me with grandchildren. And damn near every time a Republican opens his mouth, what I hear are threats to not only my daughter and the women her age who may end up as daughters in law, but even more:

    They’re threatening my grandchildren.

  27. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    Quin Hillyer was correct in one prediction:

    The republic will be saved!

    I wrote this in a reply to a comment on FB earlier today about Romney being surprised at his loss:

    Complete denial that there was anything wrong in the message or philosophy put out by the Repubs. Firm conviction that if only they had handled the campaign a bit differently, or if they had conned a few more Hispanics by running Rubio instead of Ryan, or if the “liberal” media hadn’t been biased against them, or if Sandy hadn’t hit, or if Romney had been more agressive… But nothing about, maybe their ideas are wrong for this country, maybe if they had not been the Party of No, maybe if they hadn’t waged a war against women, minorities, and the 47%.

    Conservatives have learned nothing from this election. They believe what they want to believe, and information that doesn’t fit their world view (not only about the election but about science such as global warming or evolution) will be dismissed. If they continue along these lines, I predict that they will become increasingly marginalized in the years to come.

  28. dmcclean says

    And now, a word from actual women: 55% of women voted for Obama, only 44% for Romney. And women made up 54% of all voters. That’s an 18-point gender gap

    How do you figure? It seems like a 55-44 = 11 point gender gap? Or maybe an 11 * .54 / .46 = 12.9 point gender gap? I can’t see how to get to 18, but maybe I don’t know the correct definition.

  29. keith says

    Why should anyone be surprised by wrong prediction? If prediction was a science, then Ed could always accurately predict who would win the next poker game.

    You are confusing prediction with wild assed guesses. These people are ostensibly experts in the field who spend a great deal of time using their knowledge and experience to interpret existing data in such a way as to make predictions that are more likely to be right than they are wrong.

    One would think that they would review poll information and take that into account, explaining why they agree or disagree with the polls, perhaps based upon poll methodology or something.

    None of that was done here. Rather, sweeping republican wins were predicted on candidates, electoral results and referendums based on nothing more than an I-wanna-win.

    Even simply flipping a coin would have given better results than those Ed quotes. That would probably have resulted in a prediction of half the swing states going for Obama and gay marriage being successful in 2 of 4 jurisdictions.

    An educated prediction based upon facts and info should result in better than 50% accuracy. Here we have almost 100% in accuracy.

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