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Nov 12 2012

Dick Morris Explains

Dick Morris emerged from his secret lair between the toes of a statue of a large Amazon woman to explain why he got things so flagrantly wrong in predicting a Romney landslide. He starts with his characteristic dishonesty:

I’ve got egg on my face. I predicted a Romney landslide and, instead, we ended up with an Obama squeaker.

No. Once Florida is certified for Obama, he will have gotten more electoral votes than you predicted Romney would get. So why is one a landslide and the other a squeaker? But he is at least lucid enough to recognize how demographics are changing the electoral landscape:

In 2012, 13% of the vote was cast by blacks. In 04, it was 11%. This year, 10% was Latino. In ’04 it was 8%. This time, 19% was cast by voters under 30 years of age. In ’04 it was 17%. Taken together, these results swelled the ranks of Obama’s three-tiered base by five to six points, accounting fully for his victory.

I derided the media polls for their assumption of what did, in fact happen: That blacks, Latinos, and young people would show up in the same numbers as they had in 2008. I was wrong. They did.

By the time you finish with the various demographic groups the Democrats win, you almost have a majority in their corner. Count them: Blacks cast 13% of the vote and Obama won them 12-1. Latinos cast 10% and Obama carried them by 7-3. Under 30 voters cast 19% of the vote and Obama swept them by 12-7. Single white women cast 18% of the total vote and Obama won them by 12-6. There is some overlap among these groups, of course, but without allowing for any, Obama won 43-17 before the first married white woman or man over 30 cast their vote. (Lets guess that if we eliminate duplication, the Obama margin would be 35-13) Having conceded these votes, Romney would have had to win over two-thirds of the rest of the vote to win. He almost did. But not quite.

But then he has to offer a flimsy excuse anyway:

But the more proximate cause of my error was that I did not take full account of the impact of hurricane Sandy and of Governor Chris Christie’s bipartisan march through New Jersey arm in arm with President Obama. Not to mention Christe’s fawning promotion of Obama’s presidential leadership.

It made all the difference.

I’d like to see some evidence of that, like exit polls that show a significant number of previously undecided or Republican-leaning voters who changed their mind after the hurricane and seeing Chris Christie. Unless you have that evidence, you’re just offering an ad hoc, or rather post hoc, rationalization.

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  1. 1
    fifthdentist

    Just going to prove once again the wisdom of the sainted Founding Fathers in not allowing the poors and uppity women folks and mud-people to vote.

  2. 2
    Deen

    Obama won 43-17 before the first married white woman or man over 30 cast their vote.

    Way to show your colors, Morris.

    I still find it funny how Obama is supposedly so divisive, while at the same time apparently able to unite all these diverse groups behind him.

  3. 3
    Michael Heath

    Dick Morris:

    But the more proximate cause of my error was that I did not take full account of the impact of hurricane Sandy and of Governor Chris Christie’s bipartisan march through New Jersey arm in arm with President Obama. Not to mention Christe’s fawning promotion of Obama’s presidential leadership.

    It made all the difference.

    More lies, unless as Ed notes Dick Morris provides evidence; but the fair presumption now is that he’s lying. The current evidence validates the results of the election forecast prior to Hurricane Sandy is what actually occurred.

    Perhaps Mr. Morris is attempting to promote the falsehood that we still can’t trust unbiased pollsters, in spite of the fact they were correct and he was wildly off. That those pollsters were merely lucky they turned out right, all because of Hurricane Sandy and Gov. Christie’s behavior during and after the storm. This would be consistent with how the demographic Morris markets himself towards denies evolution, climate change, and other facts inconvenient to the conservative/libertarian narrative.

  4. 4
    jamessweet

    For anybody who is connected with reality, the effects of Sandy are pretty clear: It most likely swelled Obama’s margin in the popular vote (though probably not by a whole lot — it’s difficult to quantify), but it likely made no difference whatsoever in the electoral college.

    As far as squeaker vs. landslide, I guess it’s just a matter of definitions. The popular vote was pretty close (though not so close I’d call it a “squeaker” I don’t think), the electoral college not so much.

    Let’s say you’ve got a (American) football game in bad weather, and consequently neither team can get much going on offense. The final score is 10-3, i.e. only one score difference. But the team that won was leading the entire game, and the field goal for the losing team was scored in the final minutes as the winning team switched to a prevent defense to slow them down. Was it a “close” game? Well, if you only see the scoreboard, I guess you might say it was. But if you watched the whole game (and were connected with reality — that’s the trick, isn’t it?), you would never have entertained an illusion that the losing team might come back, and you would probably say it was a convincing victory.

  5. 5
    Poggio

    Unless you have that evidence, you’re just offering an ad hoc, or rather post hoc, rationalization

    They never had this evidence, nor will they because it doesn’t exist. The re-pundits are just clamoring for their old jobs again: trying to make money by faux-outrage and ‘energizing’ the base through political hackery. I daresay there is still money to be made in this market, though any businessman with sense will tell you that the market for rightwing political outrage is entering the downward slope of its curve. It will be a liability if held onto for too long, like any well-traded stock.

  6. 6
    Leo Buzalsky

    So why is one a landslide and the other a squeaker?

    Because…the popular vote? (I have no idea what Morris was predicting there.)

  7. 7
    frog

    I am amused how the Repubs are excoriating Christie, and will probaby refuse to even entertain the idea of him running in 2016. Meanwhile, he should be exactly what they look for: a not-old, white everyman, who stated flat out that he’s results- and solution-oriented.

    Because really, that’s what won for Obama: the sense that he’s focused on solving the problems. Whether one agrees with his particular approach, he at least has some sort of plan to solve our country’s problems, and tries to follow through on it. George W and both McCain and Romney all gave the strong impression of floundering around and hoping it would all work itself out magically.

  8. 8
    Deen

    So why is one a landslide and the other a squeaker?

    For the same reason that Bush had a mandate in 2000, but Obama doesn’t: Obama didn’t get enough votes from the People That Matter.

  9. 9
    thalwen

    How dare Obama react quickly and competently to a hurricane! And Christy act like a decent governor and human being by doing everything he could to help the people of his state! Not to mention the media bias covering Rmoney’s pathetic attempt at a donation drive photo op.

    I do think that Sandy did help Obama a bit as it was an example of a President doing executive branch stuff with competence. But how is someone doing their job well not a good reason to vote for them?

  10. 10
    greg1466

    But the more proximate cause of my error was that I did not take full account of the impact of hurricane Sandy and of Governor Chris Christie’s bipartisan march through New Jersey arm in arm with President Obama. Not to mention Christe’s fawning promotion of Obama’s presidential leadership.

    Ah yes. Becuase if there is one thing the GOP simply will not stand for, it’s one of their own putting aside partisanship in order to actually get something accomplished.

  11. 11
    dugglebogey

    I have often heard it said (by white conservative people) that Reverend Al Sharpton is just a scammer whose goal is to keep his position of power as a “black leader” in America.

    At what point do we get to say the same thing about “Republican Leadership?” How many times to they have to get caught spreading information they know to be false before we just call them scam artists?

    Especially when the only other explanation is that they are incredibly incompetent?

  12. 12
    ajb47

    There’s a meme going around about Hurricane Sandy that goes something like this:

    So you’re saying Romney would have won if it hadn’t been for Hurricane Sandy? So god wanted Obama to win?

    Because that’s basically what claiming a freak storm caused your guy to lose means.

  13. 13
    Alareth

    Poor Dick, he seems to have believed all those minorities would have just dissappeared over the last four years.

  14. 14
    scienceavenger

    @ Jamessweet I would alter your football analogy this way: The Obama team won 33-20, but the Romney team gained a lot of yards late in the game, totalling nearly as many as the Obama team by the end of the game, so they are claiming it was really closer than the score indicated.

    Beware thinking like this people. The rules of the game are that the most electoral votes win, and that dictated both candidates’ strategies. Had the rules been changed to a popular vote, no doubt Obama would have spent all that energy and TV money on NY, TX, and CA, rather than Ohio, Virginia and Colorado. The argument that Obama’s victory is tainted by a close statistic that was known ahead of time to be irrelevant is unreasonable.

  15. 15
    Amphiox

    A better sports analogy is an NBA playoff series.

    The margin of victory in each game was less than 10 points, but Obama won in a 4-0 sweep.

    It was not close.

  16. 16
    fifthdentist

    dugglebogey, surely you’re not discounting the possibility that they’re botrh incompetent and scam artists?

  17. 17
    Modusoperandi

    Deen “I still find it funny how Obama is supposedly so divisive, while at the same time apparently able to unite all these diverse groups behind him.”
    Haven’t you heard? The “diverse” Democratic coalition is really just one single group: moochers.

  18. 18
    grignon

    He’s in full rep salvage mode.
    ” Look. It’s a freakin hurricane! It came close to destroying one of the largest cities in the world. Naturally it bumped a prediction off course. But only a little.”

  19. 19
    Randomfactor

    I think Morris just threw the stuff in there about Christie to get the hatin’ started for 2016. Never too early to disparage a candidate who’s extremely unlikely to hire you.

  20. 20
    Spanish Inquisitor

    What Romney and his voter suppressing, immigrant deporting, women hating Republican party did was turn what was potentially a lot of apathetic (read non-voting) voters into committed, dogged, pissed off voters.

  21. 21
    mikeyb

    Dick Morris has the political track record equivalent of Jean Dixon or Hal Lindsay. Time for him to go back and do what he’s good at – toe sucking or hanging out with Karl Rove and Dick Cheney.

  22. 22
    Raging Bee

    Sandy? Please. Obama was ahead in the polls before Sandy hit us.

  23. 23
    eric

    I did not take full account of the impact of hurricane Sandy and of Governor Chris Christie’s bipartisan march through New Jersey arm in arm with President Obama

    Its funny, I live in the northeast but had never heard of Christie doing this until right-side pundits started complaining about it. The hurricane was definitely news in and of itself; Christie was not, until the media and the politicos started making a big deal out of it.

    James Sweet has it exactly right; this did nothing to affect the number of electoral college votes and thus the election. Its not like NY and NJ were going to go to Romney beforehand. Maybe Obama had a stronger symbolic victory because of it, as reflected in the popular vote, but as many folks keep pointing out, that is not how we decide who gets to be President.

  24. 24
    Ben P

    Its funny, I live in the northeast but had never heard of Christie doing this until right-side pundits started complaining about it. The hurricane was definitely news in and of itself; Christie was not, until the media and the politicos started making a big deal out of it.

    There may be some truth to the rumors that Christie doesn’t really like Romney even though he was filling the role of attack dog.

    Because all of this dispute really started when Fox & Friends tried to feed Christie a softball about Romney and he blew it off in a major way.

    Christie talked about his responsne to the storm, and then Steve Doocy (aka the dumbest man on cable news) asked “well, yesterday Obama was out looking at the damage, do you think you might be doing some touring with Governor Romney?”

    Christie (who looked to be coming off an all nighter) responded with something to the effect of “If you think I give a damn about that right now you’re just wrong, what I care about right now is the 500,000 people without power, and getting my state back on its feet.”

    Fox would never have called him on a vague “well, we’re very busy and frankly I don’t know if the Romney campaign has called us” but he blew off the question a major way and that sort of started the issue.

  25. 25
    scienceavenger

    Just another excusefest, and a bullshit one at that. Just like McCain fell behind before the economic meltdown, Romney was behind before Sandy hit. Let the GOP revisionists loose!

  26. 26
    valhar2000

    Unless you have that evidence, you’re just offering an ad hoc, or rather post hoc, rationalization.

    Come on now, Ed! Don’t confuse the kid with all those big words!

  1. 27
    Dick Morris makes more excuses. » King High

    [...] the other day he re-emerged to make his excuses. I’ve got egg on my face. I predicted a Romney landslide and, instead, we ended up with an Obama [...]

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