Polls show a dead heat. So why so many predictions of an Obama win? (+video)
Among pundits and prognosticators – as well as the public at large – there's an expectation that President Obama will win reelection, despite the fact that the race is still a virtual tie, nationally.
Is it just us, or does it seem like some of the suspense has leaked out of this campaign? In the final hours before Election Day, the mindset among the chattering class seems to have shifted from: "This thing is too close to call, it’s right down to the wire, a real nailbiter," to something more along the lines of: "It's close, but looks like President Obama’s got this."Skip to next paragraph
Liz Marlantes covers politics for the Monitor and is a regular contributor to the Monitor's political blog, DC Decoder.
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Or as media-watcher Howie Kurtz put it in The Daily Beast: “The pundits have spoken: It’s Obama.”
Sure, plenty of caveats are still being thrown around: Mitt Romney could win, the polls are tight, yadda yadda yadda. But everywhere you look, the predictions are piling up in Mr. Obama’s favor.
In The Washington Post’s “Crystal Ball” contest on Sunday, only two participants out of 13 predicted Mr. Romney would win on Tuesday. For the record, that was the exact same number that predicted John McCain would win in 2008 – an election that was clearly heading for a more lopsided outcome than this one.
Now, some of the “predictions” being offered out there are clearly colored by partisanship. As in every election, there are strident voices on both sides of the aisle forecasting big wins for their guy (Fox News’s Dick Morris, for example, is predicting Romney will win with 325 electoral votes).
But most of the nonpartisan prognosticators seem to be calling it for Obama.
The University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato, a longtime professor of political science who produces a “Crystal Ball” newsletter of his own, is predicting that Obama will win reelection with 290 electoral votes. Veteran political prognosticator Charlie Cook has been more cautious about making outright predictions – but in his most recent column for National Journal, titled “Advantage, Obama,” he went through the electoral math in the battleground states and concluded: “Romney would need to win 64 of the 79 remaining electoral votes to win. Is that possible? Sure. But is it likely? It looks pretty tough.”