Editor's Note: In this special Election Day feature, PolicyMic is spotlighting the election predictions of two of our most prominent pundits, conservative Jesse Merkel and liberal Matthew Rozsa. As a twist, we also got them to agree a little friendly bet: Whichever one comes closest to correctly gauging today's results will have a tribute written about him by the loser. This means that if Barack Obama is the victor, Jesse will have to pen an encomium to Rozsa, while if Mitt Romney wins, Rozsa will have to compose an article singing Merkel's praises. We did this not only to add a dash of spice to election night, but also to stress the importance of being able to disagree without becoming disagreeable.
Election 2012 Prediction: Even after the race drastically narrowed after the debates and Governor Mitt Romney pulled into a statistical tie with President Obama, most of the highly respected pundits in the mainstream media still predict Obama to pull it out and crush his opponent.
There are several reasons that I believe that Romney will win the presidency tonight. Not only will Romney win enough of the battleground states to surpass the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election, but he will also win the popular vote as well.
Most of the national polling firms have based their samples on 2008 exit polls. Democrats came out in force in 2008, propelling Obama to victory. Despite the fact that Gallup and others have shown a massive GOP registration advantage and predicted that 2012 will be the largest Republican turnout in history, many pollsters are still oversampling Democrats. While Mitt Romney has shown a decisive advantage with independents, pollsters have simply decreased the number of independents sampled and increased the number of Democrats.
What matters most is Romney’s lead with independents, Republican enthusiasm is consistently higher than Democrat enthusiasm, and the number of Republicans is estimated to be at an all time high. If party affiliation and projected turnout was the same as it was in 2008, then Obama would indeed win. However, that is not the case. After polling over 15,000 likely voters, Rasmussen is now predicting a R+6 electorate for 2012. The table is set for an all time victory, especially with the GOP’s early voting lead.
This brings us to the swing states. Colorado, New Hampshire, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia have each received more attention from the two presidential candidates than the remaining 41 states combined.
Romney will win all of the states and the 173 electoral votes that McCain won in 2008. Because of the population redistribution over the past four years, that number of electoral votes is now up to 179. I believe that Romney will also pickup Indiana and North Carolina easily. That will put Romney at 204.
The first of the swing states I believe Romney will win are Florida, Virginia and Colorado. A poll put forth by the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times shows Romney ahead of Obama, 51% to 45%. Rasmussen has had Mitt Romney ahead of Obama for weeks in Virginia, and Suffolk University pollsters recently have pulled out of the state, declaring it a lock for Romney. While polls for Colorado are all over the map, Romney has held a consistent lead with independents.
These three states with their total of 51 electoral voters will bring Romney up to 255 Electoral Votes. Only 15 more are needed to get him to 270.
A number of traditionally safe Democrat states have moved into the toss up category recently. States like Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Minnesota have moved enough in the polls for the Romney campaign to begin buying advertising time and making campaign appearances.
As of this weekend, the latest Trib Poll shows Pennsylvania tied at 47% each. A closer look at the poll shows a D/R/I sample of 44/37/19. Despite the fact that Pennsylvania has gone blue for the past 24 years, it’s highly unlikely that the Democrats will out vote the GOP by 7 points, and that so few independents will show up.
In Michigan, the race is at a statistical tie as well, with Romney ahead of Obama 46.86% to 46.24% according to a Foster McCollum White Baydoun poll. The D/R/I of this poll is 44/35/21. In 2008, the exit polling showed a breakdown of 41/29/29. For Romney to be in the lead at all with a D+9 sample is an incredible achievement.
An American Future Fund poll shows Romney ahead of Obama 46% to 45% in Minnesota. That same poll shows Romney’s lead with independents to be 49% to 36%. Because of the Scott Walker recall voter, the GOP had an extensive ground game set up ahead in neighboring Wisconsin, which also looks like it could go for Romney. Romney has also pulled into the lead in New Hampshire, albeit slimly. His lead with independents could easily propel him to victory there. The Romney campaign’s internal numbers show the candidate ahead by two in Iowa was of Monday.
Finally, we come to Ohio. Polls of the state are all over the map. However, the number of registered Democrats has decreased, and Romney still holds enough of a lead with independents and early voters to win the state. The Romney camps own internal numbers have shown the governor up in Ohio!
I predict that Romney will win Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Despite being very close, I believe Michigan will stay in Obama’s camp at the end of the day.
Yesterday, both Gallup and Rasmussen showed a slight Romney edge. Both polling firms showed Romney a full point above Obama, 49% to 48%. While a single point may not be huge, it once again shows Obama under that crucial 50% mark. As for the CNN Poll that came out on Monday that shows the two candidates tied at 49% each? Well, it took a D+11 sample to get it there. Romney current is ahead with independents in that poll by over 20 points.
I predict that Romney will win tonight with a total of 325 electoral votes, and 51% of the popular vote. I believe Obama will take home 48% of the popular vote, with the remainder going to Gary Johnson and other third party candidates.
I came to this conclusion by examining numerous national and local battleground state polls, as well as the electoral predictions put out by the University of Colorado, The Yale University Economic Model, as well as Michael Barone and Karl Rove’s election predictions, all of which forecast a Romney victory.