Dick Morris has learned nothing

Dick Morris is so consistently wrong about everything he says, that he’s almost God-like in predicting what things will come true if you believe the exact opposite of what he says.

Here he is about why Mitt Romney lost Ohio:

But the real reason is that the whites who supported Romney didn’t turn out to vote. Just look at the fact, brought to my attention by National Review and Washington Examiner columnist Byron York, that Obama carried Ohio by 107,000 votes (some are still being counted) and that Romney got about 100,000 fewer votes than McCain! (2,677,820 for McCain v. 2,583,580 for Romney). Romney really lost by failing to turn out his base even as Obama was doing a very good job of getting his to the polls.

One of the reasons I wanted to wait a week or two for my post election analysis was to wait for slow states to fully count things like absentee ballots, so that we have a complete picture of the popular vote before making conclusions. This is why you don’t do that. The above post by Morris isn’t even a day old, yet it’s already out of date for election returns. Ohio is reporting at 90% as I wrote this post and the gap between Romney’s votes and McCain’s in 2008 is already down to 84,041.

5,291,039 votes have been counted in Ohio and that’s reporting as 90%, which means 100% should be around 5,878,932 when all is said and done. Obama is leading with 2,697,260 votes (50.977%) and Romney has 2,593,779 (49.022%). If that margin holds, and it should, then Obama should end up with 2,996,903 votes and Romney with 2,881,970.

That would put Obama up over his 2008 numbers by 56,049 votes, and Romney over McCain’s by 204,150.

The pre-election narrative that turnout this year would be lower than 2008 was both wrong and right. Turnout was up in swing states and down in safe states. The result is that Obama did better in Ohio in 2012 than in 2008, and Mitt Romney did significantly better in 2012 than John McCain did in 2008. The simple reason that Romney lost Ohio is that John McCain lost Ohio by 362,224 votes in 2008. Romney’s gain of 204,105 votes just wasn’t enough, especially when Obama improved his own performance.

The situation in Ohio mirrors the situation nationally. The excuse that Mitt Romney fell three million votes short of McCain’s 2008 performance was made with too many votes left to be counted. As of today, Romney is 792,610 votes behind 2008 McCain and will almost certainly end up ahead when all the votes are counted. There are still 327,093 uncounted votes in Texas alone, and Romney’s take of that should be about 186,443, getting him almost 57% of the way there. There are 2,508,950 uncounted votes in California, and Romney’s share of that should be 953,401.

Between Texas and California, Mitt Romney should gain about 1.1 million votes, putting him over McCain’s 2008 total and leaving him with the second most votes of any Republican in American history, second only to George W. Bush’s 62 million votes in 2004.

This math is not complex, but it takes a little time to put together. A little effort. You can’t be as lazy as Morris and expect to get things right.

Finally, the storm Sandy had a great deal to do with Obama’s re-election. His presidency may be its most lasting damage to our nation and its inhabitants. One voter in six cited the storm as the key factor in their decision to back Obama according to exit polls, a last minute bump for the president that was not reflected in the polls. Why not? Because there were no polls. The polling firms could not reach the affected areas during the storm. We were all flying blind when Obama and Governor Chris Christie’s display of bi-partisanship garnered votes of the Democratic ticket.

This excuse has been repeatedly debunked. States like Nevada and Colorado weren’t affected by the storm at all, and showed no meaningful Obama bump in the last days of the election. Like the other swing states, NV and CO showed a gradual increase in support for Obama in the waning weeks of the election after the final debate. Polls that accurately projected Obama to win NV and CO also correctly projected him to win storm-affected states.

Not everybody was “flying blind” in the final week. In fact, only people like Dick Morris, who incorrectly predicted a Mitt Romney landslide based on his own personal interests instead of polls and facts, were blindsided.

There’s also no evidence at all that Governor Christie’s behavior influenced voters. Even if that happened, it can’t be proven, because there’s just no data on it.

What you’ve got in this blog post from Morris is a sorry attempt to save face after he embarrassed himself with indefensibly silly predictions based on fantasy.

Update (Nov 17)
I based this post on election results reported by NBC, and that page seems to have been abandoned already. That’s a site I’ll never use for election results again.

The numbers on Politico’s page seem recent.

The main argument here changes in details but not the outcome. Mitt Romney ended up 84,041 votes short of John McCain’s performance in 2008 (not 100k+), but that’s still significantly better than the 262,224 votes that McCain trailed Barack Obama in Ohio. Obama’s turnout fell short as well, in fact losing far more votes, about 242,784 less.

So it’s true that Romney underperformed McCain in 2008, but Obama underperformed himself by a much larger margin. Had 2012 been 2008, Romney would have been behind by twice as money votes anyway.

The popular vote total remains at 62,611,250 for Obama and 59,134,475 for Mitt Romney, compared to 69,456,897 for Obama and 59,934,814 for McCain in 2008.

Paul Tenny

Paul Tenny

I'm not a journalist but I do it anyway. I cover elections and have interviewed television writers and producers.
Paul Tenny

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