COMMENTARY | It appears that most among the punditry and the pollsters are beginning to go with much of the polling leading into election day 2012 and predict President Obama will earn an extended stay at the White House. And although a series of polls, like those tracked at Real Clear Politics, have the race at a dead heat or one of the candidates ahead by a point or two, it’s that annoying Electoral College side counter that generally trips the bells and drops the glitter and balloons for Obama. In many of those key battles (there are several), the president seems to have either solidified his lead in the past couple weeks or extended it. So it looks like there’s a general agreement that Obama will defeat Gov. Mitt Romney on election day.
Well, that is, unless by using the term “general,” the description is for those who do not work for or contribute to Fox News Channel.
No, not all pundits and pollsters and political analysts believe the incumbent president will return to his position in the Oval Office. And most of those seem to work for Fox News Channel or are contributors to the network’s various news and/or talk show programs. Take, for instance, Dick Morris, a one-time Clinton confidante who now works the right side of the political street, who appeared on a special “On The Record with Greta van Susteren” Sunday. He reaffirmed an earlier prediction that Romney would win the race, forecasting a 325 to 215 win in the Electoral College.
Morris said that pollsters were oversampling Democrats and pushing the idea that Romney cannot win without Ohio. (Common knowledge: No Republican has won the presidency without winning Ohio.) He predicts Romney will win the Buckeye State anyway, but insisted there were various other state combinations that circumvented the must-win idea.
Conservative columnist Michael Barone also predicted a Romney blowout on “On The Record,” just not as big of one as Morris’. Barone forecasted a 315-223 win for Romney.
Karl Rove, President George W. Bush’s political advisor, was a little more cautious in his optimism. He appeared on “Hannity” Sunday night and predicted Romney would win the popular vote by 2 percent, and get around 280 Electoral College votes. To win, the candidate does not necessarily have to have the most popular votes, but they do have to have more than 270 Electoral College votes to secure the victory. Rove heads the Super PAC American Crossroads, which is pouring money into several key swing states, including $2 million in Pennsylvania.
Of course, the conservatives (and most are conservatives) picking Romney to win don’t all contribute to Fox News Channel, as a list compiled by the San Jose Mercury News of prominent voices on the right forecasting a Republican win attests.
But as Howard Kurtz, columnist and media analyst host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” pointed out via his column in The Daily Beast, most pundits and the press are predicting an Obama win. In fact, the lean is so heavily in favor of Obama, Kurtz described a Romney victory as “if Obama somehow manages to lose.”
But that won’t stop Fox News and its concentrated anti-Obama message. The image of President Harry Truman holding the “Dewey Wins” newspaper will undoubtedly be a common image on the network up until early Wednesday morning. Kurtz picked up on all the Romney predictions amid the “fair and balanced” reporting from the right that has become a Fox News Channel hallmark. He noted that not only would it be a “crushing” defeat for Obama, but that “Fox News won’t let the mainstream media hear the end of it.”
And yet it seems that Fox News Channel hasn’t let the mainstream media hear the end of it since 2008, the last time the guy they predicted would win lost the election.