I watch Fox News night after night, hoping that I will see something that will change my avowed belief that Barack Obama is headed towards an Electoral College reelection victory. In my view, Romney and Ryan will have to score knockouts in their respective debates in order to avoid defeat.
Instead of hearing good objective conservative Republican analysis, however, I find myself being appalled by the sophistry of Dick Morris, who appears night after night on various Fox News shows. Since his original prediction that Romney would “cream” Obama, Morris has continuously developed ludicrous arguments as to how adverse events and negative polls actually benefit the Republican nominee.
In his column of Tuesday, September 25, 2012, “Romney pulls ahead,” Morris impeached his own credibility to an extent that no adversary of his could. Read this article – it will make history as the most absurd, illogical column of Campaign 2012:
Morris, as is his wont, debunks virtually all the polls, except Rasmussen, which he lauds as the most accurate of all the polls. I happen to like the Rasmussen Poll and its director, Scott Rasmussen– its findings have been very similar to my projections.
So let us assume, for the purpose of this column, that Morris is correct about Rasmussen – that it is the only reliable poll out there (although I actually don’t agree with that – for example, I am a major fan of Patrick Murray’s Monmouth Poll). What is most remarkable is that the claims of Morris are at gross variance with the actual Rasmussen findings!
To begin with, Morris cites a number of states in which Rasmussen has Romney currently ahead, but within the margin of error, making them “toss-up” states. Morris asserts without any basis that Romney will win these states.
Let us assume that this prediction of Morris will prove accurate. Morris conveniently neglects to tell the reader that Rasmussen currently gives Obama 237 Safe/Likely electoral votes and Romney 181 Safe/Likely electoral votes. Here is the link to Rasmussen’s chart of its state-by-state projections:
This 237- 181 margin gives Obama a HUGE structural advantage in the Electoral College. If Obama wins Wisconsin, Ohio, and Virginia, three states in which Rasmussen shows Obama to be ahead, but within the margin of error, he will have 278 electoral votes and a reelection victory, even if he fails to win any of the other six states Rasmussen classifies as “toss-up.”
I have only begun, however, to outline the extent of the absurdity of Morris’s contentions.
Morris claims that Michigan and Pennsylvania are “in-play.” This assertion is absolutely laughable. He conveniently neglects to tell the reader that Rasmussen classifies both states as “Safe Obama!” In fact, Rasmussen’s polls give Obama a margin of 12 points in both states.
Morris also makes an assertion that even a four year old child can dismiss as ridiculous. He claims that New Jersey is in play! This is another state which Rasmussen classifies as “Safe Obama.” Not only that – even New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie, a key Romney surrogate, has dismissed the possibility of Mitt carrying the Garden State.
Chris Christie is honest about New Jersey and the 2012 election. As reported in this September 19, 2012 column in the Asbury Park Press, Governor Christie himself told the Michigan delegation at the Republican National Convention in late August, “Listen, let me be honest with you, (Romney is) not winning New Jersey, It’s not happening.”
So stop laughing, dear reader, about the nonsensical claims of Dick Morris about Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
If you really want to get a good chuckle about the absurdity of past predictions of Dick Morris, read the following September 28, 2010 Newsmax column and attached video of his prediction that the GOP would gain control of the U.S. Senate in 2010 (Democrats kept control, 51-47 with two independents).
Watch and laugh at how Morris talked about Christine O’Donnell having a 50-50 shot to win the Delaware U.S. Senate seat (she lost by 13 percent), how Republican Joe DioGuardi had a good shot against incumbent Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand in the New York U.S. Senate race (she won with 62 percent), and how Carl Palladino had a “superb chance” of upsetting Andrew Cuomo in the New York State gubernatorial race (he lost by 29 percent).
Please don’t send me a bill for medical services if you hurt your side by laughing too hard while watching this video.
In Campaign 2012, Dick Morris has all the credibility of the Literary Digest, a once influential magazine, which predicted that Alfred Landon would defeat incumbent President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1936 election (Roosevelt won an historic landslide, 523 electoral votes to 8). Why Fox News keeps Morris on the air is beyond me. His sophistry and lack of credibility could eventually affect the credibility of Fox News itself.
Alan J. Steinberg served as Regional Administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush. Region 2 EPA consists of the states of New York and New Jersey, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and eight federally recognized Indian nations. Under former New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman, he served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission. He currently serves on the political science faculty of Monmouth University.