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Fox News’ Dick Morris lacks credibility in Election 2012 analysis

steinbergalanj021610_optBY ALAN  STEINBERG
COMMENTARY

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.

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Comments (9)
9 Monday, 05 November 2012 23:09
Eat Crow
"Morris claims that Michigan and Pennsylvania are “in-play.” This assertion is absolutely laughable. " Do you owe Morris an apology? the last I checked Pennsylvania is in play.
8 Friday, 02 November 2012 16:51
Concerned Americans
What do you think now that his predictions have come to fruition, with Romney ahead in many of those states?
7 Thursday, 01 November 2012 15:56
andrew sindler
If i still got any brain cells working right then,i remember Morris predicting that
McCain was going to win the white house in 08,and that the "Obama fans" was not going to turn out at all ! I`m sure we all know how that turned out.What makes Morris credible in the first place? All those who follow and believe every single words that come out of his smart mouth gotta get their heads examined,seriously !
6 Thursday, 18 October 2012 21:46
casual_observer
Morris was right all along. The polls did indeed overstate Obama and understate Romney.
5 Monday, 01 October 2012 17:38
Sharon Rosin
I like him, and I believe him. He saved Bill Clintons bacon while he was president!!
4 Monday, 01 October 2012 11:03
Tom R
I don't care what tax rates were 1945 to 1970. The "RATE" has nothing to do with how much tax is paid. Bush 43 lowered tax rates. When Bush came into office the top 1% paid 33% of the federal income tax. When he left the top 1% paid 38.5%. That is a huge tax increase on the rich. Also under Bush the tax revenue almost doubled. The problem was that he did not control spending. Reagan and Kennedy also lowered tax rates and increased revenue on the rich. When some left wing lunatic says Bush cut taxes on the rich it shows how ignorant they are.
3 Monday, 01 October 2012 10:34
AB99
If high marginal tax rates on high income earners is so bad for the economy, how did the U.S. economy grow at an average rate of 3.5-4.0% between 1945 and 1970 when the highest marginal rate averaged between 70 and 91%?

Because of the pent up demand from WWII, when folks could not buy but limited quantities of tires, etc. Returning troops had lots of kids, demand for housing, clothes, cars, etc went way up. As the baby boomers grew up, they had more money, the industrial base grew hugely in the war years, we re-built Japan, etc. And don't forget Korea, about the time demand from WWII began to drop, another war necessitated more production.
Eventually the demand did fall, so the growth rate slowed.
2 Monday, 01 October 2012 10:28
AB99
Too bad he's right, people won't take a chance on Romney "maybe"
doing better, they won't want to risk Romney doing worse or ruining Obama's "recovery" (which doesn't exist)
But the Reps will keep the House, the Dems the Senate, gridlock for at least 2 more years, unless Reps can get control of the Senate in 2014
1 Sunday, 30 September 2012 14:40
Dan B.
I saw Morris on Bill O'Reilly the other night and could do nothing but shake my head. Maybe it was that he was pitching a new book about "Black Helicopters" in between his fire-up-the-troops analysis. As far it goes, I can buy the argument that some pollsters are making mistakes oversampling Democrats. But this in no way would indicate to me that Romney is winning. He is not, and it doesn't help to deny that fact. He could bounce right back into this thing, but as of September 30, 2012 he is behind.

I have one question that no one has ever been able to adequately answer to me once in my entire life -- I invite anyone to do so.

If high marginal tax rates on high income earners is so bad for the economy, how did the U.S. economy grow at an average rate of 3.5-4.0% between 1945 and 1970 when the highest marginal rate averaged between 70 and 91%?

As an aside, I have created an election game on my website where the user can attempt to win as either Obama or Romney. For the historically inclined, the 1896 election (McKinley vs. Bryan) is also available -- http://www.americanhistoryusa.com/campaign-trail/

In this game, based on elections simulated so far, Obama wins Michigan 91% of the time and New Jersey 85% of the time. He only loses if the user selects Obama and makes serious errors. There's just simply no way to honestly state that Michigan and New Jersey are "in play". I suspect that saying otherwise is a marketing tactic for Mr. Morris.

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