UVA’s Larry Sabato agrees with the accepted wisdom among the DC-NY crowd: the President wins a second term, Democrats retain the Senate and pick up three seats in the House.
This isn’t really a shock. Back in late September, Sabato predicted that the President would “probably win” in large part because the economy just wasn’t all that bad. That howler reappears in his latest note:
Adding to the president’s good fortune was a final jobs report that was basically helpful because it wasn’t disastrously bad — that is, the unemployment rate failed to jump back above the psychologically damaging level of 8%. Romney could have used that number to build a crescendo for change. Instead, the final potential obstacle to Obama’s reelection passed by as a one-day story.
The “psychologically damaging” number Team Sabato ignores was covered here by Brian Kirwin. Note to the Professor: the last report showed a rise in unemployment. The rate stands at 7.9 percent. It was 7.8 when Mr. Obama took office.
But putting all that aside the Sabato scribes do find a mild bit of tarnish on the trophy they intend to award the President:
…Obama would be the first president ever who failed to win an additional state in his successful reelection bid that he did not win in his initial victory. (We are not counting FDR’s third and fourth elections.)
Political science means never having to count the data points that don’t support your thesis. But still, a smaller win, in the right states, is what the good Professor sees happening tomorrow.
I tend to believe the opposite. Mitt Romney has the chance to win states — like Pennsylvania, like Michigan, and possibly even Minnesota — that were supposedly beyond his, or any other Republican presidential candidate’s, reach. Even George Will who was busy burying Mitt Romney a month ago, thinks Romney will win big.
What do you think?