You may have noticed that the election is getting extremely close, and President Obama’s electoral college lead appears pretty solid. One lagging indicator of the state of the race is the rate at which conservative pundits begin edging slowly out of the Mitt Romney bunker and admitting that maybe the polls aren’t skewed. Dick Morris, last seen predicting a Romney landslide, still insists Romney is likely to win, but now sees “sudden danger signs.” Jennifer Rubin opens a paean to the beautiful poetry of Romney’s closing message by observing, “If Mitt Romney wins Wisconsin, it may be because of the speech. If he loses the election it might be argued it was because he didn’t give that speech at the convention.”
“If”? You said if!
Fortunately for Romney, more stout-hearted poll skeptics remain. Unskewedpolls.com is certain as ever. The Weekly Standard’s Jay Cost is still betting on Romney. (Key passage: “ I am not willing to take polls at face value anymore. I am more interested in connecting the polls to history and the long-run structure of American politics, and when I do that I see a Romney victory. ”)
Meanwhile, Michael Barone, the election data maven/right-wing paranoid, is vying to be the last man standing in the bunker, with an all-out prediction that Romney wins with 315 electoral votes. It’s best to read Barone’s state-by-state breakdown in the voice of the eighties-era Saturday Night Live Bears fans sketch. Barone argues that Romney will sweep not only the states where he’s ahead (North Carolina) or tied (Florida, Virginia, Colorado) but also Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Pennsylvania. The only question is, if Romney were only six inches tall, would that switch Ohio to “toss-up”?