Ex-Fox pollster Dick Morris' confident prediction of a Romney landslide last election is something he’ll probably never live down, but he’s trying. Last night he was with Piers Morgan on CNN, giving his first interview since leaving Fox (compete video is at this Mediaite link). While admitting he had been “wrong at the top of my lungs,” he spent the interview either blaming a hurricane, saying everyone else had got it wrong too, or telling the Republican party how it should reposition itself (in case anyone's listening).
How could you be so wrong? Morgan asked. He believed his prediction, Morris replied, and so did a lot of people, noting that Rasmussen and Gallup had also predicted a Romney victory. And he defended his record; he’d predicted Clinton and Bush victories, he’d predicted the 2010 Republican comeback; he’d gotten 30 senators and governors elected, etc etc. He didn’t badmouth his former network either. “Fox has given me opportunity of a life time. 15 years, 3000 interviews, and at some point a great marriage has to come to an end… The divorce isn't final but I am seeing other people.”
Morgan wouldn’t let him off the hook. Noting Fox's plummet in the ratings, he added, "Seems from the outside… that Fox has got some real problems right now, and maybe one the reasons is that they just got the election so badly wrong and may have driven the party, and Mitt Romney, down the wrong alley."
Nothing to do with him, Morris insisted. Romney lost because of Sandy. “Before Hurricane Sandy started, Obama was trailing Mitt Romney in all the major polls… 15% of voters made up their minds in the last 72 hours and the said Sandy was #1.” Morgan was having none of it. “Obama ran in the end, clearly a much better campaign – you can’t blame a storm... Obama was going to win without the storm.”
Then Morris, dodging attempts by Morgan to refocus on his bad track record, started pontificating on why Obama won by such a margin - the fundamental demographic shift in the US and how the Republicans need to get back to the core question of economy and debt, and stop "victimizing” Latinos and women. Latinos will become more Republican as they move up, he predicted. “They are pro family, anti debt… but they feel the Republican Party hates them.” As for women – he said the Republicans were hurt by the guys talking about rape (he who once called Akin a “big plus” for Romney). Somewhat surprisingly, he took a fairly soft tone on social-conservative issues. Republicans, he said, should invite everyone to work together to "focus in a practical way on reducing the incidence of abortion" since there's no way they will be able to overturn Roe v Wade. He was equally pragmatic on same-sex marriage: the courts shouldn’t force it down anybody's throat, he told a skeptical Morgan, but if the people approved it that was OK.
Who would you most like to see leading the party into the next election? Morgan concluded. “Scott Walker,” he replied. (Wow, a Morris endorsement! Just what every politician longs for!)
Still trying to convince everyone he's a pundit. Sigh.
Morris is blowing smoke about Sandy, of course. The fact was that the polls consistently showed that Obama maintained a lead throughout the entire campaign. Sandy just gave him an additional photo op and a boost from Chris Christie at the last second. Romney by that point had tried at least five times to reintroduce himself to the American public, most of whom had already decided not to vote for him.
The number of actual undecided and independent voters was quite small, which the polls consistently showed. Most people had made up their minds before September. What the debates did was clarify who the remaining undecideds thought they would choose, and even that turned out to be ephemeral. Of course, at that time, those numbers appeared to be bigger than they were.
In the end, the GOP candidates were undone by the extreme positions taken by some of the candidates and by the stiffness and unlikeability of their main candidate. Dick Morris has no business talking about moderation now, given that he regularly went on the air to promote the most extreme candidates he could.
Only in your world, toe-breath.
I don’t recall Nate Silver EVER predicting anything less than an Obama landslide.
Cross-eyed piglet Scottie Walker appreciates the toe-sucker’s endorsement as much as a bad case of athlete’s foot fungus
Note to the toe-sucker: I wouldn’t wait by the phone for Jabba the Ailes to call.