I did it again! I underestimated Barack Obama. The President exceeded my slightly conservative expectations on Tuesday night, beating Willard in the Electoral College 332-206 (the Romney campaign conceded Florida earlier today). So, I missed my toss up (Colorado) and Florida, which I said he could win if he had a good night. Hard to believe that the national race was called a mere 12 minutes later than it was in 2008…I was expecting somewhat of a longer night.
How about my other predictions? The popular vote currently stands at 50.4%-48.0% for the President. My guess was 50.7-48.3, the exact margin of 2.4%. I will not claim victory, however, because they are still counting votes around the country, and some have speculated that the final popular vote margin could be over 3%. Still, I’ll take what I can get!
In the Senate, it was a good night for Democrats, as they actually managed to increase their majority in the upper chamber with some key, close victories. They’ll have 53 senators (plus the 2 independents) for a total of 55, 2 more than I expected. 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the “Year of the Woman,” when my former boss, Senator Feinstein, and her California colleague, Barbara Boxer, were elected, along with 2 other women, to the U.S. Senate. This was the first time 4 women were elected to the Senate in a single year. I remember wearing a shirt stating, “A Woman’s Place is in the House…and the Senate!” It was appropriate that in this 20th anniversary year, Senator Feinstein was re-elected, and a NEW “Year of the Woman” happened. For the first time, there are 20 women senators (naturally 16 are Democrats), and there will be at least 77 women in the House, a new record. With Tammy Baldwin being the first openly-gay person and first woman elected as a senator from Wisconsin, the Democratic Party and the country are continuing to move forward.
In the House, it looks like Democrats could wind up with a 7-seat pick-up for an even 200 representatives, but there are still a handful of races to be decided. I’d say my guess of +4 was fairly accurate. It will probably take a couple of more election cycles before the Dems will have a legitimate shot of reclaiming the majority, as gerrymandering has made many districts non-competitive.
To wrap up my predictions, it looks like I was a little too optimistic in Ohio. When all the votes are counted, the President will probably win by a margin of about 2%; a bit lower than my 3.5% guess. The closest state was not, in fact, Virginia, as the President won there by around 3%. Could the Commonwealth be turning into a light purple state? We’ll give it another couple of elections to see, for sure. VA actually ranked 4th on the list of close states, with Florida taking top honors. They were still counting votes down there as of today, and the President’s margin should wind up perhaps a little less than a full percentage point. Here are your 10 closest states, via the Washington Post. I did nail the largest swing from the 2008 election, which was Utah. John McCain won Utah by about 28 points in 2008, and Romney increased that margin 20 points, winning there 73-25. It must be tough to be a Democrat in Utah (or a non-Mormon.) Other big Romney gains were in West Virginia, North Dakota, and Montana (the GOP can have those.) The votes have also been counted in my domicile, and it was a close, close race for the District of Columbia’s 3 electoral votes. The President beat John McCain 4 years ago 92-7, and this time around it was a squeaker, with the margin being 91-7. Apparently a few votes went to Jill Stein.
Finally, I will give myself a pat on the back because my last prediction was dead on: Dick Morris still is the worst political pundit in the entire nation. I’ve been debating which video of his to post, his initial prediction or his video entitled, “Why I Goofed,” when he stated, “I’ve been in a bit of a mudslide on my face,” but the latter is full of too much BS (even for Dick), so here’s the master prognosticator with his flawless prediction, made a day before the President’s re-election: