My long lost colleague Joy Reid (actually she’t not lost at all; she’s a budding superstar commentator for MSNBC) offers the following Election Day prediction — Obama will win Florida.
I’m cautiously — and I do mean cautiously — giving Barack Obama Florida. I wouldn’t have a week ago, but the early vote bonanza in South Florida, and what I’m hearing on the ground about supersized African-American turnout are convincing me that Team Obama may be able to pull this off in much the way they did in 2008. Same formula.
I’m more confident about giving Obama Virginia (an early call will signal what kind of night both these candidates will have. VA closes at 7…), Michigan, Pennsylvania (the eternal white wale of the GOP), Wisconsin, Iowa and Nevada.
I’m actually really on the fence about Colorado and North Carolina. In the former, Democrats lost the early vote by about 2 percentage points, and in the latter, they won it pretty solidly. And while Colorado (where I grew up) can be a swingy state, in the sense that some Republicans will cross over for Obama and Dems for Romney, and that marijuana initiative could boost young voter turnout, to Obama’s benefit; and while Dems looked really solid in that early voting, I think the uncertainty in this particular election has to go to the challenger. So I’m not super-confident in the prediction, but out of caution, and giving Romney both those states.
I talked to Bob Shrum about this the other day, and he and I agreed that North Carolina could be the biggest surprise on the night. It’s also the one state I called wrong in 2008. I called it for McCain.
(BTW not bragging, but I didn’t have a lot of company in calling Florida for Obama last time, so there’s that…)
So I’m a little more generous to Obama on electoral votes than Nate Silver, who gives the president 313 EVs to my 323. If I had to give back a state in order to get closer to Silver’s math, I’d give back Virginia, maybe. Or maybe Ohio, but only if Secretary of State Husted manages to pull so many shenanigans, he basically rigs the state for Romney.
Either way, my other prediction is that at least two elections will wind up in federal court after tonight: Ohio’s presidential race, and the Joe Garcia/David Rivera race in Miami, if Rivera eeks out a win. In that case, that early absentee vote extension, which was held in the heart of Republican/Cuban-American territory, will produce a major piece of litigation (and by that I don’t mean Rivera’s criminal defense.)