Ohio has been evenly divided for so long that it is hard to remember a time when we were not in this interminable election season or when Ohio was not “in play” or tied. But fortune favors the bold, and momentum and a faltering economy favor the challenger. Governor Romney will pull out the win in Ohio — although I am less sure that this will be final on election night. Polls showing independents breaking two-to-one for Romney, a higher percentage of self-identified Democrats voting for Republicans than vice versa, and Republican voters showing greater enthusiasm as seen in the admittedly less-than-scientific examples of turnout to events — these all point to enough momentum to push Romney over the top. But by how much? I still think that this one is going to be very close. The latest data show approximately 230,000 absentee ballots that have not been returned, which, if postmarked by today, can arrive as late as ten days after the election. The margin of victory in 2008, a landslide by modern standards that no one expects to see repeated in this election, was 262,224 votes. So there is the very real possibility that we may be waiting ten days or more to get the final answer. To avoid litigious counting of absentee and provisional ballots in Ohio, the electoral map will need to expand, as Michael Barone and others have observed.
— Robert Alt is president of Ohio’s Buckeye Institute.
I haven’t made predictions since I lost $200 to Priscilla Buckley in a bet on the Electoral College in 1980. (I thought Reagan would win narrowly, she correctly predicted he would win big.)
Vote for your country.
— Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review.
BRIAN S. BROWN
Romney wins the Electoral College with room to spare — somewhere around 300 electors. All four marriage votes in the deepest of blue states (Washington, Maryland, Minnesota, and Maine) will be won by traditional-marriage supporters. This will happen even though supporters of same-sex marriage have outspent us by gargantuan amounts.
If same-sex marriage does pull out a win in one or more of these states, we will hear a lot about it being a tipping-point election for gay marriage. Wiser heads will realize that you don’t have a tipping point by winning on ground most favorable to you. The reality will remain that protecting marriage wins, and it wins with larger percentages than Republican candidates receive in statewide elections.
In Minnesota and Iowa, Mitt Romney will defy expectations and score truly historic wins. A state with longest track record of voting for Democratic presidential candidates — nine election cycles — will vote for a Republican. The marriage amendment will be part of the reason.
In Iowa, Evangelicals will turn out in record numbers to defeat the one Supreme Court judge up for retention election, David Wiggins. They will also give the control of the state Senate to Republicans, finally allowing a constitutional-amendment vote to restore traditional marriage in that state. The energy and enthusiasm in support of defeating Wiggins and electing a pro-marriage state Senate will enable Romney to carry the state.
In a nation focused rightly on the presidential election, a quiet revolution will occur in New York. Out of the seven turncoat state senators who voted to redefine marriage, at least six will not be back next year. At least three of the four Republicans will be gone, and all of the Democrats will be as well — forced either to resign or not run again, or thrown out of office by constituents determined to hold them accountable for their vote to undermine marriage.
— Brian S. Brown is president of the National Organization for Marriage.
S. E. CUPP
Being the pragmatist is no fun, but I have Obama winning in a squeaker: 270 to 268. I give Obama Ohio, Nevada, and Colorado; but Romney gets Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Florida. And here’s where I go most out on a limb: I give Romney Wisconsin. This is based less on polls and more on my experiences on the ground in those states over the past year. But the X factor here will be the Mormon ground game. It’s been hard to measure, but they could be influential in Colorado and Nevada, in which case Romney can lose another state or two and still win the election. To be honest, though, I have to imagine that some small part of Obama is actually hoping to lose. With the fiscal-cliff headache, an ongoing investigation into Libya that will not go away, and a progressive Left that will want Obama to make at least some advances on the broken promises of 2008, the next four years seem like a nightmare. For us and him.
— S. E. Cupp is co-host of MSNBC’s The Cycle.
CHARLES A. DONOVAN
Other than predicting to a tee the Republican gain of 63 House members in 2010, this writer makes no pretense to political-prognostication skill. That is particularly true of the House this time, where so little attention has been paid relative to the neck-and-neck presidential race and the bitter (as usual) Senate contests. So, bidding NRO to delete this post at its first opportunity on Wednesday, I see:
Mitt Romney wins the presidency, thanks to victory in Ohio and one to two other Midwestern surprises. The ground game of the Susan B. Anthony List, American Majority, the Republican party, and Cincinnati’s Citizens for Community Values, the latter of which has not met a media radar that it cannot fly under, saves the state with churchgoing turnout that surpasses even the turnout for Bush in 2004. Victory, however, may not be confirmed until December.
The U.S. Senate stays Democratic, with disappointments in Massachusetts, Montana, and in either the Hoosier State or Show Me State, but not both.
The U.S. House goes slightly more Republican.
Social issues outperform as the lead Republican statewide vote-getter in most states where abortion and natural marriage are on the ballot. Assisted suicide is rejected in Massachusetts.
The Republic staggers to its feet.
— Charles A. Donovan is president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
Like Michael Barone, I think there’s a wave building the Democrats aren’t even aware of. It will make itself known pretty soon.
— Noemie Emery is author of Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families.