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Election Crystal Ball
NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE collects some varied election predictions to mark Election Day 2012.


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PAUL KENGOR
I can offer a unique perspective from Pennsylvania, and namely western Pennsylvania, where I live and was born and raised. Every four years, my hopes for Pennsylvania are dashed by the final vote, which goes Democratic almost entirely because of Philadelphia. If it weren’t for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania would always vote Republican.

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That said, I’m confident that this year will be different. I’m seeing a pro-Republican enthusiasm I haven’t seen here in decades. It’s genuinely pro-Romney, and it’s intensely anti-Obama. This isn’t anecdotal or wishful thinking. It’s different this time. I think Mitt Romney will win this state.

As for the overall election, I have six national polls sitting on my desk right now, all of which have the race dead even or nearly dead even, and every single one of them oversamples Democrats, one (CNN) by 11 percent. All have Romney overwhelmingly winning independents, one (CNN again) by more than 20 percent. That adds up to an easy Romney victory, assuming strong Republican turnout — which will be there. I see Romney winning handily in both the popular vote (5 percent or more) and the Electoral College (around 320 votes).

I should confess that for four years, I thought Barack Obama would be reelected. I’ve changed my mind only in the last few weeks, based strictly on the facts, and starting with the first presidential debate — where Mitt Romney effectively won the presidency.

 Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His most recent books is The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor.

KATHYRN JEAN LOPEZ
Mitt Romney may very well be president of the United States of America come January 20. I think, as I have thought since watching him as governor of Massachusetts, that he will be a studied and wise steward of his office, and he’ll honor his promise to protect and defend what the government cannot grant but has a duty to help flourish.

Whatever happens, we cannot fall back into ignorance, indifference, and laziness; we have taken our religious liberty for granted. We live in a nation that is about to mark 40 years of legal abortion. We have just watched a president institutionalize the sexual revolution by government edict. Whoever is president, we have a mess on our hands and work to do.

 Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review Online.

MICHAEL MEDVED
In The Graduate (1967), protagonist Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) receives a one-word piece of precious advice for his future. “Plastics!” whispers a friend of his parents, and the Republican future in 2012 could easily turn on another mysterious p-word: “Pennsylvania!”

If Mitt Romney wins in the Keystone State it will provide the keystone for an inevitable Electoral College victory. Carrying Pennsylvania (with its 20 electoral votes) would allow the GOP to forget all about such annoying and difficult battlegrounds as Nevada and Ohio.

Like most other conservatives, I view a Romney victory as more likely than not, but hardly a done deal. Unlike them, I suspect that this victory is entirely possible without winning Ohio: As long as Mitt manages the all-important upset in the Commonwealth of William Penn, Ben Franklin, and Pat Toomey. As a native-born Philadelphian, no outcome could make me prouder.

 Michael Medved is host of The Michael Medved Show.

SABRINA SCHAEFFER
Tomorrow we are going to learn that the coveted “single woman” voters Democrats have been targeting relentlessly through their war-on-women campaign are not going to turn out with the same overwhelming support for the president as they did in 2008. On top of this, by an even greater margin, Obama will lose married women, who will reject the president’s message and come out in large numbers to support Governor Romney.

This should not be entirely surprising. Just taking 2008 data into consideration, we know that married women made up the larger percentage of female voters and that the majority (56 percent) came out for John McCain. Add to this that the GOP managed to narrowly close the gender gap during the 2010 midterm elections, and my prediction is looking more reliable. Most important, however, is that Independent Women’s Voice conducted experimental research (through Evolving Strategies) last June that found the war-on-women narrative backfired with independents and weakly partisan voters — meaning this storyline is not going to capture women in the middle, and it certainly won’t sway women who are even only mildly Republican.

In a year when enthusiasm for President Obama is way down, it’s unlikely that a campaign of fearmongering and gender politics is a promising road to victory. It’s highly unlikely that these single women will come out in support for Romney but many will probably stay home this year. And the percentage of married women who vote Republican will be larger this time round.

 Sabrina Schaeffer is executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum and co-author of Liberty Is No War on Women.

LISA SCHIFFREN
Hurricane Sandy demonstrated, beyond all doubt, that President Obama has not made the waters recede. The unemployment and underemployment rates remain high enough that everyone knows people who can’t find work and who are at wits’ end. And the guy just does not seem to like us very much. He doesn’t like the rich, we know. But he also doesn’t like the poor or the middle class. He likes only cool celebrities, as far as I can see.

This is a darker fall than it had to be, with threats from abroad, the fiasco in Benghazi, the threat of more recession, and the failure of any of these problems to get enough coverage to promote discussions of solutions. Hurricane Sandy has only added to the stormy aspect of this moment. Obama has resolved nothing, and the prospect of nothing changing is depressing. 

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has overcome a certain stiffness and diffidence to become a really great campaigner. Crowds are pouring out to see him because we really do need both serious change and enough hope to hang on for a brighter future. I am well past knowing how much of this is wishful thinking and how much is a serious gut-level reading of all that I have seen and heard, but I think Romney will win by a wide popular margin. People who haven’t voted in a long time will show up. Democrats will lie to each other, then pull the lever for Romney, because they have to pay for college for their kids, too, and this isn’t working. I am not going to make an Electoral College prediction, because we’ve heard it all. But Romney wins. 

I haven’t had a lot to say about Romney, but I want to put this on record here: The virtue I most admire among the powerful is rectitude. It’s an old-fashioned virtue that you don’t see much of anymore. We have watched this man step up to become someone who could lead this great nation, when we need a real leader. And his ego does not appear to be front and center. Rectitude. I trust it.

Sadly, here in New York, the thoroughly admirable, brilliant, and really interesting Wendy Long will not become our senator. The GOP considers New York hopeless, so our candidates get no money or help, and donors have fixated on evicting Obama. Rightly, I guess. Still, I hope Long will stay in politics. She’d be a great addition to any conservative team. 

 Lisa Schiffren is a writer in New York.

CHRISTIAN SCHNEIDER
Let’s face it: If Romney wins tomorrow, the polls have to be wrong. But I think they will be.

Back in June, polls consistently had Wisconsin governor Scott Walker up, on average, about three to four percentage points on the day of his recall election. He won by 7 percent. It just feels as if there’s an intensity and GOP ground game out there that are not being measured. And if Romney picks off a surprise state, such as Michigan or Minnesota, Obama’s road gets pretty tough.

I’ve got Romney picking up Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Final total: Romney 291, Obama 247.

In the U.S. Senate, Republicans have whiffed on too many chances to take back control. Potential GOP pickups in North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Nebraska will probably be offset by losses in Indiana and Massachusetts, and by missed pickup chances in Virginia and Missouri. Republicans pick up one net seat; the Senate goes to 52–48 (with Sanders caucusing with the Democrats).

An interesting undercard race to watch will be the Proposition 2 constitutional-amendment referendum in Michigan. Prop 2 would add a collective-bargaining right, for both public and private employees, to the Michigan constitution. It has been the subject of a recent ad blitz that says passing the amendment would allow “sexual deviants” to remain in the classroom. I think it loses, 51–49.

 Christian Schneider is a columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

PETER SCHRAMM
At a minimum, Romney will take the aggregate vote by just under 3 percent, and he will get at least 289 in the Electoral College: Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Indiana, Colorado, and Wisconsin. If you remove Ohio, he still wins. I remind us that the 2010 results cannot be separated from the 2012 elections. For example, Pennsylvania will be very close and may yet go for Romney. (Remember that in 2010 the GOP won everything in Pennsylvania: governor, U.S. Senate, both houses, and a majority of U.S. House seats.) Also, the GOP will win two more House seats and three Senate seats (turnover in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Connecticut, but the GOP loses Massachusetts). But I warn you: Sometimes I confound my predictions about the future with my attempt to change it. So I hope that what should be and what I want, will be.

— Peter Schramm is the executive director of the John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University.

BEN SHAPIRO
This election is not going to be as close as the Democrats and their allies in the media would have us believe. The media have been worth at least ten points for Obama in this cycle — between ignoring Benghazi, bashing Romney, and propping up the president’s horrendous economic numbers, they’ve earned their Palace Guard paycheck — but it won’t be enough. In 2008, they bucked the old Lincoln adage by fooling all the people all of the time about the feckless and incompetent Obama. In 2012, Lincoln’s adage will have its revenge. We keep hearing that Republicans have an advantage in a turnout election. But Republicans also have an advantage in an independents election. Only in a Magical Mythical 2008 Replay do Democrats have an advantage. And Obama’s sleight of hand no longer wows us. Prediction: 311 electoral votes for Romney, including Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. And count on a lot of whining from the media, which have used up every ounce of their credibility in defending an indefensible president.

Ben Shapiro is author of Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV.

CHARMAINE YOEST
There is a huge shock coming tomorrow for the Obama campaign and the feminist-controlled Democratic party. Treating this election like some sort of hokey abortion-themed frat party was deeply misguided. The abortion-palooza at the Democratic convention, followed by The First Time with Lena Dunham, followed by “Yes We Plan” with Julianne Moore and Q-Tip, followed by “Vote like your lady parts depend on it,” followed by Cher and — well, okay, enough already. The idea that support for abortion rights is a majority position among American women is a myth, and the professional campaign managers at Obama HQ ought to know that. But, as the saying goes, the first step to perdition — or a lost election — is believing your own spin. 

The abortion-centered agenda of aging feminists ignores some potent political realities. Each year, Americans United for Life issues the “Life List,” ranking states by their willingness to defend life in law. Where do the critical battleground states rank? Pennsylvania — where Governor Romney has been investing significant time this last week — ranked third in the nation.  I’ll predict that the time invested there will prove to have been well spent.

This past year Virginia passed cutting-edge abortion-clinic regulations, and AUL ranked the state among the top 20 pro-life states. Nevertheless, the Obama campaign has been blasting Virginia radio with alarmist “Romney will reverse Roe” messages all month. That may prove to be money poorly invested. Similarly, Ohio is also among the top 20 pro-life states.

The Obama campaign’s transparent belief that women’s votes can be captured through vulgarity is offensive and paternalistic. Even David Axelrod joked this past week that the president’s efforts on the campaign trail were “coming from his loins.” They just can’t seem to help themselves in objectifying everyone, including the president. A campaign focused on lady parts and loins. How elevating. My prediction is that American women will reject this kind of sophomoric faux sophistication. The alliance of the president and the Democratic party with Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby will ultimately prove to be an essential element of their downfall.

Charmaine Yoest is president and CEO of Americans United for Life.



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