What I Got Wrong

by Ramesh Ponnuru

I generally avoid making electoral predictions, but I did make a few that turned out to be wrong. Figured I should ’fess up.

A couple of weeks ago, I broke my no-predictions rule. I was on a panel in New York where I was asked for a prediction and, moved by team spirit or contrarianism, threw out a tight-Romney-win call in which I had no confidence. For most of the last two years, though, I’ve been a pessimist — just not nearly pessimistic enough. I thought that Virginia and Florida would come back to the GOP; thought that Thompson and Berg would win their Senate races, and Republicans would get lucky in at least one of the other races. And while I never took sides in the Nate Silver wars (I just noted that Paul Krugman’s defense of Silver never rose above bluster), I thought that the party-ID split would be closer than it was.

On a bigger question — was I right to argue, last December, that Romney was the most likely of the available bunch to win the election? — I concede nothing. But I imagine there will be plenty of time to argue about that sort of thing and, more important, about what to do now.

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