I am voting for Mr. Romney and now on the last day of the election is a good time to summarize why, what I think will happen, why, and sum up regrets. At the end of the day tomorrow this will help assess what I got right and wrong.
I am voting for Mr. Romney for three essential reasons. First, he is more likely to solve the debt problem of the United States. Both Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama have a bad record on debt, but Mr. Romney was a business leader. He feels the need to balance the budget in his bones. Second, Mr. Romney will protect religious freedom. My university has had to sue the federal government to stay in business. Mr. Romney will protect our liberty to do business as conscience demands. Third, Mr. Romney supports traditional marriage and the right to life for the unborn. Mr. Obama has flipped on the first issue and been consistently supportive of legalized abortion.
What I think will happen:
From January forward I have called the race: Romney 51/2 to Obama 47/48. This is a wide enough margin the Electoral College will go to Romney.
I stand by that call and I think that is a wide enough margin that the electoral college will not come into play.
Why do I think this?
First, the President is under 48% in the cumulative polls. It is hard to see an incumbent winning with those numbers.
Second, Mr. Romney now has favorables that equal those of the President. People like both Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama. They have no reason to stay with Mr. Obama.
Third, independents are with Mr. Romney. I don’t believe that Democratic turnout can compensate.
Fourth, energy is with the GOP. Mr. Obama has hardcore supporters, but they are complacent. As in the first debate, most Americans think Mr. Obama will win. As a result a small, but not inconsequential number of his soft supporters will simply stay home thinking they are not needed. I have never seen a campaign in a close race more confident from day one than the Obama team.
Tomorrow we will know if it is justified. Of course, if they win, it wasn’t bragging, but they never seemed to really sweat. I think that is a problem.Fifth, Mr. Romney has a volunteer army, but Mr. Obama relies on paid folk. McCain never got this army going, but Mr. Romney has. It doesn’t draw much media attention, because the media doesn’t live in the neighborhoods where such people live.
Why I may be wrong:
There are three good reasons to think I am wrong.
First, Mr. Obama has outspent Mr. Romney. His team is highly competent and confident.
Second, the aggregate of state polls show Mr. Romney losing. The polls are not usually wrong.
Third, Mr. Obama is the incumbent with all the machine that this entails. His “Sandy” performance showed just one of the advantages that will continue the next twenty-four hours.
Five things I regret or got wrong:
I was overly harsh with Mr. Gingrich. I did not support his candidacy, but at times my attacks on him were too personal and lacked grace.
I was wrong in my early analysis of what statistician Nate Silver was saying. Because I did not agree with his argument (I still am skeptical of his model), I was not careful to follow his reasoning. If his model is right, then his conclusions are correct.
I failed to write much about the defense of traditional marriage, because it seemed unnecessary and I tire of the hate mail.
I regret that Mr. Romney (and most of my party) continues to support means of interrogation that I believe are wrong. I should have said more about this as well.
I thought Mr. Ryan would be a stronger asset to the ticket. If he does not help Mr. Romney carry Wisconsin (as I think he will), then he was a wasted pick. He will have done no harm, but no good. He was not as ready for national media as I had hoped. He won his debate with Biden (if he won) only because Biden was so cartoonish, but he also allowed Biden to dominate too much. On the whole, I think Ryan will be an excellent vice-President and a good future candidate, but he was not the “golden boy” I thought him.
Again, if Romney carries Wisconsin then the pick is justified, but Mr. Ryan will have no other impact. I thought he would.