Michael Barone is as great an authority on American elections as there’s every been.
But instead of analysis, I’ll go with a gut prediction. Here’s how I see the Prez election:
Obama wins big: 0%
Obama wins close: 45%
Romney wins close: 45%
Romney wins big: 10%
(Media bias and vote fraud can nudge Obama’s chances upward, maybe several percent)
I’m basing this on Obama “coming out” for gay marriage. Sure, he’s shoring up part of his base and raking in cash. But he’s depressing other Dem factions. Some Hispanics and Catholics may now vote for Romney, though I doubt many black voters will go GOP. Instead, quite a few just won’t vote.
But…look at all the progressive lurve Barack’s getting now! You can bet he likes it. So if Romney starts to pull away, Obama may just go all-out culture war. If he thinks he’s going to lose anyway, why not as a Leftist champion? Give those gun-crazy Bible-thumping homophobes the ol’ what-for!
In which case, Romney could win big. A lot of voters don’t pay attention until fall. If Mr. “Hope n’ Change” has gone rabid by then, quite a few new folks will see him for what he is: the opposite of what he claimed in ’08.
Man, I wish Hatch would get knocked out of his primary. Because even if Romney wins big he won’t be saving the country. America’s only hope is that the Tea Party philosophy seizes power. I expect Romney to win the election (if cheating isn’t too widespread). But I don’t see the Tea Partyers taking enough of Congress to reverse things in time. Senate solons can use the filibuster to prevent a lot of reform.
I believe the House could zero budgets out of existence. That may only require a majority Senate. But would a mostly-not-Tea Party GOP dare to do such a thing?