Last week, conservative political commentator and the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential nominee in 2008 Wayne Allyn Root reiterated his prediction from last December: Republican front-runner Mitt Romney will beat incumbent Barack Obama in a landslide in November.
Before hosting his own radio show, W.A.R: The Wayne Allyn Root Show in New York City, Root was a professional sports handicapper in Las Vegas. Root says he is “a well-known Vegas odds maker with one of the most accurate records of predicting political races.” But neither Romney nor Obama is his favorite. Said Root:
Neither Obama nor Romney are my horses in this race. I believe both Republicans and Democrats have destroyed the U.S. economy and [have] brought us to the edge of economic disaster….
But as an odds maker with a pretty remarkable record of picking political races, I play no favorites. I simply use common sense to call them as I see them.
Root predicted back in December that Romney, behind in most polls at the time, would win the Republican nomination in Tampa in August. He also predicted then that Romney would beat Obama in November and has found no good reason since then to change his mind: “Today I am even more convinced of a resounding Romney victory.”
Root looked at several key “voting blocs” and concluded that Obama is slipping, sometimes badly, in each of them:
• Black voters: “Obama has nowhere to go but down among this group. His endorsement of gay marriage has alienated many black church-going Christians. He may get 88% of their vote instead of the 96% he got in 2008.
• Hispanic voters: “If Romney picks [Florida Senator Marco] Rubio as his VP running-mate, the GOP may pick up an extra 10% to 15% of Hispanic voters…. This is not good news for Obama.”
• Young voters: “Believers … from 4 years ago have graduated into a job market from hell…. The enthusiasm is long gone. Turnout will be much lower…. This is not good news for Obama.”
• Catholic voters: “Obama won a majority of Catholics in 2008. That won’t happen again…. Obama went to war with the Catholic Church…. Now he is being sued by the Catholic Church…. This is not good news for Obama.”
• Small business owners: “I’m a small business owner myself … [and] I can’t find one person in my circle of small business owner friends voting for Obama. Not one. This is not good news for Obama.”
• Blue-collar working-class whites: “Do I need to say a thing?”
• Suburban moms: “Obama’s economy frightens these moms…. They are worried about putting food on the table. They fear for their children’s future. This is not good news for Obama.”
• Military veterans: “McCain won this group by 10 points [in 2008]. Romney is winning by 24 points. This is not good news for Obama.”
• Jewish voters: “I predict [that] Obama’s support drops from 78% in 2008 to the low 60’s [this year]. This is not good news for Obama.”
To that last point: Israel National News (INN) reported that President Obama has the support of 64 percent of Jewish registered voters, a full 14 percent less than the percentage of Jews who voted for him in 2008. This drop is, according to Gallup which did the polling, “five points worse than his decline among all registered voters compared with 2008.” And Romney is faring better among Jewish voters as well. According to the Republican Jewish Coalition, the 29 percent of Jewish voters favoring Romney is “the highest level of Jewish support for a Republican candidate in 24 years.” One of Romney’s campaign advisors on Jewish and Israel issues, Tevi Troy, said, “If a Republican candidate gets in the 30s, they’re almost certain to win.”
With five months to go, the major polls are showing a much closer race than Root is predicting. Fox News shows the two candidates even, while Monmouth University shows Obama with a four-point lead over Romney. The New York Times shows Obama with a slim lead, with Pollster giving Obama the edge. Intrade.com shows the chances of a victory by Obama at 53 percent, but declining from 62 percent in the middle of April. Investor's Business Daily’s poll shows Romney over Obama by four points, and Rasmussen has Romney ahead by three points.
Five months is a long time. Mistakes can be made. Challenges by delegates committed to Ron Paul and Rick Santorum in Tampa could upset Romney’s apple cart. The economy might finally begin to rebound, giving Obama momentum going into the election. The potential for exogenous events impacting the vote is huge. But if Root is right, and the election goes as he is predicting, it could be a runaway for Romney. In 1980, it was no contest: Ronald Reagan beat incumbent President Jimmy Carter by 50.7 percent to 41.0 percent in the popular vote, and by 489 to 49 in the Electoral College.
Photo of Wayne Allyn Root: AP Images