POLITICS

Absent Hurricane Sandy?

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michael Barone,Politics Digest

Arnon Miskin, head of the Fox News decision desk (and a Democrat) asked this question before I left the decision desk room at Fox News on election night, would the result have been significantly different absent Hurricane Sandy?

 Mitt Romney, he argued, had been making headway before that arguing that he would be a bipartisan leader and Baracok Obama had not. Then Americans saw Obama acting presidential and getting effusive praise from Republican National Convention keynoter Chris Christie. There was, at the least, no room for Romney to advance this argument for several days.

Looking over the results, I don’t see little room for arguing that, in this hypothical, Mitt Romney would have been elected president.  But it might have reversed the electoral votes of (oft hurricane tossed) Florida, where as I write Obama is ahead 50%-49%, Virginia where he is ahead 50%-49%, Ohio where he is ahead 50%-48% and Colorado, where it’s tied 48%-48%. Subtract those from an Obama apparent electoral vote margin of 332-208 and you get a Romney behind by only 275-263. A psychological difference? Maybe not: George W. Bush won 286-252 and most people accepted that he had won that time. But it’s interesting that such small margins can make such a big difference in electoral votes.

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