POLITICS

Year-end pundit atonement: Where I was wrong 2012

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

I gotta admit, I think I did pretty well predicting and explaining U.S. politics this year. I dismissed talk of a Romney collapse in the primaries. I always saw Obama as the favorite in the general. I knew Obama would outspend Romney, and he did. I predicted the Supreme Court would uphold ObamaCare, and they did.

But I wasn’t always right. And I have a New Years Eve tradition, in the interest of accountability, of writing where I think I was most wrong during the year. In 2010, I focussed on three times my predictions or assessments were proven wrong by ensuing events. In 2011, I highlighted a failure of journalistic standards and a spectacularly poor read on Rick Perry’s chances.

Now for 2012, I’ll provide a list of what I think were my worst mistakes:

I thought Richard Mourdock would win the Indiana Senate seat. I said as much on the McLaughlin Group as I correctly predicted Mourdock’s primary victory. Mourdock, of course, lost, after an uncharitable interpretation of his statement that every child is a gift from God.

In a column on solar subsidies, I had to run two corrections. One correction was just a brain fart — writing “wind farm” instead of “solar farm.” Another correction was just sloppy reporting and fact-checking: I attributed to FirstSolar a subsidy that went to another company.

I repeatedly said Obama would outraise the GOP from Wall Street. I can’t find where I wrote it. I remember saying it on TV. I was way off.

I thought Romney would pick Rob Portman as his running mate. I said on McLaughlin Group that he would go either Rubio (if way ahead) or safe, if close. By “safe” I meant Portman, or maybe Tim Pawlenty. Ryan was safer than Rubio, but riskier than I expected.

I underestimated Obama’s victory: I correctly predicted an Obama win. In person, I was giving 2-to-1 odds on an Obama win. I thought the Electoral College would be closer, though. I called Florida and Virginia “leaning Romney.”

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