Inside the Beltway: Thundering for Romney

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Mitt Romney’s got the biker vote. Rolling Thunder, the exuberant nonprofit membership organization for motorcycle enthusiasts, military vets and old-school patriots are near unanimous in their support of Mr. Romney following a vote Saturday during a conference in the nation’s capital. Ninety percent of the delegates support Mr. Romney. The biggest motivation? Executive director Artie Muller cites the group’s concerns over veterans’ rights and benefits, the ongoing push for the return of prisoners of war and troops still missing in action, and support of wounded warriors.

“Coast to coast, pass this information to members on the importance of voting for the Romney/Ryan ticket,” Mr. Mueller tells his membership. More than 500,000 of them, incidentally, came to Washington in May for the group’s 25th annual Memorial Day ride.

EXCRUCIATING DETAILS

Mitt Romney “has a path to 270 electoral votes, but no room for error,” predicts Suffolk University in Massachusetts, based on polling numbers from bellwether areas in Ohio and New Hampshire. Mr. Romney leads President Obama 47 percent to 43 percent in Lake County, Ohio. He also leads the president in the wee towns of Epping and Milford, N.H., 49 percent to 47 percent, respectively. The university’s bellwether model has been used since 2002 and is 95 percent accurate in predicting outcomes but is not designed to predict margin of victory.

“What better place to decide this presidential election than on the banks of Lake Erie?” asks David Paleologos, director of the political research center on the Boston campus, who notes that the Ohio bellwether has correctly predicted the last four presidential elections.

Gallup, meanwhile, declares its “final allocated estimate of the race is 50 percent for Romney and 49 percent for Obama,” adding that both candidates hold “strong advantages among men and women, respectively, and are closely matched among political independents. This suggests that turnout of partisans could be particularly important in deciding the election, with Romney poised to benefit slightly more if they do, with 96 percent of Republicans backing him, as compared with Obama’s 93 percent support from Democrats.”

NOT THE BOSS

Yes, millionaire roots rocker Bruce Springsteen rode Air Force One with President Obama on Monday and declared it a “pretty cool experience,” this according to the official White House pool report. And like Mariah Carey, Ricky Martin, Jay-Z and other celebrity stars, he has done his bit in recent days to ensure that Mr. Obama remains in the White House as pundits and poll numbers collide over election outcome.

But some interesting numbers are in on “The Boss” himself.

Consider that in 2004, his campaign concert for presidential hopeful Sen. John F. Kerry attracted 80,000 people. Four years later, Mr. Springsteen’s big event for then-Sen. Obama also drew 80,000. But alas, on Monday, a Springsteen concert for Mr. Obama in the traditional liberal stronghold of Madison, Wis., unfolded before 18,000 fans.

“What does it mean? We’ll find out Tuesday,” suggests BuzzFeed political writer Zeke Miller.

RECOUNT PHOBIA?

Americans are already fatigued with the contentious presidential election and disquieted with emerging news about voting irregularities and tight poll numbers. But do they anticipate a runoff, complete with hanging chads in Florida or tales of lost or destroyed absentee ballots? Well, maybe not.

Fox News has conducted an online poll, asking voters if the nation will know who’s president by Wednesday. More than three-fourths of respondents say, yes indeed, we’ll know. “It’ll be close, but there will be a clear winner,” said 76 percent.

The remaining 24 percent declared that we won’t know the outcome because the race is “historically close, and it could take days.” The poll drew close to 63,000 responses.

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