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.

GORE’S NAUGHTY CHANNEL

“Say Anything: Campaign in the [expletive meaning derriere]!”

(Election night special hosted by Joy Behar, on Current TV, the cable network founded by Al Gore. Mr. Gore, incidentally, will anchor the network’s prime-time coverage Tuesday, which follows “Campaign in the [expletive] at 8 p.m.)

THE HISTORIC CAMPAIGN

“No man will ever bring out of the presidency the reputation which carries him into it.”

Thomas Jefferson, in a 1796 letter to Edward Rutledge, youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence and later governor of South Carolina.

INSTA-ELECTION

To while away the long election night hours in true 2012 style, here’s a hybrid amusement called “Election Night: A Television History” by TV Guide business editor Stephen Battaglio, released as an audio- and video-enhanced Amazon “Whispernet” Kindle book on Tuesday. The electronic publication uses archival footage to trace the evolution of every presidential election night broadcast since “the dawn of television” in 1948, re-examining the work of veterans like Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.

Photos, campaign memorabilia and other cultural flotsam also come into play. The book ends with the 2008 election, but includes information on how to receive a free update, available shortly after the close of the 2012 election. The package is $6 to $8 depending on electronic enhancements and includes free wireless delivery. Investigate in the Kindle Store at Amazon.com

POLL DU JOUR

• 96 percent of likely U.S. voters say their mind is made up for Tuesday’s election; 4 percent could still change their mind.

• 86 percent of likely voters who support President Obama say their vote is “for” Mr. Obama, 12 percent say their vote is “against” Mitt Romney.

• 62 percent of likely voters who support Mr. Romney say their vote is for him, 37 percent say it is a vote against Mr. Obama.

• 49 percent of likely voters support President Obama, 49 percent support Mitt Romney.

• 43 percent say the economy will only get better if Mr. Romney is elected; 34 percent say the same of Mr. Obama.

• 42 percent of registered Republican voters say they are “extremely enthusiastic” about voting in the presidential election; 37 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CNN/ORC poll of 1,010 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 2-4.

•  Comments, inane observations, hanging chads to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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