Paul Rahe

” Within the last few weeks, hardly a day has gone by in which someone did not email me or buttonhole me on the Hillsdale campus, wondering whether I still thought that Mitt Romney would win the Presidency by a landslide. My answer has always been the same. I thought that there was every likelihood that he would do so.

As some of you will remember, I laid out my reasoning in this regard on 8 August, when Romney was behind in the polls, in a blogpost on Ricochet entitled Landslide on the Horizon, and I stuck to it in September when nearly all of the pundits were wringing their hands. Here is how I began my post:

When I read Nate Silver, Sean Trende, Charlie Cook, Jay Cost, and the others who make a profession of political prognostication, I pay close attention to their attempts to dissect the polling data and predict what is to come. But I also take everything that they say with a considerable grain of salt. You see, I lived through the 1980 election, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, and I was struck at the time by the fact that next to no one among the political scientists who made a living out of studying presidential elections, communism in eastern Europe, and Sovietology saw any of these upheavals coming. Virtually all of them were caught flat-footed.”


Cartoon by Eric Allie