"Ready for dinner"
It’s not easy finding unconventional wisdom.
The Washington Post’s Outlook section sure tried. It asked 13 authorities for election predictions, even going so far as to reach beyond the usual Beltway pundits, strategists and gadflies. But with one exception, anyone looking for unique opinions will be disappointed.
Mostly respondents fell in line with mainstream numbers and predicted a narrow victory for President Obama. A 12th-grade government class, a meteorologist, a couple pundits and operatives, two tech guys and a poker player all have him beating Mitt Romney with 314 electoral votes or fewer. (A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win.) Only GOP strategist Leslie Sanchez and the Post’s horse-racing writer Andrew Beyer predict Romney winning a close race.
The mini poll’s Senate predictions are equally snooze-inducing. All 13 crystal ballers see the Democrats retaining control of the upper house. No one picked Sen. Scott Brown, R., to hold on against Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts or George Allen to beat back Tim Kaine in Virginia. Only the high school class expects Rep. Todd “legitimate rape” Akin, R., to win over Sen. Claire McCaskill, D., in Missouri.
The Post survey does include one notable outlier: Jim Cramer, the Teflon stock picker and host of CNBC’s Mad Money, predicts Obama walking away with 440 electoral votes. That outcome is literally off Nate Silver’s chart. (See “Electoral vote distribution.”)
Anyone who agrees with the bearded booyah boy should get in touch. I’ve got some shares of Bear Stearns to sell you.
Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.More Alex Halperin.