November 4th, 2012
02:13 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN panel takes final look at 2012 elections

(CNN) - With two days to go before Election Day, a panel on CNN's "State of the Union" with CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley gave its final analysis Sunday on who would win the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives.

Joining the panel was former deputy campaign manager of John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign, Steve Elmendorf, CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash, and PBS's Gwen Ifill.

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Elmendorf said the hurricane made President Obama look presidential and it gave Romney "nothing to do." Bash agreed that it took Romney off course, pointing to Romney's Ohio rally during the storm being turned into a relief effort for hurricane victims. Ifill said the juxtaposition of Obama getting off Air Force One in his presidential jacket to Romney speaking from a teleprompter at a campaign rally was also helpful to Obama.

Former Republican Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, also on the panel, said tHurricane Sandy had "broken [Governor Mitt] Romney's momentum," as it had taken the media's attention away from jobs and the economy with the election only one week away.

Barbour also dismissed Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's recent praise of Obama's handling of the storm, saying Christie would have been a "fool" to attack Obama when New Jersey needed federal help for the storm. Said Barbour, "you praise in public and criticize in private."

The panel also discussed the significance of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's endorsement of Obama. Barbour called it "no endorsement," pointing to Bloomberg's criticism of Obama's partisanship and economic polices, and said those reasons were why independents were breaking for Romney.

However, Elemendorf pointed to Bloomberg's criticism of Romney and believed the hurricane convinced Bloomberg to support the president. The endorsement, said Elmendorf, along with former Secretary of State Colin Powell's recent endorsement and praise from Christie, showed support for Obama outside the "mainstream Democratic Party."

Bash also raised Bloomberg's concern about climate change in light of the hurricane as a major reason for the endorsement. Ifill said she believed Bloomberg was trying to increase his influence nationally and to shore up his legacy, as his term as mayor ends next year.

Everyone on the panel also named what their indicators for which way the election was going. Bash and Elemendorf said their indication would be the winner of Ohio, Barbour said his indication would be if either candidate wins both Ohio and Pennsylvania, and Ifill said she would be looking at Colorado, Arizona, and the Hispanic vote.

Looking at down-ballot races, no one on the panel believed that the Democrats would take back the House, although Elmendorf said to "not underestimate [Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi." Bash said Democrats even believe it's possible the party would not get a net gain of seats. Bash also said it was likely that the House would become even more partisan than in the current session.

Regarding the Senate, Ifill expressed surprised at how Democratic candidates in key races like those in Virginia and Massachusetts benefited from the comments regarding rape by Republican candidates Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana. Elmendorf expressed surprise by Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown's lead in Ohio despite the millions in outside money being spent against him, and Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin's lead over former Gov. Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin.

Barbour thought it was interesting how states where the presidential race was not close, like in Connecticut and Montana, had very competitive Senate races.

Bash said 16 of the 33 Senate races this cycle could be considered competitive, and many of them are "too close to call." She pointed to Montana's race between Democratic Sen. Jon Tester and Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg as an example.

All told, Ifill and Elmendorf said they believed the Democrats would hold the Senate, while Barbour and Bash were not confident enough to make a call either way.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: 2012 • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." --B. Obama

    Interesting, no mention of the Benghazi cover-up.

    November 4, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. REGinAZ

    The Subterfuge v The Reality: Republicans claim Obama is taking $700B out of Medicare v actually it is $700B out of Medicare expenses; Romney says he will restore $700B to Medicare v the reality is Romney wants to repeal Obamacare which would restore $700B to Medicare expenses for Special Interests; Republicans claim Obama will have a trillion dollars added in taxes v actually Obama plans to raise taxes only for those earning over $250k and in the mean time Romney wants to cut taxes and drastically cut regulations, greatly benefiting the few and resulting in his numbers not adding up; Republicans say repealing Obamacare is a positive v the reality is that it is already providing benefit for many, most don’t want it repealed, the Republicans served their own interests in refusing bipartisan cooperation to develop healthcare reform and now they want to leave the people dependent on those who fought it and don’t want it, to come up with something of value; the Republicans fault “big government”, government spending and the deficit as the evil v the reality that while those things are good to get under control they didn’t cause our problems and concentrating there is a distraction from what did cause our problems – that consistently being aggressive exploitation by the few, allowed by permissive politicians seeking the support of “the money” and just costing the majority greatly.

    November 4, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Beecher Whiteaker

    I would like to say that what swayed my mind to vote democratic this election is the fact that our country has had double the recessions under republican presidents as under democratc presidents. 9 total under republcan watch while there has only been 4 under democratic watch. I am a 84 year-old man and have seen my fair share of republican government and can't see leaving this country to my 35 grandkids and 18 great grandkids and one great great grandkid to republicans. I wouldn't be able to look at myself in the mirror. Obama is trying to set the country up for the new America and the younger generations with new concepts and ideas. Thanks for your time and I would appreciate hearing your views on this subject. Faithfull CNN follower............

    November 4, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. Name theol crying for Mr. Obamaz vote, i registered but i have no time to go and cast my vote – due to my job. HELP PEOPLE and dying internally

    November 4, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  5. Willie Floyd

    Mr. Whiteaker, at 67 I don't have your historical knowledge, but I agree with you completely. I'm a little jealous though, I only have 1 grandson!! God bless you.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    November 4, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    There have always been more job losses under republicans than dems. That's only ONE reason to vote for OBAMA.

    November 4, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  7. Susan

    This claim that Sandy somehow broke Romney's momentum is crazy-looking at the polls, Romney's momentum lasted just under one week...basically from the Denver debate until the VP debate, and then Obama started getting momentum just before the third Presidential debate. Romney was falling, even according to Republican pollsters, for almost a week before Sandy hit, and Obama's trajectory up has remained relatively constant both before and after the storm (ie: the % increase in the poll average has been rising by about 0.8% per day starting a few days after the third debate).

    November 4, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  8. Susan

    CNN-you do realize you are the only non-Faux news that is still calling this a true toss-up. The rest of MSM is finally acknowledging what every poll other than those run by conservative organizations and every single reliable meta-predictive model has been showing for weeks-Obama is ahead where it counts-in the electoral college.

    November 4, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  9. Larry in Houston

    @Beecher Whiteaker @ 4:54PM – – I agree with you – I was a Factory worker for 28 years before It shut down – I'm lucky to be able to draw a pension from it – (lifetime) was almost 600 workers – under the "dubya" regime – 8 yrs. of nothing but misery when he & cheney was in control – The factories started shutting down & closing up a few at a time, under the "reagan" regime – Then it slowed down – under the Clinton" regime – but the Newtster forced Clinton's hands, and the Republican congress ( at the time) put the middle class in a VISE – After That "the "dubya" regme took over – then the factories went back to closing & moving (overseas) – but in a much faster mode – til we started losing 800 K (eight hundred thousand) per month, when "dubya" was at the helm. He got us into a war the american voters didn't want to be in.

    Bottom Line is this : If the voters in this country wants to go back to the old ways of the GOP – then SO BE IT – It's always been "top down" economics with the GOP – and Just think – IF the internet wasn't available, social media / & etc – this election would end up being like all the rest of the previous elections in this country – The people that has the most $$$$$ typically has always pretty much "bought" the elections – But this time – the people will "speak" with their Vote –

    May the Best Man Win – 2012

    November 4, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |