CENTENNIAL –Dick Morris had a message Tuesday for supporters of Mitt Romney nervous about the latest polling numbers: Fuggedaboutit.
Several polls released over the weekend show President Obama moving ahead of Romney at the end of the Democratic National Convention, but Morris told a gathering of Colorado conservatives that the surveys are flawed, placing too much weight on certain voters and not enough on others.
“When I put it all together, I believe Romney is ahead, has been ahead, will continue to be ahead, and will win by a reasonable margin,” said the nationally known Republican political analyst. “I take my own polling and I do my own damn weighting, and I have a six- or seven-point Romney victory.”
Morris spoke to a group of about 100 at Centennial Center Park as part of a national effort by Americans for Prosperity to energize the conservative base. Called the “Obama’s Failing Agenda Tour,” the campaign features three tour buses that crisscross the country with a rotating cast of prominent conservative speakers.
The Western bus rolled into Colorado Monday, making a half-dozen stops over three days in Denver, Loveland, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and Parker.
“Our key goal is to recruit new activists,” said AFP president Tim Phillips after the two-hour event. “We learned from our health-care campaign that these events are where we find our best activists. There’s a difference between activists on your email list and getting them to the point where they’re knocking on doors.”
Both presidential campaigns are moving to mobilize their supporters in Colorado, a key swing state that went for Obama in 2008 but has remained locked in a virtual dead heat this year. The president is scheduled to make his ninth appearance in Colorado at 11 a.m. Thursday with a rally at the Golden Community Center.
Meanwhile, Romney’s son Josh is slated to appear at a meet-and-greet at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Tavern in Greenwood Village. Mitt Romney has already visited the state himself nine times.
At Tuesday’s gathering, Morris deconstructed the recent polls and said they showed that the people least likely to vote are supporting Obama. Among likely voters, he said, polls show a statistical tie.
For example, the ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday found Obama leading 50% to 44% among registered voters. Among likely voters, the president leads 49% to 48%.
“We have to understand that Barack Obama’s strongest demographic is people who aren’t going to vote,” said Morris. “And they aren’t going to vote because they look around them, they see this economy, they see what’s going here, they understand how difficult it is and what a failure this administration is.”
Morris said pollsters have weighted African-American voters more heavily since 2008, when their turnout by about two million votes and went overwhelmingly for Obama. He predicted their turnout would dip in 2012.
“All pollsters are using the 2008 model because they don’t want to be caught flat-footed,” said Morris, who served as the chief political advisor to President Bill Clinton before switching to the GOP.
But the polling also shows a double-digit gap in enthusiasm between Romney supporters and Obama fans. “So when the poll comes back as 49% for Obama and 48% for Romney, it really is much more in my judgment like 46, 47 for Obama and more like 50 or 51 for Romney, because I think that’s going to be the turnout model,” said Morris.
Then there are the undecided voters, whom Morris said inevitably go against the incumbent.
“If you say ‘undecided,’ you’ve decided that there’s something wrong,” said Morris. “When you have all these polls constantly, constantly, constantly having Obama under 50% of the vote, you realize there is a majority of voters who have decided they don’t want this man to be the next president.”
Morris also said he thought the nominating conventions helped Romney more than they did Obama. The pivotal moment at both conventions came in the speeches by their spouses, Ann Romney and Michelle Obama, he said, who did much to make their husbands appear more like regular guys.
Of the two, however, Romney was the one who needed most to be humanized, not Obama.
“We realized Mitt Romney is a human being . . . There might be a heart in that tin man,” said Morris. “[Obama] isn’t the tin man who might not have a heart, he’s the scarecrow who doesn’t have a brain.”
Republican state Rep. Kathleen Conti reminded the group that every vote counts, noting that GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck lost his 2010 Senate bid by an average of 13 votes per precinct.
Morris said Republicans must redouble their efforts in order to offset the 50% of Americans whom he called “professional voters,” those who receive means-tested government checks and thus “make their living off their vote.”
In 2010, Colorado Republicans “didn’t get out the damn vote,” said Morris. “We were just outworked on election day.”
As a result, Democrats won a close Senate race. “We should be ashamed of ourselves,” said Morris. “We can’t let that happen this year. This race is going to be about turnout.”