Romney Wins! (Playing the Contrarian Card)

The Future of American Power
Nov. 6 2012 9:06 AM

Romney Wins! (Playing the Contrarian Card)

kid with electoral map
So easy, a child can do it!

Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/GettyImages

Back in the 1980s, Mike Lupica, the great Daily News sports writer, was asked by someone how he could pick the New York Rangers to win hockey's Stanley Cup year-in, year-out. After all, the questioner went on, the Rangers had not won hockey's championship since 1940 - the famous chant fans of other teams, particularly the upstart New York Islanders, taunted us with for most of my youth."Nine-Teen_Four-Tee." I can still hear it.

Michael Moran Michael Moran

Michael Moran is an author and geopolitical analyst.

Lupica said his choice was based on one simple dynamic: the law of averages. "Someday, the Rangers are going to win the Stanley Cup and I'll look like a genius." It took until 1994, but he was right (though not since).


Something similar happened in the world of finance today. The Gartmen Letter, most likely, is not something readers of State are familiar with. Written by global markets analyst Dennis Gartman since well before Lupica's prediction came true, it's a particular flavor of "required reading" among the brokers, bankers and strategists of the City of London.

This morning, Gartman pulled a page out of Lupica's Daily News column and predicted a Romney victory tomorrow. Not only a Romney victory, in fact, but one the former Mass. Gov. cruises to handily.

Publicity stunt? Sure, probably some of that - he got a lot of it in the financial press, genetically engineered to pray for the advent of the first Mormon presidency. But I suspect Gartman, whose views on global capital markets I deeply respect, is also having some fun here. Like Lupika, Gartman knows that if the glum, disheartened readers of his stories morning note wake up to a Romney administration tomorrow, his call will be put on par with Nouriel Roubini's 2005 prediction of the global financial crisis or Babe Ruth's promise to hit three home runs for little Johnny Sylvester, a hospitalized 11-year-old.

But there are plenty of Tea Leaf readers making Romney victory predictions. Michael Barone, for one. Peggy Noonan another. Why is Gartman different?

Well, because he has a track record of being right about a lot of other things.

Having said that, he also has a track record of being pretty funny in some of his newsletters, and he goes on to admit he could be terribly wrong on this one. Here is his analysis in a nutshell:

1) Jimmy Carter had a 2-to-3 percent lead on Ronald Reagan at this point in 1980 and Carter lost.

2) That Obama has lost the "hearts and minds" of many segments of his 2008 winning coalition, including Catholics, small business owners and "Reagan Democrats." Enough will vote for Romney, or not turn up at all, to give it to Mitt.

3) That pollsters and pundits, even over 147 years after the Civil War, are underestimating the advantage a white candidate (who isn't John McCain) has running against an African-American candidate.

What do I think? Rangers in four games. But for tomorrow, Obama 302, Romney 236. And it doesn't take much of a genius to see it, either.



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

The Ludicrous Claims Women Are Pitched at “Egg Freezing Parties”

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Oct. 1 2014 11:48 AM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
Business Insider
Oct. 1 2014 12:21 PM How One Entrepreneur Is Transforming Blood Testing
Oct. 1 2014 11:59 AM Ask a Homo: A Lesbian PDA FAQ
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 10:54 AM “I Need a Pair of Pants That Won’t Bore Me to Death” Troy Patterson talks about looking sharp, flat-top fades, and being Slate’s Gentleman Scholar.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 12:26 PM Where Do I Start With Leonard Cohen?
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 AM Watch a Crowd Go Wild When Steve Jobs Moves a Laptop in This 1999 Demonstration of WiFi
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 12:01 PM Rocky Snow
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.