Why Does "The Hill" Still Publish Dick Morris?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 31 2012 2:56 PM

Why Does "The Hill" Still Publish Dick Morris?

This is fish-in-barrel territory, and for that I apologize, but with every election the great Dick Morris Scam becomes harder to deny. Two years ago I was standing in the cheap seats of a Tea Party rally in Virginia as Morris predicted possible Republican pick-ups in the New York and Oregon races for U.S. Senate. Republicans lost those races by 20-odd points. Today, Morris phones in a column about a coming "landslide" for Romney, which only he can see, but saves the real chuckle gas for the Senate predictions. Allow me to annotate it.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

The impact on Senate races could be profound. Give the GOP easy pickups in Nebraska
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Former Sen. Bob Kerrey has closed that race enough for American Crossroads to jump in with an ad buy against him.

and North Dakota.

The latest public poll puts it at a two-point race. Neither of these is an "easy pickup."

Wisconsin has been a roller coaster. Once an easy win for Republican Tommy Thompson, then a likely loss as Democrat Tammy Baldwin caught up, and now Republican again, it will probably be a third pickup.

The latest poll in Wisconsin, from Marquette Law School, gives the lead to Baldwin. (They've tweeted it, but full results will be posted later.)

Romney’s surge in Virginia is propelling George Allen to a good lead for the first time all campaign.

Allen is down by one point.

In Montana, Republican Denny Rehberg holds and has held for some time a small lead over Democrat incumbent Jon Tester.

Mostly true! Rehberg leads by 0.3 points, down from a high single-digit lead this summer.

And, in Pennsylvania, Smith has powered his campaign to a small lead over Democrat Bob Casey Jr.

Casey leads by an average of 6.2 points, outside the margin of error.

The GOP now leads in these six takeaways.

It leads in three of them.

But it is also within easy striking distance in Ohio and Florida, where incumbents are under 50 percent and Republican challengers Connie Mack (Fla.) and Josh Mandel (Ohio) are only a few points behind.

Mack has struggled to overcome the image of a kid who puked up his silver spoon in the alley behind a Chammps sports bar, and trails by 6.7 points. Mandel trails by 5.5 points. Both of their opponents are above 49.5 percent, which usually means you round up to 50.

It may even be possible to entertain daydreams of Rhode Island (Barry Hinckley) and New Jersey (Joe Kyrillos) going Republican.

Hinckley trails by 22 points, and Kyrillos trails by 19.5 points.

Morris closes with some throat-clearing about the two possible Republican "giveaways" (Massachusetts, Maine) and concludes that "the most likely outcome "is eight GOP takeaways and two giveaways for a net gain of six." This is how he reads polls that have Republicans ahead in only three of 10 of the races. Morris is engaging in pure flim-flam, scam artistry that he wants to use for TV appearances and newsletter subscriptions. Why it being published anywhere else?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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