10 Things I Learned About Cuba

January 5, 2015

During the Trip of a Lifetime…

I was fortunate to visit Cuba with my wife in November of 2014, just a few weeks before President Obama announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba and a host of changes that would be coming to the island. I had always wanted to see Cuba “before things opened up” to witness the daily life of the people and see how things really were. A lot is said about Cuba in the American media, and depending on where you are from, how old you are, and where you sit on the political spectrum, American opinions about Cuba are various. I needed to see it for myself. So after securing the necessary documents we were able to spend two weeks in Cuba on a person-to-person license, basically a cultural exchange during a very agenda-heavy trip that included visits to all kinds of places and no beaches. This was not your typical Caribbean day in the sun.

Being half-Cuban, I was hoping to connect with my past and see the land of my grandparents. They came to the U.S. long before Fidel Castro was in power so they were not dissidents, or political refuges and no, they did not get here on a raft (it’s amazing how many times I’ve been asked that question). My perspective on the so-called Cuban situation is much different than someone whose family had to flee the country in the late 50’s and early 1960’s. I will try my best to keep the politics out of this and keep this focused on what I observed. After spending 11 educational days in Santiago, Havana and Matanzas I came home with a new, informed perspective on Cuba and felt fortunate to have been one of the last Americans to visit the island before things opened up. Here are 10 things I learned about Cuba.

1. Old Cars Are Everywhere

I thought the images of old cars that you see speeding along Malecon or navigating through the narrow streets of Havana were a romantic embellishment of the photographers or filmmakers who wanted to capture the spirit of Cuba, sort of like how every clichéd image of Minnesota includes shots of either lakes or snow. Minnesota has a lot of those things, just as Cuba has a lot of old cars. They were everywhere. I thought they would be only taxis but it seemed like every fourth or fifth car in Havana was a 50’s era Ford, Buick or Chevy. Even in Santiago, or on the highway between Havana and Matanzas I saw plenty of beautiful old cars with fresh, shiny paint jobs that were a joy to look at. I was stuck on a bus for most of the time though, so I never had the chance to ride in one. (click any photo to see a larger image)

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2. The Two-Currency System Can Be Tricky

Cuba has a dual-currency system. Most Cubans are paid in the peso (CUP) while tourists use the convertible peso which is locally referred to as the “kook,” officially the CUC. I won’t go into detail about the background of this system, you can read more about it here. The CUC is the more valuable currency, worth about 24 pesos. As a tourist I carried and used only CUC, until a friendly vendor at a small corner store pulled the old switcheroo on me. I bought a bottle of water for 1.75 CUC, handing him a 5 CUC bill and he gave me my change in coins – what I thought at the time was 3.25 CUC. A few hours later I went to a different shop to buy a can of cola and tried to pay the 1 CUC price but quickly learned that I was holding a handful of pesos (CUP). Instead of getting my 3.25 CUC in change, I had been handed pesos that amounted to roughly .50 CUC. Okay, so the first guy was able to scam me out of a few bucks and yes, I was able to use the pesos he handed me to buy that cola. Certainly a learning experience – one that cost about 3.25 CUC in tuition. Take a look at the photo. One of these is a CUC and one is a peso. Can you tell the difference? Other than the image and the 1$ marking, they are almost exactly the same size and weight.

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3. Capitalism Exists

See above. People were trying to make a buck everywhere. From cab drivers constantly shouting out, “¿taxi?” to the friendly street hustlers who love to fall in love with your CUC, Cuba was the most capitalist communist country I’ve ever been in. Okay, I’ve only been to this one communist country but there were numerous examples. Take bottled water. In a true planned socialist economy, shouldn’t the price of water be the same everywhere you go? In theory at least? I found that the price of water was completely market-based. A 1-liter bottle may have been 3 CUC in the hotel, 2 CUC in the small shop just down the street and only .75 CUC deep in the Cuban neighborhoods. And you were expected to tip everyone everywhere you went. Waiters and drivers, sure, I was expecting that. But when a group of dancers performs and pulls you onstage to do a little rumba the next thing you know they’re handing you their CD and asking for 5 CUC. I even had one little old lady approach me in an art gallery and lead me to the bathroom. I thought she was leading me to another exhibit but no! As she pointed me around the corner I was expecting to walk into a room of sculptures and instead found myself standing before a toilet. She waited outside until I finished, and so I gave her a tip.

4. Revolutionary Imagery Is Everywhere

I didn’t see a lot of advertisements. Not for Coca-Cola or McDonald’s (televised baseball games have no commercials so between innings, they announcers just keep talking while you watch teams switch sides – same goes for pitching changes) but I did see a lot of patriotic marketing. Photos of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos were everywhere. Banners were draped from buildings with images of Vilma Espín and Frank País. Statues had been erected all over the island honoring José Martí and Antonio Maceo. Usually the images were accompanied by some kind of loyalist message such as  “Todo Por La Revolución” or “Vas Bien Fidel.”

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I saw the famous image of Che Guevara represented in 3 ways: government patriotism, tourist junk, and artwork. Here are some examples:

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5. Restaurant Food Was Just Okay

The food for the most part was inconsistent. I had some fantastic Cuban sandwiches and some ropa vieja that was made just right. The beer was cold and the mojitos were (for the most part) really good. I even had grilled lobster at a small out-of-the-way place in Havana. This restaurant was also the only place that served fresh vegetables. The rest were canned. Most meals consisted of a slab of meat (pork, chicken or beef), a pile of rice and then some kind of bland vegetable – usually from a can. Some places offered bread and plantains and everyone offered bottled water. But when your beverage choices were bottled water for 2 CUC or a cold beer for 2 CUC you might as well order a beer – I always want my CUC to go to a good cause. The coffee though – the coffee was strong.

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6. Toilet Paper is Scarce – Bring Your Own!

We brought two rolls of toilet paper, a package of tissues and a package of wipes and were glad we did! The only places that consistently had toilet paper were our various hotel rooms and those were not refilled unless the roll was nearly empty. Even the bathroom in the hotel lobby had no toilet paper. Restaurants? No toilet paper. Most didn’t even have a toilet seat. Museums, tourists locations, government buildings? Maybe, but don’t count on it. In fact, toilet paper was so hard to come by that I found myself stashing paper napkins whenever I was lucky enough to come across one.

7. There is Food on the Shelves But It’s Not Very Healthy

We had a chance to visit a grocery store in Havana that was frequented almost entirely by Cubans – I saw only a handful of curious tourists. Expecting to see empty shelves and a major food shortage, I was very surprised to see the shelves were well stocked with pasta, canned vegetables, crackers, cookies, sardines, bottled water, beer, wine, more rum than anyone could ever drink, and plenty of sugar drinks. Not the healthiest choices, but far from the widespread shortages I’ve heard about all my life. I was able to replenish my own supply of snacks and make off with a few beverages as well.

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Just down the way from the grocery store was a running store. I was very surprised to see this. They had some descent stuff, and even carried my brand of shoes. You could pick up a pair for about 40 CUC. Not a bad price!!

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8.The Country is Rich in History and Pride

I suppose you get the same thing when you visit Washington D.C. Statues of the country’s most famous leaders. Monuments erected in memory of their glory. Grave sites etched with profound saying and decorated with eternal flames. I definitely felt the pride and it was most apparent at the grave of José Martí, Cuba’s national hero. He’s basically the Cuban version of George Washington, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson all rolled into one. His grave was the largest moment in the cemetery, was guarded by soldiers who changed guards during a small but impressive ceremony every half hour, and his image was splashed all over the island. Here are some shots.

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9. The Rum Was Plentiful

It felt like it was everywhere. A small street-corner cafe might sell nothing but ham sandwiches and cola but have an entire wall of rum bottles taking up half the store. At the dancing and musical performances we attended, rum was poured and shared by everyone. The mojitos were tasty and went for about 3 CUC but you could by a bottle of rum, or “ron” as it’s called on the island for about 5 CUC. Maybe more, maybe less depending on where you were. This was something I never complained about. There were cigars too but they were nearly as abundant as the rum!

People often drank it straight from a glass, and passed their glass around for others to share. At fist, I thought I was entitled only to a small sip, kind of like the wine in Catholic church, but was encouraged to quaff down as much as I wanted. When my glass was empty, a bottle was always offered by a smiling face that encouraged a refill.

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10. Cubans Know their Baseball

One afternoon I was walking through Havana wearing a Minnesota Twins hat and in the span of just a couple hours had about a half dozen men shouted out, “¡Minnesota!” or “¡Twins!” In one bar, the bartender found out our group was from America and kept asking us if we liked the Giants, who had won the World Series just a few weeks before. I insisted that no one cared about the Giants because they won the Series three times in the last five years and that the Royals were the team everyone rooted for as lovable underdogs. The bartender didn’t want to hear this but the next night I returned to his bar and found him dressed in full Giants garb. And what do you know – I just happened to be wearing my Royals hat. We both got a big laugh.

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What a journey.

When I returned home and people asked me, “How was Cuba?” I could only shake my head and give them a one word response, “Unbelievable.” They usually followed up with, “Would you go back?” Another one word response, “Absolutely.”  I would go back to Cuba. Definitely. But not yet. Not for awhile. I want to let the new diplomatic relationship with the U.S. take hold. Let things work themselves out and go back in 5, maybe 10 years to see how things have changed. To see if they have toilet paper, and better food choices and spare parts for those old cars. I worry that the U.S. will come in and ruin a culture I saw to be very pure, by building a Starbucks on every street corner and teaching the people about such capitalistic ideals as KFC and heavily-scripted reality TV. But I’m also hopeful that things will improve and that the struggle, which I saw to be very real, becomes not so much of a struggle anymore. Here’s to Cuba, here’s to the people and to an island that I love so much.

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Mark McGinty‘s work has appeared in Maybourne Magazine, Montage Magazine, Cigar City Magazine and Yahoo! Arts and Entertainment. His novel The Cigar Maker won a Bronze Medal at the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards and was named Finalist at both the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards and the 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards. Connect with Mark on Twitter


A Collection of Premature Obama Obituaries

November 7, 2012

Time to hold some pundits responsible. Because every day they spew whatever malarkey wins them page views, retweets and cable news airtime but are they ever held accountable? Does anyone ever call them out on said malarkey when it proves, usually within a few days, to be completely off base? No. They’re given a free pass to generate brand new malarkey the next day and no matter how inaccurate their predictions were the day before they are usually never questioned. The cycle continued over and over and over. They’re worse than fake psychics, because at least fake psychics are able to realize that most people do have a dead relative named John.

So what was the most inaccurate prediction of the 2012 election season?  Well, that would be the exact opposite of what actually happened: that Barack Obama would lose and Mitt Romney would win. Countless conservative pundits, day after day, wrote Obama’s obituary, most of them knowing that in our 24 hour new cycle (or even 6 or 12 hour cycle), the words and tweets of the previous day would be quickly forgotten and a new narrative would be written.

Here is some of the best Mitt-Will-Win punditry, starting at 10 (ok, 11!) days before the election, and counting down to the final predictions.

October 26th, 11 Days Out…

FiveThirtyEight.com Forecast: Obama 74.4% chance of winning

Ross Douthat

I think the Romney campaign’s guarantee of victory has mattered much less than the Obama campaign’s recent aura of defeat. Losing campaigns have a certain feel to them: They go negative hard, try out new messaging very late in the game, hype issues that only their core supporters are focused on, and try to turn non-gaffes and minor slip-ups by their opponents into massive, election-turning scandals.

http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/obamas-aura-of-defeat/

Rick Wilson

Watching the final debate, the more I considered Barack Obama’s deplorably non-presidential affect and attitude; his reliance on corny, crudely-made zingers; and his almost pathological string of lies and distortions, the more it struck me that, at some level, he knows this is over.

http://ricochet.com/main-feed/The-Inflection-Point

Jennifer Rubin

The collapse of Obama’s winning coalition from 2008 is evident on multiple fronts… the president is now drawing in the RealClearPolitics average the support of (you guessed it) 47 percent of the voters.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/the-unmaking-of-a-president-2012/2012/10/25/a0d69dc4-1ea1-11e2-9cd5-b55c38388962_blog.html

Neil Stevens cherry picked one poll and predicted Minnesota and Pennsylvania would go to Romney!

Gallup’s new partisan ID split, one that mimics what Rasmussen has been saying all along, predicts nothing less than doom for the Democrats, and a solid, national win for Mitt Romney this year.

http://www.redstate.com/2012/10/26/swingometer-gallup-party-id-figures-predict-solid-romney-win/

October 27th, 10 Days Out…

FiveThirtyEight.com Forecast: Obama 73.6% chance of winning

Hugh Hewitt – speaking of Ohio

I am not surprised by the crowds or the energy.  People who think it is close will be surprised a week from Tuesday.  You can’t hide the economy from the people living through it. Ohio wants change.

http://www.hughhewitt.com/blog/g/95e54b1e-abcc-4c96-923a-fc88d2ba5ccd

John Nolte, on Michael Barone

Michael Barone is no shill. He might be right-of-center politically, but he’s nobody’s flack. What he is, however, is one of the top three smartest numbers men in the country, and he’s predicting a Romney win.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/10/27/Romney-Increases-lead-In-national-swing-state-poll

http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2012/10/26/barone-predicts-romney-winner/

Dan McLaughlin

Barack Obama is toast. This is not something I say lightly. I generally try to remain cautious about predictions, because the prediction business is a humbling one…. Obama will lose – perhaps lose a very close race, but lose just the same. That conclusion is only underscored by the fact that, historically, there is little reason to believe that the remaining undecided voters will break for an incumbent in tough economic times. He will lose the national popular vote, and the fact that he has remained competitive to the end in the two key swing states he needs to win (Ohio and Wisconsin) will not save him.

http://www.redstate.com/2012/10/26/why-i-think-obama-is-toast/

October 28th, 9 Days Out…

FiveThirtyEight.com Forecast: Obama 74.6% chance of winning

Jay Cost

More and more, Americans are coming around to the idea that a President Romney would be a change for the better, which means that—barring some unforeseen shift in public opinion—Obama’s days in office look to be numbered.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/independents-day_657936.html?page=2

Newt “I’m going to be the nominee” Gingrich

I think it’s very unlikely, as a historian that [Romney]  can win a significant popular victory vote and not carry the electoral college…I think he’s actually going to end up winning 53-47.

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/newt-gingrich-predicts-romney-victory-of-53-47

Dean Chambers (The unskewedpolls.com Guy)

If these numbers are right, Mitt Romney gets elected our next president with 301 electoral votes to 237 for Barack Obama. If Romney wins Pennsylvania and Michigan, that total goes to 337 electoral votes. If Romney momentum causes him to win Oregon, New Mexico and Minnesota, he will win a total of 359 electoral votes as projected here. If Maine, Connecticut, New Jersey and Washington state come into play, they could add another 37 electoral votes to the Romney total for a final total of 396 electoral votes.

http://www.examiner.com/article/romney-leads-nine-of-11-key-swing-states-by-unskewed-polls-averages

October 29th, 8 Days Out…

FiveThirtyEight.com Forecast: Obama 72.9% chance of winning

Dick Morris

Obama won by 7 points in 2008. But the electorate has become 15 points more Republican since then. Do the math — an 8 point Romney victory! OK, maybe 5 or 6 or 7, but no cliffhanger.

http://www.dickmorris.com/gallup-explains-why-other-polls-are-wrong/#more-10087

John Kasich

Right now, I believe we’re currently ahead. Internals show us currently ahead. Honestly, I believe that Romney is going to carry Ohio.

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/28/14757523-ohio-gov-predicts-romney-win-as-auto-politics-dominate?lite

Jack Kelly

So the question may not be whether Mr. Romney will win, but by how much…Underlings must wonder if there will be legal consequences for the laws they’ve broken. I predict an orgy of document shredding Nov. 7.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/10/29/the_obama_presidency_is_about_to_be_swept_away.html

October 30th, 7 Days Out…

FiveThirtyEight.com Forecast: Obama 77.4% chance of winning

Michael Novak

For myself, I expect Romney to win by just over 52 to 46 percent, with two minor candidates gathering about 2 percent between them.

also, speaking of pollsters…

The one I count most trustworthy is Rasmussen

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/332002/why-romney-will-win-michael-novak

Frank Donatelli

A cold, hard reading of the most important trends and numbers tells us that Mitt Romney will be elected America’s 45th president…There are still many factors that can affect this closest of elections. But the most likely outcome is for Mitt Romney to ride strong public dissatisfaction with the president’s handling of the economy to victory on Nov. 6.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1012/83018_Page2.html

Joe Klein provides a needed dose of reality

So we’re in the quiet eye of the election. And I promise you, this thing can spin either way when we emerge. There will be a jobs report this Friday. There may be other surprises. But anyone who claims to know who is going to win is blowing smoke.

http://swampland.time.com/2012/10/29/i-dont-know/?iid=sl-main-arenapage

October 31st, 6 Days Out…

FiveThirtyEight.com Forecast: Obama 78.4% chance of winning

Michael Graham

I predict the latter. One week from today, Mitt wins…If you’ve been watching the polls and the campaigns at all objectively, you’re starting to see a picture develop. One where Romney’s the winner well before bedtime.

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/op_ed/view/20221031mitt_set_to_win_maybe_by_a_mile_republican_momentum_makes_prez_desperate/

Dick Morris again, in a piece titled “Here comes the landslide”

In the next few days, the battle will move to Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (15), Wisconsin (10) and Minnesota (16). Ahead in Pennsylvania, tied in Michigan and Wisconsin, and slightly behind in Minnesota, these new swing states look to be the battleground.

Once everyone discovers that the emperor has no clothes (or that Obama has no argument after the negative ads stopped working), the vote shift could be of historic proportions.

The most likely outcome? Eight GOP takeaways and two giveaways for a net gain of six. A 53-47 Senate, just like we have now, only opposite. Barack Obama’s parting gift to the Democratic Party.

http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/dick-morris/264935-here-comes-the-landslide

Dan McLaughlin with a long-winded double-down on his insistence that Obama is toast

(he declares that a statistical models like Nate Silver’s 538.com is no better at predicting outcomes than RCP, which on this date are predicting Obama electoral votes of 299 and 290 respectively)

And I stand by the view that a mechanical reading of polling averages is an inadequate basis to project an event unprecedented in American history: the re-election of a sitting president without a clear-cut victory in the national popular vote…No mathematical model can provide a convincing explanation of how Obama is going to win re-election. He remains toast.

http://www.redstate.com/2012/10/31/on-polling-models-skewed-unskewed/

November 1st, 5 Days Out…

FiveThirtyEight.com Forecast: Obama 80.8% chance of winning

Keith Backer at Battleground Watch uses words like unrealistic, silly, and fantasy to deconstruction a trio of Quinnipiac polls showing Obama leading in swing states.

Well done Quinnipiac. Now, if you’ll just survey far more Democrats than have ever shown up at the polls in these state [sic] the Death Star may finally be fully operational and Obama can pull out an election that he is almost assuredly losing right now.

http://battlegroundwatch.com/2012/10/31/cbsnew-york-timesquinnipiac-survey-narnia-find-obama-leading/

Karl Rove ignores all data that doesn’t support his argument (which is quite a bit)

My prediction: Sometime after the cock crows on the morning of Nov. 7, Mitt Romney will be declared America’s 45th president. Let’s call it 51%-48%, with Mr. Romney carrying at least 279 Electoral College votes, probably more.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204846304578090820229096046.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Boris Epshteyn cites (who else?) Gallup in his piece “3 Reasons Mitt Romney Will Win the Election”

The feeling among GOP faithful four years later is drastically different. We do not “hope” to win or “believe we can” win, but are convinced that Mitt Romney will win the election on November 6.

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/boris-epshteyn/2012/10/31/mitt-romney-will-win-the-presidential-election

November 2nd, 4 Days Out…

FiveThirtyEight.com Forecast: Obama 82.67% chance of winning

Jay Cost doubles down in “Why Romney is Likely to Win”

I think Mitt Romney is likely to win next Tuesday. For two reasons:

(1) Romney leads among voters on trust to get the economy going again.

(2) Romney leads among independents.

http://weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-why-i-think-romney-will-win_660041.html

The Obama campaign’s David Alexrod counters all of this with a firm prediction of victory:

(Be sure to read the comments on this one)

I don’t want to be ambiguous about this at all, We’re winning this race,” senior adviser David Axelrod said on a conference call Monday morning. “I say that not on the basis of some mystical faith in a wave that’s going to come or some hidden vote. We base it on cold, hard data based on who has voted so far and on state by state polling. So we just, you’re going to get spun and spun and spun in the next week and what I would urge you to do is to focus on the facts, focus on the data, focus on the trends in the states and if you do it will lead you to the same conclusions.

http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/10/team-obama-to-press-were-going-to-win-147590.html

November 3rd, 3 Days Out…

FiveThirtyEight.com Forecast: Obama 83.7% chance of winning

Michael Barone ignores all the polls and goes with 315 for Mitt, 223 for Obama

Fundamentals usually prevail in American elections. That’s bad news for Barack Obama. True, Americans want to think well of their presidents and many think it would be bad if Americans were perceived as rejecting the first black president…Bottom line: Romney 315, Obama 223. That sounds high for Romney. But he could drop Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and still win the election. Fundamentals.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/barone-going-out-on-a-limb-romney-wins-handily/article/2512470#.UJUmzme4rLS

Michael Franc cites the single week-old (yes, you guessed it) Gallup poll and then “unskews” the rest of them…

Correcting these polls so that there was a Republican edge in the sample of voters consistent with Gallup’s finding would hand Romney a lead between five to ten points. Imagine the run on smelling salts at Mother Jones and MSNBC if that were to happen?

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/332386/parsing-polls-michael-g-franc#

Speaking of unskewed polls, Dean Chambers ups his estimate to 311 Romney

If the election were held today Mitt Romney would win 311 electoral votes while Barack Obama would win in states worth 227 electoral votes according to the latest polling data available today.

http://www.examiner.com/article/mitt-romney-likely-election-day-victory-indicated-by-latest-polls?cid=db_articles

Lots of wishful thinking from Emmett Tyrrell

Next week President Obama goes into retirement. I hope he will consider Hawaii.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/11/03/au_revoir_mr_president_116046.html

November 4th, 2 Days Out…

FiveThirtyEight.com Forecast: Obama 85.5% chance of winning

Charles Krauthammer

Nonetheless, predicting the outcome of the election, Krauthammer said that while the recent events have helped Obama “slightly recover in the polls” Romney will ultimately win the election by a narrow margin.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/161671#.UJZ-FGe4rLQ

Mary Kate Cary

Romney promises to deliver where Obama did not, by working with decent people on both sides of the aisle. Obama can’t promise to do the same—because it’s clear he doesn’t think there are decent people to work with on both sides anymore.

Romney does. That’s why he’ll win.

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2012/11/02/why-mitt-romney-will-win

Ari Fleischer tweets:

Romn wins CO, WI and NH. That’s 271 EVs…PA and OH would be icing on the cake. Romn could peak at 309 EVs if he takes both.

https://twitter.com/AriFleischer?tw_i=265139484918685697&tw_e=screenname&tw_p=tweetembed

November 5th, 1 Day Out…

FiveThirtyEight.com Forecast: Obama 86.3% chance of winning

Julia La Roche, reporting on Dennis Gartman

Another point Gartman makes is that he thinks the polls are “badly out of touch.” First, he notes the calls have a very high refusal rate and only a small percentage are actually responding.  What’s more is the polling tends to take place during the day and those people responding are likely unemployed, therefore, they would likely need government assistance and would also likely lean toward the Democrats, he explains.

http://www.businessinsider.com/dennis-gartman-says-romney-will-win-2012-11

I can’t get enough Dick Morris

Morris says Romney will capture 325 electoral votes while Obama will get 213, a significant difference.

“It will be the biggest surprise in recent American political history,” Morris said. “It will rekindle the whole question on why the media played this race as a nailbiter where in fact Romney’s going to win by quite a bit.”

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/11/05/dick_morris_stands_by_prediction_romney_will_win_325_electoral_votes.html

And finally, from World Net Daily. A witch doctor from Obama’s ancestral village in Kenya predicts Obama will win and of course, the birthers at WND are not surprised!

Witch doctor John Dimo tossed some shells, bones and other items to determine who will win Tuesday’s election. After throwing the objects like so many dice outside his hut in Kogelo village, Dimo, who says he is 105 years old, points to a white shell and declares: “Obama is very far ahead and is definitely going to win.”

http://www.wnd.com/2012/11/obama-favored-in-ancestral-kenyan-village/

Fred Barnes

Mitt Romney will win.  The tie in the polls goes to the challenger.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/why-romney-will-win_660391.html

November 6th, Election Day!

FiveThirtyEight.com Forecast: Obama 91.6% chance of winning

Larry Kudlow

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is working to restore the freedom model created by our Founders. This model has served the country well for 250-some-odd years. It is fundamentally a belief in people and good common sense. It is profoundly optimistic. Perhaps I’ll be wrong. But I think optimism wins this election.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/11/06/romneys_optimism_will_win_116077.html

Rich Stowell

Count this author as among those who believe the American People will not vote for failure. We will learn fairly early tomorrow night that Mitt Romney has secured an electoral majority.

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/election-2012-communities-predicts-winner/2012/nov/5/romney-has-271-electoral-votes-nearly-bag/

Mark Tapscott

Romney wins 53-47, thanks mainly to his Rope-A-Dope strategy and an immense enthusiam advantage.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/romney-will-win-because-its-1980-all-over-again/article/2512618

Red State Blogger qsclues

For those two reasons alone, I predict a victory for Romney on Tuesday night by a margin that will be anywhere from “comfortable” to “resounding”.  As a bonus prediction, the party will unofficially start when Pennsylvania is called for Romney.

http://www.redstate.com/qsclues/2012/11/05/why-romney-will-win-and-handily/

Of course, we know how it all turned out.

2012

Mark McGinty‘s work has appeared in Maybourne Magazine, Montage Magazine, Cigar City Magazine and Germ Warfare. His novel The Cigar Maker won a Bronze Medal at the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards and was named Finalist at both the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards and the 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards.

 


Thoughts on Election 2012

November 2, 2012

It’s the Friday before the election and I think it’s pretty clear that Obama will be reelected. I’m saying this publicly because it’s the truth. My brain tells me that Romney could still win but this bleeding liberal heart knows Obama will be with us for four more.

Yeah, pretty bold prediction from some guy in Minnesota who should be working on chapter 20 of his book for National Novel Writing Month but is instead writing political bullshit about Obama-Romney 2012.

But I’m not the only one to make a prediction about this race. Many have and once Obama is reelected I’ll be posting a article about a chorus of conservative pundits who have already declared Romney the winner. The article is titles A Collection of Early Obama Obituaries and you can read a sample of it now.

October 28th, 9 Days Out…

FiveThirtyEight.com Forecast: Obama 74.6% chance of winning

Newt “I’m going to be the nominee” Gingrich

I think it’s very unlikely, as a historian that [Romney]  can win a significant popular victory vote and not carry the electoral college…I think he’s actually going to end up winning 53-47.

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/newt-gingrich-predicts-romney-victory-of-53-47

Dean Chambers (The unskewedpolls.com Guy)

If these numbers are right, Mitt Romney gets elected our next president with 301 electoral votes to 237 for Barack Obama. If Romney wins Pennsylvania and Michigan, that total goes to 337 electoral votes. If Romney momentum causes him to win Oregon, New Mexico and Minnesota, he will win a total of 359 electoral votes as projected here. If Maine, Connecticut, New Jersey and Washington state come into play, they could add another 37 electoral votes to the Romney total for a final total of 396 electoral votes.

http://www.examiner.com/article/romney-leads-nine-of-11-key-swing-states-by-unskewed-polls-averages

October 29th, 8 Days Out…

FiveThirtyEight.com Forecast: Obama 72.9% chance of winning

Dick Morris

Obama won by 7 points in 2008. But the electorate has become 15 points more Republican since then. Do the math — an 8 point Romney victory! OK, maybe 5 or 6 or 7, but no cliffhanger.

http://www.dickmorris.com/gallup-explains-why-other-polls-are-wrong/#more-10087

November 1st, 5 Days Out…

FiveThirtyEight.com Forecast: Obama 80.8% chance of winning

Karl Rove ignores all data that doesn’t support his argument (which is quite a bit)

My prediction: Sometime after the cock crows on the morning of Nov. 7, Mitt Romney will be declared America’s 45th president. Let’s call it 51%-48%, with Mr. Romney carrying at least 279 Electoral College votes, probably more.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204846304578090820229096046.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

This election has been a killer and collecting these predictions has helped me through the anxiety. The final version of the article will include 11 days of victory dancing Romney-style, plus a list of election-day-Romney’s-got-it-in-the-bag  fun and games. Look for it next Wednesday morning!

Mark McGinty‘s work has appeared in Maybourne Magazine, Montage Magazine, Cigar City Magazine and Germ Warfare. His novel The Cigar Maker won a Bronze Medal at the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards and was named Finalist at both the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards and the 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards.