Dick Morris: ‘I’m a pollster, not a meteorologist’

Pundit Dick Morris has explained, sort of, why he thinks his election predictions were off.  

Morris, who repeatedly predicted a Mitt Romney landslide, argues in a blog post that Hurricane Sandy dramatically altered the electoral landscape. 

"Romney was, in fact, leading before Sandy and that his chances blew away in the storm with its famous bipartisan photo of Governor Chris Christie with Obama," Morris writes. "And there was no way to measure the impact of Sandy since there could not logistically be any polling. Why was I wrong? I’m a pollster, not a meteorologist!"

Morris writes that Sandy largely explains what he says was low turnout among white voters; he suggests that Romney's support among whites was shallow and easily destroyed by a storm. In fact, the white vote has been steadily declining for years. 

Obama was rebounding in polls before the hurricane hit, and Romney's lead in independent polling was always slim. But the Republican pollster Rasmussen was showing a far more optimistic map for Romney before the hurricane. 

Morris' post is a follow-up to one he wrote in the immediate wake of the election, in which he suggested that Sandy "made all the difference." He faces renewed scrutiny now that Fox News leadership has penalized him (along with Karl Rove) for bad prognostication by cutting back his air time.

Other Republican pollsters have done some more in-depth analysis of why GOP surveys of the 2012 race were so far off the mark -- looking at polling closer to Election Day and bringing more cell-phone users, younger voters, and Hispanic voters into their samples.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · December 7, 2012