Dick Morris says Obama won't win because his supporters aren't going to vote

Mitt Romney is not attracting much Latino support, and his outlook is even bleaker when it comes to black voters in Colorado and across the country. But a lot of folks like these who would vote for President Obama probably won't bother to show up. The result? A Romney win.

This is the logic of Dick Morris, Fox News analyst and former Bill Clinton strategist, who stopped at an anti-Obama event yesterday to rile up conservative voters in Centennial.

"You have to understand that Barack Obama's strongest demographic are people that aren't gonna vote," Morris said to a crowd of about sixty supporters at the gathering, hosted by a group called Americans for Prosperity in Centennial Center Park yesterday afternoon.

The comment earned him a fair amount of laughs and applause from a crowd sitting under an awning next to the park's playground.

"He sweeps them -- unbelievable margins," Morris continues. "And they're not going to vote, because they look around them. They see this economy. They see what's going on here, and they understand how difficult it is and what a failure this administration has become."

Morris, who was a strategist for Clinton until he resigned after a scandal involving prostitutes and toe-sucking (earning him the Google-happy headline "Toe-sucking Dick Morris" on our pages), came to Colorado as part of the "Obama's Failing Agenda Tour." This initiative is organized by Americans for Prosperity, a group that is not technically affiliated with Romney's campaign. However, the conservative organization -- with Tea Party leanings and backing from the Koch brothers -- is definitely not a bastion of Obama fans.

As evidence, here's exhibit A.

Americans for Prosperity, or AFP, in addition to three anti-Obama buses traveling the country, is criticizing Obama's policies through millions of dollars of advertisements -- focused on key swing states like Colorado.

Another weapon? Dick Morris.

Morris, who was an hour and a half late to the Centennial event due to a flight delay, immediately jumped into wonky poll analysis, declaring that he's very confident Romney is going to win despite negative numbers in virtually all the polls and some tough headlines in recent weeks.

Comfortably, he argues.

"Everybody's wondering what's the deal after the two conventions," Morris says at the start of the event, after noting polls showing that Obama received a bounce in his lead after the DNC in Charlotte.

"Well, do not worry about it," he says. "Among battleground states like Colorado, when you break out the sample from those states, it's a 46-46 race. Absolutely dead even."

He explained that Obama's lead, despite the polls, is smaller among registered voters and a direct tie among "likely voters."

Unlikely voters would vote for Obama, but they aren't likely to vote, he explained, prompting cheers from the crowd.

He added: "These polls -- properly read -- indicate not only a Romney win, but a good-size Romney win," prompting further applause.

Morris, who was formerly a pollster, said one reason for inaccurate polling is that about 65 percent of those who answer surveys are women, while only 35 percent are men.

Why? "Women are much more likely to answer the telephone. 'Honey, it's for you. It's probably your sister.'"

So, he explained, the polls have to be weighted up and down -- with each woman downgraded to 7/10 of a response, because there are so many of them, and each man counting for one and 2/10, to make up for their statistical shortfall.

The implication of that comment, it seems, is that the over-representation of women in the polls hurts Romney, because presumably women are more supportive of Obama, though Morris didn't explicitly say that.

Continue reading for more photos and commentary from Morris on African-American and Latino voters. Morris moved on to talk about African-American and Latino voters -- although not before making an odd comment that seemed to be about transgendered individuals. When discussing the breakdown of voters by gender, he said, "We know gender is 50-50, right? Well, I'm from New York, maybe not. We don't count change operations -- God-given gender."

Morris then said interpreting polls gets more complicated when talking about race -- a touchy subject for him in the past. (A Colorado mayoral poll he offered back in the 1980s, when he supported Dale Tooley against eventual winner Federico Peña, asked the question, Would you vote for a Mexican?)

"We don't know how many African-Americans are going to vote in the election. Now, in the past, we didn't really care that much. It wasn't that important...but now, when all blacks vote one way and young people are such an important component of Obama's base, and Latinos -- we're getting a third of them, but he's getting two-thirds of them -- the important question becomes, who is actually going to vote?" he says to the crowd, which was overwhelmingly white.

He then noted that in 2008, black voters constituted 13 percent of the electorate -- which helped Obama win.

He said pollsters are using the 2008 model -- weighting black voters up to 13 percent, since it's "politically correct to do so...[and] they don't want to be accused of under-representing minorities."

The implication here, it seems, is that black voters won't be coming out in those kinds of numbers this time around, and that would hurt Obama, though Morris didn't directly say that, either.

(There's also the Herman Cain theory that the only reason polls show Romney with virtually zero support among black voters is because "they were working, so they didn't answer the phone when they took the poll.")

Morris added that "undecided voters always go against the incumbent." As we noted in our recent feature on Colorado's swing status, there are more unaffiliated voters in the state than there are registered Democrats or Republicans -- so if Morris is correct, that would certainly hurt Obama.

Morris's proof? He asked the audience to raise their hands if they were planning to remain married to the same person next year. Undecided? None.

"When you say undecided, you decided that there's something wrong with the relationship. You want a change. You just haven't gotten it together to choose somebody yet," he says.

All those pieces of the equation, he said, point to the Romney win he hopes for.

Additionally, the conventions hurt Obama and boosted Romney, he maintained. In his view, the Republican National Convention helped Romney because of the speech from Mitt's wife, Ann.

"We realized that Mitt Romney is a human being. His wife got up there and said, no, he doesn't eat his dog and put him up on top of the car and go around throwing people out of work and that he's not a heartless monster," he said. "There might even be a heart inside that tin man!"

Michelle Obama did the same for Barack, he said, but no one has ever doubted the president's heart.

"He's not the tin man that doesn't have a heart," he says. "He's the scarecrow that might not have a brain."

After the event, we chatted briefly with Morris inside the tour bus, asking for more details on his arguments about minority voters.

He said that black voters simply won't be supporting Romney, but still, Obama won't win.

"I think with the African-American vote, it's a logical vote for people casting for the first of their ethnicity to be president," he said in response to a question about whether Romney can better court black voters.

"With the Latino vote, I believe that in the long run, it will behave like a traditional immigrant vote, which is, the richer it gets, the more established it gets, the better educated it gets, the more Republican it's gonna become, just like Irish and Jews and Italians and Germans all did that," he added.

Is he confident that the groups he identifies as unlikely voters actually won't show up at the polls?

"It's hard to see with....[the] unemployment rate among Latinos...and people could be so enthusiastic about his presidency," he replied. "There's a great deal of discontent...that's sapping the enthusiasm he's going to need to get a turnout. I think he'll have a hard time getting those people out to vote."

Continue for more photos from the event and inside the bus. Continue for more photos.

More from our Politics archive: DU's already got a case of presidential debate fever

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at [email protected].

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sam Levin
Contact: Sam Levin