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Dick Morris’ History of Getting It Wrong

Former Clinton adviser has history of making bad predictions

Political strategist Dick Morris played an important role in the 1996 re-election of Bill Clinton. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Political strategist Dick Morris played an important role in the 1996 re-election of Bill Clinton. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Dick Morris rose to prominence after his strategy of triangulation helped Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign in 1996 and fell from grace after letting a prostitute listen in on conversations with the president.  

Now Morris, who has become a critic of both Bill and Hillary Clinton, is reportedly i n talks to join the Trump campaign as a strategist.  

But while Morris was hailed for his genius in the 1990s, he has since become known for his ability to be profoundly wrong in his predictions. Here is a roundup of some of his worst predictions.

Romney landslide

In 2012, Morris predicted that Mitt Romney would beat President Barack Obama in a landslide victory with 325 electoral votes to Obama’s 213.  

Morris predicted that Romney would win Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota and New Hampshire, which were all states that Obama won in 2008.  

Of those, Romney won only North Carolina and Indiana.  

Later, Morris accounted for why he was massively wrong.  

“I derided the media polls for their assumption of what did, in fact happen: That blacks, Latinos, and young people would show up in the same numbers as they had in 2008,” he wrote. “I was wrong. They did.”

Rubio as Romney’s running mate

Obama’s victory was not the only profoundly wrong prediction that Morris had about the 2012 election. That same year, Morris predicted that Romney would pick Sen. Marco Rubio as his running mate.  

Morris said at the time that picking Rubio would be the best way to counteract Obama’s then-recent announcement that young undocumented immigrants would be deferred from deportation.  

“What we have to understand for the election is that this is a crucial issue with the Latino vote, and that we need to get back with the Latino vote and nominating Rubio as vice president is the best way to do that,” he said in an interview in 2012.   

Of course, Romney would pick Rep. Paul D. Ryan as his running mate.

The 2008 nominees

It is hard to remember but at one point, it was almost a foregone conclusion that Hillary Clinton would win the Democratic nomination in 2008. Thus it would be too harsh to fault Morris for predicting she would be the nominee.  

But in 2007, he and his wife Eileen McGann wrote a whole book  saying that in 2008, the contest would be between Clinton and then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  

Of course this didn’t come to pass. Sen. John McCain would become the Republican nominee and Obama would win the Democratic nomination and then the presidency.  

Over-confident in Obama in 2008 As an old acquaintance of Morris’ might say, a broken clock is right twice a day.  

But even when Morris got it right, as was the case when he correctly predicted  that Obama would win the general election, he could get it wrong, too.  

In 2008, Morris predicted that Missouri and Arkansas would be firmly in the Obama column; North Carolina, Arizona, Tennessee, and West Virginia would tilt toward Obama; and Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina would be tossups.  

Only one of those was right — Obama did win North Carolina.  

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