Five People Who Thought John McCain Would Win

So, at least, they said in the final days of 2008. So don't mistake bravado for actual knowledge this time.

1. Rush Limbaugh, conservative radio host


Limbaugh, host of "The Rush Limbaugh Show," told Newsmax on Oct. 31 that McCain would win Florida, Ohio, and Nevada. Asked if Obama would take the election, Limbaugh said, "No, I don’t see it...I think [Obama has] been dead in the water since the primaries. He is going to need to be up 10 to 12 points to win by 3 or 4.”

2. Fred Barnes, executive editor of "The Weekly Standard," former co-host of Fox News's "The Beltway Boys"


On his old Fox News show, "The Betlway Boys," Fred Branes called it for McCain on Nov. 3, comparing Obama to Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis: "For the electoral vote," said Barnes, "I predict McCain squeaks out a win with 286 electoral votes. Mort gives the nod to Obama in a blowout, 379 to 159. Here are my reasons why I think McCain will win. Number one, doubts about Obama. We still don't know much about him at all. He's run as a guy that's going to brings us together. His senate record is one where he's the most liberal senator and he's one of the most partisan. Number two, we're a center-right country. He's a northern liberal. They usually lose. Remember Walter Mondale, remember John Kerry, Mike Dukakis."

3. Dick Morris, political commentator, former political adviser to President Bill Clinton


Morris wrote in Real Clear Politics on Oct. 28 that McCain would win if he picked up undecided votes. "As Obama has oscillated," Morris wrote, "moving somewhat above or somewhat below 50 percent in all the October polls, his election likely hangs in the balance. If he falls short of 50 percent in these circumstances, a majority of the voters can be said to have rejected him. Likely a disproportionate number of the undecideds will vote for McCain." This year, Morris is predicting that Romney will win in a "landslide."

4. Dan Perrin, Republican strategist and writer for "Red State"


In an Oct. 28 column for Red State, Perrin laid out "seven serious, historic, demographic and other wise culturally compelling reasons" that the McCain ticket was "a lock to win." The first, wrote Perrin, "is the absolute arrogance, elitism, condescending, patronizing and in-your-face voter suppression campaign — don’t vote for McCain, he can not win — being conducted by the national media on Senator Obama’s behalf."

5. Richard Grenell, former spokesman for the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

Under the headline "Why Obama Will Lose Today," Grenell wrote on election day 2008 on Huffington Post: "The mainstream media did everything they could to knock off Hillary Clinton in the Primary Election and John McCain in the General Election in order to help elect Barack Obama the 44th President of the United States. Fortunately, their attempt to convince the American people that the inexperienced and untested Junior Senator from Illinois was qualified to be President has backfired."

6. *Bill Kristol, founder and editor of "The Weekly Standard"


Writing in a New York Times column on Nov. 3, 2008, Kristol laid out a possible path for a McCain upset: "But what if John McCain pulls off an upset...It’s possible. What if the polls, for various reasons, are overstating Obama’s support by a couple points? And what if the late deciders break overwhelmingly against Obama, as they did in the Democratic primaries? McCain could then thread the Electoral College needle."

Kristol didn't exactly predict a McCain victory. He added that pulling it off would be "an inside straight," but said, "But I’ve seen gamblers draw them."



A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.