Last month, Dan Greenhaus, the top strategist at brokerage firm BTIG, put out a note saying he could only find one person who thinks President Barack Obama will lose to Mitt Romney in November. This was a big deal because Greenhaus, who works on Wall Street and is surrounded by Wall Streeters, suggests that basically no one on The Street really thinks Romney can pull off a win.
We were able to find a very senior level Wall Street banker/big Romney backer who believes that the Republican candidate has a “very real chance” of winning against Obama in November.
We asked our source, who agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity, why and how he thinks Romney can win.
“I think once you actually put on your green eye shade and do the maths, it looks like a very winable, not an easily won race, but it’s extremely winable. I can get to 270 electoral votes in any number of ways for Romney and ways that I think are very, very credible,” the banker said in an interview yesterday.
Our source, who said that he probably follows politics more closely than the average Wall Street executive, explained that this election will really only comes down to a couple of states.
“You do the maths on the states that are in play and you develop a point of view as to whether or not you think in light of current conditions and the polling that you see and the sentiment outside of New York City and Wall Street and ‘Do you think Romney can win in November? Do you think Romney can win in Florida? Do you think he can turn Wisconsin into a red state? or at least for this electoral cycle?'”
The Wall Streeter said that it’s definitely not over for Romney. In fact, he’s amazed at how close the race is.
Here’s his thought process: (emphasis ours)
“All you have to do is look at your computer look go to look at Gallup, Rasmussen, look at AP. The polls are within–even today with the latest flap having occurred with this surreptitiously recorded video of Governor Romney–have the race within a point or so. And many of the polls, and I’m sort of focusing of the statistics here for a minute, but I think many continue to do one of two things– They either over-sample Democrats and if you look at the turn out data from 2010, and clearly one has to have a belief as to whether or not you think the electorate’s profile looks more like 2010 or 2008, it certainly won’t look like 2008. I don’t know if it will be the way 2010 came out because I don’t think presidential election years follow congressional years that closely, but there have been well-respected surveys and polls that do show a bit of an enthusiasm gap where Republican voters are more enthusiastic and energized to get to the polls than are their Democratic counterpoints. So when I see polls with Democrats over-sampled by 8, 10, 13 points, those really stretch credulity and those are the ones that tend to show Obama with more than 1 to 2 point, nationally, lead and certainly meaningful leads in key swing states.
“The other point is when you look at registered versus likely voters. Many of the nationally quoted or reported polls continue to use registered voters when likely voter percentages or polling percentages tend to be more representative as you get closer to the actual election — You know of what the electorate actually looks like, the people who actually turn out at the polls. That’s even leaving aside the fact that there’s a long standing sort of empirical relationship that even with the more respected polls that don’t use over-sample who use likely voters. They always show the Republican running behind where he or she actually ends up in the final polls. So even when you look at McCain-Obama polls from ’08, just prior they had McCain getting slaughtered, and he lost by what 6.5 points? He was down 10. I look at the polls and I spend a lot of time looking at Real Clear Politics and all the other political junkie websites like Politico and alike and I’m actually amazed at how tight the race is. There’s a bit of a media echo chamber between the major networks and the major big city publications and certain websites saying, ‘It’s Over. It’s Over. I’s Over,’ and the point if if you look at the internals it doesn’t show any of that. It’s more or less a dead heat.”
The banker, who acknowledges that he is by no means a political consultant, also explained how he thinks Romney could pull off a win.
He thinks that Romney could continue highlighting his differences with the president, especially how his policies would diverge from those that have been followed for the last four years.
Our source also thinks that Romney will also have a chance during the upcoming debates. He believes that by standing on stage next to Obama will make Romney look presidential.
What’s more is our source said that he has met Romney on several occasions and that he’s just a “normal human being.”
“I think he’s certainly not the person that he’s portrayed to be in certain media quarters. He’s a normal human being. Maybe that’s not the most profound thing. I think he’s more in touch with what’s going on than what’s being portrayed.”
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