Obama, Romney Backers Both Predict Their Side Will Win

Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Virginia Republican Governor Bob McDonnell and Massachusetts Democratic Governor Deval Patrick talk with Bloomberg's Al Hunt about the U.S. presidential race. Bloomberg's Julie Davis reports on the impact of jobs data and Hurricane Sandy on the final days of the campaigns. Commentators Kate O'Beirne and Margaret Carlson talk about the outlook for the presidential election and House and Senate races. (Source: Bloomberg)

Massachusetts’s Democratic Governor Deval Patrick and Virginia’s Republican Governor Bob McDonnell both insist their party’s nominee will win the presidency. In three days, one of them will be proved wrong.

“I think the president’s going to win,” Patrick said of President Barack Obama in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital With Al Hunt” airing this weekend. “He’s going to earn this win, and I think he’s going to come right back to work on Wednesday, working not just for Democrats and those who voted for him, but for everybody.”

The Battle for the Presidency... of Ohio?

McDonnell predicted Republican Mitt Romney will carry Virginia and win the presidency by a “razor-thin” margin on Nov. 6. Republicans have a better “ground game” in the state this year than in 2008, he said.

“Turnout and enthusiasm means that we win by a couple of points” in Virginia, McDonnell said in a separate “Political Capital” interview. “We just need a change, and everybody knows that.”

McDonnell dismissed a Labor Department report yesterday that U.S. employers added more workers to payrolls in October than forecast. The economy has been “basically at a standstill over the last four years,” he said.

“The bottom line is, the unemployment rate is higher today than when President Obama took office,” the Virginia governor said. “So this is not a real recovery.”

Responding to similar comments about the economy by Romney yesterday, Patrick said it was “a sad commentary on - on the governor’s campaign and on his approach that he would take positive job growth as bad news.”

Party Lines

Patrick, 56, also took issue with Romney’s repeated assertions that he worked across party lines as governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007.

“They tell a very different story in the legislature back home, I can tell you that,” Patrick said. “The leadership talk about how, you know, he went through the motions mostly, that he was more interested in having the job than actually doing it.”

The one exception was Romney’s work with Democrats to pass a health-care law that was a precursor to Obama’s 2010 signature legislation, Patrick said. Romney plays down similarities between the Massachusetts and nationwide laws.

McDonnell, 58, brushed aside the idea that endorsements of Obama by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Virginian, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will sway voters in his state.

Not Surprising

Bloomberg’s endorsement wasn’t surprising because he has supported “big-city bailouts and gun control for a long time,” McDonnell said. “The only surprise is that he waited until a couple days after a hurricane, right before an election, to make the endorsement.”

Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent company Bloomberg LP.

McDonnell said he doubted race was a factor in the endorsement by Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as was suggested by former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu, a top Romney surrogate.

“General Powell is - is a great American,” McDonnell said. “And he’s free to make his choice. Obviously, I disagree with that.”

Patrick called Sununu’s comment “silly,” adding that it was “appreciated by most as just that.” He said he didn’t think “anybody has asked John Sununu whether race was the reason why he - he endorsed Governor Romney.”

Hurricane Sandy

McDonnell praised Obama and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s response to Atlantic superstorm Sandy, which caused flooding, death and destruction along the eastern U.S.

“Everybody at every level, I think, did a very good job,” he said. “The president was on the phone with us, pledging federal assistance. We appreciated that very much.”

McDonnell said he didn’t agree with Romney’s suggestion during the primary campaign that he might shift FEMA duties to the states or to private companies.

“I think the federal government’s got a legitimate role with the - with FEMA and being the backup for state and local governments for these major disasters and being on the ground in advance to help,” he said. “They’ve got a legitimate role, and I think recently Governor Romney has said the same thing.”

McDonnell predicted that Romney will carry Prince William County, Virginia, where Obama and former President Bill Clinton plan to campaign today.

Defense Cuts

“Prince William has got a lot of conservatives, has got a lot of people in the defense industry that are very concerned about the Obama sequestration defense cuts, 200,000 jobs lost in Virginia,” he said. “And so many of the Hispanic community are very concerned about small business.”

In 2008, Obama won 57.6 percent of the vote in Prince William County. President George W. Bush won 52.9 percent of the vote there in 2004.

Former Republican U.S. Representative Virgil Goode, who is on the presidential ballot as the Constitution Party candidate in Virginia, won’t throw the state to Obama, McDonnell said.

“I think some polls had him at 2 percent,” he said. “I expect him to be far less than that. I don’t expect him to be a factor.”

With just a few days to go, McDonnell said the nationwide momentum was working to Romney’s advantage.

“The most enthusiastic voters are voting for Mitt Romney, which means that, of those likely voters in the polls, the ones that are actually going to show up, more of them will be Romney than Obama supporters, and the independents, the undecideds will break for Romney,” he said.

Elizabeth Warren

Patrick predicted that Democrat Elizabeth Warren would win the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts against incumbent Republican Scott Brown.

“Elizabeth Warren has gotten stronger and stronger,” he said. “And more to the point, her policies are exactly what we need. She will be a senator for the people of Massachusetts all of the time, not just some of the time.”

Voters next week will deliver “a victory that enables us to have a second term of the Obama administration,” Patrick said. “We’re going to see even better and stronger results in that term.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Kathleen Hunter in Washington at khunter9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jodi Schneider at jschneider50@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.