Haley Barbour: 'We Got a Dead Heat Race'

Tuesday, 06 Nov 2012 10:48 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said he feels "very good" about Mitt Romney chances of winning the presidency today, but balked at declaring him the outright victor ahead of the nation's voters.
"We got a dead heat race," he said today on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," adding: "I feel very good about Romney . . . But we've got a close race."

Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, cautioned against reading too much into exit polls "because so many voted early" that, in his view, there's no way for any exit numbers to be accurate.
"Pay no attention to exit polls, he admonished, adding that both the Romney and Obama campaigns may end up being surprised at just how close the votes are, even in so-called "bellwether" counties that are being looked to as harbingers of how the election may go nationwide.
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There are just "so many close things in this election," he said, that could make difficult to predict a winner until all the votes are in and counted.
Barbour said the momentum in the race had been trending toward Romney before Hurricane Sandy hit the Eastern Coast. He blamed the "media blackout" of the campaign caused by the coverage shift to the disaster as the reason Obama has surged again in some polls.
"The president got great press," he said, even though some recent reports indicate that people in some of the devastated areas now believe the response by the Obama administration to Sandy  hasn't been "a great performance."
Also appearing on Morning Joe, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said if Romney wins today "it will be a great personal victory" for the former Massachusetts governor.
Gingrich, who engaged in a fairly nasty fight with Romney for the Republican nomination, mentioned the first presidential debate as the point in the campaign where Romney distinguished himself as viable alternative to Obama and began to really connect with voters.
"He will have earned it," Gingrich said.  

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