Carville on Presidential Election: Pennsylvania Will Be Key

From left, Alex Threlfall, London anchor for Reuters; Mary Matalin and James Carville this morning at a Thomson Reuters conference in Grapevine.

Back in DFW again for a little last-minute prognosticating, this time in front of 1,400+ people at a Thomson Reuters tax conference in Grapevine, Mary Matalin and James Carville naturally disagreed this morning on the outcome of tomorrow’s presidential election. Republican guru Matalin said she’s confident that Mitt Romney will prevail by 3 to 7 points. But her husband, Democratic consultant Carville, said the political-betting markets like InTrade continue to have President Barack Obama winning handily.

As for tomorrow, Matalin said she’ll do some daytime TV, then party with friends from the Reagan administration “like it’s 1980.” Carville, who said he would be on CNN around 8 p.m. Eastern, advised the audience to keep an early eye on the outcomes in Virginia, Florida and, most especially, Pennsylvania. “If Obama loses Pennsylvania and you’re a Republican, have a party; it’s over. … If [Obama] loses Pennsylvania, he’s not gonna win Ohio. … But if Obama carries Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida and loses Ohio,” Carville went on, it will be very tough for Romney to win.

Then he divulged this secret code about his Tuesday appearance on CNN: “If I pull on my ear like this,” Carville said, tugging on his left ear, all the intelligence he’s getting indicates that “Obama’s gonna win. If I pull on my [right] ear like this, Romney will win.” But if he slaps his forehead in exasperation instead, the Ragin’ Cajun concluded with a laugh, “it’s gonna be something in between.”