We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

My prediction for the week

George Bush, in the upcoming election, will take at least 45 States. To a 70% confidence factor, he will sweep all but his Democratic opponent’s home State. The reasons for this are as one might expect:

  1. Even the liberal media and Democrats in Congress are beginning to admit the war on terror overseas is going well.
  2. All the contenders for the Democratic nomination, with the exception of Joe Lieberman, who’s candidacy looks quite shaky, are turning strongly away from the center.
  3. With no need to spend any money on a primary campaign at all, Bush will go into the general election with an unprecedented war chest, which may exceed $170,000,000.
  4. Bush’s one possible Achilles’ heel, the economy, is showing strong signs of recovery.

36 comments to My prediction for the week

  • My one qualification to this set of predictions would be about the economy. I have yet to check the M2 and M3 measures for the past six months. If they’ve been rising rapidly, then the current boom could hit a capital-malinvestment / liquidation bust in a year’s time — just about in time to affect Election 2004.

    Watch the Palace. I’ll have a piece up about this fairly soon.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    I dunno. 45 states is a bit of a stretch. He’ll probably win by a comfortable margin(60/40), but not by THAT much. I also expect the Dems to start putting up a better fight once the primaries are over.

  • I wonder how many people in the US construction industry will vote for Dubya?

  • There is still a year to go and a lot of things can happen, at home and abroad.

    GDP growth is very good. But until that is reflected in employment figures, it still is a possible Achilles’ heel.

    Argument #2 is more worrisome to me, because so many on the right agree on it and assumes the majority of voters to be put off by this. They also assume the Democratic candidate will keep a similar stand for almost a whole year following the primary. In other words, there is a bit of incumbent complacency there that is not welcome, IMO.

  • Alfred E. Neuman

    The smart money is on Bush. I’d take that bet. But the spread–that’s a different story.

  • John Ellis

    An amazing analysis. I hear very differently (although his warchest may be that big, as the big corporates and very rich individuals know on which side their bread is buttered).

    By the way, when you say “War on Terror”, do you mean “War on Terror inside Iraq”? From your link I guess so, but the only comments in that link were from Republican Senators, not a “liberals”, so I don’t think it supports your point…..(And even they were hardly gung-ho).

  • Beltaine

    Bush will definately be named the victor of the 2004 elections, if Diebold, ES&S or Sequoia do the counting. Just don’t ask for a recount.

  • Sage

    As long as the economy is not completely horrible, then it won’t be much of a weak spot for W. The economy just isn’t the issue it was in 1992 or even 1996.

    But you can count on whoever wins the Democrat nomination to veer back to the center. That’s the way it always goes. The primary is about working the liberal base into a lather. The election always requires a drift back to the center. Like James Carville said, contemporary American Presidential elections are really all about NOT saying anything that offends a single mother of two living in such-and-such county, Florida or XYZ City, Texas. It’s all about very narrow constituencies of the center, so the wildly leftist rhetoric will start to peter out once we have a real live Democrat ticket.

    In short, this will be a real dog fight–but W. will still win it because the Democrats aren’t strong on the defining issue of the moment.

  • JSAllison

    It’s pretty well normal for the primaries to be examples of extremist rhetoric in action. Once the dust settles and the survivors are making the run to November they’ll start trying to collect up the moderates of both parties. The question is, how far out into left field can you go during the primaries and still recover? I think the whole thing turns into a walkover the day Cheney steps down due to health/age and the Pres names Ms Rice as his veep.

  • Alfred E. Neuman

    Bush will definately be named the victor of the 2004 elections, if Diebold, ES&S or Sequoia do the counting. Just don’t ask for a recount.

    Kodiak? Is that you?

  • Theodopoulos Pherecydes

    Electronic voting as an alternative to hanging chads doesn’t seem to satisfy the left. Perhaps we should go back to the psephos and a sturdy urn?

  • zhombre

    No form of voting will satisfy the left. Either they win or egregrious error occurred. The election was fixed, the public are brainwashed, etc. When history is on your side mere democracy must conform.

  • Sandy P.

    Francis, do you read econopundit?

    He links to the Yale model.

    Also, Bob Brinker in his newsletters follows those measures.

    Everything might be moot, AQ’s announced a “death blow” to America.

  • fnyser

    John Ellis:

    Republican Party generally gets over 60% of its $ from individual contributions of $1000 or less – guess its a $2000 cap now – but anyway it is the dems who get over 60% from big soft money contributions mostly from Unions and Trial lawyers who give 99% to the Dems. The rest of big business comes dow a bit mor equally – something closer to a 60/40 split favoring the Republicans. I guess that’s trying to get the guy who wants to leave you alone elected while paying just enough protection money to the other guys.

    Campaign finance reform would hurt the Dems terribly if there were not ways around it.

  • “It’s pretty well normal for the primaries to be examples of extremist rhetoric in action. Once the dust settles and the survivors are making the run to November they’ll start trying to collect up the moderates of both parties.”

    These days virtually everything is videotaped so even if the Democratic nominee tries to move back to the center you can bet that the Republicans will be more than happy to edit together some reminders of the positions and rhetoric used by Democrats during debates and in the primaries.

    45 states might be possible if Howard Dean is nominated but it’s still a little too early to be making bold predictions. One year is a lifetime in politics.

  • D. Citizen

    While I agree Bush will win in ’04, I don’t think it will be by Reaganesque numbers. The election is a long ways off in political time — there are still 4 or 5 scandals to weather, at least three siginifcant events to be spun (e.g. Sadam/Ossama dies, is captured, or surfaces with renewed support), and several projections by the CBO to be hailed/blasted. In addition, the Dems are still occupied with internecine battles, which traditional are played out for the benefit of the party base (a.k.a. extremists). Once a candidate is nominated, the drift back to the center will be amazingly quick, and the candidate’s tracks will be covered by his former adversaries (so as to obscure any out-of-the-mainstream positions taken in securing the nomination).

    What’s really overlooked in all of this, IMHO, is the fact that Bush hasn’t even begun to campaign. Don’t look for any real Bush ’04 rhetoric until at least next Summer. In the end, though, I expect that Bush will win by a good margin in the popular vote(60/40?), and take between 35-40 states, including the South, PA, and FL (which doesn’t count as the South), and he makes a good run at CA (which he will still lose).

  • I think it grievously unwise to embrace the concept of electronic voting just because “liberals hate it.”

    Men of good will may differ; a political affiliation is no reason to assume that such a concern is unfounded. I’ve read up on it, and I’m now not sure that I’ll bother to vote if I see a touch-screen in the booth.

    You should read up on the issue. The implications are truly terrifying to anyone, left, right or martian with any love for the concept of democracy.

    In essence, the use of such devices make it impossible to be sure if an election was rigged or not. They are easily subverted – far worse than butterfly ballots – and let’s face it, there’s a fine tradition of election fraud in this nation, going back to the Founders, so it’s hardly a stretch to imagine it happening.

    But there was always the possibility of an audit of some sort. Now, these devices eliminate the possibility. Think of the implications, as the various competing forces realize that fraud is undetectable -and therefore assume that the other side will cheat, so they must.

    If people in general realize they have no way of being sure if their vote is going to be counted honestly, well, why should they bother?

    The integrity and accuracy of elections should be a motherhood issue – but there doesn’t seem to be much awareness beyond the purely tactical in Foggy Bottom these days.

    As for Bush’s chances – I dunno. I read it as a coinflip right now; I think both sides are believing thier own propaganda and not really checking into what the vast undecided center thinks.

    I also think that neither side is truly taking into account the effect of the internet and the likelihood that potential voters are seeing information coming from outside of the tightly-controlled US media.

    And most telling – the lies, the lies, the amazingly STUPID lies!

    The awareness that the bullshit is at chin-level and rising is no longer restricted to the far left, or even the center-left. Hell, there have been some Republican officeholders carefully distancing themselves from the White House.

    OTOH, the best the Dems have are Dean and Clark, and they aren’t yet setting the airwaves on fire, nor are they hitting GW where it really hurts, yet.

    My gut says this will come down to the wire and hinge on events and reactions.

  • bil.

    I think with the war and the economic ‘stimulus’ Bush may have acted too early.

    I don’t think the economic situation is as strong as it is being made out to be, the tax-cut and refi spending spree is just about over leaving lots of debt. Corporate earnings increases came mostly from non-repeatable cost-cutting. And while new unemployment claims are not rising, continuing claims are.

    As far as M3, it took a dip the last month or so, I believe. Too much debt out there already.

  • Earth to Kodiak, Alfred misses you…

  • Alfred E. Neuman

    Exactly, Sylvain. Unbelievably, he didn’t show up on the post about your article on France. I have been deprived of much amusement, and I demand satisfaction. Maybe Beltaine can be our new pet troll. Kodiak’s shoes will be hard to fill, though.

  • triticale

    I can’t speak for any other state, but Wisconsin is very likely to go for Bush. In 2000, Gore took the state by only about 5000 votes. Some of these were bought by the DNC (videotape of this exists).

    Since then our new Democrat governor, who did not get the majority of the popular vote, has been systematically pissing off the voters, and burning up the soft money of his owners (the teachers’ union and the gambling bosses) at a prodigous rate trying to remain veto-resistant. They spent over half a million in a State Assembly race, in a blue-collar suburban district which had been Democrat for the last 75 years and still lost. At that time I predicted that Bush would carry Wisconsin on Honadel’s (the new Republican assemblyman) ccoattails.

  • I think Bush could win 43, maybe 44 states, but 49 is impossible. Some states are much more ideologically polarized than they were 30 or even 20 years ago. There’s no chance in hell that Bush (or any Republican for that matter) will carry Rhode Island, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts or Hawaii. Maryland and NJ are pretty reliably liberal too, although NJ maybe not so much. I don’t think any Republican will carry any of the above states for a long time.

  • Sandy P.

    Econopundit and Hobbsonline have interesting models as to future employment growth:


    I will double check and change this post if warranted, but so far these are the predictions:

    1. Job loss actually zeros out this quarter. By New Year’s Day, 600,000 new jobs will have been generated by the recovery.
    2. By September of 2004, a total of 3.6 million new jobs will have been generated.
    3. By the election, those willing to round 4.458 up to 5 will be able to claim the policies of the Bush administration have “generated” 5 million new jobs.

    UPDATE: Even better, the model’s now looking like the US natural rate of unemployment may be below the 5.5% I worried about since the last run of the model. Here are the annualized numbers:

    Year UR
    2003 5.9%
    2004 5.2%
    2005 4.9%
    2006 5.0%
    2007 5.2%

    Yes! Things are looking up indeed!


    …That’s not one quarter of growth – it’s eight quarters. The economy has been growing non-stop for two years.

    But Democrats can’t win the White House by telling the truth about the economy, so they will lie and talk about “one quarter of growth.”

    USA Today had some good coverage of the economic growth news today, including this story. The New York Times offers this analysis of the politics.

    Also, I went hunting for stats and found that there are more people working today than when George W. Bush took office back in January 2001. That’s right – more people are working now than at the end of the Clinton administration. That’s not a partisan shot at Clinton, it’s just a statement of fact. The source for it is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

    The number of people working in January, 2001, when George Bush took office: 136.0 million

    The number of people employed as of September 2003: 137.6 million
    That’s right. There are 1.6 million more Americans working today than at the end of the Clinton administration. So, how is it that Democrats can claim millions of jobs lost under President Bush? And how come the unemployment rate is higher now than when Bush took office?

    Simple. First, there have been layoffs. Lots of them. But layoffs don’t matter much if those people quickly find jobs. As the BLS stats show, many of them have found jobs. But the working-age population has grown faster than the number of jobs – according to the BLS, the civilian labor force numbered 142 million when Bush took office, and by September 2003 it had grown to 146.5 million. So even though the Bush economy – after two years of fitful growth – has achieved a level of employment unmatched in history, the unemployment rate still has risen, from 4.2 percent when George Bush took office to 6.1 percent now…..
    We have more people at working age, that’s why we need more jobs.

  • Sandy P.

    Bill, I heard during the last week that debt has remained steady.

  • Sandy P.

    Alex, don’t forget Illinois.

  • Michael Hiteshew

    ‘Everything might be moot, AQ’s announced a “death blow” to America.’

    Again? I thought that was supposed to be last week? Is it just me, or does it seem like you just can’t count on AQ for anything these days!!

  • Pet troll ? Is that some kind of inside Halliburton joke ?

  • Johan

    Bush will win, that’s a given at this point.

    But how big a victory? I think he can pull of a 42 state win. Not quite as big as Reagan in ’84, but much more than Clinton won in ’96.

    Bush will carry every state in the South, every state in the Midwest (except Illinois), every Western State (except California and Hawaii).
    I also think Bush will win PA, NH again, NJ and Connecticut, Delaware and Maine.

    That will total 42 states and 392 electoral votes for Bush. That would not be a record, but still be a landslide victory for the Republicans.

  • Illinois is pretty liberal, but with Bush as strong as he will be, I think it’s entirely winnable. Ditto for California, if dee Gubernator turns the state economy around.

    I think California has been overestimated as a liberal bastion. The state Democrats’ demolition of the CA economy has really damaged them, I think. I think it’s a safe bet that the Democrats’ uber-gerrymander of the state legislature will be overthrown by popular referendum, which will be a huge boost for the state GOP. A constitutional cap on spending growth is also highly likely. Maybe Barbara Boxer will even get thrown out in 2004; her negatives are in the poisonous 40-45 range.

  • Shaun Bourke

    While BJ Clinton and McAuliffe continue to run the Dems with Hillary leading the Senate Dems and Pelosi leading the House Dems, and the economy continuing to grow (which it will) and Iraq continuing to rebuild itself after Saddam, President Bush will be able to stride up to the victory podium with broom in hand.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    If history tells us anything, it is to never underestimate the Clintons.

    But I think it is in Hillary’s interest to let Bush win in 2004, so that she can make a run in 2008.

    Do the Republicans have a counter strategy?!?

    This is fun!

  • –>But I think it is in Hillary’s interest to let Bush win in 2004, so that she can make a run in 2008.

    Do the Republicans have a counter strategy?!?<-- Yes!! Powell-Rice in '08

  • Kevin L. Connors

    Wobbly and Ian: step to the front of the class.

    Yes, and talk of Hilary sould be directed towards the 2008 campaign, not this one. She deathly desires the Oval Office, but she’s no fool. Why run agains so strong an incumbent when you can wait four years and run for an open seat?

    But the cynical side of my brain can’t help but dwell on the likelyhood that, in order to assure this situation, the Evil Clintons will actually take covert action to torpedo their own party’s canidate.

    But yet, Democrats without Hilary’s cool Machivellian senibilities still call for her to throw her hat in the ring now. The reason for this is simple. As I had posted here some months ago, unless a ‘knight in shining armor steps into the limelight (my first choice, then and now, is Georgia’s Sam Nunn), The Jackass Party simply doesn’t have an electable candiate.

    Save for Bush’s current strength, Hilary is electable, her greatest weakness being the fact tht she is so reviled by a major faction of the opposition, her candidacy is certain to ignite the GOP.

  • gomtu

    Wobbly Guy: “45 states is a bit of a stretch. He’ll probably win by a comfortable margin (60/40), but not by THAT much.”

    WobblyGuy, I think you have your stretches reversed.

    In the 1984 landslide, Reagan won 49 states with only 58.77% of the popular vote.

    Heck, losing the 2000 popular vote 47.87% to 48.38%, GWB nonetheless won 30 states and 50.4% of electoral votes, Allah be praised.

  • I am concerned about a couple of issues re: Bush…

    First, the War on Terror (badly named) offers any number of potential unpleasant surprises. A big attack in the US might be good or bad for Bush. A major casualty attack in Iraq (such as the attempted attack on the Baghdad hotel that would have killed a lot of Americans and most of the Iraqi government) would almost certainly hurt Bush badly.

    The Democrats, sad to say, would love to turn Iraq into a quick Vietnam. This traitorous position is obvious from their behavior. Since the “resistance” has the same goal, they are trying hard to create the Iraqi “Tet” offensive. I think they tried at Ramadan (nice parallel there), but it didn’t work.

    Likewise, a mass casualty attack in the US is still a likelihood, and if it showed up genuine negligence on the part of the government (and there is plenty out there), this could hurt Bush.

    But the most important issue I see is that Bush has lost his way politically. He has basically gone nowhere since the end of major hostilities in Iraq. There really hasn’t been much leadership, and the responses to the various silly attacks have been weak. Ashcroft’s defense of the Patriot Act has been inept. In general, it looks like the Administraiton has lost touch with the people. It looks more like the administration before 9-11.

    And the Iraq situation could easily get out of control. The influx of terrorists could cause a continuous casualty drain. While the rate is negligible compared to past wars, the American people, fed continuous negative propaganda by the media, do not have the stomach they used to.

    We cut and ran in Vietnam, and the left knows it and so do our enemies. And they know it was not a result of military loss, but a loss of will. We face the same threat in the war on terror, except a loss will have dramatically worse consequences for the country.

  • I am not a big Bush fan, but I have also predicted that he will win reelection EVEN IF THE ECONOMY IS POOR.

    See this chart for a quick look at the past.