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Prediction status report

A couple of months ago, I went on the record with my prediction of the US Presidential election would come out. Because so far it looks to be spot on, I am pleased to post a status report.

As I predicted, Kerry has lost ground since early August, and shows every indication of having, indeed, tested the top of his market for votes somewhere in July, somewhere in the high 40s. Current polling shows him with support somewhere in the mid to low 40s.

Bush has made up ground since August, having tested the bottom of his support in mid-August, and is now polling in the high 40s. My market timing was off a trifle on Bush – I thought he had hit bottom in late July/early August, but there was a bit of a lag before he started moving up to his current, fairly stable 5 – 6 point lead.

The Kerry campaign tried to ramp up a new negative attack on Bush (coodinated with CBS) based on allegations that he got special privileges as a National Guard pilot during the Vietnam war. Lost in the kerfuffle over the forgeries that were supposed to drive this story is the fact that this is well-plowed ground – this is at least the third time the Dems have tried to hang Bush with this one. Similarly, Kitty Kelly’s book supposedly detailing Bush’s wastrel past is merely an attempt to sex up a story that has already been put to the voters, and has indeed been coopted by Bush as a tale of sin and redemption. As I guessed, it appears that the Dems have nothing new to try to stick on Bush.

With five weeks until election day, I see nothing on the horizon that can fundamentally change the dynamic of this race (all caveats from my original post apply, of course). I will confess that my prediction of a narrow Bush victory appears to be a little pessimistic at this point.

22 comments to Prediction status report

  • J

    “I will confess that my prediction of a narrow Bush victory appears to be a little pessimistic at this point.”

    Not half as pessimistic as my prediction of a major Bush win 🙁

    The whole campaign would have been _so_ much more fun with Howard Dean, but hey, maybe next time.

    I still think bush can lose the election with a gaffe or a real crisis in Iraq, but I don’t think Kerry can win it at this point.

  • It certainly looks like things are shaping up for a major Bush win, BUT the Zogby poll still has it neck and neck. I’m not sure how good he is nowadays, but he’s been right in the past.

    A really big win would probably mean four or five more GOP seats in the Senate. This would mean that the next nominee for the surpeme court would have a slightly less difficult time.

    My greatest disappointment over the last four years has been the lack of a truly fanatic defender of free speech on the court.

  • Nothing on the horizon? It’s pretty close still with a lot of swing states still in play. The debates could still shift things one way or the other.

  • Looks like a comfortable win to Bush to me. It isn’t going to be Reagan in 1984 (Bush will not take New York or California) but it isn’t going to be close either. That’s what happens when the Democrats field as laughable a candidate as Sen. Kerry. (And this was obvious 12 months ago to anyone who took a close look. So why did they nominate him? Beats me).

    That contrasts with the Australian election, which is only a couple of weeks away but I haven’t the foggiest who will win.

  • It won’t be close unless Bush is caught with an intern. A male intern. A male Iraqi intern in a leash and dog collar. Ignore the polls, especially Zogby! The futures market has a much better record of prediction, and Kerry has plummeted, after a peak “odds” of about 51 percent in July at the convention. Seating Michael “Americans are stupid cowards” Moore in the place of honor was the beginning of the end.

    I just put up a time-line-versus-odds graphic on how to lose an election. Graphing the futures prices in the Iowa Election Futures Market against stupid campaign decisions. Feel free to use it, if you’ll just credit me with a link.

  • Nina D.

    Hooray for boasting!

    What new information does this post bring?

  • Michael Farris

    If Kerry loses, it’s because his focus on Vietnam (a conflict that’s still swallowing those who were foolish enough to go there and rewarding those who abstained).

    Bush is vulnerable on the economy, on civil liberties and foreign policy. He’s lazy and gives every impression of being a recovering alcoholic in denial. But sadly, Kerry hasn’t made the sale (yet). I’m hoping he can lure Bush into losing it during the debates but I’m not optimistic.

  • ” I’m hoping he can lure Bush into losing it during the debates”

    If you mean lose it in the emotional sense I wouldn’t hold my breath. Bush never loses emotional control in public. Frankly, I don’t think he has the imagination to do so.

    To win Kerry has to do two things simultaneously:

    (1) Convince enough swing voters that Bush has irretrievably screwed up the Iraq war.

    (2) Offer concise concrete proposals for how he would do better.

    I don’t think he can do either.

  • Johnathan

    My hunch is a narrow but clear Bush win. During my trip to the states over the past fortnight I got the impression that Kerry had lost his puff, up to a point. But I saw a lot of Democrats out canvassing, even a few Libertarian bumper stickers, but no Republicans canvassing. Either that means the GOP arrogantly takes victory for granted or is focussing manpower elsewhere.

    Cannot say that four more years of Bush makes me very happy. God, I wish we could have another Reagan.

  • R C Dean

    Hooray for boasting!

    What new information does this post bring?

    Its an update, pointing out that things are going as expected. Things going as expected is just as much “new information” as things going totally off the rails.

    And yes, I’m boasting. So what?

  • Paul

    This might sound negative… but why get excited about a Bush win?

    I can’t see how he’s magically rolled back the government in the USA during the last 4 years. If anything a Kerry win is better because it’ll be a stalemate situation, libertarian weblogs shouldn’t be rooting Bush.

  • Verity

    If George Bush had run on Gulf War I, he would have been jeered out of the lower 48 and would have had to go and live in an igloo somewhere out on the Alayeska pipeline. Jeremy Paxman would have won an Oscar for his sneers. Dan Rather would have had to be helped up off the floor. Oh wait! he does anyway.

    Kerry runs on a war that happened even 20 years earlier, and, strangely, no one in the media dubbed him bonkers. Gulf War I is relevant to today’s geopolitical situation. Vietnam is not. How on earth could any major American party have taken this buffoon seriously enough to run him for the presidency?

    (Although, of course, they ran Jimmy Carter and it worked …)

  • I predicted this race on 16 May 03 over at Winds of Change.

    Based on fundamental historical forces.

    How Marxist of me.

    I was right.

    I predicted post election events re: Republicans. Those are looking moderately good although those trends will be buried for the next five weeks.

  • Paul,

    All depends on if you think Libertarianism will do better under sharia or Bush.

  • Shaun Bourke

    George Bush in a landslide likely picking up 60%+ of the vote. 15 House seat gain plus 5 Senate seats. And dont forget the coattail effect at even lower levels.

    The Swift Vets have only just started swinging…….

    Memogate is starting to impact the Dem’s message……

    The debates will show Kerry to be the Buffoon that he is…..

    The US Chamber of Commerce is about to hit the airwaves…..

    More free advertising from the Leftist loons/thugs and Muslim Fascists will be good for a couple more points…..

    And last but not least is the immeasureable harm that the Clinton gang is setting up for Lurch.

    The strength of George Bush’s support through-out the US is best looked at within the framework of the brutal unrelenting onslaught against him by the Media over the past FOUR years. By any usual measureable standards George Bush should be trailing Kerry by at least 20 points but in reality he is leaving Kerry in the dust.

    George Bush’s surge started with the conventions and will be bouyed further with the debates. This surge includes majority support from women and a collapse in the Black vote for Democrats.

  • Shawn

    I think that on the day the vote will be a lot tighter than the polls are suggesting, in part because I think the turnout will be higher than the norm. Most likely Bush will win, and he may even with 5 to 6% of the popular vote. But a lot of Republicans, myself included, will be at least a little nervous on election night.

    Regardless of who people do or dont support in 2004 this is certainly shaping up to be an historic election. The first since 911. The first since Vietnam held during an ongoing hot war in which the US is taking fairly serious casualties. And then the added issue of the role of the new media bypassing the older mainstream outlets and opinion makers, and helping to shape the election.

    Interesting times.

  • Duncan

    I don’t see how anyone thinks this is going to be land slide. I mean let’s be serious. The 2000 election was very, VERY close and I contend that most people who voted democrat in that election will vote democrat again, as will the republicans. I know pretty much *nobody* who has been turned from one side to the other by anything that’s been said or done thus far. As Shawn stated above, the biggest factor is that more people are probably going to be voting than normal, which I hate to say is probably a boon for the democrats, since I’d say that there are more people who don’t typically vote that align themselves as such.

  • R C Dean

    The 2000 election was very, VERY close and I contend that most people who voted democrat in that election will vote democrat again, as will the republicans.

    There is a huge debate raging amongst the pollsters on this very point, triggered by the technical question of whether and how much to “correct” their data to reflect historical voting patterns. Perhaps the best discussion of why historical voting patterns may not hold can be found here (there is a link to a recent post at another blog, but I was thinking of the discussion under “Donkey Cocooning”).

  • Nice link, RC. Where are you in Texas? I’m an old D/FW native.


  • I see Kerry doing slightly better than Mondale, but not as well as McGovern

    W might just be all those things that the illuminatus said, but he understands that millitant islam must be utterly destroyed. -Americans don’t want a “more nuanced” approach.

  • flaime

    Once a drunk, always a drunk. And drunks do not merit the trust necessary to be President.

    Unfortunately, the voting populace doesn’t care about this.

  • R C Dean

    flaime – WTF is that supposed to mean? Are you trying to say that a man who used to drink but hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol in twenty years is exactly as trustworthy as someone shaking off their hangover?

    Sam_S – DFW it is. I live in the Hollywood Santa Monica neighborhood.