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Monthly Archive: October 2004

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Sunday, October 31, 2004
Heavy Election Prediction 2004

It's time to put it down in writing - my predictions for the 2004 Election. Personally, I believe that Kerry will win. With only two days to go before the election, both the Zogby and Washington Post polls have the race tied at 48 (Washington Post has Kerry up 48-47 among registered voters). Most significantly, Gallup is tracking a dead tie at 49% in their final poll - the first time this has happened in Gallup history. Half a dozen other pollsters are also tracking similar numbers - AND - while some give Bush a slight edge (well within the MOE), Kerry is doing better in state-to-state polls.

In many ways these numbers are breaking in similar fashion to 2000 so it may be easy to conclude that little in the country has changed, yet I think we are headed toward a real October surprise. I mentioned that Kerry is doing better in the battleground states than he is nationally. Yesterday, when the Rasmussen poll showed a national tie, Kerry held a significant lead among the 16-state battleground polls. Furthermore, nearly all the polls that show a tied race are reporting the intentions of "likely voters." As 2000 and many other elections have made clear, the truth lies somewhere between the polls of likely voters and registered voters, thus the MOE (margin of error) warps into an electoral margin that favors Kerry.

More important, I think that "The Incumbent Rule" will come to play a major role as the "undecideds" show their real colors for the challenger - as is their propensity to do so. Take into account that the surge of new voters - mostly aged 18 to 24 and most (by a significant margin) favor Kerry. So, if the incumbent isn't showing a clear margin of victory (better than 47%) by this time, the challenger stands a much better chance of winning.

Having finally posted this, I also see three possible (likely) scenarios come post-November 3:

The Sox-Effect: The Bambino Lives in the Polls

The Boston Red Sox aren't the only ones trying to break a curse. Kerry now stands an even chance of shattering the political mantra that only moderate Democratic governors from Southern states (Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton) can win modern-day Presidential elections. No senator, Democratic or Republican, has won the White House since John F. Kennedy in 1960. This scenario will play out only if the Democrat base turns out in record numbers resulting in a "BAM" out of the ballpark victory that includes Gore states plus Ohio, New Hampshire, and Florida. It would be the statistical equivalent to the hat trick pulled by the Red Sox this year, but it's possible.

The Other Shoe

What if the Democratic turnout is strong, but not spectacular? Following historical stats, most undecideds (by a 8 - 10% margin) vote for the challenger Kerry. Meanwhile, the Republicans are successful in their GOTV efforts and Bush picks up more voter support in populous states like Pennsylvania, New York, California, Illinois, and Michigan than he did in 2000. Call it the post-911 sympathy vote. In any case, while the effort tightens the popular vote, it still isn't enough to swing the electoral count. So, Bush, who lost the popular vote by 500,000 votes, wins a plurality this go-round, but Kerry wins in the Electoral College by narrowly adding Ohio and/or Florida. But there will be hell to pay and no hot pitch. Expect court challenges, angry recriminations, protests - a replay of 2000 but possibly worse. I can hear the angry ultracon chainsaws revving up already - Republicans will be sore losers. And it'll be one helluva fight if the Supreme Court weighs in against Kerry.

Donkey Nightmare

Something happens in the closing days of the campaign - e.g., the recent "Hi, Still Here" video from Osama-Mama - that leaves voters feeling unsafe. It could be anything, really; Americans are feeling more vulnerable than ever. End result, the electorate recalls how Bush conducted himself after the fall of the World Trade Towers and reject Kerry - on a massive scale. Bush wins on a real landslide with more than a 10% margin. There will be no second-guessing on this one - it'll be a clean victory in Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico and possibly Democratic strongholds Minnesota and Hawaii as well.

What is likely to happen is another squeaker - like a 271-267 win in the Electoral College as happened four years ago. Without the mandate of a big win and long coattails (with strong party wins in both Houses), the victor has his work cut out for him with another four years of riding log-jams - and us along with him. -HP

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Saturday, October 16, 2004
I can't believe Kerry said that about Mary Cheney!

Yes, the chants are getting rather shrill, aren't they? And with only 18 weeks left to go (and Bush is still tied with Kerry) you can't escape the impromptu debate - at work, at lunch, even at your favorite fucking bar - because the Bushettes are programmed to pester you with the latest arsenal of clever little chants. This time it's about Cheney - you know, the lesbian daughter?

Maybe they think that with enough rhetorical bludgeoning they can change our vote. Maybe we'll be so numb that we'll forget to go to the polls or forget to pull the chads off (egad). Maybe we'll just die. Well, I say it's time to turn up the heat and cook them in their own sauce. Boldly engage that silly, insipid discussion my fellow thinking and rational friends! But, do so in such a way that stops the parrot dead. Allow me to pass along the TOP 10 WAYS to shut down the Mary Cheney taunt - with all due respect to MYDD's Flavorflav12.

(1) "Ah, the Republicans just don't know how to take a complement!"

(2) "No kidding? Did you hear that 10 more soldiers died this week in Iraq?"

(3) "Did you hear that the President said that Mary Cheney should have fewer rights than me and you... that is, of course, unless you are gay too."

(4) "I think it took Mary Cheney as much courage to come out of the closet publicly as it took John Kerry to face bullets in Vietnam. And I bet he admires that in her. In fact, I know he does, cause he said so at the debate!"

(5) "Oh. I can tell you are offended. Well, at least Kerry didn't lie about her war record and denigrate her service to the country. He simply stated something Dick Cheney already told us, and he complemented her for it."

(6) "Hmm. Mary Cheney? Isn't she Dick Cheney's Lesbian daughter?"

(7) "Hey man. I didn't watch the debates because I had to sell my television to pay for the increase in my medical insurance."

(8) "I sure CAN believe John Kerry would point out that Mary Cheney is a person, who didn't choose to be gay just to piss off her dad, but is gay because she was born that way. And if Lynn Cheney has a problem with that, she has more problems than we know."

(9) "So... what's so bad about being a lesbian?"

(10) "Abso-fucking-lutely. It's about time we had a president who isn't afraid to be politically incorrect! It's about time we had someone who'll call a spade a spade, a liar a liar, a tax cut for the rich a tax cut for the rich, and a lesbian a lesbian!"

That's gotta sting... -HP

Saturday, October 9, 2004

Saturday, October 9, 2004
Spin All You Want, Mr. Bush

If this latest news caught you sleeping, Kerry won last night's debate. He won the ABC News snap poll, 44-41, with Dems +3 in Party ID (reflecting the national average). He also won in the Gallup poll 47-45, without the Party ID bias (interesting, no?).

The spin cycle started immediately following final statements with pundits - high and low, left and right - yarning on and on about how much better Bush did than last time. Nothing like damning with faint praise, eh? Let's call a spade a spade, shall we? He sucked last time and he merely avoided sucking this time. And let me say this - you can't win by sucking.

The Dems also won the Vice-Presidential debate by turning a draw into a "Cheney lied" headliner. While Bush lied just as often as his partner did this go-round, to be completely fair, Kerry fibbed plenty but he made it look like art. Bush/Cheney just looked silly (that .com/.org thing was the icing on the cake).

Oh, and what about that statistical margin of error? Well, okay. If it makes you feel any better, Kerry didn't win - but at this stage of the game, that's a pretty weak defense for a sitting President.

Clearly, Kerry has the advantage. He has managed to improve his credibility and his standing among registered AND likely voters. He reversed a post RNC convention drubbing in the polls and survived the best muck the ultracons could rake up. Poly trend charting (combined average polling for the last 40 weeks) shows a reaching Kerry and a floundering Bush. Only a master contortionist would find the results from this latest round reassuring.

Stay tuned. -HP

Friday, October 1, 2004

Friday, October 1, 2004
Bibles and the Republican Party

This latest news item got me off the chair. The RNC recently distributed a mailer to Virginia voters that had the Holy Bible on the cover with the word "BANNED" emblazoned across it. The headline and copy insinuates that liberals aren't Christians.

Have the ultra-cons completely left their wits? Is that truly the message that they want to broadcast to the masses? Is this now the policy for the Republican Party?

Hellooo there... there are quite a few of us who are Christians AND liberal. Perhaps you should check your stats before you throw stones.

This latest insult seems to raise the specter that being liberal or conservative is as meaningful as being Christian. Last time I checked, the Apostles Creed still doesn't say anything about the Republican Party. But, hey, the night is young.

By the way, Kerry kicked Bush's butt. -HP

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