October 31, 2004
PUNDIT PREDICTION ROUND UP: Here's a round
up of the pundit predictions on this year's election, in
Barnes - Weekly Standard
Blankley - Washington Times
Brazile - Dem Strategist
Buchanan - MSNBC
Carlson - Time
Carlson - CNN
Clift - Newsweek
Cook - Cook Political Report
Eastland - Weekly Standard
Hart - Hart Research Assoc.
Hunt - Wall Street Journal
Kristol - Weekly Standard
McInturff - Public Opinion Strat
McLaughlin - McLaughlin Group
Novak - Chicago Sun-Times
O'Beirne - National Review
O'Donnell - MSNBC
Shields - CNN
Snow - Fox News
No big surprises, except for Tucker Carlson
who predicts a Kerry win. -
T. Bevan 2:24 pm Link |
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October 28 2004
BONES TO PICK: We've been so busy posting
polls that it' been difficult to find time to write. But
I've got a couple of bones to pick with two columns that
ran in the Washington Post yesterday and today.
start with Richard Cohen. Just a scant five weeks ago Cohen
was proclaiming himself "Purple and Proud Of It"
and chastising fellow liberals for their Bush hatred and
nevertheless cannot bring myself to hate Bush or, as someone
here told me, to consider his possible reelection as a
reason to leave the country. In fact, Bush haters go so
far they wind up adding a dash of red to my blue, pushing
me by revulsion into a color I otherwise would not have....
bump into these anti-Bush alarmists all the time. Recently
an extremely successful and erudite man I much admire
told me he viewed the upcoming election as something akin
to September 1939, the time when World War II started
and, among other things, European Jewry was all but snuffed
out. I add that bit about the Holocaust because the man
I was talking to had been born a European Jew. I could
hardly believe my ears."
a difference a month makes. In today's
column Cohen far surpasses the paranoid, hyperbolic
Bush-haters he mocked in his previous column. He says the
Vice President of the United States has "morphed into
the enemy." He compares the war on terror to a "crusade"
and George W. Bush to Pope Urban II.
but certainly not least, Cohen argues that George W. Bush
should be impeached, and that if Cohen had his way each
article of impeachment would contain the name of a United
States soldier killed in action. This sentence in particular
reeks to high heaven:
over 1,000 Americans and countless more Iraqis have died
because the president insisted on going to war."
review some facts: after September 11 the President insisted
that Saddam Hussein fully disclose and disarm. The United
Nations Security Council unanimously agreed. So did Richard
Cohen, John Kerry, John Edwards, and a host of others. War
came as a result of Saddam's unwillingness to comply to
these demands, and the deaths of any and all U.S. servicemen
and Iraqi civilians fall on his shoulders alone.
is a difficult, heart wrenching thing. Cohen's column is
yet more proof that liberals just don't get it. They mistake
Bush's resolve for lack of compassion. They mistake his
courage to do what is necessary for obstinate unilateralism.
Worst of all, they now seek to use the deaths of U.S. soldiers
as leverage to blame the President and drive him from office,
yet still would have our enemies believe that they have
the will and the strength to continue the fight against
number two is from Harold
Meyerson's column yesterday:
was when Republicans were at least embarrassed by their
efforts to keep African Americans from the polls....
George W. Bush, Karl Rove and their legion of genteel
thugs, however, universal suffrage is just one more musty
liberal ideal that threatens conservative rule. Today's
Republicans have elevated vote suppression from a dirty
secret to a public norm.
it strike anyone else as ironic that Meyerson can pen these
vicious untruths and then spend rest of his column whining
about how George W. Bush is responsible for dividing America?
Mr. Meyerson needs to spend a good long time staring in
let's talk about the substance of Meyerson's charges, because
they are important. Meyerson asserts that having GOP election
monitors in heavily African-American precincts in Ohio is
a racist strategy aimed at intimidating and ultimately suppressing
African-American turnout - despite the fact that these precincts
(irrespective of racial composition) are where Democrats
have signed up the most new voters and where the potential
for vote fraud is greatest.
rational people understand that we have to strike a balance
- albeit a delicate one - between making it as easy as possible
for people to vote and also monitoring the process and enforcing
election laws. The balance between ballot access and ballot
integrity is always difficult, not only because of partisanship
but also the varying election laws between (and even within)
the different states.
when people like Meyerson start hopping up and down screeching
"racism" and "voter suppression" whenever
ANY measure is proposed to protect the integrity of the
system (whether that be monitors, showing ID or proof of
residency, etc) it makes you wonder if they're concerned
about anything other than winning at whatever cost.
HAS LOST IT: I don't begrudge Andrew Sullivan for
number of qualms with President Bush. His criticisms
of the administration's handling of the war are certainly
within reason, even if I personally disagree with many of
them. What isn't within reason, however, is this assertion:
Kerry is clearly Bush's fiscal superior."
is, to put it mildly, insane. As a fiscal conservative am
I disappointed in the performance of the Congress and the
President's unwillingness to take a tougher line on spending
by using his veto power? Of course.
that doesn't lead me to the conclusion that a person with
John Kerry's past record, his future proposals, and his
deep-seated ideological beliefs about the role of the federal
government is going to work to hold a tougher line on spending
than Bush. You can force yourself to believe white is black
and black is white, but that don't make it so.
his credit, Sullivan goes on to make the much more rational
argument that a return to better fiscal discipline is more
likely with a divided Congress:
will also almost certainly face a Republican House, curtailing
his worst liberal tendencies, especially in fiscal matters.
Perhaps it will take a Democratic president to ratchet
the Republican party back to its fiscally responsible
legacy. I'll take what I can get."
But the idea that we would want or need a Republican Congress
to rein in Kerry's "liberal tendencies" in fiscal
matters is basically a repudiation of the previous statement
that Kerry is "clearly Bush's fiscal superior."
also raps Bush because he "failed to grapple with entitlement
reform, as he once promised." Huh? Less than three
months into his Presidency Bush established a blue-ribbon
commission to study Social Security reform. Hearings
began in June 2001 and ran through December (even despite
that little thing that happened in September) producing
report with recommendations.
is free to bemoan the fact that these recommendations didn't
get implemented in the face of a national security crisis
and a recalcitrant Democratic minority forcing a sixty-vote
majority in the United States Senate to do any business
again, at least the President's gut instinct is to push
for much needed reform, as opposed to Senator Kerry's insistence
that the current
Social Security system is just A-OK for the next forty
years provided we just raise taxes on the rich.
the end, however, critiques of fiscal discipline and entitlement
reform are little more than noise. The vote next Tuesday
is about Iraq, terrorism, and U.S. national security and
whether John Kerry or George Bush is better equipped to
lead us forward in what is unquestionably a very dangerous
world.- T. Bevan 2:24 pm Link
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October 27 2004
HARRIS POLL: Lots of emails regarding the new
Harris Interactive Poll released today showing John
Kerry leading George Bush by one point among likely voters,
to clarify, this is an ONLINE poll, not a standard telephone
survey, which is why we do not have it included in our average.
- T. Bevan 1:24 pm
WE KNOW WHAT WE'RE FIGHTING FOR?: Here are some
very strange results from two questions at the very end
of the most
recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll:
In view of the developments since we first sent our
troops to Iraq, do you think the United States made
a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, or not?
Do you feel that you have a clear idea of what the war
in Iraq is all about--that is, what we are fighting
no idea what this means. Nearly half the country now thinks
Iraq is a mistake, yet seven out of ten say they have a
clear idea of what we're fighting for there.
you could attribute at least a few percentage points to
some hard core lefties who think they're quite clear on
what we're fighting for and it's not something they approve
of - like oil or American imperialism.
another point or two believes we are fighting to establish
democracy in Iraq - which we most certainly are doing -
but separates that particular task from battling global
terrorism and thus concludes that establishing a democracy
in Iraq is simply not worth doing.
those two reed-thin observations I'm at a loss to explain
this gap, except to say that perhaps people know deep in
their gut the stakes and importance of what we're doing
but at least a portion of the public has become convinced
through the incessant drumbeat of negative news and imagery
in the mainstream media that Iraq is a mistake anyway. -
T. Bevan 5:24 am Link
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October 26 2004
QUESTIONS WORTH PONDERING:
IS HAWAII IN PLAY?: Michael Barone says "yes",
and it's never a good thing to find yourself disagreeing
with someone who knows as much about politics as Barone.
As a result of the two recent polls we've moved Hawaii to
"leaning Kerry" from the "solid Kerry"
column, but we're going to need to see a big move toward
the President in the national polls or more state polling
confirming these two numbers before we would be willing
to make Hawaii a "toss up."
IS ARKANSAS IN PLAY? The last three polls show
the race in Arkansas surprisingly close, including a new
poll from Opinion Research Associates which has the
race tied. But two follow up stories on the internals from
the OPA poll are worth noting.
percent of voters in Arkansas list the issue of gay
marriage as "somewhat" or "very important."
In a previous OPA poll taken just two weeks ago 80% of those
surveyed were in favor of Amendment 3 which would define
marriage as only between one man and one woman. Second,
"60 percent of voters think a candidate's stand on
gun rights is important in deciding how to vote in the presidential
hard to see how John Kerry is going to pull off an upset
in Arkansas with these issues being such a prominent part
of the mix this election. Like Hawaii in reverse, we would
need to see major movement towards Kerry in the national
polls or a couple more state polls before we would believe
Arkansas is really in play, Bubba
WILL AFRICAN-AMERICANS TURN OUT FOR KERRY? This
is obviously one of the keys to the election and deserves
to be discussed in much more detail. We've all seen the
recent poll showing Bush with nearly double the African-American
support he got in 2000 and Kerry running about eleven points
worse than Gore. Now comes this
from today's St. Petersburg Times:
but strong turnout and overwhelming African-American support
for Kerry could doom his chances. In 2000, record black
turnout in Florida helped turn Florida into a virtual
tie that took Republicans by surprise. This year, the
mobilization effort is far greater, with a major focus
on getting people to vote early.
for all the anecdotal evidence of heavy African-American
turnout, there are hints that Kerry might not be doing
as strongly as he needs to be. At a John Edwards rally
in St. Petersburg on Saturday, white people held "African-Americans
for Kerry-Edwards" placards.
St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald poll released Sunday
showed Bush more than doubling his support from black
voters since 2000, with 19 percent support. That estimate
is imprecise because the pollsters surveyed fewer than
100 likely black voters in Florida, and the Kerry-Edwards
campaign says its internal polling never shows Bush in
double digits. But it mirrors a national poll released
last week showing 18 percent of African-Americans backing
ability to turnout the black vote in big numbers is infinitely
more important to his candidacy than it is for Bush to win
an extra three percent support among African-American voters
this year. If the trends we're seeing are real, then Kerry's
inability to generate enthusiasm for him - as opposed to
just stoking antipathy toward his opponent - could cost
him precious votes in important battleground states.
- T. Bevan 8:24 am Link
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TIPP CORRECTION: Earlier
today TIPP sent us their polling results which had the three
way number Bush 50, Kerry 42, Nader 2 and the head-to-head
number was Bush 50, Kerry 42. Just now TIPP has informed
us the two way information is wrong, and that the accurate
head-to-head number for the tracking dates 10/21-10/24 is
Bush 48, Kerry 41. J.
McIntyre 2:12 pm
ELECTORAL COLLEGE UPDATE: President
Bush continues to maintain a structural edge in the Electoral
College that has worked to his advantage this entire campaign.
However, the states that are producing that advantage have
shifted since the summer.
our initial electoral
analysis we suggested that the election would boil down
to Florida and Ohio, with Kerry having to win one of
those two states and President Bush simply needing to
carry them both to gain reelection. At the time we suggested
that one of the President 's advantages was the possibility
of offsetting a loss in Ohio or Florida by poaching some
of the Gore states (IA, WI, MN NM, and OR), giving the President
an alternate option of collecting an EC majority that Senator
Kerry really never had.
of today this alternate option, if necessary, for President
Bush is starting to look more and more like a very real
possibility. Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and New Mexico are
fully in play: eight days before the election Bush holds
leads in the RCP State Averages in all four of these states.
This is seriously complicating Kerry's strategy in getting
to 270 Electoral Votes. Conventional wisdom for months,
including RCP's, had been that whoever won two of the "big
three" Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida would almost
certainly become President.
While it may still be likely that whoever carries two out
of those three will win the election, it is not the cut
and dry proposition it was earlier. President Bush can offset
a loss in Ohio (and New Hampshire) by carrying Wisconsin
and either Iowa, New Mexico or Minnesota. He can offset
a loss in Florida (and New Hampshire), by winning three
of those four states. Winning Wisconsin, Iowa, Maine's 1
Electoral Vote and holding New Hampshire would also allow
President Bush to gain reelection while losing Florida.
the conventional wisdom completely on its head President
Bush could even lose all three of Ohio, Pennsylvania and
Florida and still win, as long as he was able to flip Michigan.
Granted, it's difficult to imagine a scenario where Kerry
would win Pennsylvania and Ohio yet lose Michigan, but with
a poll in Michigan showing the President ahead by five and
Mason-Dixon calling it a one point race, coupled with a
gay marriage initiative and Ralph Nader on the ballot (unlike
PA and OH), it's not totally impossible. In this scenario
Bush victories in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin could offset
the loss of Florida's 27 Electoral Votes and Michigan would
offset a loss in Ohio, leaving Kerry with a measly three
electoral vote pick up.
the Michigan option is a little far-fetched the other two
are not. The problem for Senator Kerry is he has no backup
plan to not winning in either Florida or Ohio. The problem
for President Bush is that Kerry is still very much alive
in both those states. All of Bush's backup Electoral scenarios
will be irrelevant if he loses FL and OH and Kerry hangs
on to PA and MI.
the race sits today, the President holds roughly a three
point lead in the national race. At the state level, using
the RCP state averages to allocate the Electoral College,
President Bush would win 306 - 232. However, the final movement
in the national polls will have an exaggerated effect on
that electoral tally. If Bush starts to pull away this week
and can close strong building back toward his 5-7 point
lead of September, that Electoral number could easily expand
to 352 - 186. A small tightening towards Kerry in the final
days from where we are today would indicate a dead heat
race, where many of those electoral scenarios mentioned
above could very well come into play. A strong break towards
Kerry and most of these states would flip his direction
leading to something like a 311 - 227 Kerry win.
an eye on the RCP National Average.
Eight days out it shows Bush ahead by roughly three points.
Where that number is a week from today will be the best
tell on how this race will turnout. J.
McIntyre 11:28 am Link
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