Setting Myself Up for a Fall

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Elsewhere, bloggers are publishing detailed predictions of who is going to carry which states. If this were an office pool, I'd follow suit; but since it's just a quick post on election eve, I'll stick to saying this:

It's going to be close, but I think Kerry is going to take it.

Which surprises me, since I've been predicting a Bush victory all year. But I've changed my mind. The Republicans just look more desperate to me. It's a dangerous assumption (see: Iraq), but I figure they know something I don't.

More predictions: Nader won't top 1%, and Badnarik will not get more than 300,000 votes. The Republicans will keep both the House and the Senate. And if Bush does win, it will not be because, as the cliche goes, more voters would like to have a beer with him. Who would want to have a beer with Bush? He doesn't drink. It would be awkward.

NEXT: Rehiring W

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  1. Who would want to have a beer with Bush? He doesn’t drink.

    That’s right! No wonder he chokes on pretzels!!

  2. OTOH, if you could get Bush drinking again, that might be a lot of fun!

  3. yes, that is my real email address

  4. George would at least make a decent designated driver. I’d buy him a Kaliber or keep him in Diet Coke, shoot the breeze about the possible NFL playoff matchups and whether there is any chance the NHL will end its lockout. While Dubya may be a reformed character in re alcohol, I don’t sense that he condemns those of us who still tipple. If Kerry ever took the pledge, he’d bring back the Volstead Act.

    The Badnarik campaign has had a much broader media footprint than the Browne mishigas. For one thing, funds raised for TV commercials have been spent successfully putting TV commercials on the cable news channels. If the LP doesn’t improve on its 2000 vote, there will probably be a large secular decline in all “down-ticket” voting. Even if Badnarik could garner 1m votes, in a 120m turnout election that would be under 1%. Who can predict the take of parties that, even if they do well by historical terms, aren’t going to gain a percentage that is greater than margin-of-error in an opinion poll?

    Kevin

  5. After 4 years of careful insulation the real W was exposed in the first debate about a month ago. He was, to be kind, a prick. Sober. I don’t think I’d want to be in the same room with him if he was drinking.

  6. I don’t think it’s going to be close, and I think Bush will win. The country is electing a leader, and absent charisma and vision (cf. Kennedy), the person elected has usually led something. Somewhere. Anywhere.

    I guess Bush I is a counterpoint, if you don’t consider the Vice Presidency (or Directorship of the CIA) to be on par with governing a state, but look who he was running against.

    And really, look who W. is running against.

  7. The election boils down to fear, outrage, and disgust. If the first emotion is the most prevelant, Bush wins. If the latter two dominate, then it’s Kerry. My observations of the illiberal idiocies of the American electorate, from the War on Drugs to the TSA to to the DUI hysteria, lead me to believe that usually nothing trumps fear in the impressionable minds of Joe and Jane six-pack. Which in turn leads me to think that Bush will pull it out.

  8. I always thought it would be very close, maybe even a popular vote/EV split again. But the last 24 hours, and the behavior of the Republicans therein, lead me to believe Kerry might top 50% and 300 EVs.

    A lot of Bush’s comments have an “I don’t regret a thing” sound to them.

  9. Fear is totally in control. Fear of 4 more years of Bush.

  10. Imagine Bush geeked up on coke…weird.

  11. I’m not making predictions,as I really dont care which of the statists wins the election. However, I will be watching the race for 3rd place. Badnarik only needs about 51% of Nader’s % to defeat Ralph in popular vote. Or are you saying Nader will get 1% of the popular vote, which means he will actually poll at 2% on ballots he is on? Regardless, i dont think there is any way in hell Badnarik will get less than 300,000 or approx 0.25%. I am predicting a range of 550-750K for MB and 650K-1M for Nader.

  12. “Fear is totally in control. Fear of 4 more years of Bush.”

    Mostly among those who were quite fearful the first time around. They generally fall into the “outrage” category. Unlikely to vote for Bush in the first place, but now more likely to turn out in large numbers. Whereas many of those driven by fear of terrorism and war to vote for Bush are Independents and center-left Democrats who didn’t vote for him the last time. Now, they make for some of the truest believers around, with the fervor one normally sees in converts. Ed Koch and Roger L. Simon are good examples.

  13. I have to say that while I still expect a Bush win, the maker of the varifrank map was taking some serious drugs if he thinks Bush will win Oregon. Kerry’s been running 4% to 8% ahead in the polls since mid-October and Gore won the state back in 2000 despite Nader taking over three times the margin. See compiled polls here: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/special/president/showdown/OR/polls.html

  14. I still think Bush wins. He’s got plenty of faults, but Kerry is just a hugely unattractive candidate: a pompous elitist blowhard who, when he finishes speaking, you still don’t know where he stands. Bush doesn’t have a silver tongue, but you can tell where he stands.

    Overall, though, my sense is that most voters know there’s a war on, and know that Bush understands this, and don’t know if Kerry really does. Plus there are lots of little things: Bush rallies seem to be larger and more energetic, Bush polling better among women/blacks/Jews than 2000, very few people seem to actually support Kerry but simply see him as “not Bush,” etc.

    But if Kerry wins, credit can go to the often brazenly slanted and shamelessly partisan mainstream media.

  15. I’m going to predict Kerry wins in a squeaker, but that the Republicans gain in Congress.

    I think a combination of divided government voters, plus folks who’d otherwise vote straight Republican but won’t vote for GWB because they’re pissed off at him for any of a number of reasons go for Kerry but the GOP down ballot.

    That, plus Republicans have fewer open seats.

  16. Graham: I meant that Nader will get no more than 1% of the nationwide popular vote.

  17. Graham: how lame does one have to be to not care which of the two real candidates wins the election, yet to care whether Joke Candidate #1 or Joke Candidate #2 wins the battle for last place?

  18. “Graham: I meant that Nader will get no more than 1% of the nationwide popular vote.”

    OK, thats what I thought after I posted. I find this a little interesting/confusing because if in fact he is polliing around 1% where he is on the ballot and only on 50% of ballots, would this not equal ~0.5% of the overall popular vote? However, I do think your prediction of 1% overall is definitely reasonable.

  19. Also, lets not forget the upside of a Kerry win. Hillary’s political career is capped-out.

    A Kerry win means no other Dem will run for President before 2012, and Hillary’s likely to be old news by then.

    In fact, her career might be over if Rudy decides to challenge her in 2006, during an off year election which usually goes against the party in power.

  20. I saw Bush on television this morning and he looked like he’d aged ten years overnight. Kerry actually looked younger than him, but that’s probably makeup.

  21. Bush doesn’t have a silver tongue, but you can tell where he stands.

    That’s true, he stands squarely in the way of any American who loves his liberty.

  22. One bad scenario would be a repeat with Bush winning the electoral college but losing the popular vote. That would mean his policies would be rejected but he would stay in office without any mandate.

  23. Agreed. I’m leaning towards Bush losing because the republicans are acting like losers: desperate and already (at least on blogs) making exuses for his loss. It’s the liberal media’s fault, etc. Pretty close though.

  24. In a way, I hope you’re right (that Kerry takes it). Cause if that whole Patriot act and Iraq situation doesn’t get squared away THE NEXT DAY after he gets into office, there’s going to be hell to pay. I also fully expect my paralyzed sister to ‘get up and walk’ out of her wheelchair.

    I’m afraid that he and his have demagogued themselves into a corner.

    Paul

  25. The bipartisan voters deserve whichever candidate wins. The basis being – half the country is below average and average is what you see on Jerry Springer.

    The faster we achieve revolution the better.

  26. “He’s got plenty of faults,. . . ”

    “Bush doesn’t have a silver tongue, . . .”

    “very few people seem to actually support Kerry but simply see him as “not Bush,” etc.”

    Well sure, these are reasons not to vote for Bush, but if you decide to vote for Kerry, then it must be because of “often brazenly slanted and shamelessly partisan mainstream media.” NPR, CBS, ABC, NBC all slanted and partisan. Fox okay. Woe is me, if only the media would give me the straight news. I cannot think for myself.

    Wait, there must be some other reasons to vote against Bush. Well, since I cannot think of any based on personal observations of the President, I suppose I must rely on the media. But wait, doing so renders me a pawn in their sinister game. Alas.

    Let us all go out and thwart the mainstream media, “send a message” and all that, Vote for Bush. Don’t give in to the mainstream media! If he is good enough for Rush and Sean, he is good enough for me.

  27. Agree that Varifrank is smoking some serious crack, unless he knows something most of the combined polls don’t.

    Oregon was taken out of the “in play” catagory a while ago. Turnout is predicted to be up near 85% to 90% (a benefit of vote-by-mail), generally meaning Bush has no chance in Little Beruit.

    It also seems NJ was taken out of ‘play’ a while ago as well.

    While MN is polling closer, I just can’t seriously believe that when the actual voters come out on polling day, Bush can win the home of Wellstone and Mondale, especially not if turnout is high in the Twin Cities.

    And Hawaii? Come on…

  28. The lefty blogs all say the righties are desperate, the righties all say the reverse. I don’t see it.

  29. Thoughts from a non-voting anarchist whilst walking home this eve:

    I’m pleased as punch, as Hubert H. Humphrey used to say, to be not voting in a battleground state (Ohio).

    If there weren’t so much propaganda about “your vote counts,” “if you don’t vote, you can’t bitch,” “voting is not just a privilege, it’s a duty/your resposibility,” the electoral college would have been abolished years ago. All these slogans are shots of novocaine straight into what passes for brains in hoi polloi.

    Because voters are lemmings, voting doesn’t change anything.

    Stupidest of all reasons for voting is to elect a leader. Hit and Run, of all places, should know that leaders are not only unnecessary, but parasitic demagogues.

    Leaders need followers. I don’t follow.

    How can there be such a divide between popular, hip TV shows and movies versus political boiler plate that is so phony it would cause Queen Victoria to blush?

    The bright side of the hoi polloi being vaccinated with bullshit novocaine is that, otherwise there might be a civil war after two 50-50 elections in a row. On second thought, we need another civil war to actually settle on a direction for the US. Not that I was satisfied with the last civil war here.

    Arrgh! Let’s all become pirates!

  30. how lame does one have to be to not care which of the two real candidates wins the election, yet to care whether Joke Candidate #1 or Joke Candidate #2 wins the battle for last place? – some Mexican radio station.

    Gee, X, maybe because one of those candidates is a Libertarian, and this is a libertarian site, a few of us L(l)ibertarians might be curious as to how he does. Even from a Duopolist viewpoint one might be interested in whether Badnarik or Nader draw enough support to tip one or another state from Duopoly A’s column into Duopoly B’s, or vice versa.

    Kevin

  31. On the left a very good statistical case has been made for a Kerry win. People have broken down polls, and shown that their samples are already biased for Bush (compared to 2000 exit polls), and normalizing shows a Kerry blow-out. Same with state-by-state analysis. I hardly see any of this type of work on the right. Moreover, the right is actively trying to suppress the vote. They are desperate. You can make a killing on TradeSports right now, by betting against the idjits.

  32. At what point does constantly repeating over and over again that the opposition is desperate make you desperate?

  33. Desperate – just a vibe I get. I’m in Ohio and watching the republican party trip over itself trying to keep turnout low. That’s a strategy when you think you’re losing. I think they’ve overdone it a bit and might provoke a reaction in the opposite directiom. It’s already in litigation and two district courts shot them down. I suppose it’s already on the road to the Supreme Court.

    Also a rather hysterical vibe on righty radio and blogs. But maybe I’m seeing something that isn’t there.

  34. My prediction is that Kerry will win. The latest shenanigans in Ohio have made it basically impossible to prevent people from voting illegally; given how close the state is, I think that’ll be enough to hand it to the Democrats. So put me down for: Kerry wins, with Ohio as the contested swing state that people argue about for the next four years.

  35. “I’m pleased as punch, as Hubert H. Humphrey used to say, to be not voting in a battleground state (Ohio).”

    If you’re so brilliant and witty there ruthless how come your living in Ohio?

    I get a chance tomorrow to vote for Badnarik and Barbara Lee, and I’ll gladly do both

  36. If Badnarik does get 300,000 votes for a total budget of just under $1 million dollars — you can at least consider it easily the best run LP presidential campaign ever at $3 per vote — considering he got over a million dollars in earned media, you could say the campaign actually made a profit. But seriously anyone who has done campaign work will tell you $3 per vote in a big race where you are a huge outsider and getting more than your budget in earned media is some serious ass kicking in terms of dollars well spent.

  37. No predictions for the Pres. race but I feel a trembling of the electoral terrain that I haven’t felt since 1980 when a ground swell of discontent tossed out the unpopular incumbent, Jimmy Carter.

    There are differences of course. Reagan had principles that informed his policy positions and because of this he had a mass movement behind him while Kerry’s policy positions seem to be guided by poll data. But still, there is this anti-incumbent outrage that seems ready to explode.

    The GOP will hold both houses.

  38. Dan:

    “The latest shenanigans in Ohio have made it basically impossible to prevent people from voting illegally”

    Let the whining begin ..

  39. “If Badnarik does get 300,000 votes for a total budget of just under $1 million dollars”

    A million bucks? That’s it? Christ, find a few wealthy financiers, a small number of motivated cadres, and a couple of polished candidates, and a takeover of the LP by non-screwball elements could be pretty damn easy. Maybe Jeff Jarvis was onto something.

  40. By “anti-incumbent outrage that seems ready to explode.” I mean anti-presidential incumbent (Bush) outrage, of course.

  41. “The latest shenanigans in Ohio have made it basically impossible to prevent people from voting illegally”

    So the Dems are going to steal the election then-just great. They tried some registration BS here in Colorado as well but I think that they have been largely neutralized.

  42. I polled a few friends, staunch Kerry supporters, one was even an early Dean adopter, and they seem pretty despondent that it’s going to be a fairly big electoral college win for Bush. All kinds of reasons were offered including bad weather on the east coast. That’s my prediction ie a Bush win, not the weather.

  43. so far the pattern i’m seeing is pessimism from the True Belivers. Kerry fans think bush is going to win it, bush fans are despondent over the coming kerryopoly.

    kinda weird, huh?

  44. Some folks seem to be misunderstanding my post. I was following the topic of the thread and trying to explain why I think Bush will win, not making a case for him. (I do think you should hold your nose and vote for Bush, but I’m too burned out on the election to argue about it and so will just say the recommendations of Virginia Postrel and Mark Steyn said it better than I would.)

  45. “If Badnarik does get 300,000 votes for a total budget of just under $1 million dollars”

    A million bucks? That’s it? Christ, find a few wealthy financiers, a small number of motivated cadres, and a couple of polished candidates, and a takeover of the LP by non-screwball elements could be pretty damn easy. Maybe Jeff Jarvis was onto something.”

    They’re called campaign finance laws — they are meant to keep third parties and non-establishment candidates down — if we didn’t have contribution limits you could easily see the LP raising 5-10 million even with someone like Badnarik

  46. “how lame does one have to be to not care which of the two real candidates wins the election, yet to care whether Joke Candidate #1 or Joke Candidate #2 wins the battle for last place? – some Mexican radio station.

    Gee, X, maybe because one of those candidates is a Libertarian, and this is a libertarian site, a few of us L(l)ibertarians might be curious as to how he does. Even from a Duopolist viewpoint one might be interested in whether Badnarik or Nader draw enough support to tip one or another state from Duopoly A’s column into Duopoly B’s, or vice versa.

    Kevin ”

    The top post was directed at me calling me “lame.” Yet this followup by Kevin pretty much says it. I happen to be a Libertarian, and honestly to me neither Kerry nor Bush would make much difference. I see some reasons/arguments for each such as Bush supposedly being more libertarian on many issues ( though that is questionable) as well as Kerry being an improvement over a man waging a Holy War. Perhaps the best reason for Kerry to win is to keep Hillary out.

    I think for that reason I am pulling for Kerry, however that does not mean I should vote for him. There is no way Kerry wont win my state, regardless of how I vote. So if Kerry is the lesser of 2 evils, there is no real reason for me to vote for him. He does not need my vote. The fact is, despite any perceived eccentricities or inadequacies, The Libertarian Party is the ONLY party in existence that stands for individual rights of any kind and the only party worth supporting. If you are a “principled non-voter” I can at least understand that. IMO a vote for Liberty or abstaining are the only options.

  47. I am hoping for a Bush victory, and I think he will win. But then I thought Clinton would lose his re-election.

    I think that if you are strongly for Bush or Kerry, and you are a realist you have to be aware of the likely case that your guy will lose. Therefore people read desperation in both sides.

    Then there are the poeple who have a religios type faith in their side. Like the guys that have the whole country painted red, or blue. They see only what they want to see. And they don’t seem to look back when they are totally wrong, they just make new predictions.

    My vote, which I consider and educated vote, has been countered by some young voters who voted for Kerry to avoid the draft.

    I am worried by the outcome of this election. I am going back to Iraq, and I worry that Kerry might be as bad for the military as Clinton was. I worry that Kerry might turn Iraq in to a Somalia by caring more about polls than sound policy. That is over simplistic but I don’t want to write a book here. I guess it doesn’t really matter to me personally, I will land on my feet either way.

  48. Quite honestly, I’ve never seen this level of animosity before. I think (hope) that if Bush “wins” again, that we’re going to see some rioting. Hopefully, we’ll see the start of a real revolution. That’s the only way to get these corrupt 2 parties out of there, and get the country sane again.

  49. Good to hear from you Jesus.
    What you said might surprise some folks, but not Bible scholars.

  50. Dan,

    Well, thanks to the shenanigans since you posted, it will now be possible for challengers to strategically target predominantly Democratic precincts and deliberately slow down the voting there.

    I don’t know how much of the effort reflects a genuine concern with voting fraud, and how much of it reflects a desire to suppress the vote in heavily Democratic areas. But I’m guessing a lot of it is the latter.

    If Bush *wins* Ohio and Kerry loses, it’ll be the Florida of 2004.

  51. Voted for Bush, but think he’ll lose a tight one in the popular vote, although I can see Kerry winning with a larger EV margin. I think Rep. gain in the House (thanks primarily to TX redistricting) and the Senate. Then I will pray Kerry doesn’t get a single thing passed.

  52. Looks like a Kerry Electoral Victory from here. The only drama to me is whether he breaks 300 in
    The College. My mothers longtime CIA boyfriend is voting Dem for the first time in his five decade voting career. So are many of his retired buds. Meanwhile a solid contingent of my high school contemps have gone through mini awakenings of their own. Once glib republican jocks are now Farenheit- 911- frothing, Kerry fund-raiser- party-throwing geeks. And if anecdotes like this dont mean anything to you then you must be a thoughtful libertarian.

  53. Anecdotes never mean anything except, perhaps, a good story. At this point, the election is a coin toss. The only safe bet is controversy over the next few days or weeks.

  54. I wonder whether some of the perceived desperation among party faithful on both sides is actually strategic. If you were basically apathetic about voting, but particularly disliked one candidate, you might decide not to vote if you heard that your preferred candidate was likely to win. Perhaps the partisans think that if they panic lazy people into thinking that the “bad guy” is going to win, they’ll be a little less lazy and drive their candidate’s numbers up.

    At least, that’s the conspiracy theory I’m going with…

  55. Badnarik is gonna do better than 300K. Way Better.

    I think he could see as high as 1.6%, but 1.2 seems more realistic to me.

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