Last January, the Northern Alliance met Hugh Hewitt for lunch at a restaurant in Long Lake, Minnesota. At the end of lunch, Hugh had us predict the electoral vote breakdowns by state, and thus predict the election.
Of the entire assembled Alliance, I was the second-most optimistic, behind only Hewitt himself. That surprised me; I've never been especially sanguine about any Republican in elections.
It's been a roller coaster ride.
But I think I can see the last corkscrew coming up. Here's why.
Now bear in mind I never really supported George W. Bush until after the 2000 convention (I was for Forbes), and never really got behind him until September 11. I've become a fan - but purely for personal reasons, not because he's my party's guy. Still, the party could have done much worse.
But the last year has truly been an amazing ride. Bad intelligence leads to an international shell-game for WMDs. Worse media bias has buried the real stories - the Oil for Food scam, French and Russian complicity with Hussein, Joe Wilson's perfidy, the overwhelming success in most of Iraq, the extent to which the entire world's intelligence indicated Hussein had WMDs, the success in the rest of Iraq at killing off the insurgents, the record-breaking speed of the turnover of sovereignty, and most of all the links between Hussein and the whole rogue's gallery of world terror groups, including Al Quaeda. The White House's seeming unwillingness or inability to defend itself. For a while, the pessimism of the likes of Rocket Man started getting to me.
Yesterday, Jeff Fecke of Blogomodleft commented in one of my posts:
drop by my site. There's a link to the latest Electoral College projection. Hint: 500 votes isn't gonna be the margin this time.I don't like doing political predictions. Oh, it's not that I'm not usually right - I am. But the whole exercise is so subject to emotion, and devoid of any empirical logic, it's really only usable for entertainment purposes. And I'm not just talking amateurs - nobody got the last Minnesota election right, and the pollsters were pretty much all wrong about the 2000 election too.
So as re Jeff's prediction, I agree. Because as close as the polls are today, this next few weeks will be John Kerry's last honeymoon with success. I am starting to think Bush can not only win this thing, but by a controversy-proof margin.
As I said, part of it is emotion; I fervently hope America isn't stupid enough to elect Kerry and Edwards, two of the most vacuous empty suits I've ever seen on the campaign trail. I hope that the morally-incontinent majority of the Democrat Party, the ones awash in sneering, condescending partisan hatred, get their heads handed to them, have their aneurisms and leave the rest of us alone.
So yeah, emotion plays its part. In the 1990s, when we could afford to be trivial and vapid as a nation, we could indulge ourselves with a Bill Clinton, the presidential equivalent of a middle-aged guy buying a convertible.
There are no consequences to supporting John Kerry yet - supporting him doesn't have any actual effect on US policy. I think that translates into numbers.
Do a lot of people hate George W. Bush. Is it 48% of the population? No. I suspect (and it's just my suspicion at the moment) that John Kerry's support at the moment is:
Kerry's lack of bounce from selecting Edwards, especially in the South, was a big story - the polls barely budged, and it looks like Kerry is poised to lose the entire south (including, according to some polls, Florida). This, with full-court media adulation that made Jessica Lynch's reception look like a tough day on "Crossfile".
But I think his complete ineptitude as a campaigner is bigger. It's been said that when Cicero spoke people said, 'How well Cicero speaks,' but when Demosthenes spoke they said, 'Let us go against Phillip.' When George W. Bush speaks, people are sometimes inspired and sometimes they just joke about his pronunciation; when John Kerry speaks, people nod off and wish they were elsewhere. He makes Algore - a terrible speaker in his own right - look like William Jennings Bryan.
Long story short: the media will do their best. They'll continue to show Kerry/Edwards in the best light and softest focus they can possibly engineer. They'll increasingly pull out the stops; I have no doubt that they're working on a nother big non-story like the "DWI" from 2000, which may have cost Bush a clear majority. I have no doubt that story will be unleased at the strategically perfect time.
But I'm equally sure that as we get closer to the election, barring a terrorist attack, more people in the middle (and I think there are a lot more of them than the polls suggest) will realize both the seriousness of the war and the strength of the economy; Reagan showed us that the average voter can look at tax cuts, see their paycheck, and put two and two together.
And I think that after the Dem convention plays out, the endgame will be a lot clearer than the campaign itself; Bush will pick up points, Kerry will slowly lose them, and at the end of the day the "swing states" will mostly go for Bush. It will be a clear victory this time (although the moonbats will roll out the conspiracy theories anyway), although no landslide. If there's a terrorst attack, it'll be clearer still, because it will put into even starker relief the most salient fact of this election in my opinion; John Kerry could not be a competent leader of a nation in wartime.
So that's my prediction; Bush victory. We might not know it in Mid-October, but I think it'll happen.
I think Minnesota will vote for Kerry, although barely; the metro's influence will continue to wane. I think Wisconsin might go Bush - that'd be gravy.
Oh, yeah, one more; at least one major liberal blogger will have a heart attack or stroke, or be arrested for a violent crime of passion within a week of the election.Posted by Mitch at July 16, 2004 09:44 AM | TrackBack