Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Kerry Wins Big!

The more I read, the more it seems that the dynamic of this election needs to change quickly if it will follow historical trends. Generally, incumbents are either voted another term or out of office by a large margin. Yet this race seems like it may be as close as the 2000 election, if not closer. Most major polls are showing a small Bush lead in many swing states and nationally going into Nov. 2.

Depending on who you talk to, their either means Kerry is an awful candidate, or that he'll win because of the historical trend of undecided voters breaking to the challenger by at least a 3 to 1 margin. See City of Lakes.

Of course, aside from analyzing history like this, its so much more fun to analyze random trends and see how they fit into presidential politics. That was Newsday's take yesterday. Newsday sees trends in Kerry's direction on hemlines (going up), candidate height (Kerry's taller), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (lower.) However, the important factors of Halloween mask sales, Iowa Presidential Futures, and the Weekly Reader poll of elementary school students all favor Bush. Every other "indicator" is up in the air. But I know I'll be rooting for the Washington Redskins to lose their October 31st game against the Packers. (Which would favor the incumbent.)

Two factors that might not be taken enough into account in polls seem to favor Kerry. A larger number of voters tends to favor Democrats, as does large numbers of new voters. There has also been a lot of talk recently about the impact of cell phone users on the election, as most polls are not able to take these people into account. Generally, those whose only phone is a cell phone tend to be younger and thus in a group that supports Kerry over Bush. Of course, all this does not take into account the legions of Republican and Democratic lawyers that will be descending on polling stations in swing states on November 2. The Republicans will be attempting to disqualify illegitimate voters (some have alleged this is a tactic of intimidation against minority districts where Republicans are focusing.) It's difficult to say what will happen if there is another election tainted as the 2000 one was. Ronald Brownstein of the LA Times takes this issue on in a recent column.

Then of course is the possibility of some sort of terrorist incident between now and when voting closes on Tuesday. The administration has brought up the possibility several times, though recently, the idea of an attack timed to influence the election has been discredited in most media sources. The effect of such an attack though could be dramatic. In any direction. Depending on how Bush reacts primarily, and secondarily on Kerry.

However, assuming no major surprises (aside from surprise late-inning attacks by both Kerry and Bush this coming weekend) I see this race trending to Kerry, with him winning big in the Electoral College (up maybe 30 or 40 electoral votes) and winning the popular vote by rolling up huge margins in New York, California, and the other big states.

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