Sunday, October 26, 2008

Prediction 7

UPDATE: below

Is McCain within reach or is Obama cruising? The Democrat candidate himself says he "feel[s] like we got a righteous wind at our backs here." Analysts agree he's ahead; most see the race as close: Does any of this matter? Maybe not: several observers think all polls are invalid--or misunderstood. So could something change between now and November 4th?
  1. Wallet: What about Obama's leftist economics? They scare me--might they spook a blue-ish electorate? Unlikely: Obama's popularity arose largely because, not despite, his redistributive proposals--he's "offered the most rhetorically eloquent defense of collectivism since Franklin D. Roosevelt," according to National Review's Jonah Goldberg. As they say in software, that's a liberal feature, not a bug. Further, I reject the confidential wisdom that the richest Americans vote and donate Republican.

  2. Race: Ok, could the so-called "Bradley effect" push McCain past Obama on the final lap? Objection--assuming facts not in evidence. In brief, I think the assumption that Tom Bradley lost the 1982 California governor's contest because of racial prejudice hidden from pollsters is factually wrong, (as a few at the New Republic and CBS concede). Another term with the same meaning is "social desirability bias", which underscores that the condition requires both racism and a reluctance to admit racism.

    I think the theory half fable, half post hoc ergo propter hoc excuse used by disappointed Dems and libs. But, even were there an effect on Tom Bradley's candidacy, I agree with ZombieTime that the "Bradley Effect seems to have gradually evaporated over the intervening decades since 1982." Indeed--at least in America--I doubt its appearance among younger (say under 50) or educated voters.

    Despite the media frenzy, Obama's ahead independit of the merits, in part because he's "smooth"--and that impression won't vaporize in the voting booth. Indeed, Obama may be more popular than current polls. Alternatively, insulting the electorate as "racist" could backfire--unless directed at Republicans regardless of age.

    In any event, Virginia elected a black governor in 1989, making a racially-based flip there highly improbable. That matters--because to be significant, the Bradley effect must turn a purple state red.

  3. States at issue: Which states are the color purple? Indiana now appears safely red. As predicted, Florida may be returning to its red-state roots, in the wake of all-out efforts by both Republicans and Dems. North Carolina also is trending Republican. Obama's still ahead in Ohio, contrary to race-based assumptions. In any case, November might be too late for a McCain surge.

    Missouri still favors Obama, though my sources think it's a toss-up. Colorado and New Hampshire remain tough putts, and Nevada isn't yet running Red (as I predicted). Virginia looks hopeless.

    Recognizing that, McCain's trying a Hail-Mary in Pennsylvania, leading some Dems to pronounce Pa. in play. I don't see it--the Bush campaign contested the state until almost the end in 2004, yet lost big. McCain won't best that result. It's sobering that McCain's also campaigning in New Hampshire, a former red state now deep blue.

    Importantly, McCain has to carry virtually all the battleground states to win. That is unlikely, says electoral savant Michael Barone:
    In state polls, Mr. Obama is currently getting 50% or more in the averages in states with 286 electoral votes, including four carried by George W. Bush -- Colorado, Iowa, New Mexico and Virginia. He leads, with less than 50%, in five more Bush '04 states with 78 electoral votes -- Florida, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio. It's certainly plausible, given the current state of opinion, that he would carry several if not all of them.
    Meaning no margin for error. And, given Obama's huge war chest--some obtained illegally--and ad spending, socialism fears and submerged racism would have to be impossibly powerful to reverse the opinion in all those states.

  4. Register first, exist later: Such a turnaround is especially difficult for Republicans given the widespread suspicion of vote registration fraud. I've already reported the evidence of phony registrations, many submitted by ACORN--one ex-ACORN worker received a three month prison term after registering 2000 made-up Seattle voters. Another former ACORN employee in Pennsylvania was arrested this week.

    Deborah Hastings updates the tale:
    The stories are almost comical: Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, registered to vote on Nov. 4. The entire starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys football team, signed up to go the polls in Nevada.

    But no one in either presidential campaign is laughing. Not publicly, anyway.

    Republicans, led by John McCain, are alleging widespread voter fraud. The Democrats and Barack Obama say the controversy is preposterous and is just political mudslinging.

    In the middle is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, known as ACORN, a grass-roots community group that has led liberal causes since it formed in 1970. This year, ACORN hired more than 13,000 part-time workers and sent them out in 21 states to sign up voters in minority and poor neighborhoods.

    They submitted 1.3 million registration cards to local election officials.
    Abandoning their Republican-targeted ethics crusade, the media insist this year is no worse than previous contests. Even if true--and I doubt it--how does that support complacency? (Acorn defends itself.) My question: why are lefties bothering with bogus registrations in states like Washington and Connecticut--where Dems can't lose?

    The silver lining: the brother of the group's founder allegedly misappropriated nearly $1 million of ACORN's money a few years back. Don't chortle, given the black cloud: The Supreme Court reversed a Federal District Court order for pre-election voter roll review, because the law does not authorize injunctive relief against state officials for complaints brought by private entities--like the Ohio Republican party plaintiffs. Black trumps silver; the Court decision makes it "extremely unlikely that anything significant will come of [fraud investigations] before Election Day." As a final insult, taxpayers partially fund ACORN: at least $31 million over the past decade.

    A less partisan press wouldn't let Barack distance himself from ACORN:
    He served as general counsel for ACORN in Illinois, channeled millions to the organization from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (whose funds he distributed), and has lately spent $800,000 of his campaign money to subsidize the group's activities.
    But that's treated as an aside, below the fold at best. More important to lefties is the fact that a perception of fraud could hurt the campaign. So it's news when the Obama campaign joins the chorus urging FBI oversight: they want agents to investigate conservatives talking-up registration fraud atrocities.
Conclusion: So, my seventh--next to last--prognostication. I have McCain retaining the battlegrounds of: Nevada, Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. I have Obama taking Colorado, Ohio, Virginia and New Hampshire:

source: RCP
That's a 36 electoral vote Obama win--20 votes more than the final margin in Bush's 2004 victory. If Obama were to carry Nevada, Missouri, Ohio and Florida, it would be a landslide. As Weekly Standard editor William Kristol says, "with 10 days to go before the election, it's getting pretty dark out there."

I don't doubt "things can change in a hurry." It did-- decisively--in 2004. It did--too little, too late--in 2000. And I still think Ohio could experience "Red shift" (physics pun). But that only transfers 20 votes, still producing a 16 electoral vote Obama triumph, meaning McCain as unpopular as Kerry.

The Democrats' consistent lead could be imagined. But with Obama's advantage in fundraising and spending compared with McCain's, losing would require a number of improbable events. Especially given the dangerously down economy, and a widespread dislike of (if not hatred toward) President Bush. Still, it's easier to envision an Obama loss than a McCain victory. If you know what I mean.


Steven Warshawsky at American Thinker posts "signs pointing to a McCain victory."

(via The Corner, Instapundit, Campaign Spot)


Anonymous said...

Should The top management of the Public listed company be responsible for the company performance, eg company nearly get wind up?
Are you a Partisan?

Should they give their view......? If any party did not give their views, send it to their supporter to question them....

OBloodyHell said...

> underscores that the condition requires both racism and a reluctance to admit racism.

No, it may be that it assumes accusations of racism and a recluctance to be exposed to accusations of racism.

...not quite the same thing

OBloodyHell said...

> Should The top management of the Public listed company be responsible for the company performance, eg company nearly get wind up?

Given that Frank Raines and Jamey Gorelick both posted blatantly false numbers for the performance of Fannie Mae in 2003, when this whole thing started to get out of control, should they be prosecuted for fraud and corruption and thrown in jail, much as Ken Lay was about to do when he died prior to sentencing?

Given that Barney Frank said, I quote: "I want to roll the dice a bit more with the Fannie Maes" at a hearing specifically convened to call attention to the accounting abnormalities that Raines and Gorelick were responsible for... should he be hounded out of office?

Does your desire for "responsibility" extend to everyone? Or are you a partisan?

OBloodyHell said...

I dunno. Driving through an average neighborhood in this smallish, college town (i.e., very liberal -- the only county in Florida north of Orlando which went for Kerry and Gore), I spot 9 McCain flags, 4 Obama flags. I've also noted that there appear to be a surprising dearth of Obama bumper stickers.

Observation bias? Quite possibly. But it seems odd to me that, with so much supposed support, it's not visible in a place/town where I'd expect it to be *particularly* visible.

We'll see.

OBloodyHell said...

I also would point you to AJ Strata's latest piece:

McCain’s Internal Polls Looking VERY Good

Most of those polls suggest lackluster turnout by GOP supporters.


I saw the Republican Party today, standing in line to see Palin at Shippensburg University. The line stretched for more than half a mile – people waiting outside for hours on a windy 40-degree day – and though the doors opened more than two hours before the event, security still wasn’t able to get everyone through the metal detectors by the time the rally began. Let’s see Buckley or Kathleen Parker or Ken Adelman draw a crowd like that.

If somehow John McCain pulls off a miracle Nov. 4, it will be in no small measure due to the excitement that Palin has brought to the ticket. Let the cynics attend a Palin event and try to imagine those crowds turning out for, inter alia, Tim Pawlenty.

Does that sound like disinterested GOP supporters?

Again. I won't be amazed if Obama wins. But I will be mildly surprised. One hopes that the local cops around the USA are suitably prepared for the possibilities of when the Dem's "sure thing" becomes "swamp thing"