Sunday, October 31, 2004

Axis of evil update

AP: Iran Parliament OKs nuke enrichment bill

To shouts of "Death to America," Iran's parliament unanimously approved the outline of a bill Sunday that would require the government to resume uranium enrichment, legislation likely to deepen an international dispute over Iran's nuclear activities.
The Iranians claim they only want to develop nuclear energy capacity, not – heaven forfend! – nuclear weapons. And they say “death to America” the same way Americans say “looks like rain today” so don’t read into that too much.
Why couldn’t we get this news last month? “U.S. employers probably added 175,000 workers to payrolls in October, the most in five months, while the unemployment rate held at a three-year low of 5.4 percent, the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of economists shows.”
Gallup is trying to give me a coronary

Bush leads slightly among likely voters, 49-47% but trails in both Ohio and Florida? And now Bush has a 4% lead in Pennsylvania?!? And 8% in Wisconsin?

This poll was taken Friday through Sunday. Somebody please tell me that weekend polls are historically wacky. I’ve heard it before, but never quite believed it. Is it true? Maybe you should lie to me and say “yes” and help me avoid a breakdown here.

Update: OK, this made me feel a little better, esp. the part about Ohio.
The NY Daily News endorses Bush: “Right war, right time, right man
Jeff Jacoby – “A question of character”: “For a nation going to the polls in wartime, no issue matters more than character. Kerry has much to recommend him, and Bush's flaws are many. But Bush has the character and backbone of a leader. And Kerry doesn't.”

Jeff Jacoby is the token conservative at the Boston Globe and has followed Kerry’s career for many, many years. Be sure to read the whole thing.
Mark Steyn – “Justifications for backing Kerry fall flat”: “It's only a day or so now till the chad-dangling round of Campaign 2004 begins but, when the lawsuits are over and the bloodletting begins, serious Democrats need to confront the intellectual emptiness of their party, which Kerry's campaign embodies all too well. The Dems got a full tank from FDR, a top-up in the Civil Rights era, and they've been running on fumes for 30 years. Their last star, Bill Clinton, has no legacy because, deft as he was, his Democratic Party had no purpose other than as a vehicle for promoting his own indispensability. When he left, the Democrats became a party running on personality with no personalities to run. Hence, the Kerry candidacy. Despite the best efforts of American editorialists, there's no there there.”
George Will – “Reelect Bush, faults and all”: “Bush sometimes confuses certitude with certainty, but he understands that to govern is to choose, and that some choices must make one lonely. Kerry constantly calls to mind a three-time Democratic presidential nominee, William Jennings Bryan: "The people of Nebraska are for free silver and I am for free silver. I will look up the arguments later."”

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Landslide - The Blogging Caesar makes his final prediction.
Don’t it make my blue state red?

Here’s a quote from Slate’s Election Scorecard: “But there isn't a lot of evidence to keep this state [Minnesota] on Kerry's side if another poll or two comes out against him.”

One and two and three. Get cracking, after you're done with Ohio.
Gerry Daly on Daly Thoughts: “I used to think that Zogby was just an overrated pollster. I now understand that he is much worse than that– he is a biased pollster. Perhaps not biased to the party he favors (the Democrats) but biased towards his own expectations. If a number does not match what he thinks it should, he’ll make adjustments.” (HT to Betsy)
Why Democrats should vote for Bush
Live by Zogby, die by Zogby

I’ve always thought the Zogby poll was questionable (and I’m not the only one). Over the past week, his tracking poll has become increasingly erratic. For example, today Zogby reports that Kerry leads in Wisconsin by 6%; but a couple days back he had Bush leading by 1% - huh? A Minnesota poll indicated a 7% swing overnight.

But, hey, if Zogby floats your boat, then fine. The Slate Election Scorecard in particular is beholden to the Zogby state polls. For example, here are the latest Wisconsin polls listed on Slate’s site sans the latest Zogby poll (all are split Bush-Kerry):

ARG: 47-48
Badger Poll: 48-45
Strategic Vision: 49-46
CNN/USA Today/Gallup: 50-44
U of Minnesota: 48-47

But Zogby trumps all with a big 6% lead for John “Lambert Field” Kerry so Wisconsin is now a “blue” state. Well, today Zogby reports that Bush leads in Ohio by 5% (49-44%). Yet Slate still lists Ohio as a Kerry pickup.

Now I’m not saying that Slate is biased, (that's "biased biased BIASED") but I’d like to hear their argument why Hawaii is still a Kerry state when two separate polls from the Aloha state show Bush ahead. Would they do the same for a traditionally Republican state (like Ohio)? I didn’t think so. Let's see some objective flipping here.

Update: Bite on this, Slate: new Mason-Dixon polls. Bush is up by 2% (48-46) in Ohio.

Update again: And now Strategic Vision: Bush +1 in Ohio. (HT to Dusty)
What is revealed

Here’s David Brooks in today’s NY Times:

Bush's response yesterday to the [Osama] video was exactly right. He said we would not be intimidated. He tried to take the video out of the realm of crass politics by mentioning Kerry by name and assuring the country that he was sure Kerry agreed with him.

Kerry did say that we are all united in the fight against bin Laden, but he just couldn't help himself. His first instinct was to get political.

On Milwaukee television, he used the video as an occasion to attack the president: "He didn't choose to use American forces to hunt down Osama bin Laden. He outsourced the job." Kerry continued with a little riff from his stump speech, "I am absolutely confident I have the ability to make America safer."

Even in this shocking moment, this echo of Sept. 11, Kerry saw his political opportunities and he took 'em. There's such a thing as being so nakedly ambitious that you offend the people you hope to impress.
Read the whole thing.
Last Newsweek poll – “Breaking to Bush

Oct. 30 - After months of the tightest presidential election contest in recent memory, a new NEWSWEEK poll suggests momentum may be moving toward President George W. Bush. As the bitter campaign enters its final days, against the eerie backdrop of a surprise appearance by Osama Bin Laden, Bush’s lead is still
within the poll’s margin of error, but it’s larger than last week. If the election were held today, 50 percent of likely voters would go for Bush and 44 percent would go for Kerry. (Ralph Nader would receive 1 percent.) That compares to a Bush lead last week among likely voters of 48 to 46 percent.

In a two-way trial heat, excluding Nader, Bush/Cheney would defeat Kerry/Edwards 51 percent to 45 percent. Last week Bush led 48 to 47 in the two-way contest.
Interesting internal: although Bush’s job approval is still relatively low, people just do not like Kerry.
The Art of the Unendorsement on Beautiful Atrocities
Goofy stuff with twins Jenna & Barbara
Movie reviewer Osama Bin Laden gives Fahrenheit 9/11 two thumbs up.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Best opening paragraph today

Gov. Ed Rendell is scheduled to stump for John Kerry in York today, and he’s bringing Rhoda and Meathead with him.
Isn’t this ironic? I just wrote a Blogs for Bush post noting that the Democrats are stuck in the past while the Republicans are looking to the future. And I didn’t even mention Vietnam.
Jonah Goldberg in "Protect America First" - "Whatever Bush's faults, the one thing a majority of Americans are confident of is that he wants to win the war on terror in Iraq and around the world, no matter what. About John Kerry they just can't be too sure. That's why I think Bush will win, and why I think he should."
Vote Bush and annoy the French, the United Nations, and Matthew Hoy's co-workers.
What would we do without analysts? Bin Laden tape could help Bush – Analysts

Meanwhile, here's the silver lining for Kerry
Dumbest protest sign since “Who needs oil? I take the bus
Remember Afghanistan

Given the events today, Charles Krauthammer’s article in the WashPost today seems prescient:

This election comes down to a choice between one man's evolution and the other man's resolution. With his endlessly repeated Tora Bora charges, Kerry has made Afghanistan a major campaign issue. So be it. Whom do you want as president? The man who conceived the Afghan campaign, carried it through without flinching when it was being called a "quagmire" during its second week and has seen it through to Afghanistan's transition to democracy? Or the retroactive genius, who always knows what needs to be done after it has already happened -- who would have done "everything" differently in Iraq, yet in Afghanistan would have replicated Bush's every correct, courageous, radical and risky decision -- except one. Which, of course, he would have done differently. He says. Now.
After a summit.
The Osama Tape

I can't post at work so sometimes I'll read news stories and compose things in my head. But everything I thought I'd be writing about tonight goes out the window with the Osama tape. I need to get caught up but I agree with almost everything being said on the Corner right now.
How I calculated my predictions

A couple weeks back, I gave the following guesses to Stolen Thunder:

Popular vote: Bush 53% - Kerry 46%
Electoral vote count: Bush 289 – 249

Today, Yale economist Ray Fair made his final calculation for the popular vote using his Presidential Vote Equation. Based on his econometric calculation using inflation and growth rate numbers, Fair estimates that President Bush will win 57.7% of the popular vote. He also notes that his model has had a historical average error of 2.4%. I doubled this potential error and subtracted from his estimate: 57.7-4.8 = 52.9% and rounded to 53%.

For the electoral vote count, I took the Real Clear Politics count of 232 for Bush and added the toss-up states of Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin: 232+27+20+10 = 289.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Extra: Jayson notes that the largest error in the Fair model was 5.1% in 1992. Factoring in this max error (57.7-5.1%), Bush still wins.
That’s my boy!

Yesterday, my son participated in the National Mock Election. The town rolled in the actual voting machines and let the kids cast their ballots for President. And, just like the Scholastic and Weekly Reader polls before them, the kids chose Bush. (50%-42%).

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Mark Steyn: “My sense is that the 2002 model is still operative, and that the Democrats and the media, talking to each other in their mutually self-deluding cocoon, have overplayed the Bush-bashing. Next Tuesday the President will win the states he won last time, plus Iowa, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Maine’s Second Congressional District to put him up to 301 electoral votes. Minnesota? Why not? Nudge him up to 311 electoral votes. Oh, and what the hell, give him Hawaii: that’s 315.”

Hey, there’s something about the Aloha State!
Unintentional humor alert

Here’s Kerry advisor Richard Holbrooke in Florida on Sunday:

''I'm not here to criticize President Bush," Holbrooke, a former United Nations ambassador, told hundreds of members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, a major pro-Israel lobbying group, gathered for their annual summit. ''His support for Israel is, in my mind, unquestionable."

The crowd -- to Holbrooke's chagrin -- offered rousing applause. ''That was not," he said wryly, ''supposed to be an applause line."
Shove it, idiot Neaderthals! – I can’t understand why Teresa has such a high “unfavorable” rating. She’s so tolerant and patient with other viewpoints.
More market manipulation: After being way up all day, the Bush-Kerry gap on Tradesports has narrowed considerably this evening. Not to worry. Donald Luskin is on the case of some (likely) George Soros-funded monkey business.
For music lovers hatersThe ten worst cover songs
This just in: A new season of The Amazing Race starts November 16th. Awesome.
Follow-up - While driving home tonight, I heard Kerry spokesman Joe Lockhart angry condemn the Bush campaign for suggesting that John Kerry is criticizing American soldiers. As it turns out, nobody can question Kerry's commitment to the military because....

...oh, you know.
Explosives attack blows up in Kerry’s face

In the purely reactionary land of Kerryworld, every dark cloud is the work of George Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. So when the Al-Qaqaa tall-tale emerged, the attack dogs leapt. It just never occurred to Team Kerry that a large majority of Americans wouldn’t blame George Bush personally; as a result, the desultory attack seemed like a criticism of U.S. soldiers.

Here’s Hugh Hewitt in the Weekly Standard:

John Kerry now closes his presidential campaign exactly as he opened his political life: Attacking the United States military.

Thirty-three years ago, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he indicted the soldiers of Vietnam as war criminals, the heirs of Genghis Khan.

This week he embraced an already discredited account of missing munitions to attack the reputation of the 3rd Infantry Division and the 101st Airborne. Make no mistake, that is exactly what Kerry is doing when he asserts that deadly weapons went unsecured and unreported as these two divisions rushed to liberate Baghdad. And not just these divisions, but every officer and soldier who had a hand in drawing up the war plan. If the negligence that Kerry charges the military with was real, additional troops would not have made a difference. The initial search would still have been conducted by the 3rd I.D. and the site pronounced clear. The 101st would still have spent 24 hours in the munitions complex before moving on. Kerry cannot avoid owning the latest of many slanders he has launched at the military as a means of wounding the president.
In laying out his case for “The Myth of the Missing Explosives,” Ralph Peters concludes:

Sen. Kerry knows this is a bogus issue. And he doesn't care. He's willing to accuse our troops of negligence and incompetence to further his political career. Of course, he did that once before.
And Crush Kerry lards on the metaphors in this detailed and link-heavy post:

You can tell just how desperate Kerry has become in the last week or two by the sheer audacity of his lies. Recently he's been scaring people into thinking that the draft is coming back, made unsupported allegations that Bush has a "January Surprise" to reduce social security, charged Bush with having a "secret plan" to raise milk prices in Wisconsin, and claimed that Bush paid more attention to tax cuts for the rich than he did Osama Bin Laden. The list goes on and on.

But Kerry should have quit while he was ahead (or to be more accurate, almost tied). He showed his desperation and willingness to say anything by grabbing onto the "NYTrogate" story way too quickly, even putting out a TV ad in less than a day. By locking himself in that the phantom "disappearance" was the result of Bush's incompetence, he sealed his fate.

In less than 48 hours the story is coming apart faster than a virgin's gown on prom night. You can tell just how bad it is when the publisher of the lie, in this case The New York Times is retreating quicker than a French soldier.
As I’ve said before, John Kerry will say anything if he believes it will help his campaign. Now it looks like he’s gone one lie over the line.
Democrat Martin Gross gives 10 reasons why Bush will win.
Fenway Flashback: “Nominee-to-be John Kerry (D-Mass.) arrived in time to throw out the first pitch and was booed as if he were wearing a Yankee jersey.”
The Idiots Did It!

I grew up in New Jersey in the shadow of Giants Stadium so, by default, I was a NY Giants and Yankees fan. But when I moved to Massachusetts in 1991, I adopted the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox as my new sports teams. Who-da thunk that 13 years later, the Patriots would be the best team in football and the Red Sox would win their first World Series in 86 years? Congratulations to the World Champion Boston Red Sox!

Boston Globe main page / Sports section

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

One inning to go....
NYTrogate/media bias update – There are all sorts of conflicting reports coming out about the explosives that may or may not have gone missing in Iraq. One thing is abundantly clear, as reported by this Howard Kurtz piece: the NY Times and CBS both rushed to get the story out once rumors started spreading on the Internet.

Corrections will run November 3rd, I presume.
Why Bush will win

Pete DuPont: Conviction
USA Today: Women
Gallup: Leadership
Astute Blogger: He’s a mensch
Lileks disassembles lame Sully’s endorsement. He’s great (Lileks, that is).
Water = wet

From the Boston Globe: “Kerry winning the battle over coverage, study says” – “And in an election season already marked by charges of press partisanship, the survey results are likely to fuel complaints about liberal bias.” The American media? No way!
We at least pick up two or three seats," says a Republican Senate staffer - An analysis of the major Senate races on American Spectator.
Ohio doesn’t swing that way

As you may have noticed, I’ve been getting antsy about Bush’s prospects in Ohio. However, a couple of posts today helped to put my mind at ease.

First, there was this post on NRO’s Battlegrounders that makes some very compelling points, which I’ll summarize here:

1. Ohio is very much of a GOP state; it is not a swing state
2. Social-moral issues and security concerns have a huge impact
3. Newly registered voters will likely split 50-50
4. Bush will get a much larger percentage of independents
5. There is no enthusiasm for Kerry

Then I got caught up with Jay Cost’s post “Theorizing about the OH ground game.” He believes that the get-out-the-vote effort is much stronger for Republican than Democrats:

1. ABC News reported over the summer that Bush/Cheney ’04 was, as of the spring, organized “down to the precinct level.”
2. Other news outlets have implied that Bush/Cheney ’04 has been adopting what appears more and more to be the old Democratic “knock-and-drag" model.
3. KE04 has “outsourced” their GOTV work to outside organizations.
Finally, I checked back to one of Scott Elliot’s reasons for “Why Bush will win” and found #17:

17. Ohio's social conservatism
Since Florida and New Hampshire are no longer the targets they once were for the DNC, Ohio becomes the challenge of choice. On the surface, Bush's narrow victory there in 2000 would give Democrats hope of taking it from the GOP in 2004. However, the political winds are blowing in the GOP's favor this year. Ohio's recent passage of a ban on gay marriage highlights their socially conservative lean. The impending battle in the gay marriage debate will solidify and motivate social conservatives in this crucial state, resulting in a more difficult obstacle for the Democrats to overcome.
The only red states that have been trouble for Bush in 2000 are New Hampshire and Ohio. I’m fairly confident that Bush will win Florida again, so Ohio is the key to the kingdom.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Bush wins yet another non-traditional poll (and it includes people with cell phones)
Don’t you remember you told me you loved me baby? – Tonight on Jeopardy! there was a question about the two artists who hit the charts with “Please Mr. Postman.” I’m proud to say I accurately responded “The Marvelettes and the Carpenters.” OK, I’m not that proud.
The 46% Typo of the Day - On RCP home page: Bush 50 Kerry 4
Andrew Sullivan embraces the paradox

It came as a surprise to exactly no one, but columnist/blogger Andrew Sullivan endorsed John Kerry today in the New Republic. Sullivan runs through a long list of complaints about President Bush (some of which I share) and essentially falls ass-backward into the conclusion that Bush has disqualified himself for a second term.

The quandary here is that, based on Sullivan’s (and Michael Moore’s) logic, anybody who’s not Bush could be President. Hey, why not Eric Lindholm? He’s over 35, was born in the United States, is gainfully employed, and would promptly roll back the expensive prescription drug benefit. (There’s your fiscal discipline, Sully!). Why not Glenn Reynolds? How about Betsy Newmark?

News flash: we’re not voting for student council treasurer, dog catcher, or even a U.S. Senator. America is making a choice on the most powerful position on Earth. Andrew Sullivan throws caution to the wind and, with a cavalier toss of the head, says we should put our chips on Kerry because...well, I’m not sure why. We know that Kerry isn’t Bush, but he’s not much beyond that:

I know few people enthused about John Kerry. His record is undistinguished, and where it stands out, mainly regrettable. He intuitively believes that if a problem exists, it is the government's job to fix it. He has far too much faith in international institutions, like the corrupt and feckless United Nations, in the tasks of global management. He got the Cold War wrong. He got the first Gulf War wrong. His campaign's constant and excruciating repositioning on the war against Saddam have been disconcerting, to say the least. I completely understand those who look at this man's record and deduce that he is simply unfit to fight a war for our survival. They have an important point--about what we know historically of his character and his judgment when this country has faced dire enemies. His scars from the Vietnam War lasted too long and have gone too deep to believe that he has clearly overcome the syndrome that fears American power rather than understands how to wield it for good.
There you have it: we can’t really trust Kerry in the fight for our very survival, but what the hell? As Westley said to Vizzini: “Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.”

Extra: Subbing for Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, check out Megan McArdle and Ann Althouse’s comments on Sullivan’s ill-reasoned and illogical endorsement. (And I’m sure there’s much more out there in the blogosphere).

[Cross-posted on Blogs for Bush]
Today's feel-good article: "Why conflicted voters will go for Bush"
Kerry finds religion

Jeff Jacoby is not impressed:

As it happens, I have picked this particular bone with Kerry before. During his Senate reelection campaign in 1996, I wrote a column contrasting his denunciation of Republican greed and heartlessness with his own record of charitable giving. During the previous six years, it turned out, Kerry had given less than $5,000 to charity - a minuscule seven-10ths of 1 percent of his gross income for the period. In some years he had given nothing at all; in others, his charitable donations added up to only a few hundred dollars. During the same six years, his Republican opponent, former Governor William Weld, had donated to charity nearly $165,000, or more than 15 percent of his gross income.

''There is something very wrong with a man who makes more than $120,000 a year,'' I wrote then, ''and gives only scraps to help those who are less fortunate than he.''

In the years since that embarrassing revelation, Kerry's charitable donations have increased significantly. On his tax return last year, for example, he reported $43,735 in charitable donations.
Why the sudden change of heart? Oh.
Don’t listen to us! What do we know?

I laughed out loud at the intro to this story “CNN poll has Bush ahead in Florida”:

President Bush outpolled Democratic challenger John Kerry by 8 points among likely Florida voters surveyed in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday, but other polls indicated a tighter race.
I think the truth is closer to a 3-4% Bush lead. I hope.
Time to flip Ohio

I’m positive that William “Bush is Toast” Saletan would rather cut off his pinkie toe than update Slate’s Election Scorecard to show Ohio leaning towards the President. But he can no longer ignore the math: the most recent polls listed for Ohio clearly indicate that Bush is ahead in the Buckeye State. (Not by much, to be sure, but when you’re calling “leaners” you have to be honest to the arithmetic.) For good measure, throw in this morning’s Strategic Vision poll and you have to tip the balance.

Real Clear Politics has Bush ahead in Ohio and both Election Projection and Electoral Vote have that state colored red. Will Slate/Saletan grudgingly admit the truth? Stay tuned.

Update: OK, even with the latest ARG numbers (just added) Bush still leads on the RCP average and that’s without the new Strategic Vision poll. And if you dropped off those 358 respondents in the high MOE Scripps poll…well.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Can we go to Ohio now? - Jay on the Horserace Blog has lots of interesting state poll results as determined by fuzzy math. Anyway, he appears really confident that Bush will win Florida.
If I were a cynical person, I might say that the New York Times saved the previously-reported “missing explosives” story until a week before the election to hurt the President politically. [sarcasm] But then I said: “Not the New York Times!” [/sarcasm]

Update: Kerry’s pamphleteer – “At this point it is scandalous that the "newspaper of record" pretends to be anything other than the daily Kerry campaign talking-points memo.”
Meanwhile, in Congress: “Democrats struggle in campaigns to retake House
A vote for Bush not counted in Massachusetts! The horror.
Still wondering

It’s nothing short of remarkable that, a week away from Election Day, Americans still have no idea what is John Kerry’s position on Iraq. From Sebastian Mallaby in today’s Washington Post “Iraq: Does Kerry Have a Plan?

If neither foreign nor Iraqi troops come to the rescue, a President Kerry might face a choice: Take back his election talk of bringing soldiers home, or take back his election talk of winning. Kerry is a responsible leader surrounded by a tough foreign policy team, and in the past few days I've edged closer to the view that he would not abandon Iraq prematurely. But if his team really did present the Europeans with a Biden-style ultimatum -- you get into Iraq or we get out -- it would risk creating a dynamic that would lead to a U.S. withdrawal and terrifying anarchy.
In other words, Kerry knows that all his blather about convincing allies is election-year demagoguery, but getting elected is the only “plan” he truly believes in.

[Cross-posted on Blogs for Bush]
Brian of JKFP:YMBJ has a story of pollsters calling his home in the swing state of New Mexico. For some reason, I never get calls in Massachusetts.
The Kids are Alright

Weekly Reader kids select Bush in Presidential Poll

Since 1956, Weekly Reader students in grades 1-12 have correctly picked the president, making the Weekly Reader poll one of the most accurate predictors of presidential outcomes in history.
For the record, Bush crushed Kerry with over 60% of the vote: “President Bush was a strong winner in the student poll; the only state Senator Kerry won was Maryland.”

Update: And here are the results from the teens on the Channel One survey – it’s another Bush landslide. (Hat tip: John Miller)
Quote of the Day – From “Britons' letters to voters not well-received in Ohio”: “We don't need weenie-spined Limeys meddling in our presidential election.”

Extra: Writing from England, the Expat Yank has more on the Guardian’s flop.
That’s it?Security Council members deny meeting Kerry” Yawn.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Blogger roundup

Oh sure, now everybody thinks it’s a great idea to campaign in Hawaii.

Right Wing News asked some right-wing bloggers (including yours truly) who they thought would win the election. Surprise! - most said Bush.

Happy Birthday, Scott

The oldest newspaper in America endorses George W. Bush.

And now I'm going to watch the end of the Red Sox game. Jimmy Fallon and Tom Hanks were just interviewed and Fallon did his classic Barston accent: "It's a wicked pissah!" Goodnight.
Please, oh please, let it be Massachusetts

From the Kerry Spot: "Also, Kerry Spot reader Marty says a poll coming out later today (Sunday) in a Northeastern state that had been considered safe Kerry - supremely safe Kerry, actually - will show a 2 point race."

"Supremely safe?" Can't be New Hampshire or Maine. Maybe New York?
You know that bombshell rumor going around about Kerry? Well, Protein Wisdom has the screenshot from tomorrow's Washington Times (be sure to read the photo caption and Top Stories also). It's big news!
Today's feel-good article: "Bush seizes momentum in campaign’s home stretch"
From across the pond

Here’s Charles Moore in the UK Telegraph: “If Bush loses, the winner won't be Kerry: it will be Zarqawi

I don't understand what John Kerry or Jacques Chirac think should be done about terrorism. Or rather, I think they think nothing much should be done. Kerry compares terrorism to prostitution - a permanent affliction that can be mitigated, but no more. You can move a few tarts off the street, introduce more clap clinics, insist on curtains in the red light district, but in the end, the oldest profession regroups. It's a very French attitude, and it reflects a truth about human nature. But prostitutes, unlike Islamist terrorists, are not determined to destroy our way of life (in fact, they have strong conservative motives for keeping it ticking along). You can't say to Osama bin Laden, as you might to Madame Claude: "You're entitled to your little ways, but just be discreet about it, will you?" His little ways are death, our death. It's him or us.
And a prediction:

John Howard, who joined in the war, won again in Australia this month. I think that Tony Blair will do the same. And I suspect, though it is close, that George W Bush will win, too. Like them or not, all three have put themselves on the right side of a battle that has to be won.
Mark Steyn: “No time for Kerry’s Europhile delusions

I'm sick of this election, even before the Democratic Party's chad-diviners have managed to extend it to mid-December. These are serious times and the senator is not a serious man. And so we have a campaign that has a sharper position on Mary Cheney's lesbianism and the deficiencies of Laura Bush's curriculum vitae than on the central question of the age.
Read on.
Undercover Brother – A Californian pretends to be a Bush supporter and walks around with a Bush/Cheney T-shirt. Hostility ensues. But when he wears his Kerry T-shirt in Republican enclaves: “I encounter only shades of indifference.”
Yawn – another MSM paper endorses Kerry

Although a member of the dreaded mainstream media (MSM), I’ve always thought the Washington Post to be a fair-minded newspaper. And, although I realize I’m totally biased, I was a little disappointed to read that they’ve endorsed Senator Splunge. Once again, the editorial distills down to “He’s not Bush” with nary a word on just what exactly Kerry’s been doing for the country over the past 20 years.

Update: David Wissing called it.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Michigan up for grabs?Battlegrounders has the poll numbers and the analysis.

The NY Times chimes in: “A sudden surge by Mr. Bush in Michigan, a state that Mr. Kerry thought he had put away, caught both sides by surprise, and both men scheduled last-minute trips there for next week.” Running back to shore up a "safe" state? Not good!
I say we’re a hung jury – who’s with me?” Every day, Andrew Sullivan posts the testimony of somebody who has changed their mind from Bush to Kerry. He strikes me as not unlike Juror #3 in “12 Angry Men” who watches his support melt away and lurches with desperation when one juror changes his mind back to his side.

There, there, Andrew. It will all be over soon.

They laughed at me when I wrote: "I’ve got a crazy idea: Bush should spend some time campaigning in Hawaii. It has four electoral votes and a day in the oft-ignored 50th state could swing it Republican this year."

Here's the latest from Hawaii:
The Hawai'i Poll, taken among 600 likely voters statewide between Oct. 13 and Monday, had Bush at 43.3 percent and Kerry at 42.6 percent. The margin of error was 4 percentage points.
Advantage: Viking Pundit!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Kevin Holtsberry has a great post on the politics of Ohio (hat tip to Dean) – “Analysts have begun to focus on three states as the key to electoral victory: Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Whoever wins two out of three wins the presidency. The same can be said for the battle of labels. The battleground issues are the economy, terrorism, and values. Whoever wins two out of three wins Ohio.”
Wired – The marital gap
Tired – The gender gap
Expired – The Gap
This makes me feel a little better about Ohio – “Kerry Spot reader John is excited about these numbers. "No visits to OH in 20 days by Bush and we're up 2 - maybe tied. We. Own. Ohio. Closer Fudd has practically lived there. And the Gubernator is on the way!"”
For the life of me, I don’t know how people carve those cool pumpkins.
Bush surges on Tradesports Presidential election market - President Bush's "stock" is at 63% today, while Senator Splunge is down to 38%. FWIW.
The New York Post endorses President Bush

Of course, that should be as unsurprising as the Old York Times endorsing Kerry. But take a look at the editorial: as opposed to the Times editorial which could barely find a good thing to say about Kerry, the Post editorial is a completely positive review of President Bush’s term (the Senator is mentioned only thrice in passing).
For some reason, I'm on the DNC's mailing list so, on a near-daily basis, I get a fundraising letter from the Democrats. Almost without exception, the letter will dredge up the mythology of the "stolen" 2000 election. The other day, a letter asked to raise $10,000 for every one of the 537 votes "lost" in Florida (their scare quotes). Anyway, here's Jonah Goldberg in "The Myth of the Disenfranchised."
Massachusetts liberals in bad headgear - Kerry’s hunting trip was so overstaged, so ham-handed and so ridicule-inspiring that I think, yes I’m going to do it, it was the “Dukakis in a tank” moment. There, I said it!

Extra: The Astute Blogger on poseur Kerry hunting for gun voters.
Silly fun via Left Coast Conservative
Sacrificing Israel

Charles Krauthammer makes a cogent (and disturbing) argument that to pull together European allies as promised, John Kerry would throw Israel overboard:

Think about it: What do the Europeans and the Arab states endlessly rail about in the Middle East? What (outside of Iraq) is the area of most friction with U.S. policy? What single issue most isolates America from the overwhelming majority of countries at the United Nations?

The answer is obvious: Israel.

In what currency, therefore, would we pay the rest of the world in exchange for their support in places such as Iraq? The answer is obvious: giving in to them on Israel.
No wonder it’s a “secret” plan.
Good question – Here’s Chris Suellentrop in Slate with “Bush’s Ohio Valley why has he stopped campaigning here?” It’s a traditionally Republican state, well within grasp; Bush should be spending more time there.
Einstein was right – “By measuring variations in satellite orbits, scientists have found the first direct evidence of one of the hallowed tenets of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity -- that the Earth and other large celestial bodies distort space and time as they rotate.”

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Sleep-deprived reporters rebel with sarcasm

I may have to re-assess my belief that the MSM is in the bag for Kerry. According to the Drudge Report, here’s part of the pool report from Kerry’s hunting trip this morning:

It's 10:53. We're loaded up for airport but haven't left yet. A note from photogs. Lots of blood on Kerry's left hand. Pooler suggested it was from fetching downed bird and possibly wringing its neck if it were still kicking, flipping and flopping, perhaps flip-flopping. Photog saw Mr. Kerry shaking his entire hand way up field as if he'd injured hand. When he walked by, he'd tucked his hand up into his sleeve so it couldn't be seen. Suppose we'll have to wait for after-action report, but as we all know, Purple Heart citations can be vague.
They wrote that?!? Thus must be a gag.
If you liked the 6% lead for Bush in the WashPost tracking poll, you'll love this post: "The internals are even worse than the headline for Kerry."
It’s about time! The Toast-O-Meter returns
From communism to the U.N. – the utter failure of “good intentions”

Ever since I read Joshua Muravchik’s condemnation of communism in “Heaven on Earth,” I’ve been a huge fan. Today, he has an article for the American Enterprise Institute that is just as unsparing: “Terrorism’s silent partner at the United Nations.”

This month, the United Nations Security Council voted to condemn terrorism. The resolution was introduced by Russia, still grieving over the terrorist attack on a school in Beslan, and perhaps the unanimous vote will give it a measure of solace. But the convoluted text and the dealings behind the scenes that were necessary to secure agreement on it offer cold comfort to anyone who cares about winning the war against terrorism. For what they reveal is that even after Beslan and after Madrid and after 9/11, the UN still cannot bring itself to oppose terrorism unequivocally.
The U.N. is worse than useless – why do we pretend otherwise?
Poll results from the “blue” statesDead heats in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Bush lead by 6% in Iowa and 5% in New Mexico. (Hat tip to Real Clear Politics).
She’s nuts – a continuing series

Choice line from the Boston Globe: “Heinz Kerry apologizes over remarks about president’s wife”: “Kerry aides said they were a bit unnerved when they read Heinz Kerry's remarks.” And then (again) there’s James Lileks:

Never mind that Ms. Kerry’s relationship to holding a real job is the same as Donald Trump holding an empty juice glass glaring at the servant who hasn’t refilled it.
Memo to Teresa: stay-at-home moms tend to buy ketchup.
Congrats to the Boston Red Sox – I’m not a big baseball fan, but hey, that was one hell of a game. Here’s the Boston Globe’s take: “A World Series ticket.”
#23 – Right Wing News ranks Viking Pundit as the Michael Jordan of bloggers. Thanks John!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

If Dubya recedes, it leads

I’m not saying that Slate is biased against Bush, but they’ve had their Election Scorecard hidden somewhere on their main menu for months. Just the other day, Kerry surpassed Bush on their electoral count for the first time and – bam! – the Scorecard gets banner status with 30-point headline.

Well break out the re-calculators, Slate, and take another look at Ohio, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin.

Update: And now Michigan?!? Detroit Free Press - Bush leads 47%-43%
Can’t get any thinner

James Lileks on Kerry’s record in the Senate:

So what did he do? He authored a save-the-dolphins bill that he might have withdrawn if the dolphins had ever come out against the Sandinistas. He took co-authorship credit on several "joint resolutions," including one to make Oct. 22-28, 1989, "World Population Awareness Week." Remember that? All the parties, the street festivals, the lovely collectible snowdomes? Good times. And it was such a success, he co-authored another joint resolution in 1991, just to recapture the magic. There were two other joint resolutions to establish more special days, both in 1992 -- which means he hasn't even come up with one of those rote ceremonial flourishes in 12 years.

Again: Thank you, Sen. Kerry, for not doing any more damage than you might have done. But if one is going to insist that one has fought for working families, fought for health care, fought for defense, it might be helpful to show where one led the charge. Otherwise, "fighting" sounds a lot like nodding your head as the parade goes by, and imagining you're the guy with the baton.
He can run (for President) but he can’t hide (from his Senate record).
Take your choice

The Harris poll that came out today took pains to define what they consider a “likely voter”. In a nutshell:

People who say they’re likely voters: Bush leads 48%-46%
People who say they’re likely voters and voted last election: Bush leads 51%-43%

Call me crazy, but I think people who actually vote are more likely to be, like, likely voters.
Kerry disqualifies himself.
Chris Suellentrop on Kerry’s prolix pastiche of poppycock: “Kerry proves incapable of reading simple declarative sentences. He inserts dependent clauses and prepositional phrases until every sentence is a watery mess. Kerry couldn't read a Dick and Jane book to schoolchildren without transforming its sentences into complex run-ons worthy of David Foster Wallace.”
Fear factor

William Safire doesn’t mince words today in “The Year of Fear”:

After approving ads that strike fear into U.S. television viewers by exploiting terrorist beheadings of Americans, John Kerry had the chutzpah to say of Bush's reminders of 9/11: "He's scaring people." That was a classic Fear Room maneuver: as soon as editorial revulsion at scare tactics breaks into print, direct that reaction at the other side.
And Jonah Goldberg thinks Kerry should just go for it:

Shoot your dog, eat your best cold fried chicken, jam your Xerox machine, grope your wife, give nukes to the Crips and the Bloods, raise taxes on the poor to 110%...
There’s more, but you get the point.
What’s wrong with being sexy?

From Reuters: “Stop using models as ball-girls, official asks

A senior Spanish government official on Tuesday asked the organizers of the Madrid Masters tennis tournament to stop using models as ball-girls, saying it was sexist.

The 19 to 28-year-olds were drafted in this year to replace the young fans who usually run around picking up stray balls and handing towels to players. They are due to work for most of the televised matches at the week-long tournament.
So many potential ball jokes…so little time.
Listen to the children

Students Around the Country Select George W. Bush as President in the 2004 Scholastic Election Poll

Since 1940, Scholastic Classroom Magazines have given students the opportunity to cast their vote for president in the Scholastic Election Poll (online voting was added in 2000). In every election, but two, the outcome of the Scholastic Election Poll mirrored the outcome of the general election. The exceptions were in 1948 when students chose Thomas E. Dewey over Harry S. Truman and in 1960 when more students voted for Richard M. Nixon than John F. Kennedy. In 2000, student voters chose George W. Bush, mirroring the Electoral College result but not the result of the popular vote.

In the 2004 Scholastic Election Poll, George W. Bush received 52 percent of the votes and the Democratic contender, John F. Kerry, received 47 percent. Rounding out the vote, 1 percent of students voted for other candidates.
This is remarkably close to my prediction of a 53-46% split. Also, this was interesting: “President Bush received 57 percent of the student vote in Pennsylvania.” Bush should drive a bus from Philadelphia west through to Ohio, and then back again.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

John Kerry's fatal flaw: He'll say anything

It seems ages ago since John Kerry uttered those infamous words: “I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it.” That quote planted the seed: John Kerry will say anything to get elected. Since then, on nearly every issue, it’s been impossible to get a direct answer from the Senator without the burden of qualifiers and escape clauses.

The third Presidential debate crystallized theory into fact when Kerry intermingled the personal and the political by intentionally naming Mary Cheney in response to a question on gay marriage. But instead of apologizing and moving on, the Kerry campaign seemed intent on solidifying the image that Kerry will say anything to gain the Presidency:

In the past week or so, we’ve seen Team Kerry go after Mary Cheney; the candidate himself charge that Bush is going to bring back the draft; the citing of a disputed New York Times quote to allege that Bush is going to privatize Social Security; Kerry assert that if you get the flu this winter it’s George W. Bush’s fault; and that George W. Bush is lying when he says he wants the generals in the field to get what they need. (From the man who voted against the $87 billion!) What is this a sign of? Not a confident and aggressive campaign, but a desperate and flailing campaign.
Don’t forget that if we vote for Kerry, the lame will get up from their wheelchairs and walk. What outlandish charge or promise will John Kerry make next? More critically, can anybody believe a word he says? On this matter, David Brooks was spot-on today:
So nobody could imagine how incompetent, crude and over-the-top Kerry has been in this final phase of the campaign. At this point, smart candidates are launching attacks that play up the doubts voters already have about their opponents. Incredibly, Kerry is launching attacks that play up doubts voters have about him. Over the past few days, he has underscored the feeling that he will say or do anything to further his career.
Kerry is not to be trusted.

[Cross-posted on Blogs for Bush]
Factcheck: Kerry Falsely Claims Bush Plans To Cut Social Security Benefits
A Kerry ad claims "Bush has a plan to cut Social Security benefits by 30 to 45 percent." That's false. Bush has proposed no such plan, and the proposal Kerry refers to would only slow down the growth of benefits, and only for future retirees. It was one of three possible "reform models" detailed by a bipartisan commission in 2001.

The ad also says nothing about what Kerry would do to address the troubled state of Social Security finances. Unless taxes are increased, the system's trustees say currently scheduled benefits would have to be cut 32%.
Meanwhile, Scrappleface reveals Bush's real plan to deal with Social Security [insert evil laughter]
Professor Bainbridge has an excellent year-by-year account of John Kerry’s legislative “accomplishments.” Check it out…it won’t take long, I promise.
Education specialist Joanne Jacobs reviews John Kerry’s baffling position on the No Child Left Behind act. Her withering conclusion to his long-winded, circuitous explanations: “That's what they call nuance, folks.”
High-larious – Watch this Club for Growth commercial
Fox News poll: Bush leads by 7%

If you look back on the history of the Fox News poll, they’ve always been a little lower for President Bush when compared to other major polls. So the brand-new poll today is a welcome shift (Adobe Acrobat req.) Some key stats (all are likely voters):

All likely voters - 49%-42%-2% Bush-Kerry-Nader
All likely voters - 48%-43% Bush-Kerry
Independents – 51%-33% Bush-Kerry
Men – 49%-42% Bush-Kerry
Womean – 47%-43% Bush-Kerry

Most important issue: 48%-39% National security – Economy
Would more aggressively fight the war on terrorism: 61%-25% Bush – Kerry
Out of single digits!Bush doubles support among blacks
Sartorial sports survey

GQ has released a list of the 25 Best and 5 Worst Sports Uniforms of all time. Would you believe that the New York Yankees invented pinstripes in an attempt to cover up Babe Ruth’s girth?
Flip-flop du jour

From the Boston Globe: “Kerry crosses two police picket lines

Last summer, John F. Kerry refused to cross a police picket line and address the US Conference of Mayors meeting in Boston. Last night he rode in a motorcade that crossed two Florida police picket lines en route to a get-out-the-vote rally in vote-rich Orlando.
This was followed, of course, by the standard “All who oppose Kerry are Republican stooges” rationalization.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Reverse the curse - For those of you probably watching either Monday Night Football or C-Span, the Boston Red Sox just beat the Yankees 5-4 in the bottom of the 14th inning. Good night.
Too tired - so tiresome

I started to write a longish screed about how Andrew Sullivan has devolved into a whiny, self-righteous bore, but I’m just too tired to give it justice. I’ll see what I can do tomorrow. In the meantime, let’s all soak in his perfect punditry. Remember this golden oldie from October 9th: “Kerry’s Momentum – Can Bush stop it?”

Judging from the RCP composite poll, I’d say the answer is yes.

The Iowa Electronic Market would concur.

And, wow, there’s a big selloff of Kerry stock tonight (and a bull market for Bush) on the TradeSports political market. (George Soros, why have thou forsaken me?) Nice call, Andrew!
RCP electoral count: 227-220

I believe President Bush will win FL, OH, WI and NM among the “toss-ups.” I’m most worried about Ohio, but there have been no new Buckeye State polls since the last debate and the one right before it showed Bush with a 2% lead. (GOP pollster Strategic Vision shows an 8% lead).
Predicting the media spin on Wizbang
GMTA - I liked this Volokh Conspiracy post even better when I wrote it yesterday.
This story has appeared every four years since FDR was President – “GOP: Kerry trying to scare seniors.” Just, you know, replace “Kerry.”
No retreat, no surrender, no class

Bob Novak and William Safire both have articles today on the Mary Cheney flap. I find it ironic that the same crowd who daily lambastes Bush for “not admitting a mistake” won’t make a simple apology:

The only Kerry aide on the plane who wanted him to quickly issue an apology for any perceived insult was senior adviser Mike McCurry, the former Clinton spokesman who is a calm, cool voice among the overheated Kerryites. McCurry was alone. The Kerry brain trust argued that the Bush people were even nastier, and this was no time to be soft.

Instead of an apology, the rhetoric escalated. Democrats outside the campaign were stunned by the words that followed. Kerry's usually serene campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill referred to Mary Cheney as ''fair game.'' The peak in meanness was attained by Elizabeth Edwards, the motherly wife of vice presidential nominee John Edwards. She contended the outburst against Kerry by Mary's mother, Lynne, ''indicates a certain degree of shame'' toward her daughter. It is difficult to exaggerate Lynne Cheney's outrage over Elizabeth Edwards' suggestion.
The Kerry campaign is so immersed in their smash-mouth rhetoric (they’ve noted repeatedly that they’re not going to roll over like Dukakis) that they now have no capacity for contrition.
Nice spelling! - Winslet Scoffs at Rumors About Her Wait
Baseball – a sport in decline

Is baseball going the way of roller derby? It’s heading that way:

For the second year in a row, professional football leads baseball by 2-to-1 (30% to 15%) as the nation's favorite sport. Nineteen years ago, in 1985, when The Harris Poll(R) first asked this question, professional football and baseball were in a virtual tie (24% to 23%) for first place.
Since younger Americans prefer the NFL over MLB by a wide margin, that gap is only going to grow. Last week, more Americans watched the third Presidential debate than baseball. And here’s a sobering stat from today’s Drudge Report:

“America’s pastime” beaten by suburban hausfraus. That’s pitiful. But then what do all these so-called numbers mean anyway? Kids are still buying baseball caps, right? Right?

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Kerry missed vote percentage - 194/211 = 92% missed votes.
OMG, I recognize this sickness all too well: "Lately I've been consuming polls like a junkie on crack. I get up in the morning, click on RealClearPolitics. Brush my teeth. Hit refresh. Take a shower. Hit refresh. Drink coffee. Hit refresh."
Mark Steyn: “Backward thinking Kerry unfit to lead U.S.”
But we won the debates!

The recurrent theme among the Democratic operatives (Shrum, Devine, McAuliffe) on the Sunday shows today was that “John Kerry won all three debates.”

Hey, good for you guys. Now chew on this: Bush takes 8-point lead in Gallup poll among likely voters (52%-44%). Jonah Goldberg and I predicted as much after the third debate.
Financial Times - Kerry’s appeal threatened by ‘dislikability’ gap: “It is a truism that Americans like to like their leaders. It is true, too, that people will vote for someone they respect, but not necessarily want to hang out with. But, what is perhaps more pertinent this year, is that they will not vote for someone they dislike.”
The measure of Kerry's career

Factcheck tries to clear up the issue of how much little John Kerry has accomplished in two decades in the U.S. Senate: “Just how many bills has Kerry passed?”

At the final presidential debate, Bush said Kerry had passed only five bills during his career, and Kerry said he had passed 56. Actually, we found eleven measures authored by Kerry have been signed into law, including a save-the-dolphins law, a law naming a federal building, a law giving a posthumous award to Jackie Robinson last year, and laws declaring "world population awareness weeks" in 1989 and 1991.
And here’s some more important “work” by the Senator:

Of Kerry's total [the 56 he said he “passed”], 24 were concurrent resolutions or simple Senate resolutions that had no chance of becoming law. Some examples.

• S.Res.123: To change the name of the Committee on Small Business to the "Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship." (2001)
• S.Res.133: To make May 21, 1991 “National Land Trust Appreciation Day.” (1991)
• S.Res.144: To encourage the European Community to vote to ban driftnets for all European Community fishing fleets. (1991 )
• S.Res.216: Honoring Milton D. Stewart for his leadership and service at the Small Business Administration. (2002)
• S.Con.Res.26: Calling for the United States to support a new agreement providing for a ban on commercial mining of minerals in Antarctica. (1991)
Kerry's total also includes 10 Senate-passed bills that would have done nothing more than grant waivers to specific foreign-built vessels to transport cargo or people along the US coastline despite a 1920 law requiring that only US-built vessels be allowed to operate between US ports. Because there were 10 different vessels, Kerry introduced 10 separate bills. All died in the House.
You cannot simultaneously believe that John Kerry cares deeply about the major issues of the day and spent twenty years in the Senate doing...nothing.

[Cross-posted on Blogs for Bush]

Saturday, October 16, 2004

All together now - If, like me, you’re a big fan of the “wisdom of crowds” then check out DJ Drummond’s election prediction scoreboard. With over 200 predictions (he’ll take yours) the average breakdown is 52-46% for Bush winning with 312 electoral votes. My guess was 53-46% and an electoral vote split of 289-249.
Now it’s official

President Bush won the third debate: all the post-debate tracking polls show movement towards Bush and the Real Clear Politics composite poll shows the President with a +3.4% lead over Senator Splunge.

Check out the RCP composite poll graph: great GOP convention, bad first debate, and now the trajectory to victory.

Extra - New England Republican: “If these polls are the results of supposedly losing all 3 debates, I think we should lose some more!”
Aaron Margolis has a run-in with a Democratic operative in Massachusetts and all the old Donk mythology spills out. Check it out.
Market manipulation

This morning I noted that there was a large disparity between the presidential election futures on TradeSports and the Iowa Electronic Markets. Donald Luskin followed up today with this post:

There is now no question whatsoever that the Bush re-election futures contract at is being manipulated. Yesterday the price of the futures were sold down from about 55 (indicating the market's estimate of a 55% probability of Bush's re-election) to 10 (indicating on a 10% probability) with a single 10,000-lot order entered by a single trader. An order that size represents twice the normal volume of an entire typical day's trading. Within moments after the order was completed, the price recovered back to the low-mid-50's.
[sarcasm] Hmmm...that doesn't seem like the Democrats' M.O. [/sarcasm] (Hat tip to reader Jill Olsen).

Update: Meanwhile, at the un-manipulated IEM, Bush’s numbers continue to climb today (now over 60% - wow!)
Some serious number crunching over at Political Vice Squad returns this conclusion: “The "National Poll" Numbers Don't Add Up - Kerry's Absolute Ceiling is 46.75%” Jayson reviewed the state polling numbers and found that the national poll results cannot be greater than the sum of its parts.
Newsweek poll: Bush 50% - Kerry 44% (among likely voters)

The MSNBC headline: “Too close to call”. Natch.
Disconnected from cell phones

I’ve always thought the argument that polls are inaccurate because they don’t reach cell phones to be spurious. The main point made by some is that younger Americans use cell phones and these are voters that would be supporting John Kerry, if the pollsters could only reach them.

First, I doubt younger Americans are going overwhelmingly for Kerry. Second, I’m inclined to believe that the number of Americans with only a cell phone and no land-line communication to be miniscule. Lastly, even if the “young liberal” myth were true, the voting participation rate among younger Americans is the lowest among all demographics, so it’s unlikely their vote will make much of a difference, cell phone or not.

The Man without Qualities convincingly discusses another form of phone technology that may be a much bigger factor in determining who responds to polls: caller-ID.
Where's the rest? A commenter (below) directs us to this Tax Prof blog which notes that while both Bush and Cheney released their full tax returns, the Heinz-Kerrys only deigned to reveal the first two pages of their individual returns. A salient point.
Debate transcript from a parallel universe

SCHIEFFER: As I was driving in tonight one thing occurred to me: All three of us are surrounded by strong women. What the hell are we doing up here? Why aren't they running the country?

KERRY: Bob, it's true that I am married. She's my second wife, to be precise. Can't recall her name at the moment, but she's fully funded. And I've got two beautiful daughters. Heterosexuals, both of them.
Thanks to David Brooks in the NY Times for today’s spit-take.

[Cross-posted on Blogs for Bush]
Only the little people pay taxesNY Post: “John Kerry's near-billionaire wife, Teresa, reported more than $5 million in total income last year but paid only 12.5 percent in federal taxes — less than the average middle-class family — according to documents released yesterday by his campaign.”
A tale of two political markets

President Bush has been taking a beating on Tradesports, which shows a 52%-47% split this morning. However, over on the Iowa Electronics Market, Bush had a sharp uptick in his numbers yesterday, rising from a .549 price to .588; Kerry dropped from .450 to .422.

Meanwhile, Reuters is reporting that President Bush still holds a four-point lead in their tracking poll.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Picture = 1000 words

The American Spectator believes it’s all downhill for Kerry from here on: “For those of you who read my last column and are Bush supporters, you might have felt a bit discouraged. You might even be bordering on depression if you saw some Chicago Tribune polls showing John Kerry grabbing a lead in Ohio and Wisconsin. Don't be. The fact is Kerry is on the tail end of the bounce he received from the first debate.”
Bush increased his lead over Kerry in the Rassmussen tracking poll and is viewed more favorably: “Fifty-four percent (54%) of American voters say they approve of the way George W. Bush is performing his role as President. That matches the highest rating for the President in more than six months.” Better and better.
We can officially call it a "gaffe" now

From the WashPost: "Poll Shows Disapproval of Cheney Daughter Reference"

An overwhelming majority of voters believe it was wrong for Democratic nominee John F. Kerry to have mentioned in Wednesday's presidential debate that Vice President Cheney's daughter was a lesbian, according to the latest Washington Post tracking survey.

Nearly two in three likely voters -- 64 percent -- said Kerry's comment was "inappropriate," including more than four in 10 of his own supporters and half of all swing voters. A third -- 33 percent -- thought the remark was appropriate.
It looks like the Kerry campaign misunderestimated the impact of the Mary Cheney comment.

[Cross-posted on Blogs for Bush]
I can’t believe they left off y=mx+b – The Top 20 Physics Equations (via Arts and Letters) Sure, why not?
Today’s feel-good post10 Reasons to Predict a Bush win
Good morning!

Reuters: Bush opens up four-point lead

President Bush opened a four-point lead on Democratic Sen. John Kerry the day after the final debate between the White House rivals, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Friday.

Bush led Kerry 48-44 percent in the latest three-day tracking poll, which included one night of polling done after Wednesday's debate in Tempe, Arizona. Bush led Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts, by only one point, 46-45 percent, the previous day.

An improvement in Bush's showing among undecideds and a strong response from his base Republican supporters helped fuel the president's rise.
Yes, I know this poll is tainted by Zogby, whom I don’t trust. However, as the first indication of where the momentum has shifted after the last debate, this is very encouraging.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Stephen Green has had it – “The national Democratic Party is bad for this country.”
Capital “L” – OSER

The DNC sent out yet another fundraising letter today with the subject title “Don’t let it happen again.” Do we even have to ask what “it” is? Anyway, here’s private citizen Al Gore: “And of course, even though I think we won Florida, well, you know what happened there.” Whatever, loser. Keep an eye out for the state troopers, leadfoot.
Kerry loses the woman’s vote

Here’s Kate O’Beirne soon after the debate last night: “A friend points out that no self-respecting woman could vote for a guy who gushes about his mother when he's been asked about his wife.”

Then Jim G. on the Kerry Spot wrote this morning: “Wow. Judging by my e-mail box, Kerry's answer to the wife question - okay, specifically, "strong women" question - by talking about his mother was a big turn-off with women voters. As someone else noted, Kerry didn't even say the word "Teresa.""

and Hugh Hewitt piles on: “Put a fork in John Kerry. Security moms were already suspicious of his "global test." Now they can feel good about just not liking him.”
This is one of the tamer things that Jonah Goldberg wrote today: “Here's my meager prediction: The polls will show Bush "lost" the debate, but the polls will also show Bush gained ground because of it.”
The American Spectator: “There is a reason U.S. Senators don't win the presidency: they are all talk and no action. John Kerry played the senatorial gasbag again in last night's debate, amending and revising his remarks endlessly. He loaded his answers with the same boring hedges and qualifications, trotted out the same stale lines and cheap political props.”
The Arizona press declares: “New Dawn for Bush

So, who won the tempest in Tempe? The candidate with the painting of a west Texas dawn in his office. The one who declares with an unrestrained ebullience that "God wants everybody to be free."
They didn’t appreciate the Mary Cheney bit: “Edwards' awkward, ill-timed reference to Cheney's lesbian daughter seemed odd during his debate. But Kerry's comment oozed of crass strategy.”
Citing First Amendment rights, the FCC won’t prevent the airing of the anti-Kerry documentary “Stolen Honor” – the bloggers at TalkLeft are relieved/outraged.
Candy everybody wants – Jeff Jacoby was taken aback by all the free goodies being offered last night: “Call me a cranky libertarian conservative, but just once I would like to hear a candidate for president answer a question by saying, "Sorry, the Constitution limits the role of the federal government -- the issue you're asking about is one for the states or the private sector, not Washington."” And Jacob Sullum was even less enthusiastic by the two pain-free non-answers provided on the looming Social Security crisis.
Liberals cling to their precious debate polls

A couple of commenters to my posts as well as Andrew Sullivan and any (all?) of the lefty blogs are crowing about the snap-poll results as to who “won” the debate. It was Kerry, you know, who used his time most efficiently and made the appropriate gestures with his well-manicured hands. Oh, dear Gaia, he won!

Fred Barnes, who thought the Bush was firing “On All Cylinders” includes this little tidbit at the end of his article:

Now here's a strange twist on the debate. Bush was the winner in a focus group of uncommitted voters conducted by pollster Frank Luntz last night. The 23 voters thought Kerry, not Bush, won the debate. But they split 17 to 5 in favor of Bush on whom they now plan to vote for (one will vote Libertarian). "They still don't trust what John Kerry is saying," Luntz said, though they thought he said it well.
I see an ocean of Democrats muttering on November 2nd: “It’s just not fair. He won the debates.” Let’s see how the tracking polls look in a couple of days.
Quick debate analyses

The abridged third debate on Protein Wisdom
PoliPundit: “In keeping with my track record of eerily-accurate five-minute analyses, I’m saying that President Bush has won this election.”
PoliBlog: “Bush won tonight”
Instapundit: “As I've said before, my judgment is suspect, but I think Bush wins this one hands down -- if anyone was still watching at the end.”
Dodd: “Bush all the way”
Erick Erickson: “Bush was the clear winner tonight. He was optimistic, hopeful, full of energy, funny, and articulate.”

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Bush knockout

This wasn’t just a matter of President Bush bouncing back from an awful first debate and a good second debate; he was almost a different person tonight. Bush was animated, optimistic and human. The android formerly known as Kerry was pre-programmed, repetitive (GO TO 10) and flummoxed by the end of the debate.

As I had hoped, President Bush tagged Kerry with his empty Senate record and a history of raising taxes and spending caps. He was put on the defensive by “government-run” health care and the social questions such as gay marriage.

(On that latter point, the Fox correspondent is noting that the focus group watching the debate gave a very negative reaction to Kerry’s mention of Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter; he also noted that the journalists in the press room gave a “low moan” at Kerry’s attempt to intermingle the personal and the political. As the Brits would say, it was “bad form” and as poorly done as his Tony Soprano “joke.”)

If Bush’s fault was that he didn’t adequately stand up for his administration in the first debate, those sentiments were assuaged in the second debate and erased in this one. The Fox commentators (Barnes, Kondracke & Kristol) were effusive and Kristol went so far to say that Bush “slaughtered” Kerry. Wow! It was a good night for Bush, no doubt.

Now I need to surf the blogs! Polipundit, ahoy!
Will we get a missile defense question tonight?

Bob Schieffer: ““I'll lay my cards on the table: I think anti-ballistic missile defense systems are a bad idea and this is something I've thought for 20 years.” — Schieffer on Imus in the Morning, July 17, 2001.

From National Review - "Missile Defense Contortions - John Kerry runs from his record again":

On Tuesday morning, John Kerry woke up to the threat of nuclear terrorism and stated the obvious, in a speech delivered in West Palm Beach, Florida: "We have to do everything we can to stop a nuclear weapon from ever reaching our shore and that mission begins far away."

But, as with what seems like near every other issue in this campaign, Kerry was against doing everything to stop a nuclear weapon from reaching our shores before he was for it.

The Kerry campaign hopes their candidate's long record of opposing a robust national missile defense will be forgotten. But it shouldn't be.
Strange: When speaking about stem cell research, John Edwards claims that John Kerry “believes in science.” But on missile defense, Kerry throws up his arms and says “it can’t be done!”:

On June 14, 2001, John Kerry told Hardball's Chris Matthews that a "missile shield that could defend the United States against any incoming missile is a fantasy, it is too expensive, it won't work, and that's what people believe will drive an arms race."
Perhaps a summit will help: “Pretty please, may we defend ourselves?”
Echoing my post from last night, here’s the Kerry Spot today on Senator Handsome’s outrageous pledge on stem cells: “We have reached a sad state of affairs when a politician makes a ludicrously over-the-top comment literally promising miracles, he is criticized for it, and the politician then absolutely refuses to apologize or backtrack at all. And, it appears, Edwards will face no consequence for making this ridiculous promise.”
Voter fraud everywhere on Slings and Arrows – keep scrolling.
Red sky at night, sailor’s delight

My head is starting to spin with all these new polls coming out. People love Bush and hate Kerry! People hate Bush and…well, nobody loves Kerry. Here’s a review of the non-conventional predictors of the Presidential race:

Family Circle Cookie Cookoff, correct in every election since 1988: Laura Bush wins!

Halloween mask sales – correct since 1980: Bush leads 53%-47%

Scholastics school kids poll, wrong only twice since 1940 – Bush (barely) leads

7-11 coffee cup poll: Bush (barely) leads

Iowa Electronics Market – stabilized over the past couple days around 55% for Bush and 45% for Kerry

Tradesports Political Market – Running around 57%-42% in Bush’s favor.

Now we need the Washington Redskins to win on Halloween:

Hard to believe that a bunch of sweaty guys in jockstraps and cleats could determine the results of the presidential sweepstakes, but this one's the gold standard: Ever since the Redskins moved to D.C. in 1937, the outcome of their last home game before Election Day has predicted the winner, says Steve Hirdt, executive vice president of the Elias Sports Bureau, who discovered this bit of esoterica.
"When the 'Skins have won the last game prior to the election, the incumbent party retained its hold on the White House. When they lost, the party out of power has won the presidency."
The Skins are playing at home against Green Bay on Oct. 31st. Trick or treat?