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Election 2004: Final Thoughts
Posted by: Jon Henke on Tuesday, November 02, 2004

A few things before I take a deep breath, throw my hands up in the air, and scream all the way down....



My record of predictions is mixed, at best. I thought Wesley Clark would be the Democratic Nominee. (how'd that work out?) On the other hand, I predicted back in September of 2003 that Edwards would be the Democratic Veep, so.....

I'm going to predict that the 2004 Presidential Election will turn out as follows:
  • Kerry: 294 (but possibly 273)


  • Bush 244 (but possibly 265)

I think Libertarian Party candidate Michael Badnarik will get something like 465,000 votes. Perhaps as many as 500,000. The more votes he gets, the more the GOP will perceive fiscal conservative/libertarian dissatisfaction with President Bush.

So, why do I think Kerry will win? Essentially, it is because I think the current polling methodology is simply incapable of dealing with the current paradigm. This is an unusual election, and the mechanisms have been built to get out heretofore unlikely voters...and, possibly, fictional ones. (though, I don't think that will be a factor in the election)

So, without the benefit of reliable polling data, I think we have to look to the intangibles. There, John Kerry has it all over Bush. Not because his base is excited about him. They aren't. But they are energized against Bush, and--ultimately--that will amount to the same thing.

Finally, the media campaign against Bush--both by, and on behalf of the Democrats--will, I think, leave many voters with a distaste for President Bush. This election hinges on the willingness of the American public to cope with the barrage for four more years....and--for better or worse--I'm not sure they're willing.

Why is that? Things like this: "Record Turnout Forecast". As P.J. O'Rourke once said, voters don't turn out in record numbers to maintain the status quo.

Of course, the usual caveat applies: I could be wrong. And if you think I am, you're welcome to put together your projected electoral map right here.



With the election here, it's time to point and laugh at people who said....

  • ...Hillary Clinton would jump into the race. She said she was out, and she stayed out. And the people who swore up and down that she was going to jump in at the last minute...were idiots.


  • ...Bush would dump Dick Cheney. Bush has always been loyal to his people, and it was never very likely that he was going to add a Rudy Giuliani (pissing off the religious right) or a John McCain (causing fist-fights in the Oval Office)


  • ...Rove would orchestrate an October Surprise. (Yeah, I'm looking at you, DU'rs) Even public figures, who should be above this sort of conspiracy theory nonsense, were speculating freely about the devious last-minute plans of Karl Rove. Would he produce Osama Bin Laden? Would he raise the terror alert level? Well, as it turns out, no.


  • ...the Swift Boat scandal ... Meeting with the Commies in Paris scandal ... Vietnam era antiwar activities ... Discharge scandal ...er, something... would force John Kerry to withdraw from the race before the election. (I'm looking at you Daniel Aronstein) He didn't withdraw, and--for a variety of reasons--none of the scandals really stuck a chord with the general public.

To all of you, I say: Ha! Let's all try for less moonbattery in 2005.



Whatever happens today, we'll survive. If it's Kerry, let's be a bit more thoughtful and civil in our criticism, than were the critics of the Bush administration. If it's Bush, let's hold his feet to the fire.

Now...go back to your corners, vote your conscience, and keep it above the belt.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
What? No one has beaten you yet for somehow screwing up the re-election of Bush?

Patience....I suppose... patience.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Right on, John.

And I hope (I know) you are right about Kerry...

RE-DEFEAT BUSH!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Written By: bopst
URL: http://www.wclmradio.com
If its Kerry, lets be a bit more thoughtful and civil in our criticism, than were the critics of the Bush administration.


No, I think not.
 
Written By: Mark
URL: http://
Cognitive dissonance alert:
"As P.J. ORourke once said, voters dont turn out in record numbers to maintain the status quo. "
That may be true for the entire electorate as a whole, but are you seriously trying to say the massive GOP grassroots Get-Out-The-Vote was all to turn Bush out of office?
 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://brain.mu.nu/
"As P.J. ORourke once said, voters dont turn out in record numbers to maintain the status quo."

Except, hopefully, when the status quo is threatened by something outside the electoral process.
 
Written By: triticale
URL: http://triticale.mu.nu
are you seriously trying to say the massive GOP grassroots Get-Out-The-Vote was all to turn Bush out of office?
No. I just think the GOP grassroots GOTV campaign will be dwarfed by the Democratic campaign. We'll find out who is right tonight/tomorrow.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net/blog
When I wrote " lets be a bit more thoughtful and civil in our criticism, than were the critics of the Bush administration"....
RE-DEFEAT BUSH!!!!!!!!!!!!
...this is what I was speaking of.

Whatever the outcome of this election, I hope the Right doesn't become that guy.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net/blog
Cognitive dissonance alert:
"As P.J. ORourke once said, voters dont turn out in record numbers to maintain the status quo. "
That may be true for the entire electorate as a whole, but are you seriously trying to say the massive GOP grassroots Get-Out-The-Vote was all to turn Bush out of office?
Yeah, I don't buy the PJ O'Rourke aphorism at all, at least in this election.

While there is a lot of hate on the left, there's a lot of fear on the right.

Fear will drive a lot of people to the polls and that fear could be just as much a fear of what a Kerry presidency would bring as a rejection of the status quo.

Based on the percentage difference in white women between 2000 and 2004, both pluses for Bush, I'd have to say that fear that Kerry won't make the US as secure as Bush is driving that difference.

I know that's only one indicator but it was one of the most telling in my book.

The other was the doubling of the black vote from 2000 to 2004 for Bush. That too is significant, and that's mostly based on religion from what I've read (Bush appeals to more blacks on religious grounds than does Kerry and his stances).

So we'll see.

But as Jon points out, the paradigm's have shifted in this race and the polls haven't a clue in my estimation. I think it'll be a clean and clear victory, and my gut tells me it'll be Bush.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Loser buys a round of good beer for the house.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Er...that depends on what you define as "the house". No chance in hell I'm buying beer for the entire readership of QandO if Kerry loses. :)

If I'm wrong, though, you're all welcome to remind me of it tomorrow. (and I'm sure you will)
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net/blog
Jon - Nope, if Kerry loses/wins it ain't your fault, I won't even pick on MK...much. I figure if Kerry loses that will be all the satisfaction I require.

You're making your best faith prediction, no reason to beat you up for that if it turns out to be incorrect.

As to the beer -
I was thinking the loser of the election should buy!

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Jon, regardless of who wins, I'll buy you a beer.
 
Written By: Curt Mitchell
URL: http://
Looker: Well, Kerry could afford it. Though, I'm not sure if I could handle 3 hours of half-drunken "when I was in Vietnam" stories.

Curt: Eh....if I ever start drinking, I'll take you up on that. In the meantime, that's a pretty safe offer you've made there. :)
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net/blog
Jon, that's why I made it. I figured I could drink the beer for you. Anyway, I sincerely hope you're wrong but I can't shake the feeling that you've hit the nail on the head here. Eh, we survived far worse than Kerry before, we'll get through this mess too.
 
Written By: Curt Mitchell
URL: http://
Jon, your points were thoughtful and well-made. I won't hold you responsible for honest mistakes based on reasonable conclusions arising from good logic.

The reason I reacted to the P.J. O'Rourke aphorism is that I think the 2002 elections show the marked improvement by the GOP in grassroots GOTV campaigns. 2000 and before, I would say you were 100% correct. But as Taranto said, trends in sports and politics are trends only until they aren't. Instead of "on any given Sunday", it's "on any given Election Day". Instead of "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy" because the enemy is actively trying to affect the outcome, it's "No election campaign plan suvives contact with the electorate". We have no real idea what the mood or thought process of the electorate is until it actually happens and the votes are tallied. It's all just theory before then.
 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://brain.mu.nu/
are you putting soros, ickes,move.on,A.C.T.,F911and the dem nat. party leadership on the same level as the swift boaters? if so, you really have lost your compass.
otoh
do you really think kerry's past is just going to go away? do you really think kerry the president will be any different then kerry the senator or kerry the candidate?
 
Written By: ron
URL: http://
Jon, for the record: "None of These Candidates" beat out Badnarik by some 700 votes in Nevada.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/

 
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