It's Kerry's election to lose
May 11, 2004 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Zogby calls the election for Kerry
John Zogby goes out on a limb and predicts John Kerry will be the next POTUS.
posted by wsg (38 comments total)
He's got a lot at stake, being one of the top pollsters in the biz.
posted by wsg at 10:26 AM on May 11, 2004

He's got a 49% chance of being right.
posted by Witty at 10:26 AM on May 11, 2004

Well now, that settles it. I don't even need to go out and vote.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:27 AM on May 11, 2004

i guess zogby didn't poll god.
posted by specialk420 at 10:27 AM on May 11, 2004

He's got a 49% chance of being right.

AND he's accurate to within 3% of the stated results 19 times out of 20.

Only 50% of the people know their math; the remaining 49% do not.
posted by clevershark at 10:32 AM on May 11, 2004


the presidential campaign at this point depends on what you think you're watching: A Mike Tyson bout or an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.
Remember the way Tyson, back when he was Iron Mike, the most ferocious fighter of his era, used to charge from his corner and swarm all over his opponent? Some of them never recovered from the initial onslaught. (...)
Then, slowly but surely, Tyson's opponents solved the pugilistic puzzle. Survive the furious initial assault, take Tyson into the long middle rounds, let him punch himself weary, and you could beat him. (...)
This year, hopeful Democrats think they are watching John Kerry play Holyfield to George W's Mike Tyson. Look at the $70 million pounding the president and his team unleashed on Kerry as soon as the primaries ended; yes, the Democratic nominee lost his immediate post-primary lead over his Republican opponent, but he is still on his feet, relatively unmarked, and landing telling blows of his own, they say.
Having failed to discredit Kerry early, Bush won't be able to put him away in the later rounds, when the Massachusetts senator, who performs best in the clutch, will get stronger. That, anyway, is the Kerry camp's view of the contest, which is why they are optimistic.
But what if Bush isn't Tyson, but rather the Terminator? Remember the way Arnold's most famous movie character kept coming and coming and coming, through bullets, bombs, and blazes? How, even with his cyborgian innards revealed, he pursued poor, terrified Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) to the very end? (Yes, he finally got mashed to mechanical mincemeat by a pulverizing factory press, but, hey, no movie metaphor is perfect.)
That's how the Republicans see their man.
(...) So who's right? That, of course, is the $64,000 question.

posted by matteo at 10:38 AM on May 11, 2004

No Effing Way!
posted by hama7 at 10:50 AM on May 11, 2004

The Washington Monthly says the election won't be close because "in recent elections, the incumbent has either won or lost by large electoral margins."
posted by kirkaracha at 10:56 AM on May 11, 2004

john kerry will lose because he is a yankee.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:03 AM on May 11, 2004

But as of today, this race is John Kerry's to lose.

I'll bet that this is how Democrats realized that 2000 was Gore's to lose...through pollsters attempting to predict an election six months in advance.

Yeesh...if anything, if/when Kerry loses, the Democrats will implode once more and blame themselves (point nasty, snide fingers)for election failure, instead of blaming the people who actually made the difference (those blasted people who voted).

How many more elections do the Dems need to lose before they quit lynching one another? (Notice that Republicans don't have this problem; their "us vs. them" strategy has worked miracles and left the opposition in self-doubt and disarray)
posted by BlueTrain at 11:05 AM on May 11, 2004

Excellent link, kirkaracha!
posted by wsg at 11:10 AM on May 11, 2004

For most of us (actually all of us, except British, Italian and Japanese Prime Ministers plus a small list of less important chiefs of state) in the rest of world, the only thing that makes some sense in the present American campaign is the "Anybody but Bush" motto. The Christian fundamentalist government in the US is scary, to say the least. The way they lied to get their oil war was pathetic.

Kerry is as good an anybody as anybody else, so I hope this guy is right.
posted by nkyad at 11:27 AM on May 11, 2004

And John Kerry will lose because we all know the Yankees suck.
posted by xmutex at 11:28 AM on May 11, 2004

Speak for yourself, nkyad.
posted by mw at 11:30 AM on May 11, 2004

Way too early. This campaign season doesn't even begin until June 30.
posted by David Dark at 11:30 AM on May 11, 2004

Wait, so what was all that voting about a couple of months ago?
posted by bshort at 11:31 AM on May 11, 2004

"And if he doesn't, it will be because he blew it."

posted by Outlawyr at 11:34 AM on May 11, 2004

While I agree with "Anybody But Bush," it's not exactly the message of hope and optimism which usually does well for candidates. The Dems need to frame their message more positively.
posted by callmejay at 11:37 AM on May 11, 2004

I called it first!
posted by mkultra at 11:38 AM on May 11, 2004

hey theres an awesome post not overflowing with rancid horseshit just above this one that all you assholes are ignoring
posted by Satapher at 11:41 AM on May 11, 2004

After hearing the this american life episode on polling, and Zogby's methods in particular, I'm going to go out on a limb and say we shouldn't listen to anything from these guys.

See here:

(Great episode otherwise too, the piece on the ww2 precedent for military tribunals is completely jaw dropping).
posted by malphigian at 11:46 AM on May 11, 2004

Thanks, Satapher. Will you also be notifying other threads you're not fond of? Perhaps a TextAd is in order.
posted by mkultra at 12:03 PM on May 11, 2004

You're all kidding, right? Leiberman is going to come out of nowhere and walk away with this thing, people. Yo Joe!
posted by scarabic at 12:31 PM on May 11, 2004

posted by matteo at 12:37 PM on May 11, 2004

Kerry may win, but Zogby makes a remarkably poor case for it.

First, the arguments he makes.

"Kerry leads by 17 points in the Blue States that voted for Al Gore in 2000, while Bush leads by only 10 points in the Red States that he won four years ago."

This he cites as evidence that Kerry will win. It is, in fact, evidence, to the contrary, that polls showing that Kerry is tied in a narrow lead nationwide actually understate Bush's lead in the Electoral College. If Bush wins 275 electoral votes with 55% and loses 263 with 43%, he wins the election, even though he lost the popular vote by a fair margin. Moreover, Republicans have an advantage in the smaller states, who have a disproportionate share of the electoral votes due to the 3 vote minimum -- meaning that he could still pull out a narrow victory against an even greater Kerry plurality in popluar vote.

The economy is still the top issue for voters - 30% cite it.

The economy is growing gangbusters. Things are hugely better in reality (and, more important, in appearance) than they were 6 months ago, and are likely to be materially better, if perhaps not by quite the same margin, in November. The GDP growth of 2002 to mid-2003 has become the payroll growth of mid-2003-and-and-counting -- and employment trends (as Zogby does rightly observe) are the most relevant to the voters.

Second, the arguments he fails to make.

GOTV: there is no evidence, whatever, that Kerry intends, or has the ability, to do anything but run the standard Democratic unions-and-black-preachers GOTV operation. While there's nothing particularly wrong with those tactics, the Republican GOTV effort will be on a completely different plane -- vastly larger and more sophisticated than any prior Republican Presidential GOTV, with all its key elements battle tested (and proven) in the 2002 statewide contests.

Cultural issues: not many people realize it, but Bush will be running on cultural issues for the second time. He won states Dole lost in large part due to anger with Clinton's personal and political embrace of alternative cultural/moral practice, and pinned Gore down in Pennsylvania, Michigan and other states which should have been locks for Gore, with those issues. Your typical MeFite doesn't focus on that because Bush ran that aspect of his campaign under the radar. The cultural issues will be run under the radar this time, too, but are likely to be equally, or more effective. The red-meat cultural speaches at the convention will be running in prime time only if you are watching the convention in Belarus, but the DVDs are going to find their way to the church basements and Indian Summer picnics the same exact way that the Passion of the Christ got to $400MM at the box office despite the fact that no one you graduated from college with saw it.
posted by MattD at 2:21 PM on May 11, 2004

many, many people I went to school with downloaded it from the Internet, tho, MattD. but it's a good point, one of many in your comment.
this is an interesting read, too:

In the red corner is the ex-songwriter from Austin, Texas, backed by the talent who brought you the talking dog that loves Taco Bell. In the blue corner is the wonkish ex-pollster from Providence, R.I., who prefers the edit room to the talk-show circuit. One taped an ad called "Wacky" that turned the rival campaign into the Keystone Kops. The other taped an ad called "Commitment" that showed nothing but the candidate talking about his top three policy priorities. Between now and the debates in October, the ads made by Mark McKinnon and Michael Donilon will be the closest you'll see to a prime-time clash between George W. Bush and John Kerry. Together they'll fight their battle of the brands by spending more on TV than anyone in presidential history.
By the end of this month the Bush campaign will have spent $60 million on TV. On the other side, Kerry's bio spots broke all records for a single buy, costing $27.5 million this month alone. The numbers dwarf those of Al Gore's 2000 campaign, which spent just $9 million between securing the nomination in March and the summer convention. Whatever the style of the image-makers and their ads, one thing's for sure: this kind of prizefight doesn't come cheap.

posted by matteo at 3:36 PM on May 11, 2004

The big issue is turnout, isn't it? If turnout's up, it's going to break in favour of Kerry, since the majority of those who normally don't vote tend to lean Democratic. And in spite of the highly-organised GOTV effort by the Republicans, there's nothing more motivating than being really fucking angry.

Can the Democrats revive some of the sting of the 2000 election and get people to the polls in swing states in order to deliver a fuck-you punch to Bush? Can they appeal to those who treated 2000 as a toss-up between two candidates playing to the centre, and argue that Bush has belied his campaigning stance as a 'compassionate conservative' opposed to foreign adventures? And, most importantly, is it possible to do both?

I'd say that, while pundits talk about the independents and undecideds, the election is likely to be decided by mobilising those already on your side. As many pollsters have pointed out, in elections where there's an incumbent, if you're undecided by November, you're more likely to vote for change rather than 'more of the same, please'.

there is no evidence, whatever, that Kerry intends, or has the ability, to do anything but run the standard Democratic unions-and-black-preachers GOTV operation.

First of all, that's condescending bullshit. Secondly, you presume that 'Kerry' equals 'not Bush', which seems a faulty equation to me. There is no evidence, whatever, that the grassroots organisers from the primaries have packed up en masse and gone home. And, if anything, the suggestion that the official campaign efforts are flagging is likely to motivate them even further.

The cultural issues will be run under the radar this time, too, but are likely to be equally, or more effective.

I disagree. At least, I suspect that cultural wedge issues will be less important than in times of relative tranquillity. Having abortion and gay marriage under the radar doesn't help if there are lots of large explosions on the radar.
posted by riviera at 4:08 PM on May 11, 2004

Once again, I will quote President Thomas E. Dewey's famous remark that polls are infallible.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:29 PM on May 11, 2004

Sure, sure...he'll win, right up until the dirty bomb goes off in some unspecified major US city, Bush declares martial law and cancels the election.

Yep. Me...I've been betting on martial law since oh...about 9/12/01. And apparently, I'm not alone.
posted by dejah420 at 4:31 PM on May 11, 2004

What does it matter, how people say they are gonna vote? I thought apathetic americans left that all up to Diebold, no?
posted by dash_slot- at 4:41 PM on May 11, 2004

sounds like a good idea to me -- rock on with your masturbatory game of tugowar -- you are in control -- you can make the difference -- language is not a virus -- just incessantly reiterate and you'll revamp the multitudes -- the conclusion is just around the corner -- the fools will feel their folly and focus on your foreshawdowing in a fortnight.
posted by Satapher at 8:58 PM on May 11, 2004

Yeesh...if anything, if/when Kerry loses, the Democrats will implode once more and blame themselves (point nasty, snide fingers)for election failure, instead of blaming the people who actually made the difference (those blasted people who voted).

Actually, you're wrong. The people who vote don't really matter. It's only the Electoral votes that count. If we were going by people who voted, Gore would have won by hundreds of thousands of votes in 2000.
posted by sixdifferentways at 10:13 PM on May 11, 2004

Kerry will lose and it won't even be close. The blame will fall squarely on the DNC elite who decided he'd be the candidate long before the first primary. He's no more a legitimate nominee than Bush was when the GOP did the same thing back in 2000.

This will be compounded when he selects a bland non-entity as a running mate like Gephardt, Graham, Hollings, etc. (whoever ... they're all interchangeable resume-stuffers and all uninspiring).
posted by RavinDave at 11:41 PM on May 11, 2004

Satapher, you're a fine one to talk about masturbation. Is there any point to your posts other than to hear/see yourself deliver some gadfly-ish soundbites? Try conversation- you know, the kind that involves a give-and-take between you and someone else.

RavinDave- Can I borrow your machine that sees into the future? It sounds pretty sweet. Though, as a small matter of nitpicking, I'd argue that Gephardt was the original "candidate of choice" for the DNC.
posted by mkultra at 7:58 AM on May 12, 2004

Mkultra, I certainly don't think Gephardt was ever the "candidate of choice" for the DNC. He was kicked out as minority leader of the House after going 0-4 in trying to retake the majority, and his core constituency (labor) had evolved tremendously since his 1988 run, growing away from Gephardt in every direction (Gephardt was all about the moderately-inclined white-worker-dominated manufacturing unions, when the three forces which are now most dynamic in labor are hardcore anti-globalization leftists, government employees, and those who are pushing to organize mostly-minority low-skill service workers.

Kerry wasn't the dream candidate of anyone, either. After the 2002 debacle, nobody was too crazy about putting up a Massachusetts liberal, and his inability to gain traction as 2003 progressed led him to be nearly abandoned -- which is what, in turn, led to the entrace of Wes Clark into the race.

But, really, in the run-up to the first primaries and caucuses, the establishment candidate was ... Howard Dean. Sure, the establishment didn't like him at first, but by October or November the DNC and, to a lesser extent, the DLC, gave up their opposition to Dean and were more or less squarely on board with him.

Dean blew himself up with one false step after another, for which he can blame no one but himself. Edwards and Clark split the moderate vote. Kerry, to his credit, was steadfast when no one believed him and was ready to pick up the pieces when the pieces were lying on the ground.

If anyone must be blamed, it's not the elite, but the masses, who let themselves be seduced by Howard Dean and then let at the last minute let themselves buy into the (nonsensical) proposition that Kerry was somehow more "electable" than either Clark or Edwards.
posted by MattD at 8:34 AM on May 12, 2004

baby cant we talk about this in the morning?
posted by Satapher at 11:04 AM on May 12, 2004

I am actually pretty radical in my politics, but with the hardening of voters early and on so many issues I don't wonder if we need a bland president right about now. The one thing Bush is not is a unifier and the split in the country reflects this
I don't think either candidate is going to win big, no matter who wins. A point Zogby made that I do think is relevant is, undecided voters tend to swing to the challenger as the whole reason they remain undecided is they are looking for someone else to vote for.
posted by edgeways at 4:48 PM on May 12, 2004

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