August 20, 2008
The McCainville Nine-Pointer
Back in June, I wrote a post, Obama Campaign More or Less Concedes Ohio and Florida to McCain, in which I finished with an obscure reference that I think needs amplification:
All in all, I believe McCain has many more paths to victory than does Obama; and I also believe that if John McCain will finally take off the gloves and start fighting Obama in the center, this will not even be a close race:
McCain can make an excellent start by aggressively pushing to drill for oil everywhere that he has not already taken off the table -- which only includes the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the actual coastal waters of states that reject drilling.
That still leaves the outer continental shelf on both oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, the Bakken shale-oil formation, and other shale-oil sites. He can also push for liquification of coal, natural gas, and continue his quest for more gasoline refineries and nuclear power plants... "Drill here, drill now, pay less." Surveys show that Americans now strongly favor drilling, drilling, and more drilling;
- He can aggressively pursue a constitutional amendment to undo the horrible Supreme-Court decision last week in Boumediene and dare Obama and the Democrats to oppose it: "Obama and his Democratic friends think foreign terrorists fighting America deserve more rights than our own soldiers," he can argue;
- He can hammer Obama on the staggering taxes he plans to raise, on Obama's complete indifference to gasoline prices, his refusal to visit Iraq or meet with Gen. Petraeus before yanking the troops out, his wildly liberal stances on abortion, same-sex marriage, and guns, and his complete ignorance of how most people in the United States live and worship;
- And he can tie Obama more directly to the latter's prediction that the counterinsurgency strategy would be a complete failure and disaster: If we had followed Obama's strategy, we would have withdrawn from Iraq in defeat. Fortunately, we followed McCain's judgment... and we have pretty much won, with some mopping up left to do.
If McCain gets ahead of the power curve on the issues listed above, I believe this will be a 9-point election... and we won't have to worry about this or that little state: McCain will take many states that Kerry held last election.
So what do I mean by a "9-point election?" I don't literally predict that John S. McCain will win by exactly nine points; a "9-pointer" is like a "quarter pounder": It's just a name, not a precision measurement.
But I do mean that I conditionally predicted -- and since the condition has by and large been met, I now turn this into a full-scale prediction -- that McCain is going to win this presidential election by a fairly substantial margin: More than 6% nationwide and around 350 electoral votes. Maybe more.
In the entire twentieth century, how many presidents were elected by less than 5%? Only four, I believe: Woodrow Wilson in 1916, John F. Kennedy in 1960, Richard Nixon in 1968, and Jimmy Carter in 1976. There were, of course, 25 presidential elections from 1900 through 1996 (I cut it off there, not at 2000, because the 2000 election was for a term that began in the 21st century) -- so 16% of 20th-century elections were really close.
And then, 24 years after the Carter election, we had back to back "really close elections" in 2000 and again in 2004. It's not normal to have such close elections, and I don't believe we'll see one in 2008; so the only question is who ends up on top.
For a number of reasons -- none related to polling, though that too is starting to confirm my sense of flow -- I do not believe that Barack H. Obama is about to surge. In fact, I believe he already peaked, and it will be John S. McCain who surges right into the White House. Putting A and B together to get 4, I believe that McCain will win the election by more than 5%.
But in fact, Obama is a particularly bad candidate who is woefully underperforming the "generic Democrat," while McCain is very much outperforming the "generic Republican." So I'm giving him that extra edge: If I must pick a number, I'll say he wins by 7% over Obama, or 52.5% to 45.5%, with 2% going to other candidates.
That isn't a landslide, by the way; Ronald Reagan beat Carter by almost 10% and Mondale by more than 18%. Still, 7% is a substantial win with no wiggle room for Democrats to cheat or sue their way into the White House... and so decisive that they cannot even whine about it. (Well, maybe that's going too far.)
That big a win translates into a lot of close states going to McCain -- Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and many others; the Electoral College tends to magnify victory. So I predict 350 electoral votes for McCain, leaving 188 for Obama. (As a subsidiary forecast, I prognosticate that Larry Sabato's "Crystal Ball" will prophesy that Obama will win... until about a week before the election, at which point Sabato will abruptly reverse himself, jumping aboard the gravy wagon.)
Also, a substantial win in the presidential race should translate into a number of victories in the congressional races; we'll likely still lose some seats, but it won't be anywhere near the debacle that "pundants" are predicting today.
I'm staking my claim now, once again cutting against the conventional wisdom. I'm often right -- as when I predicted more than a year and a half ago that Hillary Clinton would not be the Democratic nominee; but I have certainly been wrong, as I was about the 2006 elections, when I failed to take into account the GOP's astonishing talent at self immolation.
We'll see. At the moment, I think I'm the only person predicting a "9-pointer." Even the McCain campaign is saying it will be razor-close... though I think they're just playing the expectations game. So write this day in your diary, as it will either mark the point at which the Lizard demonstrated his political prescience... or the day he went off the rails on the crazy train!
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 20, 2008, at the time of 6:29 AM
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Tracked on August 20, 2008 5:33 PM
The following hissed in response by: rightwingprof
No, you're not the only one. I agree. I don't think there's any way Obama can win this election, and he's not doing himself any favors. First, he veers to the center, then he veers to the far left, then he veers to the center again. He's stuck. His base is the nutroots, but if he stays loyal to them, he loses the center. If he moves center, which is the only way he could win the election, he loses his base.
But the main reason he can't win is, to quote Gertrude Stein, there's no there there. He's an empty suit, and it's becoming more obvious every day. And he's running against a war hero.
The above hissed in response by: rightwingprof at August 20, 2008 7:15 AM
The following hissed in response by: boffo
I concur. On August 5, I said:
I'm starting to think that not only is McCain going to win, but he's going to win by a significant margin. Maybe 3 to 4 percentage points in the popular vote, and 50 or 100 electoral votes.
This article explains some of my reasons.
Right now, Obama represents the image of what his supporters want him to be. The more people learn about him, the more they'll become disillusioned. But there aren't people learning about him and moving from the undecided column to supporting him.
Everyone who's ever going to support Obama is already doing so. He can only lose support from here. (This has already been happening, which is why his poll numbers have been dropping.) Since he and McCain are currently tied, this is bad news for Obama.
I'm not saying McCain has a smooth road ahead of him. People could easily become disillusioned with him as well. But if you look at the pool of people who aren't planning to vote for Obama, some people who are currently planning to vote for McCain will switch to Bob Barr or stay home, but some who are currently planning to vote for Bob Barr or stay home will decide to vote for McCain after all. His support among non-Obama supporters could go up or down, and I don't really have a guess which effect will be bigger.
But then look at the pool of people who aren't planning to vote for McCain. Some people who are currently planning to vote for Obama will get sick of him and vote for Nader or Barr or stay home. But are there many current Nader/Barr supporters or stay-homers whom he can still win over? I don't think so.
And add in that there will be some Obama supporters who get fed up and switch to McCain. I think there will be far more of these than McCain supporters switching to Obama.
The problem is that the positions Obama staked out in the primary don't mesh with a majority of voters. So he has to find some new cause to trumpet that will appeal to moderates. But any time he does that, he alienates more of his base. Remember, he established his identity as a different kind of politician. Whenever he does something politiciany, (Like his flip-flops on FISA and oil drilling, refusing to admit the troop surge worked, throwing various close advisers, religious mentors, and family members under the bus, and showing off his arrogance), that image erodes.
I always knew this erosion in Obama's support would happen. When he was up 6-8 points, I thought the election would be close. But now that he's tied with three months to go, and can only go down from here, I say he's toast.
I put my money where my mouth is. I bought shares of McCain for President on Intrade a while ago, back when it was at 33.3%. Now I picked up a bunch of individual swing states that I think will go for McCain. Here are my positions:
(For those of you unfamiliar with Intrade, each contract pays $10 if it comes true, and $0 if it doesn't. The percentage is the average percentage of $10 I paid to buy the contracts. So a contract at 33.3% cost $3.33. If it comes true, it pays $10, giving me a profit of $6.67. This is equivalent of 2-1 odds. I have multiple contracts for these, and am listing the average percentage I paid to buy them.)
Iowa - 30% (2.3 - 1 odds)
Maine - 14% (6.1 - 1 odds) (I don't expect Maine to go for McCain, but I think the odds are better than 14%)
New Mexico - 29% (2.4 - 1 odds)
Pennsylvania - 30% (2.3 - 1 odds)
Virginia - 43% (1.3 - 1 odds)
California - 11.5% (7.7 - 1 odds)
Ohio - 36% (1.8 - 1 odds)
The above hissed in response by: boffo at August 20, 2008 11:12 AM
The following hissed in response by: Bart Johnson
I see a different result. Ms. Clinton will
pull off a backroom coup and take the nomination
away from Obama (PBUH).
You need to rework some stats for a Clinton-McCain
The following hissed in response by: hunter
The dhimmies have already swallowed the blue pill. I do not think they will get rid of Obama. They need to get ready for a bad trip.
The thing that assures it is this:
The MSM and the DNC are an echo chamber- Obama will not receive the feedback he needs to dig out of the hole he has dug himself into.
He is being told how brilliant and nuanced and visionary he is. And he clearly believes it.
That he is coming across arrogant, ignorant, cowardly, shallow, venal, and self-absorbed is something he will nto hear or seriously consider.
The following hissed in response by: Karmi
I’ve watched your predictions for some time now, and you are right far more often than not.
..I do not believe that Barack H. Obama is about to surge. In fact, I believe he already peaked, and it will be John S. McCain who surges right into the White House.
We certainly agree on that! MSM has been carrying Obama since early in the Dem primaries, probably promoting him more than any candidate before, and members of the MSM have bragged in the past about being able to gain something like 9-pts for their candidate. MSM’s latest efforts to ‘surge’ Obama to a 9-pt lead occurred on the European Tour, and they failed miserably…despite what was clearly their best effort.
Add to all of that, the rising interest on the Obama-Ayers connection through Chicago Annenberg Challenge, lingering interest on Rezko and Wright, PLUS the disgruntled Hillary supporters, and Obama is facing an uphill climb during a serious mudslide…so to speak whilst smiling!
The above hissed in response by: Karmi at August 21, 2008 11:50 AM
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
I see a different result. Ms. Clinton will pull off a backroom coup and take the nomination away from Obama (PBUH).
You need to rework some stats for a Clinton-McCain contest.
All right, if you insist: Under the scenario you give above, McCain would win by 15%-18%, taking probably all but one or maybe two states... because Democratic voters absolutely believe that Barack H. Obama won the primaries.
If Hillary pulls some weird parliamentary coup d'etat, it will widely be seen within the party as stealing the nomination. Not only will blacks stay home in protest, but a huge number of white, Hispanic, and Asian Democrats will do so as well, or will vote for a third party, or will even vote for John McCain.
Had she won legitimately, it still might have been somewhat of a problem; but if she manages to snatch the nomination away from Obama after so many months of people believing that he won, the backlash would rise to a true catastrophe for the Democratic Party.
Which is why it's not going to happen; I don't think even Hillary Clinton herself would be so arrogant as to imagine she could win after such a base maneuver. What she wants to do is undermine Obama's chances, but subtlely... setting herself up for a second run in 2012.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at August 21, 2008 2:26 PM
The following hissed in response by: Mr. Davis
cCain will win by double digits because of his abysmal debate performance against McCain. The media will make excuses the first time, but they will have to concede defeat after the second. Barry will look like McGovern by November and will be a trivia question in February.
The following hissed in response by: Mr. Davis
McCain will win by double digits because of Obama's abysmal debate performance against McCain. The media will make excuses the first time, but they will have to concede defeat after the second. Barry will look like McGovern by November and will be a trivia question in February.
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