Wayne Root's presidential betting predictions: He's on Bush
I predict the election will NOT be nearly as close as "experts," pundits or the public thinks. Bush wins popular vote by 3 to 4 points. He wins electoral vote by 40 votes or more- FAR more than 4 years ago. Why?
#1) Realignment- Few realize that Bush has actually started out with several more automatic electoral votes than in 2000- just based on population shifts that have added votes to GOP states in Southwest and Mountain West regions. That makes Kerry's job that much harder. For Kerry to win he MUST keep every Gore state...and win at least one Bush state. That does NOT appear to be happening. To the contrary, Bush has a great shot at Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New Mexico (all Gore states in 2000). Edge to Bush.
#2) Presidential races are much like Heavyweight Championship Fights- Bush isn't pretty, but he's all we've got. Do voters love Bush? Not by a longshot. But a Presidential race is like a heavyweight championship fight. For a contender to win, he must do more than fight to a draw. He must win decisively and TAKE the crown away from the champion. Kerry has just not made a compelling case to remove a sitting President in a time of war. My prediction is that even though many voters have no great love for Bush...even though many voters think the country is headed in the wrong direction...even though Iraq turned out to be a mess...when the average American gets in that voting booth...alone with only their conscience...I predict that a majority will decide that "It's better to go with the devil I know, than the devil I don't." Worse for Kerry, to win you need to wow the voters with some kind of a platform. You can't win the U.S. Presidency by being only "anti-Bush." In the end, I believe voters would rather vote for a politician with a plan they don't like very much...versus a politician with NO PLAN. You must have a plan of your own- Kerry doesn't! Edge to Bush.
#3) "It's the economy stupid"- those were James Carville's words 8 years ago. It's always true. The economy is not great...the recovery is not swift...the unemployment rate is not spectacular...but all are improving. In the end, with anything short of a disasterous economy or a dramatic fall, Americans NEVER throw out a sitting President. The economic news is relatively good. Edge to Bush.
#4) History always repeats- That's the most important thing I learned at Columbia University (that LIBERAL bastion). History lesson number one: In the history of the U.S. Presidency- not once has a challenger beat a sitting President unless the challenger had a 10 point or larger lead heading into the incumbant President's convention. Bush was actually ahead by 2 points on August 30th (First day of GOP Convention). If a challenger not won over the American public by Labor Day, he is quite simply dead in the water.
History lesson number two: No sitting President has ever lost an election in the midst of a war. I believe the record is 6-0. It will be 7-0 after this November. History ALWAYS repeats. EDGE to Bush.
#5) Kerry was the better debater. True. But he was too smooth. Almost mechanical. All intellect, no heart or emotion. Americans don't love Ivy Leaguers. To the contrary, we HATE snobby Ivy Leaguers. We think of them as book smart egg-heads! We elect people we like and trust. Kerry won the debates, but lost the HEARTS of Americans. P.S. We hate Frenchmen more than even Ivy Leaguers. Kerry presents the image and attitude of an Ivy League Frenchman! Edge to Bush.
#6) Jewish voters are reliably Democrat. Not this year. Bush has made MAJOR inroads to Jewish voters by being the most Pro-Israeli President in American history. Maya Angelou called Bill Clinton our first black President. If that's true, I'd call Bush our first Jewish President! Besides the old alignments are fraying- younger Jews are businessmen and entrepreneurs in large numbers. And they are therefore pro-small business, anti-government, anti-regulation, and anti-tax. Like all entrepreneurs, Jewish businessmen are now trending towards the GOP. Edge to Kerry...but smaller than ever before.
My conclusion: Game, set, match to Bush.
My prediction: Bush by 30 to 40 electoral votes...with an outside shot at 50 or more.
Wayne Allyn Root