By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

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I’ve been shying away from predictions about the outcome of the presidential campaign. But I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that this Politico article will stand out as one of the dumbest pieces of the fall, regardless of whether Obama or McCain wins.

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  1. Peter Porcupine

    DK – did you notice that all four pollsters and analysts quoted and cited were past or present Democratic campaign workers/advisers? If Politico wants to publish a press release from the Obama campaign, they really ought to label it as such. There is no indication that Mr. Kuhn spoke with anyone outside the magic bubble. All of this analysis is predicated on the idea that the public will mindlessly identify McCain with Bush – and outside of Democratic pollsters, there’s little evidence that is the case – which is why the national polls have been so ‘inexplicably’ close.That said – the economy IS the overarching issue, and it puts both candidates in a challanging place, as both thought the main issue would be something else. This minute second, the stock market has lost 1/3 of its value from its 52 week high of 14,000. I’m signing off before it hits 50%.

  2. Stella

    For perhaps the 1000th time, time will prove this internet as nothing more than an electronic Speaker’s Corner, and the ethernet a gaseous Hyde Park.There! Said my October piece!

  3. Dan Kennedy

    PP: The polls are positively brutal for McCain right now. If the election were held tomorrow, Politico might look prescient. What these folks have forgotten is that three and a half weeks is a lifetime in politics.

  4. Michael Pahre

    While the article may be a silly one at this point in the campaign with nearly four weeks left, since January there has been the distinct possibility of a landslide if you look at the turnout numbers.Obama and Clinton combined picked up so many votes in so many states that, combined, they nearly got as many votes in the Democratic primaries as the winner (Bush) got in those states in 2004. (They even exceeded Bush’s 2000 vote total altogether in Indiana.) The Democratic turnout, even just through February 5th, was roughly twice that of the Republicans while there were still competitive races in both parties.Those numbers are the foundation of what is potentially a landslide, should the Democrats be able to turn out in the general election even just a fraction of their extra numbers.Since those voting numbers began pouring in in January, the pundits have been focused on whether or not Clinton supporters would support Obama — a silly argument since exit polls indicated that most would. (And any sociologist would probably claim an even higher percentage than given in the exit polls.)The more fundamental question is whether or not the Democrats can turn out the overwhelming numbers of voters they snagged in the primaries. If they can, then you can use the “l” word. The lopsided turnout can easily negate any possible Bradley effect, too.

  5. Tony

    First off, the article’s perception is wrong: “…Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and Florida … Under almost any feasible scenario, McCain cannot win the presidency if he loses any of those four states.” According to the Electoral College interactive map, if McCain wins all the Bush 2004 states but loses North Carolina, he still wins, 271-267. If he loses Virginia but wins the other states, McCain wins 273-265. So, yeah, McCain CAN lose “any” of those four states and still win the presidency. Second, this is a dangerous kind of article to be writing at this point. And recent history shows that things can change. On Oct. 2, 2000, ARG released a massive polling report of every state at that point in the election and it showed Al Gore with a 74-Electoral College vote lead against Bush, with a 5 point national lead. Of course, Gore huffed and puffed through the first debate and it was all downhill from there. In 2004, all the Democrats thought John Kerry was going to win too. In Massachusetts, just about every Congressman started running ads on television – even though most were unopposed – to jockey for position in a special election to replace Kerry. Even the night of the election, everyone was making big plans for a Kerry administration and those Congressmen were faxing out press releases announcing their campaigns for the special election. Democrats thought he was going to win Virginia, North Carolina, etc., and got trounced there after all. He lost Iowa and New Mexico, states Gore won. He barely won some states like Wisconsin, which had no business even being competitive. Although, he really only needed Ohio and he would have won. In the end, Bush won handily. I think Obama is a different candidate than Gore and Kerry. Right now, we’re all expecting him to win. And, frankly, McCain is running a very bad campaign. Unlike most folks, I don’t think Sarah Palin was a bad pick. If he had chosen just another white guy, it would have been all over. I think after Election Day, we’ll be looking at polls showing that she was an asset to the ticket. But he should have come out against the bailout – especially a pork laden disgusting piece of giveaway filth like that bailout – and instead, ran against it and both parties who plunged us into this mess. He shouldn’t be giving up states like Michigan where he should be competitive. He shouldn’t be running these terrible ads attacking Obama over the terrorism stuff when no one cares about the terrorism stuff right now! Obama has really inspired people even though he really isn’t saying anything specific. So, I won’t be surprised if he wins or even wins by a big margin. But it is still anyone’s game at this point.

  6. Vox

    Zogby also predicted a landslide, although he wouldn’t say for who. Daring. At this moment, things do not look good for McCain, but to predict an Obama landslide with so many variables up in the air is a pack of foolishness. Avoid prognosticators! They have stars in their eyes, wings on their feet, and a whole lot of hot air between their ears.

  7. Bill N1VUX

    Maybe Politico isn’t so crazy …Andy Tannenbaum linked to Chris Bowers’s A Thousand Ways To Reach One Conclusion which was in reply to a comment on his prior item. In a nugget, if even RCP says Obama is over 270 on polling, if all the EV trackers have shifted the battleground to VA NV NC WV IN MO, why has the MSM narrative not caught up?

  8. O'Rion

    Keller showed E-mails concuring with his fancied conclusion that McCain won debate #2 quite handily. It was pretty dumb. Who cares what Mr/Ms annonymous said, and anyway McCain didn’t win, never mind “handily.” He lost most every poll 1.5 to 1 at minimum, and I know of not a single prominent analyst (not on the pad) who thought he did anything better than draw.

  9. Tony

    I didn’t watch the first debate but listened to the second debate in the car. I don’t think either candidate did that well or did that badly. But I continue to be struck by the fact that neither of them offer any specifics about anything.

  10. Bill N1VUX

    compare the NYT and AP and FOX to 538, EVP, and RCP predictions with tool at TheTakeaway

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