October 28, 2004


Notes, Quotes From Michigan Campaign (RON FOURNIER, 10/28/04, Associated Press)

John Kerry thought he had Michigan's 17 electoral votes sewed up until polls showed his plans on the verge of unraveling.

Realizing that President Bush had narrowed the race in a state Democrat Al Gore won by 5 percentage points in 2000, Kerry rushed advertising money to Michigan and paid a visit himself this week.

He can't afford to lose any states won by Gore four years ago, certainly not one that hasn't backed a Republican presidential candidate in 16 years. Kerry advisers say they're confident the state will remain in the Democratic column, though Bush is pressing hard.

The president visited for two straight days this week, appealing to blue-collar conservative Democrats in Saginaw on Thursday with criticism of Kerry's leadership ability. [...]

The ancestral home of "Reagan Democrats" who backed President Reagan in the 1980s, Michigan supported Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996.

The last Republican to win Michigan was Bush's father, who had been Reagan's vice president. Reagan had won in the 1980s by wooing blue-collar Democrats, many of them Catholics and union members who decided that their party had grown too liberal on social issues.

If you go only by the polls, which seems inadvisable, you'd say the President was about to trade OH & NH for PA, NJ, MI, WI, NM, MN, OR & HI. If you can explain that you're a genius.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 28, 2004 5:15 PM

I'm not sure he's trading anything.

Posted by: AML at October 28, 2004 5:20 PM

Is this what it feels like before the dam breaks?

Posted by: luciferous at October 28, 2004 5:41 PM

jaycost.blogspot.com says Ohio is in the bag for Bush. That's why Bush is not going there constantly. This is due in part to the GOPs superior get out the vote effort. The "ground war" almost cost Bush Ohio in '00, Rove won't make that mistake again.

Cost also states that the only polls that are scientifically reliable are Time, Battleground & Gallup. All others are either flawed in methodology (too many Dems sampled) or do not share methodology, making them impossible to evaluate. These "reliable" polls have Bush up by 5, 5 & 4 respectively. If Bush wins the popular vote by 4, the electoral college will take care of itself.

Posted by: G. Eugene at October 28, 2004 6:00 PM

Commentary on PoliPundit says that Florida is also in the bag for Bush, though I have yet to verify this. Rasmussen's tracking poll (yeah, yeah, I know about automated tracking polls) also has Bush back over Kerry at 50% - 48%. Kerry Spot is also sounding very optimistic today.

Posted by: Joe at October 28, 2004 6:11 PM

Um, who is "Jay Cost," on a blogspot site of all things, and why should we care what he says?

Posted by: Semolina Pilchard at October 28, 2004 6:50 PM

Tradesports' Bush contract is dropping steadily. Last trade is 51% likelihood of Bush winning re-election. Doesn't look too good for Bush to me.

Posted by: Bret at October 28, 2004 6:53 PM

Actually Jay Cost runs TheHorseRace Blog and he really knows his s[tuff]. I actually find it more insightful than RealClearPolitcs. And OJ, Bush will take all those states you mentioned.

Posted by: BJW at October 28, 2004 7:22 PM


The problem with calling any poll reliable is that they have to peg the % of people of each party affiliation who will be voting. Folks who are using the last presidentials are obviously using a heavily Democratic sample. In the 2002 midterm 6% more Republicans than Democrats voted--is that a fluke or a serious shift in party affiliation? I'd not want to bet much on anyone's guess at who'll vote on Tuesday.

Posted by: oj at October 28, 2004 7:24 PM

Semolina: Some guys named Judd used to be on blogspot.

Bret: Funny, 51's a majority...

Posted by: Chris at October 28, 2004 7:55 PM

Bret - Tradesports every once in a while sees an influx of big Democratic money, and the liquidity there is very thin so prices move. It's moved substantially downward this evening on no discernible news. Maybe it's insider trading and they know about a coming October surprise, but more likely it's a billionaire blowing $100k trying to encourage Kerry supporters into believing he has a chance.

Posted by: pj at October 28, 2004 8:09 PM

OK, so Jay Cost is a guy who runs a place called The Horserace Blog. Gotcha.

But who is he? This Jay Cost has declared Ohio to be a Bush win, so sez G. Eugene. Okey doke. Sounds cool. But is Jay Cost a veteran political-analysis pro, or some 16-year-old banging on the family PC?

I'd certainly never heard his name; hence I was wondering what made him worthy of citation. Really, it boils down to just wanting to know how confident I should feel about Ohio.

As for Blogspot... Heck, I think even Instapundit was on Blogspot back in the day, as were -- yes indeed! -- the Brothers Judd. But the key twist is "back in the day"; big difference between camping at Blogspot in 2002 and holding fort there today.

(Yeah yeah, I know I'm just a Typepad free-account loser. But then, nobody goes around citing me like they do Jay Cost!)

Posted by: Semolina Pilchard at October 28, 2004 8:38 PM

The Tradesports.com move is probably another bear raid. There have been several smaller ones in the past, probably tests for this one.

Posted by: at October 28, 2004 9:11 PM


Rather than just whine "Who is Jay Cost?", why don't you just go over to his blog and decide yourself whether he has good arguments and reasons for his opinions.


Posted by: Dusty at October 29, 2004 3:50 AM

Why not? Because anybody can sit around analyzing polls and predicting electoral counts. That doesn't mean they know what they're talking about. Since I am no poll expert myself, I have no way to assess whether Jay Cost's "arguments and reasons" are valid in and of themselves.

If, however, somebody tells me, "Hey, Jay Cost has been in the political consulting business for 50 years," then I have information on which to make a judgment.

Posted by: Semolina Pilchard at October 29, 2004 9:56 AM