June 24, 2004

50-0 FILES:

Time-tested formulas suggest both Bush and Kerry will win on Nov. 2 (Susan Page, 6/23/04, USA TODAY)

Of six measurements for predicting the outcome of presidential contests, all with excellent track records, each signals a clear outcome in November. The problem is, they're pointing in different directions.

A formula by a Yale University economist that has correctly predicted five of the last six elections shows President Bush winning in the biggest landslide since Ronald Reagan's 49-state victory in 1984. It says Bush is a shoo-in.

But Bush's job-approval rating has slid below 50%; not since Harry Truman in 1948 has a president in that territory won the election. By this standard, Bush is guaranteed to lose.

Recent polling already shows the President back at 50% approval or above, a number that will only rise as Iraq recedes from the headlines and economic good news continues. Mort Kondracke said last night that historically incumbent presidents have received one point higher than their approval number in their re-election bids. That makes 54-55% look doable for the President.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 24, 2004 7:41 AM

Oh man. If we get a re-run of the last election, can we just have the candidates duke it out, mano a mano, to settle things?

Posted by: Twn at June 24, 2004 9:28 AM

OJ: I still say 37-13, at best.

Posted by: Chris at June 24, 2004 10:42 AM

Yeah, I'm for that Bush in his Air Guard fighter and Kerry in his boat.

Posted by: AML at June 24, 2004 5:15 PM

Last Night I took My 19 and 17 year old Children (at their request) to the Simon and Garfunkel Concert in Indianapolis. The 19 year old looked around and said: "you know we are by far the youngest people in here[a 20,000 seat arena]." She was right most of the crowd was aging baby boomers.

The tour was titled, after their song from the 1970's "Old Friends," which they sang first. It includes the lines:

"Can you imagine us years from today
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange to be seventy"

Which Paul wrote in 1968. 36 years later, in 2004, they are a short put from seventy. They are going to have to change those lyrics.

The political angle came about 2/3 through the concert. Art introduced American Tune (Below) by saying it was a song about the path the country was on. I am sure that he got a reaction in the blue states. I am also sure that the audience knew the song, they knew all the songs, and they remembered the 70's well, The average age was 50+.

American Tune was written in 1973 and first appeared on Paul's second solo album There Goes Rhymin' Simon. It's a great song and it captures the mood of the 1970's well. But as a political statement, it went flat with that crowd. Color Indiana Red.


American Tune (4:33)
P. Simon, 1973

Many's the time I've been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and I've often felt forsaken and certainly misused
Ah, but I'm all right, I'm all right
I'm just weary to my bones
Still, you don't expect to be bright and bon vivant
So far away from home
So far away from home

And I don't know a soul who's not been battered,
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered or driven to its knees
But it's all right, it's all right
For we lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road we're traveling on
I wonder what's gone wrong
I can't help it, I wonder what's gone wrong

And I dreamed I was dying
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying
And high up above, my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying

We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age's most uncertain hours and sing an American tune
But it's all right, it's all right, it's all right
You can't be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow's going to be another working day
And I'm trying to get some rest
That's all, I'm trying to get some rest

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 24, 2004 9:31 PM

The polls are all over the place although Bush seems to have recovered a bit recently (perhaps due to the Reagan bounce). Harris poll has him up 10 while other, more Dem friendly polls have it close or Kerry up. As OJ notes the Yale election projection is an historically accurate equation while the favorability can change every day depending on the news. Today's events (lots of killing, mostly Iraqis) may mean Iraq doesn't calm down as fast as OJ thinks but we'll see.

Posted by: AWW at June 24, 2004 11:09 PM

Don't forget 1948 and the Biffle poll. What would the equivalent be today?

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 26, 2004 10:39 AM