Sunday, September 14, 2008
That horserace I recently spoke of
McCain on Intrade has broken 50% for the first time over the last couple of weeks. Before the Palin pick, Obama was sitting at a comfortable 62% to McCain's 38%.
The significance of this event should not be overlooked. The second graph is the probability that the Republican Party will win the presidency in 2008. Its value roughly reflects the strength of the GOP, which has diminished with Bush's disastrous polices. And as it now mirrors the McCain contract, the Republican_President contract has broken 50% for the first time in almost two years. It averaged 35% for most of that time (obviously then, the Democrats had a 65% chance of taking the White House). This confluence either represents the strength of McCain (+Palin), or the weakness of Obama; perhaps a little of both.
It is interesting to note that McCain himself didn't particularly budge the GOP's chances in November. It was the pick of Palin as VP that really caused a spike in his numbers. It makes us wonder whether or not it will be a temporary or long-term gain. Incidentally, I do believe that McCain's winning of the GOP nomination had staved off what would otherwise been a complete massacre in the 2008 election by the Democrats. Under Romney or Guliani, the GOP would be under 30% right now in my opinion.
Something else that I just read on the BBC: Obama just gained record donations for the month of August ($66 million). Recent events have made many of his supporters very nervous. As well they should be. McCain/Palin is a formidable ticket, but it is beatable.
The day that John McCain picked Palin for VP, I sold all of my Obama stock on intrade at about 62. Now that contract is worth about 47% and so I emptied my bankroll this afternoon buying it back. I still think Obama is going to win this election, and here is why:
1. I stipulated long ago that McCain only has a chance at this election if the economy doesn't tank and the war in Iraq doesn't get worse. Has anyone been watching the news from Wall Street lately? It is good news for Obama, and bad news for McCain (a self-professed economics novice). Not to mention, a majority of Economists think Obama will be better for the economy in the long run.
2. Palin-fever will wear off. November is still a long way away, and her ignorance on important issues will become very apparent in the Debates. I believe people are going to underestimate the effect of the internet on this election. You simply can't hide ignorance like hers anymore...like the GOP were able to hide Bush's in 2000. Don't get me wrong, I like the woman as a person. But people are going to be uncomfortable with a foreign policy novice taking the reins when McCain dies.
3. McCain is running a nasty campaign and it will catch up to him. Obama has stayed above it, for the most part. McCain is lying, he is being deceptive. It is Karl Rove and George Bush all over again. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time. But you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
So there it is, my prediction - Obama wins. But my margin of comfort isn't more than 5%. It will be a close one, and a major gaffe by any side or a major world event could tip things either way.