19 thoughts on “Bush Futures on a tear!”

  1. Remember that you are dealing with traders. The smart money would be in before the RNC to capitalize on late punters betting on a bounce. As accurate as these things can be sometimes, it is useful to remember that these are not votes, but people betting money. That introduces more volatility than there might be in public opinion, especially when there are still two months to go and short-term media events like the RNC.

  2. Many of the comments I’ve read assume that Bush’s rally is a “convention bounce.” I think that a simpler explanation is that Kerry is weakening and it’s becoming increasingly likely that Bush will be reelected; the Convention may not be relevant at all.

  3. The Swift Vets are part of a larger process by which voters who were barely paying attention before are learning what Kerry is really like.

  4. Not only that, people are being reminded of the real reasons and events leading to the Iraq war and the sillyness of the opposition and hypercritisism. A lot of the negativity of the past year is going to be undone.

  5. Concur with Jonathan. Kerry’s handling of the SwiftVets has done him a lot of harm. Trying to squash free speech doesn’t look good. Plus, his decision to focus on his war record, knowing all this was out there and likely to resurface shows poor judgment and poor foresight and maybe even that he is delusional. All these things make him look bad, without regard to the substance of the allegations.

  6. To a large extent, his focus on his war record and the current demonstrations underline that the only reason to vote for Kerry is that he’s not Bush. Enough for the party faithful but not exactly an overwhelming argument.

    On foreign policy, his proposal is to do more of the same except this time, somehow, France and Germany will agree. Well, that’s great. I’m sure that will pacify the Iraqis, al-Qaeda and Hamas. On the domestic front, we’ll somehow tax ourselves out of recession. So yes, it is underwhelming enough that I wouldn’t expect him to break the 50-50 logjam by more than the usual margin of error.

    But I don’t believe the current intrade quote of 57.6% for Bush to be a cold political assessment of the situation. There is short-term trading volatility here, and the RNC is the most likely catalyst.

  7. Kerry has a lot of political weaknesses. Look at his policy proposals. His health-care scheme is at least as socialistic as the Clintons’ 1994 plan was. And he wants to raise taxes. (He doesn’t phrase it in that way — just wants to repeal Bush’s cuts — but the Republicans will and it is difficult to dispute them on this point.) As time passes we’ll probably see more critical discussion of Kerry’s proposals. I don’t think that will help him.

  8. I understand Sylvain’s point about volatility, and that may well be the whole story here.

    But, recall that Yale Professor Fair’s econometric model, predicts Bush winning 58% (described by Luskin here.) Jim Miller has made predictions as high as 59% for Bush.

    I have always thought Kerry was a weak candidate, and the more the public gets a look at him, the more they seem to agree. My wife, a die-hard Democrat and my bellwether, can find nothing good to say about Kerry. She has no idea what his program is or what he proposes to do if he gets elected. Kerry put all his chips on “everybody hates Bush” and “I’m a war hero” and neither is working out as well as he’d hoped. Plus he violated the rule established by the last three Presidential winners — pick a few simple themes early and repeat them relentlessly. Kerry has not only failed to stay on message, he has failed to even articulate a message to stay on. His inclination is to maintain ambiguity at all times, which is a weakness of legislators who always have to be ready to deal — Dole was like this. Plus he seems to lack strong principles, or at least any that he is willing to speak aloud. So Kerry is adrift in a soundbite age, with no soundbites of his own. Anyone who remembers Clinton’s crushing TV ad campaign in 1992 will know what I am talking about — a few things over and over: middle class tax cut … universal health care … end welfare as we know it … It was a mantra. So, Kerry’s performance has been very poor, which apparently means he is not getting new support from beyond his core. Which may mean that the center is breaking for Bush.

    So, too early for a Bush partisan like me to start cheering, but a 57% range blowout win for Bush has been repeatedly predicted by people who are serious and knowledgeable, e.g. Miller and Fair. It would not be a bolt from the blue.

  9. What are Miller’s and Fair’s records ? The latter’s model missed the ’92 election.

    These are predictions and given their nature, it’s not surprise they would get attention from Luskin on NRO. It’s possible, of course. Let’s say that unless something significant happens, I’ll be very surprised if we get such a margin either way.

  10. Permit me to suggest that the Perot factor makes ’92 an anomaly any model would have a hard time dealing with.

  11. Scotus, dismissing a failure as an outlier is fair, but also convenient. These are models. And my experience of them is that the ones based on verified assumptions fail almost half the time in the long run (and in the case of elections, any model will be right half of the time in the long run); as for those that fit the past so well that back-testing shows them to have predicted the last 10, 20 or 30 outcomes, they are even more likely to break the next time.

    Granted, this is a lesson tainted by a costly trading education. But since I don’t know enough about those models to judge their worth, I honestly have no interest in them beyond their anecdotal value. I understand they tell some of us what we want to hear, and appealing to the authority of this or that professor may be comforting. I don’t believe such outcomes can be boiled down into a formula anymore than the market can be. But I’m always interested in hearing about someone’s formula and the rationale for their choice and design. That is where the gold is, imho.

  12. All I am saying is that sizable, and seemingly surprisingly large, margins for Bush have been repeatedly predicted by serious-minded people, based on their reading of objective data, even when his polling was at its worst. So the tradesports numbers are not totally shocking.

    I recall very well that in 1980 it was supposed to be close, according to the media, but Reagan ended up beating Carter in a blowout. I could see this happening to either of the two candidates this time, if one or the other makes some major mistake or performs disastrously in the debates, for example.

    I don’t know how it is going to go. I was absolutely certain what was going to happen in 1992 and 1996 and I was right. I thought it would be very close in 2000 but did not know who’d win, and that was more or less correct. This year, I suspect Bush will pull it out, but I have none of the certainty I felt in 1992 and 1996. I have a gut impression that swing voters will not like Kerry. I have a further gut impression that Bush’s core will turn out strongly, but that Kerry’s anti-Bush core will do the same, so it is not clear how that will balance out. Beyond that, I’m not making predictions or bets. I had bets out in 1992 and 1996, which I won. I made no bets in 2000. I don’t know who will win this time, and I don’t know if the election will even be close, and I’m not betting.

  13. NYT article

    of course, the NYT woman doesn’t seem too fond of this fair given his prediction:

    “It saddens me that you teach this to students at
    Yale, who could be thinking about society in complex and meaningful ways.”

    sure it may be accurate, but don’t teach it to
    impressionable students as it’s not “complex” (compared to the stuff she learned in journalism school) or “meaningful” (predicting presidential elections is pretty frivolous).

    “I know one of your studies used the econometric method to predict who is most likely to have an extramarital affair.”

    this dig sounds to me like when social conservatives mock scientists for showing porn to pandas and whatnot…

    and finally:
    “Are you a Republican?”

    if it predicts a bush victory, it must be republican propaganda and not serious academic work!

  14. sylvain:

    “Remember that you are dealing with traders. The smart money would be in before the RNC to capitalize on late punters betting on a bounce.”

    interesting theory, but was there a similar bounce for kerry during the DNC?
    or was their money dumber back then?

    “Scotus, dismissing [the 92 election] failure as an outlier is fair, but also convenient.”

    if you read the article, you’ll see that the predictions are for the two parties.
    it’s not convenient to dismiss the 92 election as an outlier, it WAS an outlier. perot won a huge portion of the vote and had a big impact on the election. i think at one point he was even in first place in the polls before he dropped out and accused bush of spying on his daugheter’s wedding.

    let’s also remember that perot probably took away more votes from bush than from clinton. old white texan billionaires tend to do that.

    nader will have a much smaller effect on the 04 election, and even this will only further help bush and hurt kerry.

  15. gb, absolutely. The W. futures reached a low around the DNC.

    Second, there is nothing unfair about pointing out outliers. If events fit bell curves, nobody would worry about them. But they don’t. Whether in politics or in the markets, outliers seem to happen more often than we think. And that proves models are weak.

  16. I have a poll taken over the last 31 days that is significant:

    Kerry will not get in front of a crowd of reporters to answer questions.

    Second poll: Kerry wants weekly debates – always a sign of weakness (Keyes any one?).

    Third sign: a DU person complains that they went out for 5 hours trying to motivate the base. The base was going Bush except for 2 contacts. Of course this could be another outlier. However, if you listen closely it is a repeated theme.

    My first mate who generally prefers the democrat is solid Bush. Plus she was standing on her chair for Zell Miller.

    I predicted that the Democrats would be destroyed a while back. Destruction will require a vote in the low 40s. It is looking to me like upper 30s is the best Kerry can do. BTW my prediction was made 16 May 03. Winds of Change guest blog.

    Here is another poll. The swifties have offered to end their attacks on Kerry on very unfavorable terms to Kerry. This means that they have in the bag stuff that Kerry cannot handle. My guess would be Kerry’s KGB files.

    Watching the polls is fun. But it is not helpful in determining what is really going on. There are signs that not only is Bush winning independents, he is also peeling off the Democrat base. Miller was a great help there.

    On top of that can Kerry win the election with vets against him 80/20? I don’t think so.

    Boosh in a landslide – possibly the biggest ever.


    Steal this sig:

    George Bush never called me “baby killer”.

    There is a big difference between William Calley and John Kerry. William Calley is a proven war criminal. For John Kerry we only have his word as an officer and a gentleman.

    New Soldier

    What is the War Hero Afraid of?
    Form 180. Release ALL the records.

    The Ads: Video links

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