Glad to be Wrong about the Election
I’m not about to give up my Pundit Guild card yet but I’m here to own up to some bad prognosticatin’. Early this year I wrote a series of blog posts arguing that the Democratic Party (which I’ve viewed as the lesser evil, in this era ofÂ “Red State Fascism“) was risking losing the election by running either a woman or black person. I wrote, for example, the intentionally overconfident title “The Coming McCain Victory’s Lesson for Antiwar Democrats,” and gave Obama a one-in-four chance of winning. So what went wrong (or, rather, right)? Obviously there was the collapse of the stock market, the drop in real estate prices, the bank failures, and the federal bailouts. McCain had a brief post-convention lead in the polls and then just before the election came the deluge of terrible news, which was blamed largely on the Republicans. Still, in retrospect, I think my analysis was flawed. I noted that Bush won every state in Dixie in both 2000 and 2004, while losing big in non-Dixie America. And I noted that Dixie-as-kingmaker was a new phenomenon. But somehow I failed to realize that this Republican regionalism was a weakness, particularly considering Bush’s narrow victory in 2000, when he ran as a moderate, Gore ran as a not-very-believable populist, and Nader ran as a liberal vote magnet. I now believe that Bush’s 2004 victory was probably largely due to voters’ desire toÂ appear resolute after the 9/11 attacks, and during two deadly military occupations. I just hope I was right about the “lesser evil” part….