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Handicapping the Presidential Election

October 19, 2004 Now that the presidential debates are behind us and the campaign is entering its final stretch, a primer on how to handicap a presidential election is in order. First, don't focus on individual polls. With recent surveys from highly reputable firms showing everything from a 5-point lead for President Bush ...

Tie Game

October 12, 2004 For perhaps the first time in this general election campaign, the presidential race is essentially even. While this has always been a competitive race, one candidate or the other has generally had an edge, even if just by a couple of points. If someone put a gun to my head ...

Armchair Politics

October 5, 2004 The announced topic of the first presidential debate was foreign policy, but the make-or-break question underlying that 90-minute broadcast had nothing directly to do with Iraq or North Korea or the Middle East: Do the American people want John Kerry in their living rooms for the next four years? It ...

Debates and Developments

September 28, 2004 With the first presidential debate looming this Thursday night, we're in the heart of this campaign. The race is now very steady, top strategists in both parties say, with President Bush running ahead of Sen. John Kerry by 3 to 5 points -- a narrower margin than many public polls ...

Time to Play Offense

September 21, 2004 With just six weeks to go before the election, Republicans are favored to hold the White House and to maintain their majorities in the Senate and House, although only their House victory seems certain. President Bush runs ahead of Sen. John Kerry by an average of about 6 points in ...

Parsing the Polls

September 14, 2004 The Bush-Cheney '04 campaign is one of the best-planned and best-executed presidential campaigns in modern history -- up there with the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign, which upset the re-election hopes of President Bush's father. And not since the 1984 Republican convention, which renominated President Reagan, has there been a national convention ...

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

September 7, 2004 Matthew Dowd, the chief Bush campaign strategist, made the argument last Monday during the Republican convention that whichever presidential candidate wins two out of a crucial three states -- Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania -- will probably be the next president. The next day, without knowing about Dowd's prediction, former Clinton ...

Reading the Tea Leaves

August 31, 2004 Depending on which numbers you find most persuasive, you can convince yourself that President Bush is virtually certain to be re-elected or will surely lose in November. The vast majority of political scientists and economists who forecast elections based on computer models will be presenting their papers at the annual ...

Senate Dominoes

August 24, 2004 Even though Senate Democrats had been waiting with bated breath until Sen. Jon Corzine, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, announced he won't seek the governorship of New Jersey if there is a special election this fall, the Senate landscape looks fairly stable. In fact, arguably, the odds have ...

Addition and Subtraction

August 17, 2004 It's become clear that, as many of us predicted, Sen. John Kerry came out of the Democratic convention with only a modest bounce. Indeed, much of the bounce arguably came before the convention and was the result of Kerry selecting Sen. John Edwards as his running mate. The argument made ...