Monday, September 15, 2008

My first election projection.

Here is my first projection as to how I think the presidential race will turn out. Obviously there is a lot of time left and anything can happen. But, if things remain pretty much as they are, I am estimating that John McCain will handily beat Barack Obama.

The red states are those that I believe will favor McCain and the blue are those that will favor Obama. I do not believe that Florida will be a close state this time. And I doubt that Ohio will be tight either.

If we compare this year’s projection to the 2004 results here are the major changes I am seeing. The Democrats will pick up Iowa and New Mexico, with 7 and 5 electoral votes respectively. But this gain of 12 electoral votes will more than be offset by their loss of Michigan with 17 electoral votes. In the electoral college the Republicans will do better in 2008 than they did in 2004.

The bad news in this election is that either McCain or Obama will win. However, given that I don’t see the Democrats losing control of the House or the Senate. Since that is the case the least bad situation overall is a Republican president. Gridlock is the best government we can expect, keep the bastards at each other’s throat and they don’t have time to grab our throats.

In regards to the (formerly) Libertarian Party my projections are dismal. Bob Barr won’t do particularly well. His actual vote totals will be well below what his campaign had been projecting. The LP sold their soul to win votes and I doubt they’ll actually succeed in doing that. I suspect that the upside for Barr would 1.5%. I think it more likely he’ll score under 1%.

His problem is manifold. Ron Paul won’t endorse him and Barr has pretty much insulted Paul and alienated him through his antics and those of his underhanded staff members. Barr has alienated large numbers of LP activists and members with his unlibertarian positions and compromises. And his ability to raise funds has been very poor.

Just because he and Richard Viguerie could manage to squeeze a majority out of the Denver LP convention doesn’t mean he can get the LP faithful to rally to his cause. If anything his shying away from the Libertarian label in his own campaign has pretty much pushed Libertarians away. If you go to Barr’s campaign web site the main page doesn’t have the word libertarian anywhere on it.

Personally I think that is good. Barr is no libertarian so he shouldn’t call himself one. But some of the really nasty types in the LP, who yearned for power and Starrdom, tried to push the bullshit that Barr would increase name recognition for the LP. He could have -- of course the problem was that the LP brand would be associated with the petty conservatism of Bob Barr and not with libertarianism. Barr partially solved that problem by abandoning the libertarian label in his own campaign. But then most of Barr’s main campaign staff are not even remotely libertarian themselves.

In the end the Libertarian Party managed to create huge divisions by promoting a smarmy little career politician, abandoned core principles, and alienated its core supporters. All the party got in return was a smirking little candidate. Barr has all the appeal of a pit viper and is as cuddly as a cactus. What he has managed to do is get a lot of Libertarians talking about whether they will vote for McCain or Obama on purely strategic grounds.

I doubt that any of the Third Party candidates will do particularly well. I especially hope that the theocratic thugs in the Constitution Party do as badly as possible. I emphasize that anyone who says they have much in common with the Constitution Party or their leader Rev. Chuck Baldwin, is not even remotely close to being a libertarian. And I don’t care if they do come from Lake Jackson either.

PS: If you want to enlarge the electoral map above just click on it.

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