Monday, November 01, 2004


Osama bin Laden is (obviously) still alive. This means my statements made here and here (and probably other places as well) were the incorrect result of wishful thinking. Mea Culpa.

The vast majority of the American electorate do not vote based on a thorough weighing and understanding of all the issues. Rather, they vote based on gut instinct. This works either because people's gut instincts are correct more often than not (there is some evidence to back this up: I read about a study in which college students were shown a 30-second video clip of a professor teaching and were then asked to evaluate how effective they thought said professor was. The evaluations correlated closely with the end-of-semester evaluations given by students who took a course from the same professor. First and/or gut impressions seem to get it right much of the time) or because our system is set up in such a way that there are usually no apocalpytically bad choices. Therefore, whatever the people choose, things will work out, more or less.

Historians are bad prognosticators and I'm proabably on the low end of my cohort. Still, for what it is worth, I predict that John Kerry will win the 2004 election. Why?
--gut instinct (see above)
--Kerry supporters (or more correctly, anti-Bush supporters) seem somehow to be more committed and determined to see their cause succeed.
--Most media accounts indicate that the Democrats have done a better job of recruiting new voters to register. Of course some (most?) of these won't actually vote, but enough will probably do so to make the difference in key battleground states.
--Elections in which the incumbent did not have at least 50% of the vote in public opinion polls usually end up breaking for the challenger.
--The Washington Redskins lost to the Green Bay Packers. When the Redskins win the game on the Sunday before election day, the incumbent wins. When they lose, the incumbent loses (and if anyone actually believes that has anything to do with anything, I strongly recommend that you consult your horoscope more closely than you already do; here's mine for today:
"You're willing to do anything and everything for your career -- and well you should. It's prime time to get things done, get noticed and reap the appropriate rewards. You go!."

I hope that whatever the election outcome that the results are clear and decisive. Legal challenges to electoral results do not help the long-term legitimacy and viability of the Republic.

You think 'gut instincts' are mostly correct? And people vote according to gut instinct? And Kerry will probably win? So, therefore, you think that is the 'correct' outcome for America overall...? Hmmmm.

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