The Right Coast

October 23, 2004
Professor Tom the Oracle speaks
By Tom Smith

Since I know you're dying to know, here's what I think is going to happen in the election. I concede it is based mostly on watching the betting markets, that do show signs of manipulation. But I'm guessing no one has bothered to manipulate the state lines, which have been pretty consistent over the past few weeks.

First, I think Bush will win Florida. Jeb has been good on hurricanes, and the line has not dipped below 60 percent for the GOP. The Dems may pull off wonders with the get out the prisoner vote, but I doubt it. If Bush wins the swamp state, it will be very hard for the Dems to win.

I doubt Bush will win Ohio. It is possible, but it requires optimism, never my strong suit, to say he'll win. Bush was above 60 in the line a few weeks ago, but has been hovering just above 50 for awhile. Anything's possible, but with corruption and GOTV (closely related phenomena), I would bet on the Dems in Ohio.

Pennsylvania, Michigan, or Minnesota going for the GOP? Dream on. If that happens, polls are seriously flawed in ways markets can't see. Possible but unlikely. New Mexico? I don't think so. NM is, how to put this delicately?, a stinking cesspool of political corruption. The land of the enchanted, disappearing ballot box. I love NM. Georgeous state. But politically hygenic, it is not. They probably already have Kerry ballots printed up and ready to go if necessary. Maybe they should just declare Kerry the winner in NM and get it over with.

So, if Bush wins Florida, and everywhere else where he should win, he will probably win the election. Not surprisingly, when they're not in the throes of manipulation, that's pretty much what the bookies say. The lines on Bush winning the election, and Bush winning Florida have been pretty much in lockstep, now, both a little above 60. Whatever creepoid has been making runs on tradesports will probably try it again before 11/2, so watch for that.

Of course, anything could happen. Terrorist attack. Last minute Dem mudball. A Bush lovechild is a sobering thought, I grant you. Maybe both Bush daughters are lesbians? There is no theory that says there's always a last minute momentum shift--that's just superstition.

Another possibility is that the polls are systematically skewed left, as it turned out they were in Australia. Or skewed GOP because of all the young and restless who are going to stop watching MTV long enough to vote, assuming they can find the polls while stoned. And they don't show up in surveys because they only use cellphones. Which is also sobering. How often can you say "it was like so totally cute!" I don't think they should be allowed to watch TV unsupervised, lot alone vote, except perhaps in New Mexico, where they could do little harm. Voter registration drives are like so totally irresponsible.

So, I think it's about 60-40 Bush, odds wise. It's like being on a flight, and pilot says you have a 60 percent chance of landing safely.