Saturday, August 28, 2004

Temporary Break

As I get ready to move into College at Carleton, I'm taking a one week break from August 31st to September 8th. During that time, my friend Greg Ihrie will be guest blogging over here, focusing on Ethics and Political Philosophy.

Once I get to college and get my legs back under me, one of two things might happen to this blog. The academic environment might stimulate numerous fascinating insights on a myriad of topics, all of which I'll pass on to my dear readers. Or I'll be swamped with work I'll barely ever post again. Keep your fingers crossed for the former!

Also, through my college I now have access to LexisNexis and Jstor. So assuming I do come back (and I'm really looking forward to testrunning those databases, so that's a big incentive to keep it up), my debate cards will probably increase astronomically in quality.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Israeli Spy?

This is not good.

More as information is released.

Kerry Slips

As you know, I've been very optimistic about Kerry's election chances in November, far more than most Democrats. However, recent poll data is disheartening. reports that currently, Kerry is up 270 to 259 in the electoral college, with Colorado tied. Good news? Not really. That tally has Kerry winning both Nevada and Tennessee, neither of which I think is likely (though quite possible, especially in the latter case). It also has Bush winning Wisconsin, which I ALSO think is improbable, but tallying up the votes, and assuming that Wisconsin reverts to the Dems (but Colorado, Nevada, and Tennessee all go GOP) Kerry has 264 electoral votes and Bush has 274.

On the flip side, Kerry is within striking distance in FAR more states than Bush is. Bush can hope to flip Wisconsin, Iowa, and New Mexico into the GOP column from 2000. That gives him 22 more electoral votes. By contrast, Kerry is challenging in Arizona, Missouri, Nevada, Arkansas, Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire, and West Virginia. That's 88 electoral votes. And while all of Kerry's big gun states (California, New York, even Pennsylvania and Michigan) appear somewhat safe for the moment, Bush has to fight tooth and nail to defend both Ohio and Florida, both which will be getting alot of Democratic (and Republican) airtime.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Daily Show

John Kerry just made the first appearance by a Presidential Nominee on Jon Stewart's "Daily Show," a latenight news parody show that happens to be one of the sharpest satires of politics and media around today. While at first I though Kerry looked stiff, as the show went on I thought he looked more and more relaxed and by the end I concluded it was an impressive performance.

The New Republic also nominally complimented Kerry on his performance, though I thought they might have been a tad too harsh. I thought Kerry did a good job running with Stewart's jokes, but I also thought he made at least one good line of his own (meeting people in the men's room). Overall, it was an entertaining show. And how many times do we get to say that about John Kerry?

Monday, August 23, 2004

Kerry's Race to Lose

UPDATE: 8/23 @ 7:50 PM

Charlie Cook, noted Washington elections guru and editor of the National Journal has just reported that the race is now Kerry's to lose. Though obviously there is plenty of time and Bush could reverse his faltering numbers, this is good news for the democratic candidate.

For those of you who are interested, Kerry is maintaining a 296-242 lead in the Electoral College based on state polling.

In light of the above information, can anyone explain to me why my parents, steadfast democrats, are absolutely convinced Kerry is going to lose?

UPDATE: Noam Schieber (just back from vacation at TNR's etc. blog) reports on a story I read this morning and then just forgot about: A possible Kerry Landslide in Ohio. The pertinent part is buried way at the end of the article:
In a survey last week by the University of Cincinnati's Ohio Poll, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) led Bush among likely voters 48 to 46 percent, with independent Ralph Nader garnering 1 percent. A Gallup poll in Ohio also showed a two-point spread favoring Kerry, but when the pool of respondents was expanded to include all registered voters, not just people who voted last time, Kerry was ahead by 10 points [emphasis added].

Since turnout for Democrats is expected to be higher in Ohio this year than in 2000, this is yet another reason why democrats can be guardedly optimistic about November.