The polls have already opened on the east coast, and so the final campaign rally has been held, the final dodgy campaign commercial has been aired, the final Bush cliche has been spoken, the final Kerry flip flopped and the final Nader utterance ignored. It's election day, and come Wednesday afternoon in the antipedes, it will be election night.
Prediction: Bush to win comfortably. Bush may have screwed up Iraq, fumbled with 9/11 and missed the chance with Osama, but it won't matter a bit. Bush makes Americans feel good about being Americans, he asserts a dominant place for his country in the world and offers strength of conviction, a quality that is admired regardless of whether a voter agrees with that conviction or not. Bush has also played a dominant, and largely successful role, in implementing domestic policy. Health, education, jobs and prosperity are all travelling well, and Bush is claiming much of the credit.
The other reason is Ariontheroad's patented Civil War Theory. It goes like this. The civil war aint really over, and the South are still bravely fighting on. Whilst voters in northern states have no qualms about voting for a candidate strictly on merit, voters in the south do not trust northerners or Washington insiders. The evidence is there - the last two northerners from a major party to run for president were shot down in flames. In 1988, Massachussan Michael Dukakis won only 10 states, whilst in 1984 Minnesotan Walter Mondale won just 1. Contrast that with highly competitive southerners Bush 1, Clinton, Perot, Dole, Gore, Bush 2. This time around, how will the CTW theory play out? Kerry has tried to neutralise it by chosen Edwards as his VP, but the south are still not buying it. To then, Kerry represents the worst aspects of northern aloofness, whilst Bush is the All-American kid.
It's a mammoth task to predict the outcomes in all 50 states plus the D of C, and it's unlikely that history will remember Ariontheroad as a vital organ of political discourse, so instead I'll stick to predicting states that will vote differently in '04 to '00:
Republican to Democrat
Democrat to Republican:
A quick bit of arithmetic shows that this puts Bush about 40 votes over the line. Sounds right, unfortunately.
Quick observations on other votes taking place:
- Colorado is having an interesting ballot on its 9 electoral college votes being allocated proportionally to the size of the vote received by each candidate rather than the current winner-takes-all allocation. Hopefully Colorado will vote for change, and it will be the start of a nationwide reform of the anarchornistic system in place at the moment.
- Republicans to retain control of the House, and consolidate their number in the Senate.
- The speculated litigation and endless challenges to result to not eventuate - the Republican margin will be large enough to be beyond challenge.