Final Presidential Election Prediction

I knew nothing about Barack Obama until my wife brought him up following his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. She told me “I just saw a speech from a man that I think will be president some day.” After watching a few speeches by Obama, I concluded that she was on to something. He was a dynamic speaker, and inspired people in a way that few politicans do. So I am sticking with the prediction I made when Hillary Clinton was still the favorite to win the Democratic nomination: Tomorrow Senator Obama will win the presidency. Further, I predict that it won’t be close; that Obama will have well over 300 electoral votes and will probably beat Senator McCain by more than 100 electoral votes.

Obama ran a brilliant campaign, but he also received an assist because McCain ran a disastrous campaign. He vacillated on issues (I documented his ethanol flip-flopping here) and as I predicted the Palin choice turned out to be a big mistake (a new CNN poll confirms that). While the pick may have solidified the base (the people who were going to vote McCain anyway), it drove away lots of undecideds and Independents who felt like the choice was purely political, and not in the best interests of the country. And finally, McCain is of course campaigning to succeed a deeply unpopular incumbent from his own party.

My hope is that Obama will surround himself with people who are knowledgeable about energy policy. He has been reaching out behind the scenes to energy companies (and I am amazed that this hasn’t gotten press coverage), so I am hopeful that he will be pragmatic, and not let the more extreme elements of the party drive his energy policy. His campaign decisions appear to me to be well thought out, so I hope some of his campaign rhetoric doesn’t translate into actual policy.

I have a number of ideas/stories in the pipeline, but (presuming Obama wins) I will probably spend some time discussing the implications of his energy policies. Feel free to use the comments following this post to discuss them as well. What is good about his energy policy? Where is he wrong? Where are the big holes in the policy? (More on Obama’s energy policy ideas here).

Finally, how about my vote? I might have voted for McCain in 2000, when I felt he ran an honorable campaign. I was far too disgusted by his 2008 campaign to vote for him this year. I didn’t feel like he showed good leadership, but then his Palin pick was the final nail in the coffin for me.

I think Obama is a very likable person, and an inspirational speaker. Every time I tried to talk myself into voting for him, I kept coming back to his energy policy. I can’t embrace his energy policy, and that is one of the most important issues for me. But it ultimately didn’t matter. Because of the changes in my residency (in the past year I have lived in Montana, Scotland, the Netherlands, and Texas), my voting status was in flux. I also didn’t have a whole lot of time to resolve the issue. When I finally got serious about it, the deadline for registration in Texas had passed. So, I will end up voting for neither candidate, which is probably just as well since I couldn’t really get fully on board for either candidate.

Best of luck to (presumably) President-elect Obama. He is going to preside over a difficult four years. (And if I am wrong, this post will document the biggest prediction miss I have ever made).

61 thoughts on “Final Presidential Election Prediction”

  1. Robert,

    The next president’s first challenge is the financial meltdown – what is your take on this? Do you think it is going to get much worse?

    I’ve been reading TOD ameritus contributor Stoneleigh, in her and Ilargi’s blog The Automatic Earth, and they are as pessimistic as one can get, saying we are set to see the worst modern deflation and depression crisis. So far all their predictions have proved true (currency trends, oil and commodities prices, and mainly the severity of the crisis).

    To be honest I am terrified. I was worried about Peak Oil but a severe depression + peak oil is probably a recipe for disaster.

    Would welcome any thoughts from you as I hold your opinion in high regard.

  2. Do you think it is going to get much worse?

    My sense is that in the short term things are going to start getting better. The plunge in oil prices is like an infusion of cash into the economy; spending will pick up. If oil and gas prices stayed low for a couple of years, we would start coming out of this.

    However, I don’t think oil and gas prices are going to stay low. I think by spring we will see prices racing north again. That has the potential to make things get a lot worse. And I have to say that Stoneleigh and Ilargi have been pretty prescient with their predictions.

    And I do agree that this will be the next president’s biggest challenge. We have just committed an enormous sum of money to bailing out the financial sector, putting the next president at a disadvantage for trying to pursue his agenda.

    RR

  3. Robert,

    I have nothing against Obama, but the idea of the Senate (Reid), House of Representatives (Pelosi), and the Presidency all being the hands of the Democrats sends a chill down my spine.

    My vote would go to Obama if the Senate and House were in Republican hands, but letting the Dems have free reign over two branches of government free to make whatever appointments they want to the third branch is a recipe for disaster.

  4. RR–
    I almost exactly share your views on Obama. His “energy policy” seems to consist of throwing federal money at projects best financed by venture capital/private equity or Wall Street/commercial banks. He won’t speak a word about higher gasoline taxes.
    That being said, the R-Party seems to have little substantive to offer, and they have flubbed so badly in the last eight years, it is time to move on. I simply cannot reward incompetence, even arrogant negligence, with re-hiring.
    To Mink: Please don’t despair too much after reading doomster sites. The Oil Drum has an agenda; who finances TOD is uncertain, TOD editors do not practice disclosure, and do not sign ethics or conflict of interest statements, as editors do at real news outlets (I am a former newsman). Sheesh, many TOD contributors file copy using cloaked identities.
    On a personal level, if I may say so, there were times in my life I was very vulnerable, emotionally and otherwise, to doom scenarios, and such beliefs can be ennervating. But optimism, and persistance and determination are necessary to succeed, not TOD sniveling.
    Our ancenstors passed through the Great Depression, World War II and worse. In my relatively tame life, I have seen 18 percent mortgages, 15 percent inflation, and the first two oil crises(in the 1970s), coupled with rising urban crime, and high unemployment rates. We lost in Vietnam. The 1970s led to a wave of doomer books, and they seemed completely justified.
    Instead, the next two decades were pretty darned good.
    On oil, we already have the technology to surmount any problems (especially PHEVs), and just need leadership. The price mechanism works wonders, even w/o leadership.
    We have seen a lot worse, and here we are. I suspect we will still be around in a couple decades more — and imagine the technical marvels that lie ahead.
    Never underestimate a free people, with plenty of venture capital, and lots of smart engineers and scientists.

  5. Going out on a limb with an early prediction there Robert?

    πŸ˜‰

    (Anyone wondering about the economic trajectory should probably skim down this list of top econ blogs – with the exception of the first, actually. Freakonomics seems to prefer the odd story and to keep a varied content. The rest of the top-ten are pretty much credit-crisis every day.)

    – odograph

  6. Benny said: “Our ancestors passed through the Great Depression, World War II and worse…”

    And don’t forget, only 12,000 years ago much of North America was under 5,000 ft of ice. It could be a lot worse. πŸ˜‰

    In fact, it will get a lot worse. Despite what the global warming doomsayers say, there is good evidence we are now in a warm period between two ice ages.

    The next time plate tectonics cause those thick ice sheets to advance south again, everyone will be wishing for global warming.

  7. I’m not as focused on energy issues as you, Robert, and my support for Obama is largely based on non-energy issues. Neither Obama nor McCain has put forward anything akin to my ideal energy plan, but I find Obama’s stated commitment to renewable energy nominally superior to McCain’s empty pandering to the “drill here, drill now” contingent of the Republican Party.

    Mink, I don’t know if I’d go as far as Benny in his critique of TOD and the Automatic Earth, but his larger point is definitely valid. It’s really very difficult for a layperson to get a handle on peak oil issues because it’s been such a beacon for doomsayers. Even reputable and trustworthy sources (and Stoneleigh and Illargi are definitely that) tend to interpret the issues through an almost fatalistic lens. Their work is sound, but I think it’s generally better to either ignore or avoid the overly-passionate and melodramatic tendencies of a lot of peak oil experts.

    As Benny suggests, things may get (very) bad, but extremist predictions of doom seldom come to pass, and aren’t very productive in any case.

  8. I too believe Obama wins but by a closer margin. I’ve got it 278 to 260 by taking Virginia but not fliping any other state that Bush won in 2000. I think McCain holds Florida and Ohio but just barely, Obama hangs on to PA but not by much. But Obama could just as easily take FL for a landslide. Obama’s massive fund raising will overwhelm the Republican’s traditional GOTV advantage.

    Alas, I think that Obama and the Dems then turn hard left.

    However, I must tell you I voted early in my VERY red county. Turnout was HUGE. I waited in line over an hour. I drove past the local polling place every day on the way to and from work. The parking lot was packed for the entire week. On Friday I was driving into the city and saw a Harris county polling site that maybe had several hundred people in line.

    So I wouldn’t be surprised either if McCain pulled it out.

  9. Benny,
    I am no doomer. I come from a region where war is part of life. I have lived in very precarious conditions, spending nearly a year without electricity in the UK, not out of choice. All these made me a strong believer in human ingenuity and resourcefulness.

    What is worrying me about the financial crisis is that I can’t figure out how rotten the system is. With energy it is easier to understand: the data is out there, you can do the sums yourself and figure out more or less. But this finance mumbo-jumbo seems to have been enginereed so that very few people can understand it.

    Stoneleigh and Ilargi at http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/
    have so far been correct in their major predictions. This is not something to dismiss easily in a time of confusion.

  10. I believe Joe Biden was a political pick, for one thing, Obama was seen as weak on foreign policy. And Biden who been in office now for 36 years has that experience.

    Energy policy is going to be a mess if Obama is elected. Because he plans on taxing emissions. Putting strict caps on emissions, this will raise energy costs for the average folks as Obama has admitted it will do. But justified saying it’s to save the planet.

    Obama is for big business, namely oil business. His policy will help raise oil prices while claiming it’s to reduce demand for saving the world.

    Obama energy policy would benefit by oil companies making more money because he could then tax more of their revenue so he could redistribute some of the wealth by those means…

    Dynamic speakers doesn’t always translate into good policy.

  11. King-
    Remember, vote early and vote often, and don’t count the dead people votes until you know how many you need.
    PS I read the 2001 National Energy Policy also, and thought it many good ideas. What happened? The R-Party contolled the House, the Senate, the Exeucitve Branch and the Supreme Court in 2001.
    But, in the real world, what we got was a huge boost in corn ethanol production, which RR has rather conclusively detailed as a rough wash as best, in terms of EROEI.
    I don’t see how the greenie-weenie Congressman Waxman (who you blame), from my hometown of Los Angeles, thwarted R-Party majorities, or forced corn ethanol on the nation back in 2001. We just don’t have that many corn farmers in West Los Angeles anyway.

    Ben Dewberry- I am a greenie-weenie myself, but I sometimes remind my liberal friends that the “normal” state of affairs in the last million years has been Ice Age conditions. That the planet was hotter 5,000 years ago than now. And a lot hotter during certain dinosaur days–there were dinosaurs up in Alaska (and it was closer to the North Pole back then).
    Stevens was not the first dinosaur in Alaska.

  12. Clinton and Bush energy bills were more alike than they were different. Why? Congress panders, and they’ll continue to pander.

    Fear of an Obama energy plan is based on the premise that Congress will vote against their own short term interests.

    How often does that happen?

    – odograph

  13. Odo – the dateline on the salmon story is 2004! So one can only assume that Bush and his evil henchmen have killed off all the salmon by now.

    Perhaps all the rivers and streams are now owned by Halliburton!

    I fear that Obama and the Dems will find they can’t pay for all the socialism they want by only taxing the rich. So that promise NOT to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250K will go the same way as Obama’s promise to only accept public financing.

  14. Mink-
    I share your exasperation at the opaque nature of today’s financial problems. It seems like a bunch of kids trading financial instruments online have tanked our economy.
    It will take work to untangle the true scope of the mortgage mess.
    The key word is “work,” and the Bush White House has been averse to that notion. We have to go through these mortgages one-by-one, zip code by zip code, and do work-outs, or kick-outs.
    There are plenty of private sector buyers, and homes in Cal. are selling much more quickly now, to mini-vulture funds.
    I am sorry to hear about war in your region, and living w/o electricity. I hope first you can find peace, and then for prosperity. Good luck.

  15. Thank’s for the straight-line King!

    I think we’ve talked about this before:

    “As reported in The Washington Post on June 27, 2007, Cheney’s intervention in the development of a 10-year water plan for the Klamath River resulted in the 2002 die-off of an estimated 77,000 salmon near the California-Oregon border – and the subsequent collapse of the West Coast salmon-fishing industry.”

    It actually boggles that someone can be a sportsman and that kind of salmon killer.

    Is it the new-conservative instinct to disbelieve anything a scientist tells you?

    – odograph

  16. “I fear that Obama and the Dems will find they can’t pay for all the socialism they want by only taxing the rich. So that promise NOT to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250K will go the same way as Obama’s promise to only accept public financing.”

    Pfft. Nixon was a socialist by the new-Republican accounting.

    – odograph

  17. (BTW, I predict the west coast salmon will go extinct in our lifetimes.

    Too many knee-jerk anti-enviros on the other side.)

    – odograph

  18. Very well thought out and stated observations about the election. Thank you. I was for Obama early for two reasons: 1) After Bush, I would’ve voted for a potted plant before another Republican (McCain should’ve won in 04) and 2) I look to the president for leadership and inspiration more than stated “policies.”
    The president won’t dictate the price of gas. Nor can he tell China and India to go back to the stone age.
    But he can inspire us to do the right thing. I hope this one does. Anyway, thanks again for the good article.

  19. Mink-
    I just reviewed Ilargi’s website, Automatic Earth. This is doomer porn. Worry not. He is a sniveler, who like most snivelers, imagines only he sees the way forward, and only options he choses will work.
    There are many ways to skin a cat. Living standards have been rising in a variety of economies, ranging from mostly private enterprise (USA) to fascist (China) to unique (Japan)to socialist (W. Europe) to even monarchy (Mideast and semi-democratic Thailand.
    Living standards have been rising for centuries now. Yes, we are having a credit crisis. No, it won’t last forever, despite the frantic nightmares of a sniveler-doomer.
    Some nations, with realy awful leadership, will move backward. But most will move forward. If you can migrate to Thailand, consider it. They seem to have a national government making roughly right macroeconmic decisions.

  20. Hi,
    Mrs. Azizeh Atari one of famouse Iranian psychic has predicted that OBAMA will win with difference of 2 percent.

    I post this as a record for Mrs. Azizeh Atari.

    Thanks
    Nick Owhadi

  21. Mink, I find your perspective quite interesting, because it’s almost exactly the opposite of mine. I have a number of family members working in the financial sector (mostly as public accountants), and because of this (and a number of other reasons), I suppose I have a better understanding of the current financial crisis than most. It’s bad news, yes, but it doesn’t mystify me in the way it seems to mystify others.

    I was in the opposite position with peak oil as recently as one year ago. It seemed completely beyond my ken, and so many of the people who seemed to know what they were talking about were predicting catastrophe. Since then, I’ve done the reading, crunched the numbers, and now feel reasonably well versed in the material (for a layperson, that is: I’m certainly not going to be giving Robert here a run for his money any time soon). As a result, peak oil doesn’t terrify me nearly so much any more. I have my concerns, and I acknowledge the problems, but I’m far less prone to fall for TEOTWAWKI hyperbole than I once was.

    I suspect there’s a similar dynamic at play regarding the financial crisis for many others. Worse, probably, since economics is both harder to grasp and comparatively less precise than the geological underpinnings of peak oil.

  22. Odo – my memory on the salmon issue isn’t good. As with nearly all your posts where Bush and Cheney are labeled the bad guys – there was another side of the story that isn’t told.

    I recall there was a drought and the farmers were not going to receive the amount of water they were legally entitled to because of diversions for ESA concerns. One agency said that Lake Klamath needed water to protect an ESA species in the lake while another agency said to release water to protect a species downstream. The diversion would have caused a crushing economic hardship on the farmers and economy of the upper Klamath.

    I also seem to recall that a later court case ruled that the Klamath Coho was erroniously listed because NMFS didn’t include commercial fisheries stock in its assessment.

    My recollection is that the net use by Klamath farmers is something like 2-3% and that without the Klamath reclamation project, in years of severe drought there might not be ANY salmon. Since the 2001-2002 season it appears that farmers and fishermen are working things out constructively, despite environmentalists aggresively lobbying the fisherman and conservationists to blame the farmers for everything.

  23. Farmers take water based on rainfall and environmental review.

    That’s the deal they signed up for.

    Cheney came in because he “couldn’t afford to anger thousands of solidly Republican farmers and ranchers during the midterm elections”

    Sometimes the bad stories are true.

    – odograph

  24. Mink-
    One last bit of thought: How can we have economic collapse and skyhigh oil prices together (the doomer simultaneous orgasm scenario)?
    We have already seen how the hint of a recession, not a collapse, has driven oil prices inot the low $60s, and I contend a real global recession will drive oil down to $10 a barrel. Impossible? The last time oil was $10 a barrel (in 1998), we had a roaring national and global economy. What makes anyone think it cannot sink to $10 a barrel in a global recession?

  25. … I’m really getting kind of tired of this though. Wednesday I register with no party affiliation!!!

    (The “Independent Party” suckers a lot of people out here in California.)

    And I can start calling out the too liberal policies of our new Incumbent. FWIW, I think “equal pay for equal work” is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. We live in a bid-and-ask society. That’s all we need.

    – odograph

  26. Letter to the Editor of the Wall Street Journal from Vernon L. Smith (Nobel Prize in economic sciences 2002) published 2008-OCT-31:

    I think the answer to Alan Reynolds’s excellent question and article (“How’s Obama Going to Raise $4.3 Trillion?,” op-ed, Oct. 24) is that Barack Obama is not going to raise $4.3 trillion, and he is not going to perform on his rhetoric. He excels as a rhetorician — common to both the great and the least of past presidents — but performance cannot run on that fuel. Inevitably, I think his luster will fade even with his most ardent supporters as that reality sets in. We also have seen luster fade time after time with Republican presidents. The rhetoric of a smaller and less invasive government always leads to king-size performance disappointments. This weakness is as central to the reality of our political economy as are its strengths. With all its foibles, its strengths become transparent when you compare it, not with our various idealizations, but with the litter of human experiments in political economy that have delivered far more suffering and murder than human betterment to the citizens of those economies.

    Of course it is entirely likely that Mr. Obama will succeed in going for higher business, capital gains and income taxes, but it is an economic illusion to think for a minute that this will benefit the poor. All our wars on poverty have been lost by failing to help the poor help themselves. Higher business taxes, which ultimately can only be paid by individuals anyway, will simply export more economic activity to the world economy. Higher capital gains and income taxes will primarily reduce savings and investment at the expense of greater future productivity, which is at the heart of cross-generational reductions in poverty. A dozen countries, including the third largest economy, already have zero taxes on capital gains, and eight of them score high on the Economic Freedom Index and high in gross domestic product per capita.

    I favor making all individual savings and direct investments deductible from income for tax purposes. In that world there would be no need to make any distinction between ordinary income and capital gains. By adding a negative feature to such a net consumption tax, the poor would not only receive redistribution benefit, but have an incentive to save and accumulate capital. Some poor will see this as an opportunity to help themselves.

  27. Megan McArdle:

    A lot of my liberal friends seem to taste a giant realignment, the reversal of the Reagan Revolution. Are we there yet?

    Maybe. By 1980, the Democrats had one answer for everything: spend more money! Now Republicans seem to think that tax cuts cure everything from economic malaise to trenchmouth. Maybe conservatism has simply run its course.

    On the other hand, four years ago people were talking about an era of permanent Republican hegemony. The worm can turn pretty quickly.

    Obama is almost certain to disappoint in big ways; he doesn’t have the money to pull an FDR, or even an LBJ. He will have to fulfill their committments before he can look to his own, and the tax situation is looking pretty dire. Obama may turn out to be the president of tax increases and spending cuts, which didn’t work out so good for the first George Bush.

    But for me, I think one thing is clear: the Republican party cannot survive without some time in the wilderness. Look at this election: what do Republicans have to say, except “I’ll cut your taxes and pay for it by cutting spending on some entirely fictional person who lives nowhere near you?” and “Pointy headed liberals with fancy degrees are looking down on you! Are you going to stand that?” That’s not a platform. It’s barely worthy of a drunken 3 am rant.

    I don’t like most of Obama’s ideas, but at least he has some. If conservatives really want smaller government and so forth, they need to step up their game.

    Egg-zactly!

    – odogarph

  28. Fat Man:

    “I favor making all individual savings and direct investments deductible from income for tax purposes. “

    It’s much simpler to make interest and dividend income tax-free to $50K. We need fewer programs and deductions, IMNSHO.

    – odograph

  29. @Sean,

    It’s really very difficult for a layperson to get a handle on peak oil issues because it’s been such a beacon for doomsayers.

    Don’t know what you consider layperson. I consider myself one.

    I would disagree it’s difficult – but sure as heck it is a time sink !! πŸ™‚

    RBM

  30. RR wrote – “My hope is that Obama will surround himself with people who are knowledgeable about energy policy. He has been reaching out behind the scenes to energy companies (and I am amazed that this hasn’t gotten press coverage) …”

    Robert, I love your blog. I recommend it to everyone.

    And that last line has to be one of the ten funniest I’ve read in this entire campaign season.

  31. Obama recently met secretly with the heads of the major oil companies ala Cheney several years ago. That is a little known fact. I guess it is OK for him to do it but not for Cheney to do it.

  32. Odograph:
    That has been a fave idea of mine for years: No taxes on interest and dividend income up to some amount (you say 50k).
    A great tax break for the middle class, and one that would actually spur saving and investment.

  33. Might as well ask the other silly question: Name one country that has no taxes.

    (Americans are pretty messed up in the head, when they think a 35% tax is a “free market” but 39% is “socialism.”)

  34. The comments seem to have strayed away from election predictions and toward the all-too-common “end of days” speculation so prevalent in the media. As far as another dinosaur-killer asteroid goes, che sera, sera. As far as the election, I agree with the prediction of the OP…as far as that being what the voters want, I will only cite another authority:

    “After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.”

    –Spock in ‘Amok Time’, Star Trek TOS

  35. Anon – the lower tax rate isn’t socialism. Wealth distribution is. Obama wants to take money from the upper middle class and the perceived rich, and give it in the form of direct payments to those who don’t even pay taxes, calling it a “tax cut”. Pete DuPont does a pretty good job today laying it out in the WSJ: The Europeanization of America .

  36. Wait a minute! So McCain would stop all “direct payments to those who don’t even pay taxes”?

    Or is he a big socialist too?

  37. The Europeans have better health and a longer life expectancy … but everyone knows God doesn’t love them as much.

  38. European Union Unemployment/economic growth rates:

    Germany 7.4%/1.4%
    France 7.4%/1.4%
    UK 5.2%/1.6%
    Italy 6.5%/0.3%
    Spain 9.3%/1.8%

    US 6.1%/3.2% (2007)

    Applications for permanent Visas from EU countries exceed the alloted quota – so apparently Europeans don’t think much of living there!

    Both France and the UK have huge problems with its minority muslim problems (2 summers ago the housing projects on the edge of Paris resembled a war zone).

    Europeans suffer or die needlessly while waiting for rationed health care. The average European can’t afford to buy a house. If you are poor or lower middle class you might fare better in Europe, but if you are upwardly mobile you face a daunting governmental obstacle course to the upper class. (High taxes, excessive regulations, limited educational opportunities, etc.)

  39. Early polls indicate a possible Obama landslide. Two months ago, I thought he was going to lose.
    We will survive an Obama presidency, maybe even prosper. Remember, the top tax rate under President Eisenhower and the Republican Congress of the 1950s was 90 percent. It is a lot lower than that now, and Obama is hardly planning anything more than a wrinkle or two.
    Social Security taxes, which apply only to wages and the first 90k of income, are a lot higher now than in the 1950s and 1960s. Our tax system today is much less progressive than earlier eras, in which we exhibited good economic growth.
    Adam Smith himself suggested a progressive tax system was necessary.
    All that being said, in fact our tax system has gigantic loopholes in it, that allow tax avoidance. Trusts and life insurance policies come to mind.

  40. Anon – you need to look at other risk factors for life expectancy as well including racial factors, smoking, diet, obesity, environmental factors, etc.

    It isn’t too hard to find cases of people dying in the UK or Europe waiting for medical treatment that is routinely available in the US.

  41. Benny – early polling predicted a Kerry landslide in 2004.

    We also survived Jimmy Carter. Obama and the Dems might find out it is a lot harder getting their hands on the tax money. The so called “windfall profits” tax on oil companies will be virtually impossible to collect as the companies will just reorganize themselves so that profits aren’t repatriated to the US and be subject to the tax.

  42. The interesting opportunity here is for the Republicans to re-invent themselves in a way that makes them attractive to people like me again.

    You know, you may recall, that I’ve been laying “anti-intellectualism” at their feet for a few years. I was somewhat surprised to hear exactly those words from so many conservative voices

    (In that other one I gave you too, King?)

    Maybe when the Republicans engage with some intellectual rigor, and can answer a scientist with more than a instinctive “I don’t have to believe it” they’ll get me back.

    This is your chance for re-invention boys.

    – odograph

  43. King-

    Yeah, who knows, but this one doesn’t look close.

    OT:
    By the way, some here have ridiculed me for being banned from The Oil Drum (TOD), for my posts in which I generally insisted that the future was not grim, and that the TOD should be much more transparent than it is, in terms of its financing and authorship. Okay, fine, I was banned. It is their blog, and they can do what they wish.

    Here is a post today from a regular poster at TOD, the very first post in today’s “Drumbeat” section:

    “Won’t someone please debunk this book on Amazon (The Myth of the Oil Crisis: Overcoming the Challenges of Depletion, Geopolitics, and Global Warming)? I’d forgive someone who hunted this author down and fixed him up good. Paid jackals like this are leading us into a hurricane.”

    I wonder who runs TOD? Posts that advocate violence against people for writing books are perfectly acceptable at TOD, but contrary posts (mine) must be banned? I never even insulted other posters, or engaged in ad hominen attacks, let alone stooped to the level of advocating violence.

    I understand TOD and its backers are deeply angry, and perhaps have been burned badly (financially) by the oil price collapse.
    However, I feel I must make a statement against a website that so easily tolerates the suggestion of violence against people who merely write books with a different viewpoint.
    Again, I wonder just who or what is behind the TOD. It does not smell right.

  44. “The interesting opportunity here is for the Peak Oilers to re-invent themselves in a way that makes them attractive to people like me again.”

    LOL

    – odograph

  45. Benny – Democrats have had a numerical advantage for decades. But Dems aren’t spread out evenly over the states. If you take out CA, NY, IL, and NJ where Dems dominate, the rest of the country is a lot more even. Republicans vote in higher percentages and traditionally have a better organized GOTV campaign.

    The landslide projections heavily depend on predictions of turnouot for new voters. Every election since I turned 18 supposedly had a huge “youth vote” that never turned out. It turns out that it is a lot easier to register someone to vote than to get them to actually vote. Same day registration is a license to steal elections. Democratic political machines also manage to manufacture several million votes, which could be a factor this year in Philadelphia.

    If Obama is so wildly popular, why is it that he kept losing primaries to Hillary Clinton even when it was clear he had the nomination locked up?

  46. King-
    I think Obama is actually just a so-so campaigner, and has a mushy set of proposals. That is why he never really caught on, though he is terrific at “the ground game”–raising money and getting out the vote.
    Obama is lucky that McCain and Palin are even weaker campaigners, have an even murkier and more self-conflicted set of ideals, and have a mediocre ground game.
    So, Obama wins, maybe big.
    Let’s hope he runs the country as well as he ran his ground game.

  47. You know we have a semi-Peaker running for Congress out here. I’m a stone’s throw from her district, but not quite.

    I spent some time with Debbie at ASPO this year. She invited me to dinner on my last night there, but I had a pile of work I had to get done.

    RR

  48. I’ve never had any real interaction. My impression is that she’s competent. If I’d been in her district I probably would have voted her way.

    – odograph

  49. Well it looks like Obama will lock it up. Obama won PA and then OH. Without OH there is no way for McCain to win. Now it is just a matter of the margin of victory.

    It appears that it is a referendum on Bush more than a vote for Obama.

  50. “It appears that it is a referendum on Bush more than a vote for Obama.”

    That’s not the kind of “internalizing” that will reinvent the Republican party.

    – odograph

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