Saturday, November 8, 2008

Final Thoughts on the White House Race

Sen. McCain was up against it before it started. (See the Below detail from

From the Crystal Ball

Based on President Bush's net approval rating in the most recent Gallup Poll (-39), the annual growth rate of the economy during the first quarter of 2008 (+0.6 percent), and the fact that the Republican Party has controlled the White House for the past eight years, the Electoral Barometer reading was a dismal -63. (EB = NAR + (5*GDP) - 25. ) This is a reading of -63.

Year Barometer Reading Incumbent Party Margin of Popular Vote (incumbent party)
1952 -49.5 Lost -10.90%
1956 71.0 Won 15.40%
1960 -5.0 Lost - .20%
1964 82.5 Won 22.60%
1968 2.0 Lost - .70%
1972 73.0 Won 23.2%
1976 -5.0 Lost -2.1%
1980 -66.0 Lost -9.7%
1984 51.5 Won 18.2%
1988 9.0 Won 7.7%
1992 -22.5 Lost -5.6%
1996 43.5 Won 8.5%
2000 22.0 Lost .5%
2004 13.0 Won 2.5%

My commentary

The barometer was probably at -85 at the time of the election. Bush's net disapproval rating was closer to -45, and economic growth had turned negative. The banks collapsed, the stock market collapsed, and AIG collapsed.

It's amazing that Sen. McCain had a chance when September came around.

I think the only Republican who may have done better this year in this environment was Mike Huckabee. That is because he offerred something different, i.e., the fair tax. He could have attempted to sell the public on the merits of the fair tax. It's possible that manufacturing workers would have bought his logic. I'm not sure the public would have liked it. But his proposal would certainly have countered Sen. Obama's trade arguments because he could have said the fair tax would imposed the same tax cost on American goods as foreign goods. That may have sold. And, he didn't have any connection to Bush whatsoever.

Regarding Sarah Palin, was she a bad pick? No, she is who gave Sen. McCain a chance going into the middle of September. When the banks collapsed, nothing could save Sen. McCain.

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