Conjectures on the election polls

· long story short

1. Until recently, the key assumption was that the number of jobs created between now and the election would determine the result. But the context was that, given the Republican edge on security and defense, only a very bad economic picture could turn the vote against them. With that security edge blunted, the Democrats’ advantage on economics will now survive even a rather good stretch of employment growth.
2. The same dynamic that made Iraq a strong positive for Bush will reverse polarity into a string negative (i.e., not merely a weak positive). This was–as Bob Scheer said of Vietnam–a Winners’ War: the noblesse oblige of a proud, invincible, can-do America. If it becomes a Losers’ War, repugnance must replace the pride.
3. Without the Nader factor, Kerry currently holds a significant edge. I’d guess that the Nader vote in closely contested states will collapse to Kerry as election day approaches.