Michael Barone declines to predict the identity of the Democratic presidential nominee, but offers a sensible analysis of that nominee’s prospects in the general election. Says Barone, “To gauge where the general electorate is, I look not only at current polls but also at actual vote totals–the 2002 popular vote for the House, which has become a good proxy for the parties’ national standing. It was 51 percent Republican and 46 Democratic. Bush has the advantage, but a Democrat could still win.”
To take the analysis one step further, we might ask, what has changed since November 2002. Two main things — (1) we won the war in Iraq but failed to find WMD, while continuing to face deadly resistance and (2) the economy picked up. On balance, I suspect that the electorate is about where it was at the time of the 2002 elections, and that Barone’s assessment is sound.
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