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Historians Say McCain Won't Win

One week into the general election, the polls show a dead heat. But many presidential scholars doubt that John McCain stands much of a chance, if any.

Polls show what a cross-section of Americans are thinking, but what they don't factor in is voter turnout. McCain could be even with Obama in the polls, but if 110 Democrats turn out to vote for every 100 Republicans, a 'dead heat' will become a resounding defeat for the red shirts.

McBush will do his best to rally Republicans, along with those Republicans who now call themselves "independents" because they are ashamed to admit that they are so stupid that the voted for Bush... twice.

It won't matter:

Historians belonging to both parties offered a litany of historical comparisons that give little hope to the Republican. Several saw Barack Obama's prospects as the most promising for a Democrat since Roosevelt trounced Hoover in 1932.

"This should be an overwhelming Democratic victory," said Allan Lichtman, an American University presidential historian who ran in a Maryland Democratic senatorial primary in 2006. Lichtman, whose forecasting model has correctly predicted the last six presidential popular vote winners, predicts that this year, "Republicans face what have always been insurmountable historical odds." His system gives McCain a score on par with Jimmy Carter's in 1980.

Now THAT's poetic justice --- just the mention of Jimmy Carter's name gets John McBush's dentures grinding....

"McCain shouldn't win it," said presidential historian Joan Hoff, a professor at Montana State University and former president of the Center for the Study of the Presidency. She compared McCain's prospects to those of Hubert Humphrey, whose 1968 loss to Richard Nixon resulted in large part from the unpopularity of sitting Democratic president Lyndon Johnson.

"It is one of the worst political environments for the party in power since World War II," added Alan Abramowitz, a professor of public opinion and the presidency at Emory University. His forecasting model -- which factors in gross domestic product, whether a party has completed two terms in the White House and net presidential approval rating -- gives McCain about the same odds as Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and Carter in 1980 -- both of whom were handily defeated in elections that returned the presidency to the previously out-of-power party. "It would be a pretty stunning upset if McCain won," Abramowitz said.

Her slowness to recognize and embrace the prevalent tidal wave of support for change is one of the principal factors of Hillary Clinton's loss, but John McBush and his GOP handlers are apparently so stupid that they are running on a platform that promises no change whatsoever...

He hasn't a prayer of winning.

What's more, Republicans have held the presidency for all but 12 years since the South became solidly Republican in the realignment of 1968 -- which is among the longest runs with one party dominating in American history. "These things go in cycles," said presidential historian Robert Dallek, a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles. "The public gets tired of one approach to politics. There is always a measure of optimism in this country, so they turn to the other party."

That desire for change also tends to manifest itself at the end of a president's second term. Only twice in the 20th century has a party won a third consecutive term in the White House, most recently in 1988, when George H.W. Bush replaced the term-limited Ronald Reagan, who was about twice as popular in the last year of his presidency as President George W. Bush is now.

Rpeublicans voting in the primaries chose the most liberal of the Republican candidates running... What does that tell you?

It tells you even Republicans want change, but that "Maverick" McCain is is just a memory -- he's now a Bush-hugging Republican promising four more years of no change.

No chance.

But the biggest obstacle in McCain's path may be running in the same party as the most unpopular president America has had since at least the advent of modern polling. Only Harry Truman and Nixon -- both of whom were dogged by unpopular wars abroad and political scandals at home -- have been nearly as unpopular in their last year in office, and both men's parties lost the presidency in the following election.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (1)

One real positive for Obama has also been that he generally exceeded polling expectations in most states, unlike most African American candidates of the past, who had many White voters change their minds at the last moment and actually vote for the White opponent. Obama has had a much higher degree of success with all voters than most recent African American candidates. All of this gives Obama more hope than most African American candidates to actually go all the way and win the election. But the results will likely still be somewhat closer than they really should be, as some White voters may still resist Obama despite all the terrible things that McCain may bring to the table after the bad taste of George Bush.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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